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Rookie: should i buy pod go?


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My journey:  had the bean years ago, then amp with floorbaord, then HX effects and have landed with my Fractal AX8.  I'm age 60, in a band but we only gig about 6 times per year, my tech skills are lacking and after a year, i'm ready to throw in the towel on the AX8.  Sounds/presets are amazing but tweaking, investigating on forum, questions, etc too much.  I'm done.  Discovered on fractal all presets require choosing an  IR which I don't need nor want to do.   Want to go back to my HX or pod pro, my killer tube amp and let sound guy put a microphone or two in front of my amp and just freakin play.  Half the gigs we play don't even have a sound guy so we play thru our own equipment.     I just learned that miking an FRFR ruins tones because they have been recored miked with an IR.   I don't want that.  Have developed presets in the past with my HX effects with no IR's and they sound fine.   

All that to say, I only have 3 questions:

1)   Are the presets/tones better in the pod go than the HX effects or vice versa, are presets better in HX effects?     have the been updated or same as hx?

2)   Given my limited tech skills, is the pod go easier to operate than  hx effects or more complicated?  i've watched videos and operation looks fairly similar.  I say my tech skills are weak, however I'm probably more tech savy than i give myself credit for.   Trust me, while all Fractal products are great, they are a beast to operate and require way too much time for me. I've navigated pretty well and created some pretty awesome presets, but I just don't wanna fight it anymore.  I just wanna shut up and play as they say.   I'm done.   Goin back to my HX with my tube amp or will buy the pod go.

3)   Are the presets straight out of the box that Helix designed and installed sufficient or do the majority need tweaking?


Thanks for any and all suggestions, help, etc...       I really appreciate it and look forward to coming back to Helix.     thanks in advance.

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1) The POD Go device includes amp/cab modelling and the HX FX does not so it’s not really an apples to apples comparison. Having said that both devices use the same modelling for the FX blocks. Any difference in the sound you hear will have more to do with your output device - HX FX with real amp vs. POD Go with FRFR. 

2) Again, apples to oranges. The HX FX is designed to replicate a traditional analog pedalboard used with a real amp. The POD Go includes the amp/cab models and is at its best used with an FRFR output. However, I think the POD Go is much easier to use than the AX8.


3) To the ears of most users, all presets suck. That’s not because they are poorly designed but because all the other variables have such an effect on your opinion of the sound (your preferred style/sound, guitar, output mode, room, ...). It’s unlikely that your situation is close to what the preset creator was using and the sound he/she was trying to emulate. However, all factory presets will provide a helpful starting point for tweaking; but you should expect to have to tweak. With the ease of use of the POD Go you should also expect that you will soon be creating your own presets from scratch without much difficulty.

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  • 1 month later...

Tbh, I'd suggest not to buy one and pick up a used 500X and pair that with an external cabinet impulse pedal (Mooer Radar, Hotone Omni IR, Two Notes Torpedo etc). When all said and done can be very similar in Price. Pod Go is a great First time unit if you're getting your feet wet in modeling amps. The Pod HD 500X can run parallel paths and do dual amps + cabs. Pod Go can not do that. 500X has 8 or 10 open blocks that you can anything you want in them. Pod go has 6 locked blocks and 4 open slots. If you like high gain, you need a tube screamer in your patch. Pod Go has no mic input. 500X has that. The cabinet IR pedal can get ya the mic's you want and where you want it. Pod Go allows distance and not axis adjustments.

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Pod Go is very easy to use once you've got the basics and can deliver some stonking tones. It has a great, clear and good size colour display, a built in expression pedal that easily goes from Volume to Wah if you need it, plus footswitches for easy stomp operation.  Plus you have snapshots, accurate tuner, fx loop and all the modelling from Helix (with 3 exceptions) that will sound better than the HD 500. Plus Pod Go is light, and compact. 


Unless you genuinely need sophisticated routing options with dual amps and cabs, go Pod Go. And if you do, I'd personally go Helix LT that you can find used now for not that much more than Pod Go. 


Why are all the Helix LTs hitting the market? Because folk who don't need all the sophisticated stuff are selling to but the simpler, smaller, lighter Pod Go. 


So depends what you need. Prior to Pod Go I was using my trusty Vox Tonelab SE which still sounds darned good, even if it is 2004 tech. But its big, heavy, and I wanted something light, compact, that sounded great, and was as easy to use on stage. So, I got me a Pod Go and it's brilliant...oh, and I'm 63! 

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1) the sounds (being amps, cabs and fx) are 99% the same as the helix family, so helix sound like pod and vice versa for the majority of the cases (on the helix you get go with dual amps and stuff like that, so you would get different tones, in a way). for the pod there have been developed new presets, but again the base sounds are the ones from helix. presets are a good starting point if you don't want to start from scratch. 


2) pod go is easier than every helix device, in my opinion. because it's been design to be a "go and play" unit. 


3) typically you want to tweak presets, because usually they are made to "show off" things... also your ears and equipment are not the same as who made them. so again, they are starting points, but if you are not very picky they might be good for you, at least some of them. 



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