Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bruce1903

Advice please - should I buy a Helix?

Recommended Posts

Hello all

 

Apologies if this sort of question has been posted before but I am looking for some specific advice

 

Big U2 fan and guitarist for 35 years I have recently had time to rekindle my interest in the guitar and have decided to invest in some decent gear and build a pedalboard. I have recently purchased a Korg SDD3000 and Line6 M5 and am now looking to purchase an Eventide H9, power supply, expression pedal, midi footswitch etc.... by the time I've finished I will probably have spent around 1,200 GBP. then I stumbled across the Helix.....

 

Question is this; Would the Helix be a better option than building a board? or is it overkill for my requirements? I am just a hobbyist, not in a band or gigging at the moment and really just want to replicate the tones of U2, The Stone Roses, Beatles, Stones. Floyd etc..... as closely as possible. Current amp is a VOX AC10.

 

Also, How would the unit sound plugged through my current Vox amp? I am not knowledgeable on the amp/cab options in the Helix.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, another one of those should I buy?

Really only you can decide that but there is a whole bunch of people on here who are more than happy to own an Helix, and it keeps getting better - new stuff already in the pipeline.

As for getting the tones of U2 or Pink Floyd from the Helix, may I suggest you check out the various patch offerings available from Scott of the Helix channel, Glen DeLaune and Fremen who all contribute to this forum. If their creations don't tempt you to buy a Helix then I don' t know what will.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think once you're considering  the H9 + midicontroller etc you're well into the point where a helix might be a reasonable idea. Also the SDD3000 is massive too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are a hobbiest with a ~$1200 budget, I recommend the Helix. If you build a board, you will continue buying/swapping pedals. You won't need to do that with the Helix.

 

I am a hobbiest that plays at church every week. I sold all of the stuff on my pedalboard and a couple of amps, and use only the Helix any more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For anyone who knows enough about Helix to ask the question, the answer is yes!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also, How would the unit sound plugged through my current Vox amp? I am not knowledgeable on the amp/cab options in the Helix.

 

 

Generally, that really depends on how you hook it up. Has this amp got a send and return? Then I would use the 4 cable method. There are "gobs" of info on how to hook this up, just google it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies guys. Regards the amp, no send and return, just a jack connector for external speaker.

 

Thanks again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies guys. Regards the amp, no send and return, just a jack connector for external speaker.

 

Thanks again

Helix does sound like a good solution for you, but plugging it into the front of your AC10 will probably not give you the tonally desired results. There are very good Vox amp and cab models (among many others!) in Helix if you really like the Vox sound. A lot of people use FRFR (full range flat response) systems to plug their Helix into. Another option, as mentioned above, is to use the 4 cable method (4cm) this requires an amp with an effects loop. With this option you wouldn't use cab modeling in Helix because you are plugging into a physical cab. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For 15+ years (can't remember exactly) i did not touch a guitar. 2-3 years ago I started playing again. Got my self a Line6 UX1 and pod farm. I quickly realized that I wanted something better and more "wow" - the kind of gear that I couldn't afford when I was younger.

 

i can tell you one thing. the Helix is one piece of gear you wont regret buying. Every day when I go into my little "home studio" and turn on my helix I smile all over my face. It's super enjoyable to fiddle with and it sounds great.

 

As mentioned a lot of people use FRFR speakers to get the most out of their Helix. i have a pair of JBL LSR305s studio monitors (FRFR). They're cheap and sounds awesome with the helix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I could stay married after buying one I would buy it!

For 15+ years (can't remember exactly) i did not touch a guitar. 2-3 years ago I started playing again. Got my self a Line6 UX1 and pod farm. I quickly realized that I wanted something better and more "wow" - the kind of gear that I couldn't afford when I was younger.

 

i can tell you one thing. the Helix is one piece of gear you wont regret buying. Every day when I go into my little "home studio" and turn on my helix I smile all over my face. It's super enjoyable to fiddle with and it sounds great.

 

As mentioned a lot of people use FRFR speakers to get the most out of their Helix. i have a pair of JBL LSR305s studio monitors (FRFR). They're cheap and sounds awesome with the helix.

Brilliant, the above is what I can relate to 100 percent....!

 

Thanks again guys, all comments and responses have been great and much appreciated. Should buy one just for the community spirit alone!

 

Have continued to play the guitar over the last few years but only just getting back into it now in a big way, can't believe how much things have advanced over the last few years. Loving the new VOX but maybe shouldn't bought....... It's been a massive learning curve over the last few weeks.

 

Will check out the speakers, looks like it'll be a Helix and one seriously p*ssed off wife.....!

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will check out the speakers, looks like it'll be a Helix and one seriously p*ssed off wife.....!

Thanks

Quote:

 

I've had three wives and three guitars. I still play the guitars.

 

Andres Segovia

 

Have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely not through the Vox!  FRFR is the way to go.  But that, as someone already points out can be some moderate studio monitors. (and get great HiFi for free - well your HIFi might actually even be up to it if it's decent??)  You can probably sell all the rest!

Expect a bit of a learning curve though - it's not hard, but there are a few concepts that you see being misunderstood over and over on the forums.  EQ being right up at the front! 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just don't expect it to be plug and play. Expect to have to work to get the sounds you want.

 

As for the p*ssed off wife, ask her about the several $300 sweaters she got at Nordstrom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Bruce, I fought with the decision for a while prior to taking the plunge, and I’m glad I went for it.  

So some background, I’m a hobbyist that’s played off and on again since the early 90’s, more off then on though since kids came along and the career was taking up all of my time (and sanity).  I’d made some attempts to get back into it, but it never panned out until last year after some life changes, and once I stuck with it a bit I started doing the pedalboard and amp thing.  I’d seen the Helix early on and thought it was amazing, but I wrote it off due to the price tag.

 

If you are a hobbiest with a ~$1200 budget, I recommend the Helix. If you build a board, you will continue buying/swapping pedals. You won't need to do that with the Helix.

I am a hobbiest that plays at church every week. I sold all of the stuff on my pedalboard and a couple of amps, and use only the Helix any more.

 

I agree 110% with the quote above.  I found I was buying and selling all sorts of gear trying to get a rig with the sounds I wanted.  I’d done a similar thing with gear when I got into photography, and started to realize what I was doing to myself.  When I evaluated what all of that trading was costing me in the long run and still not getting me where I wanted to be, I started looking really hard at the Helix again.  The moment one of my local shops got one in stock, I decided to take the plunge, and paired it with a powered PA cab.  

I ended up selling every pedal I owned, save for a Micro POG (tracks octaves better than the Helix when fed chords IMO) and my M5 which I use when I need extra sounds or run out of DSP on a single path.  This setup pretty much serves everything I need for instrument processing. 

 

Some of the pros, at least for me are:
 - Ditched amps altogether along with the dependency on application specific cabs.  With the PA cab, I can use the same rig for electric, acoustic electric, and bass just with a patch change.  
 - Helix’s EXTREMELY flexible routing lets me do things far easier than ever before.  Want to A/B an effect at different places in the chain?  Just move the block.  Need to add an external effect?  Put it in a loop and stick it wherever in the signal chain.  Parallel paths?  No problem.
 - Friend wants to come over and jam?  All he/she needs is their guitar and a cable, no amps or pedalboards to bring along and set up, we just set up a quick second path.  They want to do it after my wife goes to bed?  We can plug the output into my little headphone amp and wail away.  
 - The platform is evolving.  Our suggestions are heard, improvements and enhancements have already been made since release.  
 - Community support.  The forum here has been an EXCELLENT resource for me, and other outlets for information and conversation are popping up here and there.  
 
Some of the cons, on the other hand:
 - Complexity.  Not from the interface, mind you - that’s as simple as it gets with this much power.  The complexity lies in getting the sounds you want.  It can take a LOT of tweaking at first, and when you run wide range or FRFR cabs you have to explore EQs and HPF/LPF in ways you may have never experienced with straight up guitar amps and pedals.  Once you get the hang of it though, you have a LOT of power at your feet.  
 - Bugs, they happen but from what I’ve seen so far Line 6 has been very reasonable in addressing them.  
 - Option paralysis.  It’s entirely possible to spend more time tweaking than playing, but both can be fun.  :)
 - Haters.  Sometimes, especially online you get some shade thrown at you from the purists that will never give up their tubes and refuse to believe that modelers have evolved at all from their early days.  Back in 2001 I had bought of the old AX2 2x12 combos, and while that was a pretty good piece of gear for its day, we’ve come a long way since then.

 

My advice would be to jump on it, and ditch the amp and go with a powered full range cab too.  You only live once.  ;)  My wife was easy to sell, but I'm also a professional photographer and have lenses that cost nearly twice as much as the Helix.  Perhaps she figured this was an easy out.  :D

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my thoughts on it after owning for a while now.

 

It takes effort to learn how to use it.  Everyone's ear is different and everyone's ancillary gear is different.  This thing is a monster of details and sounds.  Stomp boxes do things one way and they do what they do, but the helix is like a simulation of an entire guitar shop with all of the gear at your disposal.  All of what it can do inside of routing, eqing, leveling, etc, etc, etc will not be "plug and play"

 

Start with the user banks and blank templates.  Work backwards in the chain.  get your existing clean signal tweaked before adding any effects, reverbs, or other dynamics.  If you want... go to the sound library and factory banks and find a tone in there that you like alot.  Look at how its routed, look at how it's built and mimic it.  Re-create that tone manually so you get used to what every part of the signal chains do.  I have to tweak every patch I download because it was made by someone with different monitors, different cabs, and different guitars than I own.

 

Moral of the story is, you get out of helix what you put into it.  You need to put alot in initially to get great tone.  If you do, though, you can make what I call master patches.  One preset, an entire album of your favorite artist.  Snapshots, snapshots, snapshots.  It's like having presets within presets that can flip around all of the settings and parameters of everything in your preset patch.  I saw one for Pink Floyd that pretty much nails every song on Dark Side and The Wall in a single preset, a dozen snapshots and stompbox mode settings.  It's using tons of blocks.  It's epic and customizable.  That's the kind of things you can build.

 

This thing is a beast in the studio but it's advanced way of handling routing, presets, and snapshots lends itself very well to live performances.  You can layout multiple presets for your gig, all with different groups of effects.  Or, and what I prefer to do, is lay out a single preset as an entire pedalchain then use snapshots to switch between the parts of the songs I'm playing.

 

cooler still is the easy midi integration and commanding.  I can trigger other instruments in my daw with my footswitches.  Mix it with NI maschine and you can trigger different scenes in the song with a tap of your foot.  It becomes a one-man-band sort of experience that few other devices can do effectively.

 

Good luck with whatever you ended up doing, or are still trying to figure out if you want to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello all

 

Apologies if this sort of question has been posted before but I am looking for some specific advice

 

Big U2 fan and guitarist for 35 years I have recently had time to rekindle my interest in the guitar and have decided to invest in some decent gear and build a pedalboard. I have recently purchased a Korg SDD3000 and Line6 M5 and am now looking to purchase an Eventide H9, power supply, expression pedal, midi footswitch etc.... by the time I've finished I will probably have spent around 1,200 GBP. then I stumbled across the Helix.....

 

Question is this; Would the Helix be a better option than building a board? or is it overkill for my requirements? I am just a hobbyist, not in a band or gigging at the moment and really just want to replicate the tones of U2, The Stone Roses, Beatles, Stones. Floyd etc..... as closely as possible. Current amp is a VOX AC10.

 

Also, How would the unit sound plugged through my current Vox amp? I am not knowledgeable on the amp/cab options in the Helix.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

This is what I did.It was easy on the wallet http://www.zzounds.com/item--LINHELIXLT  

http://www.zzounds.com/item--MACTHUMP12A?siid=231885

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...