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Should I buy a helix?


Daleosq
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Hi I'm thinking about buying a helix but not sure if it's for me? I love the idea of it all, the different amp models, fx and being able to buy presets. I'm just a bedroom rock star, I normally play through a small tube amp with some fx, not looking to gig or record with it, so what I really want to know is will it work with my amp? I've read people having problems with the 4cm. Is there a better way to use it at home? Any comments or advice would be very appreciated

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Hi I'm thinking about buying a helix but not sure if it's for me? I love the idea of it all, the different amp models, fx and being able to buy presets. I'm just a bedroom rock star, I normally play through a small tube amp with some fx, not looking to gig or record with it, so what I really want to know is will it work with my amp? I've read people having problems with the 4cm. Is there a better way to use it at home? Any comments or advice would be very appreciated

Will it work? Yes.

 

Is there a better way? Yes...a pair of good studio monitors, or other FRFR speaker solution.

 

The best modeler in the world will never really succeed in making your Marshall/Fender/whatever tube amp sound like something other than what it is. Now that doesn't mean you wouldn't be able to get sounds that you like from Helix paired with the amp you already have... plenty of guys use this type of set-up. But will you be getting all of what helix can deliver? No...a modeler needs a blank canvas, and that means a neutral, flat-response speaker that won't color the sound. In other words, a Fender amp model played through a Marshall cabinet, is still gonna sound like a Marshall... and vice versa.

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  not looking to gig or record with it, so what I really want to know is will it work with my amp?  

These are pretty much the two main reasons to buy a helix and probably what its most designed to do, so it could be a little over kill for you.

 

Ive read very mixed results when talking about integration with a tube amp. I dont like helix with any of my tube amps, in any configuration that ive tried.

 

I have to echo the above. The most fun you can have with helix is hooked up to a pair of studio monitors. Even cheap ones. 

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The biggest problem with 4cm is lack of understanding of how and when to use it. If you like the sound of your tube amp and just want to use Helix effects with your current amp and 4cm, save yourself some bucks and get the new HX FX unit. If you want your current tube amp to sound like some other kind of amp, then see above for cruisinon2's comments (frfr is the way to go!).

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I just ordered a Helix rack, but I play for a living. Unless you're earning money playing guitar or are pretty well off I'd venture to say that a Helix is gross overkill. A used POD would be fine; in fact I'm using one live now as a stopgap till i get my Helix and it's very good. I can't imagine spending that kind of $$$ for bedroom usage.

 

As for your use case... trying to run any modeling unit through an amp is really kind of missing the point and wasting it's abilities. Get a good set of speakers and run it direct.

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Hi I'm thinking about buying a helix but not sure if it's for me? I love the idea of it all, the different amp models, fx and being able to buy presets. I'm just a bedroom rock star, I normally play through a small tube amp with some fx, not looking to gig or record with it, so what I really want to know is will it work with my amp? I've read people having problems with the 4cm. Is there a better way to use it at home? Any comments or advice would be very appreciated

 

It's a very personal decision, maybe ask yourself some other questions.  How happy are you with the tones you're getting from your current equipment?  How keen are you to experiment with new amps, equipment blocks, routing etc. because to get the best out the Helix takes a little work.  How much time do you spend playing?  I'm only a home player, sometimes recorder, but I'm delighted with my Helix and would replace it without a second thought, (heavens forbid!)  But I enjoy experimenting, have quite fussy ears, and spend 4 - 8 hours playing regularly, so Helix is money well spent for me.  As to output, I mostly use headphones, I didn't like the way it sounded through my vox.  I will eventually go down the FRFR rout, but don't really have the space right now.

 

I'm tempted to simply advise you to get one, but that's because I love mine.  At the end of the day, only you can decide. 

 

Best of luck. 

 

(GET ONE!!!) oops.  :o

-

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Buy it, buy it from somewhere with a returns policy if you are concerned you won't like it. This is always easier done from a store.
Better yet, go to that store and ask them for a demo before you even buy it. Take your amp along and try the 4CM thing. I doubt there is a store in the land that would deny you a shot in advance of £1k worth of gear if they think you might actually buy £1k of gear from them, I'd phone in advance to arrange it though if you intend to take your amp to try 4CM.

I think you'll like it if you spend some time with it. Just don't expect to sit down and have it sound perfect in 30 seconds, spend an hour playing on it. Try the amp sims you already know you like the sound of rather than wasting time on things you don't know you already like and actually play some stuff to get a good idea of how it FEELS to play through because it is very different to playing a real amp if you are used to that.

Seriously, try it in the store, buy it and return it if it's not working for you. Nobody at the shop will care, it's just another day in the office for them.
I expect you will end up keeping it though.

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I'm one of the guys use bought the Helix for 4CM with my tube amps to mainly use as an editable pedal board in digital format.  The MIDI feature has opened a whole new world for me for rig control.  Now I won't even look at another amp unless it has MIDI.  Some people would've told me to only buy an HX Effects for that use and I probably would've.  

 

But I'm glad they didn't, because I've gotta say, as a guitarist addicted to tube amps - I ended up using the Helix preamps a lot more than I thought I would.  And now, I almost like the PRS based Archon preamp better than my Mesa Triple Crown 100 preamp.......almost.   But the great thing is, there's so many more preamps in there to choose from!  You can have your tube amp sound and then switch to any preamp in Helix that you want at the tap of a button.  The Helix preamp tone powered by your amps tube power section is key.  

 

I never intended to use the Helix for recording, but this weekend my band will be recording some demos and I'll be going right from the Helix using IR's.  

 

My point is, because Helix is so versatile, you might find a use for the Helix for other than what you originally intended it for.  

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I'm pretty much the same as you. I don't gig, or record, and I bought the LT. Some may say it's overkill, but if you can afford, do it. You will be really happy. You don't necessarily need the full helix in your situation, the LT would be more than enough. At the end of the day, I had spent more on an EVH 5150 amp, a couple pedals and a two notes torpedo CAB to get 1 really good sound, versus the plethora of options I now have with the helix. 

 

FRFR is great, but if bedroom playing is the only thing you're doing, a decent set of headphones will do the trick until you can pick up an FRFR speaker. 

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  • 2 years later...

Я мучился с этим устройством целый год и могу сделать выводы: если вам нужна головная боль и плохое звучание "нестандартных" усилителей, если вы хотите потратить часы, дни, месяцы, пытаясь добиться нормального звука, потратьте часы времени Чтобы найти или за сотни долларов купить хорошие ИК, которые бесплатно не даются в комплекте, купите отдельный тюнер, так как встроенный плохо работает, тогда Helix - это то, что вам нужно.
Если вы хотите получить «из коробки» великолепно звучащие усилители и несколько тысяч отлично звучащих кабинетов, не тратить много времени на настройку и быстро получить хороший звук, тогда обратите внимание на Fractal Audio.

P.S. I have nothing to do with the company or sales of Fractal Audio, I am a simple Helix user who has been suffering with it for a year and dreams of selling it in order to buy a normal processor

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Stop dreamng and just do it - you're only torturing yourself.

 

29 minutes ago, Shivabhairava said:

Я мучился с этим устройством целый год и могу сделать выводы: если вам нужна головная боль и плохое звучание "нестандартных" усилителей, если вы хотите потратить часы, дни, месяцы, пытаясь добиться нормального звука, потратьте часы времени Чтобы найти или за сотни долларов купить хорошие ИК, которые бесплатно не даются в комплекте, купите отдельный тюнер, так как встроенный плохо работает, тогда Helix - это то, что вам нужно.
Если вы хотите получить «из коробки» великолепно звучащие усилители и несколько тысяч отлично звучащих кабинетов, не тратить много времени на настройку и быстро получить хороший звук, тогда обратите внимание на Fractal Audio.

P.S. I have nothing to do with the company or sales of Fractal Audio, I am a simple Helix user who has been suffering with it for a year and dreams of selling it in order to buy a normal processor

 

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1 hour ago, DunedinDragon said:

Well the fact that he doesn't even know he can't close a topic speaks volumes about why he hasn't been able to master the technical aspects of building Helix presets and getting great tones out of it...like the 99.999% of us other users out here.....

this needs a Love emoji, like isnt strong enough

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