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HiFi Harman kardon and Bowers, sounds bad, is normal?


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dont want to fullfill my Small apartment  with speakers,

tried to connect my helix to that hifi amp and speakers , and found

it sounds bad, reallly bad, specially with distorted sounds, 

is this normal?

also happens with my blues jr, distorted sounds are awful,

didnt know this device needs some work to get the best of it, 

in youtoube you see really wonders!!


any recomendation to improve the sound quality (beside hours of work and trying different eqs?)

specially interested in the hifi cinfiguration, (the one i can use at low volume at home)


thanx a lot




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We could get into a rather long, technical discussion why  this doesn't work, but the easiest and best understanding is...because they weren't designed to work together.  They were designed for completely different purposes.  You can rig them up to connect...but they won't ever work together correctly.


You can get low volume quality at home, but you have to use equipment designed to work together.  The Helix is pro equipment, so your output needs to be pro equipment...not consumer equipment such as your home stereo system.  Go to the music store and get a couple of decent powered studio speakers and hook them up to your outputs on the Helix.  You can have as little or as much volume as you want based on how high you turn up the volume knob on the Helix.

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Hifi speakers aren't designed to be flat response, really. They most often hype certain parts of the frequency spectrum, and depending on your system, there's sometimes other DSP processes applied to the signal that would be messing things up.


As far as the Blue Jr, you could use that with the Helix, but I would I would recommend using the Helix for effects only in that scenario. Running amp and cab modeling through it won't work well.

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1 hour ago, ROBALLUSUS said:

Ok thanx 

but is amazing i need to buy New speakers, when those ones are quite expensive!

Thought i could adapt helix to my hifi 

any recomendation under 600$\pair?


thanx again!


I can HIGHLY recommend a pair for that price because it's what I use, and that's the Yamaha HS7 speakers.  A pair of them would be right at $600 and they are a real pair of workhorses and quite popular.  Here's a link to them:  Sweetwater HS7 speakers.


Once again it comes down to consumer versus pro gear.  There are a lot of high quality stereo components and some can be quite expensive, but they are in an entirely different category than pro gear used by musicians.  They're made for consumers that listen to music rather than musicians that produce it, and they cater more to sweetening the sound rather than accuracy of production and durability of use.  Consumer gear is used to play back fully mastered sounds, pro gear is used to create and master sounds.  Needing different gear is certainly not amazing to any of us that have been in the music business for any length of time.  I have one hi fi system that I rarely ever use, but an entire room full of pro music gear that's used every day.

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Mr Dragon is right, we could get into a really long talk over this one.


Having worked with, and at Harman,... HiFi gear is not something to play instruments thru,

such gear isn't designed or meant for that.


The signal amplitudes and impedances are all wrong for that kind of mixed mis-match of gear.

So in the end, it sound bad at the output. Don't do that.


A small 15 to 20 Watt guitar amp should do fine.



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Thanx everyone!

other option i am thunking about...


seymour duncan power stage 170, i can use it to power my blues jr speaker 

( hope in a low enough volume at home)

and also, 

Can use it with a 2 12 cabinet for rehersals/small gigs,


what do you think ?

399$ and no need to fill my apartment with other speakers...


other option, (and last)

substitute my Old bowers fir the Yamaha , but yamaha are powered spkrs, 

do you know if is possible  to send the sígnal from the Harman kardon (already powered) to the powered speakers?


i know i am doubling the amp, but that s how i listen music , i send it vía wifi, and it s very convenient.


sorry to make so many questions, just curious 

thank you 


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While what people say about HiFi systems is correct, they are being audio snobs in my opinion.

If you start by treating a HiFi as FRFR - with High and low cuts typical of FRFR - i.e. cut below 100Hz at 24dB  - in other words a drastic cut, and the same above 5.5KHz - use the Global EQ - (yes, there are 100 arguments why you should do it per patch - and they just confuse the inexperienced) then it will start to sound better.  If your HiFi has a typical hi and low boost, you might end up at 120Hz and 4.5KHz - but you will be in the ballpark.  You probably need a mid boost too - just a few DB over a gentle curve - you will need to experiment - but maybe at 1K - and you should be able to get a reasonable serviceable sound out of your Helix.  

Anyone who says just plug it into your guitar amp is so far off course it's not funny - all the presets have amp sims - and are not designed to be plugged into a guitar amp.

The HX Effects is designed to work with a guitar amp and that is why it does not have amp sims.

Yes, you can use a Helix like HX Effects, but you'd be crazy now the HX effects exists.  The Helix simulates guitar amps and speakers - which needs FRFR - full range flat response sound system.  Yor HiFi is probably not true FRFR, but it's closer to FRFR than a guitar amp!

What this person is complaining about I'd say is the same thing  - call it Fizz or harsh - that people who don't set up correct EQ always complain about.

I use FRFR for live, but I plug into my stereo at home and can get quiet a decent low volume sound - studio monitors will be better sure, but a good quality HiFi is pretty close to studio monitors - all things considered - you just got to realise the emphasis on extra thump and top. 

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