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Helix vs. POD HD500X with DT25


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Hello All,


Apologies, if this has been asked before, I have done some research, haven't found answers to those specific questions.


I recently got Line 6 DT25 amp, which I must admit sounds pretty nice. The high-gain amps are so so, but really enjoy Brit* models. Mostly use the amp for recording using a reactive load box and IRs. I was looking at getting a multi-effect to complement the amp. Initially, I was looking at Helix and Headrush, although it seems that Line 6 multi-effects will have much better integration. Then I have looked at POD HD500X. According to other threads, Helix is better sounding than HD500X, however, I was wondering how does Helix stack up against HD500X used with DT25? I know that both effects can be integrated with the amp, but is the integration quality the same/similar? I believe Helix integration wasn't available prior to a firmware upgrade. Is it worth running either of the units through a tube amp? Some reviews did mentioned that it helps to remove some digital artefacts etc, but not sure how significant that is.



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Hi Lukjan. 


I used to run HD500x to DT25, now I use Helix into DT25. I play live in a function band and need to cover many different sounds and eras of guitar amp. 


The main thing to consider is that the DT25 is a hybrid amp. The pre-amp is digital (either on-board or from the HD500x or Helix) and the power amp is valve.


Both the POD HD and the Helix can be connected via Line6 link to the amp and can then be set up to configure the a digital pre-amp and manipulate the DT25's valve power section patch by patch. For example, you can have a 'Marshall' type pre-amp and try how that sounds with a real class A or class AB power amp section running triode or pentode.(hint: AB Pentode is best).


Both the HD500X and the Helix sound good and tone-wise and there's not that much between them. The Helix has far more it can do in terms of FX and routing and the processor is far more capable. Plus Line6 are still updating regularly. Either one will do you well. I made the change as HD500X is now so old and it is basically a computer - you wouldn't rely on a 10 year old laptop as your main tool.


Not sure about the 'digital artifacts' - there is so much tone shaping power with either solution you can easily dial out any harshness and almost no-one can tell if they are listening to valves or digital, particularly in a mix. If you are recording digitally there's plenty of post production you can do too. When recording you will probably get a more reliable sound using the POD or Helix direct to your DAW rather than using a mic on the DT25.


Hope this helps 

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Hello Fenderflame28,


Thanks for your response. I must admit I am quite surprised to hear that tone-wise they are quite similar. I would assume Helix should be significantly better. I do tend to run simple guitar chains, so unlikely to need advanced routing capabilities, although re-amping would be nice, and it seems HD500x does not have this capability.


With regards to using an amp, I was just wondering whether the power section of the amp would improve the tone. I wouldn't mike the amp, as it would go to load box and then I would just use IRs anyway. Since posting my question, I came across a good video from Pete Thorn, where he feeds the load box back to Helix, that would be pretty nice setup for re-amping.

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Have a listen for yourself - to me they just sounds different. Not sure I can say one is 'better' than the other - it depends what I'm looking for:







A decent cab model or IR (easy in the Helix) will sound better than the 'direct out' on the DT25 and give you much more flexibility.


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Why go through all your HW boxes if your target is recording with IRs, which you probably have already. Have you considered using just Helix Native?

Independent of that, for me there is a significant difference in sound subtleties between Helix and the HD500. I did not hear it as distinctly when I got my LT, but now after I am spoiled I think the Helix is clearly in a different class of sound transparency, not counting all the other goodies you get.


Forgot to mention I also have a DT25, but have not found using it with my LT to be worthwhile after playing straight through a pair of studio monitors. That said, I am a hobby user playing in a smallish room and the story could be different for a small stage environment. 

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I have the HD500x, Helix Floor, and DT25.  I don't use the DT25 much any more.  I use it when I want to get the amp in the room feel sometimes.   When I use either of the multi-effects units, there is a lot of flexibility and the sounds is great.   I have never noticed the digital artifacts other talk about.  I do make sure I am carefully setting up my gain staging of my distortion pedals and the preamp for the guitar I'm using.


If you already have the DT25, you have an idea of what the HD500 is going to sound like.  The preamps in the DT25 come from from the standard HD models, and the reverbs as well.   With our load box and IR loader, you can get a lot of flexibility with the DT25.   Though I might point out that the DT25 has most of that advantage built in.  You can select the output topology and cabinet in the DT25, and that goes to XLR out.  You might get some unexpected variations including the load box.   


The control of the DT25 from both units is very good.  You can set your patches to control everything.


That said.  for the last couple of years I play mostly the Helix Floor through my PowerCab+ 112 and though headrush 112 FRFR speakers more than anything.


Happy playing!

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I have a pod hd500 and a DT25

I have an helix floor


In my opinion hd500 have a better a synergy with dt25 than my helix cause not every parameter are user friendly in thé curent version but Helix direct in PA is unbeatable.


I sold my hd500 and selling my dt25 cause Helix in PA is just insane

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Hi All,


Thanks for your responses. I guess I will have to think this over. If there is no point in running Helix through DT25, I might get away with HX Stomp, as I won't need L6 link. Hopefully, it has just about enough DSP power for my needs.

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