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rodney13

Helix into front of amp ?

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I thinking seriously of jumping onboard the Helix path and just wondering has anyone had good results running into a front of an amp.

Using the amp sims as well as the effects? 

My amp is old school and doesn't have FX send and return.

 

Some have said I would be better just getting the Line 6 stomp box , though I have my heart set more of the full helix unit.

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5 minutes ago, rodney13 said:

I thinking seriously of jumping onboard the Helix path and just wondering has anyone had good results running into a front of an amp.

Using the amp sims as well as the effects? 

My amp is old school and doesn't have FX send and return.

 

Some have said I would be better just getting the Line 6 stomp box , though I have my heart set more of the full helix unit.

 

Have you ever tried running one amp into another?  Probably not. Few have. It might be a usable sound in some context but it's generally not done.

 

So it is with a modelled amp (Helix) into a real amp. 

 

Anyway, that's my take on it but it's a pretty universal one. You may be able to get some joy out of using preamps as a type of distortion pedal for your amp. That's possible, but the full amp models and the cabs will probably be unusable. 

 

The HX Effects was designed specifically for situations like you describe.  

 

Now, with that said, I think a Helix would be a wonderful choice.  Maybe a year or two later you'll grab an FRFR speaker for it. Honestly, there are some pretty decent priced ones even now (like the Headrush model for as low as $200). 

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Some people use a Helix preamp like you'd use an amp-in-a-box pedal, into a clean or slightly crunchy amp. As Kilrahi said, a full amp probably wouldn't sound all that good.

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get the HX Effects.  If you have an amp you like, you don't need the full Helix.  If you don't really like your amp and want the amp models, get the full Helix and a FRFR speaker or 2.

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So to sum up what's already been said...

 

Can you? Yes.

 

Should you? No...

 

Think of it this way...running Helix straight into the front of an amp is the digital equivalent of going to a recording studio, mic-ing up an amp and cabinet, and then feeding that signal into another amplifier. Nobody daisy-chains amps like that.

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Sounds like the HX effects might be the go , would that work well in front of a old school valve amp? I tried a M13 some years ago and wasn't overly impressed , so one would think the HX effects has come along since then

I need more than just a couple of effects as I play in a covers band with songs that require more than just OD and delay.

The analog pedal days for me are becoming more of a hassle than not. The amp on the other hand is a JTM 45 THW and it's a sweet sweet sound .......

Edited by rodney13
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The main problem is that "your old school valve amp" contrains you to have all the effects before the preamp.

It's allright for the distortion but for delays, reverb, modulation, it changes everything following the place in the chain !!!

You seem to want flexibility but with that constraint you won't be able to have a lot.

IMHO, and for your needs, the best would be a HX stomp or a Helix LT and a FRFR speaker....

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Yeah I get what you mean , I certainly ain't off loading this amp , FRFR speaker  is what a lot are saying in other forms I have read .

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IMO... the Helix works great in front of old school amps.... and there is no reason why it wouldn't work great in front of the OP's JTM 45. A Helix will work into the front end of a JTM 45 just as well as a pedal board full of effects would... IMO, better than a pedal board full of effects would with a lot more flexibility.

 

Here's the trick. Just use Helix as "effects only"... stay away from full amps and cabinet modelling. You can experiment with pre-amp models as "amp in the box" style effects if you want, that could add some flavors to your JTM 45. EG: A "who watt" preamp may be similar to placing a Catalinbread RAH in front of your amp while an Essex 30 preamp may be similar to a Wampler ACE30. 

 

The vast majority of guitar players still run a pedal board into an amp. They do not worry about effects loops and 4 cable methods... they just have a board loaded with x number of pedals, their guitar plugged into one end and the amp into the other. Modulations can sound great in front of amps, so can delays, so can reverbs. Just because you have every option of flexibility open to you with a Helix that doesn't mean you are forced to use them all when you take it out of the box :)

 

3 hours ago, rodney13 said:

Sounds like the HX effects might be the go , would that work well in front of a old school valve amp?

 

The HX Effects is a great product... but why limit yourself if you want the full processing power of the Helix... which also has a built in expression pedal.

 

Here are some benefits to buying what you really want from the start instead of compromising. 

  • As I already mention... it WILL work great as a pedal board in front of an old school amp... an extremely flexible pedal board at that.
  • You can still use the amp modelling at home, either with headphones, studio monitors, hooked up to a computer, etc... etc...
  • If you want to do any home recording or studio work... you will find many uses for all the features of the Helix.
  • If you ever add an amp with an effects loop, you can take a shot at 4 cable method if you want
  • If you ever decide to get an FRFR cabinet, you are ready!

Just my 2 cents on the subject! 

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1 hour ago, codamedia said:

IMO... the Helix works great in front of old school amps.... and there is no reason why it wouldn't work great in front of the OP's JTM 45. A Helix will work into the front end of a JTM 45 just as well as a pedal board full of effects would... IMO, better than a pedal board full of effects would with a lot more flexibility.

 

Here's the trick. Just use Helix as "effects only"... stay away from full amps and cabinet modelling. You can experiment with pre-amp models as "amp in the box" style effects if you want, that could add some flavors to your JTM 45. EG: A "who watt" preamp may be similar to placing a Catalinbread RAH in front of your amp while an Essex 30 preamp may be similar to a Wampler ACE30. 

 

The vast majority of guitar players still run a pedal board into an amp. They do not worry about effects loops and 4 cable methods... they just have a board loaded with x number of pedals, their guitar plugged into one end and the amp into the other. Modulations can sound great in front of amps, so can delays, so can reverbs. Just because you have every option of flexibility open to you with a Helix that doesn't mean you are forced to use them all when you take it out of the box :)

 

 

The HX Effects is a great product... but why limit yourself if you want the full processing power of the Helix... which also has a built in expression pedal.

 

Here are some benefits to buying what you really want from the start instead of compromising. 

  • As I already mention... it WILL work great as a pedal board in front of an old school amp... an extremely flexible pedal board at that.
  • You can still use the amp modelling at home, either with headphones, studio monitors, hooked up to a computer, etc... etc...
  • If you want to do any home recording or studio work... you will find many uses for all the features of the Helix.
  • If you ever add an amp with an effects loop, you can take a shot at 4 cable method if you want
  • If you ever decide to get an FRFR cabinet, you are ready!

Just my 2 cents on the subject! 

 

just a little nit-picky point about your bullets at the end there.

 

You can do 4CM with the HX effect too, so that isn't really some benefit for the full Helix over the HX.

main benefits of the HX over full Helix.  The other points you make are good ones.

 

-size:  if you already have a pedalboard and just want to incorporate the effects from a Helix into that pedalboard, its a lot easier to fit the HX in there than it would be to shoehorn a full Helix in

-$$$$:  HX is like a 1/3rd of the price of the full Helix, and like half the price of the LT.  

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6 hours ago, rodney13 said:

Sounds like the HX effects might be the go , would that work well in front of a old school valve amp? I tried a M13 some years ago and wasn't overly impressed , so one would think the HX effects has come along since then

I need more than just a couple of effects as I play in a covers band with songs that require more than just OD and delay.

The analog pedal days for me are becoming more of a hassle than not. The amp on the other hand is a JTM 45 THW and it's a sweet sweet sound .......

 

I think the HX Effects sounds more up your alley too. 

 

As to other issues people brought up about the front of the amp stuff . . .  to me the bigger question is do you use delay/reverb pedals, etc. now?  HX Effects will work just as well as those do on an amp with no effects loop, so if you've always been happy using effects with your amp there's no reason you won't also be happy with the HX Effects with your amp. 

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I have the Helix LT and use it in 3 different ways.  Live I use it into a valve combo amp but do not use amp or cab sim so all I am using is several types of od or dist a volume and wah the amp has good reverb so apart from a little delay it all goes into the front I can also channel switch from the Helix. The second way I can use it live is with a power Cab in which case I add an amp but do not need the cabs, I am not so convinced by this method as you do not get controlled feedback the same as you would from my combo amp and one reason I would like a freqout pedal in the Helix. The last way I use the Helix is direct into my daw or digital recorder ay home with full modeling If you  use a JTM45(and therefore do not have a send and return) you will have to try and get as much clean headroom as you can if you want to use time effects like delay/reverb as they do on That pedal show on utube.

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You can run everything in the Helix in the front end of an amp, yes even amp and cabinet models. I actually found some amp/cab models ran in front of my old Blackstar Club 40 and Fender Blues Deluxe reissue sounded fantastic to me. 

 

The #1 rule about Helix is: there are no rules. If you want your signal chain to look like guitar>reverb>delay>amp model>cab model>wah>distortion>into your amp.... and it sound good to you, you can do it and not break anything in the process. When you set your signal to instrument level and go into the front of the amp, it doesn't matter what you do within the Helix. 

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I think it depends on the amp you run it into.  I run it into stereo Quilter Steelaire combos and I get wonderful results.  That said, I ran it into the front end of my Boss Katana and it sounded horrible. As far as a tube amp, I don't know.  I sold all my tube amps about 4 years ago. I would think the cleaner the amp, the better the results though.  You want a flat response for the Helix or else the models might not sound correct.

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