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Hi All - Anyone tried a fryette power station with a Helix?

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Looking to get a neutral power amp (tube) for my helix and was thinking Fryette power station.

 

any thoughts or recommendations

 

Thanks

 

Andrew

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Be hard pressed to find a bad power amp these days tube or not. While it would seems that a tube power amp might be cool, I changed my tune on that after some research as one does not really want the power amp tubes adding their "reactence" to the component modeling which already takes into account the power amp section. You can ask L6 but I think they suggest you do not use a tube power amp for best possible modeling results. 

You could just use preamp models but in general I think the full amp sounds better.

In my experience w modeler units just about any basic power amp works just fine I have used a few different models. Right now I like my ART SLA-1 it does the job very well, clean, quiet, has its own cooling fan, perfect wattage for my main cab rig. Studio quality monitor amp and did not kill on the cost, are there better ones, sure, but is it really adding much if anything to the sound quality for the expense?

 

I also have some class D powered EV 15"'s so I have a range of FRFR and high wattage guitar speakers. A lot of stuff is Class D these days, seems OK, huge power capability in a small amplifier sound wise I cannot really tell a difference. Only power amp I was not real happy with was a Behringer Nuke, it is Class D got that as a low cost get in a hurry fix, was OK but I am not a big fan of that brand,

The SLA-1 just so much a better amp. Tube power amps are nice but not sure they are really needed with what the Helix can do. Besides having to buy tubes again and hope the "matched set" does not have bad ones, plus many tube power amps have preamp tubes in them as well and those are a often bad despite claims of binned and tested. Personally I am glad to not have to deal with them anymore and the maintenance. 

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Try Helix full amp models (not preamps) 1/4" out into the Power Amp In of a Line 6 Spider Valve with no Helix Cabs/IR's to that path. You can split the path at the end to XLR for PA, monitors, headphones, etc. I'm running it into a Mesa 2x12 V30 cab, which V30's are what the SV's were designed for.

 

WickedFinger has some nice write ups above and in other threads about high end, flatter, more neutral guitar speakers such as EV, Eminence, etc. that you may be able to use Helix and cab models/IR's with.  But Helix cab models/IR's sound like poo through a real V30, and probably other traditional Celestions.  I haven't tried them though as I have always had and love V30 speakers.  Plenty of variety in the Helix amp models without even getting into cab models/IR's.

I wanted a Fryette Power station for a while too. But I came across a good deal on a used Line 6 Spider Valve MKII head. I believe this was Bogner's neutral tube concept for amp modelling, similar to Fryette Powerstation concept, but without the amp attenuator features and with twice headroom at 100W (keeps the power tubes cleaner/neutral and out of distortion/coloration). You could always look for a 40W SV 112 combo if you want something portable. I'm not sure that I would go with a 40W 212 as the tubes may get into distortion.  There are way more of these on the market and you will save a few hundred. If you don't like it and want to go for the Fryette or something else, you can always get your money back out of it. Prices are low and pretty stable.

Caution: Personal opinion flood ahead...This is the absolute best sound and feel I've gotten with Helix, bar none. It's way better than anything I can get with any configuration of my Line 6 DT50 or L2m. Better than solid state into the V30 cab. Better than Helix preamp models into the effects return of my Mesa amps (4CM). Better than Helix with cab models/IR's to computer monitors, headphones, or PA. I think Helix+SV is giving me the best sounding, most satisfying guitar tones I have ever had. I have a Mesa Mark V, Triple Rec, Stiletto, Triaxis and Marshall JMP-1/EL34 100/100, and have had just about every Pod version.

It was originally designed with Spider III amp models, then Spider IV with the MKII version, but the manual recommends plugging the Pod X3 into the Power Amp In jack. Obviously Helix is generations better than X3, and I really think that the SV power section was ahead of its time.

I have run the SV Preamp Out 1/4" into Helix and some cab models and verified that these were full pre/power amp models in the SV. So Helix full amp models into the Power Amp In align with the SV's original intended usage.

I would love for Line 6/Bogner to put the 6L6 Spider Valve power section with no amp models (optimized for Helix of course), in a small format that would fit into the front compartment of the Helix backpack, similar to the Fryette Power Station. Stereo would 1up the Fryette. I bet they could do it for $499 or less.

Here is a pretty good Bogner interview about the Spider Valve and his goals with it.



Also check out the Fryette Modeling Workshop video series. In episode II Eleven Rack.  Steven goes deep into the physics of low impedance solid state amps vs. high impedance tube amps and the difference in the way the interact with guitar cabs. This is something you can hear a little and feel a lot.

 

The 50W stereo/100W mono LXii "FRFR mode" may be similar to the mono 50W Power Station in flatness and neutrality (minus the amp power load and attenuation) judging from the Fryette descriptions of each and videos online, but I haven't seen that stated anywhere.  

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I always use full amp models either as the one model or the amp with a separate cab or IR, always sounds the best. I have tried using preamp models but not as full and the depth of the power amp modeling. You can artfully use preamp models as boost into other models. One of my programming tips is to add in a MIC tube preamp model set to line impedance full at 10 and the gain around 4 to be clean but imparts some tube modeling artifact chime (not noise) to any amp model, but recommend one try this on your next preset design. Just adds a little "tubish" goodness to the tone. An easy miss as who would look at the MIC preamp model when designing a preset. I ran across it from someone and it was a damn good tip. I pass it on to those who read. 

My thoughts on using preamp models were the aspect of using a tube power amp which is going to add its own response characteristic into the sound. I recommend solid state power amps, there are a lot of choices and it is easy to get just too many watts. You have to make sure your ohms out are working with the speakers you are using and the over all RMS watts is comparable to the speaker combined (series/parallel) cab RMS. Chap above is right about V30s, loved them with my prior tube head but with the modeler, have to go more high end if you want the best sound. I reloaded my 4x12 cab that had V30s to a hard stereo wired load with Eminence Man O War 12s which are 120watt speakers and man do they sound good. I also have a pair of EV 15" FRFR which part of the easier mode of them is they are self powered with a Class D 400 watt internal each. 

Not a fan of the POD 4CM thing myself, depends on the speaker config the amp has but in general lower end guitar speakers just do not do well. The Helix is a different animal then what most of use experienced with the POD so the use of good speakers or FRFR became even more important.

 

As far as a power amp, there are a lot of options out there and almost none are bad choices as theory wise they just need to reproduce what they are given. So asking about tube power amps, I think Line 6 would agree you do not need one. The Helix kicks major "t rump" no matter what you do, thoughts are just on what might be more optimal. 

Like I mentioned it is easy to get too many watts in a power amp these days, the speakers have to be able to handle it. My SLA-1 is like 100 watts a side into each a pair of Eminence rated combined at 240watts ea side. I seldom run the amp up more than half outside a band thing, And they can reproduce well what is thrown at them. They can do from 70Hz to 5.5kHz before starting their roll off slope so they are well able to range the guitar spectrum. I like them the best on my rigs. The 15" EV's are massive but really do not need all that low end for the guitar I had them for my guitar synth which was a different animal. The guitar also does not manifest ultra high end so all that headroom is nice but just not being used. I also prefer the single 12" for more punch and power not having the sound split in a cross over circuit. What is important for me in my rigs is the wattage headroom, the clarity and ability to generate lows and a spectrum of sound. Those days of using low wattage guitar amps for clipping and no bass just do not do well with a modeler. 

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Definitely good points above using solid state amps and full range speakers if you want to use Helix cab models or IR's.

 

If you want to use a tradional guitar cab/speakers instead of modeled cabs, I would go with the neutral tube route per your OP.

 

There are one or two Fryette Power Station users here on the forum. Maybe they will chime in.

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Hey I don't post here so much , but I don't use a Freyette powerstation ... I use two and a couple of orange 1x12s loaded with neo creambacks. Great stereo rig and very versatile

When I'm out with the PA I use a Marshall 9100 instead of the freyettes (only because I have one racked in the same box as the mixer

Sounds equally as good... I run 1/4 to the Freyettes. Full amp models no cab sims. For FOH I have a split just before the end with a dual cab and an EQ block. Here is a pic of my patch. Sorry I can't embed with the iPad

 

https://flic.kr/p/JXAJ95

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Oh and this (before I changed the Fryettes for the Marshall)

https://flic.kr/p/HTQskg

 Oh wow.  Interesting.  So you think the Marshall 9100 sound is equally as good as the Fryette PS's.  The Marshall 9100's have 5881 tubes in them, right?

 

I have a Marshall EL34 100/100 but have not dug it out and tried it with Helix. I assumed it would color the sound to much for full amp models.  The L6 Spider Valve has been great.  I'll have to give the Marshall 100/100 a shot one of these days though.

 

Fryette should be coming out with the "FRFR" 1U 2x50W 100W mono LXii soon, but it's $1400.  It seems that has been in the works for years though.

 

Nice rig BTW :)

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I just remembered that my Randall RM100 head was very neutral with Helix as well.  I could run full amp models with it and Helix could control the channel switching via MIDI direct to the head.  I would suspect any of the Randall MTS amps or combos would work well.  It was a pretty cool 4CM setup, and maybe one of the few that you could actually run full Helix amp models with little coloration.

 

I sold soon after I got Helix but probably should have kept it.  Ah well, it's worth maintaining the wife/gear balance :)

 

But I think at $699 for the Fryette Power Station that's a good way to go unless you want to spring for the $1400 50W stereo/100W mono  LXii.  I get about everything I can imagine out of just Helix into a power amp.  

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Looking to get a neutral power amp (tube) for my helix and was thinking Fryette power station.

 

any thoughts or recommendations

 

Thanks

 

Andrew

 

Not yet, but soon! I picked up a Friedman 50w tube amp recently, and I pre-ordered a Fryette PS2 from Musicians Friend a few days ago; should have it in a couple of weeks. Primary use for the PS2 is with the Friedman (it's the 50 watt Runt combo 1x12) but having finally wrapped my head around how the PS2 works, I am really pysched to run Helix into it and see how Helix through that PS2 6L6 50w power amp sounds through my DT25 extension cab! For the moment, doing a dual tone with my other pedalboard going through the Friedman in the center, and the Helix stereo into a pair of L3m on either side of the Friedman. 

 

I have been occasionally using Helix with my DT25 combo at rehearsal, and it sounds decent; but the EL84's definitely color the sound; though you can dial it in pretty well when you start tweaking with the topo settings. Certainly a nice change in sound from running only FRFR!

 

Anyway, the PS2 has 2x6L6 tubes, and it is designed to be as "neutral" a tube power amp as possible. So, it really should not color the Helix too much; but I don't know yet - but I imagine it's quite likely that Helix will sound stellar with the PS2! I think I will just need better cab options more than anything. Will report back once I have had a chance to give it a go~

 

Cheers!

 

p.s. - side note on the Helix+pedalboard+Friedman+L3 rig; getting some cool things with them together! I have been doing my regular pedalboard 4CM with the Friedman, using one G70 wireless receiver. I then run the XLR out from the Friedman to the Helix XLR in, and record USB 8. I have a second G70 wireless (receiver) connected to the Helix, so I can also get the dry guitar on USB7, and the stereo Helix tones on USB 1/2. I pump some Superior Drummer through the Helix, get the Helix volume dialed in with the drums, turn up the Friedman - and the super cool key to all of that, is that the G70 transmitter simultaneously transmits with no latency and no ground loop and no buzz, no hum or noise and no dropouts - to both receivers.

 

This lets me record everything to it's own track; I can turn up or down the drums in relation to the Helix patch; and then use the Helix master volume to balance the levels coming from the L3 speakers with the Friedman. I use the Helix tuner; and if I want to only hear Friedman and drums, can send Helix guitar tones to USB1/2 only and mute them through the L6link send. 

 

I can even monitor the Friedman XLR out if I want to see how it sounds isolated; when you are setting the tuner, you can choose pretty much anything to be the tuner source, including the mic/xlr input, and you just unmute the signal. Make sure it sounds good with the Helix mic gain level; then go back to muting that signal for 'record only' purposes.

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I broke down and pre ordered a PS2 from MF also. I'll give it a go and return it if I like the Spider Valve better. If I keep the PS2, I'll probably sell the Spider Valve and DT50.

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I'm getting ready to try it with an ISP stealth power amp into Orange 412 and EVH 212 5150 III.

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I broke down and pre ordered a PS2 from MF also. I'll give it a go and return it if I like the Spider Valve better. If I keep the PS2, I'll probably sell the Spider Valve and DT50.

 

So did you sell the PS2 or keep it? 

 

I thought maybe adding something like this, only with a 1960a stereo cab.

 

kw7rscz.jpg

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So did you sell the PS2 or keep it?

 

I thought maybe adding something like this, only with a 1960a stereo cab.

 

kw7rscz.jpg

It was backordered and the date kept getting pushed back then, so I ended up cancelling the order.

 

Fyi, it is mono. You would need two for stereo or go for the Fryette LXII 1U stereo amp.

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True its mono, but does have two speaker out jacks! My 1960a Stereo cab wont know the difference  :P

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