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Helix with Firehawk 1500


nibbana
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Hey folks,

 

I just purchased the Firehawk 1500 to use with my Helix. It should be delivered by the end of the week.

 

What I am trying to figure out, is the best way that I can hook my Helix into the Firehawk so that I can use it with the Firehawk amp models, OR with the Helix amp models. I don't want to have to re-rig the cables when I want to switch between the Helix's Angl Meteor and the Firehawk's Deity.

 

Opt 1: Helix effects -> Helix amp model -> Helix post effects -> Firehawk as a power amp

Opt 2: Guitar -> Helix effects -> Firehawk amp model -> Helix post effects -> Firehawk power amp 

 

Also, is there a way to use the Helix to change presets on the Firehawk?

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I use the Monitor L/R in jacks from Helix's Main outs. You can also use (if you want to) an aux send set to line level tapped directly behind the cab (and before the delay and verbs) into the return jack on the FH1500. This FX return jack connection then uses the horn as well in the FH1500. Otherwise you are just using to two outside mids and 12". 

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So, if you plug into the "Monitor" inputs you're not using the center horn? Do the monitor inputs get sent to the XLR outputs, too? I've been considering this as an amplification option, but I keep hearing random things about having to run certain configurations to make use of the entire speaker system if you're not using the on-board processing. If I were to run the 1/4" outs of the Helix into the stereo effects return would I then be using the full spectrum of the drivers AND pass the audio out of the XLR outputs on the FH1500? Ideally, it would just be my amp unless something went fishy on the Helix then I could switch to the onboard processing.

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So, if you plug into the "Monitor" inputs you're not using the center horn?

 

Correct.

 

Do the monitor inputs get sent to the XLR outputs, too? 

 

 

Yes, but IIRC you will have to turn this on in the menus.

 

If I were to run the 1/4" outs of the Helix into the stereo effects return would I then be using the full spectrum of the drivers AND pass the audio out of the XLR outputs on the FH1500? 

 

I have not tried that one yet. Lemme know  :D

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I did several side to side comparisons between the Helix amps and HD amps in the FH1500. Compared amps which are in both the units, using exactly same settings and mics.

 

They are the same tone. Helix has more mics and more options to tweak things, but using available settings on both, they are the same tone, bit by bit. I wouldn't be surprised to discover it's same algo running in both DSPs, with the Helix version using more branches to work inside the Helix patch structure. 

 

Problem is, as already said several times over here, the FH1500 sounds muffled when you use an external stereo source entering the amp (does not matter which stereo input you use), as it has pretty aggressive limiter section which is capping the dynamic as soon as you push on the source. Even if you make all speakers working, it's the crossover operation which is different, so you have different pass and different limits between the two usage (FRFR or standalone).

So yes, the amp alone does sounds better but doesn't have same range of amps and effects as Helix has.

 

You should try yourself if you can, because along forums you'll find people saying lot of things and sometimes protecting their investment with a bit wishful thinking, but really, I would not ever suggest a FH1500 for a guy who needs a FRFR for its helix. StageSources are working way better if you want to stay in the L6 family.

 

Said that, I now have the Helix out for repair, and I'm using the FH1500 as backup and believe me, the sound it's stellar. The presence in the room and the clarity of the tone it's top notch. All things I never get pairing it with my Helix.

 

Good luck. :)

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Thats really disappointing to hear, actually. I really like the idea of stereo in one box that looks roughly like an amp, and that it has my "backup rig" built-in is a major plus, but if it's not going to play well with my Helix, I'm not interested. Similar solutions are ridiculously priced for the features and don't even have built-in modeling. I can just get a FireHawk FX for a back up and keep running my Mackies, which for my use sound great with the Helix. With what you're saying about the Helix via stereo inputs, I'm curious as to how the loops would work with line-level rack FX or similar, and why bypassing the modeling/FX would put the limiter (or whatever it is) into effect.

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When you send your stereo signal into the FH1500 you have a DSP wich has no clue about the signal composition. So for that stage you have just a composite signal (helix amps plus effexts) to be processed just at amplitude and frequency domain, through a digital compressor (which is part of DSP). That is then passing various frequencies to the different speakers. Limiters there are kicking to protect coaxial to be overloaded, and this is muffling the incoming signal. When you use the amp alone, DSP does know what every block is doing, it does recognize dry from wet, amp simulation from a reverb etc. Signal is not a composite as it happens when using the stereo inputs. Distribution here is then optimized for wet/dry/wet and the output its way more open and clear, and because of that you get no crazy limiters muffling the output.

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So the only way to get it to REALLY work with Helix is to set-up a W/D/W patch, run the "dry" into an ampless preset on the input, then send the L/R "wet" into the FX return? F'n A L6....no stereo inputs on the Spider V combo....no "2CM" for the Helix with Firehawk 1500....guess I'll stick with my PA speakers until they figure it out...

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You should try yourself if you can, because along forums you'll find people saying lot of things and sometimes protecting their investment with a bit wishful thinking, but really, I would not ever suggest a FH1500 for a guy who needs a FRFR for its helix. 

 

 

And that's exactly what I use for my Helix FRFR wise. Of course I'm protecting my investments (who doesnt?) but even so, I love the sounds too.  ;)  As always and once again, YMMV...

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thats still one extra cable I don't want to have to set up. half the point of a modeler (to me, IMHO) is ELIMINATING cables and fail points from a rig.

Well then you want a complete wireless setup including the light show and ticket sales.  That modeler should be ready around 2031 or so..  ;)

 

All kidding aside, How is using one extra cable a fail point if the cables are all good?

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Using 3 cables for W/D/W is limiting the block routing capabilities by a good 70/80% and it also force you to have multiple version of the same patch to be used with 2 cables, live and studio. Would work much better with 3 cables and few stomp box on the ground. Helix is to much power wasted for the scheme.

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 Helix is to much power wasted for the scheme.

 

Pretty much this. And a "good" cable might not always stay that way, and having three (or in my case four since the headphone output gets run to our IEM rig) cables is three POSSIBLE points in the signal chain for something to go wrong. It doesn't make sense to me that you'd need to run this way vs stereo just to use the full capability of the amps volume.

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Sure an old cable might not stay that way, just like Helix might break too. But until a problem shows it's ugly head, just keep an extra cable or two in the bag and worry about problems after they happen. Less stress and ulcers that way.  :)

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