After months of waiting I finally got it! Helix Rack/Control! First Impressions

RipperShred

Member
Messages
460
So, after months of waiting to get my hands on it, finally arrived. Now, about a month ago I got to try out the platform in the floorboard, but all I did with it for the few days I had my hands on it was through my normal poweramp/4x12 setup.

Today I set it on my desk, ran it through my Focal Alpha 50s (if you haven't tried a pair of Alpha 50s, do yourself a favor and make sure you do the first chance you get; They're pricey for a 5" monitor, but by gosh they're so accurate it's uncanny! Seriously, demo'd them against monitors twice the price both big and small and they come out on top every time!) and did the direct FRFR thing for the first time with the Helix Rack, and I could not stop playing. For 4 hrs. Until my fingers were raw. And my back was starting to ache from being hunched over my guitar.
It was better than any amp sim software solution I've tried. It could be that the guitar input tech on the Helix is just better than any audio interface I've used (and I haven't used the primo-top-of-the-line interfaces by any means, so maybe I'm losing something in AD/DA conversions) but the feel, tone, and response just blows away the competition.
And I've tried/demo'd at one point or another most of the commercially available amp sim software out there; amplitube, Th2/3, brainworx, guitar rig, LePou, etc etc. And I can honestly say that I love various amp options in all of the aforementioned amp sims (and ones that I didn't bother mentioning, but still love) and nothing has sounded as good, or felt as good as the Helix did this evening.
I wasn't sure what was missing until now, but I can honestly say it now "feels right", as cheesy as that may sound.
And I love the form factor. It may be 3U high, but it's surprisingly shallow (eye-ballin' it it doesn't look more than 8" deep minus handles on the front of the faceplate), and light. It'll fit nicely in my 6U shallow rack, and the weight won't be an issue. Love the I/O options on the back, and will have fun with all those routing options.
And updating the firmware was a breeze. Glad they ironed those kinks out of it by now, as I was just a teency bit worried that it was going to brick on me from all the horror stories I've read here. Took maybe 3-5 minutes from start to finish.
Now the Control; Other than pulling it out of the box and plugging it into the helix via the included cable, powering it up to make sure it's operational, I haven't done anything with it yet. Love the size of it. The footswitches are a bit smaller than the ones on the Helix Floorboard unit, but that's not an issue for me at all. In fact I rather like the control's much smaller footprint compared to the floorboard. And it's a sleek looking unit.
In fact the rack/control is a really sleek looking pair if I may say so! Love the look of the two! It definitely gives that luxury electronics vibe! I can definitely forsee the "OOoo, what's that?" conversation frequently in my future.
I may have lost my mind a few times over the CONSTANT delays ( @Digital Igloo @Frank Ritchotte my apologies for any grief I've caused you guys) but that's only because I knew I'd be enjoying the unit as much as I am now, and my ADD was getting the better of me.
And this is just my INITIAL impressions of the unit. Pictures of it very soon. and an in-depth review and demo will follow. Helix Rack/Control combo for the win!
 
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PBGas

Silver Supporting Member
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6,345
Great to hear and nice that these are finally coming around. Looking forward to hearing more!
 

RipperShred

Member
Messages
460
It's got me genuinely excited and inspired! Finally, what's coming through the monitors sounds and feels like what's coming out of my monstrous poweramp/4x12 setup. Punch and Definition for days! Best Metal tone I've ever had! Can I get a "Ye-ah!"? :D
 

RipperShred

Member
Messages
460
The footswitches are the same and vertical and horizontal spacing should be identical to Helix floor.
spacing-wise I have no doubt, but I could swear the actual buttons/depressable-switches are a little bit smaller. Am I imagining this? lol, cause it has been close to a month, and good luck finding a unit that's actually not spoken for so I could look at them side by side (I know, that's a good thing :D)
 

RipperShred

Member
Messages
460


Comparable in size to the FBVII Shortboard - a plus for anyone looking for a smaller footprint. Easy to see, easy to program. Just waiting now on the Mission Helix expression pedal with the toe-switch on it.:D
 

RipperShred

Member
Messages
460
Sure is a nice rack :)
Thanks dude. It's my pride and joy. Been rocking that HD Pro since it first came out, but it's now for sale (I'm certain to miss it once it's gone, unless I come to my senses and take it back off the market) and it's the dawn of a new age; The Age of Helix *que dramatic orchestral music*

Seriously though, can you feel the love for Line 6 in my rig? :p
 

phil_m

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,391
Is the Helix control pedal small enough to fit in the back of a rack?
Yes, it is. I believe DI mentioned that very thing as being one of the main factors for designing it without an on-board expression pedal. Well, that and the fact that adding a pedal would probably make the whole thing quite a bit more expensive.
 

mbenigni

Member
Messages
7,837
Oh? Are they working on a Mark model?
I've gotta go back and add a winky smiley face to that post LOL. I don't work for or speak for Line 6. That was pure speculation, just based on the fact that a good number of customers have requested a MkIIc+ or MkV, and we know more amps are coming eventually.

(Also, I can't help but take note whenever Frank Ritchotte "Likes" something - though now that I've said so he'll probably never touch that button again... :rolleyes:)
 
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PaisleyWookie

Member
Messages
8,479
I've gotta go back and add a winky smiley face to that post LOL. I don't work for or speak for Line 6. That was pure speculation, just based on the fact that a good number of customers have requested a MkIIc+ or MkV, and we know more amps are coming eventually.

(Also, I can't help but take note whenever Frank Ritchotte "Likes" something - though now that I've said so he'll probably never touch that button again... :rolleyes:)
Well, if it happens and it's good, I'll be interested for sure! Yes, the Mark is that important to me. :D
 

mbenigni

Member
Messages
7,837
Well, if it happens and it's good, I'll be interested for sure! Yes, the Mark is that important to me. :D
Me too. Had a MkIIc+ back in the day, and I was actually stupid enough to sell it. ("I was young and I needed the money!" :eek:) Every time I get my hands on a decent model/profile of one, it eases the pain a little.

Had a MkIV and matching 4x12 at one point, too, but never bonded with it the way I did with the IIc+ combo. The IIc+ was pure evil, in a good way. :)
 




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