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njglover

A tone snob's thorough review of the Helix

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(Reposted from the Gear Page for easier reference) I apologize, this ended up being kind of long...

 

Before I dive into the review proper, let me take a minute to provide some background on who I am so you can understand where I'm coming from. I have been playing guitar for about 13 years or so (gigging for about 8 years) and in that time I have been through a lot of gear in my quest for "the tone." I started with a Gibson The Paul and a Crate something or other solid state combo, eventually swapped amps for a Blues Jr, then a Vox Night Train (both of those amps I ended up modding), Orange Thunder 30, Mesa/Boogie Roadster, Orange Rockerverb 50 combo, and finally Orange Rockerverb 100. I've also got a Vox AC4 and a Fender Greta, but I am selling those... I've also been through several cabs, but the rig I have settled on is the Roadster through an Orange PPC212OB. Easily my favorite analog rig, though I will never get rid of my Rockerverb, either. I've also been through quite a few guitars - after the Gibson came a G&L Legacy, then a Deluxe Strat, Music Man Luke 3, PRS Custom 24, a guitar I built including custom pickups, and a standard Strat with a rosewood neck (to match the Luke, PRS, and custom guitar). I rock a PT-Pro pedal board and have easily at least 20 pedals to choose from, including both custom-made, modified, discontinued, and limited-edition pedals. I have also tried out several modeling solutions, from the Line 6 M-series of stompbox modelers (I actually have a very in-depth demo series on YouTube for those) to their HD500 as well as PC solutions like Amplitube, Guitar Rig, and Studio One.

 

The point I am trying to make is that I consider myself a bit of a tone snob. I endlessly tweak the knobs on my Roadster in an attempt to get everything "just right" and routinely mark up my pedals so that I can reset the knobs after they get moved in transit. This is basically where modeling comes in for me. My dream has always been (and if you look at my posting history you can verify this) to have a rig where everything is controlled by presets. I HATE the idea that one of my amp's knobs might shift in transport. All those months of tweaking ruined! To that end, my latest endeavor was to move my pedals to a rack using a series of Source Audio products that aren't actually available yet to control the entire thing. My Source Audio pedals can store presets and the ones that can't could either be MIDI controlled (Whammy) or switched remotely. Having the pedals in a rack would keep the knobs from moving, meaning that my settings would remain consistent from one show to the next. As you might imagine, the idea of a modeler is thus very appealing to me, however I have been sorely disappointed in the past and could never quite justify shelling out for an Axe-FX (which seems to be responsible for many of my favorite pro tones).

 

I am about to move into an apartment with my fiancee which, as you might imagine, will make it very difficult to to rock out with my Roadster. Furthermore, we will still be using my mom's house as our practice space. As I will now be nearly an hour from there, the idea of having to go all the way out there to grab my gear for a show that may be in the total opposite direction is not very appealing and I don't really have room in the apartment to just store my ridiculous rig. So this seemed like a perfect reason to revisit modeling.

 

Enter the Helix (and I'm very sorry it took so long to get here). I actually thought, after much research (i.e. looking up opinions online) that Fractal's AX-8 would be the way to go for me, since the Axe-FX seems to be what all the cool kids are using, but on the advice on someone on this board, I figured I might as well pick up a Helix and give it a test drive while stuck on the AX-8 wait list. After all, the Helix is objectively cooler. Not only is it far easier to program on the unit, but scribble strips! I always make sure any setup I bring out live is "drunk proof," which is to say that it needs to be so easy to figure out that even when I am drunk and half asleep I can still figure out what button to push. Scribble strips are the perfect solution for that. Time to solo? Hit the solo button! Idiotically simple. So anyway, I ordered a Helix expecting it to not be great (after my experience with the HD500) but willing to give it a shot anyway.

 

On first opening it, it is definitely very cool. I am a big technology nerd, so as you might imagine, all the screens and programmable lights really appeal to me. It's also really solidly built. Supposedly people have had issues with the footswitches on older Line 6 modelers, but I can't see that being a problem here. All the hardware is really nice. So I sat down and played through the presets, as I'm sure most people would, and came away really impressed. This was definitely not the HD500 that had so disappointed me before. So far, so good.

 

The next step, since I had a show the next week, was to really dive in and program all the sounds I would need. This is also a really good way to truly test the capabilities of the unit, especially since I wanted to be able to do some fairly complex switching (like I said, gotta make it drunk proof). Just for reference, here is one of the more complicated presets I wanted to set up (though other songs became more complicated as I realized I was no longer limited to the capabilities of an analog rig):

 

Intro - Rectifier with delay, reverb, and volume pedal for swells

Verse/chorus - Rectifier with reverb

Solo - Rectifier with volume boost, 5th up harmony, delay, and reverb

Outro - Rectifier with 5th up harmony and reverb

 

Remember, since I am making things drunk proof, that means I need to be able to do these switches with one pedal. So in our example, that meant setting up an A/B split to keep all the solo stuff on one path, but also having to set up a second harmony effect and a second delay effect because it is not possible to assign the same effect to multiple switches. Since I want harmony without delay, that means I need those to be on separate switches, but since I also want to be able to turn both on with one switch... anyway, you see how it becomes complicated. But what's the point of having a fancy modeler if you're just going to use it like a regular pedal board? Boring.

 

Here are some thing I discovered along the way (good and bad). First, it really is amazingly simple to program, however, I got the floorboard model (all-in-one unit) and it does get a little tiring sitting on the floor hunched over trying to set everything up. I believe they are working on editor software that will help with this problem, but in the meantime, I suppose I could also just put it up on a table while working on patches. One thing that is not always straightforward, though, is renaming those scribble strips. In the manual, it says that is done in the Footswitch Assign menu, however it turns out that is only true if the thing assigned is a block's bypass function. If, say, the only things assigned to that pedal are parameters (for example, a solo boost that increases the gain and master volume), you have to go in to the Command Center, select the switch, and rename it there. Once you know it works that way, it's not terribly difficult, but I feel it would be far easier to just make it an option when you touch and hold a switch. Navigating is mostly done with the joystick, which generally works fine, but I do think a separate set of arrow buttons would have been better. It can be tricky to navigate left/right/up/down without also turning the knob. However, I think Line 6 anticipated this and seems to have set it so that if you do turn the knob while trying to navigate, the knob portion seems to deactivate so you don't accidentally alter a parameter. The last quirk, and this is a bit of an oddity, is that when you split your path, the unit decreases the the output of each path by what seems to be 3 dB. This makes sense if you are running a Y-split, i.e. running both routes at the same time, but when you switch to an A/B split with the intention of toggling between the two, your total output volume is reduced. Confusingly, the merge block shows the output as 0 dB, i.e. no change. I have found that increasing it to + 3 dB mitigates the automatic volume drop. Hopefully Line 6 will fix this behavior in a future update as it is not very obvious what is going on.

 

Moving past the operation of the unit, let's talk about tones. The first thing you are likely to do is figure out what amp you want on the preset. For most people, I suspect the natural thing to do is to pick one of the Amp+cab settings since that puts everything conveniently on one block. However, I would caution against doing that. For one, it will help with your DSP resources to be able to move the cab to the second path. More importantly, placing effects between the amp and the cab is crucial to getting things to sound "real." When you set up a reverb, putting it after the cab gets you a big stereo delay, but it sounds tacked on. If you put it before the cab, it becomes mono, sure, but it also sounds like it's coming from the amp. It becomes part of the tone instead of an afterthought. Similarly, when working with harmonies, this allows the cab to filter out some of the harsh overtones that come from shifting up distorted notes.

 

Speaking of cabs, I generally find the built in ones require a bit of tweaking before they start sounding more believable. When setting up my Rectifier tones, I was initially a bit disappointed. It definitely sounded like a Rectifier, but there was a lot of harsh fizziness, some extra top end that just isn't there in a real rig. What I discovered is that, for some reason, the Helix's cabs are putting out frequencies that real guitar speakers just don't. For example, a Vintage 30 starts rolling off frequencies around 14 kHz. So does an SM-57, but the model for that mic seems unnaturally bright. I found that moving the high cut for the cabs down to 14 kHz and the low cut up to about 90 Hz really made the frequency response a lot more realistic. I also brought the early reflections up to about 20% and that fixed a lot of my issues (we'll talk more about the cabs later).

 

The amps are probably the most critical feature of this unit and I really have to commend Line 6 for those. While they may not perfectly replicate the real thing (for example, a real Rectifier has like a thousand different modes), they get really, really close. One crucial aspect where most modelers have suffered is in feel, and these amps just FEEL real. They respond exactly like I'd expect them to. The tweed model is just as nasty as the tweed mode on my Roadster. The Rectifier chugs, the tweeds growl, the Soldano wails... everything is just right. My only sort of gripe is that I don't think the tone controls respond exactly like the real ones, which is to say that one would think that I could theoretically match my real Rectifier's settings to the ones here and get the same results, but that simply isn't the case. Nitpicks aside, I really have nothing bad to say about the amps. A+ work, guys. I am a little disappointed that there isn't a Rockerverb model, though...

 

Effects are going to be the next big thing for most users, and I think that there is overall a pretty good selection, but in some ways there is a lot of room for improvement. I have found the tape delay to be absolutely superb in every way, and that's coming from something of a delay snob - my two delays are a Way Huge Echopuss (limited edition version!) and a Source Audio Nemesis. But the tape delay is really that good. I haven't even bothered with any of the others, there's just no reason to. I am happy to say that the modulation effects are very flexible and Line 6 was kind enough to add wet/dry mix controls to pedals that don't originally have them, meaning I can dial in just the right amount of Phase 90. The harmonizer works really well and the Whammy tracks nicely, the wahs all seem wah-like (I'm not much on wahs, so I can't comment on that), and the compressors offer some really great options on both ends of the spectrum - super squish or super transparency. The problem for me is in the distortion section. Fans of overdrives and distortions will likely not be disappointed as there is a plethora of options to choose from, but there is a pretty poor selection of fuzz boxes. Yes, we have the staples like Big Muff, Fuzz Factory, Fuzz Face, and Octavia, but that's it. As a Fuzz Factory owner, I can say that the model here is definitely reminiscent of the real thing, but it isn't really the same. I don't think that will surprise anyone, as the Fuzz Factory really has to be plugged directly into a passive guitar to work properly (how are you supposed to model that kind of interaction?), but just be aware that you won't be able to control the obnoxious squealing in the same way you would with the real thing. I really hope they expand the selection down the road. The Swollen Pickle, Malekko's B:Assmaster or Plus Ultra, Keeley's Fuzz Head, even some alternate Big Muff variations would all be welcome additions. In the meantime, it does at least have some effects loops where we can route our old analog fuzzes.

 

So here's where we get to the big question: how is it in actual use? Is it a viable replacement for my expensive analog rig? The short answer is yes, the long answer is a little more complicated. My goal with the modeler was to be able to completely replace my entire rig. Instead of hauling a 100-watt head, 2x12, and giant pedal board in flight case to every show, I want to bring just the modeler and, if necessary, a powered speaker. Imagine being able to get my entire rig in the door in one trip! To that end, I would say that the Helix, as it comes out of the box, gets me about 80% of the way there. The shortage of fuzzes is definitely a factor, but not a deal breaker as I currently only need fuzz for one song. The big issue is the cabs. As mentioned earlier, they require a fair bit of tweaking to sound more real. At my first practice with the unit, after a week of tweaking my tones in headphones, suddenly everything became majorly bass heavy through the PA speaker (a QSC K10). That's when I started bringing in the low cut, which helped, but again, something was just off. The 57 model is too bright, the V30 doesn't have the same crunchy mids the real thing does, and everything was just so boomy. Fortunately, there is a solution: IRs. I downloaded Ownhammer's free sampling (conveniently just the cab I wanted) and the difference was incredible. Suddenly my Rectifier went from pretty close to nearly exactly what I was used to hearing! Gone was the boominess, the mids restored, the harsh highs smoothed out. I bought the 1x12 and 4x10 Fender cabs, too, and now I can honestly say the Helix gets me probably 99% of the way there. With IRs, it is a legitimate full rig replacement. I could even record with this thing, and I probably will.

 

So let me close out with a short story. My bassist is the snobbiest tone snob I know. He was a skeptic the whole way and has tried to keep me away from modelers for years. He is constantly trying to get me to "upgrade" to a 4x12. His own rig, in it's ultimate form, is a dual-amp rig with an 8x10 and a 2x15. He has more pedals on his board than I do, including one of his three or four Russian Muffs (which, to his credit, do all sound slightly different), he owns the absurdly expensive D.A.M. Ezekiel, probably 7 slightly different Stingrays, and is having Ashdown build him a custom two-channel tube amp. Last night we played our first show since I bought the Helix at a small bar with not much in the way of a PA, so I had to bring the K10. After the show, I asked the guys what they thought, and, giving it probably the highest praise he is capable of, the bassist said, "I couldn't tell the difference." So well done, Line 6. But don't stop improving it, please :)

 

Update 12/20/2016: I have now been using the Helix as my only piece of gear (outside of the guitar - which is now a Variax, BTW) for many months and can officially say that it is the best gear investment I have made. The fuzzes still need some improving, but some of the ones added since my original review - and further experimentation with Y splits when using with bass - have yielded "good enough" results, at least for live use. Line 6 has also added the Archon, easily the best sounding amp on the Helix IMO. I am still using IRs most of the time, though more out of a lack of desire to change things than anything. I also use the Helix as my entire bass rig and have since complimented it with a G10 wireless, which I also love. It has now been 9 months with the Helix and I find more to like about it all the time. Not only that, but it instilled a new confidence in Line 6 for me, so much so that my entire guitar rig is now Line 6 - Variax + Helix - and my bass rig is all Line 6 except the bass - Stingray + G10 + Helix. It has been a bit of a gateway drug for me. What it all boils down to, for me, is this: I COULD play my PRS US Custom 24 through my Mogami Platinum cable into a PT Pro equipped with a custom Fuzz Factory 7, Royal Beaver, Whammy DT, Orbital Modulator, Dimension Reverb, and Nemesis delay, going into my Mesa/Boogie Roadster head running into my Orange PPC212OB. These are all things I have already. But I have no DESIRE to. I have no NEED to. Line 6 has provided all I need and more in one little box, and that box is the Helix.

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I'll wait for the movie....

or the mini-series or comic book perhaps...

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(Caution: This is meant ironically...)

 

...So many words for a simple message:

Helix is really cool.

 

Hey, thanks for your autobiography, Mr Drinktoomuch!

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or the mini-series or comic book perhaps...

His nickname at school was "Brief and Concise".  :D :D :D

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If the time it takes to read a post is best measured with a calendar, I'm skipping it...;)

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Many of these types of posts are "I want to whine or complain about this product" so I was very happy about the twist here.

 

It was by no means terse and pithy however it was a grand tale and am glad you are enjoying it!

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...hey, hold it...

I really appreciate njglover's efforts (although here it was just copy & paste).

And it is a good essay on helix, IMVHO.

Oh, BTW: The beta editor is out ;-)

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I don't mind reading when the author has something to say (and I care about the topic).  Nice review.  Thanks

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Nice review. Certainly lots to say.

 

Setting the high cut to around 14kHz seems too high. I usually end up somewhere around 7-9kHz. Try a ribbon mic for something a little more tame. Or instead of using the high cut on the cab block, try a low and high cut eq block. It's got a different, more aggressive curve to it.

 

I'm generally satisfied with the effects on Helix, with some exceptions. The delays are really good. Nice and clear, defined. There's something funny sounding about the auto-wahs (mutant filter and auto-filter) that I can't seem to dial out. Maybe it's just me but a lot of the time I can hear the "steps" these filters go through as they do their thing. It's subtle and mostly ignorable. Never noticed this on the HD. The octo reverb seems different to me as well. Again, compared to the HD one. The difference is very difficult to describe so I won't try and instead say that to get a similar octo effect on Helix as on the HD, I had to use the octo on it's own path with 100% mix and two EQ blocks and one autofilter (with zero sens and zero frequency depth) after the octo.

 

One other thing on effects, it's still currently missing some commonly used effects, such as an auto-volume. And it's still a bit sparse as far as filters go, compared to the HD.

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His nickname at school was "Brief and Concise".  :D :D :D

 

Would you believe that I always had trouble meeting page requirements for papers in school? As in, could never find enough to say to fill all the pages I was supposed to. Ah well, what can I say, I like the Helix :p

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@njglover --

 

my sentiments exactly .... and thanks for reposting taking the time to post your excellent review.

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Where can I find the cliff notes version?    ;)

 

Seriously though, nice review.

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This was helpful to me. Especially the part about loading the cab last and using an IR.

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Would you believe that I always had trouble meeting page requirements for papers in school? As in, could never find enough to say to fill all the pages I was supposed to. Ah well, what can I say, I like the Helix :p

Best effect of helix : univibe.

Worst: fuzzes are uncontrollable they seems always full throttle (I own a real Keeley fuzz head) I wrote a request idea for less extreme fuzzes.

I don't like also Leslies.

Timmy is very good

KWB is very good.

Best amp: Matchless.

The rest is ok

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Best effect of helix : univibe...Timmy is very good...Best amp: Matchless.

The rest is ok

 

Although I disagree with the last one of those statements I think... it sounds like we are kindred spirits. U-vibe... the my go to modulation most of the time, Matchless, just lately, the main and almost the ONLY amp I go to.

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Thanks for the great review. I miss my Roadster but just can't haul around a bunch of amps and cabs because of a shoddy back. The Helix gets it done, although I do hope for more cool stuff in future firmware updates. Currently loving the editor.

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Although I disagree with the last one of those statements I think... it sounds like we are kindred spirits. U-vibe... the my go to modulation most of the time, Matchless, just lately, the main and almost the ONLY amp I go to.

Rest is ok.

To be brief and concise.

 

P.S.

I bought Glenn DeLaune's organ simulation patch...great patch.

You play at church maybe it could be useful for you.

It's cheap.

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Detailed and well-considered review from someone who obviously cares a lot and has lots to compare it to. Nice job.

 

My understanding (don't have one yet) is the you have less adjustability with IRs than the built in cabs. Is that true? If so, do I gather that's not a problem for you?

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My understanding (don't have one yet) is the you have less adjustability with IRs than the built in cabs. Is that true? If so, do I gather that's not a problem for you?

 

It is true. Can't speak for the OP, but for me, the built-in cabs (which, btw, ARE IRs) allow you to change mic, distance, add early reflection... imho, more useful than third party IRs. I've tried a few of the well-regarded free ones, but have found a couple built-in cabinets that work just peachy for me on everything. Dr. Z 2x12 and Bassman 4 x 10 cabs (especially the former) are the GOODS, to me...

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My understanding (don't have one yet) is the you have less adjustability with IRs than the built in cabs. Is that true? If so, do I gather that's not a problem for you?

 

As mentioned above, that is very true. However, you can still adjust high and low cut with the IRs and at least the Ownhammer IRs come with 10 different samples per mic, which is to say 10 different mic positions per mic, so while it's certainly not as convenient as just adjusting the position in the cab block, I would wager that, like me, you will find that there is basically only one position and one mic that you care about for a given cab. You can, of course, still load up several variations just in case. You may find the built in ones work well for you, and as I said, I think you can get really close with them, but for me that last little bit of authenticity is elusive without the IRs. That, plus the fact that if they are truly using IRs, then I'm not sure what weird V30 they found that is even capable of producing some of the frequencies theirs does. I have played V30s pretty much exclusively for the past 5 or 6 years and not a one I have used sounds like that.

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Just wanted to say how helpful I found this post. I too have a beautiful hand-wired vintage valve amp that makes all my guitars sound amazing, so I'm very skeptical about  modelling (having tried HD500X among others) - but I have a helix rack on order (since August last year - should arrive next week!!!) and now I can't wait, after reading this very balanced and relevant post. 

I particularly appreciated the "preamble" establishing the author's credentials as a "tone snob" so as to understand how the helix was being evaluated and what it was being compared to - very helpful indeed.

 

Doug
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Edited original post to add my least favorite quirk that I totally forgot about in the moment: "The last quirk, and this is a bit of an oddity, is that when you split your path, the unit decreases the the output of each path by what seems to be 3 dB. This makes sense if you are running a Y-split, i.e. running both routes at the same time, but when you switch to an A/B split with the intention of toggling between the two, your total output volume is reduced. Confusingly, the merge block shows the output as 0 dB, i.e. no change. I have found that increasing it to + 3 dB mitigates the automatic volume drop. Hopefully Line 6 will fix this behavior in a future update as it is not very obvious what is going on."

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At my first practice with the unit, after a week of tweaking my tones in headphones, suddenly everything became majorly bass heavy through the PA speaker (a QSC K10).

 

Of course it did. Everyone should know by now that setting up tones on headphones won't work (tone wise) at the practice house outta the bag...It just won't.  ;)

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So is the theory that "adjusting" the built-in cabs is really a slick UI for switching between different built-in IRs, but you can only do that manually for external ones? Of are there actually adjustments that can be made to the built-in ones, that could theoretically be done to the imported ones too, but Helix just doesn't provide for that?

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Of course it did. Everyone should know by now that setting up tones on headphones won't work (tone wise) at the practice house outta the bag...It just won't.  ;)

 

Well, yes, I was expecting it to be different. Just boomier than I expected, I use nice studio monitoring headphones. Ah well, fixed now :p

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Best effect of helix : univibe.

Worst: fuzzes are uncontrollable they seems always full throttle (I own a real Keeley fuzz head) I wrote a request idea for less extreme fuzzes.

I don't like also Leslies.

Timmy is very good

KWB is very good.

Best amp: Matchless.

The rest is ok

I'd be interested in your take on the best cabinet model as I generally agree with your other observations. 

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Well, yes, I was expecting it to be different. Just boomier than I expected, I use nice studio monitoring headphones. Ah well, fixed now :P

Now that you pulled bottom out of your presets so they work in a PA/FRFR environment, do they sound bass-light in your phones?

 

I ask because the way my life works out these days, I play a lot in phones, but I want things to sound ok live, ideally without having them suck in phones. 

 

The ideal solution seems to be to pick either phones or FRFR as your reference, EQ everything to that, and have an EQ preset that makes the other one sound right. Is that what you (and other folks) are doing?

 

FWIW, in the small amount of checking I've done so far, my Alesis Alpha 112 FRFRs were brighter and midrangier than the AKG 240s I've had for years, not bassier like what you heard. That's slightly odd, but they are budget speakers, though pretty well reviewed, so I guess my mileage is varying :)

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.....

 

The ideal solution seems to be to pick either phones or FRFR as your reference, EQ everything to that, and have an EQ preset that makes the other one sound right. Is that what you (and other folks) are doing?

 

....

Yes. I use mid-volume FRFR as my reference, and expect to have to tweak that differently for both gig volume FRFR and again for headphones. So I think you'd really need three versions of your presets if you want them to sound right in all three situations. With Helix you might get away with a single version of all presets if you can make the Global EQ compensate for the different environments. I haven't fiddled around with that yet but theoretically it may work.

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It is true. Can't speak for the OP, but for me, the built-in cabs (which, btw, ARE IRs) allow you to change mic, distance, add early reflection... imho, more useful than third party IRs. I've tried a few of the well-regarded free ones, but have found a couple built-in cabinets that work just peachy for me on everything. Dr. Z 2x12 and Bassman 4 x 10 cabs (especially the former) are the GOODS, to me...

Actually the IRs are much more flexible since you can mix them before uploading to Helix. For example, Redwirez comes with mixIR2 which support 6 IR blocks with multiple IRs in each block. Blocks can be mixed and panned. You can pick different speakers, mics, positions, and include other IRs that are in series or parallel. These are best developed in a DAW, then loaded into Helix.

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Now that you pulled bottom out of your presets so they work in a PA/FRFR environment, do they sound bass-light in your phones?

 

I ask because the way my life works out these days, I play a lot in phones, but I want things to sound ok live, ideally without having them suck in phones.

 

The ideal solution seems to be to pick either phones or FRFR as your reference, EQ everything to that, and have an EQ preset that makes the other one sound right. Is that what you (and other folks) are doing?

 

FWIW, in the small amount of checking I've done so far, my Alesis Alpha 112 FRFRs were brighter and midrangier than the AKG 240s I've had for years, not bassier like what you heard. That's slightly odd, but they are budget speakers, though pretty well reviewed, so I guess my mileage is varying :)

Actually everything still sounds good through my cans. I'm using Shure SRH840 headphones. I think the issue was that the K10 is producing lower frequencies than the cans are.

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Yes. I use mid-volume FRFR as my reference, and expect to have to tweak that differently for both gig volume FRFR and again for headphones. So I think you'd really need three versions of your presets if you want them to sound right in all three situations. With Helix you might get away with a single version of all presets if you can make the Global EQ compensate for the different environments. I haven't fiddled around with that yet but theoretically it may work.

Makes sense, always tweaked my analog rig for the room and/or my mood.

 

I still want to be able to play and make sounds in phones and not have them completely bite it live. Tweak, sure. Hate my life and completely rethink on the spot, hopefully not.

 

[Edited, missing the kind-of-important word "not"]

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Actually everything still sounds good through my cans. I'm using Shure SRH840 headphones. I think the issue was that the K10 is producing lower frequencies than the cans are.

So the lows  you had to get rid of were below what your phones can reproduce? Seems unlikely, doesn't it? Or maybe the PA has a big "sexiness" bump that your more hi-fi phones don't?

 

Anyway, glad it's working out.

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I can't really say for sure, the headphones are also a little picky with exactly how they are positioned on my head, so who knows. Maybe the bassiness just sounded better in headphones, or maybe the speaker is more exaggerated. Either way, seems to work well in both now, so yay for IRs!

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Had a K12. Great PA speaker but for me it was too muddy tone wise for a guitar speaker. The CLRs were much clearer, and the Firehawk 1500 is good too.

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Had a K12. Great PA speaker but for me it was too muddy tone wise for a guitar speaker. The CLRs were much clearer, and the Firehawk 1500 is good too.

 

The K10 is much better overall, the K12 is too bass-heavy. Plus the K10 has a wider coverage angle, which is handy when I'm using it as a wedge behind me.

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I'd be interested in your take on the best cabinet model as I generally agree with your other observations. 

i haven't an opinion about it, i'm lazy i use the default setting, but i have collected a lot of Free IRs.

It takes a lot of time to try each cab, i think it's boring.

It's a jungle, too much options sometimes are worst than no options.

This is a reason because many people don't like multieffects...too much things to set up...and Helix is most user friendly ever made!

 

It's like a pandora box you start changing a mic, then the distance, then the eq of the mic, then a IR, then a mix of two cabs, but you are unsatisfied so you come back changing mic and distance and the mix of the two cabs, so on and on.

At the end, drained, you come back to use Amp+cab block a overdrive and a reverb.

 

It's like when I mix a song of mine, before i made a lot of tweaks eq, compressor, multiband, limiter delays, doubling, etc. now i've learn that less is more.

And Helix helps me a lot now, i need less guitar tracks to achieve a fuller sound.

 

https://soundcloud.com/pearly-gates-66/sunrise

 

Maybe you have some good suggestions about it (i mean cabs IRs etc.)

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...It's like a pandora box you start changing a mic, then the distance, then the eq of the mic, then a IR, then a mix of two cabs, but you are unsatisfied so you come back changing mic and distance and the mix of the two cabs, so on and on.

At the end, drained, you come back to use Amp+cab block a overdrive and a reverb.

 

I agree. BUT... do NOT use an amp+cab block. Separate them if you can, and you can. It only adds a moment to what you're doing.. Delays and verbs (spring verb especially) sound way better between amp and cab.

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I agree. BUT... do NOT use an amp+cab block. Separate them if you can, and you can. It only adds a moment to what you're doing.. Delays and verbs (spring verb especially) sound way better between amp and cab.

 

Nice tip regarding spring reverb!

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Right on Tonesnob

The righteous tone coming out of the helix....it's like

Genetic chromosomes mutated and made tube sounds come out of this magic box

I have fractal, Kemper, and helix.

Helix sounds the best live through a 2000 watt power amp and 2 orange cabs...yeah

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