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Felverick

Using Helix with a passive cab

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Currently thinking about getting the Helix LT but need some help. Recently sold my only amp (Boss Katana) as I preferred the Helix Native sound. I'm thinking about getting the LT but without an amp I don't have an easy way to run the passive 1x12 cab I've got. What would be the most cost effective solution to use Helix with my existing cab? 

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There are probably a few options for power amp/amplifier head to drive the speaker cab but for most versatility i recommend just replacing the cab with a powered fr/fr speaker, unless it is a very good quality cab that you are very attached too.

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Any amp will work, but there is no FX loop on that head, and to use Helix with FX before and after the Amp (4 cable method) you really need to purchase an amp with an FX loop.

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I use the Art SLA-1.  Fairly inexpensive unit with solid reviews, plus it's 1u rack depth makes it perfect for 4u cases with the Helix.  Works great for me.  I use this to power a 2x12 and also send  line out to the FOH.  Using Helix rack and floor control.

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Lots of good advice here, but Spikey is correct that the big thing is the amp needs an FX loop.

 

I'd seriously consider what Shanecgriffo said. If you look at it and the cost of an amp you like for that cab is about equal, or heaven forbid more, to a flat response fr/fr speaker you're probably better off bailing on the cab and getting the fr/fr speaker.

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15 hours ago, Kilrahi said:

Lots of good advice here, but Spikey is correct that the big thing is the amp needs an FX loop.

 

 

Why? If the pre-amp in the amp is very clean and not colouring the sound surely these no reason why everything can't go in before the amp?

 

It's mostly a moot point for me because my Helix LT goes into a PowerCab, which I think is an optimal solution, but as soon as HX Stomp is available in the UK I intend to get one and will run it through my Vox MV50 Clean so I can have a setup downstairs as well as in my loft.

 

#justaskin ;)

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6 hours ago, foxmeister said:

 

Why? If the pre-amp in the amp is very clean and not colouring the sound surely these no reason why everything can't go in before the amp?

 

It's mostly a moot point for me because my Helix LT goes into a PowerCab, which I think is an optimal solution, but as soon as HX Stomp is available in the UK I intend to get one and will run it through my Vox MV50 Clean so I can have a setup downstairs as well as in my loft.

 

#justaskin ;)

 

That's a good point. I've never run into one like that, but that doesn't mean they're not out here.  Further, even if it does color it in some way, if you're still happy with it more power to you.

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Thanks for the excellent advice!

 

Yeah I'm not super attached to my cab in anyway. Didn't realize FRFR was a thing, seems to be similar to the price I paid for my cab. This would be mostly for playing at home. I'm hoping to start playing live next year but could probably just go out to a PA in that event. 

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On 10/28/2018 at 9:53 AM, Felverick said:

Currently thinking about getting the Helix LT but need some help. Recently sold my only amp (Boss Katana) as I preferred the Helix Native sound. I'm thinking about getting the LT but without an amp I don't have an easy way to run the passive 1x12 cab I've got. What would be the most cost effective solution to use Helix with my existing cab? 

Good day,

 

Bear with me...I love my Helix LT, but, then comes the problem of using it live and getting it loud enough to get over my very, or too, loud drummer. You can go direct, but you will then be at the mercy of the sound guy for monitor. Good luck.

Here's my ongoing experiment/ experience: I need to get great tone , or better tone, than my MarkBass Tube 800 head through 4x10 with all the weight and size considerations. That is my benchmark, but I don't use a ton of effects, and I could get most what I needed from my simple, tried and true, Boss ME50B in front of the amp. It is a very loud and lightweight combination of gear for a regularly gigging bass player. I tried a Quilter Bass Block, which sounded flatter, and better, with the Mark 4x10 cab, but not as loud, not loud enough. It was VERY close, as it weighed nothing and seemed to be built like a tank, and a very simple one at that. I tried a QSC K12.2. Great for at home, like a giant studio monitor, but not what I was going for. Tried Peavey DM115'S,  SRM450's, and 300's, yeah, you can get them to sound ok, but you probably won't be happy. I purchased all these, and ran pairs in most cases. I am pretty sure the other FRFRs are heavy and not loud enough for my live sound/ volume needs.

 

I think I have found my solution in the Crown XLS 2505, about 450 watts at 8 ohms, 775 watts at 4 ohms. That's with one or two Mark 4x10 cabs. It was open box, $550, and 11 pounds. Almost as loud as my "benchmark rig", not much heavier, and I can get all the wonderful Helix sounds. You can run an 775 watt, two 4x10 cab rig from one side of the amp, or you can do two cabs in stereo, or a crossover. for low and high. Lots of options and redundancy. I do use a high pass to cut off some lows, as I will get plenty, and the house subs will take care of the rest. I am running a split in the helix after the volume; then two compressors, two EQ's. One cuts highs, one cuts lows. The lows are clean as I can get, highs go to effects, then it combines again.

 

I am very happy with this rig so far, and it will likely be my "go to".  I HAVE NOT GIGGED WITH IT YET. It is great at practice. Good luck!

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There are four main ways of doing sound for your LT.  You decide which is best for you.

  1. Headphones:  Obviously only useful for yourself.  Sennheiser HD280 Pros are cheap and good.
  2. Studio Monitors:  The ultimate experience (especially in stereo).  Downside is they are only for yourself, sitting in front of your computer.  You could say that modelers are designed for studio monitors.  Choices are endless.  I use two Roland CM-30s as studio monitors.
  3. FRFR speakers:  (Full Range, Flat Response) Examples: QSC K series, Alto TS series, Headrush FRFR, etc.  This also includes PA system monitors (some would argue they are not really flat).  Can be loud enough for any application and is the most versatile solution IMO.  I would get the Headrush FRFR if I needed something along these lines.
  4. Traditional guitar cabinet:  You already have a cabinet so all you would need is a clean power amp.  There are dedicated clean poweramps like the Seymour Duncan PowerStage 170.  You could also use the power amp of any guitar amp (by going in the effects return instead of the guitar input) but you will want one that has a clean and flat power section so it is a bit tricky.  My preference are the Quilter amps because they are relatively flat even going into the guitar input.  The new Quilter Interblock 45 is perfect for this.  I use the Quilter 101 mini.  Having an amp head like the Quilter lets me just plug straight into the amp when I don't want to get distracted by all the settings on the Helix.

If I'm practicing at home I'm on my computer playing backing tracks and the LT through my studio monitors.  If I want to be loud at home or jam with friends I use my Quilter 101 mini with my guitar cabinet.  I play through the PA at my church and use the PA system monitors there.

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Sorry,

I searched "live bass" and somehow posted for guitar thread. The post from jonandtice is excellent. I would only  add that a lot more wattage is needed IF you're playing bass.

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