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Best wireless relay for Helix?

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Hey guys, I'm going to be playing live a bit in the near future, and I like to move around a good bit while playing. Naturally, a wireless system seems to make the most sense. What is the best wireless system for guitar -> Helix?

 

My main guitar is a Jackson with passives, but I also have a guitar with actives, so that is probably worth a consideration (the guitar has a 1/4 inch out, not a Variax). What is the best wireless system for my needs? It looks like the Line 6 G10 is pretty decent, but I have read some not great reports about signal dropout inside the 75 foot range and some loss of the high-end frequencies. I am not a "huge" stickler for tone, but I really like a mean attack from the pick (play mostly hard rock/thrash) so losing attack is a big negative for me.

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I've got the G30 and it works really well.  If you have the funds for it though, Id say get the g50 (has a bit sturdier casing and stuff like that)

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Wireless units either work, or they don't... and there won't be a "best" one to use with any particular modeler or guitar. There only two real considerations:

 

1) Are you playing Giants Stadium?

 

and

 

2) Active pickups, which can cause problems with some wireless units... or so I've read, anyway.

 

Assuming that the answer to #1 is "no" and your not playing on 200' stages, then range and line-of-sight isn't much of an issue. In that case, something like the Relay G10S works great, and there's no giant battery pack to attach to yourself or guitar strap. I use in-ears live, so I've already got one of those... didn't want two.

 

Can't help you much with the active pickups issue, as I don't have any... so it's never come up.

 

 

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The line of sight range on the G10S is 130'. It uses the same transmitter as the original G10, but it has a stronger antenna in the receiver. The receiver also can be powered with a standard 2.1mm 9V DC power supply, so if you're planning on taking it to gigs, it's well worth the extra money, imo. The G10 transmitter can have issues with some active pickups, it just depends how they're wired and how the jack is setup. Some active systems use the ring connection as a sensing switch to power on the pickups, and I think that's why sometimes there's noise with the G10. As far as loss of high end frequency with the G10, the original G10 has Line 6's Cable Tone technology built-in - it emulates the high end roll off associated with a 10' cable. It can't be turned off (although it's not preset at the XLR output). On the G10S, it can be turned off to the 1/4" output if you like.

 

All that being said, I typically use the G70 with my Helix rig. The G70 enables to save different scenes on the receiver, and each scene can be set to a different channel and different output. This is really nice if you use different instruments with the Helix during the same show. I have separate scenes for my electric, electric and mandolin, for instance.

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The G10 I have had major problems with the active boost circuit in my LP. That could be due to the proximity of the transmitter to the circuit. Most likely, with the G30/G50 and other battery pack systems, that won't be a problem.

 

Best bet - when you get close to gig time, buy whatever system you settle on from someplace with a good return policy. That way, if it's not 100% satisfactory you can return it for something else.

 

Caledoneus' note about the metal casing on the G50 is worth considering - it's not a gentle art that we practice....

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I have the original G10 and have used it with a passive guitar (PRS Custom 24) and an active bass (Stingray). If I went to, say, the opposite end of the room at the bar we were playing at, I could get dropouts, but I never had any issues on stage. Or at least, the one issue I had was that the jack on the guitar/bass (can't remember which) didn't have the nut flush against the end of the jack, so at some point the transmitter rotated and the little button thing that detects if it's plugged in or not popped back out, so the sound cut out. Simple fix, just adjust the jack on the guitar/bass. I've never felt that the roll off was particularly egregious, and this is coming from someone who has bought just about every cable available and sat in front of an amp swapping between them to see how they sound. For reference, my general preference for wired is either Mogami Platinum (yeah, the $100 one) or Mogami Gold. By comparison, I have no issues with the sound of the G10.

 

I also understand that some people have had issues with the USB power jack on the original G10 receiver, but after a couple years and many gigs, I still haven't broken mine, so I dunno. I really liked that I could power it off a USB battery pack. Overall, the G10 has been my favorite wireless system, including over the original G50, G30, and Shure's GLX-D. But YMMV depending on how many other people in your band are using wireless, the general wireless noisiness of the environment, and how far you like to run around.

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I've had the original G10 since shortly after it was released. I did have the USB charging jack problem, and Line 6 replaced the entire unit for me without hesitation. Since then I have had no issues. No dropouts and this is within a fairly active WiFi bubble at my place. As for my guitars, I've had no issues with any of my electrics nor my Takamine acoustics. Both Takamines have active electronics which work wonderfully with the G10. I am currently about to pull the trigger on a new G10S. This will give me a backup G10T transmitter module as well as the G10 Receiver base which due to it's internal dual diversity antenna design increases the receiver's sensitivity thereby effectively increasing the effective operational range. The G10S's receiver base also provides a convenient channel selection knob making it a cinch to go to another channel if the auto channel selection method selects a channel which subsequently encounters interference.  

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I had Line 6 G10 .

Worked great  with the singel coils of a Strat, but I faced black outs when using the wire less mouse  for my  note book to controll the Mixer Software. (Behringer XR18)

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G50 for 4+ years and still going strong. It’s been dropped and half the paint is chipped off, but it’s very reliable. I still haven’t replaced the cord although I have had a backup. The cords locking latch doesn’t lock. I don’t know if it’s the cord or device but it never slips out. 

 

I cant speak for active pickup users though. 

 

 I do wish the holder was replaceable for something tighter. Most of those drops were the results of trying to have it latched to my strap. I had to give up that desire and hook it to my pocket.

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Find a wireless that has the range and features you need/want, then do some research on that unit. Be careful if you are using anything with active pickups (including acoustic pre-amps)... as stated above a few times, some wireless systems do not play well with those. 

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Well, after several battery door replacements and continuous dropouts live, I think I'm done with the G30. Anyone try one of those new Sennheiser compact units? Thinking maybe something I can plug in without needing a pedalboard for the Helix. 

Following.

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Those of you going wireless with Helix... Do you have any issues with wah and fuzz? I understand that the wireless receiver acts as a buffer, which may change the way wah and fuzz respond, as opposed to being directly connected to the guitar.

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22 minutes ago, emagli said:

Those of you going wireless with Helix... Do you have any issues with wah and fuzz? I understand that the wireless receiver acts as a buffer, which may change the way wah and fuzz respond, as opposed to being directly connected to the guitar.

 

My experience has only been with the G50 and I get (virtually) identical sound/level as I do with a cord.

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i'm looking to replace my Sennheiser that I've used for 10 years...I'd really like a pedal version as then I could get rid of one extra piece of gear to haul to the shows. 

 

What exactly is the issue with the Active pickups? 

 

Also, i'm worried about the guitar plug ins that don't use a belt clip style pack....should I squash those?  I move around quite a bit.....worried about it falling out or swinging around loose

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38 minutes ago, themetallikid said:

i'm looking to replace my Sennheiser that I've used for 10 years...I'd really like a pedal version as then I could get rid of one extra piece of gear to haul to the shows. 

 

What exactly is the issue with the Active pickups? 

 

Also, i'm worried about the guitar plug ins that don't use a belt clip style pack....should I squash those?  I move around quite a bit.....worried about it falling out or swinging around loose

 

Have you ever had any other 1/4" plug just fall out? As long as the clip inside the jack isn't ancient and worn out, it's not going anywhere. There's some anecdotal evidence over on the Relay forum about issues with one particular kind of bass (I think) that has a weird, non-standard jack... but that aside, I seriously doubt you'll have a problem.

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26 minutes ago, themetallikid said:

i'm looking to replace my Sennheiser that I've used for 10 years...I'd really like a pedal version as then I could get rid of one extra piece of gear to haul to the shows. 

 

What exactly is the issue with the Active pickups? 

 

Also, i'm worried about the guitar plug ins that don't use a belt clip style pack....should I squash those?  I move around quite a bit.....worried about it falling out or swinging around loose

 

I don’t think there’s any more risk of the G10 transmitter falling out than a typical 1/4” plug. Mine feels very secure, and it takes a bit of force to get it out. I’ve read of a few guys having issues with it with specific jacks. I think that because those jacks were TRS and the ring connection was preventing the transmitter from having the same sort of secure fit in the jack.

 

As far as active pickups, I think the issue is can be with those that use a TRS jack with a sensing circuit on the ring. That can cause noise. Sometimes simply using a female TS to male TS adapter or cable can alleviate this. It’s not an issue with the body pack systems because they all have a standard TS cable going to the guitar.

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that makes sense, and I wasn't worried about it just falling out (poor wording while at work, lol) but with it being a stand alone piece of gear that was plugged in, was worried the little bit of weight would cause issues with it.  Though my logic says that if that was the case it wouldn't have been released across several companies designs. 

 

I appreciate the info, and will continue my shopping....

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The G10 is actually better than the G30.

 The claws of the case are very cheap (mine was broken Within 2 gigs....bad quality (cheap plastic)).

 

G10 is far better And auto charge when plugged to his base (G30 can't) 

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I have Xvive and G10.  Xvive is nice in that both ends are battery and so you can just charge it, plug one end into the guitar and the other into the helix.  G10 has the little pin that defeats the signal so you can just unplug it without the "pop" and the end that plugs into the guitar is smaller and less intrusive.  Both work pretty much the same which is great.  With the G10 since I have to plug the receiver into a power supply I like keep it at the back of the stage (I just use a line from my pedal snake back to the Helix).  This sometimes presents issues due to the fact that it is then in proximity to my rack that has the PA mixer and also a wifi router so that the guys can control their in ear mixes from an app on their phone.  Usually just re-positioning the receiver a little farther from the rack helps, but if not, the Xvive straight into the Helix always works.  I'm wondering if I can force my router to only work in 5gz mode and eliminate that issue.  I'm not meaning to de-rail the topic but these are some things to consider with regard to routers.  If you play some place that has their in house router close the stage it could present a problem.   So far I've only played one venue in which the g10 was dropping out and I think it was a router interference issue.  But it should work 90% of the time.

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The Xvive has twice the latency of the G10... Not saying it means people will notice it, but it does add up.

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On 6/22/2019 at 8:33 AM, emagli said:

Those of you going wireless with Helix... Do you have any issues with wah and fuzz? I understand that the wireless receiver acts as a buffer, which may change the way wah and fuzz respond, as opposed to being directly connected to the guitar.

 

It's all digital anyway, that really only matters if you are using analog effects (in which case it absolutely can make a difference, especially with fuzz).

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8 hours ago, njglover said:

 

It's all digital anyway, that really only matters if you are using analog effects (in which case it absolutely can make a difference, especially with fuzz).

 

Agreed on analog effects. But doesn't Helix have variable input impedance, at least in the auto setting? If the first block in a preset sets an impedance lower than 1 MOhm (e.g., the teardrop wah), and if the output impedance of the wireless system (low) is different from the impedance without wireless (high), then shouldn't the tone possibly be different? It seems to me that the change could be small if the input impedance is 1 MOhm, but it could become significant if the input impedance is lower. Or maybe this reasoning is flawed...

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22 minutes ago, emagli said:

 

Agreed on analog effects. But doesn't Helix have variable input impedance, at least in the auto setting? If the first block in a preset sets an impedance lower than 1 MOhm (e.g., the teardrop wah), and if the output impedance of the wireless system (low) is different from the impedance without wireless (high), then shouldn't the tone possibly be different? It seems to me that the change could be small if the input impedance is 1 MOhm, but it could become significant if the input impedance is lower. Or maybe this reasoning is flawed...

 

Yes, Helix has variable input impedance, but that will only affect your guitar's tone if you have it plugged directly into the Helix's guitar in (assuming you have passive pickups). In that scenario,  your guitar's pickups are actually loaded with input impedance. When you use a wireless system, the wireless system has a low impedance output, so the input impedance doesn't really have any affect on the tone at that point. This is why effects pedals have buffered outputs - so you can drive a line of pedals without worrying about your signal being attenuated.

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8 hours ago, phil_m said:

 

Yes, Helix has variable input impedance, but that will only affect your guitar's tone if you have it plugged directly into the Helix's guitar in (assuming you have passive pickups). In that scenario,  your guitar's pickups are actually loaded with input impedance. When you use a wireless system, the wireless system has a low impedance output, so the input impedance doesn't really have any affect on the tone at that point. This is why effects pedals have buffered outputs - so you can drive a line of pedals without worrying about your signal being attenuated.

 

Phil, thanks for the explanation. I am looking at the impedance from the perspective of the tone of a wah model (first in chain) using a wired vs wireless connection between guitar and Helix. Just to see if I understand this correctly: if I use a wah model that keeps input impedance to 1 MOhm (e.g., Chrome wah), there should be little change in tone between wireless/wired, because even though the guitar has a relatively high output impedance, the Helix input impedance is still a lot higher. Conversely, if I use a model like teardrop (or pretty much any of the fuzz models) that lowers the Helix input impedance, the high vs low impedance of direct guitar / wireless system, combined with the low Helix input impedance, could lead to significantly different tone. If the wah is not first in chain, assuming that the input impedance is set to 1 MOhm, I should choose one of the wah models that works well with the 1 MOhm impedance setting.

 

Does this make any sense? I could live with that as I am not a heavy fuzz user, but I need a good wah tone.

 

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On 6/22/2019 at 2:56 PM, PDKTDK said:

 

My experience has only been with the G50 and I get (virtually) identical sound/level as I do with a cord.

 

Thanks! Which wah model are you using? I'd like to understand if all models provide identical sound, or if some are more affected than others.

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