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HD500X to Helix Converts. Let me pick your brains.

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Hey all,

 

I'm looking to hear from people who have made the transition from the HD500X to the Helix. Is it really that much of a game changer for you? For the tones you can get?

 

I'm a happy HD500X user, who has had his HD500X (and a set of Alto TS110s) for about just about 2 years. I'm past the "endless tweaking" stage that many have talked about - although I didn't have too much trouble with it - and have a good set of core tones. But I must admit... the Helix (esp. with the 2.x updates) looks to be really something amazing.

 

So... given all you know and your experience... is it really worth the time/money to go Helix?

 

Inquiring minds want to know!

 

 

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In terms of quality tones, ease of use, and routing capabilities there is really no comparison in my opinion. Is it worth the money? Not if you don't have it. But if it's not going to leave you eating nothing but peanut butter then yes.

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Once I turn the helix on The HD500 became a boat anchor and i sold it that week. Not even in the same league !  It's worth the price but for 3 times the price it better be 3 times as good and i think its way better than 3 times as good!

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I too was pretty happy with my HD500X and struggled with whether it would be worth it.  Now after 3 months I'd say a resounding yes.

 

Aside from the more natural sound and natural response, the big game changer for me was how quickly I could develop patches in comparison to the HD500.  Some of it was user interface, but most of it was that most of the default settings on amps, and effects were pretty close to ideal for most circumstances.  I also have to say that the versatility of the cabs and mic's FAR supersedes what I was able to do on the HD.  Changing cabs, mic's, distance, etc. really has a distinguishable effect on the outcome which was really never the case on the HD.  It also seems to me the adjustments on the amps and effects are more dramatic and realistic when you fine tune them...which all makes it so much easier to get exactly the type of tone you're looking for.

 

The time savings alone on building patches and normalizing the volumes has pretty much paid for the unit in my opinion.

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I have owned my Helix a month now. I was a little hesitant on spending the money on it but,  I can happily say it is a game changer. I sold my Pod HD bean within a week of owning the Helix. I do  lot of home recording and the Helix is a thing of beauty. For me it responds like a real amp and I find that makes me want to play more.

 

I have had no issues recording into Logic Pro X with the Helix. Sure, the Pod HD was good, but I can tell you that I do not miss it and I have not looked back.

 

Patch creation on the Helix is very easy and intuitive. If you enjoy tone building and tweaking then I think the Helix is the way to go, it really is a nice unit. I am glad I purchased it and the good news is I feel no need to look at other gear, so for me (at least till now) it is a GAS remedy.

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I had the HD500 (afte owning all PODs from the first bean) since it came out and got really good tone out of it. In December I had the opportunity to get Helix in a local shop. Since I planed to buy it anyway I bought it straight away. I was unsure in the beginning if it was worth the money because I could dial in the HD500 pretty fast and it sounds great. Helix sounds really great. If it sounds 1000$ better you have to decide on your own - it feels way better for sure. But for me it was the versatility that made me keep the Helix. Overall it is really the better modeller and one of the best on the market right now. If it is worth the money every one has to decide on his own and it really depends on your usage.

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I had the Pod HD 500 for 4 years, I'd never run the HD unit down t all, I thought for the money it was a great tool, but the Helix.........the best analogies I can come up with are that the sound is like going from mono to stereo, the tones are incredible, but more than that its the feel, I've played plenty of tube amps in my day and this reacts in just the same way.  In terms of ease of use, again, it's a bit like going from a walkman to an ipod, it's ridiculously easy to use.

 

I would say, if you're a happy HD user and you can afford it, do it.  You won't regret it, believe me.

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Ι still have my pod HD500 alive. In terms of functionality, I can create any sound I want on Helix easily. But lacks the effects of pod... Many of them. The cabs on helix are still bad, but loading IRs is a game changer.. If you like to spent less money, get a torpedo cab. Your tones will get dramatically better.

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I'm happy with my move from HD500 to Helix, happy in every way. Great tones with default settings and easy to create multiple variations on a preset now with snapshots. I can really get into a groove and bond with Helix tones, where HD500 often felt like a compromise.

 

And now I finally have a backup. I bring my HD500 to gigs as a backup in case the Helix breaks.

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In terms of quality tones, ease of use, and routing capabilities there is really no comparison in my opinion. Is it worth the money? Not if you don't have it. But if it's not going to leave you eating nothing but peanut butter then yes.

Just alternate the peanut butter with Ramen noodles...you'll be fine. Fat and retaining water, but there are pills for that...HELIX! HELIX! ;)

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I still have my POD HD 500 "just in case."  i pulled it out a week ago just to check on something and it does sound really good.  I'm probably not going to sell it but I don't see myself ever using it unless the Helix crashes.  It's my only backup.

 

I LOVE the HELIX!  Here are the things I like on the Helix:

 

1. Functionality - colors, easier to see everything and create/edit patches on the fly. Much easier for my old eyes.  Also easier to incorporate other pedals, work with real amps, route the signals externally and internally.  This alone is pretty much worth the money to me.

2. The FX are better.  Delays, modulations and distortions are much better.  I use Helix with a 5153 50 watt and it sounds great.

3. Ability to add IRs.  i actually don't think the amps in the HD were bad but the cab simulation was not very good.  The cabs in the Helix are also not very good in my opinion.  Specifically they sound fizzy, bass heavy and just unrealistic.  I bought the OwnHammer IRs just on recommendations and I think they make a huge improvement.

4.  The amps are better.  I tried several of the Pre-amp models directly into the FX return of my 5153 and I have to say the SLO Lead is almost indistinguishable from my blue channel.  I still wish there were some other amps (Friedman, Bogner Ecstasy) but these work very well.

 

Things that could be improved/are not "better" than the POD HD?

1. Reverbs are about the same.  I think I've seen people say that they used the same algorithms as the HD

2. No Aux in for MP3.  Not a game changer but was a great feature of the HD

3. Expression pedal - just like the HD the sweep is too great and it does not feel like a Wah or a Whammy pedal.  On the HD I could callibrate the pedal and get it to feel better but that's not possible on the Helix.

 

Those are all very small things in the overall scheme of things but they could be game changers for some people.

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1. Reverbs are about the same.  I think I've seen people say that they used the same algorithms as the HD

2. No Aux in for MP3.  Not a game changer but was a great feature of the HD

3. Expression pedal - just like the HD the sweep is too great and it does not feel like a Wah or a Whammy pedal.  On the HD I could callibrate the pedal and get it to feel better but that's not possible on the Helix.

 

Those are all very small things in the overall scheme of things but they could be game changers for some people.

 

Number 2 is there, you just need a physical adapter (two 1/4" mono male to 1/8" stereo female) and use two of Helix's returns. Then use a stereo return block in the preset. It's not a global function like it is on the HD though.

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I intended to keep my HD500X, along with a bunch of other gear, as a backup.  After a week with the Helix I realized there was no way I could go back.  It would be like going from a smart phone back to a flip phone.  I ended up selling my 500X, Vetta II Combo, some various pedals and a Randall 1/2 stack as I had no use for them anymore.  Although it wasn't my intention, selling that gear recovered the full price of the Helix and the Helix Backpack.  I don't miss any of the items I sold.

 

I really struggled with the 500X and it took me quite awhile to get patches that satisfied my needs.  Once I had them, I dreaded the thought of creating new ones.  Helix makes creating patches an enjoyable experience.  I can build them about as fast as I can think them up.

 

If I get to the point that I absolutely need to have a backup, I'll be adding an additional Helix.

 

Is it worth the money?  That's up to you but for me, knowing what I know now, I would have felt totally justified paying considerably more.   

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remember the transition from BETA -VHS - VCD - DVD- BLU RAY???

 

let's say HD is DVD and Helix Is Blu Ray 3D!(special edition)

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Dang it.. you were all supposed to say that it was just OK and that it wasn't any better than the HD500X ;)

 

Looks like I'll need to start saving my pennies. I should probably go to the local music store and try it out... but that could be "entering the lion's den" as they say.

 

Thanks for the feedback.

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........ I should probably go to the local music store and try it out....

Bring your chequebook (or equivalent in today's terms).

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Dang it.. you were all supposed to say that it was just OK and that it wasn't any better than the HD500X ;)

 

"It's just OK and it isn't any better than the HD500x"..........said no one ever. :-)

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Hey all,

 

I'm looking to hear from people who have made the transition from the HD500X to the Helix. Is it really that much of a game changer for you? For the tones you can get?

 

I'm a happy HD500X user, who has had his HD500X (and a set of Alto TS110s) for about just about 2 years. I'm past the "endless tweaking" stage that many have talked about - although I didn't have too much trouble with it - and have a good set of core tones. But I must admit... the Helix (esp. with the 2.x updates) looks to be really something amazing.

 

So... given all you know and your experience... is it really worth the time/money to go Helix?

 

Inquiring minds want to know!

 

I was in the same position you are in and upgraded to Helix back in March.  I was very happy with the tone of my HD500.  
 
The approach I took when I first got Helix was to recreate my signal path I had been using in HD and to be honest the tone was better, but it wasn't "night and day".  Yet.  
 
Even if I had stayed on that level tone wise, the increased number of useable effects per patch, flexibility, routing, and options were worth the price of admission.  And that was before firmware 2.x and snapshots.  Now it's on a whole other level. 
 
I did find though that after a little bit of tweaking and building up some presets from scratch rather than just basically recreating my old patch from the HD I can say that I'm getting tones that are an order of magnitude greater than I did on the HD.  Now that I'm learned a few small tricks like which mic's and cab's I like getting amazing tone is SO simple and really is better than what I was getting from the HD, no question.  
 
Now I can't image playing without Helix.  I feel like it's as much an instrument as my guitar is.  I am absolutely in love with this thing!!  
 
So I hope that helps.  I recommend buying it from a place that has a return policy just in case.  But I don't think you'll have any second thoughts about switching. 
 
BTW, here's a clip I did like the 2nd day I had it comparing it to the HD.  You can hear in the clip that it's pretty close. 
 
 
If you also want to check out my YouTube channel you can hear examples of me using Helix and I think it stands out now how much better the tone is.  
 

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I am definitely happy I upgraded, all the amp sounds were instantly recognizably more "authentic"

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Dang it.. you were all supposed to say that it was just OK and that it wasn't any better than the HD500X ;)

 

Looks like I'll need to start saving my pennies. I should probably go to the local music store and try it out... but that could be "entering the lion's den" as they say.

 

Thanks for the feedback.

 

Just order one from Sweetwater! Snag it on the 36 month financing credit if you can swing it - that promo is on 'till 10/24.

The 36 equal payments comes to about $42/month for the floor Helix..

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Now if we can get that same L6-Link integration with Helix and the DT amps (that the HD series had) , most of the "other" arguments over upgrading from their HD's should/will go poof...

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I had the FloorPod Plus then the HD500X.  The Helix does take some learning but the Forum here and other blogs have so much information I can't imagine someone taking the several months it took me to final say "Nice!"  This week I discovered a few tricks and in less than 2 days I revamped my presets.  The IR ability was a game changer for me.  Anyway, save those pennys and prepare for a nice upgrade.

 

Dennis

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I'd been using my Pod HD500 with my Line 6 DT-25 combo via Line 6 LINK and was pretty pleased with how they sounded together. But when the leader of one of the two bands I play with consistently decided that he didn't want amplifiers onstage anymore and we'd all use in-ear monitors and go direct to the board, I was not happy with the HD500, not within that format. I had to grin and bear it for a couple of years, but it wasn't easy; just didn't dig my tones much at all. It's night and day between it and Helix; I'm actually loving what I hear in my in-ears now. Definitely worth every penny!

 

I went with the Sweetwater 36 month financing thing too (they do that for limited time frames a couple of times a year). I wasn't in a position to just drop $1,500, so that made it doable. I'd recommend jumping on that deal while you can!

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Just order one from Sweetwater! Snag it on the 36 month financing credit if you can swing it - that promo is on 'till 10/24.

The 36 equal payments comes to about $42/month for the floor Helix..

 

Heheh.. you're doing your best to convince me aren't you ;) Next year... first my trip to NZ, then new car (not as fun as a Helix, but much more necessary).. then I can go after the Helix.

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