Goodbye Helix

guvnor

Member
Messages
65
i received a new Helix Rack from Sweetwater about 3 weeks ago. The unit is being returned tomorrow. I worked with the Helix for many long hours trying to get some good tones and no matter how hard I tried, the high gain tones were fuzzy and dull. The Marshall Plexi model was nowhere near my 11R Plexi model. I found my old POD HD to be better than the Helix. Personally, I hope Sweetwater finds my unit to be compromised because I know so many players are singing the Helix praise.
I decided to replace the Helix with the Kemper rack....the AX8 appears to be nice but who has the time to wait?
Anyway, I am curious to hear if other Helix owners are unimpressed or, spending a lot of time tweaking.
 

big_aug

Member
Messages
520
I hope it was defective. If not, I feel truly sorry for you and people like you. I can't imagine what it's like to not like these things. Id love the tones out of an Ax8, out of a Kemper, a Helix and lots of other products. It's gotta be tough having more limited choices and having to go through the frustration.
 

radiolab

Member
Messages
1,124
I am in the same camp as you. I had a helix and ended up selling it and sticking to a pod hd500x. The difference in sound and feel was too small for me for the price difference. I actually enjoy playing the pod because it's a little difficult to adjust parameters live, so if you want it to sound good, you better be a good player and listener.

I'm happy for the people that enjoy their Helix, it just wasn't for me.
 

Deuterium

Member
Messages
1,029
i received a new Helix Rack from Sweetwater about 3 weeks ago. The unit is being returned tomorrow. I worked with the Helix for many long hours trying to get some good tones and no matter how hard I tried, the high gain tones were fuzzy and dull. The Marshall Plexi model was nowhere near my 11R Plexi model. I found my old POD HD to be better than the Helix. Personally, I hope Sweetwater finds my unit to be compromised because I know so many players are singing the Helix praise.
I decided to replace the Helix with the Kemper rack....the AX8 appears to be nice but who has the time to wait?
Anyway, I am curious to hear if other Helix owners are unimpressed or, spending a lot of time tweaking.
Hi Guvnor,

Sorry to hear your bad experience with the Helix. However, I think you will be very happy with you new Kemper. Make sure you sign up to the KPA forum, once you register.

Good luck, mate.
John
 

mattball826

Member
Messages
20,813
Again, this seems strange comparing one model among various mfg versions. Plexi amps are often exaggerated to hell and back in most modelers. It was never an amp that sounded like it had the gain of a JCM900. It took modifications of Plexi's to get as gritty. Plexi's are just loud and sound like meh when they are not. Many modelers do not portray the amp as such IRL characteristic, so you get more of a false impression. The more accuracy to modeling the less satisfying they may be.

if the Plexi model has any real accuracy, then it would require you to crank everything to get that ACDC type punchy gain. That's how it was done. Emulations should prove as equivalent.

I recall FAS redoing the Plexi because L6 users at the time said AFX Plexi didn't have as much gain as the L6 version. So FAS modified the actual Plexi model to have exaggerated gain. Mans got to do what a mans got ta do!!

Other examples were JTM45, Bassman. Those are not high gain amps though many assumed they were due to the exaggerated levels of gain available on the modeled versions of other products. lol

I've never seen as high an appreciation for a Champ amp as I did in modeled units. The usually dull mid honky nasty breakup Champ IRL instead sounded like a sweeter Gemini II.

If you ever can try it - Crank a Champ combo and play one. Now crank a Champ model and play it. You'll think the model was a nice Super 410
 

Greatdane

Member
Messages
451
I've been there too.
I recieved the Helix just 1 day after I got the AmpliFire.
I really wanted to like the Helix but there were no doubt the AmpliFire sounded better IMO.
The switching possibilities on the Helix are wonderful but the amp tones is lacking when compared to AmpliFire.
This is just MY opinion.
 

dshow

Member
Messages
265
i received a new Helix Rack from Sweetwater about 3 weeks ago. The unit is being returned tomorrow. I worked with the Helix for many long hours trying to get some good tones and no matter how hard I tried, the high gain tones were fuzzy and dull. The Marshall Plexi model was nowhere near my 11R Plexi model. I found my old POD HD to be better than the Helix. Personally, I hope Sweetwater finds my unit to be compromised because I know so many players are singing the Helix praise.
I decided to replace the Helix with the Kemper rack....the AX8 appears to be nice but who has the time to wait?
Anyway, I am curious to hear if other Helix owners are unimpressed or, spending a lot of time tweaking.
I had the HD500 since it came out and have created some killer tones. Never thought that I will replace it with the Helix but then I got a change to try it out and decided to keep it. While I had some very good tones with the HD500 the Helix does feel much more like a real amp to me. I must say that I'm not into high gain stuff and I like it simple with subtle effects.

Just out of curiosity: Did you play around with the input inpedance?
 

Graham G

Member
Messages
645
I have a 500X,i have no idea how anyone could get the optimum out of any of these L6 Modelers,with only hours of use.
I've had the 500X since Christmas & i'm just getting limited success with a couple of Amp models.
i've read the L6 forum constantly,& watched what seems like hundreds of you tube vids,but i do think that if you keep going the results are in there,IF you have the time & patience:)
 

guvnor

Member
Messages
65
I had the HD500 since it came out and have created some killer tones. Never thought that I will replace it with the Helix but then I got a change to try it out and decided to keep it. While I had some very good tones with the HD500 the Helix does feel much more like a real amp to me. I must say that I'm not into high gain stuff and I like it simple with subtle effects.

Just out of curiosity: Did you play around with the input inpedance?
Yes, I did. I tried many different settings. I could not hear or feel a difference between the different settings.
 

guvnor

Member
Messages
65
Hi Guvnor,

Sorry to hear your bad experience with the Helix. However, I think you will be very happy with you new Kemper. Make sure you sign up to the KPA forum, once you register.

Good luck, mate.
John
I spent some time looking over the Kemper site. I am a bit anxious trying to figure out how to download the firmware update using a USB stick - but, without the unit in front of me, I suppose it is normal to be anxious with new gear before it arrives. The rig manager seems simple. I hope to find some really good Diezel, Engle and Fryette profiles in the weeks to come.
 

nicolasrivera

Member
Messages
6,710
i received a new Helix Rack from Sweetwater about 3 weeks ago. The unit is being returned tomorrow. I worked with the Helix for many long hours trying to get some good tones and no matter how hard I tried, the high gain tones were fuzzy and dull. The Marshall Plexi model was nowhere near my 11R Plexi model. I found my old POD HD to be better than the Helix. Personally, I hope Sweetwater finds my unit to be compromised because I know so many players are singing the Helix praise.
I decided to replace the Helix with the Kemper rack....the AX8 appears to be nice but who has the time to wait?
Anyway, I am curious to hear if other Helix owners are unimpressed or, spending a lot of time tweaking.
Bye bye Helix, see ya!
 

mikah912

Supporting Member
Messages
7,232
Anyway, I am curious to hear if other Helix owners are unimpressed or, spending a lot of time tweaking.
(Speaking strictly for myself) Nah.

Something had to be wrong with your box or setup if you found every gain tone to be "dull" or "fuzzy". Even in the factory presets, there are multiple rigs that aren't the least bit fuzzy, fizzy or whatever. I created a pretty dope high gain JCM800 clip within an hour of owning it that fit that description and posted it on SoundCloud. So did X-Mann (search his YouTube channel for " Helix"). So have lots of others.

And being that most people are using the high cut parameter in the Cab block on the default IRs, I highly doubt "dullness" is a systemic problem in this new HX modeling engine.

Think you just got a bum unit, which blows. I'm sure Kemper will rock your world, tho. I've heard plenty of great high gain profiles.
 

atquinn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,748
...Think you just got a bum unit...
I'd say this is highly unlikely. No product is going to please everybody/work well in their setup. The Helix seems generally easy to use, but that's obviously not something that is going to apply for everyone. Considering the vast difference in price, I hope the Kemper setup works out better for the OP.

BTW, I was listening to a clip on Youtube yesterday morning where the player was using an 11Rack and it sounded damn good! So if you're really comfortable with dialing that in, it might not be the case that something new will "blow it away" without some effort.
-
Austin
 
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hobbes1

Member
Messages
3,267
I hope it was defective. If not, I feel truly sorry for you and people like you. I can't imagine what it's like to not like these things.
It's pretty much the same as anything in life. Try something new on the menu at your favorite restaurant.....maybe you like it maybe, you don't. Maybe you try it again a month later a like it when you thought it sucked the first time. We are fortunate to have some stores with great return policies, so we can get our money back if we decide it isn't what we want. Many just flip their gear here or elsewhere, after buying used, getting most of their money out.
IMHO, many people don't have the patience to optimize the entire signal chain in order to get the best out of whatever new gear they are trying. Not saying the OP falls into this category. However, it's all fine and dandy to have a nice new piece of gear but if the rest of the chain doesn't fit what you are using, your experience will suck (eg: using a Helix or AXE of AF with cab sims ON but running it into a power amp and guitar cabinet with V30s installed...this will sound like ass, most likely :) and so on and so forth....

Good luck to the OP to find something else like the Kemper that might result in a better experience.
 

mikah912

Supporting Member
Messages
7,232
I'd say this is highly unlikely.
It most certainly is, and yet it happens. I've already read of a couple of faulty AX8 units that either made a weird random sound or simply didn't sound "right" that went back. Highly unlikely....and yet it happened to someone on a forum.

It's also possible that he hears things differently. The experiences of the vast, vast majority of Helix owners - and I'm even including dissatisfied ones who went with another choice - seem to establish it as a unit with ample treble content across models and IRs. The likelihood of someone finding it to sound "dull" is almost as remote as getting a faulty unit, I'd say.
 

MIJLOVER

Member
Messages
2,431
i received a new Helix Rack from Sweetwater about 3 weeks ago. The unit is being returned tomorrow. I worked with the Helix for many long hours trying to get some good tones and no matter how hard I tried, the high gain tones were fuzzy and dull. The Marshall Plexi model was nowhere near my 11R Plexi model. I found my old POD HD to be better than the Helix. Personally, I hope Sweetwater finds my unit to be compromised because I know so many players are singing the Helix praise.
I decided to replace the Helix with the Kemper rack....the AX8 appears to be nice but who has the time to wait?
Anyway, I am curious to hear if other Helix owners are unimpressed or, spending a lot of time tweaking.
It's all good man. No reason to look for others who where unimpressed; what matter is if you are impressed or not. There will be people that don't like the Kemper, the Axe, the amplifire as well. Doesn't make the units bad, just bad for that individual. My last modeler was a HD500, I mostly used tube amps. I could get good sounds out of the HD500, but the Helix is the first time I feel like I'm playing amps, and it's awesome to be able to get so many different flavors in so short time and with so little effort. The Helix is a bargain in my eyes for what you get.But I don't expect everyone to feel the same, nor do I expect others to feel it's worth the price of admission.

Happy picking with the Kemper!
 

guvnor

Member
Messages
65
What setup was your Helix running through?
Before even hooking the Helix up to my UAD Apollo, I toyed around wth headphones plugged in to the Helix. Here is an example I found odd: I created a patch using the Engle amp. After the amp, I split the signal to two different cabinets. With both cabs on, the sounds were OK. Upon bypassing one of the cabs to hear each cab separate, the tone went from decent to transistor fuzz. After reading comments and watching YouTube videos of players using the Helix, Imam further convinced my Helix has a flaw. Despite the comment above indicating it is highly unlikely my Helix is a bum unit, we need to consider there is a possibility something went wrong during the manufacturing process. I am confident saying this because I have 26 years direct experience in automotive engineering and have seen many manufacturing issues on the assembly plant floor.
 




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