Fractal vs. Helix: The comparison series (Made by yours truly!)

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Mitch Baker, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. Mitch Baker

    Mitch Baker Member

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    Hey guys! I'm new to TGP, only just today seeing the reception that the first video in my series got from this forum last month. I'm glad to see there's a forum with people from every side of the aisle discussing with each other; the company-dedicated forums full of loyalists from a single side can get a bit stale :)

    But nevertheless! I am happy to present and discuss this series with you guys, as I am still taking ideas and want to know what people want to know (if that makes any sense.) Next up on the chopping block are effects, user interface, and friendliness towards bass players, but after that, it's open season. Let me know what you think, I'll likely be editing this OP to include future episodes as well.

    Part 1: Eight Amp Models Compared (original thread: http://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/brand-new-helix-2-01-v-ax8-quantum-4-vid.1747817/)


    Part 2: Cabinet Blocks Compared


    Part 3: Eight MORE Amp Models Compared


    Part 4: Effects Compared (Distortion, Modulation, Reverb, Vintage Delays)


    Part 5: Ease of Use & Depth of Control


    Part 6: Five Types of Tones Dialed In
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLWgR9GZPmI
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  2. MIJLOVER

    MIJLOVER Member

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    Hi Mitch!

    Welcome to TGP! Don't read too much of what's posted here. It'll just make you buy stuff :D
    I think your two first videos were of very high quality. I think many will find them interesting to watch. I look forward to watching this last one after work.

    I really appreciate you trying to be as unbiased as humanly possible, we all have preferences.

    Looking forward to future series as well :)

    Regards
     
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  3. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Gold Supporting Member

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    Hi Mitch, welcome. But its already been settle, Fractal won!;)
     
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  4. MIJLOVER

    MIJLOVER Member

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    Oh and @Mitch Baker
    I forgot to introduce you to Nicolas. He might bark a lot, but he never bites. He's very friendly but often misunderstood;)

    I watched a bit of your last video and look forward to seeing the rest :)
     
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  5. Ferg Deluxe

    Ferg Deluxe Gold Supporting Member

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  6. PaisleyWookie

    PaisleyWookie Member

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    Actually, for some of the models, they both sound pretty mediocre.
     
  7. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Gold Supporting Member

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    I can agree on that, on some models, yes.
     
  8. veritechc

    veritechc Member

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    But we all know that the Helix is the best value!

    Hi Mitch. I am the counter point to Nic. You know me as Chris S over a the Line 6 Helix User Group on Facebook.

    As I said over their I truly admire your professionalism and maturity. And man you can PLAY!

    I will be looking at that JTM-45 on the Helix. Something there is just not right!
     
  9. WiresDream

    WiresDream Member

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    Hey Mitch, watched your video last night. It was great. I posted about the JTM-45.... I was thinking that perhaps the model requires the presence to be fully open to reflect the circuit design? Not really sure. Maybe @Digital Igloo and @benadrian could chime in? Because it sounded so massively drastic, that I think there is something screwy going on there.

    When you were playing some of the Fractal high gainers, I thought to myself 'man... that sounds way better...' and then you went over to the Helix and after a few moments of acclimatizing to the sound, I thought 'no no ... the Helix sounds better' and then when you went back to the Fractal I thought ' Jeezz... those Fractals are all very dark sounding'

    Strange how our ears and minds work!!
     
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  10. Mitch Baker

    Mitch Baker Member

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    Good to hear from all y'all :)

    I absolutely know what you mean. That DR-103 tone I was so in love with on the Fractal while I was playing often sounds dark to me now relative to the Helix, but then I acclimate to it and love it again. Also depends on how loud I'm listening and on which speakers or headphones. Ears are weird.
     
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  11. MIJLOVER

    MIJLOVER Member

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    I don't know guys. I've played a Bluesbreaker for years and often ran it with the bass way down, like 0,5 or 1, and I don't even like bright tones and that's a open back combo, so the Helix seems to be moddeled very accurately, and they probably are very different from each other.
     
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  12. MusicLaw

    MusicLaw Member

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    Mitch, thanks for the well researched in-depth videos. Look forward to many more.

    Once you get through the sweep of comparison videos, consider perhaps doing several focussing in on the use and application methods of each product. For example, the user workflow each inspires in you, as well as your findings and observations regarding Tips, Tricks, Shortcuts, Configurations, etc. Also, please do not overlook a segment on Helix's fascinating hands-free Foot Edit Mode. Keep up the great effort! Much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
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  13. Mitch Baker

    Mitch Baker Member

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    Kinda weird you mention that, I'm messing with that right now haha. Thanks!
     
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  14. veritechc

    veritechc Member

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    @Mitch Baker do you use any special routings, MIDI control of other devices, or stomp effects in loops? Those could all be great to see how each unit deals with those. Also how each deal with a real map in 4 cable method or even just as an effect box.
     
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  15. MusicLaw

    MusicLaw Member

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    Great minds....
     
  16. Mitch Baker

    Mitch Baker Member

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    Personally, I don't use those functions ever, no. But next episode is going to be all effects running into a Hot Rod Deluxe; probably not 4CM though since I just want to focus on effects, no amp models or anything.
     
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  17. onwingsoflead

    onwingsoflead Member

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    Exactly. The Fractal one sounded nice. But the Helix sounded more like the bright kerrang of a full bore DR103, minus the pants flapping in the wind. Its also worth noting that JTM45s are naturally dark, and not the super lead tone many associate with classic Marshall. There's a reason people love treble boosters with them. The Helix was actually way closer to a real JTM. The Fractal sounded awesome, but was much closer to a Superlead type tone, or the iconic classic Marshall most think of. Remember the JTM was a modified Bassman copy. Even so, both units sound great and your videos are hands down the most balanced videos comparing the two. Keep up the great work!
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
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  18. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    I'll be a dick.... Listening to either id rather plug into an iPad...I mean come on this whole YouTube phenomen is just nuts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
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  19. rsm

    rsm Member

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  20. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Gold Supporting Member

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    Hahaha, get with the program.
     

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