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Best Amp with Helix


IBbrianB
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So, assuming you aren’t going direct to PA and listening back through monitors - what is the best conventional amp to run a Helix into? I’m thinking a small combo, something kinda transparent, but what is everybody else using? What about a plain powered speaker (like a PA speaker)?

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I don't have the new Line 6 "Power Cab Plus" yet but it's definitely next on my shopping list (2 of them actually).  But I've been very satisfied with the LIne 6 Stagesource speakers for as long as Helix has been available.  The only thing I've heard that I like better is Mission Engineering's FRFR cabs but they cost x3 as much as everything else.  Whatever you get - make sure the enclosure is 'wood' and not plastic.

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On 10/7/2018 at 5:14 AM, IBbrianB said:

So, assuming you aren’t going direct to PA and listening back through monitors - what is the best conventional amp to run a Helix into? I’m thinking a small combo, something kinda transparent, but what is everybody else using? What about a plain powered speaker (like a PA speaker)?

 

As you can see from the responses, there are any number of ways to go about this... but your choice will largely depend on your needs. If you really want to take advantage of the myriad kinds of tones that Helix can produce, then your output device needs to be a blank slate.... that means going FRFR. There really aren't any "transparent" guitar amps or cabs... they all have their own character. If they didn't, there'd be no need for devices like Helix... half the point of gear like this is to allow you to bounce from a Dual Rec, to a Fender Twin, to Vox, etc. etc.... but monitoring through any traditional guitar amp will limit your ability to do that, because of those inherent characteristics. In other words, if you run a Marshall amp model through a Fender combo, you're gonna hear a whole lot more Fender than Marshall... speakers are half of your tone, if not more, and the result will be a "hybrid", if you will. 

 

This doesn't mean that you wouldn't like what you hear, however. If you just want a few basic tones, and you have an amp you like, then the 4CM might suit you just fine.... it's really up to you. There is no "best" option, only what's best for you.

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

As you can see from the responses, there are any number of ways to go about this... but your choice will largely depend on your needs. If you really want to take advantage of the myriad kinds of tones that Helix can produce, then your output device needs to be a blank slate.... that means going FRFR. There really aren't any "transparent" guitar amps or cabs... they all have their own character. If they didn't, there'd be no need for devices like Helix... half the point of gear like this is to allow you to bounce from a Dual Rec, to a Fender Twin, to Vox, etc. etc.... but monitoring through any traditional guitar amp will limit your ability to do that, because of those inherent characteristics. In other words, if you run a Marshall amp model through a Fender combo, you're gonna hear a whole lot more Fender than Marshall... speakers are half of your tone, if not more, and the result will be a "hybrid", if you will. 

 

This doesn't mean that you wouldn't like what you hear, however. If you just want a few basic tones, and you have an amp you like, then the 4CM might suit you just fine.... it's really up to you. There is no "best" option, only what's best for you.

 

 

 

I hear and understand you perfectly, just to add another flavor the Paul HIndmarsh YT vid "Helix LT- all you need to know" where he shows how to use the LT as a stomp directly into a combo amp is what sold me on it. I use 4cm into a Blackstar combo and Saturday a guitar player in the crowd said I had great tone, whatever that means.

 

We all know tone is very subjective and a lot of things can affect it but it was nice to hear, since many guitar players are analog snobs.

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28 minutes ago, patdixon said:

I hear and understand you perfectly, just to add another flavor the Paul HIndmarsh YT vid "Helix LT- all you need to know" where he shows how to use the LT as a stomp directly into a combo amp is what sold me on it. I use 4cm into a Blackstar combo and Saturday a guitar player in the crowd said I had great tone, whatever that means.

 

We all know tone is very subjective and a lot of things can affect it but it was nice to hear, since many guitar players are analog snobs.

 

Plenty of guys running 4CM... nothing wrong with it if that's what suits you. The OP had seemed to be juggling two very different options... combo vs.  PA monitor. I was just trying to point out that out, so he'd get that they require different approaches, and that the the FRFR route allows for a bit more versatility... but versatility isn't necessarily what everyone needs or wants, of course. If it sounds good, it is good... however the hell you get there, lol

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Agreed. I'm in an apt right now while my house is being built; when I move in I plan to get some frfr speakers & simulate the live sound so who knows, maybe I'll get up the nerve to break the umbilical cord, etc! Then I won't even have to take a monitor (we already use 4 QSC wedges out front). Of course then I'm at the mercy of the foh guy...

 

 

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Backline on tour this summer was almost always a Fender twin reverb, and the helix played very well with them. Not what I play through at home, but I was very happy with the two together. A couple nights I had a Marshall JCM900, and the twin won by a longshot. 

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