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Helix LT + PowerCab 112 Plus: AES vs. XLR gain, advantages?


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Hi All. I've been using my LT and PC with a 30' AES cable since I got the PC, and it works fine. I use the flat setting on the PC and I don't do any present speaker selecting, so the Plus is overkill (a secondary point), but I wonder about using a plain XLR instead. This would be better in case the AES cable fails because I have extra XLRs but not AES. I experimented with using an XLR and found that the PC's input gain light was lower (green more often) than when I use the AES cable. It would make it frustrating if I needed toswap out an XLR during an AES cable failure. So:

  • Has anyone else noticed this output difference?
  • Are there any advantages in my case for using the AES?


I'd really appreciate your thoughts!

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I prefer to use the AES cable, one less D/A-A/D conversion and less risk for noise. Schmalle’s video explains it well.

If you want to use the XLR’s and find the signal level too low, in HX Edit click on the XLR output block and increase the “Level” to match the PC+ input indicator. Or, you can also trim the input gain on the Powercab (input 1 and 2 individually) to a suitable level. 

I use the Gain for Input 2 on PC+ (e.g. under System in PC Edit) to increase volume (+12db) when I use my Variax 500 to run the acoustic models direct into PC+ through the XLR from the Variax XPS/power supply (yes, I know, stone age). Works great (but even better via Helix and a good preset…).


Just to correct myself – What I suggested above in Helix would be a change per preset, not always preferred. A more “global approach” would be to check that Helix XLR are set to Line level in Global Setting. Set to Instrument it will be like what you get. This change will affect all your preset the same way. If the volume is still low it’s still possible to increase the input gain on the PC+.
The changes I described above using HX Edit and PC Edit can off cause be made directly on the device (HX via Global Setting and PC+ via “little house” knob…)
To be fast is not always best :-)



Edited by PerS
To correct myself...
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