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Hello, I've had some questions about the Helix ever since it came out, and I'd like some insight before I make such a large purchase. What kind of amp or speakers are most compatible with the Helix? Would it work with a PA System, or would some FRFR speakers such as the StageSources work better? Also, does it have a built in amp/preamp, or does it just simulate the amps in a pedal format? Lastly, would the Helix make plugging into a house sound through direct box sound as good as if I was plugged into an amp and mic'd?

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Best advice since there is so much to answer, Go to the Line 6 site, read about Helix. Goto Youtube and watch every video. In a week or so come back with (just my way- YMMV) specific single questions, one at a time. In this way you will be better prepared to understand. I will try and answer the 1st part. The amp can be anything from a combo to a full Marshall stack. Having send and return on the amps head allows for a "4 cable method" hookup. FRFR is also a good way and many have gone that direction. I will use for example a Line-6 Firehawk 1500 FRFR combo with my Helix, but there are other options just as valid like the Atomic CLR. I hope this helps you some. Helix is AWESOME, and I don't even have mine yet and I can still state this fact without fear of being even partly wrong....  :D

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I have been going FOH.  All but one of the bands I work with are now all electronic.  Only one band still uses non-electric drums.  The elimination of stage sound other than the monitors is amazing.  And, thanks to this forum and a few youtube videos from friends here, I have found that "natural feedback" due to real amp speakers/tube vibes (or whatever you want to call it) is very attainable with any of the stage monitors the various PA systems are using.

 

Dennis

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And, thanks to this forum and a few youtube videos from friends here, I have found that "natural feedback" due to real amp speakers/tube vibes (or whatever you want to call it) is very attainable with any of the stage monitors the various PA systems are using.

[ADDENDUM]

 

But that is a whole topic in and of itself based upon what can be done with the Helix and how I use a single footswitch to activate multiple amp variables/effects.  For me I am finding this Helix to be amazing. YMMV

 

Dennis

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What kind of amp or speakers are most compatible with the Helix?

 

Most likely the answer to this is completely subjective, but with so many options on board the Helix, i would have to think it is equally compatible with many set ups.

 

Would it work with a PA System

 

Yep!

 

 

Also, does it have a built in amp/preamp,

 

Yep. you can shut the cab modelling off and go  Helix>Mesa power amp>4x12 speaker cab. Helix can be used as a guitar preamp just like the older PODs or whatever you like to use.

 

 

 Lastly, would the Helix make plugging into a house sound through direct box sound as good as if I was plugged into an amp and mic'd?

 

Yes but, depending on your tastes, probably not "right out of the box", but i guarantee once you spend a couple of days getting to know Helix, and dialing it to your tastes, you will dig it fully.

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Also, does it have a built in amp/preamp, or does it just simulate the amps in a pedal format?

Well, it clearly does have a physical preamp, to amplify a guitar-level signal enough work well with the rest of the circuitry. And it emulates a variety of amps, including their preamps, power amps, speakers in cabs, mics to mic them, and to some extent, the room the speakers and mics are in.

 

But NO, it DOES NOT have an actual amp, it can't drive speakers itself. You can connect its output to a powered FRFR setup, in which case you'd use its whole emulated chain, or use it as an effect with a normal guitar or bass amp, in which case you probably want to bypass its speaker and mic emulations, since you'll have real guitar speakers in play.

 

Like spikey said, read up, watch videos, then figure out what specifics you need more info or advice with.

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No Amp ( as in to amplify a passive guitar cab) as Zooey said... It does have Amp emulated tones but this still needs to amplified by a power amp, or powered FRFR or studio monitors.

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Different strokes. Helix was designed to be more flexible, for instance, than the AX8 (which is really for modeling mainly) or the FX8 (which is FX only). I didn't say better. better is different for you or me or the guy down the street.

 

What Helix gets you when you go direct is a state-of the art direct to PA tone that is really wonderful, flexible, and insanely easy to learn to use.

 

What Helix gets you when you want to do multiple signal chains is simply fantastic.

 

What Helix gets you when you go to an amp is sometimes going to be more significant in ease of use and flexibility than in tone, and there's less advantage, except that if you already have it for the first two scenarios, you have the same box to do all your stuff, not just most of it.

 

The absolute sweet spot is the guy who will want to do both and not have to have two different solutions.

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 Lastly, would the Helix make plugging into a house sound through direct box sound as good as if I was plugged into an amp and mic'd?

 

This is the basic premise of amp modeling, when you get down to it. What is being modeled is a signal chain of a specific amp with specific effects and a specific mic. The idea is that if you compared two channels at a mixing board - one modeled and one "real", they would sound identical. And, indeed, this is a big part of how Line 6 actually tests their modeling. The thing that is different is that when you play through a modeler, you are hearing this tone through a stage monitor or some other FRFR system, and this is a different type of sound that what you would hear directly from your amp. You don't typically listen to your amp through the filter of a microphone. You typically hear it in whatever acoustic space it's in.

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Yer right Phil, and this rattles some people. The best of both worlds is a preamp/modeler that allows an output to a amp like say an SLA 2 and then to a guitar cab, and another pair of outs that will sound right into studio monitors or an FRFR setup.

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