Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Jump to content

Helix vs Helix LT


Recommended Posts

Hello all, 


This questions would have been raised I presume many times and I have looked through all the internet. I have watched youtube videos and so on but I can't make up my mind. 


I currently play guitar, bass (active bass mostly) and various other instruments. 

However, one thing stops me, the price... in Euros 400€ difference for just a "few things" they say. 


But I read a lot, the pedal is better, the scribble strips is amazing and the amount of various type of inputs/outputs is over amazing. 


I want to know, should I pay 400 more "just" for that or is it going to be an utter waste of money? 


Please ask me questions if you want. I'll be happy to answer if that means you can guide me more to my purchase. 

I play with Fender Strats, and Teles. I have also few basses but my main one is an active Ibanez


Thank you!


A Helix dreamer from France 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, you haven't given us much to go on.  You just listed equipment (whether active or not) which doesn't factor into this decision.  They'll work the same on both.  What's your envisioned usage?  That's far more likely to shine a light on which unit would serve you best.


If you gig a lot and are pretty active as far as effects and pedal usage on stage, the higher build quality might be worth considering.

If you plan on using it for recording then there's a real benefit to having the extra I/O to simplify your workflow in the studio.


Those are the type of things that determine which is best for you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ask yourself a few questions:
Will i ever:
1. Need a mic preamp?
2. Additional inputs/outputs?
3. Read scribble strips?
4. Need ten stomps mode?
5. Need separate volume control for the headphone output?
6. Mind carry 1 kg more weight?
7. Use CV/Expression output?
8. Use SPDIF or AES/EBU inputs?
9. Use SPDIF output with no adapter?
10. Need a lifetime warranty for expression pedal or prefer more sturdy one with shorter warranty?

11. How much do you value each feature?
12. Is the total extra value worth 400€?
13. Do you have that extra 400€?
14. Would you spend that 400€ for something else?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Compared to Helix, the differences with Helix LT are:


• No scribble strip LCDs (middle eight footswitch assignments appear on Helix LT’s colorful Performance view)

• Fewer Ins and Outs:

• 2 Sends/Returns as opposed to 4 (can be stereo linked)

• No mic preamp

• No Aux In

• No S/PDIF In/Out

• Exp 2 In and dual Ext Amp Out share a single jack (function is globally selectable)

• No Exp 3 jack

• No CV Out jack

• Less expensive chassis:

• Folded steel top chassis as opposed to extruded aluminum

• Folded steel expression pedal as opposed to cast aluminum

• Impact-resistant ABS side panels with rubber overmolding (like those on Helix Control) as opposed to cast aluminum side panels

• No separate Phones knob (headphone volume is controlled by main Volume knob)

• No 10 Stomp footswitch mode; Stomp mode is limited to 8 switches

• Pedal Edit select view displays 8 blocks at a time instead of 10

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Devil's advocate here :) 


Floor owners love their scribble strips, but we LT users get to enjoy "Performance View" which the floor does not have. Many believe the lack of scribble strips on the LT means you have to memorize everything because you can't label it. NOT TRUE! Performance View provides everything the scribble strips do, they just don't do it directly above the foot switches. I've owned an HX Effects (scribble strips) and an LT (performance view). My preference is "Performance View".... especially in the sun, however others may disagree with me on that one.


All I am saying is that "for me", scribble strips would not be a deciding factor one way or the other. I would focus more on the other items (especially I/O needs) to make the choice. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I run a fairly complicated live rig from my LT - aside from purely producing guitar tones I use the LT as a USB audio/midi interface for Apple MainStage and my midi bass pedals to provide pads to fill out my three piece band, and I route my Roland VG99 into the FX returns and use Helix signal routing to mix the VG99 acoustic guitars and COSM synths: synths and acoustic guitar sounds from the Mac and VG come out of the XLRs on my Helix and guitar tones out of the balanced jacks which makes it nice and easy to spec for the guy on the desk.


What don't I miss?  I think the performance view is splendid so I don't miss the scribble strips.  I have a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 so I don't miss the extra audio inputs and outputs.


What do I miss?  Having a single external control pedal input is a minor pain - I would like to be able to plug a Boss FS5U into the Helix to send midi control signals to MainStage.  Because I sometimes change patches on the Helix to get a different sound on the bass pedals (with the same guitar tone) I occasionally run out of snapshot pedals and have to continue a song in a second preset.  The digital (SPDIF) input would be nice too.  


Why do I think people might need the floor?  If you have some favourite stomp boxes you want to use - I think you're really talking boutique fuzz boxes and high end digital audio pedals like Eventide or Strymon - then you'll quickly run out of sends and returns on the LT.   If you're channel switching on an external amp then you won't have to sacrifice the external control pedal.  If you're a one man band then you could run the whole show from your Helix Floor - plug your guitar and mic into the helix and the various outputs into your PA and monitors and use it as a small mixing desk!  I'm sure there are others too.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well first of all, thank you to everyone who has helped me raise the right questions for myself and my use. Considering that I will use it as a one man band sometimes and do loads of Gigs, I feel the Floor version is more adequate to me. 


The scribble strips are in my opinion a massive plus and yes I will use all the plugs in some songs. 


Thanks everyone for your help :) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am happy with my LT but my demands are low.  FRFR and mixer to FRFR so nothing external.  No amp or pedals.  


The one time having the LT came into play was when I used headphones.  The LT does not offer a separate volume control for headphones that is found on the full featured Helix.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, enzomb99 said:

Considering that I will use it as a one man band sometimes and do loads of Gigs, I feel the Floor version is more adequate to me. 


Even though I am a very happy LT user... the riggers of a "one man show" will require the additional I/O options of the floor, so your choice makes perfect sense. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...

I'm also torn between the LT and the Floor but my question has less to do with I/O or scribble strips. I'm curious about the difference in build quality between the two. I'll be using it mostly at home as well as the occasional rehearsal and gig, so it's not going to see the most demanding type of use. However, I've read about the poor quality of the expression pedal on the LT. Is that still an issue? Or have Line6 reconstructed it on newer builds? Are there any other quality aspects I should take into consideration? My budget is about €1000, so a used floor or new LT is within my price range. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use the LT myself, as I felt no need for the extra I/O. I do not use any external pedals except for my Digitech freqout. But that is in my guitar input loop.
My normal setup is guitar-freqout-LT- split to FOH and IEM-mixer.

I do use an external volume pedal (Morley PVO) as expression pedal. This pedal is used for wah as it feels more sturdy than the integrated pedal and can be replaced easily when necessary (wah movements are much higher frequency than volume or control value changes). The internal pedal is only used for volume changes.


Overall build quality of the Helix LT is great, feels like professional quality. I used a POD XT Live before, but the LT feels much more high end.

Lack of scribble strips is no problem, performance view has it covered. I use mainly the snapshot mode for changes when playing a song and one preset per song mostly. When using snapshots, I normally do not use more than 4 per preset, so 8 footswitch mode is fine by me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...