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tannerhaines

Possible to hate the hd500 and like the Helix?

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So I am looking into buying a Helix potentially but I have some reservations. 

 

I absolutely hated the sound of the HD500. It came off as flat ,boxy, and "small"  to me. Unfortunately I live in an area where I dont have any stores I can go and try it in. Does the Helix sound similar to the hd500 or is it completely different?

 

I don't really use any real amps. I mostly use guitar rig, lepou, scuffham etc on my pc. 

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I suppose Helix could be intentionally made to sound like an HD, but, depending on the type of tone, Helix is noticeably not as flat, boxy, or small sounding. The differences start to diminish slightly the more higher gain the tone is, but even then the increased responsiveness to pick dynamics and volume changes are still there. A big difference between the two is with most effects, particularly the delays. Very clear and defined. The modulations are also very good. Not too long ago I did a comparison between the two units which you might find useful.

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You'll notice a difference within the the first minutes of playing with Helix.  As someone whose been lucky enough to experience many different processors as well as real amps, I think there is a lot of truth to the idea that you get what you pay for.  Sometimes it's hype or whatever. But in this case there really is a huge difference with Helix.

 

Many online retailers have a return policy that will let you try Helix at home with your own set up.

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Just youtube Helix on a decent sound system. You will notice the difference.

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They're two totally different animals. Different from the inside and out. I doubt you will hear that small, compressed fell you are talking about with Helix.

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My first question is, did you actually own an HD500 or did you just play around with one a few times?

 

The reason I ask this is there are a number of us that owned and used HD500's quite successfully.  But almost all of us would tell you we had to learn to tweak it quite a bit to get the sound we wanted.  The vast majority of the tweaking disappeared on the Helix so that right out of the box everything sounded great.

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Over the past 3 years I've been doing small gigs using my PODhd (bean) with FBV Shorboard + extra expression pedal (I prefer to keep the audio at the backline - only my controller is cabled out to the front). I've tweaked it deeply, and have been immensely happy with the results from that.

Of course, trying to really press the PODhd features, I fairly quickly ran out of DSP, and as history has played out, Line 6 wasn't able to offer the HDX as a bean.

My good friend (Fulcrum here) and I have been essentially parallel in this.

He called Line 6 to ask about the HDx versus bean - and was told that they couldn't say much at the time, but that they hadn't abandoned that part of the market, and in fact to be patient and wait...

Then Helix info started to come out.

Then the hands-on demos came out.

*minds blown*

 

... none of that compares to the incredibly satisfying experiences of, first, acquiring a lovely Helix rig (in my case, Rack + Controller + Mission toe & non-toe exp pedals), bringing it home to the 'lab,' and diving in.

I have been enjoying POD sound systems since 2000, and have been amazed by the leaps forward they've demonstrated.

This, though, is a quantum leap forward, to say the least.

The 'push-pull' relationship of the player, instrument, and 'amp'/sound system has become an amazingly organic thing with this new technology. It is amazingly far more 'alive' than previous iterations of Line 6 device modelling - I don't think I have the words ("They should've sent a poet")

The complexity and nuances of the sounds... I explain to people that, more than ever before, I can hear the unique cones of the speakers... the air between speakers and mics... the 'breathing' of the power sections of the amps as they sag under load...

It's unreal in that it is SO real.

 

This has only been a very few weeks, but this past Saturday I gigged my Helix setup - Fulcrum was there to be my other ears and eyes.

There was a point wherein he came to the little stage over by me, and I leaned in and told him "This is /different/; the hair on my arms is standing up right now..."

I'd built up a 'super-patch' to suit the typical requirements of the venue, which in particular required a strong clean basis.

With the tweaking I'd done in the days leading up to that gig, I landed on the sound which had so amazed me as I was working it up.

And, incidentally, I go 100% straight to the PA mixer from my XLRs.

 

Helix is very different from the devices before it; give it a try and, as always, be ready to roll up the sleeves and dig in.

In this case, though, the rewards are /even/ more plentiful than previous products - with all the routing options, performance-minded switching, etc. etc. etc. it's an absolute wonder.

I couldn't have been happier with the results - the entire night, based on Fulcrum's feedback to me early on, I made one small EQ tweak to that clean sound, and done!

 

I suspect you'd be likely to find a lot of strong reasons to truly enjoy Helix.

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I bought HD500 on 3 different occasions wanting to love it.  Tried and tried.  Got to like it but, always went back to analog.  Got the Helix and it was like going from outhouse to the whitehouse as compared to HD500.  Not really just because of tone, but just ease of use and the thought process in the interface.  How GENIUS is the simple "touch" assignment of switches on Helix? Genious! With common sense you can build a usable patch with just watching one 5 minute video on Youtube. Yes, you can drill pretty deep if you want to but you don't have to.  That's the biggest difference between HD500 and Helix.  To get usable tones I had to really dig in and sometimes spend hours upon hours just getting one good tone on HD500.  I can build tones that I enjoy in a fraction of the time it took on the HD500.  Yes, the Helix editor can be buggy and is not quite yet fully developed, however I almost like building tones more on the pedal.  I prop it up on one of my stands and just dial away.  One other point of note.  Your sound is only as good of what you are playing through. Make sure you have a quality FRFR if not using a power supply into a "cab".

 

Is it perfect? NO! But man, Line 6 checked a lot of the boxes on my wish list.

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... How GENIUS is the simple "touch" assignment of switches on Helix? Genious! With common sense you can build a usable patch with just watching one 5 minute video on Youtube. Yes, you can drill pretty deep if you want to but you don't have to.  That's the biggest difference between HD500 and Helix.  To get usable tones I had to really dig in and sometimes spend hours upon hours just getting one good tone on HD500.  I can build tones that I enjoy in a fraction of the time it took on the HD500.  

Is it perfect? NO! But man, Line 6 checked a lot of the boxes on my wish list.

 

+1  ^^^^  

 

If you hated the HD500, maybe you should stay away...  But you're using GuitarRig...seems like you'd love Helix.

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I had the HD500 for a long time and could get very good tone out of it. Of course I had to learn it initially but then I was pretty fast. I think that helped me with Helix as well. The principle is the same on all modellers. Regarding sound and feel you really have to try it yourself. Nobody can tell you if you like it or not.

I'd look for a online shop where you can send it back within 30 days.

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I wonder why your recordings often have an extremely low volume

I am most of the time too lazy to mix (even rise the output of the general mix)

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