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fenderbenderlax

Helix vs. Helix LT

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Hello everyone,

 

I'm new to this forum but have been considering purchasing a Helix for a while. A big dilemma is whether to go for the LT or the full blown Helix. In terms of uses, I'm primarily a below average guitar player who plays more for the joy and fun. I have never played through a tube amp before. The amp that I now use is a Katana 100 which is quite nice and I enjoy playing with it. I don't have any pedals and would like to experiment having some additional pedals and effects. After watching a number of videos I find the helix to be intriguing given the various possibilities to work with the tone. I enjoy working with modeling devices in general and as I said before I'm not particularly attached a specific tones of tube amps/particular artistes. 

 

I have started doing some small shows with our band (again we are no where close to being at a professional level) and I was thinking a product like the Helix (or something with less firepower but which achieves the same objective) would be useful. I also sing a bit and typically would like to hook up an acoustic guitar as well. Given this I guess my big question is whether it is worth investing in a Helix at all in the first place. If yes, would the LT actually be sufficient? The reason I ask is the following

 

From the videos online, I noted that to get the four cable method going, I would need to use one of the Send/Return FX loops in the LT. If I were to plug in my acoustic guitar and also use an external mic preamp (which I can then send in through the second FX Send/Return loop). Given this, can I still have my acoustic hooked up to the Helix? 

 

Second, from one of the videos posted online on youtube:

 

 

I can see that we could set up a wet/dry/wet signal. However, the video uses the Helix floor. I was wondering if this set up is even possible with LT? 

 

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!!!! 

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You can do the same w/d/w with LT. If you are playing live, I would recommend the Floor. It is built like a tank. LT is a not so robust. 

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Interesting. Both Helix's would certainly get the job done. My personal recommendation, based upon how you described yourself, is that the LT is more than sufficient for your needs. Yes, the primary Helix is built like a tank - but the LT is hardly weak sauce. Heck, you could throw on a 60 MONTH accidental damage warranty from most music stores for about $300 bucks and still come in under the floor AND be protected from all sorts of other things if accidental damage was what you're worried about.

 

I'd even recommend taking a look at some of the other ideas out there that cost less based on how you described yourself. Helix's capabilities are insane and go far beyond what I think even most users who buy it ever end up doing with it. It's a complete bargain for what it does - you just might not need what it does. Maybe a Firehawk or the old HD500X would suit you just fine (other than you'd have to kiss goodbye the option of having two guitars plugged in at any one time for some of those options). Of course, the BIG risk there is that you get the gear bug, fall in love with tones but suddenly realize now that you understand it you want more - and find yourself dreaming after a Helix. That was my story right there.

 

At any rate, my suggestion would be the LT. It's the unit I keep eyeing from a distance. I've seen them both in action, but I already know I'll never use all of the capabilities of the LT - might as will save $500 and not get the MEGA mega option. If I ever break down and buy the full blown Helix it means I won the lottery, or just straight up lost my mind and decided that family budgets are for the weak.

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There's nothing you've mentioned that couldn't be achieved on either the LT or the full floor model.  You do have more input and output options on the full floor as well as the difference in build quality, which in my opinion is pretty significant if you use it a lot.  Bear in mind going 4CM is just one option and generally isn't something a lot of us do.  Most of us take a much more simple and straightforward approach and simply use a good full range flat response powered speaker.  There's a lot of complexities and considerations in going the 4CM route and is necessary for some people, but it's certainly not a requirement to get any type of tone you want.  The Helix is a complex machine as it is and adding more complexity isn't something that is worth doing unless it's absolutely worth it to you.

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Thanks Kilrahi! I think your logic is great!!!

 

DunedinDragon - I was thinking of using my Katana 100 with the Helix through the 4 CM route. The idea was to use this as my dry path and then maybe use the PA (for performance) and basic studio monitors (home use) to create some wet signals...Would using the Katana 100 be a bad idea with the Helix? Would I need to get the FRFR speakers? Also would not so expensive home PA system speakers do the trick? 

 

Thanks again!!!

 

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My two cents... I’ve owned an LT for about a year and the other guitarist in my band has owned his Helix floor for about two years. Sonicallly there is no difference (other than how we tweak presets to individual taste) and the blend is so nice that we often get wide grins when the mix in the rehearsal room sounds like we are playing double tracked rhythm parts in stereo. We both actually run in mono, FRFR direct into JBL EON powered monitors. I’ve tried 4CM into my Mesa rig and I greatly prefer FRFR for its flexibility and capability of emulating power tube distortion at low practice/stage volumes. We picked JBL monitors because our PA uses them. He controls a vocal processor via midi and has a variax, so he utilizes more of the connections than I do (LT actually does have both midi and VDI). I’ve gigged with my LT many times and have not had any issues with any lack of robustness. For what you want to do I would recommend an LT with a mid-range ($-wise) FRFR powered floor monitor. You could get an EON 612 and an LT for about the price of a Helix floor. The EONs have two input channels with selectable input level (mic or line) so you could plug your acoustic into one and the output of the LT into the other. Alternatively, you could use one EON channel for a monitor feed from FOH and the other for your LT. Or one channel for microphone and the other for LT. Lots of possibilities!  We’ve played through a number of different house PAs and the sounds I dial in on the LT/EON translate very well out front. There are many other choices for powered monitors in the same price range and then some Yamahas and QSCs at a higher cost. Just make sure you get a modern FRFR monitor to maximize the Helix’s tonal pallete without coloration.

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IMO... the LT has something over it's big brother. I find the re-purpose of the main screen much nicer than scribble strips... not to mention there are less screens to screw up! EG: The LT screen (in performance view) is far easier to read than scribble strips on a bright sunny stage!

 

As far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong)... the Helix floor does not get performance view as an option on the screen. 

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Correct, no performance view on the Floor. 

 

Good point about the LT price + Powered FRFR for the same price as Floor. 

 

I run Helix through JBL EON 610s at home, and they are a great match. 

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Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts. After much haggling i managed to land a new Helix Floor for 1100. So I went with that given that it sounded like a good deal. The best I could negotiate on the LT was bring it down around 925.  

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39 minutes ago, fenderbenderlax said:

 

Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts. After much haggling i managed to land a new Helix Floor for 1100. So I went with that given that it sounded like a good deal. The best I could negotiate on the LT was bring it down around 925.  

 

WOW! That's pretty amazing . . . I mean, yeah, if you can do that that's a clear win.

 

Was this purchased new from a music store?  Or was there something unique about who you were buying it from?

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@ Kilrahi...actually I bought this online from a retailer....i bought multiple items including  a decent acoustic guitar, an audio interface and studio reference monitors...originally they priced me out with the LT...however they did not have that in stock and i would have to wait for four weeks before they could deliver the LT...basically told em i would rather cancel the entire order as against break up the order...then they brought the Floor to the negotiating table and i made a take it or leave it offer...i can only imagine the margins they make on this product :-)...

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