Helix Stomp as a full rig?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by jjaaam, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. jjaaam

    jjaaam Member

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    I’ve been using a Line 6 M13 through a Hot Rod Deluxe for some time now. It’s just getting to the point where the amp is too much. We use in-ears, and I constantly have to tweak volume to where it’s not too loud for stage volume but still sounds OK.

    Plus the portability factor...a HRD isn’t super heavy but it IS a piece of gear to lug around.

    So here’s my thoughts:

    With the M13 I can run only 4 effects at a time. Truthfully I never use more than 3. If the Helix Stomp will allow for six blocks, wouldn’t that be the same capability? One block for the amp, one for the cabinet, and four left over for effects?

    Here’s my biggest niggle though - UI. I gotta admit that - even though the M13 isn’t recent technology, having all 12 switches available at a time is pretty handy. Can the Stomp - with only three switches - be even remotely usable as a complete rig? Can you really only have three patches available at a time? That seems a bit limiting.

    I’m not a soundscape kind of guy - not big into all kinds of effects. So I don’t need a bajillion options. I don’t record or do anything with a PC. Pretty old school, actually. Clean, crunch, and solo tones are typically all I need. Occasionally I have some weird stuff based on the song, but that’s only the case in about 10% of the songs we do as a cover band (variety - a little bit of everything from the fifties to today, rock and a little country).

    I’m just wondering if it’s time to ditch the tube amp. I don’t want to have any other pedals or any sort of pedalboard - even though I’m on TGP I’m not a gear head, lol. I’d love it if just the Stomp and the Stomp alone would work. With all of the effects and models it should have all the capacity I would need, right?

    I’d really appreciate your thoughts, and thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  2. primal

    primal Supporting Member

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    If you use the stomps built in cabs (which aren't nearly as bad to my ears as some say) instead of IR's the amp+cab block can take up as little as 1 block leaving you 5 for effects.

    Lets ignore the fact for a moment that you could pick up something like a Morning Star MC 6 for 230 minus shipping which would give you WAY more flexibility with your stomp and consider you would only use the 3 switches on the stomp.

    In snapshot mode you get 3 snapshots per preset. Thats 3 combinations of effects on a single patch. For 95% of songs I play that is plenty.
    But in snapshot mode you can also change presets via the footswitches. It is a little more tapdance here as you have to hit two switches at once to activate the ability to change presets, then another push to select the preset, but not tough. There are some youtubes on it.

    I mean with 3 footswitches there is obviously going to be some compromise, but not much IMO.
     
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  3. schmokes15

    schmokes15 Member

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    I’ve gigged with just the stomp using snapshot mode as described above. I don’t use a ton of effects in my gig, mostly delays, reverb and the occasional chorus. The rest of the time it’s just varying levels of gain. And I’m able to do that quite easily between the built-in drive pedals or changing amp gain between snapshots.
     
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  4. jjaaam

    jjaaam Member

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    Thanks for the replies...

    Something that just came to mind - I do like the M13. What if I just kept it and used an amp simulator pedal?

    I’ve got one of those Joyo American Sound pedals already that I got as a backup in case the amp blew up, but I’ve never really played around with it much...sounds like I should take the time to do so. Yeah, it’s cheap for sure but I should be able to get the gist of not playing with an amp after 40 years...
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  5. powermatt99

    powermatt99 Member

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    I used an Ethos for a while with traditional pedals for the church gig. It worked well but I prefer the Helix sounds, even if just using the amp+cab in a single block.
     
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  6. Darl

    Darl Supporting Member

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    Depends on the guitar player. I now gig with just the Stomp and it’s made life very easy for me. It’s a very quick setup, easy to transport, and it sounds great. I have a couple presets for fx only and a couple for direct - which I rarely use.
     
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  7. AlanH

    AlanH Member

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    Does your M13 already have a DI amp emulation feature? If so, you might not even need the Joyo.

    I have a Joyo British but when I put it at the end of my board to go direct it will only work with the footswitch off. I think that's because my board also has a Bad Monkey which does the direct in feature....
     
  8. Elric

    Elric Member

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    Look at the Atomic Amplifirebox if you decide you want to go with an amp in the Box modeler along with your M13. A lot of people actually prefer Atomic’s amp modeling to Helix. Or really, just save a little bit longer and get a used LT. Yeah it’s bigger than a stomp but not combo-amp-big and it can do it all.
     
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  9. kdm1218

    kdm1218 Supporting Member

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    Hey @jjaaam, I’m a minimalist person. I’d personally try the Joys with your M13 first just cause you already own all that, and see if you are able to get amp tones you like. If you A/B’d the Joyo to the Stomp there’s going to be no comparison in the “realness” of the tone, but in a band setting your audience won’t have the slightest idea anyways, and if it’s good enough for you from the outset then to me I don’t want to spend another $600.

    That being said, if you don’t like the way the Joyo sounds, it is absolutely possible to use the Stomp as a stand-alone rig. You could do the snapshot method described above with clean, crunch, lead, and you assign whatever effects and amp drive levels to each of those. You could also use Stomp mode and have access to tap/tuner with one footswitch and add a little 2 button aux switch for 5 total switches including tuner. You can also use one of those in snapshot mode for preset scrolling or to assign an effect like a modulation you wouldn’t always want on with your clean, crunch, or lead.

    The Stomp also has what L6 has dubbed Legacy effects, which I believe are the algos from the original M series pedals.
     
  10. ElectricPhase

    ElectricPhase Member

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    Stomp could be a full rig if L6 raise the block limit as they've hinted they might. As it stands, so close....but just short.
     
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  11. Elric

    Elric Member

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    Plus it is gimped in the 4 cable mode with a real amp because the d*mn FX Loop takes a block. Maybe now that the core updates to the OS in 2.8 are out the L6 guys can give this a look.

    It seriously holds this unit back, IMHO.

    Just a thought: @Frank Ritchotte @Digital Igloo
     
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  12. CjRuckus

    CjRuckus Member

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    I use the hxstomp as a stand alone rig with a footswitch to change modes and it's awesome. Now my tones aren't that complicated to say I need all sorts of crazy things. But with a little creativity you can get what you want and more.

    Check out this video

    He walks you through everything that you can possibly need to do with the stomp.
     
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  13. kdm1218

    kdm1218 Supporting Member

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    Just not really true if you only want an amp, cab, and 3-4 effects as OP states. Depends on what you need/want.
     
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  14. randombastage

    randombastage Supporting Member

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    If the M13 can receive commands from the Stomp then get the stomp and pair it with the M13 when you need extra effects and go Stomp only when you don’t. Going with a lesser ‘preamp’ pedal when you could have added Helix amp modeling via the Stomp is s bad choice...
     
  15. D K Souther

    D K Souther Member

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    I use the Stomp with an external drive pedal (Wampler Pantheon). I love it.

    My two setups are Tele into pedal-Stomp into PRRI. Or without the PRRI and an amp block. Both sound great. YMMV
     
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  16. dmock66

    dmock66 Member

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    I play at two churches - the Stomp easily covers what I do. Delays, reverb, varying gain (as someone else mentioned above). Get a two switch pedal - they're inexpensive and allows you to do a couple other things in addition to Snapshots.
     
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  17. RockDebris

    RockDebris Member

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    I went from switching between 2 tube amps on stage, to having only 1, to having just preamps with DI and finally to the HX Stomp. I try hard to avoid adding gear when I revamp, I'm always looking at how to use less in an incremental fashion, until I find the sweet spot.

    I've used the HX Stomp as the core of my rig at the last 8 shows, replacing the monster pedalboard and preamp setup. I hesitate to say the HX Stomp is a "full rig", but it is definitely the core. The things I still use external to the HX Stomp:

    CabSim (Iconoclast)
    Post EQ (Boogie 5-Band)
    Pre EQ (Source Audio)
    MIDI Foot controller (Liquid Foot)

    I use an external CabSim because I find it useful to externalize that from my presets, not because the built in CabSims sound bad, so more of a maintainance and efficiency thing. If the HX Stomp had a global CabSim you could turn on that would apply to every preset, I would use that. Once I dial in the CabSim for a show, it never changes during that show.

    For the POST EQ, I like to have the graphic sliders right there in reach. I don't want to navigate to the global EQ section of the HX. I also just really like and I am familiar with the Boogie graphic EQ.

    The Pre EQ is for normalizing guitar input between 3 or 4 different guitars. There is nothing in the HX Stomp that can really help with that.

    The MIDI Foot controller is what I use to change songs and presets. It's always been that way and doesn't need to change. The 3 buttons on the HX stay configured for accessing the Tuner and 2 effects bypasses, depending on the preset.

    All in all, it's a really great compact system. If I absolutely had to, I could remove the external CabSim and Post EQ pedals, but having them isn't causing my rig to be all that much larger.

    The only thing that gnaws at me is the occasional quick drop out when switching between presets. A lot of people use Snapshots instead to avoid that, but that doesn't fit into how I do things and how I want them to work.
     
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  18. Saxon68

    Saxon68 Supporting Member

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    Get an external pedal for 2 more switches.

    I bought a looper pedal and they had a bundle of it including the external pedal for less than just the pedal so I snapped the bundle lol.
     
  19. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    +1 Give it a try. If you find yourself frustrated consider replacing it with either the Stomp or the Amplifirebox. I'm a big fan of the Helix, had the Floor and scaled down to the Stomp. That said, the Firebox took all of about 15 minutes to load up an IR I knew I liked and dial in a great Deluxe Reverb tone. I gigged it the same day direct to the PA when I forgot to load up my amp along with the PA. :oops:

    But I sold it off because I really only wanted it as a backup and I came up with another solution that fit on my little Nano board better.
     
  20. ElectricPhase

    ElectricPhase Member

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    I agree, except that in my experience there's only room for 1-2 effects. If you can make do with just delay and reverb, you're golden.
     

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