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Rob-Thunder

HX Effects - anything I am missing?

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I am currently trying to choose between the HX Stomp and the HX effects.

 

I have done a reasonable amount of research (though more on the Stomp than the Effects) and understand the basic difference between them. However, I do have a suspicion that I might be missing something about what would make the Effects the more appealing.

 

Obviously I appreciate the obvious point that ultimately I will need to weigh up what features I value most. So I am not expecting people to tell me which to get. However, I am hoping that people might be able to point out anything I have misunderstood, or point out some advantages of the Effects that I may have missed.

 

So basically, I think I would plan to play through my amp most the time, which is why the Effects is an option. However, I have been leaning towards the Stomp because I like the option of having the amp models etc so I can go direct into a PA. I don't expect to do this option, but good to have the option. (Similarly, I think it could be useful, sometimes, to play with just guitar into Stomp into headphones). I also like the smaller size of the Stomp. 

 

Having said that, I expect I would mostly be using my amp, and it seems there is fairly clear that the consensus Effects is the better option if you are plugging into an amp.

 

So this is my understanding of the benefits of the Effects (and my thoughts on their significance).

 

More switches:

Certainly a benefit. However, I'd be happy to buy an additional footswitch with two switches. Also, I don't tend to use many different effects. Rather, I'd expect to have different presets for different sounds, and then for each would only expect to need a footswitch for 1, 2 or 3 pedals/snapshots.

 

9 blocks rather than 6

If I am not using any blocks for amps or cabs, I think 6 blocks will be plenty for me.

(And if using blocks for amps or cabs, then obviously the Effects can't compete.)

 

Displays for each switch:

This probably looks like the biggest benefit to me - at least in stompbox mode. But I am not sure which display would be best for pre-sets and snapshot modes.

 

(Also, I expect to use HX edit a lot, so not sure how important the displays actually are. Though I guess it is good to have each of the footswitches clearly labelled.)

 

Anything I have got wrong?

 

Anything I have missed?

 

Thanks


Rob 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Rob-Thunder said:

Anything I have missed?

 

Here are a few things to consider.... you'll have to weigh their importance to you :)

 

IN FAVOR OF STOMP

  • If needed... the Stomp has the added benefit of being a computer interface. The HX Effects cannot do that.
  • I know you realize the Stomp has amp modeling... but break that down more...
    These are the individual block options you really gain over an HX Effects
    • Pre-amp models (these can serve as "amp in the box" effects. This provides a lot of overdrive options that won't be available in the HX Effects)
    • Full amp models (can also be used as "amp in the box" effects... but with power amp stage included)
    • Full amp models w/cabinets w/mics (this is what you automatically think of as amp modeling. The full deal)
    • Cab models w/mic modeling (An alternate option to loading IR's... even without an amp model in play)
  • Smaller footprint if you plan on building it into a pedal board. Although that might be negated if you need to add additional footswitches. 

IN FAVOR OF HX EFFECTS

  • Although it doesn't have amp models, it still has IR blocks. If you ever NEED to go direct... you can add an IR to the end of your preset. At the very least, it would get you through a gig in a pinch... and if you actually took time to setup presets with an... it can sound very "amp like".
    EG: An EQ along with a KOT or POT overdrive with a Celestion IR will get you into a Marshall territory very quickly. An EQ along with a Timmy and a BlueBell IR can mimic VOX tones quite nicely. An EQ with light compression, reverb and a Jenson IR can mimic a BF Fender, etc... etc...
  • Nothing is stopping you from adding an "amp in the box pedal" in a loop if you really want an amp in the HX Effects. With 9 blocks, you can afford one for a loop.
  • Individual SEND Jacks... if you want to utilize two separate loops you don't have to use a TRS Splitter
  • Individual EXP Jacks... (subsequently individual amp control jacks). The HX Stomp is cumbersome with just a single TRS for these options... possibly requiring splitters to get what you want
  • Unless fixed in recent updates... the HX Effects has a more robust and fully featured "Command Center". 
  • You have already mentioned the number of switches... but it shouldn't be taken lightly. More switches contains the unit as an "all in one"... making setups quicker and less error prone. 
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1 hour ago, codamedia said:

 

Here are a few things to consider.... you'll have to weigh their importance to you :)

 

IN FAVOR OF STOMP

  • If needed... the Stomp has the added benefit of being a computer interface. The HX Effects cannot do that.
  • I know you realize the Stomp has amp modeling... but break that down more...
    These are the individual block options you really gain over an HX Effects
    • Pre-amp models (these can serve as "amp in the box" effects. This provides a lot of overdrive options that won't be available in the HX Effects)
    • Full amp models (can also be used as "amp in the box" effects... but with power amp stage included)
    • Full amp models w/cabinets w/mics (this is what you automatically think of as amp modeling. The full deal)
    • Cab models w/mic modeling (An alternate option to loading IR's... even without an amp model in play)
  • Smaller footprint if you plan on building it into a pedal board. Although that might be negated if you need to add additional footswitches. 

IN FAVOR OF HX EFFECTS

  • Although it doesn't have amp models, it still has IR blocks. If you ever NEED to go direct... you can add an IR to the end of your preset. At the very least, it would get you through a gig in a pinch... and if you actually took time to setup presets with an... it can sound very "amp like".
    EG: An EQ along with a KOT or POT overdrive with a Celestion IR will get you into a Marshall territory very quickly. An EQ along with a Timmy and a BlueBell IR can mimic VOX tones quite nicely. An EQ with light compression, reverb and a Jenson IR can mimic a BF Fender, etc... etc...
  • Nothing is stopping you from adding an "amp in the box pedal" in a loop if you really want an amp in the HX Effects. With 9 blocks, you can afford one for a loop.
  • Individual SEND Jacks... if you want to utilize two separate loops you don't have to use a TRS Splitter
  • Individual EXP Jacks... (subsequently individual amp control jacks). The HX Stomp is cumbersome with just a single TRS for these options... possibly requiring splitters to get what you want
  • Unless fixed in recent updates... the HX Effects has a more robust and fully featured "Command Center". 
  • You have already mentioned the number of switches... but it shouldn't be taken lightly. More switches contains the unit as an "all in one"... making setups quicker and less error prone. 

This is a very, very interesting comparison for me. After spending a year with my HX Effects, I'm totally in on the capabilities of the Helix platform. Hey, if the HXFX can breathe new life into my ancient Tech 21 Trademark 60 (TM60), that's a huge win in my book. My TM60 is set clean on channel 1, and my favorite "pedalboard" lately features the Tone Sovereign, and using Snapshots to change Tone Sovereign settings without having to twist any virtual knobs... love it.

 

That said, I've been looking for ways to overcome some of the limitations inherent when using stomps with a clean amp (or an amp's clean channel, as with my TM60). And, after a year with it, I've found I've settled in to using just a few templates overall and, surprisingly, a lot fewer effects than I thought. The "limitations" of the HX Stomp suddenly aren't as, well, limiting.

 

I could definitely see myself moving up from the HXFX to the HX Stomp, with the full amp models with cabinets with mics taking the place of the "pedalboard foundations" I've created for my HXFX. I don't use expression pedals (yet) so that's not a factor, and I don't have other effects pedals to patch in as that was the point of getting the HXFX in the first place. :) I could probably get away with using a 1/4-inch outputs from the HX Stomp into the effects return of the TM60, as the Celestion 70-80 speaker in there is pretty neutral (to my ears, anyway) and it would probably function well enough as a monitor, sort of like Tech 21's Power Engine combos.

 

Additionally, I dabble in playing bass as well, and would play it on anything I choose to record, likely using the Stomp as an interface (just like I used to with my GuitarPort!), so... more points for HX Stomp.

 

Thanks for this informative post. Interesting, indeed.

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Thanks a lot, codamedia. This is perfect - and exactly what I was after. And, as I suspected, it does look like there are some benefits of the HX Effects I hadn't really considered, or fully appreciated.

 

Thanks 

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42 minutes ago, Rob-Thunder said:

This is perfect - and exactly what I was after.

 

I'm sure there are many other pro's / con's to each device. I owned the HX Effects for many months prior to getting a Helix LT... but I have never owned (or used) the Stomp so my knowledge of that one is more limited. In particular, I get really concerned by just 3 footswitches... but those with a Stomp may understand the navigation options much better than I do so I try not to speculate and hope they will comment more on that subject. 

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Thanks jnnh73 - that was useful for me too.

 

In case you haven't already seen it, you may also be interested in this thread - particularly the comments from codamedia and JimGordon:

 

 

 

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So, I've just ordered a HX Stomp. I can definitely see why someone might prefer the Effects, but I think the Stomp will be ideal for me. Thanks.

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