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Helix Brit 2204 dialed to mimic H&K Switchblade crunch channel.


ricksteruk
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Hi Guys,

 

I've been checking out my Helix's amps today and I've tried to dial in a copy of my favourite H&K crunch preset.

 

Recorded through the Helix's USB - the H&K is in 4cm with the Helix and it's same Helix preset either using the H&K in one of the Helix's Send/Return Loops or the Helix's Brit 2204 preamp (and an extra EQ block to help make them sound the same)

 

I "reamped" the guitar using Helix so it's the exact same guitar playing repeated 3 times. First is the H&K Switchblade 50 TSC combo, Second is the Helix Brit 2204, Third has the H&K on the left speaker and the Helix on the right side.

All recordings are going through the 2x12 Interstate Cab as it sounds closest to my H&K combo even though it's only a 1x12.

 

https://soundcloud.com/ricksteruk/sets/line6-helix-vs-hk-switchblade

 

 

I noticed a bit of a harsh high harmonic /  overtone while trying out the Helix amps today and tried to demonstrate it in these recordings.  The "scale" riff is deliberately played hard and muted to set off this sound.  Even the H&K makes a few nasty buzzes on a couple of notes but the Helix does it on every note.  I set a high EQ cut to try to reduce it but this was the best I could remove it without spoiling the guitar tone.  

 

I believe this high harmonic is what causes some people to be put off of the Helix's drive tones.  The harmonic has too much high frequency content (sounds a lot more like a sawtooth that it really should) - and it also should not happen on every note that is played.

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Well done Rick, that was a good test.

 

Both sounded good to me, and very close in tone. Certainly usable in a mix.

 

Really the 2204 isn't one of the offending amps for digital clipping. More like the JTM45.

Al

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Well done Rick, that was a good test.

 

Both sounded good to me, and very close in tone. Certainly usable in a mix.

 

Really the 2204 isn't one of the offending amps for digital clipping. More like the JTM45.

Al

 

Yeah I agree Al, the 2204 isn't one of the main offenders for the digital grunge - but it isn't totally innocent either :)

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Ok, I'll have to record it.

 

I have to say though that by lowering the gain on the amp from default, I can eliminate the cliping. I prefer it to Axefx which has a gritty overtone to all its amp models.

 

Just try the default JTM for yourself. Just amp and cab.

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I think the 2204 sounds a bit weird... I'm a LOONG time 2204 user and find the Helix model way too squishy and "creamy" in the low end... kind of like you would expect in an early 1987 plexi... 2204 should be wicked tight and never loose... it sounds pretty characteristic with the gain at 40% or lower... but as the gain goes up it gets looser and muddy and cabinet / IR selection could not cure what I find uncharacteristic of a great sounding 2204. Don't know if it's their reference amp that is kinda funky... or they missed the mark on the model. But it ain't quite right.

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I wonder if Helix is more sensitive to fret buzz and that's what we're hearing as digital distortion? Try reducing the default Sag value to get a tighter sound. And a little bass cut before the amp distortion with a tube preamp or high and low cut EQ can work wonders for cleaning up mud. I find the mud creates some intermodulation distortion if the bass is too high into the distortion preamp or effect, and this can increase what we hear as fizz.

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I wonder if Helix is more sensitive to fret buzz and that's what we're hearing as digital distortion? Try reducing the default Sag value to get a tighter sound. And a little bass cut before the amp distortion with a tube preamp or high and low cut EQ can work wonders for cleaning up mud. I find the mud creates some intermodulation distortion if the bass is too high into the distortion preamp or effect, and this can increase what we hear as fizz.

 

Interesting... I will have to try cutting the bass before the Helix amp block and see if that gets rid of the nastiness!

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