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colek98

Amp Model Translator? Helix vs Spider? Tube vs Modeler?

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Hi All,

 

   Brand noobie. Got a few Qs.

 

Q1: Is there a list anywhere or a thread which explains which real Amps and cabs are represented by the models in the spider? Seems some of you recognize them readily - some are obvious - but I woulda never guessed the Mesa Boogie models for example till deadastronaut mentioned it.

 

   It would be very helpful to have a list. I've never tried most of these amps and want to get a real tube amp to really get the natural sound outta my new Les Paul. Anyone has info - or just cares to gimme a few hints I'd much appreciate. Just having an initial idea about these would help my research immensely.

 

Q2: Helix vs Spider. I presume the tones in the Spider have about as much in common w the Helix as a Squire does w a Strat, but I'll ask anyways. Assuming a Helix is a 10 for sound quality, how would the Spider compare? Also, what kind a amp would be the perfect match for Helix? I can't imagine needing 50 knobs on an amp head if yer running a helix into it. I would guess a complete blank canvas. It would seem a no brainer for Line6 to have a perfect amp match for the Helix - or even an amp with a built in helix IDK. 

 

Q3: I've never used a tube amp and I've always heard there is no substitute. But it's 2019. Is that still true? I'm kinda using the Spider to gleem basic ideas about actually tube amps to help me find the right one. Do any of you feel modeling amps are passing up tubes? 

 

Q4: I don't need a stadium power amp - 240 seems kinda ridiculous - but what amps of amp lines are Line 6's flagship?

 

TIA to all!

 

Cole K

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Can't help you with the rest, but here's a list of what every amp, cab, and effect is a model of, courtesy Line 6 itself:

 

 

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1. Here's the official link: https://line6.com/support/page/kb/amplifiers/spider-v/spider-v-series-model-list-r839/

2. The Helix models are the latest and most advanced amp modeling algorithms from Line 6. The Spider V algorithms are reworked Pod Farm algorithms. That said, the Pod Farm models were used in many top flight recordings, and still sound good, I would give them a 7. There is no perfect amp for Helix. Front of an amp, into the effects loop, FRFR PA Speaker, Line 6 Powercab, Line 6 DT amps(have a digital connection for Helix), or studio monitors; it depends on how you plan to use the Helix.

3. Digital modelers are option that many find equal or superior to tube amps, others like the dynamics that a tube amp can give. Both have their pluses and minuses. Tube amp are easy to tweak, there aren't that many tonal options, but you have to have the amp that makes the right tone for you, or have several amps. Digital modelers give you an incredible number of ways to build your tone, and since they model most famous amps, you get to find the flavor of amp that you like. Honestly, there is nothing like a cranked tube amp, but today there are not many places to play that loud, so digital amps are a great option. I have a Helix/DT amp setup, and a Spider V 240. The Spider is a great all in one package that sounds great too.

4. The Spider V 240 is the top of the line Spider. Depending on if you gig or not, a 60 or 120 may be plenty loud. The DT amps are Line 6's hybrid digital preamp/ tube power amp amplifier. I have them, they are great. The Powercab is another top of the line option- a PA type speaker that emulates a traditional tube amp and cabinet. Good luck!

 

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On 11/18/2019 at 8:01 PM, colek98 said:

Q2: Helix vs Spider. I presume the tones in the Spider have about as much in common w the Helix as a Squire does w a Strat, but I'll ask anyways. Assuming a Helix is a 10 for sound quality, how would the Spider compare? Also, what kind a amp would be the perfect match for Helix? I can't imagine needing 50 knobs on an amp head if yer running a helix into it. I would guess a complete blank canvas. It would seem a no brainer for Line6 to have a perfect amp match for the Helix - or even an amp with a built in helix IDK. 

 

Q3: I've never used a tube amp and I've always heard there is no substitute. But it's 2019. Is that still true? I'm kinda using the Spider to gleem basic ideas about actually tube amps to help me find the right one. Do any of you feel modeling amps are passing up tubes? 

 

 

 

 

Q2.

 

Just how "improved" the Helix sounds are to the Spider is open for debate. I've seen blind tests where people thought they knew and got it wrong. In my personal opinion, as a Helix owner, the Helix models are CLOSER to the amps they modeled, and it behaves MORE like a real amp. However, do I actually think the Helix sounds are objectively superior to the Spider? Uhhh . . . no. Does a Strat sound superior to a Les Paul? That's personal preference, both are sound.  I think in this case, it's personal preference as well. To me the Helix's edge is its routing power eclipses the Spider, and as I said earlier, it has models and tonal options that make it behave far more like an old school amp that you might already love.  That's why I own a Helix, and it's my favorite piece of gear. 

 

What's the perfect amp? That depends on where you fall. If you are an FRFR player, which is still the minority, the perfect amp might be the Powercab. The Spider V will work as a decent FRFR machine if you turn off all of the internal amps, cabs, and effects. There are a lot of great options out there though depending on budget. If you are a traditional tube amp player and you just don't think anything compares, then the perfect amp/cab depends on your real world favorite since you'll largely be using the Helix only for effects. Also, if that's your plan, I'd strongly advise you look at an HX Effects before getting a full Helix. 

 

Q3. I don't give a lollipop about tube amps. Tons of people would die for theirs. Ultimately it doesn't matter what I or them think . . . you need to test out a setup and see which tugs at your heart strings. 

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Thought a bit more about this, and while I still can't tell you anything about the Helix, I'm fairly certain there'll never be a point at which modelers (or non-modeling solid-state transistor amps) "replace" tubes – the question itself is, I think, a sort of misunderstanding.  It's like asking a biker if his car has "replaced" his bike.  He doesn't ride the bike for the same reasons as he drives, say, a Honda; he likes particular things about the experience of it, and even though they're both theoretically machines designed for automated motion, they serve completely different purposes to him.

 

Thus with tubes/SS/digital.  Some people are just always going to think tube amps feel better, and it's true that they're different in ways that modelers haven't learned to copy on a consistent basis.  It's my experience, e.g., that even a mediocre tube amp has a relation between touch sensitivity and tone that you just don't get on non-tube stuff.  That said, tube amps also break down way more often, have more specialized and antiquated parts, require constant vigilance and frequent servicing, and universally cost too goddamn much Because They're Tuuuuube.  I personally wouldn't take a tube amp on the road unless I knew it was an absolute draymule (oh, the backbreaking memories of that borrowed 1973 Peavey Classic 50 which will, I'm almost certain, survive the extinction of humanity and possibly help to cause it).

 

Of the amps I've got, my (solid-state) Fender Champion 100, which has about 17 "voicings" but isn't a digital or a modeler per se, is definitely the one I'd trust on any kind of extended tour.  That doesn't make it better or worse than my Blackstar ID:Core 40 or my Spider V or the Marshall Valvestate and 5150 heads sitting in the closet, it just does particular things really well.  (Though, let's be honest, it does make it better than the Valvestate.  Those things sound terrible.  And, to my moderate surprise, I find I much prefer my Spider-tweaked 5150 patch – still wondering what the hell a "Mississippi Criminal" is – to a bona fide block-letter 5150.)

 

I, for one, don't give a damn about amp format, though I'd say that solid-state transistor amps have been the most reliable over my 20ish years of playing.  If I like the sound, I like it, and if I can use it to make more and better sounds, brilliant.  I think that's why there are so many half-cocked morons complaining about Line 6 gear on boards and Youtube: they don't really know what it's for, so they get angry that it doesn't do what they want.  I didn't buy the Spider V for the presets – who buys a modeler for the presets? – I bought it because, after 2 minutes, I realized that 1) it was going to give me a massive library of amps and cabs for my own patches, and b) unlike a Kemper, it was not going to require NASA training to get the most of its programmable features.

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