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haller88

Helix vs HD500X through PA speakers

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As a long time user of a HD500 and HD500X, I have noticed one defiency that has been noted on the HD500 forums - that the HD500/500X sounds beautiful through PA speakers with clean sounds but as soon as you add any overdrive or distortion - the sounds turns fizzy. I am using pretty decent powered PA speakers (EV ZLX-12P) and love the clean but find most distortion not very pleasant. I have heard many explanations and also solutions with EQ. Ironically, the best sound I have gotten so far is running the HD500/500X through a set of Peavey Bandits in the Post Gain Input outfitted with PA speakers. It gives me a nice balanced sound and sound close to the digital signal that I can pump to my computer.

 

My question is does the Helix sound better through PA speakers for the wide range of clean/distortion sounds than a HD500/500X? I wouldn't mind using an IR to adjust the sound but I don't want to spend hours adusting each patch to sound good through a PA and then back it out if I want to use my standard rig.

 

Any insight would be helpful - I am thinking of purchasing a Helix but am thinking this could be a sticking point if it doesn't sound much better than my HD500/500X through a PA speaker...

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From my understanding....

 

The Helix will sound better, you don't' have to EQ as much with extra blocks to get a great starting tone.

 

The sound is less compressed overall for your more dirty/gainy tones so that should help the POD HD with out EQing is fuzzy as you've aid!

 

I'd say overall its the balance of being able to get a good sound quickly and then if you wish to, adjust as needed.

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My question is does the Helix sound better through PA speakers for the wide range of clean/distortion sounds than a HD500/500X? I wouldn't mind using an IR to adjust the sound but I don't want to spend hours adusting each patch to sound good through a PA and then back it out if I want to use my standard rig...

Any time you change what you're playing through, there will be a difference in tone. Doesn't much matter if its a POD, Helix, or any of the world's other modelers. Everybody seems to love HELIX's UI, so you may find it easier to create your patches than on the POD (which certainly isn't the most intuitive device in the universe). But I don't care what you're running it through, if you switch to another amp/FRFR speaker/PA, you have to expect some differences. Might be very subtle, or it could kick you in the face...it'll depend entirely on the two rigs in question, and exactly how different their frequency responses are. Either way, it's about the speakers and the room you're standing in, not the modeler. They're all gonna do it.

 

I'll be the first in line for the "tweak-less modeler", if ever there is one. Till then, there is no escape from knobulating...;)

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I changed from HD500 to Helix using the same powered PA speaker (mono) rehearsing with a band and doing live gigs. While I wasn't unhappy with my classic rock Marshall (and Vox and Fender) tones from my carefully tweaked HD500, I would always feel better any time I played through my old Marshall tube combo.

 

I find Helix a much more satisfying experience. My classic rock Marshall (and other) tones sound much more familiar and only minimal tweaking (like you'd do with any physical amp) is needed to get good results. I still play my old Marshall tube combo regularly, but it no longer feels any better than my Line 6 board.

 

I also find Helix distortion and modulation effects very pleasing and musical, where HD500 effects just did the job but felt sub-standard.

 

With HD500 I was trading tone quality for convenience. With Helix compared to real amps and effects, I feel the tone quality is just as good but it is much improved in convenience, reliability (always wondering if it's time for new tubes), flexibility, and the opportunity to choose from many high-quality amps and effects.

 

It's a great time to be an electric guitar player!

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I'm with everyone else here.  I get absolutely gorgeous and very authentic sounds going through my DXR12's.  It sounds very much like my studio monitors which are Yamaha HS7's.  And it does it with little to no tweaking in comparison to what I went through with the POD HD500X.  What little tweaking I do are just minor nuances that I like in my sound.  I do quite a bit of overdrive and distortion as well as cleans and they all sound awesome.  I've never had any "fizziness" on any of the higher gain amps like the Marshalls or Peavey.

 

I find it hard to believe you're struggling so much with the EV's.  I respect EV gear as one of the better ones out there.  The thing I wonder about is whether you have everything set up correctly on the configuration of the Helix and on the ZLX12P which has a lot of DSP settings itself.  Other than that it might just be you're ears are tuned so much to what a guitar cabinet sounds like live that you're rejecting the sound of the EV's for some reason.

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Thanks for the replies. I haven't tried a Helix with my EVs yet. It sounds like most of the responses here would indicate I should have much better luck with the EVs and the Helix in comparison with HD500X and the EVs. I really like most of the sounds I can get with POD HD amp modeling and my Peavey combo - it sounds like the Helix will improve that and also make it so I can use the EVs with the Helix for a wide range of sounds (the HD500X has several posts about the short comings of using a straight PA speaker - even high end speakers with POD HD & distortion without EQ'ing substantially). Currently I am also using the Strymon Mobius with HD500X for modulation and other effects - sounds like the Helix improves the effects greatly.

 

Sounds like time to start saving some money and line up to get a Helix...

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Sounds like time to start saving some money and line up to get a Helix...

 

That seems to be a hard decision in general for the HD crowd to make given the hours tweaking and using, but once they do (I was an HD user at one point too) they are very satisfied. To me, after some "minor" tweaks Helix tones 99% of the time are "to die for"...

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Thanks for the replies. I haven't tried a Helix with my EVs yet. It sounds like most of the responses here would indicate I should have much better luck with the EVs and the Helix in comparison with HD500X and the EVs. I really like most of the sounds I can get with POD HD amp modeling and my Peavey combo - it sounds like the Helix will improve that and also make it so I can use the EVs with the Helix for a wide range of sounds (the HD500X has several posts about the short comings of using a straight PA speaker - even high end speakers with POD HD & distortion without EQ'ing substantially). Currently I am also using the Strymon Mobius with HD500X for modulation and other effects - sounds like the Helix improves the effects greatly.

 

Sounds like time to start saving some money and line up to get a Helix...

 

The Helix is my first multifx from Line 6 so I can't comment with reference to the HD500 (I previously used the Boss GT boards).

But two things to bear in mind if the HD500 is anything like the GT100.

Firstly the Helix sounds much more impressive through any system and secondly the Helix has space for loads more presets (over 1,000) and these are broken up into different set lists so all you need to is copy your patches to another set list and tweak them for use through a PA. After you have done it once you can just choose whichever set list you need on any given night.

I have one set list for a Variax guitar and another set list for a standard guitar but you could just as easily have two for PA and guitar amp.

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If you're getting a different sound from your EVs than your home listening system, one of them is untrue. I used an HD 500 for years, through Yamaha DXR 10s (+ sub), with patches created on Mackie HR 824 studio monitors, and they always translated nicely, with no EQ necessary. I don't know the model of EVs you have, but I have noticed that EVs are on the brighter side. Do other things sound overly bright through them?

 

I sometimes gig with a guy who has some nice newish QSC powered speaks. I immediately noticed my guitar was brighter than usual. He likes to keep the bright boost feature turned on, for some reason. It wasn't terrible, so I didn't bother to EQ my rig, but if I had really bright sounds to start with, it might have been a problem. I've never been into really bright guitar sounds, unless kept lower in the mix.

 

Anyway, you have many ways to curtail highs in the Helix, you really should have no issue tweaking your sounds if you decide to buy one. I can assure you, it sounds pretty damn good!

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I've run both my HD500 and my Helix through a number of different PA speakers and all the PA speakers have all sounded different. Fortunately, the differences have mainly been in frequence response and were easy to overcome with EQ. I've come to believe that a FRFR speaker means it has a frequency response that doesn't deviate from flat more than what can be compensated for by EQ.

 

If you get familiar enough with your teaked patches though a PA speaker you use regularly, you should be able to use other PA speakers with a bit of EQ. With an unfamiliar PA speaker and unfamiliar rooms, be prepared to spend a few minutes before sound check to tweak your EQ to make your patches sound right.

 

I keep notes on the EQ settings I use in each situation, especially with my own PA speakers.

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