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A couple of questions - from a potential new owner

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Got a chance to pick up one of these second hand for cheap that I am considering, but I have a couple of questions that I'm not sure about:

 

1. Is the firehawk limited to 3 user changeable FX blocks? i.e. is there no way to have two overdrive pedals, a modulation and a delay all at the time time? 

 

2. Am I right in thinking you can't use the footswitches to make any changes to the amp section? i.e. acting as a fs to change from clean to drive etc - if not I take it you could just copy the whole thing over to another bank and alter it and just use the a/b/c/d switches to effectively act to change the gain level?

 

3. will this control the model/tuning on a variax 500 or is that model too old now? (sigh, the joys of being left-handed)

 

4. can you turn the amp/cab block completely off? 

 

assuming 4 is correct (im sure you can and i just cant work out on the app how), how do you prefer to use yours/what do you think gets the best sound out of it?

with an amp with amp emulation off? 

headphones?

a pa speaker/frfr/other non-coloured audio system?

 

thanks

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11 hours ago, ian- said:

Got a chance to pick up one of these second hand for cheap that I am considering, but I have a couple of questions that I'm not sure about:

 

1. Is the firehawk limited to 3 user changeable FX blocks? i.e. is there no way to have two overdrive pedals, a modulation and a delay all at the time time? 

 

Correct. It is limited to three changeable blocks. You could have two overdrive pedals and a modulation, or two overdrives and a delay, or three delays, etc., but no way to have four in any combination.

 

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2. Am I right in thinking you can't use the footswitches to make any changes to the amp section? i.e. acting as a fs to change from clean to drive etc - if not I take it you could just copy the whole thing over to another bank and alter it and just use the a/b/c/d switches to effectively act to change the gain level?

 

Correct. For reasons that I don't understand (I mean, seriously, why not?) you can assign the expression pedal to the parameters of the assignable blocks OR the reverb, but you can't assign it to the parameters of the amp.

 

A work around is to switch between the banks, though there is a slight delay between presets so it would depend upon how fast you need to make the switch. Ultimately, I tend to rely on an expression pedal to control the drive of a distortion, or a footswitch to activate the distortion at the required level. If you prefer the simulation of amp distortion though this is a limitation and you're stuck with the preset.

 

Quote

 

3. will this control the model/tuning on a variax 500 or is that model too old now? (sigh, the joys of being left-handed)

 

If you have a VDI cable then yes, it lets you do the following:

 

1. Choose the Variax model.

2. Choose the tuning of the Variax model.

3. Choose to use the Variax's modeling or natural pickups.

4. Choose the tone of the Variax model.

 

I tend to do a hodgepodge of both. I use the Firehawk to set the tuning and the specific Variax model, but then use the switches on the Variax to quickly move between the modeled pickups (i.e. move quickly from bridge to neck, etc.).

 

Quote

 

4. can you turn the amp/cab block completely off? 

 

assuming 4 is correct (im sure you can and i just cant work out on the app how), how do you prefer to use yours/what do you think gets the best sound out of it?

with an amp with amp emulation off? 

headphones?

a pa speaker/frfr/other non-coloured audio system?

 

thanks

 

Yes you can turn the amp emulation off completely.  You can also turn the amp off but run with just a cab (this is great if you're combining it with a device like the HX Stomp).

 

Here's  how it's done:

 

Select the amp block >>>> Type >>>> Clean >>> No amp. 

 

The default for no amp is also no cab. If you tap the top right "cab" button while in the amp section then it lets you select from cab types.

 

In my opinion, the best sound for any modeling device is into a FRFR audio system. If I were running the Firehawk into a traditional amp I'd probably do a 4 cable method and turn the amp modeling off.  This is the inherent challenge in any modeler though, and it's not a unique limitation with the Firehawk. A traditional amp colors the sound a bit, and so if you double up an amp sound (a real amp + a modeled amp) it can get crazy fast, which is why I typically turn the modeled one off. Still, if you do it,  and it sounds good to others, go with it.

 

With an FRFR, you can simply do every single thing in the Firehawk. It's just makes life easier, and you don't need as many fancy connections.

 

Just as a final bit of input, I love the Firehawk. I think it's a great device. For most guitarists, it's more advanced than anything just about anyone used for decades so if you're realistic, even with its limitations, you can pretty much dial in the sound of any song you've ever heard and liked. If you need to get crazier than that, that's when you have to start looking at the Helix line.

 

Edit: I realize that this is probably a "duh," but it should be pointed out that the Firehawk does allow, quite easily, a person to connect a favorite, or several favorite, stomp boxes into the chain. So while it's not possible to have two overdrives, a modulation, and a delay with just the Firehawk, it can still be easy to dial in that sound with a cheap distortion pedal connected. For me at least, this has been a very real way that I address the minor shortcomings on those rare occasions that they do pop up. I've just augmented the Firehawk with additional stomp boxes I already owned.

 

 

 

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"Correct. It is limited to three changeable blocks. You could have two overdrive pedals and a modulation, or two overdrives and a delay, or three delays, etc., but no way to have four in any combination."

Technically, yes.  In reality, no.  There is a 4 Block patch out there that lets you run 4 user selected blocks but you lose the FX Loop.  

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6 hours ago, robertgoddard said:

"Correct. It is limited to three changeable blocks. You could have two overdrive pedals and a modulation, or two overdrives and a delay, or three delays, etc., but no way to have four in any combination."

Technically, yes.  In reality, no.  There is a 4 Block patch out there that lets you run 4 user selected blocks but you lose the FX Loop.  

 

Well that's interesting. Any more info on this unique tweak?

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