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jessko623

Helix with poweramp and 2x12

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Posted (edited)

WARNING NEW GUY

 

I have been playing 15 years...and can dial in a tube amp easily...but modelers are a whole new world to me...here goes nothing! 

 

So i have had my helix lt for a few months now and have been using it live almost every weekend. Had a sound i really liked dialed in but wasn't happy just using a monitor and my bands mixer board is one is always one short on running FOH so...it was time for a power amp and 2x12 cab

 

But now i cant seem to find a good setting...i took the IR off the preset.  Ive really taken a liking to the Placater so id like to still use that for the 80s cover band.

 

Any suggestions on helix settings using the 2x12 and poweramp route?

Edited by jessko623
Forgot a few words

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I can only answer from a HD500 perspective. A lot depends on the poweramp, with a tube poweramp I would use the Helix preamps, with a neutral poweramp I would use the full amp models. The 2x12 can only sound like it does, a closed 2x12 will never sound like an open 1x12. How loud do you play? Will the tube poweramp be cranked?

 

I would use the full amp models with a neutral poweramp, no cabinet modelling (because you use a real cabinet), line level from Helix into the poweramp.

 

I was never satisfied with my HD500 through a digital poweramp and a 4x12, and then I bought a used DT50 head :-)

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TS makes some good points above.

 

You will have to play around until you find a sound you like.   The power amp and cabinet are definitely determining the general sound for your Helix.   It's possible that your combo is neutral, but most likely you are limited to the range of amps your helix can sound like.  It's roughly like connecting the output of your helix to the effects return on a good tube amp.

 

Start with the preamp for the placator amp like TS said, and try different combinations with amp model and or  amp and cab blocks/IRs.    Hopefully you can find what you like.

 

I face the same issues with my DT25.  I'm leaning to towards using amp models with the DT now instead of just preamps because I still want to send my primary output to the FOH.   It's still taking a while to dial everything in.

 

Good luck

 

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I have a HX-Stomp. and a Marshall 9005 50 watt stereo tube power amplifier.

Because this is designed to take a Marshall Tube rack Pre-amp it will add power amp flavors to your sound, so i run just the pre-amp section of amplifiers.

In My experience Marshall Style sounds work flawlessley and sound even better. But Mesa /Fender sounds lose some of their magic. still very usable but a Dual Rec doesn't have the Bass and Fenders lack high end Sparkle. But you can get an amazing Peavey 6534/ EVH 5150 El34  Sound using the Panama pre-amp.

 

So It depends on what your are trying to achieve

 

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The 50W Fryette Power Station PS-2 is the best amp with Helix and my Mesa 212 I have tried.  I nearly drove myself (and probably others on this forum) crazy trying different things.

 

The Fryette is neutral and you can run Helix full amp models with it.  I even made some IR’s from the Fryette and Mesa to run to headphones for silent practice or tweaking tones true to my live rig.

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I use a Seymour Duncan PS170 into a vertical 2X12 Two Rock cab (oval open back).  I've gigged with this set up for over a year now.  I've occasionally gone back to trying a FRFR or smaller cab + FRFR and it just doesn't sound as good to my ears.

 

The PS170 is great and seems to be transparent enough with the Bass/Mids/Treble set to noon, but it's nice to have the ability to adjust each for the room or when I change guitars between songs.   The sound of a real guitar cab is still my preference and a vertical 2X12 seems to work best for me in smaller rooms (gets the sound up higher so I can hear better, while still being direct-to-the-stage-contact for better low end. 

 

One thing that I do is to use a split output in all my presets. At the end of the signal chain - in which I have ZERO cabs or Its, I insert a split path.  One goes straight out to the 1/4" outputs.  the other path goes to the XLR outs.  In this short split path, I insert an IR (or stock cab) block and an EQ block.  This is my "FOH" path.   1/4" out goes to my PS170 and 2X12 Cab.  The XLR goes direct to the PA.   I spend a LOT of time getting the PA path to sound as close to the real cab as possible with HI/Lo cuts in the IR and using the 10-Band EQ block to tweak the tone.    Works pretty well, and I don't have to mic my cab at all.    I also set my globals so that ONLY the 1/4" output is affected by the Helix Volume.  This way my FOH output never changes, except for volume pedal adjustments or differences between snapshots or presets.   this way, I can adjust my on-stage volume if needed without impact the soundguy's settings at all. I typically  set my Helix volume to about 2-3 O'Clock...  this gives me just enough room to get a small increase in volume if needed but i can turn it down a good bit if asked.    I rarely touch it at all, but sometimes going from a  Les Paul to a Tele or Strat, i need a couple notches of stage volume to hear it better.  

 

As for the difference, I rebuilt my patches from scratch. What is "good" through an FRFR can sound bland and flat through a cab.  I noticed that I was using a lot of EQ adjustments in the low-mids when I was using an FRFR (one reason for the EQ block on the IR-Split output path).   

 

For the Cab, there seems to be inherent mids there and I don't need to add them.  I do need a bit more high-end frequencies with the cab, and I can reduce the Hi cut to compensate on the Split Output path.   Also, I seem to use lower volume and lower gain settings through the cab.  I suspect it's due to the speakers themselves, so each cab/speaker could be different for you, but these are my experiences. 

 

 

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Here is a very rough recording at a gig a couple months ago.  You can hear both guitars clearly on the "harmony" Solo at 1:40.  The other guitarist is using a 2X12 closed back cab with a Germino JTM45 Clone (100 watts) and a R9 Les Paul.  My rig is the Helix / PS170 / 2X12 Open Back) on a Placater Preset, using a Heritage H535 (335 copy) with Wolfeton Dr V pickups.  We are NOT mic'd or in the PA at all on this one.  Club was just too small.  So this is straight from the Cab. 

 

this recording was a Zoom Q2n (tiny thing!) recorder set on a table about 25 ft out front.  

 

 

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Love that old BC stuff! Balanced well for the recorder used I must say-guitars sounded good and Bass player had the foundation- Vocals good. Very nice!

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I have used a Koch ATR-4502 single space, 45W/90W successfully with a few different cab combinations.

The 4502 is a hybrid tube/FET amp with great tubey dynamics.  I use it with a 2x12 celestion cab, a V30 & V10 cab and a 2xV10 cab.

All cabs are Wizard but any semi-open back cab can work well.  You need to find the base tonality that works for you and then use the Helix tonal flexibility 

to get the nuances you need.
If you have specific modeled tones with IR's already in the Helix, a FRFR like the PowerCab+ or a DXR10 or 12 will be better at amplifying the exact sound, but
may not have the tubey dynamics you're looking for until you get proficient at dialing that in. 

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On 8/3/2019 at 1:17 PM, spikey said:

Love that old BC stuff! Balanced well for the recorder used I must say-guitars sounded good and Bass player had the foundation- Vocals good. Very nice!

 

Thanks Spikey!

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