Brand new Helix 2.01 v AX8 Quantum 4 vid

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by mikah912, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. mikah912

    mikah912 Member

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    This is how I did it when I had both. Same IR. Neutral settings. I got pretty much the same results.

     
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  2. Promit

    Promit Member

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    Thanks for sharing. I always like to hear a Recto Modern from any modeler, because they're invariably drastically different and usually unconvincing. For whatever reason, that amp topology is incredibly difficult to replicate. The Helix is pretty far off, as he says in the video. The Axe sounds weird too but I think that's partly down to the choice to run Presence at 0, which that model responds to very poorly. I'd like to try it in person against the Helix and dial it in for best sound rather than same knobs.

    All the other models... I can quibble, but it's hard for me to find real faults. I always look for the Recto as a worst-case modeler test, but the Helix makes a solid case for itself with all the other amp models. Considering how much more it offers than the AX8 outside of core sound, the Helix is awfully appealing if it covers the amps you want. Unfortunately it has a few big holes for me.
     
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  3. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    What a well done video - thanks for taking the time to do this. Clips are WAY more informative than the endless descriptions of tone. It really does illustrate the basic tonal characteristics of the units really well. They do sound quite different...
     
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  4. Raf_666

    Raf_666 Member

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    Great video , I now do get whet people mean by saying the fractal stuff sound more "polished" "rounder" while the helix has more sparkle ... Helix sounds better to me , however with some eq'ing both sound exactly the same ... secret sauce is de IR , which makes probably all the difference in overall sounds

    R
     
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  5. Mandrax

    Mandrax Member

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    Thanks for the vid. There are lots of similarities until you get the high gain stuff I think. The Fractal really shines in this area it seems.
     
  6. Chris Hayden

    Chris Hayden Member

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    First of all, for such a young man, very professional presentation! Enjoyed his comparison video and playing.

    Secondly, both units sound great to me, however the way the FAS reacts seems more authentic to my recollection of the actual amps that I've experienced. Helix seems artificially brighter than the actual amps, especially the first three he highlighted.

    I'm not a high gain user but the FAS 5150 is a pretty amazing tone.

    Thanks for posting OP.
     
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  7. Garhel

    Garhel Member

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    Interesting vid, thanks... Once you'd evened up the gains, listening through Sennheiser headphones, I couldn't really tell a discernible difference between most of the amps. I think I slightly preferred the twin and AC30 on the Helix, and maybe the Soldano on the Axe, but I'm really splitting hairs, the core tones of both units were just great, and simple eq adjustments could probably get you to the same places. Didn't really like the Recto tones on either, but that's true of the real thing as well! I think you would have to be the most ardent advocate of either unit to not recognise the quality of either of these, but I'm sure some will.

    I also have a real AC30, and these are both very good. On the rare occasions I get to push the Vox to its sweet spot (I.e. Very loud!), I always describe its character as aggressive, almost spitting and snarling at you as you smash out riffs and chords, and that's an elusive character for modellers just yet.
     
  8. WiresDream

    WiresDream Member

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    They both sound amazing.

    For me though, I don't really want 200+ amps. I want exceptional workflow, which is why I bought the Helix. It really is a doddle, and I've stopped using the software editor for the most part - using the unit itself is BETTER than a mouse and keyboard.
     
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  9. mikah912

    mikah912 Member

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    I personally felt there was no "winner" here. The realistic character of all of the amps modeled was there on both. Beyond that, most of the differences were EQ which is why he kept hitting the "Bright" switch on the Fractal (which is weirdly always available even on amps that don't have one in real life).

    Conversely, he could've picked a "beefier" sounding IR for the Recto or darker IRs to make the Helix sound more "Fractal-y".

    Frankly, I don't like the Recto sounds on either unit. I went through all of the variants on the Fractal, and none of them felt right. The Helix Recto is their weakest effort, IMHO. Just a miss. I hope they take another stab at it, and model it more extensively like they did the Mark IV.

    I actually think the AmpliFire Recto beats them both by a country mile.
     
  10. MongoMuller

    MongoMuller Member

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    I'm a Helix owner and I would have to agree...some of the amp models are almost too pristine.
     
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  11. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Gold Supporting Member

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    Nice comparison, the JCM800 on the Fractal shows the realistic clean to breakup distortion that happens, Helix seemed a bit more forced to make the transition, a bit more unnatural.

    Overall Helix sounds on par to the AX8 regarding this few amps.
     
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  12. phil_m

    phil_m Supporting Member

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    Wait... OK, what happened to the real Nicolas?

    [​IMG]
     
  13. benifin

    benifin Supporting Member

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    As a Fractal [ and Kemper ] owner and user .... but not a Helix owner and user ..... but based on my limited testing of the Helix ... a couple of thoughts:-

    -> excellent demo
    -> both sounded fine
    -> its a toss up
    -> it reminded me how much I hate recto's ... real or modelled .... :)

    One thing though ..... the Axe 2 is a very mature product which has so far gone through probably 60+ FW revisions [ incl beta's ] to get to its current excellent level ..... the Helix .... is a "newborn baby" relativley speaking and I'm guessing maybe 7 or 8 FW's [ incl beta's ] ..... and it is to my ears already on par with the Axe ...... apart from this video - listen to Fremens Helix videos / tones ...... they are every micro-bit as good as the any Axe tones he gets .... so the potential development upside for the Helix is absolultey massive ....

    but ..... said it before and I'll say it again, the Helix does need more amp models .... Fractals development and FW releases are [ rightly ] legendary in this respect .........

    Great work in the vid :) .... the only winner here is us !! :) :) :)

    Ben
     
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  14. mattball826

    mattball826 Member

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    Recto's and Mark's are just hard to find any convincing examples in modeling. Even my KPA has a tough time. Part can be the IR, but I think Mesa just does things a lot different in the power stage which makes it harder to emulate. It's like a closed loop. Miss one thing and it's meh.

    Good clip OP... like how the Helix and Axe clips demo what each impart in the final tone.
     
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  15. Promit

    Promit Member

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    Yeah, I would like to hear him do the Mark IV, which he mentioned as a candidate for a follow up video. I really like the Mark IV on the Axe, I A/Bed it against my Mark V in IV mode and came away preferring the Axe (though the Axe's model seems a touch darker than my V's emulation).

    Really? When I went looking, I found this video and found it to be a very unconvincing Recto:

    Yeah it's scooped and feels kinda similar, but the gain structure isn't quite right and there's a odd quality to the high end that screams "modeler" to me.
     
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  16. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Silver Supporting Member

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    I had what I would call a killer Recto preset for the Atomic. Problem was, I was so far removed from the real life Mesa amp that I couldn't really tell you if it was a good recto tone or just a good high gain amp tone :p
     
  17. mikah912

    mikah912 Member

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    The "odd quality" comes in the default "matched cab" which I didn't like at all. Once I stuck a different, updated Ownhammer with it...it seemed right to me.
     
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  18. Promit

    Promit Member

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    Good to know - I'd love to hear a sample if you have one or know of a good one. I prefer to use the Ownhammer cabs with the Axe Recto too. I'm also running AX8 into guitar cab these days, which is a really easy way of avoiding the IR problem :)
     
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  19. mbenigni

    mbenigni Member

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    This is one of the best, most informative comparison videos I've seen. He balances his commentary vs. the actual playing/tones really well. 30 minutes flew by, whereas I'm usually skipping around.

    I'm surprised at how frequently I prefer the brighter, airier sound of the Helix. There are a couple of cases where the smooth, thick mids work in the AX8's favor. But both sound pretty great throughout.
     
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  20. Elantric

    Elantric Silver Supporting Member

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    This is a good example of the importance of knowing "What Firmware Version was in your device under review?"

    The Line-6 Helix gets my vote for "The Device that has improved the most due to firmware updates"
    http://line6.com/support/topic/18284-latest-helix-firmware-201/


    Which basically translates into: "throw out and dismiss any Helix Review from 2015"
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
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