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Friedman BE100: Helix vs Axe FX II vs Thermionik (give peace a chance?)


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Hey everybody,


Here's another comparison video!
This one focuses all on emulations of the Friedman BE100, a very well known amp!


I know these sorts of videos often spark discussions, which is ok of course, but how about we look it from this perspective: each of the platforms in this video is AWESOME and has features that make that particular platform unique and powerful in it's own way.
For example, what I like about Helix Native (aside from how good it sounds) is that I can automate parameters and easily change the tones while I'm mixing.
This is a huge deal for me!
On the other hand, the Axe FX III has a lot of amp models and a lot of very high quality effects and routing options etc. while also having a slightly crispier sound than the Helix.
I do love Helix in it's own right, the mids just sound very good so the guitars sit in the mix very well.

All of the unique line 6 effects are very cool to have too and I wouldn't want to live without those!
But could I choose a favorite between those 2?? I think not....


Thermionik is quite different than the other two; it's made by a very small one man company for one, it's affordable and all the amps have all the channels and switches modeled.
However, does it sound as good as the other 2?
I'll let you decide!


Let's celebrate how amazing all the tools are that we have at our disposal now, let's have some fun and look at the differences without making this a war!
Or is war inevitable?? ;)


Hope you enjoy:



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So which one do you prefer?

Sure, they all sound a bit similar but Helix has the sound that probably is the most pleasing because of the overall EQ curve.

The extra bite or definition that the Axe FX III has coule be more realistic but it sometimes comes at the price of a little added harshness.

Now I do love both because both are very great to work with and sound stellar, I just think that Helix wins in this case.

Not necessarily because of realism but because of how pleasant they sound in the mix.

Minor differences though.

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Thanks for doing this :)


No criticism intended, but I didn't hear what you heard.


To me the Helix was the best defined, seemed like more upper mids than the Axe.  The Thermionic had more mid-highs, but higher frequency than the Helix, and less low mids.


However, using different EQ settings between the amps makes this a weird comparison. Obviously the amps themselves have controls too, not clear whether they were all set the same, but even if they were the same numerically, that's not necessarily the same effect.

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I think the point is not to make every unit sound *exactly* the same, but rather, how easy (or even possible) is it to make a given model sound *good*.


in fact, it doesn’t even matter that much if it nails the BE100.  As long as it nails your tone soul ;)


that being said, this was a very interesting experiment.  Thanks Jon,

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