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Helix Backup if I sell my Amps?

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I see this has been asked before but not for a while so I wondered about updates

 

So Im a fairly new Helix and Powercab user, love the sounds and flexibility I am getting at home, rehearsals and gigs. So much so that Im considering selling my amps (DRRI, Blues Jr and AER compact). 

 

However I'm THAT guy in my band who brings 2/3 spare mics, stands, leads, guitars, you name it, Ive always taken the blues jr to gigs just in case the DRRI ever crapped out (it never did)

 

Now the Helix is by all accounts reliable, but it is at heart a computer, a computer that you put on the floor in an atmosphere with 150 drunk people dancing....

 

So if something bad should ever happen mid gig what do you guys take as backups? This is my first modelling setup so I dont have much experience- Ive been looking at the HX stomp and firehawk, but I also see that used HD500x are very cheap on ebay...

 

Thanks in advance

 

 

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A partial risk-reduction approach would be to use the Helix Rack rather than the Floor model. Then you could purchase a backup Helix Control unit - the piece that sits on the floor and is at risk. A 2nd Helix Control unit is less costly than the Helix Floor and gives you a complete backup with no loss of features or capabilities and no impact on the performance. Going with any other plan involves more significant equipment changes, differences in sound/tone, and performance adjustments in terms of operating a less familiar piece of equipment (whatever it is).

 

I say it's a partial approach because it only addresses the risk of harm from floor-related events like the drunk; it does not address the risk of the Helix Rack device failing because it is, as you say, a computer.

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I upgraded to a Helix from an HD500.... so I simply kept my HD500 as a backup unit. Like you, I always have a spare of everything so I understand where you are coming from. IMO... look for a cheap used "multi fx / amp sim" and program a few basic sounds into it to get you through a gig,

 

I don't know how the used market is in your area, but for me I can buy anything with an amp sim in it (other than a flagship product) for dirt cheap. EG: A Zoom G series or Boss ME50/70 can be had for $100 give or take a little. A Line 6 XT/X3 Live can be found for $100 - $150,  and an HD500 is $200 - $250, etc... etc...  Even a brand new Zoom G1on is under $100, fits easily in any gig bag, and can produce sounds good enough to get you through a gig. 

 

 

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I wold suggest the HX Stomp. Same modelling, just less resources. The HD500X (my current backup) is definitely adequate but you will have to completely recreate your patches. There's no way to port them over.

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Brue58ski beat me to it. HX Stomp setup for a minimum set of tones just in case Helix gets a beer rain is what Id do too, and just throw it in one of your larger pockets and yer done! 

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I pack a Tech 21 Fly Rig in my Helix bag. Takes up practically no space, weighs next-to-nothing and covers the basics well enough to get me me through a show if the Helix fails, which BTW it has never done and I’ve had mine since 2015. Fly Rigs come in a variety of flavors - check your favorite gear provider/store for the various options available. The newer ones (ie V2) have onboard tuners, the older ones don’t. 

 

Good luck!

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Agree on stomp. Less resourses for sure, but no loss of sound quality. Pod hd can get you near, but you will need at least 3 to 4 eq, so you will have even less fx to place on chain.

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IMO... A backup situation is not about getting the exact same tones or quality of tones, it's about surviving a gig relatively unscathed :) At the cost of a Stomp... buying one for strictly backup purposes would be a waste of money (for this relatively poor musician) UNLESS I had another practical use for the item. 

 

If I was on a tour or even a gig where second best isn't good enough - I would simply carry a second Helix and do away with any compromise, whether it's a rental or purchased.

 

1 hour ago, arislaf said:

Pod hd can get you near, but you will need at least 3 to 4 eq,

 

I don't have this need at all... most of my patches in my HD never have an EQ in them. I'll admit... it's not as nice as the Helix, but (for me) it's good enough to survive a gig or two, especially considering I used to gig with one all the time before buying the Helix :) 

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14 minutes ago, codamedia said:

IMO... A backup situation is not about getting the exact same tones or quality of tones, it's about surviving a gig relatively unscathed :) At the cost of a Stomp... buying one for strictly backup purposes would be a waste of money (for this relatively poor musician) UNLESS I had another practical use for the item. 

 

If I was on a tour or even a gig where second best isn't good enough - I would simply carry a second Helix and do away with any compromise, whether it's a rental or purchased.

 

 

I don't have this need at all... most of my patches in my HD never have an EQ in them. I'll admit... it's not as nice as the Helix, but (for me) it's good enough to survive a gig or two, especially considering I used to gig with one all the time before buying the Helix :) 

Matter of fact, hd had the ÷13 sounding better than the helix amp. Don't know if it was less accurate, but was more pleasant. Anyway, the minimum imo eq w that was needed, was the mid focus eq after the amp, to trim the low and high, and the parametric  to trim the 3.7khz

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What Codamedia said.  Some people seem to have endless buckets of debt cash to spend on gear.  The Fly Rig 2.0 cost $300 less and is more than capable of getting you through a gig as a backup.  If budget is no concern and you want to stay in the same ecosystem, by all means go with a HX Stomp for your backup.

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1 hour ago, arislaf said:

Agree on stomp. Less resourses for sure, but no loss of sound quality. Pod hd can get you near, but you will need at least 3 to 4 eq, so you will have even less fx to place on chain.

 

I dunno...I used the 500X for 5+ years, and I never needed that many EQ blocks in a single patch. I would have given up on the thing in short order if it required stacking multiple EQ blocks to get a usable sound.

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Thanks everyone- I might keep an eye out for a used Stomp, another benefit is sometimes I play smaller solo gigs or band gigs with cramped spaces and it could be used as an alternative to the Floor then. 

 

 

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I think the Stomp is a great choice. With that said, I also loved the HD500x. Solid machine. 

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On 5/27/2019 at 2:07 PM, brue58ski said:

I wold suggest the HX Stomp. Same modelling, just less resources. The HD500X (my current backup) is definitely adequate but you will have to completely recreate your patches. There's no way to port them over.

This

It is also a huge advantage in relation with the complexity of modelers. When I bought the helix, I kept my gt100 as a backup. After 1.5 years, I took it out of it's case..  And coulnd't use it. I didn't remember how to programm the beast, where the menus were, and so on. 

Having the same interface on your backup solces that problem (I sold my gt100 and will buy a stomp).

 

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Best backup to a Helix is another Helix. It's a computer--what if it doesn't boot?

 

The show must go on.

 

Plus, how pitiful would that be? "I can't play because my pedal won't boot."

 

Bought my second one a year ago, MF, 24-month plan.

 

I gig just about every weekend, and I don't wanna learn another pedal. Too lazy to even learn a Stomp, which must be VERY similar. The learning curve for this thing was just TOO LONG--ain't doing it again!

 

I consider it a $63/mo "insurance plan" that has vanishing payments in about a year. 

 

Of course, all of this means that I will never need it.... 

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