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Using Katana (or similar) to amplify Helix

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I don't love the sound of my Carvin PM12A to amplify my Helix. It's ok, but has some fizziness I can't dial out sometimes.

 

I've been considering a Yamaha DXR10 as a replacement - but...last week I tested out a Boss Katana.

 

The Katana sounds pretty good - I'd just want it for Jams and a small venue gig we do...but I started wondering about using it to amplify the Helix.

 

I can go right out of the Helix into the Katana power amp. 

 

Is anyone using a Katana or other similar amp with their Helix this way, if so, does it sound good - better/worse than a powered monitor like the Yammie?

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Before adding a pair of Yamaha DXR10 to use with the Helix, I was using my Fender Mustang Amps. I've have the IV v.2 and III v.2. Both have FX Returns and may be configured to be run as powered cabs such that the Mustangs' Amp profiles, FX, and Cab Sims may be bypassed, if desired. The Mustangs have very good Celestion speakers, 2x12 and 1x12, respectively. I feel they do a very good job with the Helix for electric guitar. However, the respective Celestion speakers roll off dramatically above 4kHz, so any other material, instruments, and upper harmonic electric guitar content are vastly attenuated. I still use them with the Helix when I want to move more air than what the two Yamaha DXR10 can accomplish. And when I run W/D/W.

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I'm using an EHX 44 Magnum and couldn't be happier. So easy. I have a vox 10" cab, a 2x12 boogie, a Marshall 4x12, and a fun 4x8 I built for kicks.

So, gig pending I bring the right cabinet.

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I tried the PM12a with my Pod HD a whole back and it was just so harsh compared to my Alto.

 

A Katana with Helix sounds like fun, and would make a good backup in case something were to happen to your Helix

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I have a Helix, I have a Katana 100 combo. I've never plugged the two together. When I first got my Helix, I used it with several tube and SS amps with various routing configurations. After I got my Yamaha DXR12, I felt it was a much better match for the Helix and I quit experimenting with other amps.

The Katana has a single guitar cab type speaker. The new Line 6 Spider V has a 2 way flat response type speaker. I would think the Spider V might fill the role you're thinking about a little better than the Katana.

I like my Katana a lot. I've just never considered using it as a Helix amp. I use it for practice at home and as a grab and go combo for jam nights.

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The EHX looks like an interesting idea. I hadn't really considered it before. What speakers do you use in the cabs with the EHX? Anything in particular?

 

 

Before adding a pair of Yamaha DXR10 to use with the Helix, I was using my Fender Mustang Amps. I've have the IV v.2 and III v.2. Both have FX Returns and may be configured to be run as powered cabs such that the Mustangs' Amp profiles, FX, and Cab Sims may be bypassed, if desired. The Mustangs have very good Celestion speakers, 2x12 and 1x12, respectively. I feel they do a very good job with the Helix for electric guitar. However, the respective Celestion speakers roll off dramatically above 4kHz, so any other material, instruments, and upper harmonic electric guitar content is vastly attenuated. I still use them with the Helix when I want to move more air than what the two Yamaha DXR10 can accomplish.

The DXR10 was at the top of my list. I tried the QSC's as well. Both were good. I just thought using an amp like the Katana or Mustang would give me additional options. I guess I'm going to have to just try it...One question, is the DXR10 loud enough with the band. I wouldn't be mic'ing anything, It'd be Helix to DXR and that's it...

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I tried the PM12a with my Pod HD a whole back and it was just so harsh compared to my Alto.

 

A Katana with Helix sounds like fun, and would make a good backup in case something were to happen to your Helix

I had the same experience with the POD. I've been able to make the PM12a work with the Helix - maybe it's me, but the Helix seems much easier to adjust to dial out the harshness.

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I have a Helix, I have a Katana 100 combo. I've never plugged the two together. When I first got my Helix, I used it with several tube and SS amps with various routing configurations. After I got my Yamaha DXR12, I felt it was a much better match for the Helix and I quit experimenting with other amps.

The Katana has a single guitar cab type speaker. The new Line 6 Spider V has a 2 way flat response type speaker. I would think the Spider V might fill the role you're thinking about a little better than the Katana.

I like my Katana a lot. I've just never considered using it as a Helix amp. I use it for practice at home and as a grab and go combo for jam nights.

I looked at the Spider V lineup, doesn't appear to have an FX send/receive - Is there some way to shut off modeling and FX and just use the power amp?

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I had the same experience with the POD. I've been able to make the PM12a work with the Helix - maybe it's me, but the Helix seems much easier to adjust to dial out the harshness.

I just got a great deal on some PM12 units (free) and will be giving them a go with the Helix. I looked up the frequency response on them and they are about as "flat response" as any other 12" two way speaker, with a little dip in the mids which is to be expected. 

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I just got a great deal on some PM12 units (free) and will be giving them a go with the Helix. I looked up the frequency response on them and they are about as "flat response" as any other 12" two way speaker, with a little dip in the mids which is to be expected. 

Would love to know what you think of them. Mine is working OK with the Helix for some models. Has a fizzy top end tho', and the bass has to be dialed down some. 

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The DXR10 was at the top of my list. I tried the QSC's as well. Both were good. I just thought using an amp like the Katana or Mustang would give me additional options. I guess I'm going to have to just try it...One question, is the DXR10 loud enough with the band. I wouldn't be mic'ing anything, It'd be Helix to DXR and that's it...

Having a guitar amp (containing a Stereo FX Loop or Stereo AuxIn) to use with the Helix absolutely provides additional options! A guitar amp can also serve as backup should the Helix or Yamahas go down.

 

The Yamaha DXR10, can roar! They continue to sound remarkably good at extreme levels. Although, I rarely run them that loud. ;) I use them as stereo monitors, regardless if postioned as wedges or upright flanking my Amps. I got two because one simply did not provide a sufficiently wide full sound field. I do not use them for PA.

 

I got the DXR10s as I loved how they sound, how rugged they are, and their features. Their capabilites are well suited to my needs without being too big and heavy, and they nicely exceed what near field Studio Monitors provide. I tried JBL LSR305, JBL LSR308 and Yamaha HS8 and although I kept the set of JBL LSR308, having exposed speaker cones renders them of limited placement and use.

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Bump, interested in using a Katana with the helix.  Seems like a good cheap solution for jamming without dealing with a PA and also good as a backup or amp for visiting friends.

 

Any info on how they sound together?

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Bump, interested in using a Katana with the helix.  Seems like a good cheap solution for jamming without dealing with a PA and also good as a backup or amp for visiting friends.

 

Any info on how they sound together?

 

I just got a Katana head and I have been using my Helix LT in 4cm into it and it sounds and feels outstanding. 

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My experience with Katana and Helix:

For a rehearsal rig I picked up a Helix LT and I was looking at a couple 1x12 combos to use as a compact setup.

I found a Katana 100 combo at a reasonable cost and tried it out.  The Katana sounded OK on it's own but not quite there.

I thought it was very brittle sounding due to the speaker.  With the Helix LT into the Return, even more brittle.  Could not dial it out and have

a useable tone left to work with.  Plenty of oomph though.  No problem getting good volume.

I changed the speaker to a Celestion Gold that I had lying about.  It completely changed the overall amp tone, but now it was softer in the mids

and fizzy in the highs.  Again, dialing the Helix LT you could get it better but you would not be left with anything gutsy to work with.

Ultimately I took out the Gold, put the stock speaker back in and sold it.  It's a nice amp, just not for me.

 

I picked up a NOS, 1x12, VHT Special 44 to try.  This amp has post-return tone controls as well as a multi-selector for amp response.

This amp sounds much better than the Katana for Helix to my ears, but I think ultimately, I'm heading towards a DXR10 or PRX-710.

I'll keep the VHT since it is an excellent, clean tube amp that is very pedal friendly.

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I run a Helix LT and a Katana 100.  The idea was playing a gig, the Helix straight in is the plan.  The Katana 100 I use for practicing at home with the Helix, or as a backup to the Helix if it were to go down, the Katana 100 + GA-FC would get me by.

 

I started by using the effects return to bypass the preamp and got pretty good results.  But I've actually liked the sound more going straight in the front and using the acoustic setting, which I believe is supposed to be a full range mode on the Katana, so while not a FRFR, I think it is probably close enough for my purposes.  Katana speaker generally benefits from getting broken in and generally sounds a little brittle initially.

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I absolutely LOVE my Helix LT via 4cm into the Katana. I just learned that I can also control the Katana via MIDI from the Helix but I dont know how to set it up yet so I have no opinion on that yet. 

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I'm finding my 180w Fishman Loudbox using the aux in reproduces my studio monitors very well. I would like to A/B it with a proper FRFR.

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I'd love one of those 80's Peavey Chorus Amps. They have a stereo channel and often thought would

make a great stage amp for a HD or a Helix.

I will be picking up my old Renown at my folks place as I was recently reaquanted with how loud and clean

good they sounded using the exact same early one with the output transformers in it before the 400 series.

I was re amazed how clean it would remain cranked using my friends one and explains why they get some love

from gigging pedal steel guitarists.

The downside; you need a roadie as they are so heavy and ideally the Stereo Chorus is the go for a Helix.

The plus; can be bought for grocery money, proven reliability practically maintenance free, outdoor concert loud, outdoor concert loud

and American made when 80's was the pinnacle of heavy metal and solid state ruled the world.

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I just started using the Helix in stereo into 2 Katana 100 in the effects returns and it sounds great. It's lighter than the Line6 L2t and unless I need the mic inputs from the l2t's , I will just use Katana - I like the brightness of Katana. 

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On 29.8.2017 at 2:15 PM, bobpick said:

I absolutely LOVE my Helix LT via 4cm into the Katana. I just learned that I can also control the Katana via MIDI from the Helix but I dont know how to set it up yet so I have no opinion on that yet. 

 

Has the Katana 100 the option to just use it as power amp with the 4cm method. I mean that it only does the amplification without any modelling going on?

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I normally run my Helix (or Boss GT-100) into the effects return of a Friedman Dirty Shirley,  then into 1-12 box loaded with a Scumback M75.  I get great tone, but I was thinking it would be nice to take convenience to the next step with a combo unit.  

 

I had read many great reviews about the Fender Mustang GT100.  It’s a 100W combo that weighs in at a featherlight 22 lbs, so I decided to buy one and give it a try.  For the price, it’s a really cool amp, however I found it to have harsh tones in the higher frequencies that I couldn’t EQ away.  I thought that maybe the lightweight neodymium speaker might be the problem, so I wired in my 1-12 box and the amp still sounded harsh.  I really wanted to like this amp, but it ended up going back.

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Just adding to the discussion.  I'm running my Helix through the new Katana Artist 100 and couldn't be happier.  Best of both worlds, either via 4 cable or through the acoustic preamp channel.  MIDI to the amp gives me even more flexibility, plus I've got a great backup in the Katana.  I already own the Katana 100 1x12 and the head, but this new amp sounds and behaves even better.

Katana Artist 100.jpg

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Hello,

 

i´m also using the Katana Head 100 + a 4 x 12 Marshall cab to amplify the Line 6 Helix. So far it sounds really great!! Can someone please help me with the channel switching (Katana) via Midi? My intention is to connect a specia Helix preset to a special channels of Katana. If I connect the Helix with the Katana via Midi it generelly works but so far it only works that I can switch through the  8 + 1 channels of Katana using the first 9 Presets from the Helix.  

 

Any help is very appreciated!

 

Holger

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