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The wife was complaining about the noises coming from the spare room so I plugged in a set of headphones to appease her. Much to my surprise the tones I was hearing did not resemble the tones coming from my speaker. The helix sounded thin, fuzzy and tiny. Has anyone else found this? Could it be my not so expensive headphones?

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[...] Could it be my not so expensive headphones?

 

Yep.

This has been discussed here quite often.

Try different headphones - your Helix wasn't so cheap, right? ;)

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The wife was complaining about the noises coming from the spare room so I plugged in a set of headphones to appease her. Much to my surprise the tones I was hearing did not resemble the tones coming from my speaker. The helix sounded thin, fuzzy and tiny. Has anyone else found this? Could it be my not so expensive headphones?

Every time you change what you're listening through, expect the tone to change...sometimes radically so. Especially switching from a "real" amp, to headphones. The cheap cans probably aren't helping, but don't expect a nice pair to sound identical to your amp either...they never will. Guitar amps and headphones (crappy or not) have very different frequency responses.

 

Or, you could always just put the wife out in the yard....;)

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The not so expensive headphones aren't helping, but (as has been mentioned many times here), Helix has to be tweaked to accommodate whatever you're going to be using it with. I initially tweaked mine with my $500 Shure SE535 triple driver in-ear monitors. I thought my patches were sounding great, but when I heard them through my new Alto Truesonic powered speaker at gig volume, they sounded awful. I now use separate setlists for whatever I'm going to run the Helix through and tweak accordingly. 

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This is too bad. You shouldnt need the "perfect" monitoring device for a $1500 unit to sound good. It was never an issue with my POD or any of my other modelers. Helix has a very small sweet spot.

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This is too bad. You shouldnt need the "perfect" monitoring device for a $1500 unit to sound good. It was never an issue with my POD or any of my other modelers. Helix has a very small sweet spot.

Every modeler I've ever owned (going all the way back to the Boss GT-6) needed different settings to sound "right" through different playback sources. Volume and proximity play a HUGE role in how sound is perceived. 

That being said, Helix, for me anyways, has been the easiest to go from studio monitors at home to PA speakers and in-ears at a gig with minimal tweaking between patches. Of course my in-ear tone isn't as amazing as it would be if I built it just for those headphones, but the sound out front is massive and the monitoring tone is more than acceptable. There is a possibility of an impedance mismatch between your inexpensive cans and the Helix headphone amp. If I plug my earbuds straight into it they distort before the volume even gets to a decent level, same thing with my $20 Sony over-ears. My AKG headphones sound very, very, very close to what I get out of my monitors, just a little more brittle due to proximity.

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I've never had one modeler that sounded good through headphones.  Maybe a better solution is to get a set of noise cancelling headphones for your wife - that would probably be easier.

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Every modeler I've ever owned (going all the way back to the Boss GT-6) needed different settings to sound "right" through different playback sources. Volume and proximity play a HUGE role in how sound is perceived. 

That being said, Helix, for me anyways, has been the easiest to go from studio monitors at home to PA speakers and in-ears at a gig with minimal tweaking between patches. Of course my in-ear tone isn't as amazing as it would be if I built it just for those headphones, but the sound out front is massive and the monitoring tone is more than acceptable. There is a possibility of an impedance mismatch between your inexpensive cans and the Helix headphone amp. If I plug my earbuds straight into it they distort before the volume even gets to a decent level, same thing with my $20 Sony over-ears. My AKG headphones sound very, very, very close to what I get out of my monitors, just a little more brittle due to proximity.

To sound right i agree, but there seems to be a pretty large disparity between systems with the helix. Hence the thread....as well as the abundant reports.

 

Even the way a set of phones fits your head can affect the perceived tone (mix decisions for sure) but going from pleasing to annoying is peculiar.

 

My personal experience is that i find Helix native cabs downright unbearable, even on my working system that is a mission critical system totaling out to about $14.000, all the way through my cheap and mid priced nearfield monitors. Word on the street is that certain FRFRs maximize the Helix sonics, but again, it shouldnt be that difficult. Ive never had trouble with a POD.

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This is too bad. You shouldnt need the "perfect" monitoring device for a $1500 unit to sound good. It was never an issue with my POD or any of my other modelers. Helix has a very small sweet spot.

POD was exactly the same for me. I've had separate set lists for phones, amp/cab, and studio monitors for years.

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I've never had one modeler that sounded good through headphones. Maybe a better solution is to get a set of noise cancelling headphones for your wife - that would probably be easier.

Or just a good pair of wife-canceling headphones for him...;)

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POD was exactly the same for me. I've had separate set lists for phones, amp/cab, and studio monitors for years.

See the pod for me sounded pretty good through about anything i plugged it into. The one thing about that thing was that it allowed for rough "calibration" depending on what you were running it into.  Holding the ^ v  arrows as it powered up and the letters A,B,C,D flashed. You chose C or whatever if you were going into a a combo amp, maybe A if you were running into a power amp. 

 

Ive always alleged that the very lack of this option on the Helix might be one reason for the inconsistency.  

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The wife was complaining about the noises coming from the spare room so I plugged in a set of headphones to appease her. Much to my surprise the tones I was hearing did not resemble the tones coming from my speaker. The helix sounded thin, fuzzy and tiny. Has anyone else found this? Could it be my not so expensive headphones?

 

What were you running it through before? A guitar amp?

 

If so, then of course it will sound bad, like plugging headphones into a distortion pedal. In that case you need to use an Amp + Cab block in your chain.

 

Otherwise, dunno. Attach a sound clip and maybe we can give some concrete advice instead of "flying blind" so to speak.

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I have a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 ohm, and I think they sound really good directly in the Helix - all around just an awesome pair of cans:

 

https://www.amazon.com/beyerdynamic-DT-770-Pro-ohm/dp/B0016MNAAI/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1476308019&sr=1-1&keywords=beyerdynamic%2Bdt%2B770%2Bpro%2B80%2Bohms&th=1

 

 

I have the same headphones and can also get things to sound really good through them, but those presets don't translate well at all through my QSC K10s.  So I have separate banks of presets for headphones and monitors.

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The wife was complaining about the noises coming from the spare room so I plugged in a set of headphones to appease her. Much to my surprise the tones I was hearing did not resemble the tones coming from my speaker. The helix sounded thin, fuzzy and tiny. Has anyone else found this? Could it be my not so expensive headphones?

One thing that makes quite a difference, particularly if you use global eq, is to change the global setting Headphone Monitor from All to XLR. With the All setting you are adding in the digital output which is unaffected by the global eq. Make things alot smoother to my ear

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My Helix sounds phenomenal through my Sony MDR7506 phones. $80 on Amazon.

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The Helix is a very low impedance headphone out level. Ideally audiophiles say that headphones up to 8x the impedance of the output are good. The Helix is like 12ohm.

I too was always troubled by headphone sound and I use high end ByerDynamics. I found that tapping the headphone out off my little mixer I use offers a much better sound so you might try using a headphone amp off the Helix they are not much. My little Mackie Mixer I use to convert my other rigs unbalanced to balanced was like $60 I think. 

Anyway nothing I have ever used sounded good to me out of the headphone jack except for my GR-55 synth when I had that. 

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The Helix is a very low impedance headphone out level. Ideally audiophiles say that headphones up to 8x the impedance of the output are good. The Helix is like 12ohm.

I too was always troubled by headphone sound and I use high end ByerDynamics. I found that tapping the headphone out off my little mixer I use offers a much better sound so you might try using a headphone amp off the Helix they are not much. My little Mackie Mixer I use to convert my other rigs unbalanced to balanced was like $60 I think.

Anyway nothing I have ever used sounded good to me out of the headphone jack except for my GR-55 synth when I had that.

Edit: from the post below it appears I am wrong, ignore this...I'll get my coat...

 

Apologies if you are right, but i think you have that wrong, if you look at page 7 of the manual. DI mentioned something similar about better performance with high impedance phones in a previous post.

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Apologies if you are right, but i think you have that wrong, if you look at page 7 of the manual. DI mentioned something similar about better performance with high impedance phones in a previous post.

It was the same pitch with the 500X...though I've been using a pair of 55 ohm AKG240S cans for years without a problem. Sooner or later, with super-high impedance headphones, you'll start to have level issues unless you add a separate headphone amp. Not worth the trouble as far as I'm concerned. Low impedance cans work just fine.

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You must not be used to monitoring guitar amps through headphones. Way different experience. First of all, human ears perceive frequencies differently based on volume. Guitar cab on the floor will be much more bassy and a lot of the higher frequencies will miss your ears altogether due to the directionality of the speaker.

 

This is why if you take your patches (or tube amp for that matter) to a gig with a cab mic'd up at full volume, although standing next to the cab it might sound good, what's coming from the mic in front of the speaker is going to be ear piercingly bright and probably thin sounding.

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You must not be used to monitoring guitar amps through headphones. Way different experience. First of all, human ears perceive frequencies differently based on volume. Guitar cab on the floor will be much more bassy and a lot of the higher frequencies will miss your ears altogether due to the directionality of the speaker.

 

This is why if you take your patches (or tube amp for that matter) to a gig with a cab mic'd up at full volume, although standing next to the cab it might sound good, what's coming from the mic in front of the speaker is going to be ear piercingly bright and probably thin sounding.

This is one thing I think modeling has pointed out to A LOT of players, even seasoned guys. If you're dialing in your amp with the speakers blasting past your knees, what sounds good to you, is going to be GARBAGE going into a microphone at speaker level. Modeling is essentially showing you what you tone sounds like "out front" right at the source, and that throws a lot of people. Even when I was using standard guitar cabs with various modelers, I'd dial in my tones sitting on the floor about 4' in front of my amp so I could hear what the sound guy/microphone were getting. 

 

OT: hopefully the OP gets it sorted because the Helix is amazing.

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This is one thing I think modeling has pointed out to A LOT of players, even seasoned guys. If you're dialing in your amp with the speakers blasting past your knees, what sounds good to you, is going to be GARBAGE going into a microphone at speaker level.

Amen...there are tons of guys out there, even good players, who've spent years not really knowing what they actually sound like. Personally, I don't miss my "amp in the room" at all. Consistency is priceless. For me, reproducible results are far easier to obtain running direct, with just a floor monitor for stage volume. No futzing around with mics and minimal (if any) EQing at the board. I'll never go back to an amp.

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I agree it is probably that you need to tweak your tone for the output system you are using (either headphones or PA, etc.).  You should tweak as close to where you normally play.  So if you only play at a church on the weekends you could ideally tweak there at full volume some evening, but if you are playing at random bars, that is a little more difficult.

-tweak at full performance volume or as close to it as possible (loud).

-tweak using a system as close to what you would normally output through.  If you always play through something big and nice, get a good full range speaker (i have a K12 to tweak through which gets me pretty close).

-be aware of the room you are in.  For example, don't try to over obsess about tweaking in a small basement with low ceilings. It won't sound as good as a big room with high ceilings and some space for natural reverb. I once had an amp I used only in the basement and hated it, but one day i took it to a friends house, who has a huge living room and it sounded wonderful.

-hopefully you have a sound man, he/she is your friend and can help you out a lot with EQ, so don't over-obsess about your tweaking and tone, and let them help.

-the rule of thumb for impedance is low feeds high (7-10x).  so if you have low impedance headphones that could be part of the problem.  If helix has an output impedance of 12 (think I read that above) then 12 x 7 = 84.  So aim for a headphone impedance of greater than 84 (or get a different mixer as noted above).  I still feel its more likely it just volume and speaker effects.  So just accept that it will be different or set up separate patches.

-make sure your wah is off if you don't want to use it.

Good Luck.

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I used the hd500 the last few years and it died on me early this week, so I got a helix. I have always used my in ear monitors at home to create my patches and it always sounds exactly the same when I go and play live every weekend, as long as the sound guy keeps the EQ flat. Hopefully it will be the same this weekend being the first time with helix.

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First few weeks w Helix, it took me a while to get my bearings coming from Amplitube, which I loved. Started finding some times I really liked, using AKG D240s I've had for years, but when I got a pair of Alesis FRFRs, I pretty much had to start over. Bummed at first, but talking to folks here, seemed like that's just how it is, and it makes sense to me, so now I just play through those, and I'm happy :)

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That's lots of replies! I never expected it to sound exactly the same but it's miles apart. I play through a tech 21 power engine which I really like, it's served me well with my 500 and is doing a good job with my helix. Might just get the wife some ear plugs!?

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I use my Beyerdynamics (DT770, already mentioned here) and I find it to be very good. I don't have anything else plugged in the Helix besides the guitar.

 

But, I tried my ear cancelling BOSE QC25, (about same price as the DT700) and they sounded awful. It was really, really bad - not possible to use at all.

So - try a different set of headphones.

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My Helix doesn't sound good through ATH M50x's.

 

Any idea why this is happening?

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My Helix doesn't sound good through ATH M50x's.

 

Any idea why this is happening?

That's exactly what this entire thread is about. The reasons area always the same, no matter what headphones you're using. There are numerous other "why does my Helix sound like crap?" threads, too...it's been discussed ad nauseum lately. Take a week off from work and start reading.

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My Helix doesn't sound good through ATH M50x's.

 

Any idea why this is happening?

 

I got some of them, love 'em, they're a bit of a studio standard set of cans in my world - so, how good are your ears?

 

Any idea what's happening?

 

Well, have you ever been to a Motörhead gig and did you maybe accidentally stick your head in the bass bins?

 

Guess that would do it!

 

(Feeble attempt at humour!)

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I am using the global EQ to compensate for my intended headphones-centric use. Initialy I picked up a pair of Sennheiser HD 239 cans (with an extension cable); its "advanced Open-Aire acoustic system" design seemed to work quite well (and were very comfortable)--my old MDR-V6 worked well too, but required reducing the bandwidth to tame the woof.

 

However, I noticed the Sennheiser HD 239 cans will clip with loud heavy bass content. I tried a pair of HD 650 and HD 700 cans and I liked the way the HD 650 cans were warm (attenuated high freqs). Although purely subjective, the HD 700 cans required lowering the high frequency cutoff and seemed too bright for this admittedly strange FRFR application--the HD 700 did not have quite as satisfying "bass thump" or palm muted "chug" response

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This is probably where having X number of saveable global EQ presets would be nice.

Build/tweak your patches on your main rig, then have global EQ presets for headphones, studio, spare FRFR, etc...

 

I'm fortunate, if my patches sound great in my AKG's, they usually sound a little better on my main powered coaxial FRFR.

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Edit: from the post below it appears I am wrong, ignore this...I'll get my coat...

 

Apologies if you are right, but i think you have that wrong, if you look at page 7 of the manual. DI mentioned something similar about better performance with high impedance phones in a previous post.

Ask L6, they told me. The Helix is low impedance 12 ohm for fidelity issues, and the 8x rule of thumb is audiophile savvy. Hi impedance can jacks do not sound very good. The Helix is lower impedance than the POD. The POD always sounded bad in headphones to me but using the outboard mixer headphone feed does OK same w the Helix. I do not like the sound right off the Helix in cans. I use a little Mackie mixer in my rig to convert my other chains from unbalanced TS to balanced XLR out to my EV FRFR system. If I run feeds from the Helix to it the headphone jack on the mixer sounds much better than right out of the Helix jack. My normal feeds from the Helix are stereo XLR into my power amp rig. For headphones I prefer to tap an outboard feed rather than the Helix which breaks up and distorts pretty easily. 

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That's lots of replies! I never expected it to sound exactly the same but it's miles apart. I play through a tech 21 power engine which I really like, it's served me well with my 500 and is doing a good job with my helix. Might just get the wife some ear plugs!?

 

Divorces are much more expensive than a good set of Head phones.   ;)  But even if you get a good set, that still wont change the fact that there will be differences as stated above, between listening thru headphones versus FRFR speakers/Cabs/Studio Monitors. You could just learn a few of her favorites. Thats easy for me to say, as my wife likes SRV, ZZTop, etc etc...  :lol:   :D

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I've so far had great luck with the patches I created on my KRK KNS-8400s.

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Hello, connect your qc 25 headphones to the 1/4 out ! Switch on the noise reduction !

 

It will sound amazing !

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Here is what I found when I tried to monitor through headphones and was unimpressed with the sound...

 

This is how all of my patches are configured...

  1. I have one path, without an IR, out to a 1/4" output go a tube power amp and guitar speaker for stage monitoring and
  2. I have another path, with an IR, out to an XLR to feed the P.A.

In the Global settings, under Headphone Monitor, I had that set as MULTI which would mix the IR and non-IR signal to the Headphones... (We all know that the non-IR signal is buzzy and that was what I was hearing. :( )

 

So, If you have IR and non-IR paths, and you want to monitor using Headphones, make sure that you are sending only the IR-affected path to the headphones

 

(On Page 3 of 4 of Global Settings, make sure that Headphones Monitor is set to the output where your IR is.)

 

I hope this helps

 

seeya

 

Joe

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My Helix sounds phenomenal through my Sony MDR7506 phones. $80 on Amazon.

Same here w/ Sony MDR-V6 and Shure SE-530 IEMs.

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