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Helix vs Mesa Dual Rectifier vs Axe-Fx III vs Kemper + FREE PRESET!

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Hi there this is my first post! I'm a proud owner of a Helix LT and today I shot a video comparing it to my Mesa Dual Recto, Axe-Fx III and Kemper. Spoiler alert: I can make them all sound pretty much identical with some specific tweaks. Download link for the free preset can be found in the YouTube description. Here's the video:

 

 

If you're interested in trying out more of these types of presets please let me know. :)

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7 hours ago, ThePod said:

This is great.  Downloaded the patch!  

Well thank you! It's a very basic Recto type of sound but this way it sounded really close to my amp. :) It's not a whole lot of gain so for leads you may want to crank that gain up.

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Oh goodie!!!  Yet another comparison of these type of units.  Lord knows the 3,254,126 previous comparisons weren't nearly enough!!!!

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1. How did you record DI track?
2. How reamping path looked like?
3. How IR was captured?

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1 hour ago, DunedinDragon said:

Oh goodie!!!  Yet another comparison of these type of units.  Lord knows the 3,254,126 previous comparisons weren't nearly enough!!!!

 

In case this was sarcasm I haven't seen a proper apples-to-apples comparison like this. Most comparisons are not so great and usually it's because people don't generally understand the importance of using the same cabinet simulation. It actually takes a lot of work to make these comparisons fair like this one is. 

 

54 minutes ago, zolko60 said:

1. How did you record DI track?
2. How reamping path looked like?
3. How IR was captured?

 

I used Cubase 10 for doing this comparison. All modelers and also the amp were fed the same exact DI signal. The IR was captured using the best capture methods in the industry that I keep secret since that's how I make a living. :) Not sure if you know my background but I make IR's for some awesome people. For example you can hear my IR's in use on the Periphery III album.

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Well yes...of course it's sarcasm.  But these comparisons do get a bit tiresome given their importance in the big scheme of things.  It's not like the audience is going to appreciate any similarities or differences, and there's no doubt with enough knowledge, time and skill you can produce whatever sound you feel best fits the situation live or recorded with any premium level modeler.  So after a while it just starts to become a dead horse beating contest....  After all no piece of gear is going to turn you into a guitar god.  Only practice and performance does that.

I'm more of a Frank "just shuddup and play yer guitar" Zappa kinda guy I guess....

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7 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

Well yes...of course it's sarcasm.  But these comparisons do get a bit tiresome given their importance in the big scheme of things.  It's not like the audience is going to appreciate any similarities or differences, and there's no doubt with enough knowledge, time and skill you can produce whatever sound you feel best fits the situation live or recorded with any premium level modeler.  So after a while it just starts to become a dead horse beating contest....  After all no piece of gear is going to turn you into a guitar god.  Only practice and performance does that.

I'm more of a Frank "just shuddup and play yer guitar" Zappa kinda guy I guess....

Amen, Frank is where it's at!

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Just goes to show you how far digital modeling and profiling has come. I tour with a band that rents Triple Rectifiers for me. Once, a couple of friends and I had us a Helix party/seminar type of thing as both of them were new owners. I dialed up a lead patch in a couple of minutes and the one friend (that is the band's tour manager) said, "it sounds just like your Triple Rectos!" It does, doesn't it?! Helix, Fractal and Kemper all get the job done... and admirably. I ended up with Helix because I'd been a loyal long time Line 6 user... and because it was cheaper, but all three of them are great units! I don't even own any tube amps anymore, though I've had many over the decades. I just don't need them anymore.

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On 12/3/2018 at 10:17 PM, MLSoundLab said:

Hi there this is my first post! I'm a proud owner of a Helix LT and today I shot a video comparing it to my Mesa Dual Recto, Axe-Fx III and Kemper. Spoiler alert: I can make them all sound pretty much identical with some specific tweaks. Download link for the free preset can be found in the YouTube description. Here's the video:

 

 

If you're interested in trying out more of these types of presets please let me know. :)

 

Duuude! I have a bunch of Fractal Cab Packs that I think you made, is there any chance you'll ever make those compatible with .wav IR loaders or the Helix instead of having to use Cab Lab?

 

If not what are other impulses would you recommend that are .wav?

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On 12/6/2018 at 8:33 PM, erniedenov said:

Just goes to show you how far digital modeling and profiling has come. I tour with a band that rents Triple Rectifiers for me. Once, a couple of friends and I had us a Helix party/seminar type of thing as both of them were new owners. I dialed up a lead patch in a couple of minutes and the one friend (that is the band's tour manager) said, "it sounds just like your Triple Rectos!" It does, doesn't it?! Helix, Fractal and Kemper all get the job done... and admirably. I ended up with Helix because I'd been a loyal long time Line 6 user... and because it was cheaper, but all three of them are great units! I don't even own any tube amps anymore, though I've had many over the decades. I just don't need them anymore.

I think we're a part of the evolution right now. Maybe around 10 years ago many people tried modelers and they were no match for a tube amp but still hold on to that memory a decade later when in reality there's really no point in using tube amps for any other reason than pure love for tube amps. I have quite many tube amps that are always going to stay with me, don't get me wrong but if I was to tour with a band there's no way I'd take the risks that come with tube amps when I know I can get a sound this close. It's a good time to be a guitarist!

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On 12/7/2018 at 12:01 AM, vstrattomusic said:

 

Duuude! I have a bunch of Fractal Cab Packs that I think you made, is there any chance you'll ever make those compatible with .wav IR loaders or the Helix instead of having to use Cab Lab?

 

If not what are other impulses would you recommend that are .wav?

Hey there and I'm really happy to see familiar people in here! Those Cab Pack releases are exclusive Fractal releases so there's nothing I can really do with them at this point. However I think I have some awesome news for you quite soon. "Soon"? Yes I think I did that here as well. :D

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On 12/8/2018 at 12:33 AM, MLSoundLab said:

Hey there and I'm really happy to see familiar people in here! Those Cab Pack releases are exclusive Fractal releases so there's nothing I can really do with them at this point. However I think I have some awesome news for you quite soon. "Soon"? Yes I think I did that here as well. :D

 

Wow dude, preset is amazing! Love it, thank you so much.

Finger crossed for a ML Helix Cab Pack.

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On 12/5/2018 at 3:45 PM, MLSoundLab said:

Not sure if you know my background but I make IR's for some awesome people

I don't know, but you look cool and share with people.
Will you share with DR power amp (connected to a speaker or reactive load) impulse response? (From FX return to speaker out)?

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Thank you guys once more. :) I definitely intend to share a lot of free stuff. I hope this doesn't come across as a pushy advert but I will be sharing lots of cool stuff on the YouTube channel so be sure to follow it... this is not subscription bait.. no need for that, following is enough. :D When I have something really awesome I'll post it here as well.

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Thank you!
Sharing with knowledge, ideas, good vibes and software is sooooo sexy!

Edited by zolko60
Added "ideas"
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13 hours ago, zolko60 said:

Thank you!
Sharing with knowledge, ideas, good vibes and software is sooooo sexy!

No worries! That's what I'm here for. :)

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 I know many people are tired of these but I like them. I do take them with a grain of salt. I'm never looking for a representation of what the units sound like with these. As many of us know, there are too many variables to make a determination of that. But I like seeing/hearing how close they can get to each other. It is interesting to me. Then again, there is a good chance I may be just looking for validation of my purchase choice. In this case, I closed my eyes before I could see what was what, listened, and when I opened them, I actually liked the Helix tone slightly better. Only VERY slightly though. They were all extremely, super close. And maybe with a little more tweaking, even closer. They were all so close, it would be hard to determine from this, which one to get. They can get so close to each other that it has become more and more apparent to me that none of these are better than the others. It's more about your work style, flow and what exactly you want to use them for.

 

To me, the Fractal and Helix are essentially studios in a box with the Fractal having a little more finesse and options. Which you pay for. I think the Helix is right on it's heels though. The Fractal is less user friendly but that certainly doesn't make a difference to me personally. I think it does to others. And I would say the Helix (the floor unit anyway) is built more for the average bar, small venue, gigging musician, where the Fractal is more for the concert type, "big time" situation,  (less drunks and spilled beer to worry about). Not that they couldn't be used for either situation. Not at all. There is a rackmount Helix after all. They both are more about getting a studio sound in the field.

 

The Kemper seems to be more about having an amp in the room experience. Or more to the point, ANY amp you want in a room experience. Less about a studio sound in the field. A VERY cool thing. All have their place and are of equal value. Just each with their own strengths. And of course, as Dunedin pointed out, your average shmo has no clue and more than likely, would say they all sound the same. But, they don't have to have a clue and don't want to. They probably don't even care. I know, I know...not care about guitar tone? What's wrong with them?

 

What a GREAT time to be a guitar player. I just wish it had happened about 30 years ago. Sigh. Wait. How old am I again?

 

 

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7 hours ago, brue58ski said:

 I know many people are tired of these but I like them. I do take them with a grain of salt. I'm never looking for a representation of what the units sound like with these. As many of us know, there are too many variables to make a determination of that. But I like seeing/hearing how close they can get to each other. It is interesting to me. Then again, there is a good chance I may be just looking for validation of my purchase choice. In this case, I closed my eyes before I could see what was what, listened, and when I opened them, I actually liked the Helix tone slightly better. Only VERY slightly though. They were all extremely, super close. And maybe with a little more tweaking, even closer. They were all so close, it would be hard to determine from this, which one to get. They can get so close to each other that it has become more and more apparent to me that none of these are better than the others. It's more about your work style, flow and what exactly you want to use them for.

 

To me, the Fractal and Helix are essentially studios in a box with the Fractal having a little more finesse and options. Which you pay for. I think the Helix is right on it's heels though. The Fractal is less user friendly but that certainly doesn't make a difference to me personally. I think it does to others. And I would say the Helix (the floor unit anyway) is built more for the average bar, small venue, gigging musician, where the Fractal is more for the concert type, "big time" situation,  (less drunks and spilled beer to worry about). Not that they couldn't be used for either situation. Not at all. There is a rackmount Helix after all. They both are more about getting a studio sound in the field.

 

The Kemper seems to be more about having an amp in the room experience. Or more to the point, ANY amp you want in a room experience. Less about a studio sound in the field. A VERY cool thing. All have their place and are of equal value. Just each with their own strengths. And of course, as Dunedin pointed out, your average shmo has no clue and more than likely, would say they all sound the same. But, they don't have to have a clue and don't want to. They probably don't even care. I know, I know...not care about guitar tone? What's wrong with them?

 

What a GREAT time to be a guitar player. I just wish it had happened about 30 years ago. Sigh. Wait. How old am I again?

 

 

Very good post. I think people have seen this type of comparisons done unfairly so many times that at this point seeing a title like this already makes people cringe. I personally feel like all of these modelers do an amazing job sounding like real amplifiers. I was just playing around with my Mesa Mark V yesterday and comparing it to the Helix Cali Mark IV and I got the Helix to sound and feel exactly like my Mark V with tweaks done inside the amp settings. I was really impressed I must say. I'm impressed with all of these modelers and working with them on a daily basis definitely makes it clear that they have different strengths. Helix is the fastest to use. Really fast! Fractal is the most versatile. Tweaker's wet dream. Kemper is amazing for people who want to capture their own amps or people who want to purchase pro profiles. What I was trying to showcase in the video was that in the right hands they can all do what you want them to do.

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