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Amarasco

4 Cables Method Issue

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Hi everyone!

 

I'm trying to use the Helix 4cm with my tube amp but I don't have sound at all; I checked the cables routing and quality, everything's fine.

I might be wrong but as far as I know, you need to use the Fx Loop block in order to create the virtual image of your amp in the Helix path so you can add effects before or after.

Now, is this the right way to do it or should I use 2 blocks (send and return) rather than all in 1 block?

Also, what should I set the 1/4 inch out and the send 1 and return 1, line or instrument? (so far 1/4 inch out is on line and every send and return is on instrument).

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Starting with the assumption that you're using the FX Loop Block that corresponds to the physical SEND/RETURN that you're connected to:

 

Assume FX Loop 1 is used

 

Guitar>Helix Input>Helix FX Send 1>Amp Input>Amp FX Send>Helix FX Return 1>Helix 1/4" L/Mono Out>Amp FX Return

 

Is the Helix VOLUME knob up?

Is the Amp GAIN up?

Is the Amp MASTER up?

 

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26 minutes ago, Amarasco said:

Also, what should I set the 1/4 inch out and the send 1 and return 1, line or instrument? (so far 1/4 inch out is on line and every send and return is on instrument).

 

Use the setting that sounds best/least noisy.

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21 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

Starting with the assumption that you're using the FX Loop Block that corresponds to the physical SEND/RETURN that you're connected to:

 

Assume FX Loop 1 is used

 

Guitar>Helix Input>Helix FX Send 1>Amp Input>Amp FX Send>Helix FX Return 1>Helix 1/4" L/Mono Out>Amp FX Return

 

Is the Helix VOLUME knob up?

Is the Amp GAIN up?

Is the Amp MASTER up?

 

 

Yes, everything is at the right volume. I noticed there's a tiny speck of sound coming from the amp as if something is turned way too low.

 

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4 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

AND the wiring is correct?

What make/model amp are you using?

 

Yes, I checked many times both wiring and quality of the cables.

I'm using a Custom Audio Amp OD-100. (amp itself works great so no tubes issue or else)

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There's a Loop Return Level control on your amp. Is that turned up?

 

I'm sure you've read this, but if not:

 

Effects Loop

The OD-100 effects loop is a tube buffered series loop. The effect send jack is always active and acts as a low impedance tube buffered preamp out capable of driving a wide variety of devices from low level pedals to line level “rack” gear. The level appearing at this jack is dependent on the setting of the Channel’s Level 1 or Level 2 controls, whichever is selected. The loop return, it’s gain stage and level control are only in the signal path when a plug is inserted in the loop return jack. An additional tube gain stage is provided here to compensate for lower settings of the Channel Level controls when low level effects are used. The return jack and level control also act as a “Power Amp Input” when using just the power stage of the amp. At this point it is worth mentioning an internal power stage “presence” control which effects the high end “voicing” of the power amp of the OD-100. This is not to be confused with the Channel 2 Presence control which only effects Channel 2. This internal trim effects the overall Presence of the amp (both channels) and is set at the factory at about 1 o’clock. When using the effects loop, the rear panel return level control acts as the amp’s overall master volume. Unity gain for this control is about 1 o’clock. You can check this by plugging a short patch cable between the Loop Send and Return jack. Plug and unplug the end going to the Return jack while noting the level difference and adjust the Level control until you hear no difference in level. You can take advantage of this additional tube gain stage even if you use no effects in the loop by keeping the short cable plugged into the loop. The Return Level control on the rear panel will now be the overall Master volume of the amp and the additional gain provided by the loop return circuit will make the amp louder.

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Thanks for the info!

 

So, I just used my Helix right now (everything was left as it was: cables, saved patch on the Helix, etc..) and it magically works.. I'm trying to figure out what could have caused the problem but I have no idea. But I have another question, is it normal that the overdrives (king of tone, zen drive, minotaur) sound a bit off? I have the impression that they don't sound similar as if their corresponding pedal would be plugged straight into the amp.

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The answer to why is.....MAGIC!

 

As for pedals, if you plug a pedal into a real Fender Twin it's not going to sound the same as plugging it into a real JCM800 and that'll sound different than running it into a Boogie MK V, and how you've got your Boogie configured will effect the way the pedal sounds etc etc.. There's no such thing as "this pedal sounds exactly like this under all circumstances and in every configuration. Add to that you've got an amp that probably only you and a dozen other people in the world have (I nearly choked when I saw the price), so you're not likely to find an example on YouTube of what any specific pedal sounds like through that amp. There are lots of YT vids of people being baffled in AB comparisons of Helix pedals vs the real deal. If you look hard you can probably find vids of  people who SWEAR than Pedal A is the real thing when both pedals are identical, simply from different production runs. Famous in that context are Muffs and Rats. And, oh yeah, then there's the speakers. The same Celestion V30 speakers sound totally different in a Marshall 412 vs an Orange 412 vs a Mesa 412. Some people SWEAR they can tell the difference between an English V30 and a Chinese V30. And on and on.

 

Here's the rule, in either the analog or digital world. Try it. If it sounds good, use it. If not, keep trying. If nothing sounds good, then that piece of gear is not for you. Sell it and move on.

As a wise man once said - "If you try, sometimes, you get what you need!". Or not.

 

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So I witnessed real MAGIC for once!

 

I totally get your point and you're right; I've also compared the Dhyana Drive with my original Zendrive but again, you never know if it was the same version modeled.

I had the feeling that you need to work a lot (at least for me) in order to get a "good" sound, and that definitely shows I need to spend more time learning this magical device called Helix.

 

As for the Custom Audio, yes it is expensive but I guess because has been discontinued. It's a great amp but heavy as hell in terms of weight, that's why I was hoping to replace it somehow for live gigs.. but this thought always leaves me after playing it and then I realize I would rather get a herniated disk than replacing it with something else.

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13 minutes ago, Amarasco said:

As for the Custom Audio, yes it is expensive but I guess because has been discontinued. It's a great amp but heavy as hell in terms of weight, that's why I was hoping to replace it somehow for live gigs.. but this thought always leaves me after playing it and then I realize I would rather get a herniated disk than replacing it with something else.

 

We like what we like, no shame in being able to afford it when we find it! 

In your case, learning proper lifting technique goes hand in hand with learning to dial in YOUR tone..... :-)

  • Haha 1

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