I just can’t get my amps to sound like my Helix....about to give up

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by John Mark Painter, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Member

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    It actually happened.
    Had a couple of amps/cabs miked up and had to switch back to the Helix :)
    Maybe we can start buying Amp Presets
     
  2. mdubya

    mdubya Member

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    :aok

    LOL.

    I will say that I played my 2204 at modest volumes a few weeks ago and it sounded so good, I was nervous about going back to my AX8.

    However, I dialed the AX8 to my all time favorite model (Badger 18) and it just sounded fantastic, every bit as good as the 2204. And with all of the endless possibilities the AX8 promises. :JAM
     
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  3. Lord N

    Lord N Member

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  4. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Silver Supporting Member

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    Are you and Dave tag teaming?
     
  5. phil_m

    phil_m Supporting Member

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    I’ve actually had the experience as well... There were a few times where I thought it would be fun to break out some mics and do things old school. After setting things up I realized that it was stupid as everything was much noisier. Going direct is a much more instant gratification thing for me.
     
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  6. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Member

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    I just find amps so terribly bright and spikey after playing Helix. I actually prefer the sound of modeling these days to amps at higher volumes. I do enjoy the fidelity of a Fender tube amp at moderate volumes, but they become painful quickly.

    So yeah....I’d agree with the sentiment that modeling is awesome!
     
    Guitardave likes this.
  7. VCuomo

    VCuomo Member

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    I must admit, when I read the thread title I :spit.
     
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  8. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    I find the total opposite.

    My Helix just never sounds like any amp I’ve owned (I’ve a/b’d it with so many amps). Direct, as a preamp...whatever. It’s ALWAYS missing something. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is what it is. It’s ok for sure...but just ok.

    Now, as an FX system it’s amazing. Super impressed here. I just wish it had a better trem and spring reverb...oh and a BE-OD Deluxe stompbox model.
     
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  9. GaryMcT

    GaryMcT Gold Supporting Member

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    Wish I had that problem. I can’t manage to get a tone I like out of my Stomp although I do dig the effects. I tried your presets you posted too.
     
  10. Mark Al

    Mark Al Member

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    You might be talking about the AITR thing, which is completely a different thing than mic-ed up amps.
     
  11. jpelzel

    jpelzel Member

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    Where am I? What's happening?
     
  12. Billy_B

    Billy_B Silver Supporting Member

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  13. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    No. direct, through FRFR or via power amps (SS or tube).

    I get XYZ tube amp, use a cheap load and the tone is there direct. I don’t need to audition every second Helix amp for the sound, nor do I need to add boosts and EQ and hunt through 100 IRs.

    It’s a grind but you eventually get a decent tone. Just like you get inside 5 minutes with a loaded amp (even a little or cheap one).

    Also as a preamp it’s never ‘right’. It can sound good for sure through a top notch tube poweramp but you just ab with the tube preamp and you instantly forget the Helix preamp. I have found this with like 15 tube amps.

    This is JMPE and nothing else. But I have spent serious time working with it and have a long history with modellers and SS amps.

    As I said, amazing Fx system and great all round handy do just about anything gadget.

     
  14. Riffzilla

    Riffzilla Member

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    I agree with @Axe-Man for the most part. I like the tones I get out of my HX Stomp and the convenience is there. But it’s just not as good or simple as the real thing. I’m considering a Captor to use my HX just for IRs and delay/reverb. My jubilee loaded down and through lRs sounds a load better than any of the Marshall models (including Placater).
     
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  15. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Member

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    There is no ‘better or worse’ for me any more other than what is better or worse for the specific use in the specific context of that moment.

    But I am 99% studio use.

    I was a recording a friend last week that has a beautiful rig...Dusenberg, KOT, Strymon, Divided by 13. Great tones.
    Used SE Electronics RNR1 active ribbon and Neve Portico II.

    I happily played my parts on Helix on the same track
     
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  16. Elric

    Elric Member

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    FWIW, I have hit this numerous times with Fractal+Power Amp+Cab versus Amp+Same cab. Where the real amp is frustrating in that something is going on tonally that is not what you want and you don’t have the flexibility in the amp based rig to get the sound/response you had with the modeler. I think the cab is the equalizer (so to speak) in that equation.

    Real amps are kind of disappointing these days, in fact. I guess you get used to your paradigm. Shrug. Some real life amps suck too. People kind of act like every single tube amp ever made is some stellar mojo machine in these tubes vs digital discussions. But plenty of them straight up blow.

    There are a lot of them out there that are unremarkable designs, cheap, or they are good amps that have seen better days... or maybe they simply don’t have the properties you enjoy and most amps only have a few sounds too (compared to a high end modeler or profiler anyway) so if they don’t nail those few key ones or the ones they do nail are not your thing, they won’t resonate.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
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  17. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    I have the opposite experiences.

    I find the preamp only models are on par with the quality of very high end amps - in direct a/b comparisons.

    It's the tube power section and guitar cab that really is hardest to replace for me.

    But as you said you don't have to use the amp modeling and it's still a great piece of gear.
     
    Elric likes this.
  18. Billy_B

    Billy_B Silver Supporting Member

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    Normally when those discussions come up the tube point of references are the counterparts
    to very popular modeled and profiled tube amps: Plexi, BE100, Twin, Top Boost, 5150, etc.

    Can't recall anyone ever putting up an argument that a Bugera V55 blows an Helix/AxeIII/Kemper away.

    Bugera's are pretty damn killer for the price btw. Just need to upgrade the tubes.
     
  19. Robot B9

    Robot B9 Member

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    I’m satisfied with the Helix replacing most of my amps. It does a great job! The only amp for me it can’t replace is my Fender Blackface amps. That’s only because I’m not happy with the spring reverb on the Helix.
     
  20. Guitardave

    Guitardave Supporting Member

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    Try the Legacy spring - experiment with it in front of the amp, or before the cab/ir.
     

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