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Kilrahi

HX Stomp to Firehawk 1500 - Any Users?

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I've been enjoying my Firehawk 1500 with the FBV controller and a Variax for several months now, but when the HX Stomp came out I saw it as an excellent chance to both have an expansion of the Firehawk's effects, and to have a puny little Helix to take on the go or use with headphones in the bedroom.

 

Based on some of the previous posts about connecting the Helix to the Firehawk 1500 I was worried that it would be a bit of a hairball but it didn't seem to be a problem at all and I was curious what methods everyone else had tried.

 

Because I wanted to retain the Variax VDI input control (which the Firehawk 1500 has but the HX Stomp does not) this is how I set it up:

 

1. Variax into Firehawk 1500 VDI input.

2. FX block in Firehawk effects chain turned on and placed after amp block.

3. Left & Right sends on Firehawk FX Send out to Left & Right input on HX Stomp.

4. Left & Right outputs on HX Stomp to Left & Right Returns on Firehawk 1500.

 

My thinking was to use the HX Stomp primarily for its effects with the Firehawk for the amp and distortion settings, and then if I needed more effects than what HX stomp allowed to simply use the additional effects blocks within the Firehawk.

 

When I tried that setup it seemed to work perfectly, but it also seemed to work just fine to have the HX stomp handle the amp settings as well.  Best of all, I was able to use the Variax without needing a battery and still set its tunings within the app.

 

Has anyone else on this board experimented with different ways to mesh these two? What worked best for you?

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Seems the L6 guys could have come up with this information pretty easily when I asked them directly but like I said, I had wondered when looking at the animated connection options on the Stomp page if this would be the best option for the Firehawk 1500. The guy from L6 who answered my question first, said that he did not personnally like stacking up preamps like this which is essentially what you get with the cab and amp models, but he never mentioned why. 

When you run the Stomp with the Amp and Cab models, do you disable these in the Firehawk chain?

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1 hour ago, alitz said:

Seems the L6 guys could have come up with this information pretty easily when I asked them directly but like I said, I had wondered when looking at the animated connection options on the Stomp page if this would be the best option for the Firehawk 1500. The guy from L6 who answered my question first, said that he did not personnally like stacking up preamps like this which is essentially what you get with the cab and amp models, but he never mentioned why. 

When you run the Stomp with the Amp and Cab models, do you disable these in the Firehawk chain?

 

Yeah, I tried it two different ways.  Most of the time I do not add an amp or cab model in the HX Stomp. The amp/cab is the Firehawk's with the FX chain after it.

 

However, I have messed around with disabling the Firehawk's amp/cab and instead using the HX Stomp's and it sounded great to me too.

 

I also tried stacking them up out of curiosity - I wouldn't say it was definitively BAD to do so - but you do color the sound more aggressively and if it sounds like garbage there are so many parameters to tweak and I personally had no idea how what would interact with what. It wouldn't be my go to choice for a unique sound, but I'm sure someone out there more skilled than me could dial something pretty cool in.

 

Either way, it seemed a no brainer that you could either 1. Use the Firehawk's amp/cab with no amp/cab selected in HX Stomp OR 2. Use the HX Stomp amp/cab models with the Firehawk's disabled - both seemed completely viable, and if you feel like the HX Stomps sound better that is a motivation there.

 

I'm definitely interested in other people's setup experiences because what people like is partially subjective, BUT I'm also not currently anywhere but at home messing with it and I'm not really in a place where I can pump the volume to maximum levels. I assume the above setups would still stand up in a loud environment but I can't say that I know they would.

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I was just wondering if you tried using the FBV3 footcontroller in your setup and if it gives you any control over the vol/wah while using the Stomp? I wonder if you could just use the FX from the Firehawk that use the pedal on the FBV3 and also use the FX from the stomp that don't use an expression pedal..

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1 hour ago, alitz said:

I was just wondering if you tried using the FBV3 footcontroller in your setup and if it gives you any control over the vol/wah while using the Stomp? I wonder if you could just use the FX from the Firehawk that use the pedal on the FBV3 and also use the FX from the stomp that don't use an expression pedal..

 

In terms of the FBV3, it only controls internal Firehawk 1500 functions and effects. So with it, you can't use the FBV3 to control the HX Stomp's wah.

 

However, you can do the latter. You can easily use the Firehawk's effects, including its internal Wah, all controlled by the FBV3. Then the HX Stomp controls its own stuff.

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So tonight I messed around with another goal.  I decided to use the Variax with the battery, and my goal was to connect the Variax to the stomp (running off battery) and then using a variation of the four cable method connect to the Firehawk.  My primary goals, though, were I wanted I setup that didn't require I utilize any of the Firehawk's effects, whether they be for amp or effects.  I COULD use the effects (or amp) if I really wanted to, but I wanted to have the option to completely ignore them. So here were my two main goals:

 

1. Use the HX Stomp as the primary for amp/effects.

2. Retain the Firehawk 1500's wet/dry/wet configuration using all speakers.

 

It took a bit of testing but I really think I managed to make it work. Perhaps others who are interested can test further and see how well it really did, but it sounded gorgeous to me.

 

So here's the setup:

 

1. Variax into HX Stomp's left mono input.

2. Cable out of HX Stomp's left mono output to Firehawk 1500's guitar in.

3. Firehawk's FX block activated and after the deactivated amp model. 

4. All other Firehawk 1500 blocks deactivated. 

5. Dual cables coming out of Firehawk FX Send into HX Stomp left & right aux in. 

6. Stereo Y cable coming out of HX Stomp's FX Stereo send into Firehawk 1500's FX left & right FX return. 

 

From there I had to design the HX Stomp block chain, and it looked like this:

 

1. Overdrive block.

2. Dual amp block.

3. Signal path split with NO merge. 

 

Signal Path A:

 

1. Compressor of choice

2. Outputting to left/right main outs on HX stomp. 

 

Signal Path B

 

1. FX block

2. Delay block of choice.

3. Modulation model of choice.

4. Reverb model of choice.

5. Output set to HX Stomp stereo send. 

 

Because the Firehawk still had the ability to check the tuning of the guitar, and because most of the time the metronome setting isn't as useful to me, I set the 3rd switch to control a block instead. So here's what I set them to though you can do whatever:

 

Overdrive: FS1

Delay: FS2

Modulation: FS3

 

There you have it. It seemed to work perfectly and hit both of my goals. 

 

Something to think about. 

 

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One new method for me that I tried today was the 4 cable method as described above, BUT on the amp channel I only used an amp without a cab, and then for the Firehawk I did no amp but chose the cab I wanted (so you go under acoustic amps and remove all amps, but then you click the cab button and change it from no cab to the cab that you want).

 

I actually thought it sounded pretty good, and the very nice thing about it is that it saves DSP in the Stomp allowing some of the more complex effects just in case you hit some type of DSP road block (which I've run into a few times, specifically with more complex EQs sometimes).

 

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Okay! Time for another episode of Kil's adventures with the Firehawk and the HX Stomp. Though today I experienced what should have been a freaking "duh" of immense proportions, but what can I say, these setups are far more complicated than the simple stuff I'm use to.

 

Basically I've been thinking far too binary. Generally my thinking has been either Stomp for post Firehawk effects (with Firehawk as distortion and amp) or pre amp effects and amp with Firehawk for time delays, reverb, etc. OR, as all or nothing with HX Stomp as effects, amp, etc.

 

Today though it dawned on me I could use the distortion of the HX Stomp, route it into the Firehawk to use the amp modelling which I still think is pretty impressive, then have a separate Stomp channel of wet effects in order to maintain the wet/dry. This allows me to keep using the ever expanding and wonderful Stomp distortions, as well as the other Stomp effects, and save on DSP or more effect blocks. Here's how it looked:

 

1. Guitar in to HX Stomp. 

2. Guitar cable out HX Stomp into guitar in of Firehawk. 

3. Firehawk effects loop block post amp. 

4. Left/right guitar cables into effects return ports of HX Stomp. 

5. TRS to TS Y cable from Stomp send to Firehawk effects return. 

6. Amp model of choice activated in Firehawk but distortion, delay, modulation, reverb effects off (I did use Firehawk's compressor at times to save on Stomp DSP).

7. HX Stomp distortion of choice set at start of signal chain. From there split into A and B path with path B going out separate from path A (out Stomp's stereo send). 

8. FX return block active on path B of HX Stomp. 

9. Reverb of choice on path A of stomp. 

10. Reverb of choice on path B of stomp. 

11. Two additional blocks remaining for path A or B depending on choice.

 

There you have it! It sounded glorious to me and was also a great setup for acoustic stuff with some tweaks. Best of all, it maintains the wet/dry/wet setup that many of us bought the Firehawk for, and if I wanted to, I still have access to the Firehawk's distortion, delay, modulation, and reverb blocks if I would like to further color the tone. 

 

For now I think this is my favorite setup for combining the two, though I think my lazy butt will more often just use the HX Stomp as a post effects chain expander (fewer cords, less mess). 

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Well, I think I've kind of blabbed my head off about this one, but after testing all sorts of stuff my final conclusion is that connecting the HX Stomp, or the Helix, to the Firehawk 1500 is a piece of cake. The key is don't use the monitor ins - use the effects loop. That may be why so long ago so many seemed to struggle with it.

 

What's my favorite method?  Honestly it's using the Stomp as a DSP expander. Especially if you have a Variax, I think the far superior method is to just stick the Stomp in the effects loop. I noticed that where you position the FX loop in the Firehawk seems to have a slight sound impact (pre amp or post amp) even with the Firehawk's amp disengaged. I can't be sure why because I don't really know the routing of the device. However, either method was a plausible way to do it if you wanted the Stomp to do EVERYTHING (amp, effects, etc.) with the Firehawk effects as a backup. With the Stomp doing the heavy lifting for everything (distortions, compressors, amp, cab, delays, etc.) I preferred the FX loop in the Firehawk placed after the disengaged amp block. You can even set the wet/dry pass through on the Firehawk's effects loop to further tweak it.

 

I didn't personally notice a huge superiority in the 4 cable method for the Firehawk. I tried comparing back and forth as best I could. Without knowing more about how the Firehawk routes signals, it's impossible for me to tell how much the signal gets changed. My favorite of the four cable approaches was to have the Stomp emulate the pre amp effects, the amp itself, and the post amp effects, and have the Firehawk amp disengaged but with the cab of choice active. I'd then use it for any extra effects I needed post amp. It sounded pretty cool to me, saved DSP in the Stomp,  but it's a lot more work to set up and the payoff wasn't huge.

 

Either way though, if you have a regular guitar, my recommendation would be to just plug it in to the Firehawk's guitar in, put the Stomp in the effects loop, choose what models you like either on the Firehawk, Stomp, or both, and call it a day. If you want to do the 4 cable method for the allegedly superior connection method, have at it. The difference is minimal in my opinion, but it still works extremely well. You might also consider saving on DSP in the Stomp by having the Firehawk emulate the cab, but not the amp.

 

If you have a Variax, just ignore the four cable method.  What you gain by going four cable isn't worth what you give up going directly by VDI into the Firehawk. Especially if you own the FBV3, the Firehawk + Variax + FBV3 was already pretty close to a dream rig for most guitar players. I'm sure the HX sounds are somehow more accurate to the originals, but they aren't actually more amazing sounds IMHO, and so if really all you're after is neat tones there's no reason to ditch the power of this setup. I think you'll have the best results if you let the Firehawk be your distortion and amp with the Stomp as your post amp effects, but you can reverse that order if you'd like, OR you can have the Stomp do all of the heavy lifting and let the Firehawk's extra effects kick in where needed.

 

Either way, they're a wonderful combination.

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