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jondufour

Helix vs S-Gear to Headphones is huge difference

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This past week I'm using my Helix with my Sony MDR-7506 headphones and it just really sounds bleh. Somewhat dead and flat, no liveliness from the guitar. All the patches and amps sound similar, of course they are different mostly in gain but there is this likeness between them all. Another way to explain is like a very bad eq curve. But the Global EQ is off, no eq in the patch. Just amp to cab. I also have OwnHammer IR's and scrolling through those is hardly an improvement.

 

Bad enough that I started to think something was wrong with the guitar's electronics.

 

But then today I downloaded S-Gear trial, load that up, Using the Helix as an interface on a patch with nothing on it and what the heck, everything sounds excellent, tone for days, guitar is awesome, that liveliness is back, the organic feel of the guitar is back. The OwnHammer IR's really sound good and they are vivid.

 

So...what the heck, using the Helix with the built in amps, cabs, IR's...whether is a factory preset or my own preset sounds like garbage in the headphones.

 

I have a Friedman ASR-12 and last weekend I was playing through that with the Helix, same patches and it was awesome. Later today I'll connect to the Friedman again just to make sure it still is sounding that way.

 

I'm on firmware 2.20 and I'm using the headphone output jack.

 

Anyone else experience this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When you loaded the S Gear trail version and used the Helix as an interface and got great sounding results, what were you using to listen?

 

I use one of several pair of Sony MDR-V6 (nearly identical to the MDR-7506) with my Helix and other gear for years. The Helix sounds great through the Sony MDR-V6 headdphones. I also have a pair of Shure SE530 IEMs that sound great with the Helix.

 

Do you have another set of headphones to try?

Have you tested the Headphones with another source device?

This could help isolate if it may be the Headphones, or the Helix.

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So you're using Helix for guitar input and headphone output in both cases - Helix amp/cab/IR and S-Gear? If not, then I'd suspect the impedance of your headphones isn't agreeing with Helix's output. If so, then there's a couple of possibilities.

 

One is that you might need some high and low cut on your cab or IR models to compare with S-Gear. S-Gear amps have a fair amount of mid focus in the distortion voicing, lots of bass cut before clipping, lots of treble cut after clipping. You can do that which Helix, but it isn't necessarily the default of many of the amp and cabinet models.

 

The second possibility is that S-Gear is really something special, a bit beyond anything else that's available. That could be because of the underlying technology used to build the amplifiers and/or it could be a result of the digital amp designs in S-Gear - they're not models of existing amplifiers, rather they are boutique guitar amplifiers imspired by existing styles, but built from the ground up in the digital domain. It could also be a result of Mike Scuffham's ears.

 

I still use S-Gear amps and back of the amp effects (mods, delay and reverb) for all recording. The flexibility, ease of use and tone are very hard to beat. But I'm anxious to get Helix Native to have that option too, and to have the additional front of the amp effects from Helix Native that are missing in S-Gear. But Helix is a fantastic live performance rig in every way, especially coupled with a good Variax. Its great to have both options.

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So...what the heck, using the Helix with the built in amps, cabs, IR's...whether is a factory preset or my own preset sounds like garbage in the headphones.

 

I have a Friedman ASR-12 and last weekend I was playing through that with the Helix, same patches and it was awesome. Later today I'll connect to the Friedman again just to make sure it still is sounding that way.

 

Anyone else experience this?

EVERY time you change the way you're listening, you can expect a change in tone... sometimes a drastic change. Headphones will never sound the same as an amp, or even another FRFR speaker solution. For one thing, they're right on top of your ears...there's no room acoustics to contribute to what you're hearing. But even if that weren't the case, no two amps, FRFR speakers, or even 2 different pairs is headphones will ever sound exactly the same. Just the way it is.

 

The fact that you are happy with the tone through the Friedman indicates that there's nothing wrong with the gear, only that you'll habe you EQ things differently for each output method. It's the nature of the beast.

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Same headphones in both cases, same guitar, same cable, etc. In fact all I do is change to a preset on the Helix that has nothing on it, start up S-Gear and boom, sounds right. Close S-Gear go back to a preset on the Helix, sounds dead, thinner and as if a majority of the frequencies dipped considerably. Global EQ is off. I can change to a new patch on the Helix and just add an amp and an IR on it same result. Amp with Helix cab, same result. 

 

I do have another pair of headphones I'll bring home from work tomorrow to test but I already know the outcome considering that it sounds perfectly fine using S-Gear (headphones through Helix in both cases) and not when using when helix amps,cabs, etc and changing nothing else. Not even unplugging the headphones.

 

Helix has been powered off and back with no difference.

 

...gotta run, I'll be back to get some more details and testing shortly.

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When you loaded the S Gear trail version and used the Helix as an interface and got great sounding results, what were you using to listen?

 

I use one of several pair of Sony MDR-V6 (nearly identical to the MDR-7506) with my Helix and other gear for years. The Helix sounds great through the Sony MDR-V6 headdphones. I also have a pair of Shure SE530 IEMs that sound great with the Helix.

 

Do you have another set of headphones to try?

Have you tested the Headphones with another source device?

This could help isolate if it may be the Headphones, or the Helix.

 

Yes, same headphones both instances. Headphones are operating perfectly, tested listening through them on the computer and phone.

 

I have another pair of headphones at work I can bring home and test, that pair is a cheap pair but will suffice for a test.

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So you're using Helix for guitar input and headphone output in both cases - Helix amp/cab/IR and S-Gear? If not, then I'd suspect the impedance of your headphones isn't agreeing with Helix's output. If so, then there's a couple of possibilities.

 

One is that you might need some high and low cut on your cab or IR models to compare with S-Gear. S-Gear amps have a fair amount of mid focus in the distortion voicing, lots of bass cut before clipping, lots of treble cut after clipping. You can do that which Helix, but it isn't necessarily the default of many of the amp and cabinet models.

 

The second possibility is that S-Gear is really something special, a bit beyond anything else that's available. That could be because of the underlying technology used to build the amplifiers and/or it could be a result of the digital amp designs in S-Gear - they're not models of existing amplifiers, rather they are boutique guitar amplifiers imspired by existing styles, but built from the ground up in the digital domain. It could also be a result of Mike Scuffham's ears.

 

I still use S-Gear amps and back of the amp effects (mods, delay and reverb) for all recording. The flexibility, ease of use and tone are very hard to beat. But I'm anxious to get Helix Native to have that option too, and to have the additional front of the amp effects from Helix Native that are missing in S-Gear. But Helix is a fantastic live performance rig in every way, especially coupled with a good Variax. Its great to have both options.

 

It was another post you had made mentioning S-Gear and on a whim I thought why not and as soon I hit a chord I was like WHAT!?? That is what it's supposed to be sounding like.

 

I've also owned an Eleven Rack paired with a G-System and that had the similar sound in the headphones so it suddenly made me realize that there has to be something going on with the Helix, at least regarding output to headphones.

 

I totally agree that live, I know of nothing else right now even coming close the Helix in it's usability. 

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EVERY time you change the way you're listening, you can expect a change in tone... sometimes a drastic change. Headphones will never sound the same as an amp, or even another FRFR speaker solution. For one thing, they're right on top of your ears...there's no room acoustics to contribute to what you're hearing. But even if that weren't the case, no two amps, FRFR speakers, or even 2 different pairs is headphones will ever sound exactly the same. Just the way it is.

 

The fact that you are happy with the tone through the Friedman indicates that there's nothing wrong with the gear, only that you'll habe you EQ things differently for each output method. It's the nature of the beast.

 

I understand very well but this is far more than just a different speaker or EQ issue. I'm almost believing there is a potential problem with output to headphones via the headphone jack. I purchased the Helix just under a month ago and so I'm new to the forum but I've been playing 25 years, almost all of it live. The Helix isn't my first digital modeler either, but I've been away from Line6 since the XT Live because it just wasn't quite there.

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Did a quick test with the Friedman, yes much much better.

 

Then I changed to an empty patch Helix and turned on S-Gear which is going back through the Helix to the Friedman. And hands down, blew away the tone from the Helix's amps. I didn't even change anything on S-Gear just turned it on and selected the Plexmonster patch. People call it the "amp in the room" these days but I've always described it as the sound is coming out the "front" of the cab rather from "in" it.

 

Hmmmm, maybe as amsdenj mentioned, the S-Gear is just built up in a different way or has some other magic and that's what I discovered today. 

 

The Helix into the Friedman does sound fine and will work and it will be good enough for live, it's designed exceptionally well for live use, maybe I'm feeling a little taken aback by though by what I've come across today.

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made a similar experience with the headphone out and posted it months before.

 

I understand that different headphones may be different in sound as they are vary with every other audio signal. But: I recognize the sound of a Marshall Amp when listening with different headphones, high end loudspeakers or the cheap kitchen radio. For shure with differences, but with the same character.

With the helix, the sound of different speakers or headphones is variing far more than from other sources and this makes it difficult to dial a sound in or to use patces other people builded. Perhaps this is the reason why sounds from others often are not satisfying in another environment.

In my opinion (i know that this is subjective and worthless), every output of a modelling amp should give s signal of a miced cab (if dialed in), without hiss and noise wich makes it necessary to use additional high-cut, as the original guitar speaker does'nt reproduce these high frequencies. So why it is necessary to reduce high frequencies if they should'nt appear in the signal?

This point changes from source to source but seems always to be necessary to me if i don't use guitar speakers. I simply cannot understand why?

 

For my headphones, i helped myself by inserting thin felt sheets (2 sheets per side seems the best with my hps) to reduce hiss that never would come out of a real guitar speaker.

 

So i see two possibilities for this hiss and lifeless flat sound:

 

1. The modelled speakers have a wider frequency response then the originals. Why???

2. The models represent speakers miced just on axis in the middle of the high beam of the guitar speaker. A position, nobody wants to listen to when not using a acoustic guitar. Nobody would mike a guitar speaker like this, so what's the reason? Some people turn their amp on stage for some degrees, others use tools as deeflex to avoid thhis high beam (wich is physically not to avoid with a 10" oder 12" speaker), but the helix seem to make a feaure out of it.

 

That's the point why i suggested different microphone angles i ideascale, but for the most users, still more amps seem to be way more important.

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made a similar experience with the headphone out and posted it months before.

 

I understand that different headphones may be different in sound as they are vary with every other audio signal. But: I recognize the sound of a Marshall Amp when listening with different headphones, high end loudspeakers or the cheap kitchen radio. For shure with differences, but with the same character.

With the helix, the sound of different speakers or headphones is variing far more than from other sources and this makes it difficult to dial a sound in or to use patces other people builded. Perhaps this is the reason why sounds from others often are not satisfying in another environment.

In my opinion (i know that this is subjective and worthless), every output of a modelling amp should give s signal of a miced cab (if dialed in), without hiss and noise wich makes it necessary to use additional high-cut, as the original guitar speaker does'nt reproduce these high frequencies. So why it is necessary to reduce high frequencies if they should'nt appear in the signal?

This point changes from source to source but seems always to be necessary to me if i don't use guitar speakers. I simply cannot understand why?

 

For my headphones, i helped myself by inserting thin felt sheets (2 sheets per side seems the best with my hps) to reduce hiss that never would come out of a real guitar speaker.

 

So i see two possibilities for this hiss and lifeless flat sound:

 

1. The modelled speakers have a wider frequency response then the originals. Why???

2. The models represent speakers miced just on axis in the middle of the high beam of the guitar speaker. A position, nobody wants to listen to when not using a acoustic guitar. Nobody would mike a guitar speaker like this, so what's the reason? Some people turn their amp on stage for some degrees, others use tools as deeflex to avoid thhis high beam (wich is physically not to avoid with a 10" oder 12" speaker), but the helix seem to make a feaure out of it.

 

That's the point why i suggested different microphone angles i ideascale, but for the most users, still more amps seem to be way more important.

 

Yep, I agree 100%. There is no guitar amp that outputs that hissy noise in the frequencies above the guitars sound. I've used JCM800, 5150, 5150II, Randall RM100, Mesa (always used the same Marshall cab with Celestion 70 watt) and never had a problem getting a good tone. My pedals were TS9, Crybaby Wah and sometimes a flanger or phaser.

 

I've tried other Line6 devices over the years, POD, XT live, HD500X and they seemed to have that upper hissness to them. Although I don't recall that at the moment with the Eleven Rack I had. I'm contemplating picking up an Eleven Rack again just to compare. I had a G-System paired with that one for floor control.

 

On the Helix right away I roll off that high end using the high cut on the IR and on every other block I add which helps but I agree it just shouldn't be there to begin with. I can hear it so easily when playing too. The headphones are more significant of course since they reveal everything.

 

IR's are done with mics at different angles and I've been using the OwnHammer IR's the last couple weeks but I still have to use the high cut and some extensive tweaking.

 

In the Analog world if you take a guitar, plug in a few pedals, connect to the amp, connect the speaker and bam, there's smooth tone. That's what the Helix should be doing too and I believe it could. I suppose the question is why isn't it? I think it's clearly all in the software. The revelation I've just had with S-Gear clearly says it can be done, crossed my mind I could just bring my laptop with me, ha.

 

I did have an idea this morning for a different setting with the volume outputs vs. the block volumes which I'll try when I get home. I have been running all the blocks at 0db with the IR's around -14db.

 

I might be complaining a bit and I'm trying not too, I've had the Helix for a month and at first it seemed really good, not awesome, but pretty darn good then over the following weeks I'm becoming more aware of the same ol' problem they always seem to have.

 

But again, I had it going to the Friedman and was playing it loud and it was really good, so I don't know, maybe I just suddenly picked up on the deficiency or something.

 

Personally I only need two amps, one that can do a cleaner tone and one that can do a good gain then use pedals to boost up gain on either one to varying degrees.

 

I do really want the helix to work for a good sound since it's design for live playing is so exceptionally well done and I'm so past done carrying 75lbs of amp and cab around.

 

sorry a bit long and rambly and I suck at writing.  :)

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In the Analog world if you take a guitar, plug in a few pedals, connect to the amp, connect the speaker and bam, there's smooth tone.

 

That's not really true... I've played plenty of amps that don't work well with pedals, and certain amps I never could tame to my liking. I used to have a Vox AC15, for example, and I always thought it was very easy to make it sound harsh. It was actually after hearing a recording of me using it live that I decided that it wasn't worth keeping it anymore.

 

I can't say why you're having trouble finding tones in the Helix that work for you... My experience hasn't really been like that. I do rarely use headphones, though. I pretty much hate the experience regardless of what's coming out them.

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Just came across this thread,

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/22672-fizzstaticblown-speaker-sound-across-the-board/

 

Exactly to a tee what I'm experiencing. Sounded great out of the box and for the last few weeks then this weekend just like everything is dead'ish. I'm going to try re-flashing 2.20 this evening and see what happens. If it comes back to life like another person experienced then I'll have send it back, can't have that happening in another 3 weeks or so down the road.

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That's not really true... I've played plenty of amps that don't work well with pedals, and certain amps I never could tame to my liking. I used to have a Vox AC15, for example, and I always thought it was very easy to make it sound harsh. It was actually after hearing a recording of me using it live that I decided that it wasn't worth keeping it anymore.

 

I can't say why you're having trouble finding tones in the Helix that work for you... My experience hasn't really been like that. I do rarely use headphones, though. I pretty much hate the experience regardless of what's coming out them.

 

 

It's plenty true enough and yes some amps just suck. Yes, you can take any amp and turn the treble to 10 and it won't be a good time. 

 

I think others in that thread I just linked are explaining it better than I.

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Headphones in mine sound good enough. They still sound like headphones, of course. Are you sure yours doesn't have a defective headphone jack? Do you have access to another Helix or to a Guitar Center where they will let you plug into one with your headphones and see if they sound the same?

I don't hear any high pitched fuzz through mine; then again, I could just be deaf above 10 Khz.

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FWIW, I bought Helix almost entirely with the express idea of having S-Gear in a pedal form that I could play live with. Before Helix I had made some rudimentary steps toward trying to interface my computer with a Boss GT-10. It worked, but the ability to control effects in S-Gear would have necessitated midi routing thru the computer. Add to that, problems with latency, and just the unsexy idea of a computer on the floor next to my pedalboard took the wind out of my sails for that approach.

 

I've been using S-Gear for recording nearly since it was released. No one ever asks if I'm using an amp or not. It's taken about 6 months, but I'm getting the Helix closer to the S-Gear sound and feel. The Litigator model really helped.

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It is certainly possible to get great tones out of Helix. Here's a great example of how: https://youtu.be/xbyd9mXo6rM. Helix and S-Gear sound different, and that's good since they both sound excellent. If you want a more reasonable comparison, you need to use the same IR (speaker, mic and mic position) in both since the speaker model has a huge impact on the overall tone. But all this comparing things and trying to make them sound the same isn't really using them to create music. I can get very satisfactory sounds out of both and use them both, but for different purposes.

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Headphones in mine sound good enough. They still sound like headphones, of course. Are you sure yours doesn't have a defective headphone jack? Do you have access to another Helix or to a Guitar Center where they will let you plug into one with your headphones and see if they sound the same?

I don't hear any high pitched fuzz through mine; then again, I could just be deaf above 10 Khz.

Unfortunately the Guitar Center in my town won't carry the Helix in stock as they don't stock items in the upper price range for this demographic. I have to order everything, which means nothing to compare against sadly.

 

I do have another pair of headphones I'm bringing home from work, which are nothing special over the ear $40 headphones but it will be something to compare against.

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It is certainly possible to get great tones out of Helix. Here's a great example of how: https://youtu.be/xbyd9mXo6rM. Helix and S-Gear sound different, and that's good since they both sound excellent. If you want a more reasonable comparison, you need to use the same IR (speaker, mic and mic position) in both since the speaker model has a huge impact on the overall tone. But all this comparing things and trying to make them sound the same isn't really using them to create music. I can get very satisfactory sounds out of both and use them both, but for different purposes.

 

Yep, I've seen that one, I started watching vid's on the Helix last Nov, and got mine about 30 days ago. I just about knew how to operate it before I even got it, minus the shortcuts it does :) but I've probably watched 100 videos on the Helix by now. There are totally people getting some killer tone out of it, Pete Thorn has got some nice reviews on it

 

I'm not trying to get anything to sound the "same" as far as copying a tone, what I'm talking about is the dynamics, body, liveliness that a real amp does that it seemed to be doing in the earlier weeks I had it and then in the past days it just seems like it suddenly went small and covered up, like it's fighting my fingers almost. It's hard for me to explain.

 

Prior to trying the S-Gear software I was already thinking something was off, firing up S-Gear just really made it really obvious, even my wife could tell. My intent has been to get some recording done with it but instead this whole last week has been trying to get a tone out of it that is usable. On my laptop I think I still have some stuff I recorded with it in the first week.

 

I had been using the headphones all week till a little bit last night into the Friedman which as I mentioned previously was better, but not what it had been.

 

I'm gonna do a bunch of tests with it this evening including re-load the 2.20 firmware doing all the proper resets and I'll let you know what happens. 

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One thing I would check is to make sure the path is continuous from input all the way to output.  By that I mean make sure you are not feeding guitar into two spots in the signal chain.  IF you feed guitar into path 1A, follow down to the next line  make sure it has an "X" at the beginning.  I ran into this once, could not figure things out for the life of me-when I looked at the signal path I was feeding guitar through Path A in two different spots one on the top line--comp-disto-amp-reverb-cab, and the next line was just some digital delays.  Was feeding both lines independently. 

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This sounds a bit like what happens when the input impedance isn't set to 1M or at least auto. I never use auto, always 1M. Check your global settings.

 

Also small volume differences can be perceived as tonal differences. Use meters on your DAW to set the levels the same.

 

 

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The input impedance does'nt make such a huge difference. A low value simply lowers the resonance peak (the amount, not the frequency) of the pickups, wich normally is between 2 and 4 KHz with a gain of 0 to 6 dB. As the Pots in the guitar usually build a load between 250 and 125 KOhms, the influence of the amps input impedance is'nt huge as long you're not going down to 100 Kohms. Choosing a higher value in the helix should'nt make a big difference, as the resistive load is mainly definied by the pots ;)

 

post-11061-0-50892800-1492503555_thumb.jpg

 

Again: If the speaker/mic models of the Helix would'nt reproduce to much high frequencies, why a lot of people (and even prodfessional patches) feel it necessary to engage the high cut? Unfortually i have no access to my measurements of guitar speakers at work, but why a high cut at 6 KHz makes a big difference in sound where the modelled speaker does'nt output the frequencies above in a audible amount?

 

And again: Of course you can get great sounds out of the helix, but it needs some tweaks wich are'nt necessary in the analog world. (By the way, the high cut is'nt a really sharp tool as it allows to change the corner frequency but not the slope). And because the helix want's to simulate this analog world, why this tweaks? So creating a sound is'nt equal to the analog world and we have to understand this to not to be frustrated. It seems sometimes to me, that the amp/speaker/mic models are designed to be reproduced by a guitar speaker wich does'nt make sense to me. Driving a moddeled cab thru a microphone thru a real cab to make it sound good without tweaks seems ridiculous and make the sound far more sensitive to the speaker/headphone sound.

 

There must be a philosophy of line6 behind this behaviour (as it was similar in the pod family) but i just would like to know wich one?

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UPDATE:

 

CRISIS AVERTED!!

 

Whew....and I am super relieved.

 

Using the Friedman here's what I did.

 

1. I did not re-load 2.20, that was going to be my last resort

2. Verified all the global settings were set correctly and they were

3. Global EQ off

4. Started on a new clean user preset, added a Brit 2204, OwnHammer IR at 1024 and a plate reverb with 30% mix

5. Set the IR's low cut to 90hz and set the high cut to 7khz

6. Set amp block's channel output to 7.5

7. Set the Friedman's output to 50%

8. Set the master volume out on the Helix to 75%

9. All blocks at 0.0db and Noise Gate OFF

10. Connect Les Paul with a cable

11. Open E major strummed with vigor

 

Absolutely massive improvement coming from the Friedman and drastically better still than the previous weekend I had mentioned.

 

I then began dialing in the amp block's gain, master volume, bass, mid, treble, bias, sag, etc.

 

I ended up with 100% zero fizzy upper end on top of the guitar's sound whatever you want to call it. I would honestly say it's the closest I've ever come to "my tone" that I've ever had from any digital device. Rolling guitar's volume off a little cleaned up nicely with no "under a pillow" happening and dynamics with pick attack are all there.

 

So what really was it? Primarily it was the balance between the Friedman's output setting and the Helix's Master Volume and then after that it was high cut on the IR and taking that down from 10 where I was setting it to 7. I was setting the Friedman to 80% and then bringing up the Helix Volume which would end up with the Helix at 30% - 40%. There's obviously something about the signal and that knob.

 

I tried the IR's high cut down to 5 and then further down till the good high's starting to go away so I used the treble on the amp block to get them to smooth out better.

 

I also played with the pad on the guitar and don't need that, my pickups aren't high output anyway.

 

I also noticed the tone with the IR at 1024 is better than it is at 2048.

 

And in the end what about the headphones? 

Yeah they still suck but not as bad as the preset is better tuned and I was really beginning to freak out about how it was sounding through the Freidman as that's more important. I did do some recording and played it back through the Friedman and it was identical. So, I think I'll go looking for some studio monitors or something and forgo the headphones.

 

then what about the comparison to S-Gear? Yep, S-Gear is still better sounding after all that but's it's not such a huge difference now and I know I can squeeze out more from the Helix since I figured out what was happening. I did also try the Helix's master volume at 80% and 90% and it does continue to improve, albeit just a little but it's audible.

 

I can likely add an EQ to the preset and get some of that "glassiness" that S-Gear has.

 

Bottom line, I'm super relieved, I'm happy, it now sounds fine and it was clearly my user error with the master volume output of the Helix. I would surmise that if I had some other attenuation on the headphones I could turn the headphone output up high and they would sound fine.

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I'm a little confused...

 

Are you linking the volume knob of the Helix to the signal out to the Friedman?  And you're saying that you when the signal out was at 50% or so it was fizzy, but as you cranked it to 80% or 90% the fizziness went away?

 

Does the Friedman have a volume control?  Did you try setting the Helix Volume Knob to max, then control max volume at the Friedman?  Would that improve things further?

 

I am by NO MEANS an expert, but it's always been my thought that I want the max volume coming out of my device, and I control the gain at the "board" or output device.

 

I'm still trying to figure out the link between Drive, Master, and Volume on the amps and how to best get them set.  Live I'm planning on balancing whatever presets I'll be using to each other and unlinking the Volume knob from whatever my outputs I'm using.  This should basically then be outputting to FOH and monitors at Unity from the Helix... 

 

I'm sure there are others out there with much more experience and knowledge than me who have this or other ideas on this subject.

 

I may be doing my first live gig with the Helix next week, so it's crunch time on getting my rig set up appropriately... O_O

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I may be doing my first live gig with the Helix next week, so it's crunch time on getting my rig set up appropriately... O_O

So hey, hope that goes well! Best wishes from my end of the unofficial Boston Helix meetup :)

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I'm a little confused...

 

Are you linking the volume knob of the Helix to the signal out to the Friedman?  And you're saying that you when the signal out was at 50% or so it was fizzy, but as you cranked it to 80% or 90% the fizziness went away?

 

Does the Friedman have a volume control?  Did you try setting the Helix Volume Knob to max, then control max volume at the Friedman?  Would that improve things further?

 

I am by NO MEANS an expert, but it's always been my thought that I want the max volume coming out of my device, and I control the gain at the "board" or output device.

 

I'm still trying to figure out the link between Drive, Master, and Volume on the amps and how to best get them set.  Live I'm planning on balancing whatever presets I'll be using to each other and unlinking the Volume knob from whatever my outputs I'm using.  This should basically then be outputting to FOH and monitors at Unity from the Helix... 

 

I'm sure there are others out there with much more experience and knowledge than me who have this or other ideas on this subject.

 

I may be doing my first live gig with the Helix next week, so it's crunch time on getting my rig set up appropriately... O_O

 

Physical Master Volume knob on the Helix at 75% or greater. Physical volume control on the Friedman at 50% (otherwise it would be earth shattering loud and it's still dang loud at 50%) Helix Volume knob not linked to anything.

 

Prior I was setting my Friedman (because it's a speaker with a power amp in it) at 90% and then bringing up the volume knob on the helix, similar to how you set power amps at full volume then bring up the faders.

 

I'm not certain if the fizzyness went away due to having the Helix's volume knob up much higher or just due to how severely I set the high cuts on the IR and every other block that has a high cut option.

 

What I definitely got was full body, dynamic pick attack and life in the tone and any number of adjectives that fit.

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Drive, Master, Chanel Volume, Helix output level and the input volume of your FRFR/PA/guitar amp make up the gain staging of your tone. Drive impacts the level into the amp model's preamp and effects preamp distortion. Master is the level controlling the output of the preamp into the amp models power amp section (which are also controlled by sag, hum, bias and bias excursion, especially when driven hard). Preamp and power amp distortion sound different, so you'I'll need to experiment to see what you want. Channel Volume has no impact on the tone, it is only used to balance the levels between patches. I should be set relatively high to send a strong signal to the output stage to maximize signal to noise ratio.

 

All of the impact of the Drive, Master and Channel Volume happen in Helix. The connection between Helix and your FRFR, or whatever means you use do amplify the Helix output, are controlled by the Helix output level control, and the gain or input volume of your amplifier. Generally it is best to ensure there is no potential for clipping here, and that you maximize signal to noise ratio. You might get amplifier clipping for example if the output of Helix is set very high and overdriving the input stage of your FRFR amplifier. Often you'll have a clip indicator or gain meter here. Keep it as far from clipping as you can so that all the clipping happens in the Helix pedals and amp models. At the same time you'll want to keep Helix output volume as high as possible to ensure there is good signal to noise ratio between Helix and your FRFR.

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