Jump to content
gjbellaby

Powercab or FRFR speaker?

Recommended Posts

I have looked through the forum at all of the various threads surrounding this topic but I'm still finding myself undecided. Normally at this point I would just go to a retailer and try out the alternatives but, given the current situation, it's just not going to be possible for me. I want a FRFR speaker or amplifier for my Helix. If I ever do get to play with a band again then it'll only be small venues so it doesn't have to be loud.

 

I think I've narrowed it down to either getting a HeadRush FRFR-112 or Line 6 Powercab 112 Plus.  Part of the problem is the significant difference in price. The Powercab 112 Plus is over twice the price of the HeadRush FRFR-112 (£619.00 and £262.00 respectively).

 

Is there anything that significantly justifies the difference in price?

 

I also considered just getting a PA speaker (e.g. the Yamaha DBR10 Active PA Speaker at £299.00 and the JBL Professional EON One at £439.00), but I think I've ruled this out.

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course opinions are like rear ends, but here's mine - Without knowing what kind of music you play or your playing environments, there's only 3 possible choices in my opinion.  The PC+, Line 6 Stagesource (with optional on-board mixer and acoustic guitar feature), or the Mission FRFR.  Based upon your budget description, the PC+ is the clear winner and the Mission is right out by a long shot.  In my opinion the Helix with the PC+ is as though a lost child found its mother.  As a long time photographer, I still remember when digital finally crossed the line where it was a true competitor with film.  The PC+ concept in general and any other models of its kind that may have popped up since (or any improvements made upon it to come) is the final piece of thread that actually ties the whole digital amp/cab concept together.   Both the PC+ and the Line 6 Stagesource also make the best acoustic guitar amplifiers I've ever played on.   might be a better choice I've got the PC+112 and 3 Stagesource speakers of various types/sizes and if I had to choose between them strictly for use with my Helix, the PC+ is the winner hands-down.  But if you play a super loud music genre in large live settings then the 212 version of PC+ or the other options I mentioned should easily suffice for on-stage monitoring although you've completely blown your budget.  That said, the most important (and expensive) lesson I've learned is that NO speaker system, IR, or purchased preset you've heard on a YouTube video is going to sound ANYTHING like you had hoped until you create a separate tweaked preset for literally every guitar you own, style of music you play, size/type of room/environment, etc.  And by the time you learn how to "tweak" your purchased presets on the Helix to suit these factors, you find that you could have just created the preset yourself to start with, or often could have gotten the sound you were looking for from a pc of equipment you already owned all along.  But there has never been a "one size fits all" setup in the analog amp/pedalboard world and there's not one for the digital mod world either.  This is also absolutely true of the budget thing.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, gjbellaby said:

I have looked through the forum at all of the various threads surrounding this topic but I'm still finding myself undecided. Normally at this point I would just go to a retailer and try out the alternatives but, given the current situation, it's just not going to be possible for me. I want a FRFR speaker or amplifier for my Helix. If I ever do get to play with a band again then it'll only be small venues so it doesn't have to be loud.

 

I think I've narrowed it down to either getting a HeadRush FRFR-112 or Line 6 Powercab 112 Plus.  Part of the problem is the significant difference in price. The Powercab 112 Plus is over twice the price of the HeadRush FRFR-112 (£619.00 and £262.00 respectively).

 

Is there anything that significantly justifies the difference in price?

 

Well you're really comparing apples and oranges. The Powercab does lots of things that a typical FRFR speaker does not, namely the IR loading capability (which can free up DSP in the Helix itself), and the on-board cabinet modeling (that's somehow different than using an IR, don't ask me how) which allows for more of the traditional "amp in the room" feel that lots of players lament losing when going digital. So that's what you're paying for...whether or not those features are something you need/ want is entirely up to you.

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but the FRFR-112 is, in essence, a PA speaker.  Granted it's a significantly diminished PA speaker functionally, but it follows the same basic design principles as other speakers like the DBR10, just without all of the DSP contouring features.

As is always the case, you get exactly what you pay for generally.  The powercab has some useful Helix oriented features and uses a coax speaker rather than the speaker and horn arrangement on a powered speaker.  All of the options should work fine for you, but you'll still need to make the adjustment from a traditional speaker cabinet to a FRFR style arrangement.  The Powercab might make this transition a bit easier simply because of it being in the form factor of a speaker cabinet.

In general loudness shouldn't be a problem with any of these options unless you're dealing with undisciplined musicians that have no sense or control over how they play.  The one clear advantage powered FRFR speakers have over the Powercab is that the design of a FRFR speaker is such that it projects a consistent sound across a wide horizontal axis and is designed to project further simply because that's whats needed to cover the audience.  This can be to your advantage if you mount it on a shorter stand behind you in you backline as it will have the same effect as you would have if you were to plug your Helix into the PA as far as audience coverage.  I always mount my Yamaha DXR12 behind me in the backline whether I'm going through a PA or not and it works consistently in both small and larger venues.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the above.

AND, to further complicate your decision making process, I have both the PC112+ AND the FRFR112. While I prefer the PC112+ over the FRFR112, the best sound I get is using them together! If you run the XLR from the PC112+ to the FRFR112 (or likely any other PA type speaker) you get a good approximation of what the audience hears.

That said, the FRFR112 is not a bad choice on it's own, but if you can afford the PC112+, go for it!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may also consider what you actually want to achieve. I personally use an Alto TS308, which is like the little brother of the Headrush 112. It is not perfect and other more expensive speakers like the Yamaha's that DunedinDragon uses will (should!) sound much better. The point for me is that I want to be able to dial in tones at home that accurately enough represent what any audience will hear through a PA. In other words, when on stage (let's hope that happens again soon ...) I don't rely on the Alto as a main source of amplification, at most a bit of support or a monitor; in fact I might not even use/need it (I'm moving to IEM soon).

 

If, however I would want to use my onstage sound as the only/main sound for guitar then the Alto might not be enough and I would be looking into something like the Powercab. But I agree, these are expensive .... Very recently Harley Benton has released a 212 FRFR cabinet for about 300 Euro. On paper this may look like a nice alternative to the Powercab although it seems to lack the co-axial speakers and the integrated IR modelling (which is a feature that makes no sense to me; I use pretty straightforward presets and have never run out of DSP in the Helix; moreover I usually add some effects after the IR/ Cab block)

 

If I were you I'd probably spend the money on the 112 (or the 108) and try it for some time. If it really doesn't work then either send the speaker back or sell them and move to the more expensive PC+ solution.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you to everyone who has replied. These were incredibly helpful posts and I really appreciate the time you took to help me out.

 

I'll  buy the PC112+ . :¬)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Hillman1312 said:

...

 

If I were you I'd probably spend the money on the 112 (or the 108) and try it for some time. If it really doesn't work then either send the speaker back or sell them and move to the more expensive PC+ solution.

 

 

That's also a really good suggestion. I'll have a chat with a couple of retailers and see what's possible. Thank you.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...