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Alto 210 vs 212 and Input Type - Helix Fence Sitter

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Hey there Helix Forum!

 

I am seriously considering swapping to the Helix, as opposed to my traditional pedal board. It has been weighing on my mind for months now. Cost wise, my pedal board upgrade will be equivalent to buying a Helix and 2x Alto's. Also i could sell my current pedal board and nearly have enough for the Helix.

 

I have been doing some research into running FRFR speakers instead of through guitar amp, and I'm 99% sure that FRFR will be the way to go. My current amps include a HotRod Deluxe, Supro Saturn Reverb and a V40 Deluxe with cab.

 

Most posts on what speakers to use reference either the ALTO 210 or ALTO 212. I will be looking to use them as one, or get two to run as stereo.

 

My other question is what input is best from Helix to speaker? 1/4in?????

 

Taking all recommendations.

 

Also, any comments to sway my mind to swapping to Helix over traditional, I've probably heard it before, but push me over the edge! Im about 89.7% decided on Helix.

 

Regards,

 

Rory.

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The reason you see the Alto speakers referenced so often is because they are the lowest cost unit.  That may be fine for you, but in the world of powered speakers you really do get what you pay for.  For example if you place the speakers on the floor as a wedge you will typically produce a bass biasing effect which will over-emphasize bass frequencies.  You could always correct for that in your patch, but that would likely mean your direct FOH signal wouldn't have enough bass.  Most of the higher priced powered speakers such as the Electrovoice ZLX-12P and many others in that category come with a broader range of DSP tuning options in the speaker that allow you to correct for such things, but the speakers run about $400 and up.

 

Most commonly people run 1/4" out to the speakers and XLR out to the FOH.  There's no particular reason to run XLR on stage as the runs aren't that long so you really don't gain much.  I personally use a Yamaha DXR12 as my on stage speaker and I connect to it via 1/4" L/Mono out and XLR L/Mono out to the FOH with a phantom power blocker to protect from phantom power coming into the Helix.  In my global settings I have the 1/4" out set to LINE level and my XLR out set to MIC level and set my Helix volume control to only effect the 1/4" out.  That will then send a full volume MIC level signal to the board which will be very consistent with all of the other mic input signals, and any volume adjustments I make on stage won't affect my signal going to the board.

 

As far as running stereo that's more or less a personal choice.  The consensus seems to be that your audience is highly unlikely to benefit from it, but it would make a difference for what you hear on stage.  As a sound man I tend to agree with that as most rooms you play aren't very optimal for maintaining stereo separation and it all gets muddled together out front very quickly.  Additionally only a very tiny fraction of your audience are in the dead center of the room where they would be in a position to even hear a balanced separation at all.  Not to mention not all soundmen are open to allocating two channels to a guitar signal particularly if they're short on channels or aren't familiar or comfortable with sub-grouping.  It just doesn't deliver typically as you might expect.  That's why I just stick with mono as it doesn't really matter to so much to the audience.

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Also, if this is your first step into a premium level modeler be prepared to do some learning.  As easy as the Helix is to use, there's a TON of technical things to learn and become familiar with.  It's certainly no "plug-in-and-play" kind of thing.  You're dealing with the intricacies of building a signal chain and it has much more in common with working in a well-equipped studio than it does a typical pedal board.  Not only is it effects routing and placement, but amp, cabinet, and mic placement modeling...all of which significantly affect the resulting sound.

 

I would highly recommend you watch Jason Sadites great series on building great tone with the Helix on YouTube as he has a LOT of good information you can benefit from.

 

Jason Sadites Building Great Tone Part 3 - Using a Split Block

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Hi

Alto has a new series of "the same" speaker - TS 310 and TS312 (even smaler and larger) Bit more power, same price. Headrush has an "OEM" of them named FRFR112, claimed to be tuned for modelers. The specs lookes the same though, have not got it confirmed if they are the same or different voiced. Can't comment on DunedinDragon reply, but suspect it's the same that goes for the new models.

//Per

 

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and if you get the Alto's up off the floor you can reduce the coupling.  All depends where you put them, etc.  I actually had the Line 6 L2T, QSC12's, and Alto 210's, 212's, Alto 110-(no 1/4" input)

 

Prefer the altos over all others, simple, light, easier (for me) to dial in tones.  I actually went cheaper and was happier with the Alto 110's, (although no 1/4 inch remember).  I would put the idea out that when you by a 10" its actually a 12" with the way the cabinets are tuned

 

You do get what you pay for but the differences (for me) were negligible, weight was the concern.

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3 hours ago, PerS said:

Hi

Alto has a new series of "the same" speaker - TS 310 and TS312 (even smaler and larger) Bit more power, same price. Headrush has an "OEM" of them named FRFR112, claimed to be tuned for modelers. The specs lookes the same though, have not got it confirmed if they are the same or different voiced. Can't comment on DunedinDragon reply, but suspect it's the same that goes for the new models.

//Per

 

 

Confirmed by InMusic/Alto/Headrush support:

 

FRFR-112 differs from TS312 in that the Headrush branded unit has no mic preamps. I'm currently waiting to hear back from them as to why anyone would want to pay the same amount for a feature impaired version of the TS312. It may still turn out that there are other tuning differences that the english impaired support person was unaware of....

 

I CAN say that the FRFR-112 sounds really good (I bought one before I found out about the mic preamps), though I can't directly compare it to the Alto line, as it replaced a TS210, which (IMO) tended to accentuate the harshness of some Helix presets and made EQing that harshness more difficult. YMMV. Also, as DD said, more expensive speakers have more DSP options.

 

Not sure what PerS meant by "even smaler and larger" - they share the same cabinets as the TS2xx versions.

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He he... well, my abuse of the English languish, I'm only Swedish you know :-). "Even smaller and larger" means there is a TS308 and a TS315. Irrelevant info, sorry.

 

I get the feeling that they only describe the two units in different way. They are the same… and I will probably be corrected later :-). They both have XLR and TSR connection. They both have a contour switch that if I understand it correct the lo and hi fq’s to be raised +3db. And some more feratures. Do not see any switching between line and mic level except for both inputs have a volume/lever control. Or the XLR are mic level and TRS is line level (can get that impression in the TS312-description, but it’s not even mentioned in the Headrush). But this is the problem, are they only described differently, but are the same? Or are they tuned differently in the DSP? Like the Headrush is tuned to be optimized for a modeler. Not that sure…

 

I will go for the TS310 due to weight/size if those two 12” unit are the same, 11 kg vs 16 kg. As I said in a different thread, I’m not a pro so I’ll not spend the extra money on a Yamaha. Except, if I find one used I probably go for it. Still the 10” version is of my interest.

 

Looking forward to get this clarified, even if I’m wrong above :-)

 

//Per

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36 minutes ago, PerS said:

He he... well, my abuse of the English languish, I'm only Swedish you know :-). "Even smaller and larger" means there is a TS308 and a TS315. Irrelevant info, sorry.

 

I get the feeling that they only describe the two units in different way. They are the same… and I will probably be corrected later :-). They both have XLR and TSR connection. They both have a contour switch that if I understand it correct the lo and hi fq’s to be raised +3db. And some more feratures. Do not see any switching between line and mic level except for both inputs have a volume/lever control. Or the XLR are mic level and TRS is line level (can get that impression in the TS312-description, but it’s not even mentioned in the Headrush). But this is the problem, are they only described differently, but are the same? Or are they tuned differently in the DSP? Like the Headrush is tuned to be optimized for a modeler. Not that sure…

 

I will go for the TS310 due to weight/size if those two 12” unit are the same, 11 kg vs 16 kg. As I said in a different thread, I’m not a pro so I’ll not spend the extra money on a Yamaha. Except, if I find one used I probably go for it. Still the 10” version is of my interest.

 

Looking forward to get this clarified, even if I’m wrong above :-)

 

As I stated, difference was confirmed by mfr.. NO MIC PREAMP in FRFR-112! The only question remaining (to me, as an early adopter) is, were there any other tuning (DSP?) differences that the mfr's support person was unaware of? Or did I just get scammed into buying a feature impaired version of the TS312?

 

IF, IN FACT, there IS a tuning difference between the two (FRFR-112/TS312), then there might be a solid reason to buy the FRFR-112 vs either the TS310 or TS312. If I were you, I'd put off jumping on the TS3xx series until I get a definitive answer from InMusic/Alto/Headrush. I already bought the FRFR-112, but if I'd known then what I still don't know now, I'd've waited!

 

PerS - Your English is a lot better than my Swedish!

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