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Powercab Speaker Models Muffled in Room

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Just checking with you guys before I submit a support ticket.

 

I'm finding that the built in Powercab Speaker models (not IR's) are very muffled sounding in the room coming out of the Powercab, almost like when you run a Helix cab model or IR through a regular guitar speaker, but they sound great from the Powercab XLR out!

 

I have a Mesa 1x12 closed back widebody cab with tri-port and 1x12 combo open back both with V30 speakers.  The Powercab Vintage speaker model sounds like a wet blanket is over it in the room but the XLR out is super close to my real cabs.  I think I'm actually getting better sounds and feel from the Pcab XLR out speaker + mic models than I've gotten from HX cabs or IR's.

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I agree that the speaker models sound kind of muffled for me, too. Unfortunately I can't test the XLR out sound.

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My fears are that this is just due to budget components, perhaps the speaker and/or power amp. Too good to be true product pricing.

 

There's probably a reason other products like this cost double to triple the price. 

 

Still going to keep trying though. 

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Well, I'm really still impressed and happy overall.  I bought it mainly as an FRFR solution, which it does very well while being a small, lightweight form factor with guitar amp vibe.  LF Raw mode was a usable bonus that I wasn't expecting.

 

It almost seems that Line 6 should bring a little bit of the HF driver in on the speaker models.  I think it is turned off completely.  While not as extreme as running Helix amps and cab models/IR's into one of my V30 cabs, there is a bit of that double dipping speaker modeling vibe and dullness. 

 

I do want to reiterate that the sound out of the XLR with mic model is great!

 

 

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I got my PC112 Tuesday and used it for rehearsal last night.

 

Helix volume was at just past noon (solid green, no yellow on PC112 input). The Cab was on 1pm volume (its a large room). What I noticed was that the sound would distort and sound undefined when playing with my main patch (Soldano Crunch, edge of breakup (gain 1.8) and 412 IR, PC112 in FRFR mode). It gets worse when I added delays. It reacted to my playing dynamics, something I never experienced on the PA speakers or my Studio Speakers at home. Having said that I have an identical patch with JC120 instead where it was less noticeable. In all it lacked the clarity of my cheap studio speaker and the PA at rehearsal space I am used to.

Not sure I am happy with purchase at the moment.

I will build a new patch from ground up and see how I go.

 

Any input appreciated.

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Personally packed her back up for return to Sweetwater. Made sure to ask for a demo unit just in case of this. I'm keeping an eye on line 6 though, good idea... Just didn't work for me. I think I'm just too used to my rig and have much invested in her.

 

Back to building the tube power amp rig. Hoping to not lug around that to roadking anymore!!!!!

 

 

Lol..... I just don't under stand why a $700 solid state solution that weighs 35lbs can't match the $4000 200lb one I've got. 

 

^^ sarcasm

 

 

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I didn't have that problem.  What i did notice though, was when I thought I had a good balanced tone at home, when I took it to practice, it was really bright.   Also, setting speaker volumes to be pretty much the same volume was a pain.   I first did direct outs from it to my DAW and got all the levels pretty even on a clean Helix channel with no blocks except for the volume pedal.   Leveled all my presets on the Helix too.  When I took it to practice, some speakers seemed louder, so I then mic'd the Powercab and evened out the speaker volumes.   Hopefully this will work. 

 

 

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On 5/29/2018 at 10:33 PM, roscoe5 said:

Well, I'm really still impressed and happy overall.  I bought it mainly as an FRFR solution, which it does very well while being a small, lightweight form factor with guitar amp vibe.  LF Raw mode was a usable bonus that I wasn't expecting.

 

It almost seems that Line 6 should bring a little bit of the HF driver in on the speaker models.  I think it is turned off completely.  While not as extreme as running Helix amps and cab models/IR's into one of my V30 cabs, there is a bit of that double dipping speaker modeling vibe and dullness. 

 

I do want to reiterate that the sound out of the XLR with mic model is great!

 

 

With a mic and a spectrum analizer I found the LF Flat and LF Raw modes has the hi driver iff, but has a normal ahi freq response compared to the speaker models. It appears to me that rhe speaker models has an Eq applied to it that cuts the low and Hi end of the spectrum.... something that sounds good from XLR to PA, but sounds muffled directly to the speaker. I think Line6 forgot NOT to apply this Hi and alow cuts to the speaker emulation models when it is heard from the apowercab itself.... and only apply that to the XLR outputs. Thoughts?

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I still believe speaker simulation is sounding muffled due the -14dB~-15dB level set by default (raw and flat are at 0dB). Imho, at that level, the drivers are barely moving, unless you crank the volume up a lot. 

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For those finding the tone a bit muffled, you should try the HF trim, that does allow you to control the gain just on the high frequency driver. At +6dB it's making me happy. Give it a try! ;)

 

 

 

 

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I was just about ready to hit the purchase button from Zzounds on a PC112 and just happened to read the review which directed me here.

I'm currently running my Helix into a Peavey Transtube head through the effects return and into a Peavey 412 cab with Vintage 30s. I love the tone I'm getting but am tired of dragging the 412 cab around and figured a mic'd up PC112 set to Vintage IR would be a viable replacement. Perhaps I should just pick up a 212 cab with Greenbacks in it to use with my current head?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks

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If you are looking for that "Amp in the room"  sound and feeling, you might not be happy with the PowerCab+ models.  But I am very happy with my PowerCab+ in either FRFR or in speaker emulation modes.   I think most of the problems are because folks are not getting the gain staging right.  Jason Sadites recently did a youtube video on getting great sound with the PowerCab from the Helix.

 

A 212 greenback cab is going to sound great, but will limit the flexibility you may want to get out of the kit.

 

 

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there must be some other factor here.  There is no issue with the response of the PC speaker models.  I mainly use the Cream which is much less bright than the V30 model which I find too harsh...
I dont use the FRFR  mode but I tried it out - and had to cut the tweeter level down by about 6 dB to get a flat response -otherwise it was overly bright..

 

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On 8/22/2020 at 12:34 AM, PierM said:

For those finding the tone a bit muffled, you should try the HF trim, that does allow you to control the gain just on the high frequency driver. At +6dB it's making me happy. Give it a try! ;)

 

Thank you, PierM - that helped me quite a bit. And since it's a trim level specifically for the compression driver, it shouldn't affect the XLR audio.

 

And amsdenj, I would have thought the same - I read somewhere that the compression driver is off in speaker simulation mode, so it stands to reason this would only work for FRFR. However, I'm simulating speakers in the PC 212+ and the HF trim still works and brightened up my tone.

 

Incidentally - and I'm not sure if/why this would matter - but I hooked the Helix Rack to the PC 212+ via L6 Link.

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Well, when it comes to the PC, be prepared to spend time tweaking like you do with the Helix. What I have come to learn with the PC and the Helix is that the tonal options are huge, so expecting it to land on what you like is not realistic. You need to spend time with it. I had two PC112s and sent them back because I had spoken to a few people on the forums that suggested what I was going for might be better produced with the PC212. Got the 212 and have had it a couple of weeks and have spent some time with it. Still working on getting to fit in just right. However, I do see some promise with this unit. Here are some things I discovered and if anyone here has a different approach or I am doing something wrong....all advice welcome!

 

  1. When you get the PC make sure you first download the latest firmware update. Turn off. Turn back on. 
  2. Make sure you download PC Edit (If you are using Helix into PC via L6 Link, you will not need much of PC Edit, but will need it to load IRs. If you are not using L6 Link and going into PC with XLR or 1/4 inch, then you need to be storing your presets in the PC and controlling changes through MIDI).
  3. First big learning curve-  getting the right gaining stages to drive the PC. The jury is out on this one as many here have different ways of doing this. Below is one way:
    1. You can leave the PC as is. That is don't adjust any of the levels on the PC and just use the Helix.
    2. If using L6 Link. In Global Settings on the Helix have the Master Volume on Helix for digital turned OFF. (This is like having the big Volume Knob always all the way up).
    3. Use only the Amp Channel Volume to drive the PC and perhaps bring up the Output Block as needed. You could default to 0.0db and add in a +3db boost if you like. 
    4. If you can get the PC to move from green and into the orange with perhaps an occasional dip into the red, then you have a really good signal to the PC. You do not want it pushing into the red easily, but you do not want it staying in the green either. 

Another way of doing this is how I am finding is working best for me, but I have not tested all of the presets I will be using to see if this works without too much volume variation:

  1. Using FRFR, Speaker and IRs
    1. If using L6 Link, control everything through the Helix. PC Edit to load IRs. No need to save presets as the Helix will call up your PC settings as stored in the preset through the Helix. If using XLR or 1/4, then extra steps of storing and possibly assigning MIDI will be required. 
    2. If wanting to use FRFR in a preset and even within a snapshot within that preset, pick your cab or IR model in the Helix and that is what will be sent to the PC. This usually sounds good as is. May need to adjust ch volume or output block. 
    3. Keep all of your Helix settings as you normally would when listening to studio monitors.
    4. Speaker mode in the PC for me, as many have stated, are mediocre. Some of the models are okay, but not as good as bringing in your own IRs IMHO.
    5. Choose IR mode and load in some IRs. What are good IRs for the PC? Matter of preference really, but I have found that the Redwirez are really the best for the PC IMHO. Don't know what it is about them, but there are some really good options there. I own Ownhammer, Live Ready Sound, Celstion, Sun City, Arcadia. I use all of these in the Helix and only some Ownhammer and Live Ready Sound in the PC. Redwirez are showing up in the PC pretty much all of the time for me now. You can get the free Redwirez GM12 pack from their Big Box set to try them out. Definitely worth the effort. They just sound like a real speaker in the room. Some of the Allure IRs already loaded in the PC are also not bad. 
    6. Here is where the debate is. A lot of people keep the PC speaker levels at -18db and increase the gain staging from the Helix. All fine and good, but I find that the speakers in IR mode sound muffled and off in the distance even when you bring up any gain staging in the Helix. We are used to having our amps do all of the work to push a cab. In analog world, yes, that is what we do, but in digital world, the speakers have the options of being increased in volume. 
    7. What I do is bring the speaker levels up in IR mode. I usually bring it up between -12db and -10db. When I do this, the PC input goes into the orange and sometimes dips into the red, but only when really picking hard. This sounds really good. The plus is that when I switch to FRFR mode, I do not have to tweak hardly anything in the Helix. However, you will need to bring up the speaker volume in FRFR mode, unless you want to lock in Ch. Volume and Output Block Volume in snapshots within the Helix. This is another way of doing this. So, do not be afraid to bring up the speaker levels in the PC. That is why there is the option to do this. I think this is really where the PC comes alive. 

So, all of this said, can the PC sound like an amp in the room? Yes. It can. Can it sound like a tube amp? Yes, believe it or not it can. It took me a while to get there and some people on here know the pains I went through to get here. The key is to not give up (I did a few times, but ended up with the PC again determined to figure this out). If you hate taking the time to dial in the tone, then don't get the PC. Better yet, don't even use the amp models in the Helix. Just use it as an FX processor and run it 4CM with your tube amps. Sounds great and it is usually plug and play. Of course you will also need to set up MIDI, but all things considered, it is an easier route. However, if you can spend the time with the PC and work with it in FRFR and IR mode (maybe speaker mode if Line 6 can do an upgrade) and getting both options to line up, the possibilities are endless. I have even toyed with sending the 212 back, but with the Holiday deal getting $250 off the price, I think it is worth it to just put the time in and get this working. We all won't be gigging at any usual capacity for a while, so why not take this time to dial it in?

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