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FRFR is good, but LF Raw is really fun!


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I just got my Powercab Plus today and currently going through the honeymoon phase.  The speaker models are okay (a little muffled to me), built-in Allure IR's are decent, and my Ownhammer IR's have never sounded or felt better.  But the real gem to me is the Flat - LF Raw.  Way to go on the guitar-type speaker cone design Line 6! 


If a Celestion V30 and a Mesa C90 Black Shadow had a baby, it might be this speaker.  While there's not quite the face melt power as my 150W Recto head and Recto 2x12 cab, I swear this light 1x12 still has the thump of my Mesa Recto 2x12 cab.  I might shoot some IR's of it for fun.


Helix amp models have never sounded this lively through any IR's or HX Cabs to me.  You can really hear the nuances of the amp models in LF Raw mode, and it really responds really well to Helix amp adjustments and post-amp eq block tuning (Cali Q, etc.).


With full range capability for Variax acoustic models, synth sounds, etc., this cab is quite the swiss army knife.  



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I don't know how this powercab slipped by me, but did my normal Helix forum peruse yesterday and then ... whoops! Mine will be here today.


How do you think dynamics compare to your recto? 


Have you been able to feed it a wet and dry chain without getting washed out? I understand that's better with two cabs, but it would be nice to somehow get a nice wet signal that doesn't get washed in the mix.


Have a road king combo I run 4cm with, effects only:

Ch1 (green), clean: ultra clean.

Ch2 (yellow), fat: @the edge of breakup, kinky boost if I need a little more.

Ch3 (orange), raw: distortion, add screamer for a little more and to reduce mud if necessary.

Don't use Ch4 at the moment.

All channels diode instead of 5u4, all 6L6. Honestly I'm not using the amp to its potential, too much of a nightmare to our sound guy if I'm varying all over the place. I was actually thinking of selling and going to a 3 channel recto if it can get the same sounds.


But have been on the hunt for a lighter solution (that doesn't have so many tubes ;)  ). Im hoping this brings a new feel I was missing with the amp models and my PA. I ran helix direct for over a year gigging every weekend and spending almost every day, all day, goofing around trying to get "that" sound before switching back to a tube amp.


Off topic but: I was never able to get her to a volume where it just didn't sound choked when we were playing smaller venues. Loaded her with an eminence reignmaker and maverick.... BOOM! the sound I've been looking for at a volume I can drive her at! If you ever have a little jingle you want to blow on her .... grab these puppies!!! Oh and if you like experimenting load her with preferred series tubes from thetubestore, every once in a while they have a good sale. These really beefed up the road king. I went power tubes and first three preamp tube, really warm sounding to me.


Anyways I gotta get back to doing puppy laps, jumping at the door and chasing my tail while waiting for the new toy to arrive.



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I think the dynamics are really close.  At hi gain, the real recto has a bit more harmonic content.  But just playing, not A/B'ing, I don't feel like I'm missing anything...except a second PC+ ;)


I do like the sound of the L6 PC+ raw speaker.  It really is a nice middle ground between the C90 (too bright at high gain) and V30 (too dark at clean).


A wet/dry split signal into the single PC+ seems fine to me.  I'm not gigging these days, so not sure how it would hold up with a band.


I think I'll try running my real recto into my reactive load box, then into my Powercab this weekend.  Looks like the head would sit nicely on top too.


The feel is DEFINITELY better than a PA speaker.  


It's just really cool to have this in Raw mode and give all of the tone shaping power and color back to the amp models and tone knob again.  After hearing it, cab models and IR's really do seem to dull some of the magic that is going on with the Helix amp models.


Thanks for the tips on the speakers and tubes!  After hearing this modded-cone Eminence Beta 12CX in the Powercab, I would definitely consider giving Eminence guitar speakers a spin in my real cabs.



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Yeah, I think I need more time with it.


I goofed around for a few hours yesterday. I felt like I was playing through a ss modeling amp. Reminded me of trying to help my students get their mustang to a sound they could tolerate... though I had one good compliment after spending an hour on one. He said his used $100 amp sounded like he spent a few hundred more on it now. Lol.




In LF Raw are you running any Cab IRs? I tried with and without.

Full or Pre amp models? I was using full.

Did you mess with sag, ripple, bias/x, etc... ?



On the other hand while goofing around I came up with a couple neat ideas I'll insert into my chain tonight on a couple tunes.

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In LF Raw, I run...


No IR's or HX Cab models

Full amp models

Post eq Cali Q with +2db 80Hz and -3db 750Hz

Guitar tone knob back a notch


I do get the SS modeling amp vibe a bit too, but it's better than my Crate Powerblock into Mesa 1x12.  And I like having the full range option for Variax acoustic models.


It's not the magical missing link I was hoping for.  Still testing and evaluating.

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  • 1 month later...

@roscoe5 my humble guess that the „magical missing link” in this context would be the tube power amp...


From my not so big experience:

1. Powercab is versatile, powerfull, portable but somehow having rather cold sound.

2. Tube power amp + guitar cab is all about thump, oomph, warm and slightly compressed punch and singing harmonics...


Maybe it is just me but there is literally minimal to no difference in clean tones. But more gain you add to the game, the more tube magic you feel and hear...


Though I believe digital algorhytms will overcome analog tubes sooner or later. ;)

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I think you are on the money.  The "thump, oomph, warm and slightly compressed punch and singing harmonics" come back with Helix into my Spider Valve tube amps with V30 speakers.


But I've already gotten spoiled/lazy with Helix + Variax + Powercab.  I've accepted simple, flexible, and convenient in lieu for that last <5% tube/speaker magic remaining.  But it's always there with Helix + Spider Valve if I ever compelled.



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It is all about our needs. :) I do not reject powercab. Also I haven’t said that someday I will not do the same and gig around with powercab and variax (Yamaha just needs to build Shuriken with floyd rose for me ;) ). It is more practical.


But tubes are more fun. :) Not much, maybe a pinch, maybe one step. But still. :)

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  • 5 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
On 1/7/2019 at 5:10 AM, knoxdaz10 said:

wow i just tried the LF Raw , omw! sounds so good


On 2/4/2019 at 1:39 AM, ECmaj7 said:

Oh man, I'm hooked on LF Raw now. 




Wow same here plugged in my strat with Helix and Powercab and the tones are awesome....  Very content with the stock cabs esp the Vintage 30 and the Greenback but also great having the option of LF Raw speaker mode which also bring out all the true nuances in both the amps and effects .....    

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i don't use it too.

I've tried it before but i use the model speakers and have done the cut per speaker (high and low cut), you have this function for the Full range too....

Those setups have a real incidence on the sound your hear from the PC+ as the mic choice and its positionning (it wouldn't have to.....)

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In LF Raw (or speaker model Natural) mode, you're getting the raw Eminence woofer only in a closed back cabinet. If you want to get  a bit of the low cut you'd get from an open back cabinet, you could try turning on the low-cut switch. That won't do exactly what an open back cabinet would do because of the reflections from the back of the cabinet hitting the wall and bouncing around. Open back cabinets have their appeal. 


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  • 2 months later...

That is the difference between "Natural" Speaker and LF Raw???

The descriptions in the Manual are similar/identical, but they sound differently...


HF OFF (“Natural” speaker)
This is the natural sound and feel of the speaker in the
Powercab device with the high-frequency compression driver
disabled and no EQ of any kind applied.


LF Solo (“Raw”)
Uses only the woofer with no EQ applied, allowing it
to be utilized like a typical guitar speaker.


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Well, that is a darn good question.... The only component unaccounted for in the descriptions is the crossover, but you wouldn’t think it would have much to do since only the woofer is active in those modes. 

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I'm not an expert and my answer is the result of a thought of a global logical chain.


I wanna mean that a traditionnal emulation chain is composed of :


Disto/comp/FX (sim) + Amp (sim) + FX (sim) + cab (sim) (it implies mic'ed emulation) --> FOH


So, IMHO, the difference is that the natural speaker means that you have this chain on Helix :

Disto/comp/FX (sim) + Amp (sim) + FX (sim) ; The cab sim is the natural one and when you plug your PC+ to the FOH the mic'ed sim is done by the PC+.


On the other hand, i'd say that the LF raw is no more no less than an amputated FRFR, it would be called a HRFR (half range flat response). Indeed, if you only play electric guitar, you don't need high frequencies.....It means that you have to add an amp sim in the Helix chain and all the elements will be present to go the FOH.....


This is the explanation i've found to distinguish those two "speakers"


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I think, I found out…
Natural speaker uses LF Flat voicing and as other speaker models has mic simulation.


It means:
Natural speaker = LF Flat mode (high-frequency compression driver off and flattened frequency response EQ)+ mic simulation
LF Solo (“Raw”) is voicing with high-frequency compression driver off but normal EQ. It has NO mic simulation. This way a Powercab works like a typical guitar cab without any filters, effects, mic simulations etc... just a speaker in the box.


Does it make sense?


For my taste LF Solo ("Raw") sounds amazing!!! It gives real "amp in the room" feel!

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The mic simulation for the inside model speakers are only active when you wire your PC+ to the FOH.

All the speaker models are said to provide  a typical guitar cab (jensen, greenback,etc....).


The LF Solo is a flat speaker that works exactly like other active PA (but without the high frequencies). So, you can disabled your cab in the chain, it works, you can like it (you can do so with every kind of active speaker too) but i don't think it was the idea of the concept....(you don't have mic sim as it's the case for every one other configuration if you do so, rather strange, does it mean that the mic sim is unecessary ? ).

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