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Line 6: seems they're missing a huge marketing segment.

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Many of us here have had our PODs for a few years now and are considering what's next. But, the jump from a $500 HD to $1,500 Helix is too much for many non-professional players ( and we are a huge market segment -- look at how many church players use them -- arguably where the vast majority of live music is happening).

The argument that Helix contains the equivalent of $10k or more amps etc doesn't mean anything to 
me since I would never buy the real amps either. Is Helix V2 going to be $2500?

Why not create HD500 V2 that might only have 3 amps ( vox, fender, marshall ) an assortment of mics/cabs, AND imported external IRs as an option. You can still have the add-on amp packs. Maybe some other feature Helix has that would have high-value for those looking to replace/upgrade a $500 POD HD, and sell it for about the same $500 range?

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I sell $100,000 organs to senior citizens. 

Race car drivers, Uber drivers, truck drivers, and other professional drivers - they aren't the ones spending $1,000 on an ashtray. 

Professional guitarists aren't spending $25,000 on fantasy camps. 

Lebron James doesn't have a fantasy team.

Drunks buy Ripple, not Chateau Lafite, 1787 - $156,450. 

 

The "Hobbyist" market makes up a much larger financial set. 

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The Helix LT is $1000.  But they're starting to get competition from Eleven again.  I'm sure they're looking very hard at their market.

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Many of us here have had our PODs for a few years now and are considering what's next. But, the jump from a $500 HD to $1,500 Helix is too much for many non-professional players ( and we are a huge market segment -- look at how many church players use them -- arguably where the vast majority of live music is happening).

The argument that Helix contains the equivalent of $10k or more amps etc doesn't mean anything to me since I would never buy the real amps either. Is Helix V2 going to be $2500?

Why not create HD500 V2 that might only have 3 amps ( vox, fender, marshall ) an assortment of mics/cabs, AND imported external IRs as an option. You can still have the add-on amp packs. Maybe some other feature Helix has that would have high-value for those looking to replace/upgrade a $500 POD HD, and sell it for about the same $500 range?

Well, there's also the Helix LT for $1000, which offers all the same modeling as the full Helix. And it's not too hard to find discounts on that price, either.

 

The guys at Line 6 have basically said that it would be impossible for them to design and make the HD500X today and still sell it for $500. They're able to sell it currently at that price because they're contracts with suppliers and labor were negotiated quite awhile ago when prices were low. But now, the cost of material and especially labor has risen to the point to where making a $500 unit would actually mean cutting features compared to the HD500X.

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Well, there's also the Helix LT for $1000, which offers all the same modeling as the full Helix. And it's not too hard to find discounts on that price, either.

 

The guys at Line 6 have basically said that it would be impossible for them to design and make the HD500X today and still sell it for $500. They're able to sell it currently at that price because they're contracts with suppliers and labor were negotiated quite awhile ago when prices were low. But now, the cost of material and especially labor has risen to the point to where making a $500 unit would actually mean cutting features compared to the HD500X.

I don't know if it would make a difference in production costs but most of us probably only use 2 or 3 amp models and a fraction of the effects.  Same for the cab/mic options.  Who really needs stuff like ring modulator?    I get that costs go up over time, but a doubling or tripling of price makes one consider going back to a few pedals into amp sim pedal into cab emulator pedal.   Don't get me wrong, I love the ability to save patches on a song by song basis and how my JTV variax melds with the POD.  Just not going to be spending $1000 on an LT or $1500 on a Helix.

 

How many own a Chevy they bought new for $20,000 4 years ago are going to go out and buy a $60,000 car today?

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most of us probably only use 2 or 3 amp models

then why did you buy the unit that has 60

 

Who really needs stuff like ring modulator?

then don't buy the unit that has it.

 

Just not going to be spending $1000 on an LT or $1500 on a Helix.

no one is forcing you to.

 

How many own a Chevy they bought new for $20,000 4 years ago are going to go out and buy a $60,000 car today?

Just because they both are made by Chevy, they are not the same car. One is an Impala and the other is a Silverado. 

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most of us probably only use 2 or 3 amp models

then why did you buy the unit that has 60       Overall it was a good choice, I just don't need that many models, and doubt many do.

 

Who really needs stuff like ring modulator?

then don't buy the unit that has it.                   Same as first answer

 

Just not going to be spending $1000 on an LT or $1500 on a Helix.

no one is forcing you to.                 Wondering why there wasn't an intermediate step up rather than a product at 3x the price

 

How many own a Chevy they bought new for $20,000 4 years ago are going to go out and buy a $60,000 car today?

Just because they both are made by Chevy, they are not the same car. One is an Impala and the other is a Silverado. 

   Missed the point.  People who generally buy $20k cars aren't going to buy $60k cars unless they win a lottery

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Wondering why there wasn't an intermediate step up rather than a product at 3x the price[/b][/color]

 

There is...it's the LT. It arrived a bit later than it's big brother, but it's 2x the cost of a POD, not 3x. Like it or not, that's your intermediate step up. If you look long enough and catch the right sale, or find a used one on eBay, you can probably get yourself into the $750-$850 range...a bit more "intermediate", and perhaps more palatable for you. Might take some doing, but it ain't impossible.

 

We can lament it all day long, but the days of the $500 modeler are pretty much over...unless you look at stuff like the Amplifi, FX100, or elsewhere like Zoom, which are all geared more towards the hobbyist on a budget. They'd go out of business trying to have pricing tiers in $200 increments, and a different product to cram into each one. It is what it is.

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I don't know if it would make a difference in production costs but most of us probably only use 2 or 3 amp models and a fraction of the effects.  Same for the cab/mic options.  Who really needs stuff like ring modulator?    I get that costs go up over time, but a doubling or tripling of price makes one consider going back to a few pedals into amp sim pedal into cab emulator pedal.   Don't get me wrong, I love the ability to save patches on a song by song basis and how my JTV variax melds with the POD.  Just not going to be spending $1000 on an LT or $1500 on a Helix.

 

How many own a Chevy they bought new for $20,000 4 years ago are going to go out and buy a $60,000 car today?

 

Well, the car example is interesting, because most likely if you compare the same model of Chevy cars - one made in 2014, and the other made in 2018 - the newer will probably be 3-4% higher in cost, maybe more. People are generally OK with that sort of slow cost inflation when it comes to cars because 1) there are generally enough new features in the newer model that people still think it's worth their money and 2) they often spread the cost of a new car out over 4 or 5 years with car payments, so a few thousand dollars doesn't make much difference in a monthly payment. I think with modelers, $500 became something of a benchmark type of price, and if it's not possible to create a unit with the same number of features as the old one, would people still feel they were getting their money's worth? Generally, it's not the number of amp and effects models that's driving up the cost. It's the hardware stuff. Specifically, the number of ins and outs, screens, footswitches, pedals, and the like all add up.

 

As far as why the predecessor to the HD line was the more expensive Helix, I think there are a few reasons. I think Line 6 wanted to re-establish themselves as being on the leading edge in the modeling game. It was a field they started, and they didn't want to simply cede the higher end market to Fractal and Kemper. They wanted to prove they could compete. In addition to that, the bottom part of the market was and is becoming more saturated all the time. You have people like Zoom, Mooer and other import brands releasing low priced modelers with bigger feature lists that lure some customers away. Personally, the cheap stuff with a lot of features is kind of the equivalent of dining at Golden Corral, imo, but, hey, that's what some people want... So I think Line 6 was like, "well, let's try making a new market", in a way.

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There is still the POD HD, what is wrong with it? No need for a Helix.

You're probably right, but there is a huge amount of talk and hype out there about helix.   I may be like a diabetic who hangs out at the donut shop to much.  :-)

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Make no mistake...Helix kicks HD down the block in terms of resolution, chain config and bunch of other things...However, what really impressed me is that Line 6 finally created amp defaults that sound great...I tried one out at HQ when I did a visit and it is fantastic...However, I am still on the fence about getting one and still use my old HD Desktop for most things I do these days...The form factor is what bothers me....I have hated all in one pedalboards since the RP-1 came out...I love a POD with a shortboard...Not a fan of Helix Rack...too damn big for what I do nowadays...

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I may be like a diabetic who hangs out at the donut shop to much.

 

Like I said - treat it like you should be treating your wife. 

You bought a cow. Quit looking for other teets to get milk from.

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I'd like to weigh in one more time here.  I like my PODHD now that I've finally got it dialed in.  However I'm not going to buy a Helix because I can buy a realllly nice combo tube amp that does everything I want for the same price or less.  But that's just me.

 

You would think the price would go down or at least stay the same, and the quality would go up.  Look at the iPhone for $1000 a piece while Android's are a lot cheaper and almost as good.  This has proven in the past to be a sure way to lose market share - just look at Apple vs Microsoft in the PC market.

 

Line6 needs to improve the PODHD or make the Helix LT a couple hundred bucks cheaper.  One day they probably will do this, but not today.

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So Zoom can put out low cost units. Mooer and NUX can put out low cost units with IR loading, but Line 6 cannot? Those units hit at $300 or less, but Line 6 can’t do one for $500-600? That’s why it sounds fishy.

 

Well Helix fx is being shown at NAMM, so maybe an amps unit will be around the corner next year. There won’t ever be a year where nothing is released.

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There is still the POD HD, what is wrong with it? No need for a Helix.

To my ears the power amp models sound defective. It sounds like the bias voltage is off and it creates a very unnatural distortion. It’s that sound that may have people spending hours to dial it out. If that were ever addressed the Pod HD would be fine soundwise. I’ve been using a Pod X3 instead. The sounds dail up quickly and sound fine for studio demos.

 

I’ve been told directly from Line 6 that a Helix Pod was proposed, but it not ever coming.

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So Zoom can put out low cost units. Mooer and NUX can put out low cost units with IR loading, but Line 6 cannot? Those units hit at $300 or less, but Line 6 can’t do one for $500-600? That’s why it sounds fishy.

 

Well Helix fx is being shown at NAMM, so maybe an amps unit will be around the corner next year. There won’t ever be a year where nothing is released.

Do you want cheap, or do you want good? I've tried Zoom stuff over the years... and while I won't go so far as to call it awful, nothing was particularly inspiring either. You get what you pay for...

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I know that you think you understand what you thought I said but I'm not sure that you realize that what you heard is not what I said

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Do you want cheap, or do you want good? I've tried Zoom stuff over the years... and while I won't go so far as to call it awful, nothing was particularly inspiring either. You get what you pay for...

You obviously didn’t fully read my post. I don’t think the new HX fx unit is cheap, but that’s in the right direction. Smaller, few features, will get the job done in regards to fx without costing $1000. Reduced feature set at a reduced price doesn’t have to mean cheap.

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You obviously didn’t fully read my post. I don’t think the new HX fx unit is cheap, but that’s in the right direction. Smaller, few features, will get the job done in regards to fx without costing $1000. Reduced feature set at a reduced price doesn’t have to mean cheap.

Yeah, obviously...those 6 sentences were just too much for my feeble old brain to dissect. Guess my tubes ain't biased right either...

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Well, yesterday I think they showed up in namm with the HX - Effects.

 

https://line6.com/hx-effects/

 

More like a M5/M9 upgrade (no amp sim I guess) but I assume that the cost will be around $400-$500.

Looks like a great device! Looking forward to the demos and seeing how the effects can be configured.

 

The update for Helix looks amazingly amazing!!

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I think the OP has objectively made the correct observation. We haven't seen a refresh of mid-tier products (POD HD) yet, and there seems to be a

gaping wide hole for other manufacturers to capitalize on. Wouldn't call the LT a mid-tier product either. I would certainly consider a refreshed POD

if they can make it cheaper that the LT, but not too much more than the POD HD. Now Boss has stepped up into the top tier stuff with their new

GT-1000, which is squarely aimed at Helix. Seems a lots been going on in the top tier scene the past few years, and mid-tier is being neglected.

 

https://www.boss.info/us/products/gt-1000/

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I emphatically disagree. With what other offers there is around, I'm left to assume that you think that because your number one go to company for FX is Line6 only.

 

As far as why the predecessor to the HD line was the more expensive Helix, I think there are a few reasons. I think Line 6 wanted to re-establish themselves as being on the leading edge in the modeling game. It was a field they started, and they didn't want to simply cede the higher end market to Fractal and Kemper. They wanted to prove they could compete. In addition to that, the bottom part of the market was and is becoming more saturated all the time. You have people like Zoom, Mooer and other import brands releasing low priced modelers with bigger feature lists that lure some customers away. Personally, the cheap stuff with a lot of features is kind of the equivalent of dining at Golden Corral, imo, but, hey, that's what some people want... So I think Line 6 was like, "well, let's try making a new market", in a way.

 

Sounds like a high stakes gamble to me, but i wish them all the best. I expect such venture's cuts off options in the lower tiers.

This isn't a permanent shift where every MFX pedal is gonna be $1000 + from now on, which I'm sure they'd enjoy if true.

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My guess is, Line 6 wouldn't have been in a good position to make the Helix gamble without the previous success and momentum

of the POD HD series. I've noticed this trend in many sectors. Graphics cards would be a good example, where the bulk of their

profit was made by high volume sales of the low to mid tiers, and make less on the small volume higher end in general. If Line 6

does well enough with Helix, they might just take their profits and re-inject it back into the lower tier's again, just my theory.

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I've decided to upgrade to Helix -- no date yet as $1500 has to budgeted.  The 500x came out summer 2013.   We can't just look at Helix as the "successor" since, regardless of how much investment went into it, not many things out there go up 300% in 4 1/2 years.   Right or wrong it has to be viewed as a step up to a pro or semi-pro product.   If you're average guitar, amp or pedal was $500 in 2013, 300% inflation would take it to $1500 and I don't think we're seeing that.

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The 500x came out summer 2013. 

 

Well... 

2010

The X wasn't actually a new product.

 

 

 

not many things out there go up 300% in 4 1/2 years

Again - you aren't buying the same unit. Price comparing like that is futile. 

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Pianoguyy wonders:

Have any of you whiny bastards looked at the other L6 products available? 

 

Firehawk.

Amplifi.

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GT-100/HD500X - $499.99

 

GT-1000//Headrush/Helix LT - $999.99

 

AX8 - $1088 - IF you want to get on the waiting list...

 

Helix Floor/??? - $1499.99

 

KPA and pedalboard - $2268.00

 

Seems to me that the market "tiers" are pretty well defined, and L6 is right on the money.

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That list of your's would assume the GT-100 and HD500/X are low tier products, which they're not, it goes even lower.

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That list of your's would assume the GT-100 and HD500/X are low tier products, which they're not, it goes even lower.

 

The list represents the lowest tier which I personally care to experience. You can find used POD beans for $50, and I heard a youtube comparison which showed them to still have plenty of bang for the buck. I'd draw the line at the Behringer VGuitar though. I had one. YUCK!!!

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Yeah. I said the Helix was a step up to a new level not just a successor... I'm not going to debate whether the 500x was a new product or not, it was released in 2013. 300% price hike would only seem abnormal if Helix was merely the next version of 500x and not a major step up

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Yeah. I said the Helix was a step up to a new level not just a successor... I'm not going to debate whether the 500x was a new product or not, it was released in 2013.

There's nothing to debate. Functionally and sonically, there's nothing different between the 500 and the 500X. The only thing that changed was one of the chips that runs the thing, the previous one having been discontinued by the manufacturer, and some slightly more robust footswitches. Everything else is the same... amps, fx, etc. As far as the sounds you can squeeze out, there's not a scrap of difference between them. Wouldn't matter if it came out yesterday, it's an 8 year old platform.

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Was this a fib? "And with more DSP power, tour-grade footswitches and a higher contrast display, HD500X is the best POD yet.â€"

 

https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/Line_6_Announces_POD_HD500X

Yes...of a sort.

 

When it's an 8 year old who says he didn't knock over the lamp it's a "fib", under oath it's "perjury", and on Madison Ave...it's called "advertising". So like I said: Different processing chip, beefier footswitches. Otherwise, it's the same damn thing.

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It's called advertising. Have you ever seen an ad that said "same as the old". 

 

Besides, more DSP is correct. 

But what does more DSP mean to users? 

You are still limited to 2 amps and 8 effects. There's no speed increase. There is not reliability increase. 

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