Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Meals, Aug 24, 2019.
The easiest out of the box, plug and play, thats price goes to Atomic Amplifire Box.
Helix presets were very good, a friend of mine has it who simply doesn't have the time or patience to tweak stuff. Quickly figured out the menu too. There's a lot of talk on buying impulse cab.s for Helix but to me the included ones were pretty good if not magic.
Same friend also has a GT1000, I liked its tone more to be honest. Presets are trash (unless you're into ambient stuff), menu's not as friendly (but not complicated). If you're ok with building a basic chain its pretty cool, touch response strongly reminds of real amps, x-amps might be even comparable to Kemper quality.
His stuff is my favorite for the Kemper. Even his free pack is awesome!
I've never used a modeler as easy and intuitive as the Helix floor - especially live. Always sounds killer. I like the way @-Empire put it in this vid: - pretty straight forward.
As much as people say it's difficult to dial in a modeler, that's never been my experience. It's pretty darn easy if you ask me. The bad reputation comes when people expect to use the stock presets that are really just meant to be demonstrations of the various features. They're almost always over the top and impractical. It's really not rocket science. Usually it's a matter of cutting the low or high frequencies down a bit to make it more pleasing to the ear and not to overdrive your playback system. Start with a blank preset, add an amp+cab and adjust the parameters until it sounds decent. Then start adding effects one at a time and do the same thing.
If you've ever messed with any kind of multi-effects unit or a pedal with more than two adjustments, you have the prerequisite experience to get something sounding good relatively quickly. If all you've ever used is an amp with a basic tonestack then you might have more of a learning curve to overcome.
It's tough to go wrong with anything that's on the market these days. They're all miles beyond what was available even a few years ago. I personally enjoy the workflow on the Helix, but I'm quite confident I could get just as good a sound out of any of the others in short order. In the end, the concepts are the same.
I know most people on TGP will suggest the Helix but, I personally have spent hours testing the Helix and Headrush when I was trying to decide on a modeler. And between the two of them, I personally felt that the Headrush was way easier to use. The presets on every modeler and super hit and miss (mostly miss lol), but the Headrush is extremely easy to set up rigs on and only takes a few quick minutes to figure out how to use. The amp models on the Headrush sound warmer and more rich and full like a real tube amp in my experience, and I had both the Helix and Headrush hooked up to the same FRFR speaker at the same time to compare tones when I was testing them out. The Headrush is also extremely fast due to its 4 core processor versus every other modelers' 2 core processor. The touch screen is basically drag and drop to set up rigs. The effects sound really warm and have a true analog feel to them versus most other modelers I've tried having a digital feel to the effects (they are all actually digital lol). Also, during my bands rehearsals, I've noticed that the Headrush cuts through the rest of the band audibly and my guitarist with the Helix, has trouble getting his sound to stand out from the rest of the band like the Headrush naturally does due to the fullness and richness of the tone of it naturally.
There are a lot of good things about the Helix and many on TGP will recommend it and enjoy it. For my preferences, the Headrush has all I need and does what I need WITH AMAZING QUALITY. I personally wanted something with a good variety of amp models, and effects and stuff, a good full tube amp-like tone, an easy to use interface and unit, something thats tour quality that will stand the test of time, and a modeler that feels good to play and is fun and easy to use so I could spend more time playing.
The Headrush is truly the easiest modeler to use, and has an insane amount of power. It has enough variety of effects and amps to keep you satisfied, and all the features one would need. It doesn't have an insane amount of effects like the Helix, but the quality of the effects and amp models is amazing. Also, you can just drag and drop IR files onto the Headrush when its hooked up to your laptop or computer and you don't need an IR loader and have to go through a bunch of extra work to load up IR's. So even transferring files onto it is super easy and a bit less work than some other modelers.
Again, the Helix is a great unit. But for my preferences, the Headrush is superior in many ways and is ultimately the most easy and fun to use modeler.
I'd definitely recommend at least demo-ing the unit at a Guitar Center or even ordering it and using the 30 day return policy of most websites to try it out for a few weeks.
And if you're curious about the tones you can get out of it, check out some videos on YouTube by Marco Fanton. He gets really amazing tones with the Headrush and unlike with most modelers, it's really quick and easy to get great tones out of the Headrush. For other tutorials and info on the Headrush, check out Doc Macfarlands YouTube page.
I hope you enjoy whichever modeler you choose! And if you need any info about the Headrush or have any random questions, feel free to message me!
Most important questions: how do you currently monitor your amps in your music room (live cabs in the room with you, cabs mic'd up in another room through studio monitors, etc), and how do you plan to monitor the digital unit?
Thanks for the shout out. With the 2.8 update it's even more plug and play now that the cabs have cuts on them by default, and the amp settings are more reasonable. Pick an amp, pick a dual cab block with one dynamic mic and one ribbon mic, put a mono gain block after that to sum the two mics to mono, tweak the main knobs on the amp, done.
Personally I think with a lack of space a THR10 or a small floor amp with aux in and headphone out may be more suitable.
In any case I think the most important features are: aux in, headphone out, and separate volume control for the aux in (because the step volume on smartphones has surprisingly large increments).
It’s amazing how many modellers miss these key features. The THR got them right on day 1.
Not as GASsy as the latest kitchen sink floor model but just an idea.
Or, “guys, what modeler do you own?”. In other words, this is the same as every other thread that asks for opinions about modelers
The stock cab sims don’t use IRs? Does it come stock with any IRs?
I don’t own it, but I was thinking about it. So, you have to purchase IRs if you want to use them?
Sorry, if I’m misunderstanding.
FWIW a lot of us own more than one or have owned multiple modelers, I recommended the Stomp because I thought it met the OPs needs of those I have direct experience with, which is nearly all of them. The Helix family is definitely NOT my personal first choice but sounded like a great fit for the OP.
I don’t know what the stock cab sims are, just that IRs sound better to me. It’s perfectly usable out of the box and doesn’t need 3rd party stuff but I think it sounds better that way. You don’t need to spend more money either, there are some excellent free IR packs such as the Redwirez Greenback 412 and the Ownhammer Mesa V60 412. Leon Todd has also posted some of his own on this forum which sound very good too.
To be fair i still need to spend more time with the Helix cabs but comparing them to a few choice free IRs it was a big difference especially in terms of feel.
S-Gear opened my eyes to the world of amp sims and still sets the bar for pure amp tones IMO.
Oh yes, that's so true!
Headrush is the most easy and intuitive Modeller on the market. I had a Kemper for 3 years and there is much hype around this unit. Yes, the Kemper is also very ease to use, but the easiest, as some here say? Never ever.
I use a Gigboard for a few weeks and soundwise it is the same level as the Kemper to me, for a much cheaper price and way better user experience. Building a Rig from the ground is super fast and fun at the same time, I hadn't this with other modeller in the past. And there is all in the unit, very good Amps, IR's & Effects, I don't need anything more. The Gigboard fits perfect on a studio desk or even on stage. If you need more switches or a pedal you can expand this unit with ease. Try it out, it's an amazing piece of gear!
And after this, watch a video where people edit a AxeFx without an external editor - it is absolutly horrid!!
I own both. They both sound great, but if you’re looking for something easy to use, go with the Helix LT.
It doesn't get much easier than these amp-like units with knobs to turn and a software editor for deeper settings.
Yamaha THR100HD - almost as easy as an amp
Yamaha THR10 - more customizable than the THR100HD but only bedroom friendly really
Boss Katana - almost as easy as an amp
Atomic Amplifirebox - easy
For the everything but the kitchen sink units, I'd rank them like this from easiest to most difficult. They all have a somewhat steep learning curve due to the amount of features packed in.
Line 6 Helix (any version) - easy for the amount of features packed in. No need to use software editor if you don't want to.
Kemper - easy. I don't have enough experience working with it to say that much about its intricacies.
Fractal Axe-Fx 3/FM3 - most feature packed and best sounding but tons of menus. Great software editor.
Fractal Axe-Fx 2 - same as 3 but is best operated from the software editor because the front panel is clunky.
If you want an analog bonus option that is even more set and forget, get the BluGuitar Amp 1 Mercury Edition. This comes with the caveat that you must like Marshall type overdrive.
I spent about 2 hours demoing a Helix LT last night at a coworker's place. I wasn't a fan of what I heard. Maybe I am just not a Line 6 guy, I don't know.
After that, I did a bit more research and narrowed it down to these three potentials:
Boss GT1000 - $999 - Have experience with one of the earlier model (GT1). This seems like it may be overkill for me, however I have seen it used live (sounded great) and it also has an Android app to tweak from a phone or tablet, which was my favorite Amplifi feature (I have a tablet on a stand on my desk at all times for Piano lessons for my kids)
Headrush Gigboard - $649 - I owned an ElevenRack for a short time. Liked the sounds, but ditched all of my rack gear for tube amps. The small footprint and touch screen would be nice to have on my desk and should be relatively easy to get great sounds if it is at all like the ElevenRack.
Hotone Ampero - $499 - It's the cheapest, it's small and I can't say I have heard a bad sound come from their Nano line of heads. Has an expression pedal built in.
So, looks like I need to see if I can demo any around here