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Helix & PC212+ thoughts?


chris050177
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Hey all, wondered if you could help me out and hopefully give me some advise/feedback on the Helix & PC212+.

I’m looking to finally upgrade from my old Firehawk 1500, which I managed to get some tones out of after some tweaking etc but the lack of any future support has meant I’m looking to move.

I play mainly rock / metal and will only ever use this new rig for home.

 

So I wanted to get some feedback from my fellow line 6 users on what the helix is like with the powercabs as after a lot of research seems to have mixed reviews on sound quality / amp in the room feel etc, I have heard that you need to send a hot signal into the PC+ to get the best.

 

Any thoughts/advice is really appreciated and sure it will sound better than my current rig regardles.

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On 7/19/2022 at 6:25 PM, chris050177 said:

Hey all, wondered if you could help me out and hopefully give me some advise/feedback on the Helix & PC212+.

I’m looking to finally upgrade from my old Firehawk 1500, which I managed to get some tones out of after some tweaking etc but the lack of any future support has meant I’m looking to move.

I play mainly rock / metal and will only ever use this new rig for home.

 

So I wanted to get some feedback from my fellow line 6 users on what the helix is like with the powercabs as after a lot of research seems to have mixed reviews on sound quality / amp in the room feel etc, I have heard that you need to send a hot signal into the PC+ to get the best.

 

Any thoughts/advice is really appreciated and sure it will sound better than my current rig regardles.

 

I dont have the 212+, but I do have two 112+, and I also have a FH1500.

 

FH1500 as FRFR still sounds better to me. Cleaner and brighter than the 112+. But that it's just my personal opinion. I only suggest to try before to buy. ;)

 

Also not sure we can call it as "old". FH1500 launched in 2016, Powercab in 2018. :)

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I had the helix with DT25 (actually HD500x before that).  The DT25 sounded great but was very fragile.  I got the PC112+.  I play with a few bands and we play out a few times a month (not so much after Covid)... style is rock, country rock, etc.   I connect to the PC's using the L6 link and go to FOH from either xlr or 1/4 from the helix (not the PC).  I also have it set so the big knob on the helix controls the digital volume only.  That lets me turn up the PC w/o changing the FOH.  I mainly use the FRFR Raw setting and a 90 cut on bass and 4.2K cut on highs.  I have the volume set at zero up to 2.

 

The PC112+ sounds great, but I wasn't happy with it in a full band situation.  (of course that was user error, but more on that later).  I got the PC212 and was really happy with it in the band situation.  Was definitely loud enough and I loved the tones.  I have since gotten smarter (? :) ) and improved my patches so now either the 112 or 212 work great depending on what I am doing.  My home setup is using the PC112+ stacked on top of the PC212 and have the stereo of the PC212 set to about 115%.  I love that setup for home and have used that setup for larger gigs and for some outdoor (party) gigs where we only mic the vocals.

 

For one band (drums, acoustic, bass, guitar(me)) we use the Bose l1 for monitors (set behind us) and the bose M1 set for the fronts.  I will use the PC112+ in front of me as a monitor, that sounds great and since it is very light, it is easy and fast setup.  Larger gigs I use the PC212 behind me.

 

IMO, the PC212 would be great for your home use.  The stereo width (?) setting is really nice and you can really hear the separation.  Some say you need two PC112+ to really get that seperation, but I'm not really sure how much better two amps are expecially when you factor in the cost.  You do have to provide a good signal to the PC to get the best sounds, however, IMO playing from home is not going to make that much difference.  It really depends on how loud you are playing at home.  Of course you should always tweak your patches at gig playing level, but if you are playing from home, gig level is probably lower!   I say that because in my experience, when I am at home I have the big knob around 12 to 1 oclock..... gig level turns that up to almost master.... and the sound is great at both levels.

 

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to give some context to my opinions.... I really love my setup!  I have spent a lot of time "tweaking", but I really love doing that as well.... and to be honest, most of the tweaking is probably not necessary because the tones I start with are usually really good!

 

 

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On 7/19/2022 at 6:54 PM, chris050177 said:

Thanks for the feedback, what’s it like using the speaker models / amp in the room?

Fair point on the ‘old’ comment ;-)

 

If you are not expecting it to sound like a 4x12, then it should be fine. :) For sure (still to my ears), when used as speaker simulation, sounds more convincing than when used as FRFR, so maybe it would work good for you. Im using them as FRFR because I do also run synth sh*t through them, so speaker sim isnt an option for me. :(

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On 7/19/2022 at 10:25 AM, chris050177 said:

Hey all, wondered if you could help me out and hopefully give me some advise/feedback on the Helix & PC212+.

I’m looking to finally upgrade from my old Firehawk 1500, which I managed to get some tones out of after some tweaking etc but the lack of any future support has meant I’m looking to move.

I play mainly rock / metal and will only ever use this new rig for home.

 

So I wanted to get some feedback from my fellow line 6 users on what the helix is like with the powercabs as after a lot of research seems to have mixed reviews on sound quality / amp in the room feel etc, I have heard that you need to send a hot signal into the PC+ to get the best.

 

Any thoughts/advice is really appreciated and sure it will sound better than my current rig regardles.

 

I have the PC212+ and Helix Floor. Here's my advice/comments:

 

If you like your Firehawk, keep it.

 

L6 Link does not always work the way it's supposed to (for speaker control, but Audio is fine). MIDI is more consistent/dependable for speaker control.

The Powercab line, to all appearances, is abandonware. Don't expect updates or even bug fixes.

Don't expect answers from L6 about anything.

Don't expect support (normally very helpful and knowledgeable) to know what they're talking about re Powercab.

Much discussion about this on TGP in the D&M forum.

 

If you disable the HF Driver it sounds like an amp in the room. Otherwise it sounds like FRFR.

My preference if using IRs is LF RAW mode (HF Driver OFF, no speaker EQ) or LF FLAT mode (HF Driver OFF, speaker EQ'd FLAT).

Using MIDI you can use FRFR mode (HF Driver ON) with the HF Driver level set to taste.

Very flexible, just don't count on L6 Link except for Audio.

 

If you think of the speaker emulations as "Speaker 1", "Speaker 2" etc vs V30, GB etc you'll be happier.

 

The stereo spread is surprisingly good, and it excels at ambient stuff. I like to use it at 200% spread with my Catalyst100 up top as the DRY component of a W/D/W configuration. Sounds VERY COOL!

 

There's an Input LED next to the Output Volume knob.

For best results, your LOUDEST, most aggressive playing with your LEAD BOOST ON should drive that LED into the Amber with MAYBE VERY OCCASIONAL flashes of Red. Regular playing should be in the Green.

 

ALL TONE IS SUBJECTIVE.

It sounds like rock to me.

It sounds like metal to me.

It sounds like country to me.

It sounds like jazz to me.

If anything about it sucked as much as some people claim, I would have sold it long ago.

YMMV. As @PierM said the only way to know if you'll like it is to try it.

 

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Thank you all for your really detailed and helpful advice.

Overall it seems very positive that you can get some really good tones from the set up, just like most modellers will need a few tweaks and patience to get them.

 

I have been looking at Kemper stage and 2x Kab setup, DSP Cortex and FM9, as well as Helix, all seem to have there pros and cons, but overall think the Helix could be a great option. Failing that ditch the modelling nd got for a H&K GM40 :-)

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