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salty09

Want to love the powercab and keep it but....

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I wonder if some of you might have advice for me about my powercab woes.  First as of this moment I am primarily a bedroom player and I am comparing my powercab to an open back Princeton Reverb clone I built. 

 

I am running a Helix rack into the power cab and no matter what presets I use, ones I build or ones I download from preset packages or user preset, the powercab seems thin to me. I so far have mostly spent time with the speaker models. I have a 1x12 open back extension cab that I can run my Princeton through that has a cannabis rex in it and that speaker is full sounding with nice lows and the power cab version with any of the fender amp only models sounds no where near as full. 

 

Am I doing something wrong? I would have thought I closed back cab might have more low end to be honest. I really want to make the powercab work. 

 

I get the concept that in a live situation that the lack of bass may not be a bad thing, after all that's what bass players are for and the guitar signal needs to stay out of their way, but at home I would like to hear what I hear from my real amps. Oh, I also have an egnater tweaker 40 that I run through a 1x12 and it is way more full sounding as well. 

 

Any help/advice is greatly appreciated. 


Thanks!

 

Salty

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Are you sending a hot enough signal into the PC to keep the LED  light green / orange? That's the first mistake we all seem to make. The PC needs to have a strong signal or it won't sound right. 

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Hey specracer986, Thanks for the reply. Yes, I am keeping the input light green, sometimes flickering to orange. 

 

I do also know that setting it flat instead of tilting it back increased the bass a smidgen. But still very little low end...And that is with turning the bass all the way up on the amp models in the Helix. 

 

Am I just expecting something that is not feasible? 

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On 10/17/2019 at 2:29 PM, salty09 said:

Hey specracer986, Thanks for the reply. Yes, I am keeping the input light green, sometimes flickering to orange. 

 

I do also know that setting it flat instead of tilting it back increased the bass a smidgen. But still very little low end...And that is with turning the bass all the way up on the amp models in the Helix. 

 

Am I just expecting something that is not feasible?

Not sure if you kept your Powercab, but I assume you have the low cut switch OFF on the Powercab?

 

I have the Powercab Plus and generally love it, as I got it for using live.  To me the Powercab seems really designed to be used live and in a band setting where you need to cut through the mix. I use it in Flat mode with my HX Stomp and I actually keep the low cut on the Powercab off, but set a low cut in my cab sims on Stomp to around 80 Hz. So far it is working out for me, but most of my playing is with some distortion and really my focus is getting the mids to pop out. Ironically, I feel the speaker models in the Powercab harder to dial in, it seems like the mids are always scooped a bit and I have to compensate in my presets. So, I prefer Flat mode, but you might try the speaker models to get a warmer tone.

 

That said, for bedroom use or even live acoustic or something like that, or even a lot of clean electric playing with high reverb, Powercab probably wouldn't be my choice. I can't get my Stomp and Powercab to sound as warm as my Fender Deluxe Reverb amp for clean tones. I can get the brightness and clarity, but there is still something missing in terms of warmth, especially with reverb.

 

At bedroom levels, I much prefer playing through my Yamaha THR. Warmth for days, whatever the volume. Way easier on the ears and all the settings sound good out of the box. That said, even if the THR was loud enough, I feel like it wouldn't have the bite to cut through in a live setting.

 

So yeah, unless you are using it live in a full band, your other cab solutions might be a better fit.

 

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Hello,

 

I can understand what you feel.

It was a long journey for me too to reach the sound i was looking for.

As for many of us and as you tell, i have a traditionnal opened back twin cab i like and my simulation RIG on the other side.

I've bought a variax, the Helix and the powercab to have the full RIG. 

I wanted to have a wireless guitar system so i've surrended the variax ('cause i loose every controls)....And with the PC+, when i compared with a traditionnal guitar, i miss something in the attack....

I've had the Helix for two years and with the PC+, i always miss something. The PC+ and the internal, speaker simulations (the only way i use it at the end) brought something else to respond to my need of an "amp in the room" feeling but when i compared it to my opened back cabinet, i wasn't entirely satisfied. At rehearsals and gigs, it was OK but at home, it was not.

I believed that the design was the cause of this sound difference.

Recently, i've decided to jump on the Kemper stage option and till i started using it i saw/heared the difference and it's exactly what i was searching. The attack, the deep correspond to what i think of, i played for hours instead of tweaking to improve things....

The funny part is that with the Helix, i only used the PC+'s speaker simulation. With the Kp, i only use the raw/FRFR position.

The Helix was Ok when i go to FOH. The Kp don't cut in the mix so well this way ( i didn't take time to weak the EQ too).  So, at rehearsals, direct to FOH, i'm not satisfied yet.

I had a gig one month ago and i brought my PC+, it was allright, the sound was exactly what i wanted, have tweaked at home.

 

 

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Hey, thanks for the responses! Yeah, I still have it, but have not turned it on since my post. :( I ended up buying one of those Mooer Baby Bomb 30 watt mini power amps and love the Helix through that into one of my normal guitar cabs. 

 

Rayray6, I think you are right and that I might like it better in a band situation where I am part of a mix and need it to cut through and not take up any of the low end space. If I had not of found a solution I like using the baby Bomb, I might have looked into that Yamaha. Thanks for the reply! 

 

SteveFrance, so the Kemper with the Powercab seemed to be more full in the sound than the Helix with Powercab was? Thanks for the reply! 

 

 

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I don't know what you mean exactly with "full".

In fact, I've had plugged the Helix into FRFR for a long time before and wanted to have the same feeling when i play my amp, at home.

I bought the  PC+ and it was closer to this feeling of an "amp in the room". I used only the cab sims cause i felt that the FRFR position was worse with the Helix even in Raw position. It seemed as if the sound was farther from me. As if i was really listenning to a mic'ed cab in another room (all that IMHO).....

But when i compared it (not directly) to my fender twin (cyber), i thought that i missed something.

I've thought that this lack was the fact of the different design. I compared an open back twin amp to a 1*12' close back speaker, of course, it can't be the same.

But when i plugged the Kemper into the  PC+, i've immediatly realised that it was what i was looking for.

The deep, the sound around me, the attack, the behavior with a fender sim is exactly what i think of. I choose a sim and start playing for hours instead of tweaking.....

I only use the FRFR raw mode now, cause the cab sim can bring some improvements with some patches but it happens really rarely....

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Hey SteveFrance, just meant it had more lower end, when I asked about it sound "full". Sorry should have been more clear. 


Thanks for the info on how the Kemper works with the powercab for you! 

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Hey salty09,

 

Are you running your Helix on MAX volume? I was just doing a lot of research on these forums and actually reading my Stomp and Powercab plus owner's manuals. As an experiment, I ended up changing my Stomp Volume knob to control headphones only, which sets the main output to maximum volume.

 

So of course I had to go into my presets and back down the channel volumes on the amp blocks and also the output gain. Basically, following tidbits of advice, I design my patches so the final gain is the same as when all the blocks are bypassed, say around -12db, and then adjust the output gain so the max gain (i.e. on a lead/solo snapshot) hits approx -6db, which is where my Powercab Plus starts flickering into orange on the input signal light.

 

The end result is the Powercab, and my Stomp in general, sounds way better. More full sounding, better response to my touch and dynamics, even naturally occurring harmonics and overtones; it just feels way more like an amp and it is also super loud without being harsh.

 

Not sure if that helps you at all, it has just been my revelation of the past 24 hours. I'm now under the impression that Helix devices were designed to sound best when the Vol knob is maxed and that the Powercab was calibrated to sound best when Helix patches were designed in this way. I'm going to test some of the default presets to confirm, and then also re-visit the speaker models in my Powercab Plus, as I am still running it in Flat mode.

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p.s. I am monitoring the Stomp's gain levels in my DAW (Ableton or Logic) with the Stomp connected directly to my computer via USB.

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On 11/25/2019 at 10:13 AM, SteveFrance said:

But when i plugged the Kemper into the  PC+, i've immediatly realised that it was what i was looking for.

The deep, the sound around me, the attack, the behavior with a fender sim is exactly what i think of. I choose a sim and start playing for hours instead of tweaking.....

I only use the FRFR raw mode now, cause the cab sim can bring some improvements with some patches but it happens really rarely....

 

A made the same experience with my new Axe FX III – it sounds much better than my Helix with PowerCab+. Well, I guess I will sell my Helix soon.

I watched a lot of sound comparisons between Axe FX III and Helix on YouTube – the differences (e. g. for a Friedman amp simulation) were not huge. But playing here live in my living room there's a big gap: The Axe sound so much more like a real amp.

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On 11/29/2019 at 4:42 PM, uelef said:

 

 

A made the same experience with my new Axe FX III – it sounds much better than my Helix with PowerCab+. Well, I guess I will sell my Helix soon.

I watched a lot of sound comparisons between Axe FX III and Helix on YouTube – the differences (e. g. for a Friedman amp simulation) were not huge. But playing here live in my living room there's a big gap: The Axe sound so much more like a real amp.

 

I totally agree with you !

I've watched a lot of comparison on Utube and noticed really little difference between all the modelers. I was about to think that there's no need to pay more. I couldn't distinguished the différence. But the day i played the kemper at home, it was a revelation. I've realised that the recorded vids were a trap ! Just try and appreciate by yourself in live and choose following your tastes !!!

I waste time on technical quitar videos now, there are more benefits.... :) ;)

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Hey rayray6, I am not certain I have done that.  I will give it a shot.

 

I know people say to run the Helix volume at max for just using it as a pedal board into an amp, but my experience has been that it actually increases the signal going into my tube amps and is not the same input gain as just plugging my guitar into the amp, it seems more like 1 O'clock is unity gain to me. 

 

But yeah, I will try turning the helix all the way up, preset amp channels down some and control it with the power cab. 

 

For playing direct monitoring with headphones through the Helix sounds and works great for me. It is just the time of trying to play it through the power cab that I feel a bit of disappointment. 

 

Uelef and SteveFrance, thanks for the input. 

 

SteveFrance when you said, "'I've watched a lot of comparison on Utube and noticed really little difference between all the modelers", I think that goes along with what I was saying about liking the Helix just fine when I record direct with it and monitor through the helix or my interface. 

 

I just feel like maybe there is bottom end that I get from my tube amps that is maybe not part of the Helix models, because you would not need that bottom end in a recording...maybe? Like when you mic an amp up that bottom end does not get captured, it is only present in the room...maybe? But then when you take the model without that bottom end and send it to the powercab, it is not getting the lows that a normal amp would have... 

 

I honestly don;t know what I am talking about, so my thought process may be totally wrong. 

 

You guys have got me thinking about trying a different modeler to compare. 

 

Don;t get me wrong though I live the line 6 products. I have the Helix rack with control, the power cab, a variax and an HX effects. I really want to love the power the way I do playing through one of my other amps. 

 

Thanks again for the input! 

 

 

 

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Hey salty09,

 

Just to report back, I am definitely loving the Powercab Plus more, now that I run my HX Stop at max volume. The bottom end is definitely there. For example, using the US Deluxe Nrm amp model with 1x12 US Deluxe cab block, I can get a nice warm tone that is very similar to my Fender Deluxe Reverb tube amp. Not sure what guitar(s) you are using, but my strat on the neck pickup sounds great, lots of spank, clarity and full bottom end, too. I've got the Deluxe Compressor block in front and the '63 Spring reverb after, which sounds better than ever. The reverb is really opened up compared to when I built my patches with Stomp volume at 12 o'clock.

 

Took it to rehearsal too and had no problem keeping up with a Bassbreaker 30W, in fact I had tons of headroom on the Powercab. I know you aren't playing loud, but just fyi I think it truly is better across the board.

 

Again, this is mostly in flat mode, with cab simulation on the Stomp. I did try out some of the Powercab speaker models again, too, and they also sounded much better to me than before.

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