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pac_man

Firehawk FX in the year 2020

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Hi guys!

Long story short: would you still recommend buying the FHFX this christmas (2019)? I read a lot of posts about bugs, lag etc. but how good/bad does it hold up, being a couple of years old already.

 

Long story long: my brother plays guitar and does background vocals in our rock cover band. We do all kinds of rock-related music, some 80s rock and metal, some grunge, some new metal, some indie etc. There's even the odd jazzy tune that we cover from time to time.

Because we play such a variety of songs, my brother switched from his Hagström to a Variax and just loves it. All of us in the band to, to be honest. Now that the Variax sounds so good, he is looking into downsizing from his 50 watt tube amp and stomp box pedal board with 4x12" cab to a modeler. However, the Helix LT is just too pricey and here in Germany, used ones aren't that much lower than new ones. So the idea now is to go with the Firehawk FX as it can be had for literally a fraction of the cost. The big upside is its "keep it straight and simple" approach. My brother loves his android tables (a lenovo) so the whole idea of remote controling his tone seems to be very sensible.

However - some of the posts in this forums make me wonder how usable the device is at all. Is the audio quality still good compared to modern modeles such as the Helix? How bad are the lag and connection issues these days? Is it a viable option for live usage (as we play a gig once in a while)?

 

I would love to read your thoughts on this.

-pac

 

PS: the reason I post this thread is simply that I already have a Line 6 account and he doesn't yet.

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Pac_man,

 

I'm a FH owner and have become frustrated with Line 6's choice to no longer support it.  If you look at the SW updates available, FH doesn't appear once and yet all of the POD line is still there.  I consider this a big middle finger to those of us who spent  $499 on a new pedal only to have it abandoned a few years down the line for their pet Helix.  Blu tooth connectivity continues be a huge issue which renders the pedal useless to me as I can't edit parameters.  I'm giving it one more try with the Gear Monkey.  If that doesn't work I'm trading up to a Head Rush.  It's a shame as I have been a L6 customer for almost 20 years with the Variax 300 and bass, both guitar and bass POD XT Live pedals, and the Relay 10.

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Hi guys! I am actually the brother that pac_man mentioned. :-) Just wanted to say hi!

 

Yeah so I am really considering the Firehawk because it seems to be what I need: Easy to use, not overloaded, straight forward. But a lack of attention from Line6 is kind of hard, to be honest, and doesn't make me want to get it really. The Helix is WAY too overloaded for my tastes, I don't need about 75% of what it does, and then I don't want to spend that kind of money on it. 
Leaves the POD, but really: I'd rather go for the Firehawk. 

What does it mean for a user if the support is over?

Does it mean they won't fix bugs anymore? 

Is it 100% usable right now?

Buddy299 mentioned some Bluetooth issues...

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The Firehawk FX is still a good choice, imo, for those like you who value simplicity and mobility. It still does today what it was designed to do several years ago. There will almost certainly be no further firmware updates but it is still supported in terms of getting help in case of hardware failures. I don't know exactly what bugs you are referring to but I wouldn't count on fixes at this point.

 

I have owned a Firehawk FX for several years and have not had any Bluetooth issues other than occasionally having to forget/reconnect the device. However I know that many users do have issues. I suspect it sometimes has to do with local factors such as other Bluetooth devices in the vicinity, and there's no predicting how your environment will perform.

 

Also, remember that this is a user support forum. The people who come here are generally those who encounter problems. You don't hear from those who are perfectly happy and satisfied. I think if you were to count the number of people here who are reporting problems, and imagine how many Firehawk FX devices have been sold worldwide, the ratio of users with problems is pretty low. That's not to minimize the issues but just to say that the likelihood that you will have serious problems is quite low imo. (I'm talking about actual serious bugs - not design preferences.)

 

I say go for it. Since you're already leaning towards it there's a much better chance that you will be happy than disappointed.

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Hi! So I just went and ordered one with a nice little bag. Let's see how it will do!

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I have a fire hawk and find it suitable for practice and recording.

Live is ok with caveats.

Switching from preset to preset involves a lag which is noticeable. So to get around it live you just use the stomp effects (one amp setting, then use mod, distortion, etc) as those are fine. It's only when you change amps that you get lag. So you can still have some decent effects without lag.

Otherwise you have to just plan when you do your changes.

The actual tones and effects are pretty good, especially for the money.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

In response to the original post, I'm afraid that this is an issue that can really only be satisfactorily resolved by its author (whom I will address directly from this point onwards, if that's okay).

 

So, you're looking for an effects unit, right? Well, you're not spoiled for choice, that's for sure; but that's pretty much the problem, isn't it? i.e., the product ranges available from Line 6 (sorry, Yamaha) and their competitors is bewildering. Hence, your post asking for advice (which is good).

 

However, might I suggest that you consider your position as follows:

 

  1. Where are you now? e.g., what do you have, effects wise, at present?; how much (and what kind of) experience and knowledge do you have (and / or have access to)?;
  2. Where do you need to go?; what will you be doing when you get there?; and for how long?; not forgetting other factors such as your own personal expectations and those of your target audience, etc., etc.

 

Hence, I would suggest that the difference between the two (i.e., target destination minus current situation) determines what you need to do, including the appropriate choice of effects unit and the work that you will have to do to incorporate this piece of kit into your personal world as a musician. Of course, your current financial situation is important too, but determine what you need first (leave paying for it until later). However, please allow me to be a little more specific.

 

Expanding upon your title for this thread, can I rephrase it as, "Is the Firehawk FX fit for the 2020s?" In a word: " No"; as far as Line 6 are concerned, this decade currently belongs to their Helix product range. And, from what I read, expensive as it seems, there are a lot of very happy Customers out there.

 

IMHO, as someone who has used Line 6 products for longer than I care to admit, the Firehawk FX is an oddball; a distraction, if you like. It departed from the company's "traditional" POD architecture, but can't compete with the Helix product range. In fact, based on my own experiences, using a Firehawk FX with a standard Variax, tells me that it can't compete with various elements of the POD product range either (which, I should add, comprises of various models which have provided me with years, decades even, of continuous, trouble free use).

 

For example, amongst other things, I also own a POD X3 Live floorboard. This is old technology, right? I mean it can't even control my standard Variax, like the Firehawk FX, can it? Yes, that's true, but the X3 comprises a far superior build quality, makes the Firehawk sound like a toy in terms of its sounds and, as for its flexibility and all round functionality, the Firehawk FX doesn't even make it out of the starting blocks in comparison with the X3. In summary, I have used the X3 live but wouldn't dream of taking a Firehawk FX on stage with me. But I guess that's why more contemporary POD products such as the POD HD500X floorboard are still available (which, by the way, have you checked the price differential between these products recently? If not, perhaps, ...).

 

Then again, I find that using my Firehawk FX is relatively straightforward and consistent. I just set it up as required and play my guitar through it. Simply put, my Firehawk FX floor board doesn't cause me any real problems, but neither so do all of my other Line 6 products e.g., my original TonePort UX2, bought way back circa. 2005. In fact, in addition to 15 years of trouble free service, my age-old UX2 proved fit for purpose to record an entire album to the standards required by pretty much every online digital music procurement and / or streaming service of any significance e.g., iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc., etc. And, IMHO it could do so again, if required. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the Firehawk.

 

Of course, the Firehawk FX has some cool features, right?; e.g., Bluetooth technology which allows it to be programmed using your phone. Really? Gimme a break. I mean, so what?; it's a gimmick. Seriously, what has this for to do with anything?

 

To my mind, phones (mobiles) are for making phone calls and have no real purpose when it comes to "world class" effects units. More importantly, Line 6 have provided powerful, stable effects unit management software for years. So, what does an App running on your phone add in terms of real value? IMHO, nought; but, if that's what matters to you, well (in fact, if you don't mind, I'm not even going to dignify that with an answer). As above, it's simple to use and, although I recognise that ease of use is important, I do sense an implied assertion here that the Firehawk FX is "simple" because, well, I don't know; I suppose that some might say that guitarists are "simpletons"; but certainly not in my opinion.

 

Also, be careful about the marketing hype and what you are actually purchasing (especially now that Line 6 are part of a much larger organisation). I mean, on the Firehawk FX's box, Line 6 make lots of alluring claims; some of which become somewhat questionable when subjected to a little pragmatic scrutiny. For example, they say that this floorboard is the "perfect recording interface for every guitarist"; a claim that has no validity or reliability (in fact, it's not true). And, as for the arrogance of generalizing their claim to "every" guitarist, Line 6 should be ashamed of themselves (again, this is a falsehood). More so, according to the packaging, the Firehawk FX also includes "world class amp and FX modelling." Does it really? Says who, exactly? But more importantly:

 

  1. If the above is true (which it's not; it's all lies; seriously, I kid you not), how come we all need a Helix (allegedly)?;
  2. It doesn't matter how "perfect" or "world class" a piece of equipment is, the limiting factor regarding its output will almost certainly be the person using it (e.g., see comments above regarding the capabilities of Line 6's TonePort UX2, available since 2005);
  3. How do such statements inspire Customer confidence in the product, if it doesn't "do what it says on the tin", so to speak?;
  4. How is it that I can cite multiple real-world examples of experienced guitarists who have gotten rid of their Firehawks, and resorted to more elementary, back to basics setups, because the Firehawk "ruins" their sound?

 

And, since these points kinda bring me (almost) full circle regarding this post i.e., only you can resolve this, and it's you, the guitarist, that matters, not your effects setup (or dream rig); I'll shut the f*ck up now, other than to wish you the best of luck and hope that you end up with the floorboard that a) you need, b) will last you for years (which Line 6 kit tends to do), and c) you can afford.

 

I hope this helps.

 

RJI777

 

PS: Regarding affordability; an item might seem expensive, but if it will provide you with years of reliable service, well ... I'll let you ponder that one, shall I?

 

PPS: If you think that Yamaha's "acquisition" of Line 6 won't change the way in which the latter conducts its business, think again...

 

Edited by RJI777
Grammatical errors / factual omissions

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I bought the Firehawk FX about 8 months ago and I love it, after I downloaded the app on my iPhone It took me about 3 hours on a Saturday to get up to speed with using it.

Regarding lag time when switching from tone to tone: I spoke to one of the guys at guitar center who has a Helix, he told me it has a lag time as well when switching tones.

I love that when you sync your music from your smart device (iPhone for me), you can play a song and have usually at least 15 tones or so (from the line 6 cloud) that others have created which are close and sometimes a match for the guitar tone of the song you are playing, I also love that you can store an unlimited amount of tones on your “tones” setting.

I got together with my sound guy (our bass player) in our band and set up all my tones so that I can push the volume/wah pedal down (forward) to boost the tone to a “lead volume”, this way if we’re playing a song like Hard To Handle (Black Crows), when I play the lead I just push the pedal down, you can use the foot switches on the 2nd row as well but I prefer just pushing the pedal down, less fumbling around in my case. 

Our band plays out once a month or so, I’ve used it for the last 5 gigs and I’m not going back to my previous set up (stomp box board).

Bottom line for me is it has everything I need tone wise and operational wise, I’ll use it until I’m forced to upgrade (much like with my iPhone)... which hopefully won’t be for a few years at least.

There are a lot of other great features I like about the fhfx, such as the ease of practicing, (plug your headphones into it sync your phone and run through your bands set/playlist), all without disturbing anyone else in the house.

I could go on, but you all get it, I’m a fan of the FHFX.

 

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm no guitarist but a blues harp player. Yesterday I used the fhfx on a small, private gig (80-100 people).

 

Harp players have the problem, that there are less effect pedals designed for harmonica (I know the Lone Wolf pedals), mostly we use guitar effects, which doesn't fit our needs exactly, best match in my opinion are effects for acoustic guitars, like the Boss vocalist VE 20. 

 

The reason I like the fhfx is, that I can fine tune effects according to my needs, and save them to presets. Most times I go with a standard harp preset, and additional presets which I name after the songs we play, which is very convenient, playing on dark stages, as one can read it on the display, and all the stompbox knobs are illuminated - way better then on my classic pedal board. And I just connect to the PA, tell the sound guy to give me a neutral, clean channel, and have the sound I wish.

 

I don't use a tablet while playing live, this would be to much of a distraction for me, and I know how to edit parameters of effects only via the floorboard, but that is the one thing which I wish would be easier. To give an real life example: We do a sound check, everything sounds fine. Audience gathers in, sound changes - i.e. less reverb. Now I cannot easy turn the reverb up, as I could with classic stomp boxes. It can be done, but it's more complicated. Or have I simply yet not found out how?

 

But I guess this is not a problem of fhfx, but of all multieffect units. Still, I love the fhfx for it's customisability, and get a lot of positive feedback according to the sound quality.

 

Just my 2 cents :)

 

Cheers

 

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4 hours ago, Bubishi said:

....

 

I don't use a tablet while playing live, this would be to much of a distraction for me, and I know how to edit parameters of effects only via the floorboard, but that is the one thing which I wish would be easier. To give an real life example: We do a sound check, everything sounds fine. Audience gathers in, sound changes - i.e. less reverb. Now I cannot easy turn the reverb up, as I could with classic stomp boxes. It can be done, but it's more complicated. Or have I simply yet not found out how?

 

...

 

 

Perhaps you could use the mobile app just for the time it takes to reduce the Reverb? Might take less time and be simpler than using the floorboard. No need to continue to use it during the performance.

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On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

In response to the original post, I'm afraid that this is an issue that can really only be satisfactorily resolved by its author (whom I will address directly from this point onwards, if that's okay).

 

So, you're looking for an effects unit, right? Well, you're not spoiled for choice, that's for sure; but that's pretty much the problem, isn't it? i.e., the product ranges available from Line 6 (sorry, Yamaha) and their competitors is bewildering. Hence, your post asking for advice (which is good).

Hi! Since my brother wrote instead of me I will answer this. 
I am NOT looking for just an effects unit. I am looking for something that will complement my Variax Standard. If it was just effects units, it would be crazy to find the right one. Several months ago, I tried out a Zoom multi-effect unit and while the sounds were okay, I just about could not handle the unit. Way too complicated for me. 

 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

However, might I suggest that you consider your position as follows:

 

  1. Where are you now? e.g., what do you have, effects wise, at present?; how much (and what kind of) experience and knowledge do you have (and / or have access to)?;
  2. Where do you need to go?; what will you be doing when you get there?; and for how long?; not forgetting other factors such as your own personal expectations and those of your target audience, etc., etc.

1. I had a Traynor Valve amp, a floor board with about 10 effects pedals and I play mostly at home. I will need to downsize since we are expecting a boy in a couple of moths. 

2. I will once a year be in a practice room, once every two years or so I will have a little gig. 

 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

Hence, I would suggest that the difference between the two (i.e., target destination minus current situation) determines what you need to do, including the appropriate choice of effects unit and the work that you will have to do to incorporate this piece of kit into your personal world as a musician. Of course, your current financial situation is important too, but determine what you need first (leave paying for it until later). However, please allow me to be a little more specific.

 

Expanding upon your title for this thread, can I rephrase it as, "Is the Firehawk FX fit for the 2020s?" In a word: " No"; as far as Line 6 are concerned, this decade currently belongs

to their Helix product range. And, from what I read, expensive as it seems, there are a lot of very happy Customers out there.

There are a lot of happy customers, that is true. BUT! I was also happy when I owned a Marshall 100TSL. I spent so much money on it, I was blinded. The thing was too big, too cumbersome, too difficult to move around and not versatile enough. If anybody asked me though how I liked it, I was boasting and told everyone I loved it. I spent so much money on it and I didn't want to admit it was a mistake. Not saying everyone who owns a Helix (LT) is like that, but I am sure a lot of people are "blinded" by what they paid in a similar wy. 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

IMHO, as someone who has used Line 6 products for longer than I care to admit, the Firehawk FX is an oddball; a distraction, if you like. It departed from the company's "traditional" POD architecture, but can't compete with the Helix product range. In fact, based on my own experiences, using a Firehawk FX with a standard Variax, tells me that it can't compete with various elements of the POD product range either (which, I should add, comprises of various models which have provided me with years, decades even, of continuous, trouble free use).

I used a POD once at my guitar teacher when I was 18 (that's 17 years ago, getting old). I owned a HD147 that I still would own if it didn't have strange noises come out from the back of it and if it was easier to use, i. e. changing banks and setups. 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

For example, amongst other things, I also own a POD X3 Live floorboard. This is old technology, right? I mean it can't even control my standard Variax, like the Firehawk FX, can it? Yes, that's true, but the X3 comprises a far superior build quality, makes the Firehawk sound like a toy in terms of its sounds and, as for its flexibility and all round functionality, the Firehawk FX doesn't even make it out of the starting blocks in comparison with the X3. In summary, I have used the X3 live but wouldn't dream of taking a Firehawk FX on stage with me. But I guess that's why more contemporary POD products such as the POD HD500X floorboard are still available (which, by the way, have you checked the price differential between these products recently? If not, perhaps, ...).

I looked at the HD500 and I dislike again and the sheer amount of possibilities is crazy. It is nearly overwhelming. I need maybe 10 percent of what that unit is able to deliver. 

 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

Then again, I find that using my Firehawk FX is relatively straightforward and consistent. I just set it up as required and play my guitar through it. Simply put, my Firehawk FX floor board doesn't cause me any real problems, but neither so do all of my other Line 6 products e.g., my original TonePort UX2, bought way back circa. 2005. In fact, in addition to 15 years of trouble free service, my age-old UX2 proved fit for purpose to record an entire album to the standards required by pretty much every online digital music procurement and / or streaming service of any significance e.g., iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc., etc. And, IMHO it could do so again, if required. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the Firehawk.

I own the Firehawk FX for two days now. While equally blinded as stated above with the Marshall, there is no money-mojo involved, no youth's dream coming true, no emphasis on expensive gear. My quest was to find a unit that is easy to use and delivers a tone that is good. 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

Of course, the Firehawk FX has some cool features, right?; e.g., Bluetooth technology which allows it to be programmed using your phone. Really? Gimme a break. I mean, so what?; it's a gimmick. Seriously, what has this for to do with anything?

I did not use the Bluetooth really. I LOVE my tablet and I use it for a lot of things, but you are right: For me, that will not change anything. It basically does not matter yet. If it didn't have this feature, I think I would have bought it also. Well, that is on the condition that I'd have a possibility to change tones and presets on my desktop. 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

To my mind, phones (mobiles) are for making phone calls and have no real purpose when it comes to "world class" effects units. More importantly, Line 6 have provided powerful, stable effects unit management software for years. So, what does an App running on your phone add in terms of real value? IMHO, nought; but, if that's what matters to you, well (in fact, if you don't mind, I'm not even going to dignify that with an answer). As above, it's simple to use and, although I recognise that ease of use is important, I do sense an implied assertion here that the Firehawk FX is "simple" because, well, I don't know; I suppose that some might say that guitarists are "simpletons"; but certainly not in my opinion.

In my mind, Phones and Tablets are used for whatever, but I agree with you. 

I am a simpleton. There is a certain beauty in just dialing all the buttons in a Marshall or Vox or Fender Amp and just enjoy that sound. And then  the reality of a cover guitarist hits, and that wonderful tone just doesn't help you with all the other things you want to play. 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

Also, be careful about the marketing hype and what you are actually purchasing (especially now that Line 6 are part of a much larger organisation). I mean, on the Firehawk FX's box, Line 6 make lots of alluring claims; some of which become somewhat questionable when subjected to a little pragmatic scrutiny. For example, they say that this floorboard is the "perfect recording interface for every guitarist"; a claim that has no validity or reliability (in fact, it's not true). And, as for the arrogance of generalizing their claim to "every" guitarist, Line 6 should be ashamed of themselves (again, this is a falsehood). More so, according to the packaging, the Firehawk FX also includes "world class amp and FX modelling." Does it really? Says who, exactly? But more importantly:

I did not see the outside of the box, but I hear you. For me, all tone producing parts, from the mind over the fingers over the guitar and so on and so are always some kind of compromise. the collection of tools that you use needs to be better than its individual parts though. That is why a combination of Variax and Firehawk FX seems so appealing. 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:
  1. If the above is true (which it's not; it's all lies; seriously, I kid you not), how come we all need a Helix (allegedly)?;

You tell me? I was looking at it for a good bit, thinking about how to make money available. 

 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:
  1.  
  2. It doesn't matter how "perfect" or "world class" a piece of equipment is, the limiting factor regarding its output will almost certainly be the person using it (e.g., see comments above regarding the capabilities of Line 6's TonePort UX2, available since 2005);

I agree! That is actually a really good thought. 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:
  1.  
  2.  
  3. How do such statements inspire Customer confidence in the product, if it doesn't "do what it says on the tin", so to speak?;
  4. How is it that I can cite multiple real-world examples of experienced guitarists who have gotten rid of their Firehawks, and resorted to more elementary, back to basics setups, because the Firehawk "ruins" their sound?

I guess because they were subjectively not happy with their sounds. The same can happen to users of other devices. 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

 

And, since these points kinda bring me (almost) full circle regarding this post i.e., only you can resolve this, and it's you, the guitarist, that matters, not your effects setup (or dream rig); I'll shut the f*ck up now, other than to wish you the best of luck and hope that you end up with the floorboard that a) you need, b) will last you for years (which Line 6 kit tends to do), and c) you can afford.

Thanks a lot! I hope that the Firehawk FX will be all that. If it is not, that's okay. The price was low, and so far it does exactly what I want. 

 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

 

I hope this helps.

It did! 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

RJI777

 

PS: Regarding affordability; an item might seem expensive, but if it will provide you with years of reliable service, well ... I'll let you ponder that one, shall I?

I hear you! For some people, what I paid was expensive, I consider it very reasonable. For someone who KNOWS s/he will use a certain setup for decades to come, an expensive setup might very well be a steal because they will get so much "mileage" out of it. 

 

On 1/3/2020 at 11:47 PM, RJI777 said:

PPS: If you think that Yamaha's "acquisition" of Line 6 won't change the way in which the latter conducts its business, think again...

 

Do you think they will now push towards new products and stop supporting old ones all together?

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53 minutes ago, Ili84 said:

.....

Do you think they will now push towards new products and stop supporting old ones all together?

 

Well there's an obvious answer to that and it's true of any company and any product. Show me a company that stops making new products and I'll show you a company that is soon to be out of business. So, yes, every company is always pushing towards new products.

 

The real question is: what exactly do you mean by 'stop supporting old ones altogether'? If you mean that Line 6 may suddenly stop all sales and support of all existing products tomorrow the answer is clearly 'NO'. But at some point in every product's life cycle (and I mean EVERY product - not just Line 6 and not just guitar modelers) it ceases to make good business sense to continue to support it. You see this happening every day in the consumer electronics sector; I currently need to buy a new printer because the manufacturer is no longer producing drivers for new computer operating systems. Older 32-bit iPhones and tablets can no longer run some newer apps that require 64-bit systems. Every electronic product eventually ceases to be supported. And yet I'm pretty sure there are some original Game Boy units that still work and do exactly what they were designed to do!

 

And there are different levels of support. Do you mean providing assistance in case of hardware failures (e.g. providing service and replacement parts) or do you mean a never-ending series of firmware updates? The former is certainly still available for Firehawk and the latter is still a possibility (except for the never-ending part); they haven't announced that Firehawk is discontinued.

 

There are lots of Line 6 products that have been discontinued and no longer supported, and more will follow. There are lots of Line 6 products that are currently being technically supported although no further firmware updates may be released. And there are a fewer number of Line 6 products that are currently receiving tons of technical support and regular updates. This is normal business practice and it will continue.

 

Where exactly is Firehawk in its life cycle? Certainly in the latter stages but not yet dead. And even after it 'dies' in the sense of its manufacturing and support life cycle it will still continue to operate in the owner's hands until it inevitably finally physically dies and replacement parts are no longer available.

 

So the answer to your question is Yes and No. And you get to decide which parts apply to you, based on your personal definition of 'stop supporting old ones altogether'.

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Hi Silverhead. What you say makes sense.  I am sorry if I don't answer more about it in particular, since I can just agree altogether. 
Tonight I could use the Firehawk FX for the first time in the band setting, and I love the device. It really is what I hoped for. Let's hope it will last for a long time. 

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Hi all,

 

I've been a Firehawk FX user since it was first released.  I play weekly in my church's Praise and Worship band and I'm a guitar collector and hobbyist at home with way too much gear.  I have used Line 6 products all the way back to the POD Xt as well as the Flextone amps.  I would not call myself a "Line 6 fanboy", but I do like their products and they do a good job for me.  I have several amps and am constantly on the quest for the "perfect tone."  Does the Firehawk FX give me that "perfect tone that you hear in your head?"  Sometimes, it does and it does very well.  Sometimes it doesn't.  I think I'd be struggling with that "head game" if I had a real amp and pedal board or the far more expensive Helix.  

 

I've used the FHFX hundreds of times in a live setting and have not been disappointed.  I've also had several guitarist friends of mine compliment me on my tone and overall sound.  Is the FHFX perfect?  No, it's not.  Have I experienced some of the same bugs/glitches others have mentioned?  Yes, I have, but those are few and far between.  I love the convenience of plugging in after I've dialed in several tone patches and just playing and enjoying my tones.  I use a couple of FRFR cabs (Alto and HeadRush) and I think my tone is great.  The portability of the FHFX is great although the new smaller POD Go is appealing to me and I may give it a look as a replacement/upgrade.  

 

I was really hoping that Line 6 would provide a little more software support (ie new amps,cabs, effects), but I get that they want to continue to make money and doing that sort of thing is not driving revenue.  I'm saving up my coin and will most likely upgrade to a newer unit.  I'm torn between the mid-priced POD Go or going full Monty and getting a Helix.  I don't think I'll be disappointed with the Helix, but I don't think I need all of its features for what I do.  For me, the sweet spot on electronic gear that will quickly become obsolete is about $500US +/-.  I've looked at Kemper and AxeFX and HeadRush along with the Helix family and I can't justify that high of a price tag when they all become obsolete so quickly.  Since I'm not a "gigging" musician getting paid for what I do, I have to look at cost vs reward equation.  As a guitar collector, justifying the same money for a new or vintage guitar versus electronic gear is a hard proposition.

 

I have said several times that if my FHFX died, would I buy another one and I think the answer is yes.  Especially since the price on the used market is what it's at now.  Another commented that the app and Bluetooth functionality was a gimmick and not important.  I actually quite like it and it makes fiddling with patches both in the practice setting and live, very easy.  Not having to bend down and twiddle knobs at my feet while I have a guitar hanging around my neck is very nice.

 

Here's hoping that there will be "one last hoorah" from Line 6 to offer us a software update for the FHFX.  If not, I'll still argue that my money was well spent on this multi effects processor.  Your mileage may vary, but that's been my experience as a FHFX owner.

 

God bless and Rock on!

 

JC

 

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21 hours ago, jcoulter43 said:

Hi all,

 

I've been a Firehawk FX user since it was first released.  I play weekly in my church's Praise and Worship band and I'm a guitar collector and hobbyist at home with way too much gear.  I have used Line 6 products all the way back to the POD Xt as well as the Flextone amps.  I would not call myself a "Line 6 fanboy", but I do like their products and they do a good job for me.  I have several amps and am constantly on the quest for the "perfect tone."  Does the Firehawk FX give me that "perfect tone that you hear in your head?"  Sometimes, it does and it does very well.  Sometimes it doesn't.  I think I'd be struggling with that "head game" if I had a real amp and pedal board or the far more expensive Helix.  

 

I've used the FHFX hundreds of times in a live setting and have not been disappointed.  I've also had several guitarist friends of mine compliment me on my tone and overall sound.  Is the FHFX perfect?  No, it's not.  Have I experienced some of the same bugs/glitches others have mentioned?  Yes, I have, but those are few and far between.  I love the convenience of plugging in after I've dialed in several tone patches and just playing and enjoying my tones.  I use a couple of FRFR cabs (Alto and HeadRush) and I think my tone is great.  The portability of the FHFX is great although the new smaller POD Go is appealing to me and I may give it a look as a replacement/upgrade.  

 

I was really hoping that Line 6 would provide a little more software support (ie new amps,cabs, effects), but I get that they want to continue to make money and doing that sort of thing is not driving revenue.  I'm saving up my coin and will most likely upgrade to a newer unit.  I'm torn between the mid-priced POD Go or going full Monty and getting a Helix.  I don't think I'll be disappointed with the Helix, but I don't think I need all of its features for what I do.  For me, the sweet spot on electronic gear that will quickly become obsolete is about $500US +/-.  I've looked at Kemper and AxeFX and HeadRush along with the Helix family and I can't justify that high of a price tag when they all become obsolete so quickly.  Since I'm not a "gigging" musician getting paid for what I do, I have to look at cost vs reward equation.  As a guitar collector, justifying the same money for a new or vintage guitar versus electronic gear is a hard proposition.

 

I have said several times that if my FHFX died, would I buy another one and I think the answer is yes.  Especially since the price on the used market is what it's at now.  Another commented that the app and Bluetooth functionality was a gimmick and not important.  I actually quite like it and it makes fiddling with patches both in the practice setting and live, very easy.  Not having to bend down and twiddle knobs at my feet while I have a guitar hanging around my neck is very nice.

 

Here's hoping that there will be "one last hoorah" from Line 6 to offer us a software update for the FHFX.  If not, I'll still argue that my money was well spent on this multi effects processor.  Your mileage may vary, but that's been my experience as a FHFX owner.

 

God bless and Rock on!

 

JC

 

I haven't had any BT issues that weren't related to my inadvertently switching apps on my tablet.  Still trying to sort out some FH app functions but I'm happy that I gave up my traditional amp setup.. I play more, fiddle with gear less.

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I've had the FHFX since release, and played hundreds of shows with it. I never once have bought anything on the basis of 'what it might do in the future', that idea is frankly ludicrous. I used the BT feature plenty at first, and don't think I've touched it or opened the app in over a year. Without it, I wouldn't have gotten as settled with the sounds as quickly as I did - in a working musical environment, saying 'Stop! I need to get my laptop out and play with this preset' is not viable, but a quick tweak with an app is much, much less cumbersome. The Helix family has nailed the inbetween stage - the interface is so quick and simple, and the editor is great if you have a lot of time. 

 

Personally, my FHFX has been playing up a little (inevitable wear-and-tear on the footswitches) and I've been waiting for a FHFX-2, that hopefully incorporates some of the Helix's features, and that's why I have the Pod Go on order: it seems, to me, to be the natural Firehawk successor.  

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On 1/6/2020 at 2:16 PM, Ili84 said:

Hi! Since my brother wrote instead of me I will answer this. 
I am NOT looking for just an effects unit. I am looking for something that will complement my Variax Standard. If it was just effects units, it would be crazy to find the right one. Several months ago, I tried out a Zoom multi-effect unit and while the sounds were okay, I just about could not handle the unit. Way too complicated for me. 

 

 

1. I had a Traynor Valve amp, a floor board with about 10 effects pedals and I play mostly at home. I will need to downsize since we are expecting a boy in a couple of moths. 

2. I will once a year be in a practice room, once every two years or so I will have a little gig. 

 

 

There are a lot of happy customers, that is true. BUT! I was also happy when I owned a Marshall 100TSL. I spent so much money on it, I was blinded. The thing was too big, too cumbersome, too difficult to move around and not versatile enough. If anybody asked me though how I liked it, I was boasting and told everyone I loved it. I spent so much money on it and I didn't want to admit it was a mistake. Not saying everyone who owns a Helix (LT) is like that, but I am sure a lot of people are "blinded" by what they paid in a similar wy. 

 

I used a POD once at my guitar teacher when I was 18 (that's 17 years ago, getting old). I owned a HD147 that I still would own if it didn't have strange noises come out from the back of it and if it was easier to use, i. e. changing banks and setups. 

 

I looked at the HD500 and I dislike again and the sheer amount of possibilities is crazy. It is nearly overwhelming. I need maybe 10 percent of what that unit is able to deliver. 

 

 

I own the Firehawk FX for two days now. While equally blinded as stated above with the Marshall, there is no money-mojo involved, no youth's dream coming true, no emphasis on expensive gear. My quest was to find a unit that is easy to use and delivers a tone that is good. 

 

I did not use the Bluetooth really. I LOVE my tablet and I use it for a lot of things, but you are right: For me, that will not change anything. It basically does not matter yet. If it didn't have this feature, I think I would have bought it also. Well, that is on the condition that I'd have a possibility to change tones and presets on my desktop. 

 

In my mind, Phones and Tablets are used for whatever, but I agree with you. 

I am a simpleton. There is a certain beauty in just dialing all the buttons in a Marshall or Vox or Fender Amp and just enjoy that sound. And then  the reality of a cover guitarist hits, and that wonderful tone just doesn't help you with all the other things you want to play. 

 

I did not see the outside of the box, but I hear you. For me, all tone producing parts, from the mind over the fingers over the guitar and so on and so are always some kind of compromise. the collection of tools that you use needs to be better than its individual parts though. That is why a combination of Variax and Firehawk FX seems so appealing. 

 

You tell me? I was looking at it for a good bit, thinking about how to make money available. 

 

 

I agree! That is actually a really good thought. 

 

I guess because they were subjectively not happy with their sounds. The same can happen to users of other devices. 

 

Thanks a lot! I hope that the Firehawk FX will be all that. If it is not, that's okay. The price was low, and so far it does exactly what I want. 

 

 

It did! 

 

I hear you! For some people, what I paid was expensive, I consider it very reasonable. For someone who KNOWS s/he will use a certain setup for decades to come, an expensive setup might very well be a steal because they will get so much "mileage" out of it. 

 

Do you think they will now push towards new products and stop supporting old ones all together?

 

First of all, please accept my sincere apologies for the time taken to get back to you. I had no idea that you had taken the trouble to go through my post so thoroughly, as you did. I also need to apologise as I can't, for now, provide you with a comprehensive response due to personal reasons. I will, however, endeavour to do so, when I am able.

 

However, for now:

 

1/ Thank you for your comments. I found them very informative and we'll worth reading (twice, so far);

 

2/ If I might: You seem quite "grounded" to me e.g., you don't get phased by the hype, you make mistakes but you learn from them, you appear to have a pragmatic approach to endeavours such as procuring equipment to compliment your Variax Standard, etc.;

 

3/ You also make some very relevant points e.g., I agree; some of the PODs are quite overwhelming, and need a lot of time and effort to get the sounds that you might require (a criticism that I hear quite often in relation to the high end Helix range). And as for being a "simpleton" ~ no way; IMHO, you just want to "get on with it" i.e., no fiddling around with presets; just plug in and play your guitar, right? On that point I agree entirely; it's all about playing (yet, sometimes I feel that technology is getting in the way of the very thing that we are trying to do: plug in, play, enjoy, ...);

 

4/ Regarding the Line 6 / Yamaha relationship, it's impossible to tell exactly what will happen, but my concerns are based upon two main factors: A/ Yamaha is a huge corporation with the power and clout to do whatever it takes to meet its objectives. To me, they are a bit like Sony; neither organisation does anything by halves and both are ruthless in their pursuit of making money. This concerns me, as do most "large" corporations (the majority of which appear "too powerful" for the "greater good" and beyond the skillset of we humans to manage organisations on such a scale). However, B/ That said, Yamaha have given us some outstanding products over the years e.g., did you know ever use an AW4416 multi-tracker?; I did ~ w-w-whow!; amazing. As were the n-Series mixing desks i.e., the n8 and n12 respectively. I bought the latter, but not after doing my homework. As digital desks go, it wasn't that expensive, especially given the technology it utilised. More importantly, it was also an ultra low latency FireWire audio digital recording interface designed specifically for Cubase (a product which I use and is produced by Steinberg, a company that Yamaha also own). Although I didn't entirely buy into the product's work flow strategy, the n12 was a magnificent piece of engineering in that it did what they said it would, and it did it on a very reliable basis; until Yamaha suddenly "dropped it" much to the surprise of many n-Series users. Simply put, by doing so, Yamaha effectively relegated the n8 and n12 to the scrap yard. Although I haven't tried for a while, linking my n12 to Cubase can no longer be achieved, given my current operating system and version of Cubase. Hence, my investment in the n12 was a costly mistake. However, for Yamaha, it was the "right" thing to do. In summary, I fear that this is far more likely to become a "feature" of the life cycles for Line 6 products now that they are part of Yamaha. Then again, I could be wrong.

 

Unfortunately, that's about all I can manage for now but, as above, I will try and revisit this when I am able. In the meantime, how are things with you, your Variax Standard and the Firehawk FX?; good, I hope. After all, critical as I am of the Firehawk FX, I still have mine (mainly because I also own a Variax Standard) and I can cite a good many examples of the Firehawk FX being used to very good effect by numerous guitarists in a number of environments.

 

Gotta go.

 

Take care...

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I don't think you have studied the system enough if you cannot adjust any real paramaters on stage without a phone or tablet. I set all of my amp and cabinet settings off stage with devices but can adjust volume, eq reverb and FX mix with the knobs, then hold down the patch button with foot for a couple of seconds til it blinks. boom!  its saved to the system.

It's designed to fine tune your settings with the knobs in a tight spot. Sure I have had a few bluetooth connection issues, nothing a power cycle wouldn't fix.

Id like to think the way I have it set up, as long as the physical knobs still work on the unit- I'm good. I don't want to spend endless years tweaking parameters, I wanna rock

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Love the FH currently a gigging guitar player with a wide variety of tunes that make this board essential. Only issues I can't really overcome is using this board in the daytime -  impossible to see the patch names and selected effects.  Does anyone have a suggestion to improve visibility?  For the money it's a great value and has held up well. Looking to move up to Helix does have any comparison notes between the Firehawk and Helix?

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Hello I just bough one a month ago, to replace my Hd500X

and it's just WONDERFULL! so easy and good sounding, you can run Drum tracks trough your phone to jam,

And you don't need to go down or on your knees all the time? I see a lot of demo of the Helix, but the gear is always on a table and that's not the reality, normaly your gear is on the ground

And you need to lollipop your back all the time to adjust, Not with the FH, just use your phone/tablet

 

But people need to know this:

 

For the Bluetooth connection, I have NO problem, because you need to disable the battery manager of your phone/tablet  for the Firehawk remore app, other way it can close your connection to save the battery or memory

 

There is a little problem with the music library and Android V10, You can run a song with the "song tab" but not with "Album" etc... other way the app crash

(I open a ticket about this a month ago and wait for news)

 

For my part The FH is the best they make !

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