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Helix in 2021, Just For Fun. What's Your Favorite Amp Sim?


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They've added so much since Helix first debuted. Just for fun talking points, with the current firmware and all the new models, which ones are your favorites? I find myself coming back to the Placater, both clean and dirty, more and more. I like the consistency of the gain staging when switching from clean, crunch to metal with that one in snapshots. They just seem to flow into each other better when it's technically the same amp IMO. I hope they do more of the multiple amp channels thing in the future. I mean, we still only have one rectifier and TBH, it's not that great lol. What's your thoughts?

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Which ever one best suits the sound I want for any given song would be my favorite at that moment.  That's the reason I have a Helix.

However, there are a handful that I tend to reach for depending on the situation and type of sound I'm after.

Pure Clean - Placater clean, Jazz Rivet. Archetype clean

Edge of Breakup to crunchy - Matchstick, WhoWatt, Princeton, Interstate Zed

In your face Crunch - Soldano, WhoWatt, Archetype, Litigator, Divided Duo

Heavy overdrive chug -  Placater dirty, Brit Plexi Bright

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For live use... I generally stick to the Princeton model with a Celestion Ruby IR. It provides a dynamic, yet thick clean pedal platform. I then use effects/snapshots to alter tones as required. 


In the studio I have many favorites amps.... but I'm kind of old school. Fender, Vox, Marshall! 

  • I use the Princton for my Blackface Fender tones
  • The Essex 30 for my Vox tones. 
  • The Plexi Jumped (quick access to normal and bright) or JCM 800 for my Marshall tones
  • I also really like the WhoWatt model. It's extremely flexible once you dial it in. 

I'll usually use the stock cab for each amp in the studio.... but will most often change the mic to a 121 and pull it back between 4 - 6 inches. 


That doesn't mean I don't reach for others amps... those are just my "go to" amps. 

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My go-tos haven't changed in a long time. Though I like trying out and playing with new ones as they're added, I always seem to return to these. 

Archetype Clean or Litigator for cleans, Litigator for bluesy crunch, and Archetype Lead for anything heavier.

I like the Matchstick when I'm doing something Voxy.


I changed my usual distortion from the Minotaur to the Heir Apparent and a couple other FX changes, but amps are pretty much unchanged. 

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HX Stomp here.


  • Guitar:

Small Tweed A+C

Playing a Les Paul switchable between parallel and series, so clean/crunch is done by its Free-Way switch.

For lead sound just cranking up the Tweed's drive, mid, treble & master up to 10 per FS3.

Playing through an old small active Yamaha PS 212 speaker from my "vaults". Or directly into mixing console. Sounds way better than my crappy 1994 Fender Blues Deluxe, haha…

  • Bass guitar:

A: Del Sol, C: 8x10 Ampeg

Depending on where I can plug it in, I turn the cab on or off.

Playing Ibanez SR1200 or fretless Fender Jazz.

On stage I use my old combo as a monitor, going FX out pre-A+C, and main out post-A+C into PA.


Original reason for my choice being that both amps are quite DSP friendly, leaving enough power on the Stomp for experiments with all the poly brouhaha. But eventually I found a good sound that I like, so I just left it at that.

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It will be interesting to see what's yet to come with future updates for sure. I know we're still supposed to get the other 2 Revv Generator channels, which might make me switch for a bit again lol. There's just something about that Placater Dirty that keeps me coming back though. I just feel like I can dial in any sound I need with that one since it's so versatile!

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I don't know if I have a favorite, but the Cali IV (Mesa Mark IV) has so many different sounds I like.  I think one of the Rhythm channels is what I tend to use.  I can get much of what I like with that one amp.

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