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Algomas

Helix LI6 and powercab pre amp instead of amp?

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According to the manual one should use pre amps instead of amps when using a powercab and the Li6 link. 
I cant get the sound from sounding dull for some reason so I might try this although I havent seen any presets using pre amps..only the amps..which make me wonder..

 

Hence for the users with a similar setup: what are yr thoughts on this? 

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First, I'm sorry I can't help with your question because I wasn't aware that this was the case (pre-amps with LINK and Powercab).  Could you tell me which manual this was in?  The Helix or the Powercab manual?  I somehow missed this.  Thanks in advance.

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On second thought,  are you sure  the manual didn't say to use an amp without a cab rather than a preamp?

 

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https://nl.line6.com/data/6/0a020a40c8225fb6a48986968/application/pdf/Helix LT 3.0 Owner's Manual - Rev C - English .pdf
page 29:

 

When using the L6 LINK Out, often, the Helix LT Preamp models are a better choice than Amp or Amp+Cab models, allowing you to adjust the power amp and speaker cab options offered by the Powercab or DT units to taste

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OK - so the power amp options are only available with the DT units, the Power cab has a poweramp but its 'transparent' and not configurable, it also has speaker models.

 

So an 'ideal' way to do this would be

 

  • Helix Amp model + Helix Cab to FRFR mode
  • Helix Amp model to PC speaker mode
  • Helix pre-amp model to DT (the have valvle power amp and a normal 12" speaker)

However you can mix and match any of the options and (for me) I really enjoy amp models (not preamp) into my DT25s for stage, split before cab models in the Helix.  The post cabs sounds go to FoH and in ears and is the same as what I would send to Powercabs in FRFR mode.  I can also use the L6 Link Split to run PCs in speaker model mode.

 

Bottom line - do what sounds good to you, and be prepared for your idea of what sounds good to change the more familiar you become with the options and the tools.

 

1 hour ago, Algomas said:

https://nl.line6.com/data/6/0a020a40c8225fb6a48986968/application/pdf/Helix LT 3.0 Owner's Manual - Rev C - English .pdf
page 29:

 

When using the L6 LINK Out, often, the Helix LT Preamp models are a better choice than Amp or Amp+Cab models, allowing you to adjust the power amp and speaker cab options offered by the Powercab or DT units to taste

 

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40 minutes ago, waymda said:

OK - so the power amp options are only available with the DT units, the Power cab has a poweramp but its 'transparent' and not configurable, it also has speaker models.

+1

I suggest there is some editing needed in this area of the TIPS section on page 29 in the HX LT v3.0 Owners Manual.
 
Awhile back I read a topic here where someone brought our attention to the next paragraph in this section of the last manual:
Powercab Plus users can also utilize the IR and Reverb options available on the
Powercab, thereby alleviating the need to add IR or Reverb blocks within their
Helix LT presets!
 
As pointed out in the thread I referred to and as a Powercab+ user...there is no REVERB in the Powercab.
So, whoever wrote the copy for this part of the manual messed up 2 points and it didn't get caught by proof readers and still hasn't been corrected by Line 6.
Not a big deal IMHO.
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When using L6 Link to a Powercab Plus model (I have PC212), you can do whatever sounds best to you.

 

BUT.....

 

The USUAL ways (include a screenshot of the manual page if it says otherwise) are:

 

Use an Amp WITH Cab or IR in FRFR MODE.

OR

Use an Amp WITHOUT cab/IR in SPEAKER MODE.

OR

Use an Amp WITHOUT cab/IR ON HELIX, in USER IR MODE, with an IR loaded on the Powercab.

 

The only time that using a PREAMP is recommended is when using Helix into a Tube Amp Return, as you only do that when you want the sound of the Tube Amp's Power Amp. and using a FULL Helix Amp would color that in an in-authentic way. That said, I almost always use a FULL AMP into the return of my 6v6 Tube Amp (on those rare occasions when I use it), because I find that the PREAMP models sound thin and nasty (not nasty in a good way).

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After much experimentation, I have found using an Amp model without a cab in conjunction with a real tube preamp on an effect loop into the PowerCab to be a really nice sound.  Also, just a real tube preamp directly into the powercab without any Helix amp/preamp/cab models at all is excellent as well.  If you are just going to use Helix w/o an external tube preamp, I think the Amp models do a better job then just the Preamp models.  Just how I hear it, YMMV.

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tnx for all the responses! I'm a newby and learning fast because of you!


I'm a bit surprised so many people seem to use the pc in frfr mode instead of using the speaker sims or irs though.

Does this still get the amp in the room feel when playing with a band?


Also, I've noticed the global eq doesn't work when using the l6 link cable so I guess I should have a starting eq block to cut lows and highs in each preset? Or is it better to have the low&high cuts in the end? eg in the output block or l6.

I'm leaning towards in front of the chain because that way I can tweak the guitar output as well. My esp ltd eclipse 300 sounds a bitt dull...might be because of the emg-hz humbuckers..

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6 hours ago, Algomas said:

I'm a bit surprised so many people seem to use the pc in frfr mode instead of using the speaker sims or irs though.

Does this still get the amp in the room feel when playing with a band?

 

It's just a matter of preference. FRFR mode will provide more of the "finished" tone, but some players prefer that.... me being one of them. 

Other players love that "amp in the room" sound.... no problem, that's why the PC's have different options. 

 

6 hours ago, Algomas said:

Also, I've noticed the global eq doesn't work when using the l6 link cable so I guess I should have a starting eq block to cut lows and highs in each preset?

 

To each his own... but I have never, and would never use the global EQ as part of my core tone. It's purpose is to be corrective... only when required. 

I don't know why L6 Link is not an option with the Global EQ. I believe the DT would not require it, but the PC could benefit from it in bad rooms. 

 

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55 minutes ago, codamedia said:

 

To each his own... but I have never, and would never use the global EQ as part of my core tone. It's purpose is to be corrective... only when required. 

I don't know why it L6 Link is not an option with the Global EQ. I believe the DT would not require it, but the PC could benefit from it in bad rooms. 

 

 

You can read about that (the global eq on L6 Link) on this thread:

But in short, it has to do with overall DSP availability.

 

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4 hours ago, Algomas said:

I'm a bit surprised so many people seem to use the pc in frfr mode instead of using the speaker sims or irs though.

Does this still get the amp in the room feel when playing with a band?

 

"Amp In The Room" (AITR)

Most people who get hung up on this are actually saying that they prefer the sound of their tube amps over modelers.

Powercab is an AMP. If you play it in a room, that's AITR.

As codamedia said, it's just a different sounding amp.

 

4 hours ago, Algomas said:

I should have a starting eq block to cut lows and highs in each preset? Or is it better to have the low&high cuts in the end? eg in the output block or l6.

 

Forumites have all sorts of opinions. Opinions are subjective (DUH!). Some people need 5 eqs and 3 compressors to get a sound that's pleasing TO THEM. Some people are just fine with the amp's tonestack. The Helix cabs have default hi/lo cuts at 80hz and 8khz. A good IR shouldn't need them. The only time I use an eq block is to get a specific sound.

 

As mentioned, the Global eq is a situational tool. You get to the gig, it's a really dead room and all your presets sound dead. Global eq to the rescue!

 

I agree, Global eq should be available on L6 Link. Go to Ideascale, search "Global eq" and vote for it. Vote for ALL of the requests posted by all the people who didn't bother to search before posting. As DI said in the referenced thread, it's like adding a Block to every preset, uses DSP. I'd still like the option.

 

Look up Jason Sadites on YouTube. He has (IMO) the best vids on "dialing in" Helix.

 

4 hours ago, Algomas said:

might be because of the emg-hz humbuckers..

 

I've heard that about those. If those are ACTIVE pups, then the Helix Input Impedance feature won't work properly. You should try setting it (Input Impedance - in the Input Block of your presets) to 1M Ohm, which is what they would encounter going direct into an amp. The default is AUTO, which could have unexpected results with active pups and certain FX. Also, make sure the batteries in the guitar are always fully charged. I hate active pups.

 

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I think I read the Helix Aux input (instead of the normal guitar input) works better with active pick-ups.

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On 1/30/2021 at 12:31 PM, rd2rk said:

 

 

"Amp In The Room" (AITR)

Most people who get hung up on this are actually saying that they prefer the sound of their tube amps over modelers.

Powercab is an AMP. If you play it in a room, that's AITR.

As codamedia said, it's just a different sounding amp.

 

 

...

 

 

The whole Helix is like a studio recording(true to some extent) vs. AITR sound is truly the discussion that keeps on giving. The AITR sound may be tube amps as you point out or can also be the old familiar and limited frequency range and response of the typical guitar cab. Most guitarists are aware that guitar cabs do not traditionally have high frequency drivers as do PowerCabs or many other FRFR offerings.

 

If you are used to listening to your sound live with a PA, unless you use IEMs, then you really get used to a PA+Amp in the room sound(PAITR). A combination of a guitar cab behind you and the reflected sound of the PA off the venue's walls, floor and ceiling as well as peripheral projection from the PA's speakers with the possible addition of a wedge monitor in front of you as well.  Never hear anyone around here calling for PAITR though. Really just wanted an acronym I could call my own :-) 

 

When you think about it a Helix used with a guitar cab(without a high frequency driver) behind you with a separate modeled cab/mic feed to the PA can be pretty indistinguishable when set up properly from the old traditional tube amp setups miked to the PA.  Conversely the benefit of using an FRFR as your backline monitor is that you get a better sense of what the audience is hearing but lose more of the traditional AITR sound.  You can really go down the rabbit hole with this stuff. Ultimately it is a matter of taste and what "feels" right to you.

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