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1)   I've been getting a lot of replies from people who are evidently not understanding the simplicity of my question and in turn makes me wonder if they are actually using the Powercab in the manner that they think they are.  I get the more complicated stuff.  My question is 'simple':  What are people/users (including Hindmarsh and Line 6 instructions) meaning by "normal", "amp in the room", and "air moving" - and why do they all have different settings?  I thought the terms meant the same thing.   Check out the following Line 6/Hindmarsh vid. If you skip to 2:24 he plainly explains the settings (flat mode and LF Raw) for achieving "traditional guitar speaker" behavior. Then skip to 2:54 and he plainly explains settings (speaker mode) to achieve "traditional amp in the room experience". What's the difference? I thought they were the same thing.  2)   On the more technical side - I've been advised differently but I'm pretty sure if I'm using Flat mode/LFRaw (which I 'think' is my personal end goal), I still have to put a cab or IR in the Helix chain or it's going to sound horrible - same as before having the PC+ - right? . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7yIZnYeXmQ

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One thing is clear.. there is plenty of room for confusion... there's a fair amount of reviews, YouTube vids and other info on the web that add to the confusion.

 

I'm really just writing this here to get my head around it.. I'm 60 you know :) :? ...Have I had my dinner ??

 

If you go by the user guide, It seems that the different modes that can be selected when using the speaker models in Powercab+ ie LF Flat & *LF Raw ( *labelled Solo in the manuals which again could be confusing) turn off the high frequency driver and Flat is a flat EQ on the 12 inch. with Raw being the 12 inch speaker with no EQ applied. It also confusingly says in the manual, LF Flat is the voicing used when in Speaker Mode which suggests that the only time you would use the HF driver is in Flat ( FRFR ) for sending a complete signal chain including IR's or Cab's to use Powercab as a FRFR system.

 

So to try and answer your question .. eventually.. :) 

 

Amp In The Room = The Speaker Models ( No IR's or Cab's going into Powercab+)

Traditional Guitar Speaker Behaviour = The 12 inch Powercab Speaker on its own,  either Flat EQ or Raw ( Solo)

 

It's mostly marketing hyperbole, and I think as long as your using the Powercab+ Speaker Models, with no IR's or Cab's in your signal chain your getting 'close to' both descriptions.

 

Unless I'm completely mistaken.. Hope that wasn't too long winded.

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Thank you so much "PaulWilliamson" for your very helpful reply and I'm pretty sure I agree with your train of thought.  Just for the record, I've got you beat on age (65) and I've forgotten more than you'll ever know about long winded-ness (grin).    In the end, I'm simply going to use whatever settings sound best to me.  But I have one more 'gotta-know' issue that you may/may-not be able to help me with.  I am using the PC+ in two different ways: 1) - with the Helix Floor, and 2) - from a real amp via a speaker cab load box (Torpedo Captor).  Both the Helix (obviously) and the load box have the option to introduce a cab sim into the chain before reaching the PC+.  Is it proper, or not, to apply a cab sim before going to the PC+ in Flat LFRaw mode in order, as you stated, to "= Traditional Guitar Speaker Behavior"?  Is the PC+ still compensating in some way even when in LFRaw?  It makes my head hurt thinking about it but we all know what it sounds like when omitting a cab sim from the chain in every other circumstance.   I've been given two opposite answers from other venues.  Just thought I'd ask in case you had a couple more!

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I think your comment "I'm simply going to use whatever sounds best" is your answer, Every bit of gear we use adds or subtracts 'something' to the final sound we hear.

I really think with Powercab+ there is no right & wrong.

 

In principal you should try to avoid having duplicate IR's or Cab models anywhere in your signal path, ( unless you decide you want to because you like that way it sounds).

The idea of Flat LF Raw is just to give us a different option, The actual 12' speaker that's in the unit with no processing applied, if you like the sound of running that with a cab or IR from Helix, no one can say that's wrong. if you like the sound it's right for you.

 

I spent the first year with my Helix running it without Cabs or IR's through a Marshall JVM using the 4 cable method, Then I discovered I could get pretty good results using the Helix cabs through the return input of my old Line 6 'Flextone' Combo, which was one of the first modelling amp's, so it had a fairly flat response 12 inch speaker ( with no HF unit).

 

After using amp's since 1974, I personally found it difficult to get away with only using the final fully processed sound you get from Helix when just going into an FRFR speaker.

I did miss that playing into an amp thing that Powercab does provide when using the speaker models.

 

So although there are principals to follow, There's really no right or wrong.. it's like telling Picasso 'you shouldn't have used that colour' if he decided that the sea isn't blue.

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So after reading everyone's kind and much appreciated replies to my frustrations, I thought I'd just share the setup that I've since decided sounds most, to 'me',  "real guitar speaker behavior".  I don't claim to be knowledgeable of the difference in various cab models in real life.  My only exposure to various models is via Helix cab/IR options and the two cabs I personally own (a 412 w/V30s and an oversized 212 Egnater cab both of which I love).   Also keep in mind my  playing style preferences are Texas Blues and on the opposite end of spectrum - Gilmourish clean and his more current gain tones.  I've decided (right or wrong) that, whether using the Helix Floor or Tube amp with load box, I'm most pleased with no cab sim at all - anywhere - and running PC+ in Flat/LFRaw.  To my ear it sounds very much/most like I'm sitting in front of my real (guitar speaker) cabinets.  Actually sounds like both my cabs used together (tonewise that is - we 'are' talking about a 112 after all).  If I'm being honest, it's the first time I've really felt like the Helix amp sims sounded authentic and that my 3 tube amps sounded the way they're intended when using a 'digital' setup for personal, live, playing.  And the bonus is that I don't have to suffer endlessly from option anxiety! (grin)  Never has using the Helix been more simple and straight-forward for me.  It almost makes me feel guilty or something. Thanks again to all!

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Powercab+ can be operated in four different ways, the first two provide amp in the room tones, the last two don't.

 

1. As a plain 1x12 guitar cabinet: Use this as a powered guitar cabinet. Drive it with an amp model, but no cab or IR model. This will have amp in the room sound because that's exactly what it is, a plain guitar cabinet with no mic, and no processing. Get this with:

  • Flat: LF Raw - just the raw 1/x12 speaker, no tweeter, XLR out is unprocessed (not suitable for direct FOH, needs additional processing)
  • Flat: LF Flat - the 1x12 speaker with some EQ, no tweeter, XLR out is unprocessed
  • Speaker Model: Natural - similar to LF Flat, but XLR out has speaker and mic model suitable for sending to FOH

2. As a 1x12 guitar cabinet with processing to sound like other speakers: Use this as a powered guitar cabinet with a choice of speakers, and to send speaker/mic processing for direct use in FOH. This is also amp in the room sound because there is no mic model involved in the 1x12 (only the XLR out) and no tweeter for any of these speaker models.

 

3. As a FRFR:  Use this with amp and cab/IR models in Helix. XLR out is the same as the input and can be sent to FOH (because it has cab/IR and mic models from Helix). This use case provides support for a wide range of inputs and flexible processing from the device connected to Powercab. Also useful for acoustic guitar, keyboards, or anything that needs full range and flat response. Tweeter is on. This will not sound exactly like amp in the room for guitar because Powercab is reproducing a mic'd guitar cabinet.

 

4. As an IR processor: This kind of combines use cases 2 & 3: Powercab is a FRFR  except instead of Powercab speaker models, it uses whatever IRs you installed. This provides additional tones, but not with amp in the room. Use this if your input device doesn't support IRs, or to save a block.

 

 

 

More details (from a previous post):

 

First Powercab is primarily intended to emulate various guitar speakers in a room, that is, speaker models without mic models, mic position and mic depth. It accomplishes this by using a coaxial speaker that can have the tweeter turned off in order to actually be a guitar speaker in the room. The woofer is a custom Eminence speaker, similar in construction to a Beta-12CX coaxial speaker, but likely using a cone material and construction to more close match a typical guitar speaker rather than a fuller range PA speaker. When you run Flat/FR Raw, you're using just that woofer with no EQ or any other processing - its literally a 1x12 guitar cabinet in the room. The tweeter provides additional flexibility for other purposes explained below.

 

Flat mode has three voicings: FRFR, LF Raw and LF Flat.

 

Flat/FRFR voicing uses the woofer and tweeter in the coaxial speaker with no EQ for a full range, flat response. Use this if you're using Helix (or HX Stomp) to provide the cab model or IR for the speaker model. Powercab just acts like a typical PA or monitor speaker in this mode.

 

Flat/LF Raw voicing simply turns off the tweeter, and makes Powercab similar to any other 1x12, closed back guitar cabinet. Use only amp models in Helix or HX Stomp, no cab, or IRs for this mode/voicing. This should sound pretty close to a typical closed-back 1x12 guitar combo amp, with the specific characteristics of that custom Eminence speaker providing the speaker tone. 

 

Flat/LF Flat is a special voicing that also only uses the woofer, but uses an EQ to establish a consistent starting point for the guitar speaker models. All the speaker models are built off Flat/LF Flat, using different EQ and perhaps other custom processing to make the Eminence woofer sound like other speakers. There's no tweeter for these models, and no mic model or mic position. This is what can't be produced by Helix cab models or IRs and what makes Powercab unique. Helix cab models and IRs all involve mics, but Powercab speaker models are variations on a guitar speaker, not impulse responses of a mic'd guitar cabinet.

 

XRL output in Flat mode is the same as the PowerCab input, there is no additional processing.

 

Speaker models provide additional EQ on the Flat/LF Raw base voicing to model or mimic other speakers. The mic models and mic distance have no effect on the sound coming from the Powercab speaker, they only effect what's sent to the FOH or PA from the Powercab XLR output. Contrast with Helix where the cab models are sent to your FRFR monitor and FOH and all include mic models. Powercab XLR output needs additional mic processing that's missing from the speaker models to send to the FOH. 

 

What this means is that the guitar speaker models don't include any mic modeling in the Powercab speaker itself, making it sound more like an amp in the room.

 

Speaker model/Natural is similar to Flat/LF Raw - the output from the Powercab speaker is the same, the Powercab tone is determined only by the Eminence woofer. But the Natural speaker model has the option of sending a mic model through the XLR output.

 

User IR mode allows Powercab to essentially be set to Flat/FRFR voicing with additional processing provided by user IRs. In this case, the tweeter is on, and the IRs will include mic models. Use this mode if you're using HX Stomp, want to user your own IRs and need to save a block. There's probably less reason to use User IR mode if you're using Helix floor since its probably easier to just include the IR or cab model in Helix.

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23 hours ago, amsdenj said:

Powercab+ can be operated in four different ways, the first two provide amp in the room tones, the last two don't.

 

1. As a plain 1x12 guitar cabinet: Use this as a powered guitar cabinet. Drive it with an amp model, but no cab or IR model. This will have amp in the room sound because that's exactly what it is, a plain guitar cabinet with no mic, and no processing. Get this with:

  • Flat: LF Raw - just the raw 1/x12 speaker, no tweeter, XLR out is unprocessed (not suitable for direct FOH, needs additional processing)
  • Flat: LF Flat - the 1x12 speaker with some EQ, no tweeter, XLR out is unprocessed
  • Speaker Model: Natural - similar to LF Flat, but XLR out has speaker and mic model suitable for sending to FOH

2. As a 1x12 guitar cabinet with processing to sound like other speakers: Use this as a powered guitar cabinet with a choice of speakers, and to send speaker/mic processing for direct use in FOH. This is also amp in the room sound because there is no mic model involved in the 1x12 (only the XLR out) and no tweeter for any of these speaker models.

 

3. As a FRFR:  Use this with amp and cab/IR models in Helix. XLR out is the same as the input and can be sent to FOH (because it has cab/IR and mic models from Helix). This use case provides support for a wide range of inputs and flexible processing from the device connected to Powercab. Also useful for acoustic guitar, keyboards, or anything that needs full range and flat response. Tweeter is on. This will not sound exactly like amp in the room for guitar because Powercab is reproducing a mic'd guitar cabinet.

 

4. As an IR processor: This kind of combines use cases 2 & 3: Powercab is a FRFR  except instead of Powercab speaker models, it uses whatever IRs you installed. This provides additional tones, but not with amp in the room. Use this if your input device doesn't support IRs, or to save a block.

 

 

 

More details (from a previous post):

 

First Powercab is primarily intended to emulate various guitar speakers in a room, that is, speaker models without mic models, mic position and mic depth. It accomplishes this by using a coaxial speaker that can have the tweeter turned off in order to actually be a guitar speaker in the room. The woofer is a custom Eminence speaker, similar in construction to a Beta-12CX coaxial speaker, but likely using a cone material and construction to more close match a typical guitar speaker rather than a fuller range PA speaker. When you run Flat/FR Raw, you're using just that woofer with no EQ or any other processing - its literally a 1x12 guitar cabinet in the room. The tweeter provides additional flexibility for other purposes explained below.

 

Flat mode has three voicings: FRFR, LF Raw and LF Flat.

 

Flat/FRFR voicing uses the woofer and tweeter in the coaxial speaker with no EQ for a full range, flat response. Use this if you're using Helix (or HX Stomp) to provide the cab model or IR for the speaker model. Powercab just acts like a typical PA or monitor speaker in this mode.

 

Flat/LF Raw voicing simply turns off the tweeter, and makes Powercab similar to any other 1x12, closed back guitar cabinet. Use only amp models in Helix or HX Stomp, no cab, or IRs for this mode/voicing. This should sound pretty close to a typical closed-back 1x12 guitar combo amp, with the specific characteristics of that custom Eminence speaker providing the speaker tone. 

 

Flat/LF Flat is a special voicing that also only uses the woofer, but uses an EQ to establish a consistent starting point for the guitar speaker models. All the speaker models are built off Flat/LF Flat, using different EQ and perhaps other custom processing to make the Eminence woofer sound like other speakers. There's no tweeter for these models, and no mic model or mic position. This is what can't be produced by Helix cab models or IRs and what makes Powercab unique. Helix cab models and IRs all involve mics, but Powercab speaker models are variations on a guitar speaker, not impulse responses of a mic'd guitar cabinet.

 

XRL output in Flat mode is the same as the PowerCab input, there is no additional processing.

 

Speaker models provide additional EQ on the Flat/LF Raw base voicing to model or mimic other speakers. The mic models and mic distance have no effect on the sound coming from the Powercab speaker, they only effect what's sent to the FOH or PA from the Powercab XLR output. Contrast with Helix where the cab models are sent to your FRFR monitor and FOH and all include mic models. Powercab XLR output needs additional mic processing that's missing from the speaker models to send to the FOH. 

 

What this means is that the guitar speaker models don't include any mic modeling in the Powercab speaker itself, making it sound more like an amp in the room.

 

Speaker model/Natural is similar to Flat/LF Raw - the output from the Powercab speaker is the same, the Powercab tone is determined only by the Eminence woofer. But the Natural speaker model has the option of sending a mic model through the XLR output.

 

User IR mode allows Powercab to essentially be set to Flat/FRFR voicing with additional processing provided by user IRs. In this case, the tweeter is on, and the IRs will include mic models. Use this mode if you're using HX Stomp, want to user your own IRs and need to save a block. There's probably less reason to use User IR mode if you're using Helix floor since its probably easier to just include the IR or cab model in Helix.

 

 

Thank you!  You should have been the one Line 6 hired to write the manual. 

 

  • Haha 1

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