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First impression after using Powercab 112 Plus a few days

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I'm a Helix user from the first days – I am not totally blown away by it's sounds, but I learned how to use it. Last week I made a new step and bought a Powercab 112 Plus. Now I would like to share my first impressions with you.

 

Well, all in all Powercab 112 Plus is not really finished. I know that Line 6 is planning to offer control for Powercab Plus via Helix in the future – but at the moment I really miss this feature. I would like to change the speaker simulation by switching a Helix preset. I don't understand why Line 6 did not implement that from the beginning. It's an important feature.

 

The second thing I am amazed about is that the included IRs sound so much different compared to the integrated speaker emulations. This is strange. The IRs sound a bit harsh.

 

I also experienced problems to import IRs that work in Helix. I don't understand that. It's not really a problem that I do not know how to import an IR in Powercab … It works with 2 Ownhammer IRs I tested, but my favourite IR from CabEU is loaded into Powercab, but using it I do not hear anthing.

 

One of the Powercab features are the kickstands. But changing it from not using them to using them the sound of my guitar changes so dramatically that I am not pleased. A nice guitar sound before is harsh and looses bass when the kickstand is used.

 

Last point: The editing software for Powercab is also more a beta than a final version (I am using macOS). Helix Edit does a good job, but Powercab Edit not. I cannot e. g.  import IRs via drag and drop (like in Helix Edit). I do not understand why Line 6 is using the same software engine for Powercab Edit as in Helix Edit.

 

After a few days I really don't know if I will keep on using the Powercab 112 Plus – maybe I will give it back to my online dealer that has a 30 days return program.

 

Do you agree about my first impressions?

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I won't disagree because everyone has a right to their opinion, but I will say that my experience is different. 

I too want the new control coming in 2.8, but right now I can "suffer" doing it with midi.

Oh yeah, night and day to me IR vs built in cab sims.  I'm slowly migrating to all built in sims.  I feel they're that much better than standard IRs (for amp in room feel, if you will).

I've never had a problem loading any IR, but I don't have any CabEU.

Tilting an amp will definitely change the sound of any amp and/or cab, regardless of tube or digital.  It's pretty much a pick your thing (tilted or not) and adjust your patch to fit.  I place both of my PC+s on stands. 

I've never used drag and drop on the PC+ or Helix, I always select several at a time and just import them.

Personally, I'd give it as much time as you can within the 30 day window before you make up your mind.

 

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Thanks for your answer, Belew … Well Midi would be an option – but it's surely not as convenient as it will be controlling the PC+ via Line6 Link. And you have to use an second cable.

 

BTW, what I am a bit surprised about is that changing the amp and using it with the same speaker simulation in PC+ makes not such a hugh difference as I would expect it – assumed you do not compare amps for clean tones with amps for rock/metal sounds. But changing from PV Panama or Cali IV Lead to German Ubersonic or German Mahadeva does not dramatically change the sound. But maybe this would be the same with real amps using the same cab.

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I can understand your first impression.

I wasn't neither blown away by the PC+ at first.

But i haven't renounced, and tried many things.

I agree with you that L6 could commercialized this device with the implement of the L6 link function. It arrives soon....And i had some fear at fisrt to use midi because i have never used it before but it's pretty easy even if we have to pass by the command center. It'll be easier with the same blocks ergonomics to command the sim changing with the 2.8 update, of course....

 

I had a DBR10 FRFR speaker before but i was missing the "amp in the room" feeling that this RIG couldn't bring me. I've had always this feeling of being far from my stuff when i was playing at home.

Now, i only use the inside cab sims and it's really another world....I really think i'm closed to a real amp.

I use it tilting back, because it can be harsh, at first, but it's what the public will hear if you do a gig.

Among the things that improve my sound, there are all the parameters per cab sim i've worked on. The dB level per speaker emulation has to be increased. And, even if it wouldn't have any incidence on the sound, Try to change the Highcut/lowcut, the type of micro, its distance and you'll hear a difference on the rendering....

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Steve, thanks for your answer and suggestions …

 

Ups, I thought changing the micro and high or low cut does not affect the sound of PC+ when I use the speaker simulation? I will give the Powercab+ an second try with the kickstands. But the difference between normal stand and with kickstand was huge. Maybe I should use the kickstands without listening to PC+ before in normal position.

Well, I know the effect is the same with real amps but I never felt it was that big.

 

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I thought that the mic parameters has only an incidence between the PC+ and the FOH too but i've seen a note on a post on TGP and after a try, i was estonished but, it's true, it changes the rendering....

I recommand you to use the PC+ tilt back because, even it can be harsh at first, the PC+ is very directional and i feel you hear all the subtleties in the sound, just do your settings in this position to move towards the sound you're looking for and prevent from this harshness  (and once more, this position reveals the sound that wil be out from the FOH).

Tweak the volume level per speaker too .....

 

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I made a quick test: Tilt stand is something you get used to when you activate it from the beginning. I also hear differences changing the parameter of low and high cut. But with different microphones and distances I did not notice any changes in sound of a speaker simulation. The manual of the PC+ says that mic types only affect the XLR out.

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For me, it has an incidence.....

I know the mic setups would only affect the XLR out but, like for high/low cut it's not the case.... Don't go too far for the high cut !

If you don't hear changing, no matter but for me it was an improvement.

Check the dB level too.

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I've been frustrated and angry at Line6 since Helix was released with the "L6-Link" name on the port, but it not working midi control wise any where near what it was with the HD series ones before it, so I will be very glad when the "Trademarked" name (L6-Link) works on Helix as it should have from the beginning. I too will use this port on my 2 PC + 's as I have unhooked midi and adjusting each manually, because of the midi sync. 

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Ok, after 4 weeks using the Powercab 112 Plus something has changed. Either my ears or the speakers have get used to the other. I now often use the PC 112+ and it sounds good in my ears.

I played a lot around – with Flat - LF Raw using the a full Helix amp and with Helix amps (without cab) using the build-in speaker simulations. My favorite amp before PC+ is the Cali Rectifire (for rock stuff). The best sound in my ears is until now the Cali Rectifier with the Jarvis speaker sim. I did not really find a way to sound good with imported IRs. The feature until now makes no sense to me.

 

I hope Line 6 will soon add the feature to change the speaker sim via L6 cable. It lasts too long …

 

Thanks for your replies until now!

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Hi,

 

I bought the P.C. PLus a couple days ago. Tried using it with the Helix HX by connecting the output (L) jack on the HX to the Input Jack #1 on the P.C. Wasn't happy with tone of the Models-Speaker simulations at all. Way to much bass and mids and very few highs. Also noticed the overall power seemed anemic, certainly did not feel like 250 watts. I went in and boosted the primary DB setting to plus 5 and that helped. But no appreciable highs. I used the low cut switch on the back to take out some of the overbearing bass frequencies. It didn't matter what amp model I used there wasn't any perceptible highs. The second day I downloaded the editing software and went in and changed a few things but still no highs. My Strats sounded like Les Pauls and my Les Pauls sounded like ES 125's super boomy.  In addition I noticed that when I changed from IR to Speaker  or Flat settings the volume dropped by 30-40%. That is a huge problem. Even after adjusting the output db its still a huge difference. Again I say where is the 250 watts. My Blackstar Studio 10 6L6 will kick this cabinet into the dirt on volume 4. There are more issues with Direct Out to a P.A. but I want to address those separately Any ideas?

 

Thanks,

Wayne McCartney

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I don't have that sort of issue at all. Even in Speaker Mode, there are plenty of highs with my Powercab. Some of the speakers models are darker than others, but they all sound pretty realistic to me. I've actually done comparisons with the Powercab beside a real combo amp, and it comes very close. Do you have the cab modeling turned off in your Helix preset?

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I don't have a problem getting good volume from my PowerCab. I run the Helix MV at maximum and adjust my loudest preset to just avoid red clipping on the PC input light.  I do find that the PC tends to be a bit boomy (almost all purchased presets are too bass-heavy on my system).  I have taken to setting the low cut at 100-130 Hz, but the biggest improvement for me was placing the PC on top of an Auralex GreatGRAMMA Isolation Riser.  Even on an amp stand it was a little bassy. The isolation pad took all that away revealing a clarity that was previously missing.

 

BTW, my new favorite PC tone is just using the FRFR Flat Mode with no cab/IR in the helix.

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4 weeks later with firmware 2.0 of PowerCab 112+, after trying out different ways to use my PowerCab with Helix I found the way the PowerCab sounds best for me: in LF RAW mode and no cab in Helix (only an amp). The PowerCab has much more power using it this way - but you have to tweak the sound massively with EQs.

For heavier tones I created a preset with the new Revv amp: https://line6.com/customtone/tone/4527729/ (with 8 snapshots from crunch to lead tones).

More about the preset you find here:

 

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