Jump to content
michaelscott9

Helix - straight into amp? Or not?

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

Just joined the forum, can the helix be used successfully as a multifx unit straight into a tube amp?

Or is it designed to be a multi fx, amp and cab all in one solution?

All info and opinions will be greatly received.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both. I use it to QSC K12 FRFR speakers and ILOUD micro monitors. Work great. You can turn off the amps and just use as a pedal into an amp. Check out the 4 cable method setup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, all possible. The question you need to ask yourself is what are you trying to achieve? There are other solutions if you just want programmable effects. I am seeing people start out with the Helix in 4 cable method, and finding themselves transitioning to FRFR ( Helix does the amp and speaker simulation) as they get more confident with modelling - often after doing some recording where they go direct and realise they could be doing that live. So it gives you all those options. But you do pay for them. Still a batch of top quality pedals into a switcher will cost more and still not offer the flexibility. But you will get to pick every pedal though. What makes FRFR win for me is that I can put effects after the speakers - like you do in the studio. And then there's the simpler and lighter rig..........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if all you want is fx tho i'd say there are a lot cheaper options. It's kind of very overkill if you are just going into the front of an amp and not using any of the amp modelling

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the real answer is... Sure, why not?  Might it be considered an expensive option to use it as "just" a pedalboard, thereby "wasting" some of the blocks in it?.. maybe to some people, others might find value in such a compact format compared to their other pedal boards, and the flexibility they get everywhere else like in the studio and ability to bring it home and play it through headphones and not wake the baby.  And nobody says you might not want to use a preamp block as a boost/dirt pedal into the amp.  It's all up to your imagination and your situation and your wallet.  But to answer your question directly it works great like that.  Or there are other options... Up to you how you want to use it and what works for you.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the real answer is... Sure, why not? Might it be considered an expensive option to use it as "just" a pedalboard, thereby "wasting" some of the blocks in it?.. maybe to some people, others might find value in such a compact format compared to their other pedal boards, and the flexibility they get everywhere else like in the studio and ability to bring it home and play it through headphones and not wake the baby. And nobody says you might not want to use a preamp block as a boost/dirt pedal into the amp. It's all up to your imagination and your situation and your wallet. But to answer your question directly it works great like that. Or there are other options... Up to you how you want to use it and what works for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi thanks for your reply, I would ideally like to keep my amp and speaker cab, I am mainly looking for the best multifx unit currently available - and heard about the helix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if all you want is fx tho i'd say there are a lot cheaper options. It's kind of very overkill if you are just going into the front of an amp and not using any of the amp modelling

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, all possible. The question you need to ask yourself is what are you trying to achieve? There are other solutions if you just want programmable effects. I am seeing people start out with the Helix in 4 cable method, and finding themselves transitioning to FRFR ( Helix does the amp and speaker simulation) as they get more confident with modelling - often after doing some recording where they go direct and realise they could be doing that live. So it gives you all those options. But you do pay for them. Still a batch of top quality pedals into a switcher will cost more and still not offer the flexibility. But you will get to pick every pedal though. What makes FRFR win for me is that I can put effects after the speakers - like you do in the studio. And then there's the simpler and lighter rig..........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi thanks for your reply, I would ideally like to keep my amp and speaker cab, I am mainly looking for the best multifx unit currently available - and heard about the helix, is the sound quality as good as say the strymon pedals?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a helix 4 cable into a rivera fandago. I also have another setlist when recording, sounds great as well. I also use an amp gizmo to change channels on my amp via the helix. Its a one pedal solution

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

from what i've heard it as not as nice as the strymon for reverb at least. If i was going into an amp 100% of the time i'd just use pedals but i go into a p.a 90% of the time so helix is great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our musical lives are spent looking for an ideal that is never quiet reached. Yours is probably different to mine. For me being able to change the actual amps is really powerful. But if I was in AC/DC would I use a Helix instead of all those vintage marshalls that other people move and maintain for me? No, of cause not. So if you really only need a limited pallet of sounds, and you have an amp that is really hitting that sound, you don't need a Helix.

If you want to augment that amp with some killer delay - seems the jury is voting Strymon - they definitely get a great rap and you can midi control them. And for every effect out there chances are if you look around and try everything, you will find a solution you love more that the built in effects in the Helix - but the Helix models are extremely good.

You can hook it up through something like the GigRig and you have both patch and midi control. Built by a good pedal board company - or by you if you are passably technically savvy, it would be a killer rig where one or 2 amps does your job - lets face it - it offers more flexibility than anything people used 10 years ago.

You will end up spending even more than the Helix - but if that's what floats your boat - then do it.

If you don't have a road crew and a guitar tech, and you want a nice reliable portable system that sounds killer - use the Helix. If you want the largest number of effects through your existing amp - I'd buy the Fractal FX8 - it's not cheaper I don't think, but it has more effects.

If your needs are more just a great overdrive, a chorus and a Delay, I'd go with a simple pedalboard.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×