Most Versatile Helix Amps (....and drives)

mikah912

Member
Messages
7,199
In an effort to take a breather from the "My product can beat up your product!" or invite sales ethics debates, I decided to run with the ker-aaaaaaaaazy concept of talking up a product I'm currently using instead of talking down another.

In this case, it's what I find to be the most versatile amp on the Helix. This will continue to change as Line 6 adds stuff, but I have to say that for the moment.....the three Soldano SLO-100 channels are amazing versatile. I can get fat cleans, pushed midgain crunch, hotrodded Marshall sounds and tight modern metal depending on the IR I use.

It pairs really well with the Compulsive Drive (Fulltone OCD) model too. While I think the Kowloon Walled Bunny (KWB) pedal is awesome, there's something surgical about the OCD V2 and V4 models that really does it for me as a drive.

I've used this combo to "model" a number of other amp tones or artist rigs I dig that don't come stock in the Helix.

What are your most versatile models and how do you use them?
 

chuskey

Member
Messages
478
For what I go for, which is clean/bluesy to Plexi crunch, I love the Dr. Z model. I've had my Helix less than a week so there's still a lot of things to try out, but for now I'm using the Dr. Z with a couple of Tube Screamers and a Timmy in the signal chain for various amounts and flavors of gain.

I really feel like I can cover every type of tone I need with this one preset, but I still can't wait to spend some time going through all the other options :)

http://line6.com/customtone/tone/1922129/
 

i8guitar

yelling at clouds from outer space
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
646
I will quote myself from the massive, all-encompassing Helix thread of doom:

"...I landed on the SLO100 Crunch and almost 5 months later, I am STILL using that amp nearly exclusively for my patches. I am notorious for using my guitar volume to go from clean to grit to destruction, and that particular amp doesn't disappoint! I use the PRS DGT and Mira, and a Fender American Special Tele, and I don't really need to tweak any settings - the SLO100 just responds beautifully, as well as to any fx I throw at it."

And recently I started punching it up with the Teemah! pedal for even more mayhem. Such a great combo!
 

LeicaBossNJ

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,558
Moving away from the Amps, I'm using a lot of Timmy.
  • I don't like too much gain, but I find that I can use the Timmy for more transparent "boost" style sounds or for a little more overdriven sounds.
  • It seems to get along with the Amps I use most (Deluxe Reverb, Dr Z, Plexi, Matchless)
  • It doesn't mind getting pushed with a TubeScreamer up front (I use a real TS-9 in a loop)
  • It doesn't mind going into a model that's compressed or one with headroom left
I think the KWB is a better sound - but it requires more "thinking" to me.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,440
If I only had either the Dr. Z, the /13, or the Matchless (either channel 1 or the jumpered channel)... I could get all my sounds out of any one of those. In fact, I'm currently using those 3 about 90% of the time.

Also, the Timmy is the only drive I need in this box it is so good... and the Klon, set totally clean, is always-on in every patch now.
 

shawnshack

Member
Messages
2,748
Hmmm, that's a tough one. But I'll go with the Bassman. Probably one of the most versatile amps you can buy in terms of great cleans and takes pedals well. The same is true with the Bassman on the Helix. It's funny, I've experimented with a variety of pedals with a variety of amps in Helix. Usually, I find that I'd prefer to just set the amp to the amount of overdrive I like. If it isn't doing it for me, I just pick a different amp. The over drives are great, but I feel like I get a better tone by letting the "amp" do all of the work. But the Bassman is a lot of fun with pedals. It's the amp that I like to use when I compare my analog pedals vs Helix pedals.
 

ejeffreyhorn

Member
Messages
401
I was skeptical about the drives in Helix and was considering keeping my drive pedals in the loops. However, I am really liking the Minotaur and the Teemah. I A/B'd the minotaur against my Archer and it is really close. There's a little something going on in the lower mids on the Archer that the minotaur won't do with just a change in the tone knob. But no one would know it or notice it in a mix.

Also have to say I am loving the Matchless in Helix.
 

gkinder

Member
Messages
155
If I only had either the Dr. Z, the /13, or the Matchless (either channel 1 or the jumpered channel)... I could get all my sounds out of any one of those. In fact, I'm currently using those 3 about 90% of the time.

Also, the Timmy is the only drive I need in this box it is so good... and the Klon, set totally clean, is always-on in every patch now.

Dittos on this with the exception that I use a four patch set of JTM clean, JTM crunch, Plexi crunch, and Plexi juiced....use these like it's a four channel amp going from really clean to full out lead....have the Z, 13, and Matchless setup in four patches used in the same manner....can't imagine needing more than these....the Klon is fantastic as is the Timmy...really don't see a need to use external pedals with the Helix, all the effects are very good, some are flat outstanding.
 

Phnurt

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,688
I know it's a little boring for some but I've been hooked on the Plexi bright channel for a couple weeks now. I'm running it fairly clean, just slight breakup, and stomping the Klon in there for especially passionate passages.
 

Guitardave

Member
Messages
10,077
I was skeptical about the drives in Helix and was considering keeping my drive pedals in the loops. However, I am really liking the Minotaur and the Teemah. I A/B'd the minotaur against my Archer and it is really close. There's a little something going on in the lower mids on the Archer that the minotaur won't do with just a change in the tone knob. But no one would know it or notice it in a mix.

Also have to say I am loving the Matchless in Helix.
Try adding an EQ block in front and/or just after the drive - it gives a ton of eq control for any of the drives.
 

RandyEvans

Member
Messages
29
For vintage Marshall tone, I've settled on the Brit Plexi Jump (Marshall Super Lead 100 jumped) amp+cab with the gains turned down. I find the bright channel lacking lows, so I like to be able to mix a bit of the normal channel in with the bright channel. I have one footswitch controlling both gains and the mic level, turning the gains down and the mic level up for a threshold overdrive and turning the gains up and the mic level down for a saturated distortion. I sometimes use a Scream 808 (Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer) in front for a bit of it's tone. I tried all the amps and all the distortions and settled on these for being able to cover a wide variety of music.

For vintage Fender tone, I run the US Double Vib (Fender Twin Reverb vibrato channel) amp into a 63 Spring and a 2x12 Double C12N cab and sometimes a Scream 808 (Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer) in front.

I'm really liking the Interstate Zed (Dr Z Route 66) amp+cab as a cross between a Fender and a Marshall with a nice hard-edged funky vibe.

For chime tone I use the Essex A-30 (Vox AC-30 with top boost) amp+cab.

I get a nice Leslie sound running an Essex A-30 (Vox AC-30 with top boost) amp into a 145 Rotary (Leslie 145).

With acoustic guitar, my preset has no amp models, just Parametric EQ with lots of low cut, low-frequency/high-Q turned down a lot, and and a bit of high cut.
 

Rick Wilson

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
543
Timmy in front of any amp seems to work fantastic - love the Bassman, recently dug into the mailorder twin it has a real nice "trashy" vibe! Matchless +1, Dr. Z super versitile, and I'm a sucker for both AC30 and AC15 with the Ownhammer ac30 IR's

Most of what I play "in real life" are clean amps/edge of break up. Truthfully, all the amps sound great and depending on where I land on a given day - I can get lost in any of the amps. It s a good problem to have!
 
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MIJLOVER

Member
Messages
2,422
Timmy in front of any amp seems to work fantastic - love the Bassman, recently dug into the mailorder twin it has a real nice "trashy" vibe! Matchless +1, Dr. Z super versitile, and I'm a sucker for both AC30 and AC15 with the Ownhammer ac30 IR's

Most of what I play "in real life" are clean amps/edge of break up. Truthfully, all the amps sound great and depending on where I land on a given day - I can get lost in any of the amps. It s a good problem to have!
Yeah that's the ting I experience as well. Started out with AC15. Since the update I've sticked with Matchless, Silvertone and Shiva. Then played around with some plexi.

Today I've messed with SLO clean and Lead - WOW! Not a sound I ever needed in a band (except maybe for a couple of covers), but it's awesome to have fun with here at home.

I then headed out for the JTM. I look back with fond memories at my Bluesbreaker combo, which a local amp wizard totally redid with the correct type of tubes, transformers and so fort.

So needless to say, I have high expectations when it comes to that sound. And while the JTM in Helix is not exactly the same, it certainly does have enough of the flavor to keep me happy.

Again, that's just one flavor of the many. I could've used JTM jumped, since that's the way I used to use mine, but it's still gives me sonic bliss!

Then there's the effects! Today was my first for real time with the Elephant delay; man what a analog sounding wonder.
Also the KWB - that must be the most versatile drive I ever 'owned'.

Btw: until a couple of days ago, I didn't really appreciate how big the whole dual cabs are. I pick something like a 4x12 and a 1x12 or 2x12 in tandem and I don't have to cut any highs or lows or nothing. They just sound great together!

Hope you guys are having just as much fun as I am!
 

Phnurt

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,688
Yeah that's the ting I experience as well. Started out with AC15. Since the update I've sticked with Matchless, Silvertone and Shiva. Then played around with some plexi.

Today I've messed with SLO clean and Lead - WOW! Not a sound I ever needed in a band (except maybe for a couple of covers), but it's awesome to have fun with here at home.

I then headed out for the JTM. I look back with fond memories at my Bluesbreaker combo, which a local amp wizard totally redid with the correct type of tubes, transformers and so fort.

So needless to say, I have high expectations when it comes to that sound. And while the JTM in Helix is not exactly the same, it certainly does have enough of the flavor to keep me happy.

Again, that's just one flavor of the many. I could've used JTM jumped, since that's the way I used to use mine, but it's still gives me sonic bliss!

Then there's the effects! Today was my first for real time with the Elephant delay; man what a analog sounding wonder.
Also the KWB - that must be the most versatile drive I ever 'owned'.

Btw: until a couple of days ago, I didn't really appreciate how big the whole dual cabs are. I pick something like a 4x12 and a 1x12 or 2x12 in tandem and I don't have to cut any highs or lows or nothing. They just sound great together!

Hope you guys are having just as much fun as I am!
Are you kidding? I'm having an absolute blast with helix! The shop keepers around my little town are starting to wonder why I've had this huge grin on my face the last couple months!
 

_pete_

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,616
I know it's a little boring for some but I've been hooked on the Plexi bright channel for a couple weeks now. I'm running it fairly clean, just slight breakup, and stomping the Klon in there for especially passionate passages.
I've only had my Helix since Saturday but I still haven't gotten past the Plexi Bright.
I made one huge do-it-all patch with it and find it covers damn near anything I want.
I'll get around to the others but I'm not in a hurry.
 
Messages
3,854
When you guys get comfy, that's when you need to go to the lab & start experimenting. Start making the neighbors cats & dogs run for their lives & make your wives/GFs question your sanity. Just make sure you come up for air once in a while.;)
 

Phnurt

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,688
When you guys get comfy, that's when you need to go to the lab & start experimenting. Start making the neighbors cats & dogs run for their lives & make your wives/GFs question your sanity. Just make sure you come up for air once in a while.;)
Ha! Totally! Don't worry, I definitely get my "spaceship noises" fix now and then! :D It usually involves the triangle fuzz and a couple of delays.
 
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