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MarkJarvis

Helix vs AXFX 3, seriously...

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I use the Axe-Fx III, Helix LT and also the Kemper pretty much every day for tweaking guitar tones so I would say that I have a good sense of what they are capable of. Here's a comparison of the same exact guitar tones recreated based on a real tube amp on the Helix:

 

 

And the same done one an Axe-Fx III:

 

 

So ultimately in some cases "you can" make them perform in a very similar way. I think you would have a hard time saying which is which in a blindfold situation. The way real tube amps are tweaked is very different to how some of the "older" modelers are tweaked. It's not just about bass, middle, treble and gain. The amount of master, drive and saturation highly affects the overall brightness of all of these things and on certain master settings you'll find that bass, middle and treble don't do anything at all. This is realistic and I think both the Fractal and Helix work this way. Tweaking these modelers is not as simple as a result. So yes, having 5 times more amp models is definitely an advantage but there's a lot of versatility in every single amp model especially with Fractal and all the advanced controls. The advanced controls that I use the most on the Fractal are the graphic equalizers and low and high cuts inside the amp block. You can essentially do this with a Helix and EQ blocks but sure it would look nicer if it was all done inside the amp section. :) In the right hands you should easily pass as a real tube amp using either of these modelers.

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I think skepticism regarding the voracity of a demo video is only warranted if you are under the impression that the person making the video acutally used a different modeller and lied about using the helix or whatever product they demo’d.  I’m a skeptic about pretty much everything it’s just me.  It doesn’t mean I don’t trust or believe anything, it just means i withhold belief until the claim has been demonstrated to be true.  Put another way there is enough evidence to warrant the belief.  in all these cases the video is the evidence, the Helix can sound that good.  I’ve seen plenty of demo videos so I’m not relying on a single one which means I can increase the confidence i have in the belief.  Ultimately I would have to believe that all the guys putting up vids are involved in a conspiracy but if I’m using occam’s razor I have to go with the more simple explanation.  

 

Also the crap about how good the players are doesn’t factor in for me.  Let’s get real here, if buddy in the video handed his guitar to me, although I might not do justice to the passage the guitar tone would be the same for every good or lollipop note I play.  The signal is going through the same chain.  I’ve gone and watched bands in bars with mediocre players that have a great guitar tone.  If you can’t separate the tone from the skill to decide what is actually impressing you, that’s not skepticism that’s just an inability that you need to work on.  And I think if you thought about it you could probably do it, you just have to try to get past all the times that you have read on various forums that good tone is all in the fingers.  

 

And to tie this all back to the thread, I have no interest in spending estra cash on a device when I can get equally impressive tones from my Helix.  That, and the added luxury of having the footswitches built in, being able to control other devices from Helix, the scibble strips, etc.  It’s a no brainer.  Helix hangs with the best of them in tone and it meets my needs in other departments.  Rant over...

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On 2/14/2019 at 10:02 AM, MarkJarvis said:

Hi All

Not trying to start trouble...I have been a very long time Line 6 user (POD 500 and Helix owner) but just listening to the....

 

Given your reactions, replies, and statements, you are absolutely trying to start trouble.  In fact you're kind of being a lollipop.  Going through your content, you've been a bit of a complainy-pants for quite a while.  You post repetitive questions, you prod for updates, etc.  You don't like tweaking for tones and get frustrated before you get results.  Enjoy your Axe.  All of us twisters of dials, draggers of sliders, and chasers of tones will be over here in Land o' Losers enjoying the process of creating content that we like while you download content you like.  Be sure to post your clips, just like you challenge others to do.

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What's next? Baby wipes?

 

Ok that crossed the line BUCKO!!!!

 

 

 ; )

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To all those that are complaining about this post or think i am just trying to justify  AXFX 3 purchase...I have Line 6 Helix, POD 500 and a Variax for years. I bought third party IR's and presets built my own and have some decent sounds but it hasnt been easy, Helix has always been not pleasing with their presets (default) ..AXFX just the sheer number of amps and ir's dwarfs helix. That said there is plenty i like about Helix, like the form factor, the build quality, the led's the integrated expression pedal the editor.However when i go and check out all the guitarists I like, in most cases AXFX is part of their rig ..cant say the same for Line 6. So either they know something or maybe because you are so loyal to your purchase and really its 'good enough' but for me, at the end of the day i want to be inspired by the tones not fighting, tweeking eq mastering and un fizzing... All that said, I already own alot of line 6 and will continue to use it...for now

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Also the crap about how good the players are doesn’t factor in for me.  Let’s get real here, if buddy in the video handed his guitar to me, although I might not do justice to the passage the guitar tone would be the same for every good or lollipop note I play.

 

 

Well completely don't agree and luck its not that way. You can have all the best gear, the exact gear and never sound as good or close if its not in you to do so. Anyone can learn a riff but make it sing is a different deal.

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2 minutes ago, MarkJarvis said:

 

 

Well completely don't agree and luck its not that way. You can have all the best gear, the exact gear and never sound as good or close if its not in you to do so. Anyone can learn a riff but make it sing is a different deal.

 

I don't think you understood what he was saying. You should read it again.

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guitar tone would be the same for every good or lollipop note I play.

Nope i read it and i don't agree i think it  would not sound the same as good tone comes from the person playing it not the electronics only

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Just now, MarkJarvis said:

Nope i read it and i don't agree i think it  would not sound the same as good tone comes from the person playing it not the electronics only

 

See, I think that's your first mistake. You're not speaking the same language as your fellow guitarists.

 

Guitar tone is the output of your machines connected. That's it. Nothing more nothing less. 

 

Guitar skill is a different measure.  That's the thing that makes Eddie Van Halen with a Vetta II sound better than you or I with an Axe FX.

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9 minutes ago, Kilrahi said:

...

Guitar tone is the output of your machines connected. That's it. Nothing more nothing less. 

..

So you think if Steve Vai would play through David Gilmours stuff, he would sound like him?

No 'sound from the fingertips' or similar?

 

Then my experience is different... and heard a lot of others sharing it (incl. Gilmour and Vai).

 

 

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21 hours ago, spikey said:

....In any case, I'm glad to find out you don't believe that Helix cant be played well unless you a pro. ; )

Never said that and never will. ;-)

 

'YT-professionals' != 'guitar pros'

Different expressions meaning different things ... and here it's about somebody who professionally creates and sells sounds.

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8 minutes ago, Simon268 said:

So you think if Steve Vai would play through David Gilmours stuff, he would sound like him?

No 'sound from the fingertips' or similar?

 

Then my experience is different... and heard a lot of others sharing it (incl. Gilmour and Vai).

 

 

 

No I don't.

 

Look . . . machines always output the SAME thing. We need a name for that.  I don't care what you want to call it.  If we don't want to call it tone (though that was the original name created for it, hence "tone" knobs). Should we call it amp juice? Freaky sound lollipop? Either way, machines always output THE SAME THING for everyone.

 

Now, players have different styles, different skills, different abilities. That's guitar SKILL. No two players are the same, and that's why a player on one amp with X settings will sound different than another player on the SAME amp with the SAME settings - but the machine is still outputting the same damn stuff. 

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Okay, lets just call a draw on this one.

 

The fact is there are two definitions of tone, and because people use them back and forth all over the place it can get confusing.  I tend to think of the FIRST definition - clearly some people are thinking of the second definition - which I hate that definition in terms of guitar playing skill but it does fit. 

 

So hey we can all be right here.  Now our board can be friends again. 

 

  1. 1.
    a musical or vocal sound with reference to its pitch, quality, and strength.
    "the piano tone appears monochrome or lacking in warmth"
    synonyms: timbre, sound, sound quality, voice, voice quality, color, tone color, tonality, resonance, ring
    "bassoons add considerably to the tone of the tuba
     
    2. The general character or attitude of a place, a piece of writing, a performance, etc.
     
     
       
    •  
         
  2.  

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I don’t think two people playing through the same exact rig will necessarily have the same tone. Being a fretted, stringed instrument, there are a lot of tonal variations that come from the way a particular player frets the notes, strikes the strings, holds the pick, etc. It can make quite a difference, really.

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21 minutes ago, phil_m said:

I don’t think two people playing through the same exact rig will necessarily have the same tone. Being a fretted, stringed instrument, there are a lot of tonal variations that come from the way a particular player frets the notes, strikes the strings, holds the pick, etc. It can make quite a difference, really.

 

I honestly don't think anyone was disputing that aspect. I just think people were focusing on two definitions of the word tone. 

 

You have the machinery which has a specific tone that it creates and it takes input and spits out output. Two androids programmed to play exactly the same way will always output the same thing. This is the tone of the machinery.

 

Then you have human skill - how hard they attack, how they emote, even the way they hold the bloody thing - and that creates it's own feel and tone.  Anyone who has played any musical instrument is well aware of this. From trumpet players to kazoos. 

 

Eggghhh . . . thread is kind of derailed now, but admittedly that's not necessarily a bad thing. 

 

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1 hour ago, Kilrahi said:

. . . machines always output the SAME thing. ...

I think what you are trying to say is: The machine will produce the same output WHEN FED WITH THE EXACT SAME INPUT.

 

On this i could agree.

But as you put it yourself:

1 hour ago, Kilrahi said:

...No two players are the same, and that's why a player on one amp with X settings will sound different than another player on the SAME amp with the SAME settings ...

Meaning: The input of different players (esp when using different guitars) WILL be different .... and so will the output of the machine.

 

And THAT's why i say: Hearing e.g. Marco Fanton playing (HIS guitar) via the Helix is nice ... but only has little weight for me for how I will sound playing (MY guitar) via the Helix.

 

Also I am skeptical about comparing the Helix with the Axe FX3 by comparing the (Helix) videos of Marco Fanton or Pete Thorn with the one (FX3) of Cooper Carter ....

Coopers Video doesnt convince me that the FX3 is better than the Helix (as MarkJarvis seems) - and the Fanton+Thorn-Videos doesnt convince me on the other hand that the Helix is at least as good as the FX3.

 

But that's only my opinion and '.... everybody has one.' ;-)

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34 minutes ago, Simon268 said:

And THAT's why i say: Hearing e.g. Marco Fanton playing (HIS guitar) via the Helix is nice ... but only has little weight for me for how I will sound sound (with MY guitar) playing via the Helix.

 

Also I am skeptical about comparing the Helix with the Axe FX3 by comparing the (Helix) videos of Marco Fanton or Pete Thorn with the one (FX3) of Cooper Carter ....

Coopers Video doesnt convince me that the FX3 is better than the Helix (as MarkJarvis seems) - and the Fanton+Thorn-Videos doesnt convince me on the other hand that the Helix is at least as good as the FX3.

 

But that's only my opinion and '.... everybody has one.' ;-)

 

See . . .that makes no sense though.

 

What, do some of you guys only like one sound on planet Earth? I like tons of music, tons of tones . . . I mean it's endless.

 

By your argument, the first time you heard a REALLY good player play a Les Paul guitar you still couldn't be sure if the Les Paul WAS a good guitar.

 

That's madness.  It's a tool same as the Helix is a tool. I heard Slash bring out amazing sounds with the Les Paul and I KNEW I wanted one. I bought one, I love it. To this day I do not sound as good as he does, NOT EVEN CLOSE,  but I still KNOW that it's a great guitar. If you hear the Helix modelling amps and effects really well then quite frankly you KNOW it can do it and you KNOW it's a great modeler. There's no need for all this weird belly aching indecision about "is it or isn't it" and "there's no way to really know."

 

Bulllollipop. 

 

If you see a hammer drive in a nail really well you know that a hammer is a good tool for driving in a nail. Yeah, Mr. Miyagi might still drive the nail in much better than you do . . .  but you still know it's a damn good tool. 

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4 hours ago, MarkJarvis said:

 I already own alot of line 6 and will continue to use it...for now


I'm sure that's a big relief for everyone.

 

I use to make and sell analog FX pedals as a second living, and I recognise in how and what you communicate the kind of customer I would be glad not to have had. It seems to me as though you are projecting your own insecurity about your gear unnecessarily here.

FWIW, and as a bass player, I sold off all my analog pedals and replaced them with a Helix Stomp. Amazing piece of engineering, and a delight to use with utterly musical tone. The community around the Helix system and interaction with Line 6 support are a bonus delight.

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I'm sure that's a big relief for everyone.

 

 

Yeah right.....I am sure your so secure with your ability and playing and little bass playing. 

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1 minute ago, MarkJarvis said:

 

 

Yeah right.....I am sure your so secure with your ability and playing and little bass playing. 

 

Dude, why are you so bitter? I worry about you.

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1 hour ago, MarkJarvis said:

 

 

Yeah right.....I am sure your so secure with your ability and playing and little bass playing. 


It's 'you're'. We're native English speakers, right? So try and make an effort, otherwise if you can't be bothered using correct grammar and spelling then why should I bother listening to what you have to say?

My basses are of standard size. They are likely both longer and heavier, or 'bigger' if you will, than your guitars. Don't let this threaten or worry you, though. Size doesn't matter. ;)

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5 hours ago, MarkJarvis said:

 

 

Yeah right.....I am sure your so secure with your ability and playing and little bass playing. 

Seriously what you get out of here? All your posts are garbage. No long d!ck, or your wife cheated you, or you don't have one at all? This is forum to discuss, not your psychiatry to solve your psychological disorders.

 

Seems like the moderators sleep though, since this topic still exist.

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3 hours ago, arislaf said:

....

 

Seems like the moderators sleep though, since this topic still exist.

 

No, not sleeping. But we're not censors. This thread is nowhere near the threshold (at least not yet) of personal attacks and nasty behaviour that would make me flag it to Line 6 for intervention. We've seen many threads that are nastier than this - including some on the same topic.

 

The fact that a thread seems pointless to moderators doesn't mean we should hide/delete it. What's pointless to you and me may be significant and important to others. While I don't think anyone is going to change anyone else's mind here, and I think that it's a waste of time, everyone should feel free to carry on expressing their opinions and even mildly insulting each other along the way. If it starts to get really ugly I'll flag it. But this topic comes and goes so frequently without going over the line, and without any new input or fresh opinions, that we'll try to just let it play itself out. Eventually people will get tired and let the thread die as it should until it inevitably reappears.

 

Meantime it's entertaining to see how the anonymity of the Internet can somehow give people the feeling that they can say things here that they would probably not say to anyone's face. Go figure. Get the popcorn.

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On 2/14/2019 at 1:35 PM, MarkJarvis said:

Kilrahi Just curious, but do you like Hawaiian pizza?  If your asking do I like crappy sound? no

If I was betting, I would bet you would not post anything you have done on helix...

 What is that suppose to me mean? What is good tone to one person may be crappy to another it's all a matter of taste. I like stinky cheese with my reverb. Enjoy playing. We are lucky to have the toys available today.

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On 2/14/2019 at 1:45 PM, MarkJarvis said:

Kilrahi ..still waiting to hear something you have done on helix..anything

no matter what he uploads you will  look for flaws and try to exploit them to support your argument. Atleast it seems that way with how you're pushing the issue. WOW.

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2 hours ago, silverhead said:

 

No, not sleeping. But we're not censors. This thread is nowhere near the threshold (at least not yet) of personal attacks and nasty behaviour that would make me flag it to Line 6 for intervention. We've seen many threads that are nastier than this - including some on the same topic.

 

The fact that a thread seems pointless to moderators doesn't mean we should hide/delete it. What's pointless to you and me may be significant and important to others. While I don't think anyone is going to change anyone else's mind here, and I think that it's a waste of time, everyone should feel free to carry on expressing their opinions and even mildly insulting each other along the way. If it starts to get really ugly I'll flag it. But this topic comes and goes so frequently without going over the line, and without any new input or fresh opinions, that we'll try to just let it play itself out. Eventually people will get tired and let the thread die as it should until it inevitably reappears.

 

Meantime it's entertaining to see how the anonymity of the Internet can somehow give people the feeling that they can say things here that they would probably not say to anyone's face. Go figure. Get the popcorn.

Well said!

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15 hours ago, phil_m said:

I don’t think two people playing through the same exact rig will necessarily have the same tone. Being a fretted, stringed instrument, there are a lot of tonal variations that come from the way a particular player frets the notes, strikes the strings, holds the pick, etc. It can make quite a difference, really.

 

I do all those "tonal" variations that you're describing, usually without thinking about it, and probably in every song.  All of those are almost equivalent to rolling back the volume on the guitar and having it clean up.  I think that is a given variable, ie; "listen how this tone cleans up if I roll back the volume knob or if I just play lightly".  "Listen to the attack I can get out of this preset or amp model if I dig in."  I can tell that the player didn't change presets when he plucked that string harder to make it bark. My point is, if you and I are sitting side by side and did sound clips of each of us, in turn, striking an A chord, through the same Helix or AxeFX preset, same guitar ..blah blah blah, put them up as A or B comparisons, no one listening is going to be thinking "I prefer the tone on Preset A".  I'm not saying nobody will claim to hear a huge difference, there are plenty of those people out there. 

 

As far as the two definitions of tone, I don't think they have anything to do with what we are talking about here.  At some point guitar players hi-jacked that word and converted it to their own usage.  Words don't really have intrinsic meanings, they have usages, kind of like when "gay" really had one usage and that was to describe "happy". So let's not get caught up in a dictionary definition.  It also comes down to context, I would say that if we are talking about a guitar rig, we are tacitly using the word tone in a slightly different way than we are if we are talking about an acoustic guitar.  Since we are talking about modellers here, we shouldn't have too much trouble with what most guitar players mean by tone to describe an electric guitar signal chain.  I think that is different than skill and proficiency. Sure, if someone is unskilled and plays through a rig, you can be distracted by the lack of skill and it might throw you off on whether or not it's a good tone but I think they would have to be terrible for that to happen.  I could still say, "the guy can't play worth beans but that amp sounds great".

 

As far as the comparison of two different guitar greats through each others rigs etc.  It really has nothing to do with whether or not the tone they are playing through is the same or different. The tone is the same the playing style is different, they are great players who play a certain way and like a particular tone to compliment their style.  The amount of delay, reverb, distortion the character of the IR etc etc doesn't change no matter how you play.

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I don't understand how a You Tube Demo that is well put together is irrelevant just because most cannot play like that, or don't have the knowledge in producing a good looking, great sounding demo.

 

There are three things I get from videos like that....  (regardless of the product they are promoting.... Helix, Kemper, AXEFX, etc....)

  1. It shows, without a doubt, that the "tool of choice" is more than capable of getting the job done
  2. If I want to accomplish that, I need to put in the time to LEARN how to use it.
  3. (Optional) If I want to play like that, I need to practice more! 

IMO: Too many people want to be spoon fed great tone and if they aren't willing put the effort into #2 (or in fairness, just don't have the knowledge or ability to figure it out), they may attempt to discredit #1 to justify their failed attempt.

 

Good carpenters never blame the tools! 

 

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I don't understand how a You Tube Demo that is well put together is irrelevant just because most cannot play like that, or don't have the knowledge in producing a good looking, great sounding demo.

 

The simple answer is, it's not irrelevant and instead of being chastised (because somehow it became unfair we cant all play or sound the same) it should be a goal to reach for.

 

Quote

To all those that are complaining about this post or think i am just trying to justify  AXFX 3 purchase

 

Most here could care less if you bought an FX-III or a hamburger, but its the way you went in doing it that rubs people the wrong way. Running down another product (on their forum) just to make yourself feel good about your purchase is childish and condescending Mark. No one here has said a negative thing about the Axe FX-III,  and I'm sure you will like it. But you are on a "Helix" forum, and running down (in every way I might add) a Line-6 product by comparing it to Fractals Main box. If you like it better, fine, but keep the asshat condescending comments to yourself.

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Hi,

 

I know this is a internet forum and unfortunately in those it is rather common to discuss a little sloppy on the logical end.

 

Consequentially also in this discussion there is a lot of

a) out of context

* i never argued about '... good ...' equipment [even less 'blamed' it for anything]

* but about how significant a good sounding YT-example is for MY experience at home

b) and overstating

* i never stated 'irrelevancy' or 'lying'

* but 'a little skepticism' [as in 'not necessary translatable' and 'not proof beyond any doubt'])

 

19 hours ago, Kilrahi said:

...

By your argument, the first time you heard a REALLY good player play a Les Paul guitar you still couldn't be sure if the Les Paul WAS a good guitar.

...

In essence: That's correct.

And that's not madness but really logical.

The opposite (what you seem to be stating) is: '...[the first time you heard a REALLY good player play a Les Paul guitar you] HAVE TO BE SURE THAT [Les Paul WAS a good guitar]...'

Or in short term: One Example is (unconditional) PROOF.

How is that true?

 

1 hour ago, codamedia said:

I don't understand how a You Tube Demo that is well put together is irrelevant ..

Never said that and never will.

 

Nightynight

 

Simon

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58 minutes ago, Simon268 said:

Hi,

 

I know this is a internet forum and unfortunately in those it is rather common to discuss a little sloppy on the logical end.

 

Consequentially also in this discussion there is a lot of

a) out of context

* i never argued about '... good ...' equipment [even less 'blamed' it for anything]

* but about how significant a good sounding YT-example is for MY experience at home

b) and overstating

* i never stated 'irrelevancy' or 'lying'

* but 'a little skepticism' [as in 'not necessary translatable' and 'not proof beyond any doubt'])

 

In essence: That's correct.

And that's not madness but really logical.

The opposite (what you seem to be stating) is: '...[the first time you heard a REALLY good player play a Les Paul guitar you] HAVE TO BE SURE THAT [Les Paul WAS a good guitar]...'

Or in short term: One Example is (unconditional) PROOF.

How is that true?

 

Never said that and never will.

 

Nightynight

 

Simon

 

Rather than continue to argue it with you, I'm going to just assume there is a misunderstanding somewhere and move on. 

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1 hour ago, Simon268 said:

 

3 hours ago, codamedia said:

I don't understand how a You Tube Demo that is well put together is irrelevant ..

Never said that and never will.

 

FYI: My post was not directed at you... I purposely never quoted anyone, I just read a whole bunch of posts in this thread that I found very odd and decided to lend a general comment. 

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On 2/16/2019 at 6:07 PM, MarkJarvis said:

To all those that are complaining about this post or think i am just trying to justify  AXFX 3 purchase...I have Line 6 Helix, POD 500 and a Variax for years. I bought third party IR's and presets built my own and have some decent sounds but it hasnt been easy, Helix has always been not pleasing with their presets (default) ..AXFX just the sheer number of amps and ir's dwarfs helix. That said there is plenty i like about Helix, like the form factor, the build quality, the led's the integrated expression pedal the editor.However when i go and check out all the guitarists I like, in most cases AXFX is part of their rig ..cant say the same for Line 6. So either they know something or maybe because you are so loyal to your purchase and really its 'good enough' but for me, at the end of the day i want to be inspired by the tones not fighting, tweeking eq mastering and un fizzing... All that said, I already own alot of line 6 and will continue to use it...for now

Knowing all this and you still bought a helix?

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Wow, that Cooper Carter is a master of the Fractal! He really knows a lot of riffs;  a great testament that he can approximate cover tones and the AxeIII is capable.

He even runs a class on how to program the AxeIII. But if you don't have the time or inclination, he has done it for you. Gig Ready! Time is money!

If you are tired of the Helix or AxeII sound I'd go for a KPA. If money is no option, go real amps and FX.

If you want to create never done before tones learn to program the AxeIII.

If you want ease of use and creative tweakability  go the Helix.

Instant gratification Axe III with this guys patch pack and guitars all done in the same shirt! He's done the work!

 

 

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Knowing all this and you still bought a helix?

 

 

Like i said i bough the POD HD 500 first, then when Helix was available bought it, then a variax..i had never previously considered the Fractal..until now..and I do like the idea of 'instant gratification' rather than have to tweek to get to that result. 

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Also those who 'don't have the time to listen to 263 amp's' in the demo video your missing out there is some great sounds happening...

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I can just plug into my Helix if I want to hear great sounds happening...and I actually get some practice out of it at the same time.   You know so I can improve the tone in my fingers.  My fingers have horrible tone right now... I'm trying to correct it... ;-)

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This is like guitar FOMO...  The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may have better tone than you...

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LOL ... It's so true ... but for me anyway , that's not the case.  I know for a fact there are lots players out there that have better tone than me.  And that's OK, it gives me something to copy. I like the challenge of trying to dial it in, and I actually enjoy the process.  I've lost entire weekends doing just that.

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