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Majoggy

Helix into Effects Out VS dedicated Power Amp + Cab

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Hey guys,

 

I've just bought a Helix LT and have it currently running into the Effects Out of my Engl Ironball, which is running into a Zilla 2x12. Sounds pretty decent.

 

I was wondering whether I would get appreciably better results using a dedicated power amp such as the Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170 running into my 2x12.

 

I understand that running the Helix using the power stage of an amp can colour the sound unnecessarily, but I have nothing to compare it to at present.

 

I don't really have the space for a FRFR speaker, I live in a small apartment and the cab is big enough as it is.

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It's the Cab that does the coloring more so than the amp.  I seriously doubt that you'd hear much of a difference using a dedicated power amp instead of the Engl.

 

Also, you likely have your Helix connected to the Engl's Effect In, not the out... unless you're running 4CM. If not, connecting the Helix to the Engl's Effects Out would produce no sound.

Just sayin'...

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Pardon me, I meant the effects return.

 

So are you saying I'd probably get similar results in the loop of any old amp then?

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Try going right into the guitar input of your amp. Yes, most often this is just dumb, but ive actually heard a couple of descent sound like this, and for some people its just a better option for connection...even if it IS only temporary.

 

The cheapest and quickest way to get the most enjoyment out of Helix is by picking yourself up an old set of cheap active(amplified) studio monitors. This will sound pretty good, the footprint is small, and it will buy you some time to figure out what system/set-up is right you. Sometimes this can take a while due to trial and error.

Not only will this most likely be less expensive than raw power amp, but it will be FAR more versatile, allowing you to fully utilize all the amp modelling, cab modelling, ect. Id recommend 8 inch speakers but that is somewhat subjective. 6's or even 5's should be OK if you want to save even more space. I like 8s because i could take them to a gig, mic them, and/or use them as a stage monitoYou could prob do it with the smaller ones too, just seems like 8s would be more effective.

 

FWIW - one of my favorite sounds was plugging my old POD 2.0 into any of my power amps (which is a little different than what youre doing but still asking it to do about the same thing ie: drive the power amp with a preamp model) and then i can drive a cab with that. I havent gotten the same sense of fulfillment with Helix. Everything just kinda sounds the same and overall doesnt thrill me the way it did with the POD.

 

IMO your best Helix experience is going to come from an FRFR, studio monitors, headphones, respectively IMO. Good luck.

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Technichally speaking, poweramp stages in heads are *mostly* transparent untill you manually drive them into saturation.

 

The real difference with running a dedicated linear poweramp is headroom. You will lose any character that power tube saturation is giving you but gain a cleaner signal to the physical cqb at higher SPL levels.

 

Fair warning, if you are used to the sometimes desireable character that tube power amps bring to modelling presets on helix you might actually really dislike how it sounds when you replace that with a linear poweramp because it is distinctly different in both feel and tone so I recommend you borrow a linear amp from someone and test it out first. Basically any PA poweramp you can borrow will demonstrate what you can expect. My bass player and I currently share the two channels of a Yamaha CP2000 amp (650w per channel), him feeding an Ampeg 410HLF and me feeding a Marshall 1960A for live use from a Helix LT and Helix floor respectively. We love it for gigs because of simplicity however at home i feed the FX return of my 6505+ 112 60w combo and the tube poweramp of that sounds and responds noticeably different.

 

YMMV depending what amp you choose to use for it is my conclusion. Hope that helps.

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Hey guys,

 

I've just bought a Helix LT and have it currently running into the Effects Out of my Engl Ironball, which is running into a Zilla 2x12. Sounds pretty decent.

 

 

Did you create your preset without a cabinet model or IR since you are running into a 2x12?

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Hey guys,

 

I've just bought a Helix LT and have it currently running into the Effects Out of my Engl Ironball, which is running into a Zilla 2x12. Sounds pretty decent.

 

I was wondering whether I would get appreciably better results using a dedicated power amp such as the Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170 running into my 2x12.

 

I understand that running the Helix using the power stage of an amp can colour the sound unnecessarily, but I have nothing to compare it to at present.

 

I don't really have the space for a FRFR speaker, I live in a small apartment and the cab is big enough as it is.

I have a SD powerstage 170 and I love it.AFter I bought the helix I ran it into my blackstar ht 60 4cm and it was ok then I bought mackie thump 12 frfr speakers and the amp models sounded good more clarity but then I tried a SD for the hell of it with my black 212 cab,I wasnt expecting much but its been the only setup ive been using.I love the way the helix sound with it and i can tweak the eq on the SD if needed.IMO its a great way to you the helix and also sound great with just outboard effects in case you need it as a back up.

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So are you saying I'd probably get similar results in the loop of any old amp then?

Well no, not really... you can't expect to get the same tone by going into the the FX return of a head (or power amp) that's driving a Marshall 4x12, vs running that same patch into the return of a Fender Bassbreaker 1x12 combo. The cable set-up might be the same, but your sound won't be... but it has more to do with the speaker(s) than the amp that's driving it.

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Thanks everyone for your replies. 

I think I'll stick with running my Helix through the back of my amp. If there are no *big* differences between power amps in terms of colouration of the sound, then I'm just spending £££ on something that I don't need at present. I understand that the cab is a huge factor in how things sound - but I like my cab a lot, and it might not work for everything but that's OK.

 

Having tested my Helix through some studio monitors I also can't really get used to the sound. I had a similar issue when I briefly owned a Torpedo Live, the sound of a miced up cab just wasn't doing it for me compared to an amp in the room.

 

People are very enthusiastic about FRFR also and the possibilities it opens up for the Helix in terms of the different amp models and IRs - maybe I'll look into that at a later date. But for the moment I think I'll just stick to what I've got.

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People are very enthusiastic about FRFR also and the possibilities it opens up for the Helix in terms of the different amp models and IRs - maybe I'll look into that at a later date. But for the moment I think I'll just stick to what I've got.

Remember, you don't have to run just 4cm to your amp OR FRFR. You can run BOTH. You can do your "wet" stuff in stereo in a couple of FRFR speakers with amp/cab simulation while running your amp in 4CM. There is an older video below showing something like that. 

 

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Thanks everyone for your replies. 

 

I think I'll stick with running my Helix through the back of my amp. If there are no *big* differences between power amps in terms of colouration of the sound, then I'm just spending £££ on something that I don't need at present. I understand that the cab is a huge factor in how things sound - but I like my cab a lot, and it might not work for everything but that's OK.

 

Having tested my Helix through some studio monitors I also can't really get used to the sound. I had a similar issue when I briefly owned a Torpedo Live, the sound of a miced up cab just wasn't doing it for me compared to an amp in the room.

 

People are very enthusiastic about FRFR also and the possibilities it opens up for the Helix in terms of the different amp models and IRs - maybe I'll look into that at a later date. But for the moment I think I'll just stick to what I've got.

 

 

Also maybe watch this video: It help me a lot.

 

 

 

This guys is great source of info! BTW

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