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BigRalphN

Time to step it up Line 6

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Ok. First let me say that this isn't a comp,eye slam. I actually love my Helix and have defended them to most companies,ain't about the lack of amp, cabs, and effects. But with the release of AX8 that has changed. With over 200 high quality amps and a ton of effects, AX has dwarfed the Helix in content and all in a quality on par with the Helix. And it is cheaper. This thread was not to draw out the Helix lovers for defense because I am one of them. I love my Helix. It still has advantages over the AX8 like an expression pedal, dual amps and cabs, a headphone jack (really AX...no headphone out), a user interface that blows ax out of the water and my favorite...scribble strips. AX does have line 6 with computer software fur sure. But let's face it. Today's guitar players are spoiled by shear quality quantity. Even if most really do not know the difference between it and the real thing. The AX8 volume is almost overwhelming and to be honest, it sounds better out of the box. The Helix can sound just as good but as most will attest it takes a little tweaking to ge there. Once tweaked the Helix is absolutely on par.

But the 45 amps or whatever it is will not cut it in the long run. Granted most will not need more than one or two of the models, but people will gravitate to the AX with its slew of options. It has been about eight months or so since the Helix release. It has continually improved with bug fixes and tweaks. And one amp and a couple effects were added. But after seeng and hearing the AX 8 we are going to need more. And not in expensive amp packs or something like that (never mentioned but has been done before). I think Line 6 really needs to at least break their silence. I understand their policy but it's time to at least give people some hope. Either gets some new things out quickly or open up and say you plan on adding x number of amps and effects in the near future. You don't even need to say what they are, just that they are planned and giv a disclaimer that not all of them will make the final cut if not up to standards.

 

Again, I love my Helix. It's a great tool and I use it live every weeks or at least a short set at church. Unjust hope they can match up soon.

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Well, that's just like your opinion man... And here's mine. :)

 

Line 6 is never going to have anywhere near 200 amp models for the Helix - that's my prediction. I could be wrong, but I'd be willing to bet money on it. That's not to say they won't add more. I'm sure they will. But, personally, I've tried the AX8, and I really don't think having 200 amp models are necessary or honestly all that helpful. There is a lot of overlap between those models. I think it sounded great, and I did really like some of the effects. But overall, I didn't find the experience of using the AX8 as gratifying as using the Helix. That experience is only going to get better with time. But there are a ton of things "better" includes other than a bunch of amp models.

 

Here's the thing. I don't think Line 6 is really interested in trying to beat the AX8. In fact I know that's not their motivation. They certainly have overlapping features - any modeling platform is bound to. I think Line 6 is interested in trying to make the Helix the best all around product based on a number of factor. DI has said they're wanting to make a product that they are excited to use. The idea isn't so much to provide something that makes you not ever want to buy another effects unit ever, but to make something that will work with whatever you throw at it.

 

If people want or demand a modeler with 200+ amp models, they should absolutely buy the AX8. One way to look at this is what good is it letting a competitor dictate what features should be in your product? You don't usually beat competitors by doing exactly what they do. You beat them by doing your own thing and getting customers to buy into that vision.

 

The other thing I find somewhat funny is the idea that Line 6 somehow hasn't stepped it up... They were taking a huge gamble just making the Helix. I'm sure there were plenty of people who thought they were stupid to try to sell a mainstream modeler at a high price point. You don't see any of the other mass market companies doing it. The prevailing wisdom seemed to be that most people weren't interested in spending more than $500 on a modeler. Well, now the demand for Helix is still outpacing the supply... It's pretty remarkable, actually.

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For some, the "more/bigger = better" mindset is forever tattooed on their psyche. Collectively, we've "super-sized" ourselves into believing that this is gospel. Advertising works, and it works well. This particular view of the world, be it good, bad, or indifferent, ain't going anywhere. Use what you like...whatever inspires you to play. If being able to say "mine is bigger than yours" does something for ya, then have at it. If ya got it, flaunt it!

 

Personally, just the thought of having to comb through 200 amp models to find "that tone", gives me a migraine. I get less playing time than I'd like as it is. Not gonna spend it all twisting knobs, saying "Nope, not this one...next". But that's just me...ymmv.

 

Mine goes to 11...it's one louder, isn't it? ;)

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I agree, more choice isn't always a good thing. It can complicate things unnecessarily and waste more of that finite time (depending on your situation of course, with young kids I am definitely working in small windows) or most definitely your finite creative time (I have mine clocked at 20 mins, after that I'm on a downward decline so I detest when technology and menu browsing steals some of that valuable windows from me).

 

I guess I also think that all my favorite musicians ever had one or two amps and a fixed set of pedals and didn't seem to magically swap them out numerous times throughout a gig. I also agree with Phil_m about overlap, with any synth or preset\model heavy guitar solution I've owned (even with the Helix truth be told) there's plenty of times where the difference is so subtle that only you, or the sound trainspotters will ever notice or care. Personally, I never listen to music or watch a live act and really like or dislike a song specifically because of the type of amp or cab or model of effect was used (if I can even tell).

 

But, it's all down to personal taste. I gigged with the Helix for the first time this weekend and the workflow, the screen, the clever way things are laid out and the sound blew me away. Best guitar solution I've ever owned. And hands down an Axe owner and  a Kemper owner will give me a 100 reasons why they love their solution. It's all good.

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For some, the "more/bigger = better" mindset is forever tattooed on their psyche. Collectively, we've "super-sized" ourselves into believing that this is gospel. Advertising works, and it works well. This particular view of the world, be it good, bad, or indifferent, ain't going anywhere. Use what you like...whatever inspires you to play. If being able to say "mine is bigger than yours" does something for ya, then have at it. If ya got it, flaunt it!

 

Personally, just the thought of having to comb through 200 amp models to find "that tone", gives me a migraine. I get less playing time than I'd like as it is. Not gonna spend it all twisting knobs, saying "Nope, not this one...next". But that's just me...ymmv.

 

Mine goes to 11...it's one louder, isn't it? ;)

 

Yup, with you there. I am an obsessive tweaker, so the thought of comparing 20 versions of a Marshall amp is just... well, I try not to think about it. I spent hours comparing IRs to find the best one, and not just comparing them to each other, but also to a recording I made of my real rig. Ultimately I ended up with one that sounded the most like that and one that was very similar but with boosted mids and actually sounded better. I do not need to waste that amount of time on every single component in my chain. What I need is a couple of good amps that I can dial in quickly so I can start actually playing. I don't even want to have to hook it up to the computer, even if it is easier.

 

Furthermore, I think comparing the quantity of models and the price of the two units is the wrong way to compare them. If you look at the hardware itself, of course the Helix is more expensive! It has a giant color screen plus, what, 12 smaller color screens? Each footswitch has a multicolor LED. Technologically it is miles ahead of the AX-8. I'm not saying that makes it sound/feel better, I'm just saying that the actual models are only part of the equation, and considering that the actual cost of the models decreases over time (one time investment spread out of an increasing number of units produced) and the AX-8 just uses the same models as its bigger siblings, there is no reason for it to be more expensive. Frankly, at the price point it is at, it ought to have more in the way of the hardware.

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Simply put, one should not buy Helix if the number of amps is a priority. I'm sure we'll be seeing more in the near future, as well as effects. DI and others have dropped enough not so subtle clues about this.

 

Another thing missing from the AX8 is an audio interface.

 

Also, don't forget that the firmware for the Axe FX series has been in development way longer than Helix.

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There are obviously many choices for those just looking for a box that makes sounds... be they amps or effects or some combination thereof.   With today's computing power, they all sound great.

 

I bought the Helix because of all the things it seemed like you classified as secondary or iceing..  " It still has advantages over the AX8 like an expression pedal, dual amps and cabs, a headphone jack (really AX...no headphone out), a user interface that blows ax out of the water and my favorite...scribble strips."  

 

I look at the Helix as an Excellent controller and routing device that also has effects and modeling.  Nothing out there comes close.

 

As far as number of models...  I need one.   I haven't exactly found it yet, but I just need one.  I've never played with more than one amp unless it was my stereo setup I had for years with two Roland Bolt 60's.  Once I dial in my sound...  I will have roughly 6 patches that are focused on different effects combinations.  Might even be able to do it with one patch, but we'll see.

 

So why do I need a Helix, as I said above.. "an Excellent controller and routing device that also has effects and modeling.  "   If I want to run to FOH and let them control my monitors, or if I want to have my own monitors and send something to FOH, or if I want to record, or if I just want to plug into a combo amp, or if I just want to plug into a poweramp/cab setup, or I want to play by itself (headphones) or with a backing track, or do a vocals and guitar thing.   I can do it all with one unit, one interface.  

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The AX8 is quite simply the best choice for a lot of people.

It is not for me.

Bad User Interface? I could get past that since it has a great editor.

 

200+ amps? Who cares, I only use 3, and mostly just one actually (Matchless1)

 

But, for me, the big thing is that I NEED multiple chains (acoustic and electric and Mel9 pedal at the same time) and I use up to 5 separate delays (not all at the same time) in a given patch. I also like having the built-in USB interface, and I love having a solution that not only sounds AMAZING for what I do, but is so easy and fun to use that I don't even need the editor.

You don't need that stuff and like the AX8? AWESOME. Get on the list and buy one! Then get out there and make awesome music, which the world needs more of.

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I examined both products very carefully reading through their operator's manuals and lots of reviews.  I suspect both will have their own following, but for different reasons.  One of the key issues I suspect that will drive the differences will be the amount of time the customer has spend in the modeling world.

 

Those that are relatively new to modeling will likely be drawn to the massive counts of amps and so forth.  I doubt that will be all that important to anyone who's been dealing with modeling as a consistent part of their rig for 5 or 6 years.  In that time you've come to appreciate the fact that regardless of how many amps you might have in your modeling lineup, in all likelihood you'll settle on just a handful that you're comfortable with and know how to get the sounds you want out of.

 

I know for myself the number of amps hasn't been important to me in quite some time.  I look for key amps in the lineup that I know and have used in other modelers.  What is INCREDIBLY important to me because I've used modeling as long as I have is the versatility provided in constructing the signal chain.  That far and away makes a much bigger difference in the control you'll have over your sound than minor differences between amplifiers.  I think that is what Line 6 learned from it's user base and is the reason for the type of key features you see in the Helix.

 

Let's face it, no one on this planet has had the experience that Line 6 has had in this area.  And with experience comes a customer base that can give you ideas on how to improve the product.  I'm sure at this point Fractal is beginning to hear from their customers about improvements they would like to see in signal chain construction.  But they've got a lot of ground to cover to catch up with Helix features.  And Helix will continue to march forward backed by the deep pockets of Yamaha.

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I think its time to give some more functionalities, bugs fixes, MIDI features and the like. Lets turn the page on the editor for a while and get some improvement on a key issues. Scenes, latency, etc. which will go a long way into briinging more fans.... Than the icing would be eventualy to add more amps and rare effects, But, thats me.

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I play in a 60s and 70s rock cover band and the Helix already has all the classic amps I need for the genre I play. I mostly use 2 -3 different amps, a Fender Twin, some version of a Marshall (usually plexi), and an AC30.

 

-Max

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I think its time to give some more functionalities, bugs fixes, MIDI features and the like. Lets turn the page on the editor for a while and get some improvement on a key issues. Scenes, latency, etc. which will go a long way into briinging more fans.... Than the icing would be eventualy to add more amps and rare effects, But, thats me.

 

I agree with this... To me, new amps would be a somewhat boring update. Again, not saying there shouldn't be any, but there's a ton of cool things that can be done.

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Well, that's just like your opinion man... And here's mine. :)

 

Line 6 is never going to have anywhere near 200 amp models for the Helix - that's my prediction. I could be wrong, but I'd be willing to bet money on it. That's not to say they won't add more. I'm sure they will. But, personally, I've tried the AX8, and I really don't think having 200 amp models are necessary or honestly all that helpful. There is a lot of overlap between those models. I think it sounded great, and I did really like some of the effects. But overall, I didn't find the experience of using the AX8 as gratifying as using the Helix. That experience is only going to get better with time. But there are a ton of things "better" includes other than a bunch of amp models.

 

Here's the thing. I don't think Line 6 is really interested in trying to beat the AX8. In fact I know that's not their motivation. They certainly have overlapping features - any modeling platform is bound to. I think Line 6 is interested in trying to make the Helix the best all around product based on a number of factor. DI has said they're wanting to make a product that they are excited to use. The idea isn't so much to provide something that makes you not ever want to buy another effects unit ever, but to make something that will work with whatever you throw at it.

 

If people want or demand a modeler with 200+ amp models, they should absolutely buy the AX8. One way to look at this is what good is it letting a competitor dictate what features should be in your product? You don't usually beat competitors by doing exactly what they do. You beat them by doing your own thing and getting customers to buy into that vision.

 

The other thing I find somewhat funny is the idea that Line 6 somehow hasn't stepped it up... They were taking a huge gamble just making the Helix. I'm sure there were plenty of people who thought they were stupid to try to sell a mainstream modeler at a high price point. You don't see any of the other mass market companies doing it. The prevailing wisdom seemed to be that most people weren't interested in spending more than $500 on a modeler. Well, now the demand for Helix is still outpacing the supply... It's pretty remarkable, actually.

Oh I agree with a lot you are saying. I was saying all along that I love my Helix. I do not think that they will ever have 200 amps nor do they need that many to be successful. And as I stated, and you as well, there are some great benefits to the Helix. But I do think that 45 amps will not cut it in the market long term. I do think they will need to get to a minimum of 75 to 100 or lower prices. If they don't it will eventually fade away and that will be a shame. The Helix is sufficient as is for my needs and I chose it over a Kemper because I wanted a floor unit. I was looking at price and decided I could live with less toys. That said if the AX 8 had been out when I was ready to buy I think I would have went with the AX8 just because it had more in that area.

 

Oh and I agree Phil. Not stepping it up probably was not the best choice of words. Obviously Helix is leaps and bounds above their previous stuff.

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I guess my post sounded like sour grapes and that was not my intention. I guess I was trying to say this. If you have two products at a similar price point that has very similar functionality are people going to chose the the one that has the most stuff. It is just natural to get the most for your money. People on forums tend to be researchers. They read and research before buying. They obviously also keep up on everything. But that is not actually how the masses make purchases. It is done emotionally and people are going to look at s box and see 200 vs 45 and s quick web search gets great reviews fir the AX and what will they but? We all know about the nice editing features and how easy it is to use. But on the shelf it is another thing. Although, dies AX sell in stores ? To be honest I never actually looked for one other than online. I do think Line 6 is clearly ahead in marketing

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And me grabbing an AX8 us in no way a knock on my Helix... I just don't want two of the same exact box, and the Tonelab LE and SE laying in the closet don't excite me as a backup anymore. LoL!

 

Helix will most likely remain #1, but the AX8 will get use as well. I agree that if Helix ever gets to around 75-125 amps, it will be a good balancer against the lure of the million models craze.

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...II guess I was trying to say this. If you have two products at a similar price point that has very similar functionality are people going to chose the the one that has the most stuff. It is just natural to get the most for your money...

 

You get more "Stuff" in some ways with Helix. flexibility, routing, I/O, number of blocks at once, number of audio paths, USB interface.

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I guess my post sounded like sour grapes and that was not my intention. I guess I was trying to say this. If you have two products at a similar price point that has very similar functionality are people going to chose the the one that has the most stuff. It is just natural to get the most for your money. People on forums tend to be researchers. They read and research before buying. They obviously also keep up on everything. But that is not actually how the masses make purchases. It is done emotionally and people are going to look at s box and see 200 vs 45 and s quick web search gets great reviews fir the AX and what will they but? We all know about the nice editing features and how easy it is to use. But on the shelf it is another thing. Although, dies AX sell in stores ? To be honest I never actually looked for one other than online. I do think Line 6 is clearly ahead in marketing

 

Well, the number of amp models is only one facet in regards to features. There are many things I can do on the Helix that I can't do on an AX8.

 

I actually think that there can be a risk of having too many models. It can give the impression that you're putting quantity over quality (not accusing Fractal of doing this). Back when Line 6 made the X3L, there were quite a few people who made statements to the point of, "I don't need all these amp models - I just need a few really good ones". I think it's different needs for different people. Also, the AX8, at least in the US, is only available directly from Fractal, and right now there's a waitlist to even get one. Fractal probably sells less than an 10th of what Line 6 sales. Not saying that as a put-down of Fractal, but simply saying that they're two very different companies. Fractal is a boutique shop. Line 6 is a mass market modeling company.

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You get more "Stuff" in some ways with Helix. flexibility, routing, I/O, number of blocks at once, number of audio paths, USB interface.

And two amps or cabs is big also.

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Ok. First let me say that this isn't a comp,eye slam. I actually love my Helix and have defended them to most companies,ain't about the lack of amp, cabs, and effects. But with the release of AX8 that has changed. With over 200 high quality amps and a ton of effects, AX has dwarfed the Helix in content and all in a quality on par with the Helix. And it is cheaper. This thread was not to draw out the Helix lovers for defense because I am one of them. I love my Helix. It still has advantages over the AX8 like an expression pedal, dual amps and cabs, a headphone jack (really AX...no headphone out), a user interface that blows ax out of the water and my favorite...scribble strips. AX does have line 6 with computer software fur sure. But let's face it. Today's guitar players are spoiled by shear quality quantity. Even if most really do not know the difference between it and the real thing. The AX8 volume is almost overwhelming and to be honest, it sounds better out of the box. The Helix can sound just as good but as most will attest it takes a little tweaking to ge there. Once tweaked the Helix is absolutely on par.

But the 45 amps or whatever it is will not cut it in the long run. Granted most will not need more than one or two of the models, but people will gravitate to the AX with its slew of options. It has been about eight months or so since the Helix release. It has continually improved with bug fixes and tweaks. And one amp and a couple effects were added. But after seeng and hearing the AX 8 we are going to need more. And not in expensive amp packs or something like that (never mentioned but has been done before). I think Line 6 really needs to at least break their silence. I understand their policy but it's time to at least give people some hope. Either gets some new things out quickly or open up and say you plan on adding x number of amps and effects in the near future. You don't even need to say what they are, just that they are planned and giv a disclaimer that not all of them will make the final cut if not up to standards.

 

Again, I love my Helix. It's a great tool and I use it live every weeks or at least a short set at church. Unjust hope they can match up soon.

 

 

I think its time to give some more functionalities, bugs fixes, MIDI features and the like. Lets turn the page on the editor for a while and get some improvement on a key issues. Scenes, latency, etc. which will go a long way into briinging more fans.... Than the icing would be eventualy to add more amps and rare effects, But, thats me.

 

I have to agree with BigRalphN as well as the other posters here who stress functional improvements like switching lag time versus the addition of new models and effects, everyone has a legitimate point. I believe all of these areas are worthy of attention. As has been commented on by others, for me, the Line6 interface, hardware I/O options, scribble strips, and built-in expression pedal are so compelling that I would not even entertain switching to the AX8. The Helix platform is so vastly superior to the AX8 that if they can make it rock solid, fix some fundamental issues, and add some much needed content it becomes the superior device it is destined to be. There are still old bugs as well as some fairly substantial new ones (tap tempo issue, Editor and Helix lock-ups) that need to be addressed. I would like to see the bug situation (although I don't mean to imply it is bad, it is not) stabilize so more attention could be paid to adding value instead of fixing problems. I could not agree more that one new amp and a few effects in nine months is not exactly what I was hoping for in terms of content support and development for the Helix.  I say this with the hopes that this does not erupt into yet another thread about what expectations for this product should be or not be. 

 

I think the issues with the external amp control are a total debacle. My thanks to the electronics experts on this forum who have offered some clever workarounds, they should not have been necessary. As I stated the I/O options are part of what place the Helix in the MFX stratosphere, but they need to work properly.  A few dollars more spent on the external amp control parts as well as a MIDI clock would have been money well spent. For my requirements there is simply no competition to the Helix on the market so as always I hope that my comments are construed as being part of the respectful chorus that will if nothing else provide some ammunition to the more ambitious developers and product managers at Line6. I honestly do not view any other product on the market as a viable alternative to the Helix, I can't and don't wish to switch horses. All I can do is offer ammunition and customer feedback that can be provided to a CTO and VPs to procure the necessary resources for a vision that I believe will result in a Helix that exceeds all corporate profit expectations and simultaneously provides its users with the maximum mojo possible. Ultimately whilst hoping L6 will put their foot on the accelerator I would encourage folks to hang in there and be patient because if DI's recent posts are any indication it looks like there is some great stuff in the pipeline coming soon. 

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I guess my post sounded like sour grapes and that was not my intention. I guess I was trying to say this. If you have two products at a similar price point that has very similar functionality are people going to chose the the one that has the most stuff. It is just natural to get the most for your money. People on forums tend to be researchers. They read and research before buying. They obviously also keep up on everything. But that is not actually how the masses make purchases. It is done emotionally and people are going to look at s box and see 200 vs 45 and s quick web search gets great reviews fir the AX and what will they but? We all know about the nice editing features and how easy it is to use. But on the shelf it is another thing. Although, dies AX sell in stores ? To be honest I never actually looked for one other than online. I do think Line 6 is clearly ahead in marketing

 

This does not sound like sour grapes to me. I have to point out that BigRalphN has been on the Helix forum almost from the beginning and has never been one to pressure L6 for "more", quite the opposite.  His has generally been a voice of restraint when requests go off the deep end. So... when he puts up a post urging L6 to speed up their development cycle it definitely catches my attention.

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BigRalphN

[...] But that is not actually how the masses make purchases. It is done emotionally and people are going to look at s box and see...

...colored LEDs  :wub: ! ! !

 

That's why I bought the Helix :D ! ! !

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This does not sound like sour grapes to me. I have to point out that BigRalphN has been on the Helix forum almost from the beginning and has never been one to pressure L6 for "more", quite the opposite.  His has generally been a voice of restraint when requests go off the deep end. So... when he puts up a post urging L6 to speed up their development cycle it definitely catches my attention.

 

Asking a company to speed up their development cycle seems a bit like asking a pregnant woman to move things along faster... I'm sure both the company and the woman would love to get things done more quickly. Just have to let nature take it's course sometimes. :D

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Asking a company to speed up their development cycle seems a bit like asking a pregnant woman to move things along faster... I'm sure both the company and the woman would love to get things done more quickly. Just have to let nature take it's course sometimes. :D

 

A humorous but perhaps not wholly apt metaphor. This is not nature, last time I checked Helix was man-made despite that umbilical cord to my guitar(although there is a school of thought that argues that since humans are a product of nature anything they make is as well). There is no roughly 9 month time-frame dictated by nature for the Helix, the speed of its development is a function of the quality and quantity of manpower devoted to it. Even if it is a "pregnancy" I believe that BigRalphN's point was that it has exceeded 9 months and is now "late-term". :D

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I do agree with those that want bug fixes first. Have any if you ever accident it adjusted tap tempo in the middle of a song? It is not pleasant at times. I have learned to be very careful

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AX8 is NOT cheaper atleast not in Sweden ( i bet its not cheaper anywhere outside USA) in fact its way more expensive

And another fact is you canmt even buy it in Sweden and in many other European countrys so who needs to step up??

As its only available on ONE store in EU "G66 eu" wich is very strange??

Again who needs to step up?

 

 

You also have to pay for shipping from another country i payed nothing for the shipping of the Helix i also bought Helix on how do you say??Installment that is NOT possible with the Fractal units.

 

Helix is over 100$ cheaper than the AX8 in fact i just looked for the price at "G66eu" the Axe is c:a 120$ more expensive than Helix at todays dollar currency and add shipping to that and it ends on 135$..

 

And to compare the units even furter you also have to buy atleast two expression pedals so it make it even more expensive lets say 100$ moore if you only buy budget pedals now you do the math is it really cheaper??

 

Also i read on many places that most of the amps sounds the same so what the point of having 180+ amps that sound almost the same they only have different names?

 

But the effects is better for sure on the Fractal but as the AX8 dont have the same cpu power as AXE FX II rack or the helix unit i bet you run out of dsp pretty soon way sooner than you would on Helix if the effects had the same quality...

 

And all you really need to make Helix on par effectwise is to buy a used Eventide H9 and if i do that in Sweden i would have payed just a little bit moore then i would have payed for a new AX8 two expression pedals and the shipping to Sweden..

 

Also i could choose to buy a new Eventide H9 max ("installmnent" of course) and have all new algorithm for free the Axe will NEVER have any more effects thats for sure just look at the firmware update history they almost never add effects only amps alot of amps that is said to sound the same..

 

 

I choosed between Helix and a Kemper but the kemper is equally in price as the Axe and add two expression pedals and a midipedalboard and not to mention 100,s of dollars to buy profiles so the choice for me was pretty easy..

 

Today the price in Europe is 1699 euro for the AX8 (no shipping no pedals) not available for testing in ANY music store in Sweden i bet not in the rest of Europe aswell..

And the Helix is 1498 euro free shipping in Sweden available in almost any local music store for testing..

I saw that Fractal have lower the price in US from 1999$ to 1399$ (100$ cheaper than Helix) why dont they do it in Europe and rest of the world aswell?

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A humorous but perhaps not wholly apt metaphor. This is not nature, last time I checked Helix was man-made (although there is a school of thougt that argues that since humans are a product of nature anything they make is as well). There is no roughly 9 month time-frame dictated by nature for the Helix, the speed of its development is a function of the quality and quantity of manpower devoted to it. Even if it is a "pregnancy" I believe that BigRalphN's point was that it has exceeded 9 months and is now "late-term".

 

The point is that if there was a way to speed it up, I'm sure Line 6 is trying to make it happen. They have more of a vested interest in that than anyone else. Part of the issue is that with a device as deep and complex as the Helix bringing people on board the team to help with development isn't something they can just do overnight. I imagine it would take a while to bring new people up to speed. People imagine it's as if Line 6 has scores of programmers at their disposal... They simply don't. For the size of the company, it is really quite impressive what they're able to accomplish when you look at all the products and lines they support.

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...colored LEDs  :wub: ! ! !

 

That's why I bought the Helix :D ! ! !

 

 

Love me those colored lights. Forget anything else, if only the Helix had muave and taupe LED's they could forego all other development efforts. ;)

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The point is that if there was a way to speed it up, I'm sure Line 6 is trying to make it happen. They have more of a vested interest in that than anyone else. Part of the issue is that with a device as deep and complex as the Helix bringing people on board the team to help with development isn't something they can just do overnight. I imagine it would take a while to bring new people up to speed. People imagine it's as if Line 6 has scores of programmers at their disposal... They simply don't. For the size of the company, it is really quite impressive what they're able to accomplish when you look at all the products and lines they support.

 

Agree with most of what you are saying phil_m, and it definitely does take some time to ramp up new developers. That's why I say "Buy a Helix, employ a developer!", the more and better the merrier. L6 certainly does support an impressive array of products which is why I believe all those developers should be immediately reassigned to working only on the Helix (just kidding). New Line6 promotional "Groupon".  Every group of 100 Helix purchasers gets their own personal developer assigned to them.  :D

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BigRalph - it doesn't sound like you are complaining.. it's good to want development.. but.... I'm with you guys.  There are already more amps than I need in the Helix.  I'm mainly using it in 4cm anyways because sorry to say it but a real tube preamp still has a certain mojo that modelling doesn't - even if they pretty much sound the same.  

 

The "extras" like the amazing UI, scribble strips, headphones, multiple paths, sends/returns, exp pedal are what makes the Helix compelling to me.

 

Amps? Let's face it - you can pretty much dial one amp to sound very similar to another anyway so why do we need hundreds?  You just really need one good old school low gain amp, one 80s crunchy amp and a modern hi gain metal machine and you should be able to approximate anything with careful use of gain, EQ and boost pedals.

 

Give us Quality not Quantity please.

 

I totally agree that bug fixes, stability and irksome omissions (like some of the MIDI stuff) should be the priority.

 

After that I would like to see:

- some kind of scene mode

- improved routing (Send Blocks / USB)

- HX reverb effects

- and then some more FX.  

 

Different FX.  Things we don't already have. Not 20 more drive pedals that sound almost the same as each other.  Perhaps a EHX B9 pedal, or the excellent Freeze or Superego pedal.   Something new.

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ok just a humble word in here

 

PODxt packs are enough models to have everything you may need to gig, record, rehearse, practice and even being inspire to play. Even those "old" models as the Silver Superjubilee or Diezel are killers!!!

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Just buy both the damn things and call it a day...

 

That said, I always find myself going back to 4 or 5 amps total every time I do a song or record one. Yes sometimes different fx but usually on the same amp/cab setup. Options like more amps are always great to have so don't take this the wrong way, but I won't notice them if I'm enjoying what I'm hearing so much I'm not switching over to them. The Reality for me is I guess I don't need much more. So, "if it sounds good spank the plank more and tweak less". As always YMMV.

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Less is more for me. Very happy with HD500. Happier and very content with the Helix. It's more than sufficient for me... live or in the studio. ;)

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Only 200 amps models? Shhhhoooottt man! What were they thinking! I've got a Megalomaniac Azteca 1500 Riff Master X that has 20,000 amp models, a lyric generator and espresso press with built in grinder! Line 6 really needs to get it together!

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A humorous but perhaps not wholly apt metaphor. This is not nature, last time I checked Helix was man-made despite that umbilical cord to my guitar(although there is a school of thought that argues that since humans are a product of nature anything they make is as well). There is no roughly 9 month time-frame dictated by nature for the Helix, the speed of its development is a function of the quality and quantity of manpower devoted to it. Even if it is a "pregnancy" I believe that BigRalphN's point was that it has exceeded 9 months and is now "late-term". :D

 

Having spent most of my career as a developer and project manager for a commercial software company I can say with some authority that the speed of development is FAR more complex than just a function of quality and quantity of manpower.  Those are two factors, but at some point quantity of manpower begins to produce diminishing returns as you can only reasonably partition out responsibilities so far before they begin to interfere with each other due to critical path dependencies and/or team coordination issues.  Especially in this case where you have multiple known bugs.

 

What you want to do is minimize the number of releases so you don't aggravate customers by piecemealing out bug fixes.  The process of bug releases is no different than an initial product release.  It has to be rock solid and NOT introduce new bugs into the system.  Therefore it has to be bench tested, unit tested, and system tested as each bug is fixed.  In fact, the testing cycle alone in a case like this needs to be far more robust than the development cycle because the worst possible scenario would be to have to recall a release because it introduced a worse bug than what you were trying to fix.  With all the functionality in the Helix you can well imagine how extensive and time consuming that test plan has to be.

 

I only bring this up because I hope people will cut L6 some slack on this.  I would rather wait a bit for a rock solid update release than get it sooner and be frustrated by either them not fixing a bug I'm depending on, or introducing a less than stable release.

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Let's re-hash the same discussion just a few thousand more times. Because this time, L6 is sure to have some sort of epiphany, and immediately ramp up the pace of product development to satisfy the farcical notions of everyone with an internet connection who thinks that they "know" exactly what could/would/should be possible. Ugh...

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I examined both products very carefully reading through their operator's manuals and lots of reviews.  I suspect both will have their own following, but for different reasons.  One of the key issues I suspect that will drive the differences will be the amount of time the customer has spend in the modeling world.

 

Those that are relatively new to modeling will likely be drawn to the massive counts of amps and so forth.  I doubt that will be all that important to anyone who's been dealing with modeling as a consistent part of their rig for 5 or 6 years.  In that time you've come to appreciate the fact that regardless of how many amps you might have in your modeling lineup, in all likelihood you'll settle on just a handful that you're comfortable with and know how to get the sounds you want out of.

 

Actually, the number of models had very little bearing on my purchase. This is the first modeler I have kept. I dabbled with an M9 (returned), HD500 (returned), and do have a couple of software modelers, but I have never properly owned and kept one, let alone replaced my live rig with one. I couldn't care less how many models it has as long as it has the ones I need. I'm a little disappointed that the Helix doesn't have a Rockerverb model, but I can do without it. What I need are a Twin (or similar clean tone), Tweed, Dual Rec, and some kind of Marshall or something similar. Basically every modeler ever has those or something similar. Truthfully, I think that probably covers 90% of the tones that most guitarists actually NEED, the rest are just flavors or desires. Which is fine. I'm just saying that those four cover basically every genre of music (which is why I need them).

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Fix the bugs, improve the latency item, add 20-30 amps, 20-30 effects, improve some of the existing models, call it a day for the Helix....then improve the editor AFTER the aforementioned items.   AX8 doesn't hold a candle to the Helix form wise but if "more" is "better" to someone, get one because it does sound great just as the Helix does....Helix runs in a KISS mode, which is exactly what I want as I don't want to d*ck around with tech at the expense of playing music, which is what we all buy gear for in the first place, at least in theory :)

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Wise words DunedinDragon, clearly you have indeed been involved in dev and project management because that echoes a lot of my own experiences and opinions.

 

I sometimes wonder how things went before the internet and formus and easy access to communicating towards manufacturers. Sure it is advantageous for dev teams to truly gauge what features and fixes are being requested en masse, and heaven knows it's a plus for product managers to quickly see the bugs that slip through the cracks and users find. But I more means that 25 years ago I bought a unit, I found a few flaws here and there and things I wished it did, but the notion of picking up a phone or writing a letter to the maker was such a hassle that I just worked around them and spent more time playing and less time wishing. Now, I'm almost writing on a forum or EMailing support 48 hours after owning a thing and compiling a wish list of functions and features.

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i still want to make sure people realize I love my Helix. I would be lost without it. In fact I was when I had to exchange it for a burned mic preamp early on. And I totally agree that for flexibility, ins and outs, interface, ease of use , and really the overall feature set, nothing comes close. And I agree there can be too much. I think people on here will say that though just to push the Helix because they love it. But that's another topic. After reading everything and thinking a day I word have worded it much differently but I still think it is s valid issue. No we don't need 200 and quality is definitely preferred over just adding stuff. But if we stay at 45 to 50 I think it will become a stumbling block. Let's face it. Helix, AX and Kemper users are going to be net savvy and going to be serious hobbiests or professionals. These are not going to be something that people have to either read about in trade magazines, from friends or net research. So they will see all three and compare features. I still think the first thing most will look at are numbers. And consumers tend to buy on impulse. I do agree that the old Ben Franklin side by side checklist could put the Helix above the rest but I am just not sure.

 

Then there will be guys like me that live the product but when looking at the others just feels that once bugs and features are squared away we deserve s little more for our investment.

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I sometimes wonder how things went before the internet and formus and easy access to communicating towards manufacturers...

Whining required more effort ;). You actually had to seek out an audience. Now the nameless/faceless masses are accessible 24/7, and any one of the 17 devices we're all constantly staring at will alert them to your every utterance.

 

Hell, now you can just mutter your gripes into a text-to-speech app, and instantly broadcast to the masses. Actually putting pen to paper burns calories. Who wants that? Tweet, Tweet, Like, Like!!

 

Ugh. Ugh. ;)

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