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Why should I buy a powecab ?


SteveFrance
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Hi all,

 

This is a deliberatly provocating title but i ask myself if it would be a good solution for what i want.

So, i've got a helix, a variax and a yamaha DBR10. It sounds pretty good and i can obtain good results but i always miss something.

I've tried my other rig (a fender into an amp) and i think this is the "amp in the room" feeling i miss...

 

I don't have any seller here to try one (they prefer selling common amps).

I find the price not so cheap and don't want to be disappointed...I can add, at first, i thought this device is unnecessary, you can't plug directly a guitar like in another combo, it only brings a better feeling...I've allready got the Full range with my speaker....

I think if i buy this device, i'm gonna sell my amp (i don't use a lot) and the DBR10, so i don't want to do a mistake.

 

The question is/are : does it really feels like an amp ? Is there really a real improvement from a PA speaker ? Does it sounds good with acoustic ?

 

Thanx !

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I have never been satisfied with powered monitors. I took my helix and guitar to a shop and tried the 12'' variation of just about every make including Yamaha, qsc, electrolux, etc. I own an RCF HD32a which sounded the best to me but was still lacking the tonal qualities I like. Helix in 4 cable to my tube amp never sounded good and straight through the front was the worst. All of these options sounded pretty good with the several boss units I have so I just assumed the helix was not that good. Then I purchased the Powercab 112 plus. The tone and sound dispersion are far better to my ears than the monitors. Not exactly tube amp tone but close when in LF Flat. That mode shuts off the high frequency driver and sounds very amp like. I know it's not just me, everyone I jam with has noticed it as well. I have gotten nothing but praise. The speaker emulations are nice, especially cream and greenback but I prefer LF Flat mode and run IR's or cabs in the helix. I am mostly high gain metal so finding anything as good as a good tube amp just isn't going to happen. The powercab is as close as I have come thus far. It's plenty loud enough and weighs 35 lbs. Other options I have heard are really good are Atomic, Mission Gemini 212  and Xitone but they are more expensive and I have not experienced them personally. Also Laney just released the LFR 112 and Seymour Duncan has the powerstage 170.  Hope this helps.

 

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This helps a lot, thanx for your answer !!!

 

I've read it elsewhere and i'm estonished that many use IRs and LF Flat mode instead of the inside models.

I thought, 'cause they don't simulate the mic'd, they were the closest "amp in the room" that we can have....

 

You have been lucky to be able to try one in a shop, it's impossible here....

So, you advise me to buy one ?!

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If you can purchase from a vendor with a good return policy then go for it. Then if you decide it's not for you, send it back. I can not see why anyone would prefer a powered monitor over the powercab but that's my ears. I have no idea what your preference is so it would be irresponsible for me to advise you to buy one. I personally really like the powercab but would be interested in hearing the laney LFR 112 which is less expensive. Cant try Laney here in the U.S. because they are in Europe. Perhaps the shops in your area have the Laney for you to try. The powercab would integrate very nicely with the rest of your gear but it would better for you to hear it. There are plenty of you tube videos you can listen to and reviews as well. It's a nice amp and very well built. Good luck.

.

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I use my powercab with the inside models because I want an amp in the room sound and not a miced sound. 

 

What you have to remember is that just like a real amp if you change the speaker / cab you will need to tweak your amp to sound the same. So when moving from say a PA cab with a particular IR (which models a specific speaker / cab) to the powercab with the inbuilt speaker model you choose, you will still most likely need to tweak the amp.

 

I did that and I am very happy, and when I say tweak I am not talking about drastic changes.

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Thank you for your responses !

 

Joe : I've learnt that a lot of poeple say there's a real difference between an active speaker and the PC+. But on vids, it's difficult to have any idea about this (because it's always through mics). 

 I've heard very beautiful sounds on vids that i couldn't reproduce so kind even if they told every setup they've done, then i'm a little suspicious.

Your comment seems to be very positive for the PC.

In fact, this week-end, a friend of mine has asked his best friend (who is a guitar seller) what he can do to ransom my device and buy the PC+. I wait and see.....

 

Lewis : I think i'm gonna use the PC+ this way. Do you hear a big difference between the non and the mic'd sim ?

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Comparing the Helix IRs with the cab modes is light night and day. The IRs when run through the powercab in the FRFR mode will sound like a miced amp through a PA speaker (or close enough that it doesn't matter). Whereas when outputting the helix without IRs through the powercab speaker modes is very much like playing an amp and standing in front of it.

 

On one level it depends on what you personally prefer. I have found when jamming with my band, where we all play through amps and only vox and keys are through the PA, that a miced guitar sound through the a PA speaker just doesn't cut through. Whereas an actual guitar amp does.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Running IRs into Flat/LF Flat mode is adding some additional EQ you might like, but will be changing the IR's natural tone. Flat/LF Raw also turns off the tweeter, but doesn't add any additional EQ processing, retaining the natural frequency response of the Eminence speaker. Speaker Model/Natural is similar, but has the option of sending a mic model through the XLR output. 

 

LF Flat voicing is intended to provide a base, flat speaker voicing upon which the speaker model processing is based. 

 

Try using a bit if high cut in Flat/FRFR for your Helix IRs. That's typically required for other FRFR solutions too.

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  • 1 year later...

I had the helix lt for a year before I got the powercab+. In one evening with the powercab I am stunned that line 6 doesn’t just ship this thing out with the helix, it’s night and day. I love running the helix through the speaker modes on the powercab. I have a feeling that everyone who says that the speaker models on powercab are “muffeled” are doing something wrong. Using ir’s, cab blocks, hi or low cuts etc. to me the ONLY reason for the powercab is the speaker model feature and that includes the natural mode and the LF Raw mode. As far as a frfr it is no better than my l3m speakers. Powercab made my helix come to life. 

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  • 1 year later...

I’m looking into the powercab vs buying a small combo. I use the helix direct but there are cases where I need an amp. I still use the helix for my effects with my Marshall’s but was wondering thoughts on advantages where you would use a small amp for gigs etc.  thoughts?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/3/2021 at 10:45 AM, jcopeland1 said:

I’m looking into the powercab vs buying a small combo. I use the helix direct but there are cases where I need an amp. I still use the helix for my effects with my Marshall’s but was wondering thoughts on advantages where you would use a small amp for gigs etc.  thoughts?

Well, a lot of people here will tell you different things about this. There is no absolute answer. The Helix with the PC is a different animal, bottom line. It will be different than a tube amp in some ways and similar in others. I think the biggest plus with the PC is that with the Helix, it is extremely versatile and you can pretty much do everything with just those two pieces of gear. That is what I like about it. When compared to my tube amp with 2x12 V30s, the Helix and PC sound just a bit more thin at times. However, this is because my 2x12 cabinet has much thicker birch wood and it is a 2x12 vs my two 112 PCs. But, they sound very close and I can dial in something that sounds almost identical. I find myself playing mostly through my Helix and PC now because everything is just so versatile. I can have HX edit open on my computer and dial everything in here since I am using L6 Link with the two PCs. Can't do that as easily with the tube amps. Even when I was using 7CM with my two tube amps, things sounded really good, but then the level of programming was much more involved with dialing in two amps, setting MIDI controls to do channel changing and presets, etc. A lot of work. With the Helix and PC, pretty easy to do. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi there all, 

 

I have been into technology for years, and used to regularly use my POD XT pro with a full range cab in a band 30 years ago, more recently I have used a Landau Deville and the usual pedalboard, but I did get a Helix about 18 months ago to help record some live video in a friend's studio.  Covid hit, and I ground to a halt like many. 

 

BUT, turns out I have a band gig again soon and intend to use the Helix as I can't be arsed to carry the amp and heavy pedlaboard.  I am getting lazy at 54. :-)

 

I've been playing around with the Helix in my living room, into a Yamaha full range monitor cab I have which sounds fine, but I am liking the idea of the PowerCab. 

 

My question is....

 

I am not that fussed about stereo, but the 1x12 only has mono outs so that's that anyway, but if I have several patches where I have EQ'd to low pass appropriately so it sounds not bad straight out of the back of the Helix into a desk.  I would obviously have to create new patches with NO Cabs loaded in the Helix as I would use the PowerCab.  So, I guess I would have to create 

 

a) a set of patched for when I can't use the PowerCab, straight into a desk etc and in ears

b) the same patches but without low pass EQ and cabs for when I use the PowerCab and Midi cable to change the speaker in the PC for my patches if required...

 

Obviously not the end of the world, unless there is a function that globally turns off ALL cabs / specific plugins (Certain EQ etc) on the Helix...?

 

But I am thinking a different set of patches for whatever scenario I need...?

 

I really get the impression the PowerCab is a must purchase...

 

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Well, not really.  I have the helix and a 112+ and a 212+. I play them stacked at home, 112 at small gigs and 212 or both at bigger gigs.  I run to foh from my helix and the PC's are just for stage noise.  I use the lf raw on the PC and still use the stock cabs on the helix. That sounds the best to me. So.... You may find you don't need separate patches, but you can always do it if you want.  I like the way mine sounds.

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Hi all,  I have borrowed a PowerCab plus 112, and yes, even after a short period messing with it I can see the potential.  Can I ask, anyone who uses a PC, do you take a line out of the PC into your PA to avoid having to set up AMP Sims and low pass EQ etc to stop fizziness, or do you send a separate feed to your PA...?

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I think it would be best to set up all of your amp sims and EQs in your modeller and then run in to the Powercab in FRFR mode - the output to the PA will then replicate what is going to the PC

 

i have just done this set up on my Helix & PC at rehearsal so will hopefully be trying the output from PC to PA at this weekend’s gig

 

if you are using the speaker sims on the PC I believe you can still do some sculpting of the sound and then you will get the “speaker sim” sound coming out the PC for an “amp in the room” feel and the output to the PA will be the PC speaker sim + a mic sim to give a better sound for the PA

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