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Helix vs Pod


arislaf
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And you want to say what?  That a guy who spends most of his online time putting the Helix down against the Fractal AX8 is now finding other ways to make it sound bad?

His playing is what I hear most.  

But I guess on the other hand it shows if you really want to you can make anything sound bad.  He does get a pretty good match out of those units, and that's not that easy, so maybe he's smarter than I thought.  Helix was not intended to get plugged into the front of a hotrod delux, but that would bring the sounds together right away - half the sound is Hotrod Deluxe  Then a bit of level mismatch in the effects loop - hey that Helix doesn't even sound as good as a pod.

Check videos by people who know and love their Helix - they sound awesome!

And no one who's got one and has any idea how to use it believes any of this for a second.

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The thing that most jumps out at me is this guy's apparent lack of understanding about the technical aspects of how modeling is achieved, which pretty much invalidates his testing approach given the targeted results.

 

When an amp is modeled the signal is measured along various points of the signal chain to understand the impact of how a change in one element affects other elements.  The more points you measure, the higher the accuracy at the cost of higher DSP to duplicate the signal path in more detail in the model.  What this means is that two amp models that were measured differently and set on the exact same setting are not very likely to sound the same.  One of them will be working off more detail in order to model the original amp signal.  The question is not which amp model sounds better at a given setting, but which amp model best duplicates the behaviors of the original amp as inputs and settings change.

 

How this appears in the Helix as compared to the POD is the dynamics of a change in the settings.  In my experience with both the POD required a MUCH more aggressive change in many of the parameters be it drive, EQ, etc. in order to achieve a noticeable difference.  Not the case with the Helix.

 

What he also seems to miss is that because of more data points and where those data points are collected certain aspects of the signal chain such as touch responsiveness are affected (which is a highly prized element) isn't tested at all.

 

But that's what one should expect I suppose from a millennial "YouTube" engineer....   ;)

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Prior to Helix, I was using PODhd - bean POD, my preferred style.

As a result, in my own mind I have my own 'comparison' so I have my own personal take.

I'm not bothering to watch the above video, mainly because the comments here tell me that the method is either flawed or doesn't come across after the YouTube compression etc.

 

I won't go on and on, but I will say that I'm a huge fan of the PODhd, and have gotten a LOT out of it. It remains my backup.

Helix... quantum step up in all respects, and challenged me to embrace everything including some of the 'warts' of dealing with 'real amps' ... it's changed my paradigm of sound crafting. And comparing it to sitting down with an amp, it's come into line with that in every respect.

A willingness to dig in and more than anything, the thing I tell everyone who'll listen to me that uses modelling tech like this, is dialing in using ears moreso than getting hung up on what the screen label says.

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Now, now...don't you know that everything this generation does is 100% valid and praise-worthy? Who's gonna pay for his hug therapy if he reads this? ;)

Sure its not at all like previous generations which are completely meritable, and havent largely contributed to many of the problems we face today... oh wait a second... ;)

 

I am not defending the guy who did the test, I am just tired of the generational bias.

 

As far as the vid. I have had podx3, and Eleven Rack. I was never impressed with the pod, the 11r was nice, but Helix is significantly better than both, at least that is my experience.

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isn't that what taxes are for?

I appreciate your effort Mitch. It is something that a lot of us wanted. Thank you for the time and the upload. Great work. And the sound tells me that it is comparing apples to apples.

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Watched the video. Thanks Mitch. Heres what i know, My two best tones on my POD 2.0 bean are better than my two best tones on my Helix.

 

Something you (or someone else, whatever) mentioned in the video was  -   "was the Helix worth the upgrade price" .

Comparatively speaking for me, it was not. When solely factoring in helix native cabs, i would consider it a downgrade.

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"But deaf will claim the opposite because they pay 1500"

Had an HD500X. Was never totally happy with the amps. Mostly used the fx with my Engl, a VHT 112 and/or an Alto ts210.
Waited a year after Helix release. Watched YouTube vids, haunted these forums. Finally decided to take the plunge. I could always return it to Sweetwater if it wasn't worth the $1500.

After 3 months, sold the HD500X. The Engl is on Craigslist.

I'm not deaf, and your ears aren't as good as you think they are.

 

The millennials vs whatever argument is ridiculous.

 

Bottom line: if you like whatever you like, use it! But don't insult other people who have differing tastes.

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I am just tired of the generational bias.

Good luck with that crusade...

 

There's yet to be a generation that has truly "understood" the young'ins. Every generation bemoans the state of "those damned kids today". And, it goes both ways...generally speaking kids have no more desire to be understood, than the old folks have to understand them..."if it's too loud, you're too old", etc etc. It's human nature...just the way we're wired.

 

And when you're an old fart, you're gonna do it too. It's as inevitable as the tides...we all go out the same way we came in: confused, yelling, and crapping our pants. ;)

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At Cruisinon2.

 

Touche` I really was just voicing the lack of consistant conviction. Where one blatantly dismisses the transgressions of the generation they are a part of, or identify with, yet is free to bash another. Its just tribalism, fueled by things like tradition, and often ignorance. Its just as much human nurture, as human nature.

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At Cruisinon2.

 

Touche` I really was just voicing the lack of consistant conviction. Where one blatantly dismisses the transgressions of the generation they are a part of, or identify with, yet is free to bash another. Its just tribalism, fueled by things like tradition, and often ignorance. Its just as much human nurture, as human nature.

No one is entirely free of transgressions...it's impossible. But that doesn't mean that one cannot ever criticize anything. If being faultless were to be the prerequisite for taking issue with something, then no one on this earth would ever be "entitled to their own opinion".

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At Cruisinon2.

 

Touche` I really was just voicing the lack of consistant conviction. Where one blatantly dismisses the transgressions of the generation they are a part of, or identify with, yet is free to bash another. Its just tribalism, fueled by things like tradition, and often ignorance. Its just as much human nurture, as human nature.

 

It's certainly true that we as a species have always been like this throughout history, making it seem like we're doomed to keep making the same mistakes.

 

Ignorance. Ignorance by itself is bad enough, but lately, it seems to be amplifying some of the worst qualities and emotions in human nature. If it's sustained long enough, when combined with a growing population and technological advances, there's a tasty recipe for something most likely not good for anyone.

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To be honest, my poke at the "millennial engineer" was all in fun....sorta.

 

He's no different than most of us were at his age.  Eager to show our expertise, and totally unaware of how limited our expertise was at that point in our lives.  The big difference in the case of those that are older is we can think back on those things now and be embarrassed about our foolishness and naivety, but at least we didn't leave any recorded video evidence of it to follow us through history....  ;)

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No one is entirely free of transgressions...it's impossible. But that doesn't mean that one cannot ever criticize anything. If being faultless were to be the prerequisite for taking issue with something, then no one on this earth would ever be "entitled to their own opinion".

while I agree. Thats not what I am saying. I am saying at least be consistent. The new generation can be blamed and criticized for a decent amount of things... However it pales in comparison to previous generations. Attack the new generation if you want, just know that the generations that came before were much worse in a lot of ways. Nice discussion, but we seem to be near the end of it. Not much left to say.
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It's certainly true that we as a species have always been like this throughout history, making it seem like we're doomed to keep making the same mistakes.

 

Ignorance. Ignorance by itself is bad enough, but lately, it seems to be amplifying some of the worst qualities and emotions in human nature. If it's sustained long enough, when combined with a growing population and technological advances, there's a tasty recipe for something most likely not good for anyone.

Sorry for the double post, but im on mobile atm.

 

I couldn't agree more with you, its so true. We are reaching a point where it is evidently clear we need a re-evaluation of our values. They are not even sustainable for the near future, much less anything further out.

 

At Dunedindragon. No worries, I dont mind the jabs at a younger generation as long as history is realized. :-)

 

Sorry for my contribution to derailing OP.

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as far as I know Kemper didn't measure any of the little elements that constitute physically a tube amp, but still it sounds glorious..

 

so IMO it's not necessarily the amount of the little elements modeled that makes a modeler/device more appealing for musicians who simply want really enjoyable and pro level tones when they play.. unless the true interest is to possess an engineering miracle..

 

well, you may say: WTF, Kemper is not even a modeler, but a totally different technology.. apples to oranges..

 

and I say: IMO not so much, we could say that Kemper does the model (profiles) of a whole thing, while a modeler does the models (profiles) of many single little elements and details and after put everything together, but however the latter method even if more complex doesn't guarantee better results, and as a matter of fact at times the Kemper macroscopic system seems to work better, or in a satisfactory way..

 

if you grant me the descriptive license, the HD still profiles/models the single elements/details, but not as many as the HX, but still, how this different amount of modeled elements effectively affects the final result?.. hard to say..

 

the nowdays commonly used cabs IRs are not a sort of profiles?..

 

why they didn't model the cabs different elements like the electromagnets, the cone cardboard, the woods of the enclosure,.. etc.. etc..

 

they would have achieved better results if they did?... instead of using IRs?.. hard to say

 

When it comes to modeling I think it would be hard to argue that the number of data points and their effect on each other is more than just an engineering miracle.  It may not be quite so obvious in amplifier modeling as it is in visual modeling, but the same transition of realism from CGI in the 90's to today speaks to the viability of this approach.  That's why it's the most common approach when modeling almost anything whether it be an amplifier, or the landing of a rover on Mars.  Because it's really the only practical way to get to a reasonable model of behavior from the real world.

 

That doesn't mean profiling doesn't have it's own benefits.  Even in CGI they use texture maps from real life in order to profile (through convolution style logic) the digital representation of surfaces, so there's no doubt both have their place.  In many ways the interactions within and between elements of an electronic circuit is FAR simpler to quantify than the acoustic variables involved in a speaker and mic that would have to take into account the materials, acoustics of the cabinet design, and the dissipation of sound energy, and other environmental influences that go beyond the simple electronics of the speaker and the microphone.

 

At least to me it makes sense, given the state of technology and it's limits, you more or less need to rely on both to get a detail approximation of the real world.

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Owned the HD500X for several years. Helix is an IMMEDIATE upgrade in sound and feel. If you're actually in the room and using the two devices and you can't tell a difference, its because A) you're trying to make the Helix sound like the HD500 (not the other way around) or B) you have little to no idea what you're talking about. 

I had the two side-by-side for several months. There is no realistic comparison in sound. What would take me months of minute tweaking after finding a "good" tone one the HD-500X, took about 5 minutes and half as many blocks to achieve in the Helix. Add in some aftermarket IR's, and the difference widens to oceanic distances.

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The new generation can be blamed and criticized for a decent amount of things... However it pales in comparison to previous generations. Attack the new generation if you want, just know that the generations that came before were much worse in a lot of ways.

Here's the rub though...you can't derail or invalidate a criticism by pointing out that someone else is worse. There's always somebody worse. Your average serial killer will never approach the body count of Ghengis Khan, Pol Pot, or Idi Amin...but that doesn't mean I'm inviting Ted Bundy to Christmas dinner (yes, I know he's dead). ;)

 

Deflecting the issue whilst hoisting yourself atop the moral high ground does not prove one's virtue, it just makes you the lesser of two evils. Politicians do that..."Vote for me because my opponent is horrible"...and what's that done for us? Not much.

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Here's the rub though...you can't derail or invalidate a criticism by pointing out that someone else is worse. There's always somebody worse. Your average serial killer will never approach the body count of Ghengis Khan, Pol Pot, or Idi Amin...but that doesn't mean I'm inviting Ted Bundy to Christmas dinner (yes, I know he's dead). ;)

 

Deflecting the issue whilst hoisting yourself atop the moral high ground does not prove one's virtue, it just makes you the lesser of two evils. Politicians do that..."Vote for me because my opponent is horrible"...and what's that done for us? Not much.

You again make a valid point. Though, I wasn't derailing, or invalidating, just showing the criticisms in a larger context. It was a contrast merely to context. To deny myself a post at that would infringe upon the "everyone is entitled to their opinion." Right?

 

Now seruiously Cruisinon2. I know you have a reanimaton machine. Its only a matter of time before you have Ted over for Xmas dinner. Lol

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I thought it was a good video. Obviously there are more nuanced differences between the two and how the modeling behaves and I think that's why most people recommend for those looking between two different products to just go out and try them.

 

I think this video was just trying to show off from a basic starting point how both would sound and the video does a good of showing that.

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hi:

 

I think I have to print my opinion in here 'cuz it's lack of objectiveness

 

comparing these units is out of place

 

seymour duncan used to have a website with samples of his pickups playing the same guitar, same amp(n' set) same cab, same mic, same guitar player, same riff, same sample rate, same pickup builder

 

yes, I know it's a different case comparing pickups(real world) from digital divices(unreal world)

 

I even used to get deeper with my own instruments comparing everything: paint, brand strings(d'addario, dunlop earnie, etc) pickups, pickup calibration, pick up-strings proximity, pot values, different caps, caps values, fender/gibson braided wire, amp settings, mics, mics placements, mics cables, cab settings, instrument cables, pick gauges and materials, etc

 

playing the same riff to compare a tone this way just makes impossible to pick up your mind, then you'll never know what your choice will be to play-record that catchy tune is in your fingertips

 

then, I realized each ingredient has its own purpose in the whole formula; so, playing the same riff with same guitar, same strings, same pick, same instrument cable, same amp setting, same cab, same mic, same room, same everything just by changing something as the pick up, just to hear a small difference that's not gonna be that noticeable when the rest of the band play together, I'll never notice if my pick up is alnico 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, or ceramic, or di marzio, or 250k pot or 0.022 cap, or orange drop, or bumble bee...

 

then I learned the lesson: I took the same guitar and from scratch I took out the best tone possibilities that suited best for all the properties from the instrument itself: tone wood, pick up, string gauge, pot/cap value, wire, finish(lacquer/poly) hardware, etc

 

I invite every one of you to try both Helix/POD and take the best from each and never try to compare them

 

HOW I WISH LINE6 CREATES A TONE UNIT WITH NO NAMES, JUST WHAT IT IS SO YOU CAN'T COMPARE IT

 

Digital_Igloo said that the original Line6 models were the "correction" or "improovements" from classic tones in a more eficient way

 

IMAGINE A BRIT 80'S HARD ROCK TONE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO TWEAK ANYTHING instead of "modeling" a jcm800... would't be that cool? or any other guitar tone, instead of an ENGL "model" so you spend hours on edit a useless video to demonstrate if real deal is close enough to the digital era's ultimate processor

 

this guy from the video is setting the amps to neutral... why not setting the amps separately getting the best from each, then comparing them will be nuthin' but great tones that are gonna be selected by preferences in a matter of taste instead of eficiency

 

on the other side, I find Fractal Audio better than Line6(have both); but I can't live without either, I need both 'cuz I don't compare the two units as more realistic or closer to the original real world stuff... if that's the case, my favorite high gain tone is the spinal puppet from the old PODxt-V30-421Dynamic set and if I may need a plexi tune I'd pick up original Line6 purge pre amp connected to the ultra high resolution cab model from AX8 and editing effects from the Helix(messy, isn't it?)

 

DON'T forget digital units are not the only divice needed in your tone, that's why all these people is arguing all the time when their divices are NOT enough to determine the tone they are after; trust me, a professional tone comes from a dedicated sound ingeneer than your fingertips and your $1,500-$3,500 piece of gear... NEVER IN THIS LIVE, so as having a nice black face, a fine instrument cable and a priceless guitar won't be enough to sound as SRV: NEVER

 

we are musicians, not sound engeneers, may be we know a bit of production and necessary gear but we play guitar and write music

 

it all depends on what you hear better

 

if it's Fractal, then go there, if it's a real amp-cab-mic-room, go for it, if its's Helix you hear the man

 

the other day I was mic'ing a cab with the best mic I had and it  was a very expensive one but I didin't like it at all; at the end I used a mic that came in a sound card combo 'cuz it sounded the best way the song required, maybe a 20 bucks mic!!!

 

So don't get impressed SO easily with expensive toys, and NEVER under-estimate low end divices

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The biggest difference in TONE between those is when you start to fiddle with the volym knob on your guitar and when you change pick attacks in your playing Pod HD didnt respond as good like helix does..

 

The maker of the video doesnt compare that fact WHY?

Also the comparison of the reverb was the worst i heard in my life and make absolutely no sense at all same goes for delay and most of the other effects..

 

When it comes to pure amp sound running thrue the same IR there is little difference (well there is a difference but not much)

And that goes when you compare Fractal and Helix or Pod HD and Fractal so in a sense you can say that Pod HD is equally good as AX8

So at a much lower cost why choose a Fractal because on a record noone would hear the difference anyway

But that goes for free vst ampsims aswell if you run them thrue a good IR so why even choose any of those units why not take your laptop or iPad or iPhone Android and run it F.O.H and do records with those and buy a decent expensive guitar instead?

 

This video doesnt gonna HELP anyone to decide it is rather gonna make them AVOID both products

So please do it again and do it RIGHT this time

If you could do a bunch of good videos when you did your beloved AX8 vs Helix videos so why couldnt you do it this time?

 

So i have to agree with "rvroberts" his agenda seems to be i gonna try make all Line 6 gear sound bad..

If you saw his smile on one of the AXE vs Helix videos 8 more models at 17:30 you would know what i mean

 

Later on Chris said on TGP that the Fractal Marshall JTM45 was based on a modded version and so is their Bassman version

Yet Mitch still thinks the comparison is fair?

 

After he found out about the JTM failure on TGP he didnt even respond or bothered to respond about the fact that was the reason why Helix sounded way more like a real JTM45 than AX8 did the AX8 sounded like a plexi so i doubt that dude knows how the real amps should sound if not he should defenetly say so to the viewers..

But no instead he says that Helix doesnt sound like a Marshall etc ect (hence he means that all Marshall should sound the same :)  wow he really should leanr a thing or two ytou can go in to a shop and test 10 Marshalls of the same version and they all will sound slightly different to eachother) when in fact it sounded way more like the real deal than the Fractal versaion did..

 

He also said something about support respond about a bug he adressed to Fractal and compaired that to the fact that L6 dont say what hybrid cab is and the fact he STILL say impulses for L6 cabs says everythingt about that dude..

 

Helix and Pod cabs are NOT pure impulse responses as you CAN move and change the mic in the cab can you do that on impulses on Fractal?

 

I still thinks Fractal wins over Helix in terms of sound quality especially on high gain sounds but does it really sound more like the real deal?

I am not so sure about that.

I havent tested so many amps but to me many of the amp sound on Fractal units sound way more polished than the one i tested so much so it is impossible to get that sound on the real deal..

 

But as i said his agenda is perfectly clear even a child will notice that..

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I have

 

don't get impressed SO easily with expensive toys, and NEVER under-estimate low end divices

 

 

 

Then "as said above" it must have been an Epi... The point is you can polish that Epi/Yugo/cubic zirconia till it shines and its still a lesser item and not a Gibson. I know how they both feel and play too, cause I own many of both. Do they both have a place in my world? Sure, I love um but you "mostly" get what you pay for is my next point. ;)

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Then "as said above" it must have been an Epi... The point is you can polish that Epi/Yugo/cubic zirconia till it shines and its still a lesser item and not a Gibson. I know how they both feel and play too, cause I own many of both. Do they both have a place in my world? Sure, I love um but you "mostly" get what you pay for is my next point. ;)

Mostly being the key word. Gibsons are a hit or miss thing, but they are generally good guitars. But if you compare them to a equally priced Tokai, Navigator etc, I don't personally think they can hold up. But on the other hand, they keep a good resell value. Now I own a PRS and it smokes thenm all in terms of playability, QC and flexibility. But sound? Nothing is like a Les Paul, might be just as good, but nothing like it.

 

Now this was waaaay of topic.

 

But I think it's important to remember that this video doesn't reflect the best a somebody can make these unit sound. Just a comparison, not to mention all the models that POD doesn't have (Matchless, Litigator, PRS, Shiva and the list continues.)

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Then "as said above" it must have been an Epi... The point is you can polish that Epi/Yugo/cubic zirconia till it shines and its still a lesser item and not a Gibson. I know how they both feel and play too, cause I own many of both. Do they both have a place in my world? Sure, I love um but you "mostly" get what you pay for is my next point. ;)

I have priceless guitars too, and consider they are the most important part in the whole tone formula; a high grade selected wood quality has no point of comparison

 

and I can't explain how Gibson fails even in high grade instruments... sometimes the price is NOT right and I've seen(not mine) cases in musicias buying a very expensive Gibby and NOT too impressive for paying 4 or 5 grands

 

my fenders and Gibbys are great(I play them before buying them); surprisingly what you said, I've polished "custom shop" epis and for a 1000 bucks luthier's job the result has been miraculous, so as many asian guitars I've modified

 

better than USA Gib? Man! I don't know, 'cuz an Ibanez prestige can Do what USA Gib cannot; they are different kinds

 

now, as far as I've gone, I think Fractal is better than Line6 in many ways that you must own both to understand this fact

 

(still PODxt is my favorite lollipop around)

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I owned an Ultra and an Axe FX XL II and kept them a few years. I now own a Helix and a Kemper, and play both thru a FireHawk 1500 and a pair of Mackie HR824 studio Monitors on occasion. Believe me Miguel, I understand.  ;)

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