Helix vs G-System for effects only?

Mayhem13

Member
Messages
1,242
So I've been visiting here a while now ready to take the modeler plunge but I think baby steps first and maybe try a Helix on for size as a replacement for my G system using the 4CM. IMO, the effects in the G system are fantastic and the functionality with loops, midi , pedal power for drive pedals and a rugged chassis have served me well. Are the effects in the Helix sans drives and cabs/amps any better than G-system? Admittedly the G system's UI is horrible compared to Helix and worse when compared to Headrush. If there's any users who have owned both, I'd love to hear from you.

PS. One thing I do love about the G system is that I keep the processor in a rack with my Mesa TC50 and the pedal board at the mic with short cable runs and nothing across the stage floor. I'd have to go Helix rack and floor controller for quite a bit more $$$ (double)than what I paid for the G system AND I'd need a power supply on top for my drive pedals and tuner ( g system tuner is useless).
 

XSSIVE

D'Avanzo Guitars
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,582
I believe @XSSIVE made that switch, hopefully he can chime in.
I had a G-Major II and a bit of other rack gear and pedals before I sold that off and jumped ship to a Helix rack, not a G-System. I honestly avoided the G-System despite really loving the look and idea of it since everyone I talked to said while it had typical great TC chorus and delays and other features that it was a massive tone sucker of your dry tone. I think TC revised that thing like 4 times over the years trying to fix it. Hearing and reading that over and over again scared me away from ever trying it.
 

veritechc

Member
Messages
2,801
So I've been visiting here a while now ready to take the modeler plunge but I think baby steps first and maybe try a Helix on for size as a replacement for my G system using the 4CM. IMO, the effects in the G system are fantastic and the functionality with loops, midi , pedal power for drive pedals and a rugged chassis have served me well. Are the effects in the Helix sans drives and cabs/amps any better than G-system? Admittedly the G system's UI is horrible compared to Helix and worse when compared to Headrush. If there's any users who have owned both, I'd love to hear from you.

PS. One thing I do love about the G system is that I keep the processor in a rack with my Mesa TC50 and the pedal board at the mic with short cable runs and nothing across the stage floor. I'd have to go Helix rack and floor controller for quite a bit more $$$ (double)than what I paid for the G system AND I'd need a power supply on top for my drive pedals and tuner ( g system tuner is useless).
With the Helix Rack you just might not need any of your Drive pedals or your tuner...

You can purchase the Helix from American Musical or Sweetwater for up to a 45 day return and up to 36 months 0% financing. That way you can try it out at your place for the cost of one payment for 30 days or longer.
 

Guitardave

Member
Messages
9,809
I had the G-system and found it was difficult to avoid tone suck. Helix has been a dream. But if you are already happy with the G-system and have it dialed in, what are the advantages you are looking for with the Helix?
 
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Mayhem13

Member
Messages
1,242
A reason to justify owning one so I can experiment with the modeling capabilities! LOL

I may have avoided the dreaded tone suck by modifying the 4CM. There's nothing in the loop of my amp but instead I feed the insert loop return of the G system with a speaker tap from a H&K redbox and from there, the G system feeds to Katana100's with wet signal into the loop returns.

Again, a divided front with quite a few Helix users disappointed with the distortion and drives but if they were good and I could eliminate my drive pedals, that would be a big plus!
 

Sadhaka

Member
Messages
1,305
I have a Gsys and was running it 7 cable method into boogie Lonestar and Express 5:25. Sounds amazing, no tone suck issues, solid as a rock.

I have a Helix and it is far superior. Even with preliminary testing I immediately was more turned on.

Being able to switch in preamp models sounded amazing straight off the bat.

Frankly, I'm not too fussed by minor discrepancies in tone, I think that's an excuse for not getting down and playing. But the Helix is certainly worth a shot if your budget allows imho.
 

Guitardave

Member
Messages
9,809
A reason to justify owning one so I can experiment with the modeling capabilities! LOL

I may have avoided the dreaded tone suck by modifying the 4CM. There's nothing in the loop of my amp but instead I feed the insert loop return of the G system with a speaker tap from a H&K redbox and from there, the G system feeds to Katana100's with wet signal into the loop returns.

Again, a divided front with quite a few Helix users disappointed with the distortion and drives but if they were good and I could eliminate my drive pedals, that would be a big plus!
LOL - like we really need a reason to justify buying gear!!

Short version is I suspect you will likely really be surprised at how good the Helix is. Drives are really great once you get the hang of using it...after a year of using it I don't use ANY external drives. My Rockett Blue Note, Animal and FlexDrive have all been moved back to my old analog board - which hasn't seen a gig in nearly a year!! Effects are great, ease of use is awesome. I have the Helix Floor simply because I like the all in one aspect...and it'll still weigh far less than the G-system! Oh, and using Helix preamps as part of the mix is simply amazing...it really changes the whole game.
 

hippietim

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,509
I used to gig with a G-System. I've owned a couple of them including the last release with the improved IO path. Based on that alone, I would recommend the Helix by a mile. Then there's the richer set of effects available on the Helix. Then there's the fact that the G-System is not getting updates - there weren't many to begin with. The Helix appears to have a lot of runway left for updates.
 

Sascha Franck

Member
Messages
5,729
The only thing that *might* perhaps speak in favour of the G-System is that it's loops are analog whereas the Helix loops are digital. Whether or not that would impact the sound much is beyond me, but in case you used all 4 Helix loops serially at once, you may notice the latency of 5 ADDA conversions (1 x I/O, 4 x loops).
But then, I'd say it's very unlikely that one had to use all 4 loops at once (even more so serially), especially given that the drives of the Helix seem to be excellent so you might just end up as Guitardave.
 

Mayhem13

Member
Messages
1,242
The only thing that *might* perhaps speak in favour of the G-System is that it's loops are analog whereas the Helix loops are digital. Whether or not that would impact the sound much is beyond me, but in case you used all 4 Helix loops serially at once, you may notice the latency of 5 ADDA conversions (1 x I/O, 4 x loops).
But then, I'd say it's very unlikely that one had to use all 4 loops at once (even more so serially), especially given that the drives of the Helix seem to be excellent so you might just end up as Guitardave.
And that's the one thing that bothers me with the G system is the analog loops are AFTER the input stage which is digital........really TC? LOL

Either way, to justify the Helix, the G system needs to get sold and worst case it will replace it in its current duties as an effects unit only. If it turns out the drives in Helix are as good as you folks say, I'm on the plus side of things. Really wish Line6 would have includes some pedal power outs like the Gsystem has. It'll be my luck they'll include them in version 2 AFTER I've bought the original! Lol
 

Sascha Franck

Member
Messages
5,729
And that's the one thing that bothers me with the G system is the analog loops are AFTER the input stage which is digital........really TC? LOL
l
Oh - I either forgot or haven't been aware (it's been years that I had one borrowed for 2 days to check out whether it'd be something for me). At least I thought it'd be analog with digital control when posting my reply. But of course I believe you as you own one.
 

ur2funky

Supporting Member
Messages
1,911
I've owned both. You have the G System working well...if it ain't broke....
But if you want to blow some cash and have a new toy, I agree with everything said here. The UI on the G is rough, the UI, drives and effects in the Helix work well. The Helix would like to replace your amp, but I think using it for effects and drives would be better. I spent months dialing my Helix, using it without an amp into a frfr, and compared to plugging into a tube amp, felt it was very, very close, but not quite there for me. YMMV. But it also has a lot of advantages over a tube amp. An amazing amount of soundscapes just a toe tap away, and I still miss some of the fun effect combinations I came up with. Some great Hendrix tones in that box too.

The Helix is the closest I've come to replacing an amp and all effects in just one box. And when combined with your Triple Crown, it should be stellar.

P.S. With the Helix you may be tempted to pick up a Variax guitar. The Helix powers and controls the guitar too. 12 string acoustic to screaming Les Paul with a single toe press is very fun.
 
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Guitardave

Member
Messages
9,809
I spent months dialing my Helix, using it without an amp into a frfr, and compared to plugging into a tube amp, felt it was very, very close, but not quite there for me.
+1 - this is why I keep coming back to using a guitar cab/speaker with mine. Sometimes that's a hybrid rig, or I run the Helix into a Crown power amp and into a cabinet...that seems to be a match for my tube amp experience. Straight FRFR is a tough one to adjust to...
 

Mayhem13

Member
Messages
1,242
Oh - I either forgot or haven't been aware (it's been years that I had one borrowed for 2 days to check out whether it'd be something for me). At least I thought it'd be analog with digital control when posting my reply. But of course I believe you as you own one.
I've got tons of crap I really don't need and within a few months of aquiring it, I fall out of love with it. 5 heads, 4 cabs, 2 combos, boxes of pedals.........it's a disease and coming here only serves its progression! Lol
 

ur2funky

Supporting Member
Messages
1,911
+1 - this is why I keep coming back to using a guitar cab/speaker with mine. Sometimes that's a hybrid rig, or I run the Helix into a Crown power amp and into a cabinet...that seems to be a match for my tube amp experience. Straight FRFR is a tough one to adjust to...
My experience too. No more frfr for me. Real cabs are just what I like regardless tube or digital.
 

Guitardave

Member
Messages
9,809
I've got tons of crap I really don't need and within a few months of aquiring it, I fall out of love with it. 5 heads, 4 cabs, 2 combos, boxes of pedals.........it's a disease and coming here only serves its progression! Lol
LOL - I've got the disease - the Helix has helped immensely with some of the symptoms but didn't fix the underlying issue. The overall level of GAS has diminished a lot and I'm actually net positive after selling off unused pedalboard items and some amps. That said...now I keep messing around with FRFR and different amplification solutions. Especially hybrid rigs. The biggest difference is that it doesn't frustrate me like trying to work my old gear used to. It's all really simple to setup up and use. At one point I was messing around with comparing direct to the PA, running as a pedalboard with my amp, and using a Crown poweramp into a guitar cab, and recording at the same time. All with a footswitch on the Helix - that's the wildest thing about it. So simple to integrate with all these scenarios and they all sound really great. 1/2 the time I show up to a gig and end up modifying the latest experimental patch into something purpose driven for just that gig. Takes a minute or two - the Helix interface is just so fast and intuitive to use.
 

Guitardave

Member
Messages
9,809
My experience too. No more frfr for me. Real cabs are just what I like regardless tube or digital.
I just ended up with a Matrix FR12 - so far it's the closest I've come to plug-n-play and sounding normal to me. I'm coming around to the idea that I'll use different solutions depending on application. Some places that FRFR with a closed-back and letting the PA do the work may be the right fit...especially the low volume stuff with no live drums. But mostly I play in situations where that open-back cab fills the stage and the room perfectly and is just a blast to play thru!!

At the moment I've got a Helix, Katana 100, Mesa TA-30, Lil Dawg Wonderdawg, analog pedalboard, Matrix FR12 FRFR, 2 1x12 and 2 2x12 guitar cabs. The flexibility and tones I'm getting are just awesome. With a Crown XLS2500 power amp I can easily make hybrid or fully digital rigs in mono or stereo that all sound really great. And unlike most of my previous gear - it's not that difficult or heavy to actually bring any of this stuff to a gig. And stereo for my own stage sound is now a reality!!

I don't see myself leaving either world behind..
 

ur2funky

Supporting Member
Messages
1,911
I just ended up with a Matrix FR12 - so far it's the closest I've come to plug-n-play and sounding normal to me. I'm coming around to the idea that I'll use different solutions depending on application. Some places that FRFR with a closed-back and letting the PA do the work may be the right fit...especially the low volume stuff with no live drums. But mostly I play in situations where that open-back cab fills the stage and the room perfectly and is just a blast to play thru!!

At the moment I've got a Helix, Katana 100, Mesa TA-30, Lil Dawg Wonderdawg, analog pedalboard, Matrix FR12 FRFR, 2 1x12 and 2 2x12 guitar cabs. The flexibility and tones I'm getting are just awesome. With a Crown XLS2500 power amp I can easily make hybrid or fully digital rigs in mono or stereo that all sound really great. And unlike most of my previous gear - it's not that difficult or heavy to actually bring any of this stuff to a gig. And stereo for my own stage sound is now a reality!!

I don't see myself leaving either world behind..
I owned a bunch of frfrs and a Matrix FR10 was my favorite of them. It is the closest I've tried too. I'm now running my Kemper, power amp in thru 2 new Mustang GT-100s for a light-weight stereo rig. Somewhat full range and open back cab combined.

Apologies to the OP for getting off track here a little...
 

Guitardave

Member
Messages
9,809
I owned a bunch of frfrs and a Matrix FR10 was my favorite of them. It is the closest I've tried too. I'm now running my Kemper, power amp in thru 2 new Mustang GT-100s for a light-weight stereo rig. Somewhat full range and open back cab combined.

Apologies to the OP for getting off track here a little...
There's no tracks...only streams, er screams of consciousness.

I've been toying with doing the same thing with the Katana...
 




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