Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jesuscares

Helix direct or via Spider valve?

Recommended Posts

Just your opinion please.Will the Helix sound better direct to PA or via my Spider valve MK2? Do tube amps help enhance the sound quality of the Helix?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well...that depends on if you buy into the "tube voodoo" associated with tube amps.  The only thing that really matters is what sounds best to your ears.  Whichever way you go you're going to have to account for the fact that the patch will ultimately be going to the PA if it's a larger venue.  If you dial in your tone on something like a Spider Valve, it may not sound the way you expect once it goes through the PA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, steelstringer said:

The problem with the SpiderValve is that you can't bypass its modeling, so the Helix would be colored by whatever amp model is selected on the amp. That would probably not be ideal, I suspect, unless you don't want to use any of the amp modeling on the Helix. 

 

This. Daisy-chaining two modelers together is useless. It's like shoving a golf cart inside the cab of a monster truck, and then wondering why it's difficult to drive. 

 

Now if you want to run Helix with a dedicated tube power amp, or a slaved head into a cabinet, that's fine... some guys swear by it. Bear in mind though, that this also kinda limits what Helix is capable of. Just as an example... let's say you like the sound of a Fender Twin for your clean tones. Running that amp model through a tube amp and into a Marshall cabinet loaded with greenbacks(or whatever you've chosen as a cabinet) won't sound terribly "Fender-ish". It's gonna sound like a Marshall with greenbacks. Doesn't mean you won't like the end result.... but the unit is designed to mimic a few dozen specific amps. It can't really do that without a "clean slate" to monitor through, which means FRFR in one form or another. 

 

At the end of the day, you're the only one who can determine if  pumping Helix through a tube rig will "enhance" anything or not. Different strokes....there's no "right" answer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, cruisinon2 said:

 

This. Daisy-chaining two modelers together is useless. It's like shoving a golf cart inside the cab of a monster truck, and then wondering why it's difficult to drive. 

 

Now of you want to drive it with a dedicated tube power amp, or a slaved head into a cabinet, that's fine... some guys swear by it. Bear in mind though, that this also kinda limits what Helix is capable of. Just as an example... let's say you like the sound of a Fender Twin for your clean tones. Running that amp model through a tube amp and into a Marshall cabinet loaded with greenbacks(or whatever you've chosen as a cabinet) won't sound terribly "Fender-ish". It's gonna sound like a Marshall with greenbacks. Doesn't mean you won't like the end result.... but the unit is designed to mimic a few dozen specific amps. Our can't really do that without a "clean slate" to monitor through, which means FRFR in one diem or another. 

 

But at the end of the day, you're the only one who can determine if  pumping helix through a tube rig will "enhance" anything or not. Different strokes....

The spider valve series have a “power amp in” on the back that bypasses all modeling and just sends the signal straight to the tube amp.  The tube amp in the spider valves is designed to be pretty transparent, so actually it’s a great option to complement the helix.  It has a vintage 30 in it, which will color the sound, but you can change out that speaker to whatever you like.  

 

I ran an hd500 into a spider valve for years as my main gigging setup.  It sounded great. I still break it out occasionally on a gig just to change it up. 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, jws1982 said:

The spider valve series have a “power amp in” on the back that bypasses all modeling and just sends the signal straight to the tube amp.  The tube amp in the spider valves is designed to be pretty transparent, so actually it’s a great option to complement the helix.  It has a vintage 30 in it, which will color the sound, but you can change out that speaker to whatever you like.  

 

I ran an hd500 into a spider valve for years as my main gigging setup.  It sounded great. I still break it out occasionally on a gig just to change it up. 

 

 

 

Well that's different then... somebody else indicated that you couldn't bypass the modeling, and I've never played one.

 

But like I said, the OP can slave a head if he likes, but he'll still be limited by the "character" of whatever cabinet he's using. It's all relative. Can it be done? Sure. Will he like it "better"?  He's the only one who'll know... there's exactly one way to find out, and soliciting random opinions won't help much in the end. Just gotta run 'em both up the flagpole and see which one makes you want to salute....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like my setup,where: I have G70 from my guitar going into my helix and my DT50 and the helix into a Firehawk 1500(XLR and 1/4”) and than an 1/4” out into the effects return of the DT50. Might be over kill but it is great for versatility and if I have a very wet siginal going into the Firehawk 1500 I can run the front of the DT50 for my dry siginal. The local music store has a used spider tube amp I might pick up and try it with the helix. Will let you know how it goes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, zivdud said:

I like my setup,where: I have G70 from my guitar going into my helix and my DT50 and the helix into a Firehawk 1500(XLR and 1/4”) and than an 1/4” out into the effects return of the DT50. Might be over kill but it is great for versatility and if I have a very wet siginal going into the Firehawk 1500 I can run the front of the DT50 for my dry siginal. The local music store has a used spider tube amp I might pick up and try it with the helix. Will let you know how it goes. 

One thing that most every spider valve needs is new tubes and a good bias.  Make sure you do this with any of them you pick up.  Maintenance on tube amps in the spider valve price range is almost always ignored.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, jws1982 said:

The spider valve series have a “power amp in” on the back that bypasses all modeling and just sends the signal straight to the tube amp.  The tube amp in the spider valves is designed to be pretty transparent, so actually it’s a great option to complement the helix.

 

Thanks for the correction. I had a SpiderValve for a bit, and I always understood that you couldn't just use it as a tube power amp (I remember that being one of the major complaints). I guess I should have played around with the inputs/outputs on the back a bit more...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My main rig was Helix + Spider Valve (power amp in) for over a year until I picked up a JTV Variax.  Then I ran direct to PA with only monitors for a while so I could run acoustic models   I just picked up a Powercab 112.  I owned a DT50 for a short time too, but really didn't like it with Helix.

 

The best electric guitar sound/feel of everything I've tried is Helix into Spider Valve.  I still go back and forth between SV and Powercab.

 

As they mentioned above, get the exact Line 6 recommended tubes and bias it properly. They are the most neutral and reliable, and will keep your SV out of the repair shop.  A Line 6 tech on the Spider Valve forum posted them.

 

I have both SV 112 MKII and SV HD 100 MKii.  

 

But all that said, the difference in sound/feel is really for you on stage and maybe your band mates if they have amps too.  Helix + SV mic'd up or Helix direct to PA will be about the same for the audience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, jws1982 said:

One thing that most every spider valve needs is new tubes and a good bias.  Make sure you do this with any of them you pick up.  Maintenance on tube amps in the spider valve price range is almost always ignored.   

Good advice. I didn’t think about that. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just grabbed a Spider Valve 2x12 combo for a mere 100 bucks and the Helix direct to return is absolutely amazing. Better than any pricier  FRFR's I have tried including the Powercab. What I have found so far (still experimenting and creating patches) is that I like using the full amp blocks over just the pre-amp blocks. It just sounds fuller to my ears in general. In all seriousness I could use this rig for the rest of my life and be happy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/11/2018 at 7:51 AM, steelstringer said:

The problem with the SpiderValve is that you can't bypass its modeling, so the Helix would be colored by whatever amp model is selected on the amp. That would probably not be ideal, I suspect, unless you don't want to use any of the amp modeling on the Helix. 

Please delete this misinformation :)

 

The Spider Valve is awesome for using it with Helix or other advanced modelers. As said by others, plug into the power-amp in to bypass the modeling preamp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/1/2019 at 3:51 PM, blackmonday said:

Please delete this misinformation :)

 

The Spider Valve is awesome for using it with Helix or other advanced modelers. As said by others, plug into the power-amp in to bypass the modeling preamp.

Deleted. Jws1982 responded to my post, and I thanked him for the info. I just wish that I hadn’t sold my SV...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can find them used for practically the cost of the Vintage 30's in the combo. A great buy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×