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Helix FW 2.20 (The "Get Low" Update) OUT NOW

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Not everyone agrees with that, jus' saying'...

Not here to make controversies... I chose Helix over FX8 because of fantastic user interface and routing capabilities, but unfortunately I've not fan-boy ears... soundwise, there is a lot to improve, and the dynamic range is not as good as could be (not saying this only by ears, there are instrument measures that can be done).

 

Trust me, I'd be the first to be happy if Line 6 could fix or at least improve these things... for this I'm writing here and not in other forums (throwing lollipop as others do): my first interest is the improvement of some crucial aspects of a pedalboard I paid for, not for polemics.

And I know i'ts possible, because there are no hardware limits compared to others, it's all about software.

 

I'm also not a forum lover usually... only because I think this and I'd like to have a better machine... it would be a market-killer with those improvements.

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My update process was not so smooth...

 

So I have been using the Helix floor for over a year now without issues until last night! I updated to 2.20 following all instructions just like all the other firmware updates. No issues through the update process, completed global reset procedure, restored all presets then went into Global menu to turn phantom power back on for my condenser mic (Rode NT1A) and then something very unexpected happened... Right after switching 48V power on the Helix flickered multiple times and then rebooted. Helix starting booting up again and then SMOKE started to escape from the backside of the unit along with the distinct burnt electronics smell (a lot of smoke!) My JTV69 was also connected at the time using the Variax port. I quickly pulled power from the Helix along with Variax cable (Most of the smoke was escaping from the Variax port.) Note: I am using a good mic cable and the condenser mic was plugged in just like it has been connected for months. There was no hot swapping of the mic, only thing that changed was the firmware update. I have been using this exact mic setup for many months now without issue.

 

I waited for the smoke to clear and reluctantly tried booting the Helix up again this time without any mic connected. It booted normally. I want back to globals and phantom power was turned off. I tried a dynamic mic at this point to see if the mic pre was totally fried. It amazingly works but have not tried to turn phantom power back on again for obvious reasons. All Helix functionality is normal at this point including the Variax connection but I'm guessing that the 48V power output is toast. Unfortunately, I'm past the 1 year warranty mark by 2 months.  

 

I feel fortunate that the Helix still functions (mostly) but also know that this was not user error. It is either coincidence that the 48V PCB fried right after the firmware update or the firmware update somehow caused the issue. I have read of other Helix mic pre problems before where the mic input ceases to work but haven't seen anyone report smoke billowing out the back of the unit. Has anyone heard of another unit doing this?

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Upgrade went well. The oscillators are fun. Boot up solid. .. But "stepping" of Volume knob a bit annoying. Once its set, OK and I turn it off for gigs ( switch it to just Digital instead of Multi since I only use the 1/4 and XLR for gigs/jams) . I've had that hit before when it's on during a gig and it annoyed the sound support -and me.

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Just a little reminder - if you are outputting through the 1/4" and are connected by USB you might notice a massive degradation in sound quality with digital hard clipping going on after updating.....

 

after an hour checking every connection and every input on my Behringer mixer I realised that the update has set Line 6 as my default PC output device... after disabling it and switching back to my soundcard I'm now getting PC and Helix through my monitors crystal clearly again!

 

Phew!

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My update process was not so smooth...

 

So I have been using the Helix floor for over a year now without issues until last night! I updated to 2.20 following all instructions just like all the other firmware updates. No issues through the update process, completed global reset procedure, restored all presets then went into Global menu to turn phantom power back on for my condenser mic (Rode NT1A) and then something very unexpected happened... Right after switching 48V power on the Helix flickered multiple times and then rebooted. Helix starting booting up again and then SMOKE started to escape from the backside of the unit along with the distinct burnt electronics smell (a lot of smoke!) My JTV69 was also connected at the time using the Variax port. I quickly pulled power from the Helix along with Variax cable (Most of the smoke was escaping from the Variax port.) Note: I am using a good mic cable and the condenser mic was plugged in just like it has been connected for months. There was no hot swapping of the mic, only thing that changed was the firmware update. I have been using this exact mic setup for many months now without issue.

 

I waited for the smoke to clear and reluctantly tried booting the Helix up again this time without any mic connected. It booted normally. I want back to globals and phantom power was turned off. I tried a dynamic mic at this point to see if the mic pre was totally fried. It amazingly works but have not tried to turn phantom power back on again for obvious reasons. All Helix functionality is normal at this point including the Variax connection but I'm guessing that the 48V power output is toast. Unfortunately, I'm past the 1 year warranty mark by 2 months.  

 

I feel fortunate that the Helix still functions (mostly) but also know that this was not user error. It is either coincidence that the 48V PCB fried right after the firmware update or the firmware update somehow caused the issue. I have read of other Helix mic pre problems before where the mic input ceases to work but haven't seen anyone report smoke billowing out the back of the unit. Has anyone heard of another unit doing this?

 

Despite being out of warranty, you should open up a support ticket, imo. I've never heard of anything like this happening, fwiw.

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Love the new 2.20 update! Helix is so much tighter easier to play/responsive and the overall tone and acoustics are incredible! Just tried the new 3 band compressor and Auto swell both are sweet!    :)

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Not here to make controversies... I chose Helix over FX8 because of fantastic user interface and routing capabilities, but unfortunately I've not fan-boy ears... soundwise, there is a lot to improve, and the dynamic range is not as good as could be (not saying this only by ears, there are instrument measures that can be done).

 

Trust me, I'd be the first to be happy if Line 6 could fix or at least improve these things... for this I'm writing here and not in other forums (throwing lollipop as others do): my first interest is the improvement of some crucial aspects of a pedalboard I paid for, not for polemics.

And I know i'ts possible, because there are no hardware limits compared to others, it's all about software.

 

I'm also not a forum lover usually... only because I think this and I'd like to have a better machine... it would be a market-killer with those improvements.

 

 

I would say to you it's not "fan boy ears" necessarily.

 

I've heard the AX8 and it sounds GREAT. imho, if you're after ease of use and love that box's sound, you should consider getting one AND a cheap Windows laptop, because even though the front panel is confusing to many, that Axe Edit software is TO DIE FOR!

 

I don't necessarily like the sounds of the Axe stuff I've heard or the Kemper stuff (which I've only heard in recordings) better or worse. They are different to me. I have no desire for a Kemper, but GAWD I wish I could afford to have an AX8 along with my Helix! For me Helix gets the tone in my head all inside the box... nothing else does (for ME and my particular needs)..., and lets me do super-weird routing of sometimes 3 and 4 signal chains that are totally different. That's it's key strength to me.

In terms of "what you paid for", I would offer what I always say to people that buy firmware-upgrade-able hardware these days. Don't buy what it might be some day. Buy what it is today. If that won't work for you, don't get it.

 

Even better... save up a bunch of money and buy 'em all!

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Despite being out of warranty, you should open up a support ticket, imo. I've never heard of anything like this happening, fwiw.

I'll do that. Thanks.

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My update process was not so smooth...

 

So I have been using the Helix floor for over a year now without issues until last night! I updated to 2.20 following all instructions just like all the other firmware updates. No issues through the update process, completed global reset procedure, restored all presets then went into Global menu to turn phantom power back on for my condenser mic (Rode NT1A) and then something very unexpected happened... Right after switching 48V power on the Helix flickered multiple times and then rebooted. Helix starting booting up again and then SMOKE started to escape from the backside of the unit along with the distinct burnt electronics smell (a lot of smoke!) My JTV69 was also connected at the time using the Variax port. I quickly pulled power from the Helix along with Variax cable (Most of the smoke was escaping from the Variax port.) Note: I am using a good mic cable and the condenser mic was plugged in just like it has been connected for months. There was no hot swapping of the mic, only thing that changed was the firmware update. I have been using this exact mic setup for many months now without issue.

 

I waited for the smoke to clear and reluctantly tried booting the Helix up again this time without any mic connected. It booted normally. I want back to globals and phantom power was turned off. I tried a dynamic mic at this point to see if the mic pre was totally fried. It amazingly works but have not tried to turn phantom power back on again for obvious reasons. All Helix functionality is normal at this point including the Variax connection but I'm guessing that the 48V power output is toast. Unfortunately, I'm past the 1 year warranty mark by 2 months.  

 

I feel fortunate that the Helix still functions (mostly) but also know that this was not user error. It is either coincidence that the 48V PCB fried right after the firmware update or the firmware update somehow caused the issue. I have read of other Helix mic pre problems before where the mic input ceases to work but haven't seen anyone report smoke billowing out the back of the unit. Has anyone heard of another unit doing this?

Sounds like the 48 volt phantom power supply fried. Open a support ticket with Line 6. 

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I would say to you it's not "fan boy ears" necessarily.

 

I've heard the AX8 and it sounds GREAT. imho, if you're after ease of use and love that box's sound, you should consider getting one AND a cheap Windows laptop, because even though the front panel is confusing to many, that Axe Edit software is TO DIE FOR!

 

I don't necessarily like the sounds of the Axe stuff I've heard or the Kemper stuff (which I've only heard in recordings) better or worse. They are different to me. I have no desire for a Kemper, but GAWD I wish I could afford to have an AX8 along with my Helix! For me Helix gets the tone in my head all inside the box... nothing else does (for ME and my particular needs)..., and lets me do super-weird routing of sometimes 3 and 4 signal chains that are totally different. That's it's key strength to me.

In terms of "what you paid for", I would offer what I always say to people that buy firmware-upgrade-able hardware these days. Don't buy what it might be some day. Buy what it is today. If that won't work for you, don't get it.

 

Even better... save up a bunch of money and buy 'em all!

Ahaha, no Peter... one is enaugh for me :lol:

I mainly use it only for effects, and beeing a tube amp enthusiast I really don't need amp sims.

 

I think that it's not a crime to ask for a better quality and - mostly - more transparency and better dynamics when using it in 4CM... until now, we had updates improving quantity (more amps, effects, cabs etc), utility options (tuner, snapshots etc)... so, next to these updates, I'd like to see also one update regarding aspects that I think would be a real breaktrough... or at least to know if there are plans on doing it: better transparency, better dynamics, possibility to chose a higher quality resolution.

 

Helix is near perfect as far as rig management capabilities... so Line 6, come on, let do the next step ;)

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If my informations are exact, Helix has the same AD/DA converters and the same processing power and CPUs of AX8, but with both CPUs freely assignable (except for the paths)... which means double power against for example FX8 (which has only 1 CPU).

 

So the problem of poorer quality effects (and amps) against competitors is only due to a coding problem, not an hardware one: Helix with it's architecture, loops, switching system, user interface could be the absolute best on the market, but in the real world it isn't... because unfortunately the TONE quality doesn't even match that of the competitors; furthermore, Fractal and Kemper are improving a lot their quality, update after update... not only adding models.

 

I hope Line 6 will understand this, and that they concentrate more on this aspect ASAP.

 

I've owned/used the Kemper, Axe-FX II XL+, AX8, and Helix.

 

I had the AX8 and Helix side-by-side for a week.  

I was looking for a reason to keep the AX8.  I like what Fractal (Cliff) has done and their dedication to improvement.

In the end, I thought IRs (for acoustic purposes) sounded better loaded into Helix.

I could get good heavy crunch sounds from either.

Ultimately, I just couldn't see enough of a reason to keep the AX8.

 

Flash forward a few months... and I picked up the Axe-FX II XL+ (again).

My Marshall heavy crunch sound from the Helix is right there with the Axe-FX.

I've spent significant time with Helix.  I've learned a couple of things from Glenn Delaune.

I've created my own Cab IRs (mic'd the way I prefer)... as well as hardware Neve EQ (tone shaping) IRs.

Helix can definitely hold its own.

I got the Axe-FX because I like having the best of both worlds.

Both are excellent tools.

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In terms of "what you paid for", I would offer what I always say to people that buy firmware-upgrade-able hardware these days. Don't buy what it might be some day. Buy what it is today. If that won't work for you, don't get it.

Even better... save up a bunch of money and buy 'em all!

 

That's sage advice whether you're purchasing hardware OR software.

Don't buy on the premise of what it might be.  That'll lead to disappointment.

 

I'm very fortunate with what I do for a living (get to be around music/gear all day every day).

My "solution" for both hardware and software is to have several different options.  

Not practical for everyone... but it allows cherry-picking the best features of each.

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I've owned/used the Kemper, Axe-FX II XL+, AX8, and Helix.

 

I had the AX8 and Helix side-by-side for a week.  

I was looking for a reason to keep the AX8.  I like what Fractal (Cliff) has done and their dedication to improvement.

In the end, I thought IRs (for acoustic purposes) sounded better loaded into Helix.

I could get good heavy crunch sounds from either.

Ultimately, I just couldn't see enough of a reason to keep the AX8.

 

Flash forward a few months... and I picked up the Axe-FX II XL+ (again).

My Marshall heavy crunch sound from the Helix is right there with the Axe-FX.

I've spent significant time with Helix.  I've learned a couple of things from Glenn Delaune.

I've created my own Cab IRs (mic'd the way I prefer)... as well as hardware Neve EQ (tone shaping) IRs.

Helix can definitely hold its own.

I got the Axe-FX because I like having the best of both worlds.

Both are excellent tools.

Sorry, english isn't my first language, so I could misunderstand what you are saying... are you talking about 4CM and use of only effects with a real amp?

Because this is what my concern is about: I hear a degradation in my real amp tone and dynamics, not the same feeling and tone even with all the blocks in bypass, and setting impedances and levels correctly.

Furthermore, the effects could be improved... nothing to say about amp modeling or direct use with IRs etc, I don't care about them because I don't use Helix this way

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Update seems working great!

 

Few things; Seems the MIDI clock sync does skip some bit and it does not sync back. I just had few sessions using RC300 mastering the Helix, but after few minutes I saw the Helix was not blinking same tempo. Then I tried to test my theory assigning the tempo to a delay with 100% feedback, and I've seen that was changing along time (was like speeding up, very slowly). Odd stuff.

 

Second thing; I'm not sure I got how the OSC are working. I heard they are working through momentary switches but how? Can we have some procedure to make it working?

 

Love the autoswell!!!  ;)

 

I set up the 3 Note Generator to use it like Geddy Lee bass pedals as follows:

 

Set OSC1 Octave to 1

Set OSC1 Note to whatever note

Controller assign on OSC1 Level, assign it to a FS, Type Momentary, Min Value 0, Max Value 2

Repeat for OSC2 and 3, and add another 3 Note Generator for as many notes as you need

 

So you'll have the effect On at all times, but the levels will be at zero until you step on a switch.

 

Seems to work pretty well. I'm still getting a popping sound occasionally, but I'm trying to figure it out. 

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Wow that is cool... B)

 

I've two FCB1010 parked in my old crap warehouse....one of them has the UNO chip, which has (if I remember correctly) the option to make pedals acting momentary... Would be great if I could manage to make one of those a, sort of, bass pedal...  :ph34r:

 

That's good stuff to experiment with, next weekend! 

 

Thanks!

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Sorry, english isn't my first language, so I could misunderstand what you are saying... are you talking about 4CM and use of only effects with a real amp?

Because this is what my concern is about: I hear a degradation in my real amp tone and dynamics, not the same feeling and tone even with all the blocks in bypass, and setting impedances and levels correctly.

Furthermore, the effects could be improved... nothing to say about amp modeling or direct use with IRs etc, I don't care about them because I don't use Helix this way

I use my helix in 4CM with several different tube amps and I switch between using the real amp sounds and sims ( I really like the Archon and Litigator models). But mostly for effects and the midi control capabilities. My current setup is with a Blackstar Series One 104EL34 in 4CM and also run in stereo through an Egnater Vengeance into a stereo 412 cab (also Eganter)

 

I am not having any of the difficulties you are mentioning. I am not experiencing any degradation in the tone or dynamic response of the amplifiers whatsoever.

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Also, I think I will wait a few for some bugs to get fixed before I update. Bummer too, as I really want to check out all the new bass stuff as I'm a bass player first.

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If my informations are exact, Helix has the same AD/DA converters and the same processing power and CPUs of AX8, but with both CPUs freely assignable (except for the paths)... which means double power against for example FX8 (which has only 1 CPU).

 

So the problem of poorer quality effects (and amps) against competitors is only due to a coding problem, not an hardware one: Helix with it's architecture, loops, switching system, user interface could be the absolute best on the market, but in the real world it isn't... because unfortunately the TONE quality doesn't even match that of the competitors; furthermore, Fractal and Kemper are improving a lot their quality, update after update... not only adding models.

 

I hope Line 6 will understand this, and that they concentrate more on this aspect ASAP.

 

The issue of tone quality is purely subjective... I too have tried Fractal products, and they're fine. I didn't feel like there's anything necessarily magical about them though.

 

The fact is that not one company can please everyone. Trying to do so will probably mean you end up pleasing fewer people. Might as well focus on your vision for your product and not worry too much about what other companies are doing.

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Also, I think I will wait a few for some bugs to get fixed before I update. Bummer too, as I really want to check out all the new bass stuff as I'm a bass player first.

 

 

What bugs? Least buggy update I've encountered so far.

 

Even the first beta I tested was very solid.

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Soundwise, there is a lot to improve, and the dynamic range is not as good as could be (not saying this only by ears, there are instrument measures that can be done).

 

We have said measurement instruments. They're really expensive. Helix's dynamic range is empirically, measurably higher than the competition (by as much as 13dB!); we have a patent on the Guitar In circuit.

 

Now whether or not your ears agree, that's another matter. Just know that we've had golden-ear, Grammy-winning engineers perform A/B/X listening tests in strictly controlled environments, and once you remove confirmation bias (like "a 'resolution' parameter must mean it sounds better than anyone else's stock 'resolution'!"), interesting things can be learned.

 

I'm also not a forum lover usually... only because I think this and I'd like to have a better machine... it would be a market-killer with those improvements.

At this point, you'll have to be very specific about what sort of improvements you're looking for. We can measure S/N, dynamic range, gain before feedback, clock jitter, and countless other things, but "it needs to sound better" does us no good, especially considering we improve our modeling engine every update (but choose to not wax poetic about it) and are constantly A/B/X'ing against the real amps and effects until we can fool our own employees (many of whom are ex and current studio engineers).

 

As for raw signal integrity through the system, if you compare Helix in a properly gain-staged 4CM setup against straight wire in a 4CM setup (everything at 1M Ohm), flip the phase, and time-align everything for the sub-2ms of latency inherent in two stages of A/D/A conversion, you get all but a cancelled out signal. The splitting of hairs is more than likely due to conversion, and Helix uses the exact same A/D/As as Fractal's AX8. The FX8 is unique in that pre and post-loop processing can be independently true bypassed; that is, no A/D/A conversion when bypassing all pre—or all post—blocks. Pretty cool, but beyond what AX8, AxeFX, Kemper, or Helix are designed to be.

 

There are also numerous Global Settings as well as Guitar In-Z that can affect your raw signal.

 

By all accounts, Helix, when set up, connected, and gain staged properly—something one needs to do with any modeler or multieffect—is as pristine as you're likely to get from any product in 4CM, 7CM, 10CM, and 13CM. The only way to improve things would be to apply the same patented circuit on all analog inputs, not just the Guitar In, but that's not gonna come from a firmware update.

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Sorry, english isn't my first language, so I could misunderstand what you are saying... are you talking about 4CM and use of only effects with a real amp?

Because this is what my concern is about: I hear a degradation in my real amp tone and dynamics, not the same feeling and tone even with all the blocks in bypass, and setting impedances and levels correctly.

Furthermore, the effects could be improved... nothing to say about amp modeling or direct use with IRs etc, I don't care about them because I don't use Helix this way

 

I missed that detail in your post, sorry.

I was referring to FRFR use... and recording.

FWIW, I have heard the same type comments about the AX8 (though not the case with the FX8 - which was specifically designed for that purpose)

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New amps, new effects... and no improvement in quality... it's a kind of nonsense for me: there are a lot of things to improve a lot (delays, reverbs, harmonizers) and overall transparency/dynamics (for my use with 4CM and real amp this is one of the most important things, and now I have to use 3 eqs to have a decent transaparency).

 

I bought the Helix mainly for pratical reasons and for a fabulous user interface, hoping that Line6 would be working on improve overall TONES quality (to match the standards of their direct competitors), but this seems not to be their priority...

I'm sorry but you're talking utter nonsense. Have you even used any other multi fx with your amp? I have and Helix is about as transparent as it gets. You should try the utter headlollipop that is the TC Electronic G System for starters

 

If you are so overawed by Fractal then why don't you own one of their units? And if you have owned or do still own then why aren't you using them as you seem to be a fan.

 

Be honest, have you ever even tried a Fractal unit?

 

 

And got everyone moaning about the update not containing "quality" improvement or more guitar goodies where exactly have you been for the last nearly two months? We were told EXACTLY what was going to be in this update at NAMM.

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Sorry, english isn't my first language, so I could misunderstand what you are saying... are you talking about 4CM and use of only effects with a real amp?

Because this is what my concern is about: I hear a degradation in my real amp tone and dynamics, not the same feeling and tone even with all the blocks in bypass, and setting impedances and levels correctly.

Furthermore, the effects could be improved... nothing to say about amp modeling or direct use with IRs etc, I don't care about them because I don't use Helix this way

You are doing something wrong

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Thank You DI for the detailed explanation of how it works!!! It removes a lot of speculation from the crowd regarding DSP processing, and how it's done in the HELIX.

I DO own a Fractal, Axe-FX, and have ZERO complaints about the HELIX. I LOVE my Helix, and the sounds I can get from it. It's my "go-to" box right now.

 

Regarding the nay-sayers... Everyone's an expert nowadays. Sound is subjective though.

 

THANK-YOU for the update. I love it!

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Always used Line 6 products (POD, POD XT and Live, and now Helix) and chosed the Helix for what I've explained before (seems that not many had read)... but working constantly with musicians, and beeing a musician my self, I have constantly the chance to try estensively all this kind of products, and simply said what I hear and feel.

 

I'm sorry to have answers like these, expecially from Line 6 people... instead of staying close on their positions, I always try to be open to discussions and suggestions if I can improve my products: no one can tell me it's transparent if I hear clear differences in tone and feel connecting Helix (with ALL bypassed and correct impedances and levels setted) between guitar and amp, and the differences are even more if used in 4CM.

 

The things that I hear and feel have been experienced from many others, there's a very long thread in TGP...

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The things that I hear and feel have been experienced from many others, there's a very long thread in TGP...

 

About the Helix and 4CM? Which thread are you referring to?

 

I honestly haven't read a lot of complaints about Helix and 4CM, and it seems to me I've read a lot more positive experiences than negative ones. What amp are you using?

 

I think the 4CM is one of the most complex use cases for any modeler simply because it has so many different points where differences can be introduced. There's a lot that can complicate things, and it's not fair to lay all the blame at the feet of the multi-FX manufacturers.

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Try this: put the Helix in the effect loop set the levels for the loop carachteristics (my main amp has a simple serial loop, setted for pedal level)... all blocks in bypass, volume to match the amps alone volume.

 

Then disconnect the Helix and put into the amps effect loop a long patch cable (same lenght as the two used previously to connect the Helix) ... this way the only differences one can hear are due to Helix, no other variables.

 

Is it usabile? Yes, of course, and the overall functionality is the main reason I still own it

Sounds bad? No

It's transparent? No

Is it better than other OLDER multifx? Yes

Could it be better? For me, improvement can be done in this regard... my old analog pedalboard with looper/switcher is a lot better as transparency and dynamics respect, and so are other digital pedals.

 

Effects: there are effects of the Helix that I absolutely love... Vibe is one example, the best one I've ever had, including most of the boutique ones; some WAHs are also eccellent, and some ODs pretty usable.

Reverbs, delays, and mostly pitch/harmonizing are not good, there are older machines (also Line6's) one that are much better sounding.

 

I don't speak about amp-sims, not my cup of tea and not using them.

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Couple of artefacts during the update -

 

1) the garbled text in the middle of the screen as seen by others.

2) straight after rebuilding presets it hung (helix graphic stopped twisting) - power cycled - all good. Has done this just once before.

3) Rebuilding presets twice.

 

But net effect is 100% functional.

And massive + with MIDI sync.

Mine also did 1 and 3. Weird thing was 3 was the night after I did the upgrade and had already rebooted and reset to defaults and rebuilt...

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And also, thanks to digital igloo and line6 for the hard work on the update. I appreciate it!

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Just sell it... you're obviously not satisfied. Those things you hear and feel are gonna stay, they're gonna keep bugging you until you finally get rid of the Helix, which, you know you will.

I doubt you're gonna keep it just for the vibe and some whas, when you feel it falls short on more important things like delays and reverbs.

Save yourself some time, sell it and make someone else happy (or not). There are excellent products out there, so why should you stick with something that doesn't feel right to you?.

Seriously.

 

Why am I telling you this? I'm not really bothered by your comments, I just feel bad about you. I love my Helix and I want the same for you. Use what you love.

That and... I've been where you are with other pieces of gear.

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I'm sorry to have answers like these, expecially from Line 6 people... instead of staying close on their positions, I always try to be open to discussions and suggestions if I can improve my products: no one can tell me it's transparent if I hear clear differences in tone and feel connecting Helix (with ALL bypassed and correct impedances and levels setted) between guitar and amp, and the differences are even more if used in 4CM.

No need to apologize for "answers like these" when there are no answers:

  • Something's hooked up wrong or set up wrong—it happens to the best of us, guitarlory!
  • Your particular Helix is faulty in some way—it happens to the best of us, rest of Line 6!
  • You're comparing apples to oranges; that is, Helix (a non-true bypass product like AX8, AxeFX, Kemper, and Amplifire) to straight wire or a true-bypass pedal

Anything with an A/D/A conversion and op amps is, by its very nature, less transparent than straight wire, but the same could be said about every single digital pedal without an analog dry path. The true test of audio integrity is the summed phase reverse test (time-aligned for A/D/A converter latency). If Helix can zero itself out better than anything else in its category—which it does, and it's empirical and measurable—there's either a lot of hair splitting going on... or something else.

  • Upvote 3

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Mine also rebuilt presets twice, but after that it seems ok.

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I don't usually do this but I'm calling troll on that guy.

 

 

There's lollipop all wrong with Helix in 4cm and it's so easy to setup I doubt he could have made a mess of it.

 

Also his English seems to have gotten "worse"

 

Hi Cliff!

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Well, I'll pile on. I did the 2.20 update with no issues. I also updated WBHD. I'll probably tweak my Variax a lot more now that I can just access WB through the Helix. Thank you L6.

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Not a good Idea to write here... I don't know why I decided to waste time doing this, only to be treated with superficiality and allusions, and also to be accused of trollism by people who know anything about me...

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Just sell it... you're obviously not satisfied. Those things you hear and feel are gonna stay, they're gonna keep bugging you until you finally get rid of the Helix, which, you know you will.

I doubt you're gonna keep it just for the vibe and some whas, when you feel it falls short on more important things like delays and reverbs.

Save yourself some time, sell it and make someone else happy (or not). There are excellent products out there, so why should you stick with something that doesn't feel right to you?.

Seriously.

Why am I telling you this? I'm not really bothered by your comments, I just feel bad about you. I love my Helix and I want the same for you. Use what you love.

That and... I've been where you are with other pieces of gear.

You deserve an answer, because it's reasonable what you said.

I have had Helix for 6 months and buyed it to substitute my big and heavy switching board... did more or less 30 live gigs, and after the snapshots introduction the functionality is perfect form me... also, the tones from helix/amp are good, expecially from the point of view of the people who listen.

 

For me, as a player perspective, I always felt there's something "wrong"... every time I disconnect it, I feel the amps sounds more natural and warm, responds in a different way to picking (more raw, but I'm not sure this is the right term... not writing in english so well, sorry), and there are some frequencies missing (around low mids), expecially when using 4CM, and obviously all is more noticeable when playing alone to program the tones I need.

Isn't possible to improve this? Ok, I can understand and live with it.

 

For effects: delays, reverbs and pitch/harmonizers are a big part of my live tones with one of the bands, and I have to carry everytime other units for these; there are hundreds of requests to improve these effects on ideascale (so I'm not the only one to hear that something is missing), and I hoped that after 6 months and some updates done, these requests would be heard by Line 6 people...

 

So, why I didn't choose one of the competitors? Because after 30 minutes with a Fractal unit I had hives! I absolutely hate their interface and editing on the fly... furthermore, some effects are better in Helix from my point of view (vibes, wahs, overdrives), in Fractal ones there's always a hi-fi feeling; but, conversely, I envied all the reverb/delays/pitch algorythms comparing them to the ones I have in Helix.

 

Today I'm going to update to the 2.20 FW, because in the TGP thread I read that someone find the delays improved, but I don't know if this is psycho-acoustics, because nowhere I can find that confirmed by Line 6 people: we will see, hope is the last to die, and in spite of all I want to believe that sooner or later they put hands also on these.

 

P.S. The only alternative I see at the moment is my old analog/digital switching pedalboard (that I still own): but 45kg and big footprint are leading me to send it to retire

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guitarlory,

 

I don't think you're a troll, I do think perhaps you are never going to be fully happy with any of these units, but I'm glad you found one that makes your life and your job easier.

 

I will say you SHOULD keep current on firmware, but the delays are not any different sounding in this update I don't think.

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Do whatever thing works better for you.

 

When it comes to "hybrids" as you are doing, it will never be the same as before, without the digital part in the middle. If you are aiming to got back that "clarity" it's not going to happen because of that big black thing in the middle and could be basically the same even with a single extra circuit between your guitar and your old amps. The only thing you could do is to create your analog pedalboard, with true bypass pedals, and forget about digital. To me looks like you are sort of fighting with ghosts but soon or later you have to decide which is the compromise working better for you.

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