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Catalyst vs DT25 vs FRFR


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I've been using my Helix into FX loop return of my Evolution Amber 40C (great polish solid state but tuuuuby sounding amp) with the speaker replaced with a "FRFR" for guitar modelers - Celestion F12-X200. It sounds killer!


I'm considering purchasing Catalyst or a DT25 as I'm going to be recording live with video and the producer wants us to have traditional amps and mikes in studio. Which one would you recommend more - DT25 or a Catalyst 60? The other guitaris in a band will be playing high end traditional amp - a Friedman or Two Rock so I have to have best posiible sound I can get to be on pair soundwise with that guy.


We will be playing pop rock (cleans+drives and one heavy rock song) - these are some of the songs (I'm playing white PRS and a tele - they were recorded directly via Helix):





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I had a DT25, and still have a DT50, and just got a Catalyst 100. If you're in a band with other high end guitar amps, I would go for the DT25 or 50. The have great tube tone with the Helix, especially since you can run a AES/EBU cable and run the Helix amps into the DT25 power amp directly. Plus using Helix Edit, you can configure the output stage of the DT to match the Helix amp- Class A or AB, Fender, Marshall, Vox, Mesa topology, and Triode or pentode mode. I've been doing this for years and it's awesome.


That said, the DT amps are heavy, and the Catalyst is light and sounds very good, so the decision is ultimately yours.

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I wonder why they want you to use an amp and not what you have... but anyway..


I had 2 DT25's and absolutely loved them.... except, for me, they were very flakey.   I had both worked on several times and had to have the tubes replaced and biased.  That is a pain.  Also, one of my DT25's bricked when I was trying to upgrade it to v 2.0 so I could use it with the helix. I had a HD500x that I used for years before the helix.


I got the PC+ 212 and I am very happy with that.  I also have a PC+112 that I use for small rooms.  They both sound great to me!  


Good Luck!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've done all three. Helix to DT25, Helix to FRFR, Helix to Catalyst.


Let me answer this in a way that might be a little different: let's talk about YOU.


First off, the DT25 is a dead product to Line6. It's pretty awesome to use with the Helix-- from preset to preset or even snapshot to snapshot you can control the output stage of the DT25. You can get some killer tones for sure. But there's no support for it any more. If it breaks, you're stuck looking for donor parts. ALSO.... the DT25 will always color your tones with its own output section. If you're in a cover band situation we're you're trying to match other people's tones you'll always be compensating for the DT25. I chased that wild goose for two years. But if you're creating your own tones and will love whatever you have dialed in? The DT25 is a killer amp with the Helix and L6 link.


FRFR: I use a QSC CP12 with 12" speaker. In short, it's amazing. Using stock amps and cabs I get all the tones I want and have a MUCH easier time matching versus the DT25. Yes, I can literally watch a rig rundown on Youtube, set up the same blocks on the Helix and have the tone 85% there. That takes some practice as well. I'm getting better at it. Once you get used to the Helix and really start to understand how it all works a LOT of this "tube amp vs modeler" stuff disappears. So much of it is user error, and as people say, the instant you're in a band mix no one could tell the difference anyway.


Catalyst: Lots of good things to say here. First, the Catalyst by itself really IS an amazing amp. The built in amps and effects sound terrific on their own. So if you want just an amp and don't want to lug a lot of equipment you've got that. The power-amp in works as advertised. It's an "uncolored" input for the Helix or whatever monitor you want. That said, you're back to a cabinet again so you'll always have that color in your tones. However.... you don't have the zillion variables that the DT25 has so OCD people have an easier time with the Catalyst. You get what you get. With my Helix, it sounds great. I just prefer the absolute simplicity of the CP12. Of course the Catalyst is a current product from Line 6 so there should be firmware updates, etc, for it.


Hope that helps.



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