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andredainez

Considering upgrading from Pod Go to Helix

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Hi there!

 

I have a Pod Go for about one year and have been loving the form factor of the unit, but I am having some GAS for upgrading for a Helix (I absolutely fell in love with the HX modelling tones). I would like to ask the opinion of those that have or had both units, if possible!

 

Unfortunately, here in Brazil, the Helix is very expensive and, for buying one, I would have to sell the Pod Go.

 

I use the Pod Go to record myself, as an audio device, and for playing live, as a standalone processor or with my amp in 4CM.

 

I love the Pod Go's format, size (it fits in my guitar bag) and don't feel limited at all by the signal path, what makes me want to upgrade to the Helix is basically two things: the increased oversampling (does it makes a difference enough?) and, most of all that, when using the Pod Go in 4CM, i notice a loss of high end in the guitar DI, when compared to direct signal or with my analog pedalboard. I wonder if the Helix have better converters on the input that would eliminate this problem and allow me to sell my analog pedalboard (that I still use when reamping or using my amp in the studio). 

 

Thanks guys!

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Strictly IMO... because I do not own a POD Go. 

  1. I don't believe you will notice a big enough difference in the "oversampling". I'm not even sure I noticed a definite difference in the latest update(s). I think this is one of those 5% better things that is really, really hard to put a finger on. 
  2. Does the Helix have better converters? I doubt that... but maybe someone else will know better than I do. 

The Helix has double the power and far more flexibility than the POD Go but I really don't believe the Helix sounds better, it just has more options and capabilities... which COULD result in better tones. 

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There is also a workflow aspect to consider.  Helix has very little constraint on your workflow - almost complete freedom means you can quite easily make it sound pretty awful* - whereas the POD Go seems from the spec to be more on rails which means you're more likely to get something sounding good without needing to understand precisely what's going on.

(If you have a powerful enough computer) You might try the demo version of the Helix plugin and see if you can get on with it first?

Steve

*for some given definition of awful - you might hate what I love and vice-versa!

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Hi, Brazilian here.

 

The Helix is rather expensive indeed. I bough a new LT for R$ 9600, but the prices can be much higher. I come from an HD500X (and a POD X3 Live before that), so the size wasn't much of an issue to me. It's a big and heavy unit, though.

 

I also use the Helix LT as an audio device (at home) and for playing live, but straight to the mixing desk, not with a real amp. It requires time and dedication, but you can get pretty much any tone you want. Honestly, the oversampling will make no difference to your ears.

 

As for the analog pedalboard, I got rid of mine several years ago. Using a single digital unit for everything is way easier, and I strongly suggest this approach. The Helix converters are as good as they can be.

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Hi! First of all, thank you for taking your time to answer!

I already used the demo version of Helix Nativein the past but, by your reports, I think that the oversampling, isolately, would not make that much of a difference...

 

As for the flexibility, the option to use dual amps is something I would really like, but I am very satisfied with the tones of the Pod.

 

As for the converters question, I did some testing yesterday and noticed that putting a buffer pedal before the Pod prevents the high end loss. So maybe it don't have any relation to the analog to digital conversion. More than that, maybe it's possible that, if I do upgrade to Helix, I still experience the same behaviour.

 

Do you guys notice any high end loss when plugin the helix or pod send into the amp input compared to the guitar straight into the amp? It is a subtle difference, for sure, but I wonder now if if it have to do with my amps input impedance or something like this...

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Whenever I create a preset on my Helix Floor I save a copy of it in another Folder.  I do that in HX-Edit because I have not yet sussed out how to do it directly on the unit.   I don't know enough about Pod Go to know if they have folders or not.  All of my presets in folder 1 are duplicated in folder 2 with the exact same bank/preset locations and the same names and snapshots, same everything.  That way I can adjust a preset in one folder for plugging straight into my interface and tweak the other for use with the guitar amplifier.  Doing this allows me to instantly compensate for any of those EQ differences you are worried about.  I just find it easier doing it this way than changing a preset's settings back and forth.  Changing folders is a pretty simple operation.  Setting up each preset twice for different applications is a little tedious at first but once that job is done I just change folders as needed and boom, I'm ready to rock.

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9 hours ago, andredainez said:

I did some testing yesterday and noticed that putting a buffer pedal before the Pod prevents the high end loss. So maybe it don't have any relation to the analog to digital conversion. More than that, maybe it's possible that, if I do upgrade to Helix, I still experience the same behaviour.

 

Yes - I do suspect you will see the same (or very similar) behaviors. 

 

I don't know about the POD Go, but the Helix has several options for fixed input impedance, or two options for "auto" impedance. The AUTO settings simulates the first effect on a pedal board interacting with the guitar... or you can just set it as FIXED (eg: 1M) which would be the same as plugging into most amps. 

 

Does the POD Go have these options? If so, have you set them up accordingly? FWIW, I always set mine up "fixed" at 1M... although that is not without compromise. 

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12 hours ago, MGW-Alberta said:

Whenever I create a preset on my Helix Floor I save a copy of it in another Folder.  I do that in HX-Edit because I have not yet sussed out how to do it directly on the unit.   I don't know enough about Pod Go to know if they have folders or not.  All of my presets in folder 1 are duplicated in folder 2 with the exact same bank/preset locations and the same names and snapshots, same everything.  That way I can adjust a preset in one folder for plugging straight into my interface and tweak the other for use with the guitar amplifier.  Doing this allows me to instantly compensate for any of those EQ differences you are worried about.  I just find it easier doing it this way than changing a preset's settings back and forth.  Changing folders is a pretty simple operation.  Setting up each preset twice for different applications is a little tedious at first but once that job is done I just change folders as needed and boom, I'm ready to rock.

 

Thanks for the advice! It makes sense to use EQ to compensate for these high frequency loss! I will try that tonight. I am not with my Pod at the moment, but for what I remember there are just 2 folders: factory and user, but I have a lot of empty presets, still.

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3 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

Yes - I do suspect you will see the same (or very similar) behaviors. 

 

I don't know about the POD Go, but the Helix has several options for fixed input impedance, or two options for "auto" impedance. The AUTO settings simulates the first effect on a pedal board interacting with the guitar... or you can just set it as FIXED (eg: 1M) which would be the same as plugging into most amps. 

 

Does the POD Go have these options? If so, have you set them up accordingly? FWIW, I always set mine up "fixed" at 1M... although that is not without compromise. 

 

Thanks for the answer! Yes, I suspect the change will be the same. The Pod Go input impedance is fixed at 1M and, when comparing the guitar plugged direct into the amp to the signal passing through the Pod (either the amp out or the fx send) there is a little high frequency roll-off starting about 1,5 khz in my setup. It's subtle but, in the clean channel of the amp or when recording a DI through a direct box in a studio my band recorded, it's there. I don't know if this happen on the Helix too, but by your answers, I think it would have the same behaviour with me.

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I moved from Pod GO to HX stomp XL. I don't need a full helix or lt...a bit too big for my needs. I did a lot songwriting demos with the GO and it works wonderfully. The only annoyance for me was having to spin up patches in native. My main reason for moving was I needed midi to integrate some other bits....stomp xl layout is basically a GO without an expression pedal and I do think it sounds better overall than the GO...maybe it's converters, maybe it's a placebo.

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8 hours ago, andredainez said:

The Pod Go input impedance is fixed at 1M and, when comparing the guitar plugged direct into the amp to the signal passing through the Pod (either the amp out or the fx send) there is a little high frequency roll-off starting about 1,5 khz in my setup. It's subtle but, in the clean channel of the amp or when recording a DI through a direct box in a studio my band recorded, it's there.


Well... considering I don't plug my Helix into an Amp I honestly don't know if the Helix does this or not.  The one thing I can say is I don't get caught up on the little things.... for me it's about end tone. If I get a great tone out of something I wouldn't care if a slight amount of highs are sucked out.... but I would care about a slight amount of highs being sucked out if the resulting tone was not good :)  

 

Obviously, the POD Go requires one more cable to reach the amp... have you actually checked to make sure it isn't the extra cable that causing this slight loss of high end? Cables are notorious for sucking high end, often in unpredictable manners. 

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Oversampling can be heard.  It's not necessarily "better", but there is a sonic difference.  Sort-of like it's more "crisp".  You can also only really hear it in isolation.  In the mix it makes almost no difference.  Like if you export your track as a wav file or a high-quality mp3 -- sounds almost the same. 

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Thanks for all the answers!

 

I think that, based on what I read here, the Helix would be an upgrade more on the flexibility than on my existing presets sounding better.

 

I think I will stick to the Pod Go until I can afford the Helix, since it's working well.

 

Thanks for all the help!!

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