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Helix LT with Roland Jazz 40


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I would like to use my Jazz 40 chorus to run helix mono fx such as volume, eq, and distortion into separate panned left and right Helix preamps then use the Jazz amps stereo effects loop for stereo delays and reverbs.  How do I setup my Helix LT to use it this way?  I’d still like to use the Jazz amps chorus and reverb if I can, but if I can’t, no biggie.

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If I understand you, you're wanting an end-to-end Stereo signal chain.

You should have bought the Helix Floor, which has 4 FX loops.

You need FX Loops 1 and 2 to get the panned Helix amps into the JC40 Inputs in Stereo, and back out to the Helix Returns.

Unless I'm mis-reading the specs, the JC40's FX Loop is not fully Stereo. The SEND is MONO, which would sum the JC40's Stereo Inputs to MONO before sending back to Helix.

Depending upon where exactly in the JC40 signal chain the Line Outs are (Pre or Post FX Loop Returns, my guess is Post), you might be able to use them as the STEREO SENDS (if they're Pre FX Loop), BUT.... 

Irregardless, you then need Helix FX Loops 3 and 4 to get the Helix Stereo FX back to the JC40 in Stereo.

Sorry, it's not going to work.


The best I can suggest is to route around the JC40 Inputs.

Put your Mono FX before the split to Helix Amps, put your Stereo FX after the Mixer Block, then send your L/R Main Outs to the JC40 FX Loop Returns.

That way, you're using the full Helix Amp models (with their power tube emulations and baked in speaker response curves) into the JC40's super clean Stereo Power Amps.

One other advantage here is that you're avoiding the latency inherent in using two FX Loops.

Minor disadvantage - you probably wouldn't be able to use the Roland FX, since all you're using the JC40 for is it's Stereo Power amps and speakers.


EDIT: You can also send you L/R Main Outs to the JC40's Inputs if you want to use it's tone stack and built in FX. This shouldn't color the tone, as there's no preamp tubes. Sort of like sending to a PA. Try it, if it sounds good, it is!

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Thanks for your response.  So basically, just run the 1/4” outs from the Helix and run into just into the left and right return of the jc amp rear effects loop?  Should I use just the Helix preamps, or could I use amp/cab of Helix?

Would this not sound good because of the jc power amp and cabinet?

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You can TRY anything you want, as nothing you do in the digital world will cause the magic smoke to billow forth from your equipment.

I RECOMMEND that you use the FULL Helix Amps WITHOUT Cabs, out the Main Outs and into the JC40 FX Return.

Because the JC series has no tubes in the preamp, and is designed to impart no color of its own (flat), you MIGHT find that it sounds better to run the Helix Outs into the JC40 Stereo Inputs since, if you're not using the JC40 FX Loop, the signal will remain Stereo, and that allows you to use the JC40's tone stack. Try it both ways.


I DON'T recommend that you use the Helix PRE amps (vs FULL amps) in this configuration.

That usually works best with a tube amp using 4cm, as they're meant to replace the PRE amp in the tube amp.

Keep in mind that what makes the JC (JAZZ Chorus) series great amps for jazz is that they are essentially FLAT, solid-state amps.

What goes in is what comes out, only louder.

That's also why they make a great amp for Helix, because you're hearing Helix, uncolored by tubes and the special sauce circuitry that gives each tube amp it's "signature" sound.

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I think what you suggest above - plug into the Helix and basically just use the stereo power section is probably the way to go.

I don't think you will find the Helix chorus models in stereo through the same amp and speakers inferior to the JC - never done it - but that is my suspicion.

Plus you can then control those parameters per patch/snapshot.  I also find mixing effects extends the quality of them - so one of my favourites is to use the harmonic Flanger down the end of my signal chain - so you have a chorus pedal doing the more obvious chorus effect, and the Harmonic flanger after any distortion/amp overdrive just subtly adding more dimension.

In stereo obviously!

Also some delays with modulation do that as well.

I hear stuff about delay based effects not being as good as this or that pedal, but it always seems to me that the solution is just to use more than one!

Normal thinking would be not to use speaker/cab simulation in this setup............which is where I'd start - but there are no rules, and you might find that a certain speaker sim is just giving you a tasteful midrange push that still works through the JC - so don't think it's wrong, just not likely to produce an accurate model of the speaker you use - but good doesn't have to be accurate - just good to your ears.

Same goes for amp models - they are never going to sound accurate to the amp they are meant to emulate - but they still might sound good.......and probably a very organic way to add overdrive sounds..........again, use your ears - I have used an amp model for a gain pedal before - it's just another alternative.

But start simple and build up your experience of the rig you actually get to know what effect each module can have on the total sound.


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I think JC amplifiers are pretty fantastic for modelers...They are quite hi-fi to start with. I love the 40. It is so handy....I used 120s for a while in the 90s...I think you doing it exactly right...just bang it to the stereo return...done...


I mean you could do 7CM, but even 4CM is more trouble than it's worth IMO...The rivet model is pretty damn good, so I don't think you gain much at all by having the JC preamp available....Sure, it's the real thing....No one will care at the show...and 7 cables is just more points of failure to maintain....Kiss principal is best in this situation IMO...


But.....If I absolutely had to do a 7CM for this, I would get 4 RJ45 4 channel stage boxes and build them into the board and amp so I could use 2 CAT6 cables to get the 7CM going and it leaves a number 8 to cover to switches...that would be fairly simple, but a little work to build the pedalboard(2xrj45) and amp(2xrj45) to make it plug and play...

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