roscoe5 Posted May 9, 2016 Share Posted May 9, 2016 Edit: Appologies in advance for the long post :) Thought I would post this since I haven't seen anything on Helix and the Spider Valve. After running Helix through all of my guitar, bass, and PA gear, as well as various 3rd party and my own IR's, I was reluctantly starting to look to expensive FRFR solutions. This weekend, I stumbled across and picked up a "broken" Spider Valve MKII HD100 from a pawn shop for $80. The display was messed up and the amp was crackling, popping, volume cut out, and the master volume knob was a mess when you turned it. But i plugged straight into the power amp input in the back and that worked fine, so with Helix in mind I said "what the heck, I've blown more cash on far less" and went for it. I got it home, pulled it apart, blew out the dead bugs and droppings and a little Deoxit in the master volume pot and it was good to go, except for the display. The SV PC editor works fine with it if I ever wanted to use the built in modelling and effects (doubtful). To cut to the chase, all of the Helix amp-only models into Spider Valve power amp input into my Mesa Recto 2x12 cab sound AMAZING!!! I have never heard that Mesa Recto Celestion V30 cab produce such a diverse range of tones with such clarity. It's really nice to just run a single 1/4" cable back to the SV. I cannot imagine anything sounding better for electric guitar, and I have been experimenting obsessively with Helix, physical rigs and IR's, and researching clips and videos A LOT!!!. I might go so far as to say I have never had a better guitar tone, but I need to get through a few gigs to make that claim ;) To keep life simple and tones beautiful and consistent between stage and FOH, I will probably just IR the SV power amp and Recto 2x12 with one or two mics for a Helix FOH PA signal path, and say screw a bunch of other cab/mic models and IR's...at least for live use. I may even post them for this week's th-IRs-ty Thursday free IR's :) The Helix Amp+Cab models into the SV into my Mesa 1x12 & 2x12 bass cabs sound really good too but a little boomy. So SV HD100 might make a good pairing with a passive FRFR cab. But then again, I'm not compelled to chase Helix tone options any further at this point. The 100W 6L6 power amp of the SV is so clear, dead quiet and tons of headroom (dare I say almost FRFR)...go Bogner! It sounds SO much better than Helix through ANY of my other power amps (Mesa 2:90, Mesa 20/20, Marshall 100/100 EL34) or effects returns of any of my Mesa heads (Mesa Triple Rec, Mesa Stiletto, Mesa Mark V). Crazy, I know...busted-a$$ $80 "POS" pawn shop amp sounding better than my Mesa gear that I have sold my soul for several times. I feel really dirty and wrong liking it so much. I have always previously drank the L6 Kool-Aid and have owned the Pod XT Live, X3, and last gen dream rig JTV/HD500x/DT50/L2M and had never gotten tones I fell in love with from any of them. Actually at the end even ran some of my tube pre's (Triaxis/JMP-1) into the DT50 effects return and didn't care for the power amp. Anyway, I ended up selling it all off for a good price (luckily before Helix was announced) and went back to my physical rigs. After researching the Spider Valve and reading the manual, it seems that it was designed to be used with any Line 6 modeler (Pod X3 & future) into the power amp in as well as the built in Spider models. All of the Line 6 SV cabs used V30 speakers and i love my Recto 2x12 w/ V30's. I much prefer 6L6 tubes to El34's in my Mesa amps. So it makes sense why this 6L6 SV/Recto 2x12 is sounding so good to me. Honestly, I had always thought SV sounded like crap as my other guitarist had one 5 years ago. It did not cut through the mix and my Mesa Tremoverb 2x12 combo blew it away. He was always frustrated with it. He ended up getting a Marshall half stack to one-up me ;) Even now. playing through the front end of it with the old built-in Spider Models still sounds like poo to me, especially when compared to Helix into the power amp in. The SV HD100 is quite a bit smaller and maybe lighter than the DT50 was. It's also a little smaller than my Mesa Recto heads. Styling is pretty similar to my Recto 2x12 and it looks good sitting on top. The pilot light and backlit plexiglass logo look dang cool too, and almost match the Helix lighting! I'm liking it so much that I think I am going to order the metal Line 6 SV cab logo and replace my Mesa logo on the Recto 2x12! In summary, I would highly recommend that anyone without a lot of cash, not fully in love with Helix + whatever, looking for a good Helix pairing consider the SV series. Especially if you are not feeling the FRFR path with Alto powered PA speakers or more expensive options. SV's are about 1/2 the price of the DT series, and might even sound better with Helix to you if you generally prefer 6L6's and V30 speakers. I would bet the super clean SV 6L6 power amp is somewhere between solid state FRFR and the DT series amps, or other tube guitar amps. Heck, you might even come across a "broken" SV for a steal too. No telling what Line 6 and Bogner are cooking up as an amp solution for Helix, but for now with the SV I am FINALLY happy with my rig and excited and inspired to 100% play again instead of 90% tweaking/experimenting and 10% playing. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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