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twystedriffs

Helix into amps question

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So I am running my helix into 2 crate powerblocks, one with a 2x12,the other a 4x12. Amp level all the way up, eqs at 50, and the amp gain at 25%, just enough for volume. I am finding amp models alone sound much better and louder than amp/cabs or with a cab. Am i missing sonething here? Even when i crank the cab volume, it just doesnt come close to the volume and tone as the amp model by itself.. before i make too many patches, just wanted some opinions. Should i run the amp differently?

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So you are running helix into the amp, and then into a 2x12 cabinet, and a 4x12 cabinet? And then you are turning on cabs inside Helix too? The amp models alone should sound better if thats what you are doing. Maybe I didnt understand, Please explain your signal path again...?

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It sounds like you're running basically into a power amp with a traditional guitar cab from the Helix, so it makes sense that if you have a modeled amp and a cab in your signal path it's not going to sound right.

 

Ultimately you have a physical cab already and by the description you've given they're simple traditional guitar cabinets with the normal limitations in terms of range that a guitar cabs have (i.e.  NOT FRFR).  You would notice something completely different if you were going into a FRFR speaker without cab emulation.  It would sound WAY too harsh.  FRFR speakers depend on the cabinet emulations to model the sound before they get them.  What you're ending up with is an amp, a cabinet model, going into a physical cabinet...i.e. a cabinet going into a cabinet.

 

In essence in this arrangement you can make use of all the amp models, but you would be limited to the physical cabs you have.  The other issue is, without the modeled cabs in the signal chain, your direct output to the PA is going to sound very harsh.  You'd be better off just mic'ing the cabs you're got.

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Yeah, if your guitar cabs have traditional guitar speakers, Helix amp models without cabs or IR's will probably sound better.  Your physical cabs replace the modeled ones logically.

 

I also run a Crate Powerblock into one 2x12 V30 cab with Helix amp models, no cab blocks or IR's.  

 

Now you can split the signal right at the end for XLR to the PA and put a cab block or IR in that.

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The last L6 product I bought was a Flextone III Plus but I already had a POD II. I also have a Crate Powerblock and run it through an Emi Texas Heat speaker mounted in a tweed deluxe cab, One day I hooked the POD up into the line in of the PB and WOW... I was blown away. It absolutely killed the Flextone. I can imagine how good the Helix sounds through two Powerblocks. I'm very tempted. I also have a Mesa Mark V and can imagine it would be a dream with it once I got it figured out...

Let me say, I got here after spending time checking out the AMPLIFi 150 and decided against it after all the sketchy reviews (I do not use iTunes but I do use an iPhone 6s and just got iOS 10... so nah...). It seems to me that L6 has moved past the AMPLIFi to the Helix and the Firehawk 1500. They are still selling the AMPLIFi though, I think they should either make it work right or pull it. I cannot get a straight answer about if it only works with iTunes or for that matter if it works at all... especially now, with iOS 10.

Anyway... maybe a Helix is in my future. I do have a Studiocat DAW... it could serve me well.

Doing the comparison video test I found that, to my ears, the Helix does not have quite the sparkle and high end of the original amps... close though.

 

I do like the Powerblock, I think everyone should have one (or two). I am glad I came here to read about the Helix after all the angry posts about the AMPLIFi, I am surprised that they still sell it.

 

Julien

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OH... are you running into the input of the Powerblocks? Try running in to the line in on the back (or the loop, I forget) Then the controls on the PB will be disabled and the Helix (POD) will control everything.

 

J

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I posted this on other threads, but the line in on the Crate Powerblocks DO HAVE A CAB SIM on them, just like the schematics in the CPB manual show.  I run 1/4" stereo out of the Helix Phones jack, y splitter to L/R male RCA into the CD Inputs of the Crate Powerblock, then into a Mesa 2x12.  No Helix Cabs/IR's on that path.  There is much more clarity on the CPB CD inputs. You can definitely hear it when you compare CD Inputs with the Line inputs.

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Even if I turn off the cab and IR, still not getting a good sound going into the effects return of my Boogie MKIV powering a recto 4x12 (I had an AX8 and it sounded AMAZING this way..)   What am I missing here??  I prefer cab sims (when going direct) that are V30 4x12, so why is it not working??  ..or should I say not sounding good.  I have seen others on youtube do this and sounds awesome (just watched  aguy plug into the effects return of a 5150III50w head and cab and it sounded ferocious!!  (He didn't specify his settings)  So I know it can be done, but I feel like Im missing something..

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Even if I turn off the cab and IR, still not getting a good sound going into the effects return of my Boogie MKIV powering a recto 4x12 (I had an AX8 and it sounded AMAZING this way..)   What am I missing here??  I prefer cab sims (when going direct) that are V30 4x12, so why is it not working??  ..or should I say not sounding good.  I have seen others on youtube do this and sounds awesome (just watched  aguy plug into the effects return of a 5150III50w head and cab and it sounded ferocious!!  (He didn't specify his settings)  So I know it can be done, but I feel like Im missing something..

Does your amp require an instrument or line level signal, and which are you sending to it? 

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Got it... Tried some preamp as well as amp models that work "OK".. need further tweeking.. I know it isn't the Helix's strong point.. I was actually able to get some pretty stellar sounds today...

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Got it... Tried some preamp as well as amp models that work "OK".. need further tweeking.. I know it isn't the Helix's strong point.. I was actually able to get some pretty stellar sounds today...

Actually, it is the Helix's strong point. It is just not "plug in and sound awesome" in terms of getting there. It is a "universal" piece of equipment with lots of combinations of parameter choices. You can get everything from clean jazz to twangy country to full on skull crushing metal. It only makes sense that it will take some time in tweaking to get what you are looking for. 

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