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Helix LT vs Ax8


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30 minutes ago, robbieb61 said:

Seems to me that we are having to be kind of heavy handed in our method of getting rid of fizz by zapping all the high end out out. Like we aren't just getting the "fizz", but also some of the frequencies that add texture to the high end.
For instance...I don't use ANY cuts on my clean sounds. Don't need to. And when I do...they lose that "shimmer" even though the frequency being cut theoretically shouldn't affect it.

 

The careful choice of frequency cut and EQ or other block to make it won't prune overdriven tones in undesirable ways. It's a different situation for clean tones, where you don't normally need much if any high cut. The high end fizz problem occurs when you put overdrive or high gain into the signal and shove a dynamic mic right in front of the cab. It's less of an issue with most clean tones as they are fundamentally tonally different from overdriven tones.

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I understand that.. but I have worked with a lot really great soundman playing across the country for decades.

And they never had to put high cuts on my amp.

I always tried for a good mid rangey tone. My soundman would shove an SM 57 right up on the grill about halfway between center and edge of the speaker and we were done.

Our soundguys always had the PA "rung out" using pink noise and an analyzer.

My studio recordings were pretty much the same.

And once pro tools came along I started producing my own stuff back around 2002.

Never had to do that kind of high cuts in post production.

Just doesn't seem right to me that this fizz is so predominant on our higher gain amps in helix

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18 hours ago, robbieb61 said:

I suppose I should probably just leave what I have then. I'm getting a great tone with it.
Just can't help that nagging feeling that I'm still "losing" something in the upper harmonic content of the tone by using those high cuts. 
I guess that will always be something in the back of my mind.

 

Overanalyzing, and tweaking when you don't really need to, is a great way to screw up tones that were perfectly fine to begin with. Nothing can get infinitely "better"... eventually you end up shooting yourself in the foot, and then you have to fix something that was just fine before you screwed with it.  "Nagging feelings" are just that...feelings. If it sounds good, who gives two wet farts what you cut or didn't cut to get there? 

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53 minutes ago, robbieb61 said:

Just doesn't seem right to me that this fizz is so predominant on our higher gain amps in helix

 

As I've said, it's not there at all if you set up your patch properly. So this becomes a non-issue at that point. And an earlier commenter pointed out - correctly - that it's better to have some high frequency headroom than to lack it. Since your experienced ears should be able to tell you where to cut without pruning your higher gain tones, it's really getting difficult to understand what the issue is here.

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12 minutes ago, robbieb61 said:

Not really an "issue" for me. Just a discussion. :)

 

LOL :-)

 

I've said it for a long time...Line 6 should get in there and make these models sound like an amp. Get rid of all that fizz on the top.

 

And:

 

Which may be why there has been such a bad rap about Line 6 not having amps modeled as well as the competition.

 

And:

 

Or...just get rid of the damn fizz when you model the amp. lol

 

And:

 

Just can't help that nagging feeling that I'm still "losing" something in the upper harmonic content of the tone by using those high cuts.

 

And:

 

I hear ya...BUT, still...having "fizz" in the highs is the real problem. [...] To me, it seems like Line 6 is putting too MUCH high end on the amp in the first place.

 

And:

 

Just doesn't seem right to me that this fizz is so predominant on our higher gain amps in helix

 

I'd hate to see you riled about something :-)

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That's just me talking bro. 
You can quote my part of the discussion all day long. That's what "discussing" stuff is about. I think you might be misunderstanding me. You COULD have also quoted all the times I said in this thread that I am getting a monster tone and love my Helix. 

Anyway, didn't come into this conversation to get you trying to psychoanalyze me. Just wanted to talk about the unwanted fizz in the Helix. Sorry if that somehow got under your skin. Don't know you and had no intention of doing that.  I was merely giving my opinion.

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Well...I was able to set up my Helix at home tonight. :)
Took the hi-cut off of the IR.  Put the hi-cut eq block in. And found that I was able to cut at 10 khz. MUCH better! Now I still have some "sizzle" without a lot of "fizz" on my lead and high gain crunch tones. 
Thanks for the advice. :)

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7 hours ago, robbieb61 said:

Well...I was able to set up my Helix at home tonight. :)
Took the hi-cut off of the IR.  Put the hi-cut eq block in. And found that I was able to cut at 10 khz. MUCH better! Now I still have some "sizzle" without a lot of "fizz" on my lead and high gain crunch tones. 
Thanks for the advice. :)

 

There you go - you've cracked it!

 

When you get time, you might want to revisit your OD / distortion pedals if used, preamp gain, tone stack etc. It's pleasantly surprising just how good it can all get once the high cut is about right.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know this will probably cause a firestorm. 
But I pulled the trigger on a Mesa TC-50 rackmount. 

I'm using the 4 cable method with the Helix. Eliminated using any amp models of the Helix. And I'm using an IR of a Marshall cab for the crunch and lead tones and the Helix 4x10 Fender cab model for clean.

And guess what? I don't have to use ANY high cuts at all. None of the theories of how a microphone on a real cab picks up "fizz" are the problem. There is no fizz when using the Mesa as the amp in the chain. Even though I'm still using the same exact IR that I used with amp models in Helix.

And now with no high cuts I have a beautiful creamy tone again. (The TC-50 has an internal load box and a "speaker off" switch...so I'm still running FRFR).

The "fizz" is in the amp models. With the TC-50 replacing the amp models...all my sounds are smooth as butter and tons of sustain. I'm also using MUCH less noise gate settings than I had to with the amp models.

Not sure if anybody really cares...I know I was pretty happy with the sound I was getting using the amp models and making the high cuts. But the difference now is night and day. No more digital fizz at all, no high cuts, and those frequencies that I was cutting were indeed removing a lot of the tonality.  
I didn't realize it until I heard the difference. 

Just tossing that in. It doesn't matter to me now. The Helix is now a very cool multi-effects, cab-simulator, and midi control. I did have to buy a crybaby wah because using the Mesa the way I am doing it doesn't allow me to have the wah in the Helix in front of the amp.
In order to get this bad boy dead quiet...you can't go from guitar to Helix and then a Send to the amp input. Terrible noise that required so much noise gate to remove it was unusable.

But going from guitar to amp. Then "line out" of amp to "Return 1" (set to line level) and then the effects in Helix and the output to my FRFR (Bose L1 Compact) is simply AWESOME sounding.

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13 hours ago, robbieb61 said:

I know this will probably cause a firestorm. 
But I pulled the trigger on a Mesa TC-50 rackmount. 

I'm using the 4 cable method with the Helix. Eliminated using any amp models of the Helix. And I'm using an IR of a Marshall cab for the crunch and lead tones and the Helix 4x10 Fender cab model for clean.

And guess what? I don't have to use ANY high cuts at all. None of the theories of how a microphone on a real cab picks up "fizz" are the problem. There is no fizz when using the Mesa as the amp in the chain. Even though I'm still using the same exact IR that I used with amp models in Helix.

And now with no high cuts I have a beautiful creamy tone again. (The TC-50 has an internal load box and a "speaker off" switch...so I'm still running FRFR).

The "fizz" is in the amp models. With the TC-50 replacing the amp models...all my sounds are smooth as butter and tons of sustain. I'm also using MUCH less noise gate settings than I had to with the amp models.

Not sure if anybody really cares...I know I was pretty happy with the sound I was getting using the amp models and making the high cuts. But the difference now is night and day. No more digital fizz at all, no high cuts, and those frequencies that I was cutting were indeed removing a lot of the tonality.  
I didn't realize it until I heard the difference. 

Just tossing that in. It doesn't matter to me now. The Helix is now a very cool multi-effects, cab-simulator, and midi control. I did have to buy a crybaby wah because using the Mesa the way I am doing it doesn't allow me to have the wah in the Helix in front of the amp.
In order to get this bad boy dead quiet...you can't go from guitar to Helix and then a Send to the amp input. Terrible noise that required so much noise gate to remove it was unusable.

But going from guitar to amp. Then "line out" of amp to "Return 1" (set to line level) and then the effects in Helix and the output to my FRFR (Bose L1 Compact) is simply AWESOME sounding.

 

Definitely a disturbing post as I am still constantly dealing with excessive high end and forced to use substantial EQ cuts for use with an FRFR and playing at stage volumes. I still think modelers would benefit from some specific EQ profiles/filters included from the manufacturer for use with FRFR speakers. FRFRs provide a more realistic emulation of various amps and cab models but definitely require a lot more work.  What are you using as a stage monitor?

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I'm using a Bose L1 Compact. Sounds great!  Kind of expensive...but lightweight and kicks butt (had to edit that to the word "butt" because apparently one of the terms for "donkey" is deemed to not be appropriate for full grown adults to use)

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On 6/20/2018 at 7:13 AM, robbieb61 said:

I'm also using MUCH less noise gate settings than I had to with the amp models.

 

Weird. Never needed a noise gate with Hx. Obviously way too much HF in your signal, but it's never really been clear what you did or didn't do to cause this. Anyway, glad you've sorted out a usable rig eventually.

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I've always had a great sound.

But I'm never satisfied with it. Lol

It's like searching for the holy grail.

As far as a noise gate... I have always preferred amp distortion to pedals. So for my lead channels it required noise gate to keep down the hiss and/or feedback between notes in a lead.

For my sound... the Archon amp model in Helix was the best one for me. But it definitely needed a noise gate to keep it quiet and from feeding back between notes (I play in a live band here in Vegas ).

The Mesa needs it as well on the lead channel...but the gate settings are very, very low. Not a lot of hiss and noise. I could actually turn it off if I wanted to...but I like to keep my sound cleaned up and professional as possible.

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  • 4 months later...

Just my 2%.

 

A year ago, I bought them both, AX8 and Helix LT and a couple of days later, I returned the Helix.

 

I really didn’t like how it sounded. It was so fizzy and its top-end was even so harsh to my ears. (tried it with a pair of Genelec 8030 and an EV ZLX-12P and I got them to play connecting directly to my church’s FOH.)

But last month, I had a chance to try it again and I could edit it deeper than last time.

 

Even though I was returning it, Helix UI was so much better than my AX8.

Now I can edit the AX8 on the stage but the learning curve was steep. So I actually regretted that I returned only a couple of days trial.

 

Anyway, I bought a brand new one last week and let me share my experience.

 

Box/wrapping : Helix > AX8 (AX8 comes with a regular cardboard box and Helix comes with very nice colorful and black/silver logo box. Helix has more luxurious feel to it.)

 

Price : Helix > AX8 (Helix’s price went up to U$ 1100.00 and AX 8 is having BF sale and now it costs U$ 1100.00 and the regular price is U$ 1200.00. Helix comes with foot pedal and AX8 doesn’t. AX8 doesn’t have a phone jack either.)

 

Edit : Helix > AX8 when you edit with UI and Helix = AX8 when you use a PC editor.

 

Sound : I still prefer my AX8 but the thing is... I can make my Helix sound as good as AX8... (I use some Ownhammer IRs too.)

 

So my conclusion?

 

Why don’t you save more money and get them both???

 

But my wallet doesn’t allow me... then I would say Helix is all rounder.

 

If you are a tone junkie, then AX8 is right for you.

 

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