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Verne-Bunsen

Fizz/Static/Blown-speaker-sound across the board?

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Hello all,

I kind of feel like I'm going batty, but I've had some other ears on this and all seem to agree it ain't quite right. I'm interested in your thoughts. I finding that, regardless of what guitar/pickups/amp/cab I'm using, any tone with any amount of gain has this nasty buzzy sound that I just can't get away from. I'd almost liken it to having a blown speaker, but I'm hearing it in my Atomic CLR (via mono XLR out), in my headphones, and in recordings. If I use the input pad without altering other parameters, the noise is diminished by virtue of the weaker signal cleaning things up. If I tweak things to get the tone back were it was then the noise is right back. I've listened to recordings I made a few months ago and I didn't hear this, but now it's all I hear. I take great care to prevent clipping within a patch, but without any onboard monitoring it's tough to know for sure.

**Unfounded speculation alert** A couple of weeks ago I was editing a few patches on the computer and the Helix locked up solid. I had to cycle the power to get it back, and when it re-started it went through the "Re-building presets" sequence. Nothing was instantly evident, but it seems like my troubles started popping up about then and things haven't been quite right since. I dunno, just throwing it out there. **End unfounded speculation**

By way of troubleshooting I've reset the Globals (footswitch 5&6), re-built all presets (footswitch 10&11), and evaluated the levels of every block in my patches using the input meter of my DAW to ensure there wasn't a bunch of gain accumulating. A full factory reset is probably my next move, although I'm not sure how to go about it. Is that footswitch 9&10? I've changed guitars and I've changed cables, I hear it in all of my output devices, so that leaves me looking at the machine. The machine, or my own sanity.

For your consideration, I've recorded a few samples of it. I set up super simple patches for this purpose, just amp and cab (using the stock cabs), save for the Strat -> Bassman which has a Tube Screamer with the gain on 0 and the level on 10. In all cases, Helix was hitting the input of my DAW (Logic Pro X) at about -10 db. Global low/hi cuts at 63Hz and 10kHz. Firmware 2.0. Nothing fancy, a couple of single notes and a couple of chords allowed to ring.

 

Global Low cut:63 Hz

Global Hi cut: 10 kHz

Input Pad: OFF

Input: Multi

Impedance: Auto

Les Paul with P90s

Stone Age 185 (D 3.4, B 5.0, M 5.2, T 5.1, P 3.0, CV 8.5, M 10, S 5.0, H 5.0, R 5.0, B 7.0, BX 5.0)

1X12 Field Coil (57 Dyn, 1", LC Off, HC Off, ER 0%, Level 0)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j3bj7ay7otad2sn/P90%20-%20EH185.mp3?dl=0

Les Paul with HBs

Brit 2204 (D 2.2, B 1.7, M 8.9, T 8.7, P 6.0, CV 8.0, M 7.0, S 5.0, H 5.0, R 5.0, B 7.0, BX 5.0)

4x12 Greenback 25 (57 Dyn, 1", LC Off, HC Off, ER 0%, Level 0)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hqo3x5ijp6p2iov/HB%20-%20JCM800.mp3?dl=0

Strat with Singles

Scream 808 (G 0.0, T 6.5, L 10)

Tweed Blues Brt (D 5.9, B 5.1, M 6.0, T 5.7, P 3.4, CV 7.6, M 10, S 5.0, Hum 5.0, R 5.0, B 7.3, BX 5.0)

4x10 Tweed P10R (160 Rib, 2", LC Off, HC Off, ER 0%, L 0.0)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/wti11vm1w5jg6cw/Strat%20-%20TS%20-%20Bassman.mp3?dl=0

For what it's worth, I hear it on the stock presets and even on the Fremen presets now, can't recall that being the case when I loaded them. I'd be really interested to hear any ideas you folks might have. Thanks for taking the time to listen!

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Have you lost your global EQ settings?

Set a bottom cut around 120hz and a top cut around 6K. If it suddenly sounds better, play with your global EQ to taste! A gentle bell curve is ( but very steep at top and bottom numbers) is what you want to see.

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Global low/hi cuts are at 60Hz and 10kHz, eq is orherwise flat. I can bring the hi cut all the way down without it cleaning the sound up any. I haven't messed with the moving the low cut to extremes, that'll be something to check out. Thanks for the input!

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Thanks for taking the time to chime in, Glenn! I have tried the input pad, it's actually what prompted the thread I started a few days ago asking questions about it. Initially it seemed that it helped, but it was just the weaker input signal "cleaning up" the amp, as rolling the guitar volume off would. If I adjust the amp parameters to get the amount of drive back where I want it, the noise is right back with it. Going straight through the Helix, no blocks, there is no noise/distortion on the signal. This is true with the pad "OFF" or "ON", with low output Strat singles or with humbuckers. Between those two things, I'm thinking that is a good indication that input clipping is not the culprit?

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Hmmm, What's your input set too? Guitar? Multi? and mess with the ohm input setting too. I think I leave mine on Auto.

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I'd go along with something in the input portion of the signal chain.  Have you tried changing input to Auto out of curiousity?  Personally I'd start with a standard configuration of the input block and try running the guitars through a clean amp model like a twin with no gain and see if still shows up.  If it still shows up in that situation I'd start believing there's something out of what on the Helix itself.

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Hmmm, What's your input set too? Guitar? Multi? and mess with the ohm input setting too. I think I leave mine on Auto.

 

 

I'd go along with something in the input portion of the signal chain.  Have you tried changing input to Auto out of curiousity?  Personally I'd start with a standard configuration of the input block and try running the guitars through a clean amp model like a twin with no gain and see if still shows up.  If it still shows up in that situation I'd start believing there's something out of what on the Helix itself.

 

 

Input is on "Multi" and impedance is on "Auto". I will sometimes set impedance to 136k for humbuckers into a clean Fender-y amp, because that sounds nice, but generally speaking it's on auto. It's on auto for all of the clips attached to the first post. 

 

Sparkly clean it does without a problem. As soon as I introduce any dirt, whether by changing amp parameters or by putting a boost upstream, the bad distortion (?) comes in with the good. I use the input meter of my DAW as a reference and when I crank something for gain, I lower something else to keep the overall signal level consistent. So no run-away accumulation of gain throughout the patch. The fact that it can do clean without generating this noise is what makes me think the input is solid: if that was the root, the noise would be all over everything, clean, dirty, raw. At least in my mind that's how it would work. 

 

I'll try to get an opportunity to record a couple of clean sounds as reference points tonight. 

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 I experience something similar with high output hum-buckers into over driven amps only.  I have been living with it, but there is a fuzzy prevalent presence that is there.  Ive done exactly what you have done to minimize it... and have settled on no pad (same thing... by the time I get the drive where i want it the sound is back),  auto impedance typically selected, and i have knocked the Lows and highs out... which has effectively tamed the bulk of it.  The rest (unfortunately) I have been stuck with.  I would love to compare my unit to someone's who is not experiencing any of this...and "critically" listen to see if there is a difference.  I can be pretty damn picky about my sound. Something else that has helped quite a bit... going wireless... crazy, but it has acted the same way as shielding works in a high emi environment.

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In these samples I've used the stock cab associated with the amp. So the 1x12 Field Coil with the EH185, the Jensen loaded 4x10 with the Bassman, and a 4x12 with 25w Greenbacks for the JCM800. I had previously been using Ownhammer and Red Wirez IRs, but I decided to eliminate them when I started troubleshooting these issues.

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I'll post the parameters in those patches a little later. If someone were inclined to dial them up I'd be interested to know what their results were...

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I remember the Field Coil being one of the amps that has some low-level duration at any volume level, like there Mesas clean channel, as talked about in the thread about that. Sort of doubt that's what you mean, but try the Twin or HiWatt for instance, memory says those are both pretty clean at low gain.

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Yeah, I've been following that thread too. I was hoping to see an audio sample pop up there so I could compare noises. Hard saying not knowing, but I think I'm up against something different here. It really seems like something has changed in the sounds that I'm getting.

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I experience something similar with high output hum-buckers into over driven amps only. I have been living with it, but there is a fuzzy prevalent presence that is there. Ive done exactly what you have done to minimize it... and have settled on no pad (same thing... by the time I get the drive where i want it the sound is back), auto impedance typically selected, and i have knocked the Lows and highs out... which has effectively tamed the bulk of it. The rest (unfortunately) I have been stuck with. I would love to compare my unit to someone's who is not experiencing any of this...and "critically" listen to see if there is a difference. I can be pretty damn picky about my sound. Something else that has helped quite a bit... going wireless... crazy, but it has acted the same way as shielding works in a high emi environment.

I totally missed this post earlier, interesting to know that you're getting this too! Not sure if it's good to know or bad to know, but certainly it's interesting. I've been thinking about investing in a G10 wireless system, perhaps now is the time...

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I went back to the original post and entered the parameters for the blocks involved. I set up a similarly simple patch for my Les Paul into a Fender Twin, as proposed by DunedinDragon and found that I was getting the same noise on that. Single coils didn't do it in this instance, but the HBs sure did. The Input Pad actually brought the noise out more, like decreasing the signal/noise ratio or something, which I found interesting. Not so much in the single notes, although it's there, but very distinct in the chords. There's a clip with it off, then a clip with it on.

 

Global Low cut: 63 Hz

Global Hi cut: 10 kHz

Input: Multi

Impedance: Auto

 

Les Paul with Humbuckers

US Double Vib (D 4.0, B 3.8, M 7.0, T 5.8, P 2.5, CV 8.2, M 10, S 5.0, H 5.0, R 3.3, B 6.0, BX 5.0)

2x12 Double C12N (57 Dyn, 3", LC Off, HC Off, ER 0%, L 0.0)

 

Input Pad OFF

https://www.dropbox.com/s/n7p4205wt8i18lh/HB%20-%20Twin.mp3?dl=0

 

Input Pad ON (Output block level +3dB to make up)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dav5xla5v12yla9/HB%20-%20Twin%20-Pad-.mp3?dl=0

 

I could clean the noise up completely by reducing the amp drive to 2.0, but it's just the same behaviour I'm getting in other amps: clean can be clean, but pushing the amp even a little comes with this noise.

 

A few data points that I found worth capturing and reporting:

Straight through the Helix, no blocks, input pad OFF, the pickups are hitting my DAW as follows:

 

Humbuckers: -12db

P90s: -16db

Strat: -20db

 

The pad drops the signal by about 6db.

 

All of the patches in these clips, and all of my patches in general, are set to come in between -12 and -10db. The signal doesn't get much hotter than that anywhere in the signal path.

 

For grins, I loaded a blank preset and started adding gain blocks until I could hear Helix begin to clip. It clipped right about the same time that my DAW input meter hit 0db. Since I don't ever approach that in my patches, I'm led to believe that's not what's going on. However, the clipping did sound similar to what I'm hearing.

 

I took the patch with the P90 Paul into the Stone Age (from the original post) and set out to see how much gain I had to drop to clean up the noise. I turned the pad on and used an EQ block to start dropping level in front of the amp and it took the pad combined with -10db to do it. Bringing the amp drive up a bit to get the character back brought the noise right back in.

 

So, I haven't figured anything out, but I have done some fairly solid fact-finding and now I'm going to go to bed and see if I can dream up the answer.

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I appreciate that perspective, "sanity check" was one goal of this thread. It is possible to get so lost in the minutia with these devices that the bigger picture gets obscured. So, with that, I'll ask this with 0% snark and 100% genuine curiosity: If you listen to the clips that I've posted, particularly the P90s into the Stone Age and the Humbuckers into the Twin (I think those two best display what I'm looking at), do you hear the expected sounds of a mic'd amp or do you hear something different? For my part, I hear something problematic. Most of what I play these days is rooted in jazz and blues and find this additional noise/distortion/artifacting/ whathaveyou to be very distracting and unpleasant. Nothing akin to the usual warts of mic'ing an amp. I'm good with genuine, good with over-accurate, but I'm experiencing something else I think. Thank you for your input!

 

I'll re-post those clips here for convenience if you'd like to listen to them:

 

P-90s into Stone Age

https://www.dropbox.com/s/j3bj7ay7otad2sn/P90%20-%20EH185.mp3?dl=0

 

Humbuckers into Twin

(Input Pad OFF)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/n7p4205wt8i18lh/HB%20-%20Twin.mp3?dl=0

(Input Pad ON)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dav5xla5v12yla9/HB%20-%20Twin%20-Pad-.mp3?dl=0

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Hi,

 

i had a similar problem during my first days owning the Helix.

 

Sometimes, the preset sounds where OK (for preset sounds), but sometimes, after changing a patch it seemed like all the cab sims where eliminated from every single patch. Every sound with at least a bit of overdrive or distortion was fizzy and noisy.

Sometimes it was OK again after powering the Helix down and up, sometimes a reset did help.

Since the last updates (i think it was 2.0) the problem was gone for me and never appeared again.

Normaly a certain patch with a certain input signal should shoud give the same output signal on every Helix in the world, but i think that's not always true. Lets hope that it's a software bug and not a hardware issue.

So it might be a issue with pad, global EQ, cab parameters, but it might be even this bug i had at the beginning.

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Hi,

 

i had a similar problem during my first days owning the Helix.

 

Sometimes, the preset sounds where OK (for preset sounds), but sometimes, after changing a patch it seemed like all the cab sims where eliminated from every single patch. Every sound with at least a bit of overdrive or distortion was fizzy and noisy.

Sometimes it was OK again after powering the Helix down and up, sometimes a reset did help.

Since the last updates (i think it was 2.0) the problem was gone for me and never appeared again.

Normaly a certain patch with a certain input signal should shoud give the same output signal on every Helix in the world, but i think that's not always true. Lets hope that it's a software bug and not a hardware issue.

So it might be a issue with pad, global EQ, cab parameters, but it might be even this bug i had at the beginning.

 

Interesting! Software bug is my hope too. I think I've done all of the troubleshooting and diagnosing that I can, so my next move will be to update (I'm on 2.00.0, never saw a reason to update to the last release but it now seems more and more prudent) and perform a full factory reset. I'll report back.

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I hear some distortion in your clips, certainly they are not clean sounds (not sure if this is wanted) ..

 

but the "crackle" on decay does not seem so excessive to me through my monitors system..

 

I have not Helix, but about from 2012 I use a HD500 which regarding the crackle noise behaves in a similar way (I think) with some amp models, I've also read about some of the Axe-Fx and Kemper owners who complain about the same problem ..

 

time ago I recorded a short jazz fragment using the Gibson EH-185 HD model and my Variax 700, if you pay attention you can hear a very subtle crackle here and there, but I like it, tamed to a certain extent favors expressiveness, a bit like when the voice becomes hoarse and dirty at certain moments .. link to the audio clip here: https://soundcloud.com/hurghanico/some-barney-things

 

The EH-185 is not an easy amp, tends to easily get dirty and must be regulated carefully, the fingers dynamic touch while using it is also important..

 

instead of recording separate notes and chords which may seem sterile heard alone, I suggest you try to play / record something that makes musical sense, and perhaps your impression will change.

 

Duly noted, thank you for your thorough feedback! Of course the ham-fisted notes and chords on the clips are just intended to showcase the phenomenon in question. The sound on your clip (great playing by the way!) is exactly what I'm looking for on that amp. And, rather ironically, Autum Leaves is what I've been playing with recently and it has been killing me as every time I chord I get the static/noise, which sounds to my ear not like natural amp break up. That I can get behind. But, all that said, I'm going to perform a reset of the device and see if it lingers and, pending any other revelations, if it is still there I guess I'll just have to refine my expectations and approach. Re-calibrate myself as it were.

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I noticed some similar low level distortion this past weekend.  I was most noticeable at low guitar volume - when a note is about decayed.  I did some troubleshooting as well - switching guitars, presets, global EQ, etc.  Mine also did a random preset rebuild a few days after installing 2.01 a few weeks back.  I powered down & back up and it seemed to have gone away.  But I'll be listening for it...

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So I performed the 2.01 update, did the FS 9&10 Global Reset, then did a FS 8, 9 & 12 reset, and really I'm not noticing that anything much has changed. I can still dial in nice cleans, but if I dig in to something or push an amp, I get a fizzy unnatural distortion. Not what registers to me as natural amp break up. So I'm kind of at a head scratching place. My ears and my brain are telling me something is amiss, something is happening that wasn't happening before, a month ago I was blown away by the tones I was getting and now I'm not so much. But other than "It ain't right!" I can't actually quantify a malfunction. So, until such time as a new data point emerges or I get something I can pursue, I'm going to roll with what I've got. Troubleshooting my rig has kind of taken over as my hobby for the last couple of weeks and I'm ready to get back to playing. I've learned a lot in the process, so that's always a good thing. I've got the Input Pad on, I'll play with the global and cab-specific hi and low cuts, and I'll make it the best I can. Thanks very much for all of the input on this thread, I'll keep it all in mind.

 

VB

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Verne-Bunsen -

 

I'm late to the thread, since I've just recently checked the forums about my problems. And I want to confirm you are not going batty!

 

I have your exact issue, using my American Deluxe Tele and Ibanez Talman Prestige. I can use stock patches or my own, to a PA or through headphones. In any case I get what sounds like digital clipping/distortion in patches with any reasonable preamp gain. Amps that in the "real world" get creamy as they overdrive produce this nasty noise on the Helix, and it really doesn't remove it when I mess with the the EQ - even if I get extreme and destroy the air and presence of the patch.

 

The only solution I have found is to run my Helix into the power amp of my Kustom Coupe '36 tube amp - defeating the amp/cab settings on the Helix. I know that kills off getting full range output, and it's the tube power amp and cab that are taming the bad noise.

 

Bad news - Sorry, I have no sage advise/help for your issue. But I would LOVE for Line6 to chime in with some input!

Good news - the Helix/Kustom combo sounds very good. I know that's like saying my really expensive FX sound great as long as you run them through an already great sounding amp.

 

So, overall I'm really disappointed with the the Helix. Frankly, all those incredibly cool features aren't worth it if I can't run it into a PA and get good tone. So, I've worked with this beastie for about 3 months and still go to every gig without it.

 

Sigh.

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MArnold, thanks for taking the time to post that! It's a bit reassuring to know that I'm not losing my mind, as I was starting to question that... At the same time, kind of a bummer to know that it's inherent in the system. I think what's happened here for me is that at some point, I heard it. And then "what is heard cannot be un-heard" kicked in and now it jumps out at me whenever I try to utilize moderate gain. And it's always there. I simply can't use broken-up-amp tones because it's covered with crackle and fizz to the point of distraction. I've been using the Input Pad, but not only does it not help the fizz, I don't like what it does to my single coil cleans. So I think I'm going to go back and take my chances with it off. I've been heading down the "subtractive EQ" path and haven't had any progress to speak of. I dunno. I'm going to try to make the best of it for now, but it's making it hard for me to really connect with what I'm doing. I haven't settled on "disappointed" yet, but certainly frustrated. I can still get really nice clean tones, so that's where I'm spending my time for now.

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My pleasure, Verne-Bunsen. I have question for the other Helix users. If you fire up a completely unedited Helix, use a stock preset with a Marshall JTM45 Amp and play a passive Strat or Tele single coil (bridge, neck, whatever) through it with your guitar volume dimed, does it sound OK? Even passable? Or do you hear a distinct digital clip/distortion. Play a few crunchy chords, dig in a little. Ice picks? Maybe I'm just old and hearing things. :o)

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Sorry for the late response to this thread - i've experienced a similar issue. Very slight 'fuzziness' around any - ANY - sound I use. Tried different guitars, cables, power sockets, headphones, studio monitors, all the same issue.

 

So... boot up Helix, select a patch, turn up the volume and there it is: with or without playing. When I do play a note, it lifts a little, and you can hear it on the decay. Interestingly, if I gate the patch, the 'background fuzziness' disappears, though I still experience the same issue when playing a note. Adjusting the input-z downwards helps reduce it, although that clearly fiddles with the tone as well, and doesn't entirely remove it.

 

It's been driving me bonkers as well because I can't get a properly clean clean sound without it there! Not so much of an issue when playing strong, high volume stuff, especially if there's some overdrive on it, as it tends to get masked.

 

Suggests software / modelling issue to me rather than any specific patch or an issue with my kit. 

 

Has anyone else found a solution? I haven't tried a factory reset yet...

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Sorry for the late response to this thread - i've experienced a similar issue. Very slight 'fuzziness' around any - ANY - sound I use. Tried different guitars, cables, power sockets, headphones, studio monitors, all the same issue.

 

So... boot up Helix, select a patch, turn up the volume and there it is: with or without playing. When I do play a note, it lifts a little, and you can hear it on the decay. Interestingly, if I gate the patch, the 'background fuzziness' disappears, though I still experience the same issue when playing a note. Adjusting the input-z downwards helps reduce it, although that clearly fiddles with the tone as well, and doesn't entirely remove it.

 

It's been driving me bonkers as well because I can't get a properly clean clean sound without it there! Not so much of an issue when playing strong, high volume stuff, especially if there's some overdrive on it, as it tends to get masked.

 

Suggests software / modelling issue to me rather than any specific patch or an issue with my kit. 

 

Has anyone else found a solution? I haven't tried a factory reset yet...

 

If you're hearing a noise when you aren't playing, that sounds like something else than what's being talked about in this post, as far as I can tell. Would you describe what you're hearing as a hiss, a buzz, or something else?

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Hi Phil

 

It's not a standard amp / white noise hiss, nor is it the buzz that my old HD500X used to suffer from when plugged into the computer. The best way I can describe it is a sort of crackly soft clipping sound. It is present whilst not playing - worse when gain stages are higher, as expected - but also it gets worse when i'm playing notes, and tracks with the notes I play... although it is masked by the guitar sound itself.

 

The reason I thought it similar to the OP problem is that - again - it's worse with higher gain stages, but disappears (only when not playing) with a gate. It also occurs through all outputs - headphones, 1/4" etc - so I wondered if the root of the problem was the same. If so, i'd take a potential solution over no solution!

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MArnold, thanks for taking the time to post that! It's a bit reassuring to know that I'm not losing my mind, as I was starting to question that... At the same time, kind of a bummer to know that it's inherent in the system. I think what's happened here for me is that at some point, I heard it. And then "what is heard cannot be un-heard" kicked in and now it jumps out at me whenever I try to utilize moderate gain. And it's always there. I simply can't use broken-up-amp tones because it's covered with crackle and fizz to the point of distraction. I've been using the Input Pad, but not only does it not help the fizz, I don't like what it does to my single coil cleans. So I think I'm going to go back and take my chances with it off. I've been heading down the "subtractive EQ" path and haven't had any progress to speak of. I dunno. I'm going to try to make the best of it for now, but it's making it hard for me to really connect with what I'm doing. I haven't settled on "disappointed" yet, but certainly frustrated. I can still get really nice clean tones, so that's where I'm spending my time for now.

 

Do any of the amp parameters (sag, hum, ripple, bias, biasX) have any effect on diminishing this?  I assume you have already tried swapping out cables and guitar to eliminate equipment issues as a possible cause.

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I don't think you are losing your mind.  I just posted this on another thread in here where somebody was complaining about dull muddy sounds:  I am actually having the opposite problem.  I have been loving this unit for months and now all of a sudden I can't get a usable clean tone out of it.  All of a sudden it is very, very brittle and fizzy.  It is like the cab sim is off and it is running direct into a mixer.  Or, like somehow part of the dry signal is clippig and running in a parallel flow.  I don't have the global EQ on, I have the low cut at 90 and high cut at 6.5 on the cab models.  I have even started fresh with new patches with just and amp/cab block and nothing else and it is still bad.  It is all high end fizz and low end but no warmth, no overtones or usable midrange. The only way i can warm it up is to turn the impedance to around 32K but then it just sounds like less fizz and high a dull high end.  I have tried on all my normal listening environments - headphones, studio monitors, PA and they all have the same obnoxious fizz to it.  The vox amps are particularly bad and it is even worse if I try any of my guitars with Seymour Duncan JB pickups.  It isn't just one guitar since my tele, which is already bright but it is now take your head off bright, my strat is a bit better than the tele but still bad, my 2 PRS and 2 Les Pauls are so bad that the neck pickups sound like really bright bridge pickups with zero warmth now.  The humbucker equipped guitars really bring in the fizz. I've had this unit since Feb and have loved it but the last 2 days I want to throw it in the driveway and drive over it.  I was messing with a patch the other night and was playing with the bias, hum, ripple, biasx settings and had set the hum to 0, bias high, biasx low, ripple low, and lowered the sag - just experimenting with tones.  It is now like it applied that to everything on the unit even though that isn't the case.  I am going to try a reset as well but this is very frustrating.  It would've sucked to show up at a gig, turn on the unit and have tones this bad....  I had to fire up the Orange Rockerverb tonight so I could practice with good tones again - until I got told to turn it down the kids were going to bed..  :(

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The question to ask is; what changed? 

The solution is to undo that change.

Seems it was the lockup a few weeks ago and the patch rebuild.

I'd save your patches and reflash the unit.

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BJ, I hit a similar issue without the lockup and patch rebuild.  I reflashed after this post last night and things are good again.  I couldn't undo the change since it was impacting every existing preset and every new preset created, etc.  There is no global setting to change to say make eveything sound bright and super fizzy other than extreme eq but that wasn't on..  It somehow got in a funky state - bug in there somewhere.  So, to the OP I would say try to reflash the bios again and reset the defaults.  That helped fix the issue for me.  I wish I knew why it got in this state but at least I am back to normal now. 

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Just to circle back round and provide a solution to my issue: I tried all of the following...

 

- Restoring to factory settings and reinstalling latest firmware again

- Trying different headphones and monitors

- Trying different cables

- Trying various different outputs, impedences, settings on the models itself... all no joy.

 

Solution? New instrument cable.

 

I had tried two different cables initially, but the same problem presented on both - I guess the shielding must be going on both of the originals. I hadn't noticed it on my acoustic guitars, or HD500X, or just assumed it was a quirk of the patches.

 

My advice here - look for the obvious answers before going nuts on the complex ones!

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Probably done this, but have you completely reloaded 2.01 firmware again and reset globals? Be sure to back up everything beforehand of course. 

Did that to mine the other day as really computers need a redo now and then. 

I get distorted clipping on cleans using my EMG LP if I do not roll it back but on high gains no issues. I do find some cabs have weird response and noise so the reload seems to have helped me. 

I did hear of someone getting crappy sounds and reset everything and it fixed it. Just resetting what is in the unit will not fix it. You have to redo the firmware install completely. First thing L6 is going to say is reload 2.01 if that doesn't fix it you have some eternal component failure. 

I assume as well you have the outputs 1/4 and XLR set to correct impedance. Also look for bad cable run, sometimes a cable can do weird stuff even if it looks OK externally. 

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I've been following the goings-on as this thread has continued, but haven't chimed back in myself in a while as I got called out of town and I've been trying to sort out my own thoughts on the matter before attempting to type them. I was away for a couple of weeks, but I'm back and working on things, and the short version is: Helix and I are getting along quite nicely these days.

 

The longer version: As mentioned earlier in the thread, I conducted a factory reset and updated to the latest firmware. I'd been on 2.0 and hadn't seen any reason to bother updating again till this. Initially, I didn't think that there had been any improvement, and that's what I reported. I wiped my presets and started over fresh and my opinion started changing, because I was getting sounds that I was quite happy with. One thing that I started doing that helped tremendously was assigning the high cut (and low cut, but this is mostly pertaining to the high cut....) in the cab blocks to Snapshots. Previously I had been hesitant to get very heavy handed with them because it would really suck the life out of my clean tones. By assigning them to Snapshots I'm able to leave them set generously for cleans and then tighten them up as necessary to combat fizz in dirty tones. That's been huge.

 

So my take away from this:

  • The factory reset and firmware update may well have helped, but I can't say that definitively. The process of things sounding better seemed to come on as subtly as the process of sounding "off". Odd, that...
  • Helix is my first modeling unit, and as such it's my first foray into such intense and precise tone tweaking. I think that my ear started cuing into things that I simply hadn't observed preciously. Having heard it, I couldn't "un-hear" it.
  • While a contentious topic, the high and low cuts are a tool to be used as needed, and assigning them to Snapshots allows one to adjust them to a given sound without sacrificing another.
I can't say that any of this will be on benefit to the others that have been chiming in with similar issues, but I'm glad that the thread is going and that the discussion is taking place. Hopefully we can all gain from it.

 

I've captured a couple of sound clips that I'll share here. Not so much to show off my playing or tone sculpting skills, but as a counterpoint to the sound clips I was putting up earlier in this thread. They all use Helix stock cabs and were recorded direct into Logic Pro with no post-tinkering. I'm pretty happy with what I'm getting!

 

This one is my P90 equipped Les Paul into the "Stone Age" EH-185, the same combination actually that set me on the path that ultimately led to me start this thread. I'm using it for dark jazz tone.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/n3rwbymdustvzbk/Autumn%20Leaves.mp3?dl=0

 

This is my Jazzmaster into the AC-30 Fawn, a nice crunchy tone.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/w89241tyioizp5m/Get%20Back.mp3?dl=0

 

THis is my Les Paul with Classic '57 Humbuckers into the JCM-800. It's about as dirty as I go. I recorded it a while back for the "clone this tone" thread that was going a while ago. I rather like it.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/w6tnxylqfyfklx3/JCM800%20Stock%20Cabs.mp3?dl=0

 

Thanks very much to all who chimed in to help me, and I hope some of this can go on to help someone else!

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To those whom have previously contributed to this thread:

 

If you have installed Firmware 2.20, do you feel the tones are Better? Same? Worse?

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I started this thread, and to go directly to answering the question: yes, Helix has gotten much better for me, and it did so long before 2.20. I attribute my issues to 45% user inexperience, 45% user neurosis, 10% Helix behaviours. Experience with the machine has taught me the importance of the Hi and Lo cuts, learning to utilize them was probably the single biggest thing in my learning curve. What I am calling the "neurosis" bit was big too. When I plug straight into a tube amp, I know going in that it's going to sound great and as a result I never really obsessed with my tube amp tones. They didn't require any obsessing. My Strat into my Blues Deluxe or my Les Paul into my SuperSonic sounded good, end of story. With Helix I scrutinized my tones far more, and that's when I keyed into the "fizz". And once you hear it, you don't un-hear it. What I have noticed in the time since, listening to things with a more developed ear, is that some of that same fizz is present in my tube amps and my friends tube amps and in some of my favorite recorded guitar tones, I just hadn't ever noticed it. But it's there. So yeah, I was being a bit neurotic. The 10% I attribute to Helix behaviour comes from the fact that I believe there is too much of this top end fizziness. I wouldn't mind if it were a bit less present. But bottom line: I love Helix and the tones I get out of it and my experience with it gets better and better as I learn more and more about operating it. Most of my tone-related problems with Helix sounds have ultimately been user issues, and I've managed to overcome most of them by getting better as a user. Going from a completely green modeling noob to where I am now has been a long trek; it's not like a tube amp where you just plug in and it sounds perfect. It takes some work and it takes some dedication. Helix has it all once you start figuring out how to get at it. I hope that the others that were sharing my experience at the time of this thread have likewise made it through to the next part of the curve!

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