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(practice with band) Connecting Helix Stomp to transistor small guitar amp?


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Hi everyone!


This is my first post. I'm about to buy Line 6 Helix Stomp. Its gonna be my first digital unit and I'm new in this digital business. 

Is there any possibility to connect Helix to transistor guitar amp while we practicing with band? I have 2 options: smaller Marshall Lead 12 or Fender Frontman 25R. We play melo death metal and another guitar player has got tube amp (bugera) + Laboga 4x12 v30 cab. I imagine that on gigs in the future I will send DI signal to soundman and thats it.

I expect that sound that's coming helix (with its cabs simulations) will be modernized by this build-in speaker, but I can handle that before I collect founds for buying some FRFR column.

But is it loud enough to play with that anothers guitar pack or should I consider buying active column now?

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The Helix isn't really in charge of the volume as it's just a preamp.  Performance or stage volume is entirely up to your output device capabilities.  I assume you understand the preset you use with the Marshall or Fender won't need to use the cab simulations or IRs, but those will be necessary once you go to a mixing board.  That might make things a little dicey to get your sound dialed in correctly without a FRFR that would simulate the performance of a PA before actually going on stage into a PA.

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Going straight in the front of those amps isn”t ideal.. I have a fender deluxe 90 transistor amp and it has a power amp input/return on the rear of the amp.. if I go into that from my helix it sounds a lot better than if I go in the front. If both those amps have return inputs at the back I’d try using them both together, spread the load a bit .. the helix is pretty versatile.

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Thank you gus for your feedback. After making additinal research I must say that I dont wont to usa that solution with small combo amp.

Now I'm wondering about 2 other solutions with helix stomp:

1) guitar -> helix -> active speaker/monitor

2) guitar -> helix -> amp(with fx loop, send/return, 4 cables) -> guitar cab


Solution nr 1 is more elastic and generally smaller, but I'm afraid about differences beetween active column sound and my teammate classic amp+cab setup. Is that make sens?  Do I found big differences here? This speaker will be my setup for practicing and could be my monitor on gigs.


Solution nr 2, here I need to buy additional big amp with fx loop and cab. I understand that speakers will disturb simulations from helix because of their specification. much more stuff but I can like this solution if you tell me that this kind of sound will be much better (better - I mean classic like classic setup amp+cab) than solution 1 with FRFR.


I wondering about that because sound from helix with specific simulation and sound from amp+cabinet without mic are not similiar in real situations like practicing as I understand. 


I am more familiar with nr 1. What do yout think?


PS: Helix Stomp bought!!! 

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Everyone has their preferences in these two scenarios, so it's really up to what YOU need and want.

I personally prefer my Helix direct into a powered speaker (Yamaha DXR12) because it best represents the sound I will get when I'm live going through a PA.  This makes it much easier for me when I'm dialing in my tones to have confidence when I get to the gig as well as getting a good stage mix with the rest of the band.  Not having the traditional amp and cabinet setup doesn't really bother me at all.  What bothers me more is not knowing if what I'm hearing on stage is significantly different than what's being mixed for the audience at the PA.

It's not that solution number 2 will disturb the simulations or modeling, it will just represent them differently because of the mechanics involved.  But that can be compensated for in your preset if you send a separate signal direct to a PA at a gig which has all the traditional FRFR configuration in it and are just using the amp for stage sound.  However, given the limitations of the stomp I'm not sure how viable that is.

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Personally, I love the sound of vintage amps. These sounds are heavily influenced by power amp saturation. It's a glorious thing with it's compression and roar. The accurate modeling of this phenomenon is the strength of the Helix imho as well as the fact that I can get it at any volume.

I think some of that strength gets lost when a real tube power amp is put behind this. It's like coloring a already colored picture. Therefore I would use the preamp versions of the amp models into a power amp / FX return. But then the power amp saturation gets lost, or I have to push the real amp which in most cases is too loud.

So I go the FRFR route and I'm happy with that. Although I admit that I have not found my perfect solution for stage/band practice. At home through my Neumann studio monitors it's PERFECT.


If you're a rock/metal guy and only use amps like Friedmans, Engls, Revvs, 5150s you mightl think differently since those amps shape most of their sound in the preamp and sound great at any (master) volume.

Also if you're a pedal guy and only use the pedal and fx models. Then you only need a clean/edge of breakup amp to get great sounds.

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