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littlecharva

Marshall CODE 100 as Helix Speaker

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Howdy,

 

I'm a bedroom guitarist that bought a Marshall CODE 100 last year, and I'm pretty happy with it - there's plenty of people out there in the forums talking about how bad it sounds, but to my unsophisticated ears, it sounds fine.

 

I do like new toys though, so the Helix LT is now on my radar.  My plan is to have a preset on my CODE with all the options (Pre, Power, Cab, etc.) turned off, and plug the output of the Helix into the effect return of the CODE.  I assume this will simply treat the CODE as a speaker?

 

Is there anything I'm missing, or any reason this wouldn't work or sound terrible?  I'm sure there are plenty of purists that will say that I need to buy a proper speaker(s) to get the best quality sound, but I honestly doubt my ears are good enough to tell the difference.

 

Any feedback at all will be greatly received.

 

 

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I have also heard some positive feedback about the Code, so wouldn't worry too much about any negativity there.

 

Don't know much about the custom speakers that they use, but with it being a modelling amp ,and the ability to disable the onboard stuff, it may be well suited with a Helix.

I tried a similar thing with a Fender Mustang with great results, so there's no reason why it shouldn't work for you.

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The Code sounds good to me. Very decent Marshall tones from the Head I have. 

 

BTW- a while back I ran Helix into the "return" of my Vetta II combo and with a little tweaking it sounded great!

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OK - the Code 100 is a modelling amp. What we don't know - I had a look at the available specs - is how it's handling the process.

Let me explain - 

The sound of a valve guitar amp is a result of the circuit and the speaker interacting to produce the final sound (lets leave effects out of it for now)

So the Helix models that and produces a result that generally needs some heavy EQ to duplicate the effect of the frequency response of a guitar speaker system when fed to an FRFR (full range flat response) system.

Generally if you plug a Helix into some system that has a typical guitar speaker cabinet you need to leave out the speaker simulation part of the process (easy to do if you know what's going on!)  

What I don't know about the Code 100 is is it using essentially an FRFR speaker system or are they using typical guitar speakers?

Based on the fact that it comes as a head, chances are the 2x12's are typical guitar speakers - maybe you can have a look?

If that's the case, if you remove any speaker simulation from any patch you should have a workable system - you might still need to replace the speaker with some EQ (if I were Marshall I'd be using speakers that are pretty neutral in a modelling amp) to get right in the zone of typical amp models.

The FRFR approach makes it easier to model different amp and speaker combinations because it's using a full range system and them matching the response.

Going into a particular 2x12 cab means foregoing that level of tweakability.  The speakers, which make up a highly significant part of the sound of a guitar amp - yes you'd hear it!, will obviously be set.

The accuracy of reproducing both a Marshall and a Twin Reverb through typical speakers may not concern you - so that might be something you are happy to sacrifice.

As I say a little EQ at the end will probably address 90% of those issues.

And if you just want "great sounds" rather than totally believable emulations of real amps - it might not be any issue at all.

I'd give it a try if I were you. 

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Thanks for all the feedback - sounds like it's worth taking a punt.

 

There doesn't seem to be anything comprehensive on the web about what speakers are in the CODE, some say they're not FRFR, but others say they're not guitar speakers.  The CODE has cab simulation in it AND you can play music through it using Aux In or Bluetooth, so Marshall are obviously treating it as a generic-ish speaker.  I think it'll do as a starting point and if I do feel the need for more fidelity I can buy some FRFR speakers further down the road.

 

rvroberts: You summed it up perfectly with: And if you just want "great sounds" rather than totally believable emulations of real amps - it might not be any issue at all. - That's exactly what I'm looking for.

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I'm running my Helix into the Effects Return of my BOSS Katana 100 and it sounds pretty good ...

Of course you will have to adjust your patches to the gear you use

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@rvroberts So I bought the Helix LT and I'm running it through my Marshall CODE.  You're absolutely right about the cab sims, the Helix sounds bad if I leave them turned on - which is bizarre considering the Marshall CODE has it's own cab sims.  Clearly Marshall's cab sims are dramatically different to the Helix ones.  You mention that a little EQ at the end of the chain will help - I know I'm going to have to use my own ears here, but could you give me a starting point as to what kinds of cuts/boosts I should be doing with the EQ?  I haven't had a lot of experience with amps over the years, so don't have a great point of reference. 

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On 7/17/2019 at 10:28 AM, littlecharva said:

people out there in the forums talking about how bad it sounds, but to my unsophisticated ears, it sounds fine.

 

I have the code head and it sounds "better" than fine to me.

 

3 hours ago, littlecharva said:

You're absolutely right about the cab sims, the Helix sounds bad if I leave them turned on - which is bizarre considering the Marshall CODE has it's own cab sims.

 

If you run the cab sim from the code and also run Helix with its cab at the same time, yes it will not sound good as expected. 

On EQ- start watching this guy!  

 

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On 7/17/2019 at 6:20 PM, rvroberts said:

What I don't know about the Code 100 is is it using essentially an FRFR speaker system or are they using typical guitar speakers?

 

With the head, I use the codes own cab simulations, or I can switch them off in the editor and use what I want. I would expect that the code combo has speakers in it that are "tuned" for the best sound from the code's amp. 

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