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My Review of Helix.


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I bought my Helix last December. I did own an AxeFX a while back, so I will be comparing some.

First off, I would have done two versions because what works for some others do not want.

We don't want to spend unnecessary money on things that we do not need.

For me, I do not need a Variax, Digital ins and outs, aux and mic inputs.

This raises the cost of the unit that I do not want to pay for.

These things should be special order things.

Where the Helix shines is ease of programming, sqibble strips, and all buttons programmable.

I also can load heavy intensive effects and as many delays and reverbs as I want.

I have run out of DSP once or twice when going for the lush ambiance sound with other effects available for call up.

Helix beats the competition on features and easy use.

The 45 Amp models are good, but to my ears not as good as The Axe FX straight out of the box.

I spent a lot of time tweeking the amp models and got it fairly close to the Axe FX.

The big weakness of the Helix is the number of Amp Models. The new Fractal AX8 has I think 245 amps.

Some will say you will never use all of those amps. I agree that you will not.

My problem is only a few high end amps are in the unit. A lot more amps need to be added.

I would like to see Friedman HBO, Bogner Estasy, Mesa MK5, and more high end amps like this.

Fractal is always has new firmware and adds more amps and improves amps constantly at no charge.

I am hoping Line 6 takes the same approach. Fractal AX8 has more amps, but does have it downsides.

You don't have the ease of use, squibble strips, no expression pedal, and not enough buttons to keep from tap dancing.

You only have one amp at a time. I may be wrong, but I don't think that AX8 has equal processing power of the Helix.

I have listened to several videos of the AX8. This is my take on both units. The AX8 has better and more amp models, better rack effects, Custom Scales Harmonizer, Scenes, but lacks greatly in functionability.

So the bottom line is, do you want to sound maybe 10 percent better or not make your stage performance a tap dance.

I love my Helix, but I am also frustrated with things that I want. I don't think an AX8 would work for me function wise, because I do not like grief on stage. I love all the buttons that I can program any way that I want.

My suggestions to Line 6

1) Top Priority More amp models -Friedman HBO, Bogner Estasy, Mesa MK5, and more high end amps like this.

2) Model High end units like Strymon Big Sky, Mobius, and Time line. Get up to par with these units.

3) Custom Scales Harmony - you can not do custom scale  harmony on The Helix. All guitarist like to do dual leads and also Queen type harmonies.

4) Scenes, AB, and Tone matching

5) Don't try to replace the Helix in two years. This is what makes Fractal great. They have free firmware with new amps and effect and constantly improving the sound.

 

 Helix has the hardware right, just catch up on the programming and you will be top dog.

I know an admin will say suggest all of this in the idea area. Several people and myself already have.

Helix has been out 6 months now, and it is time for some big changes.

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