My 28lb. Helix Combo amp

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Watt McCo, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Member

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    I started to make a light pine 1x12" cab for my Helix Stomp board and it quickly morphed into a little more than just a cab - pics below.

    Power-amp is built into the inside of the cab. With Stomp board stowed and secured, the whole shebang with C. Rex 12" speaker, HX Stomp board (including its battery), and power amp, it weighs just a smidge over 28 pounds - a couple pounds lighter than my Princeton Reverb, which I'm quite likely selling. Overall external dimension of the cab are 16"x21.5".

    Its got a shelf on the bottom for storing my PT-nano-sized HX Stomp board. It fits snuggly enough that the board is pretty secure without strapping it down, but a single velcro strap underneath the little-cross bars and around the Stomp board secures it enough that the cab can be turned completely sideways without the Stomp board moving.

    I have my Mooer Baby Bomb (and its power supply) dual locked to the internal side of the back door. So all I have to do is pull the Stomp board out, plug its output into the 1/4" jack exposed through the poorly drilled hole on the back door, plug the power amp into a wall socket and I'm ready to go. I just set the volume knob on the Mooer as high as I know it will go cleanly and control my volume from the volume knob on the HX Stomp.

    Cab is made of some basic light-weight pine from Home Depot. Baffle is 1/2" hardwood (maple, if I remember correctly) plywood and it is glued around its entire perimeter to cleats that are glued to the cab sides. Makes for a slightly bright and very articulate cab. Enough that I prefer my C. Rex speaker in it to my Weber Blue Dog. The C. Rex is also way more efficient than the Weber, which allows the thing to get as loud as I'll need.

    Need to find the right little 2-3 outlet power strip to dual lock to one of the sides. I'll plug the baby bomb into one of those outlets and have my battery charger hooked up to the second. The battery can charge while powering the HX Stomp, so if I'm in a situation where plugging the stomp board in isn't a hassle, or I need more than 2.5 hours or so worth of juice, etc., I can plug it in and run it off wall power without having to carry an extra power supply, etc.

    Also want to find the right DI box to mount to one of the cab sides or the back door. That way I can set up any "live" patches in the Stomp with a signal split at the end of the signal chain; one branch with an IR, the other without, run both outputs back to the cab plugging the one without IR into the power amp, the one with IR into the DI box, and just take the mic cable FOH was going to use to mic the cab and plug it into the DI box. Volume knob on the Stomp will only adjust the non-IR output, so I can control stage monitor volume from my pedal board without affecting the direct output level to FOH.

    I MAY splurge and upgrade the power to a SD Powerstage if I grow to love this cab over the next couple months. Mostly...just because the Baby Bomb has no delay between powering itself up and sending audio to its output so you always get a "pop" through the speaker. If this is a cab I'm gonna be using a lot, it would honestly be worth $400 just to alleviate that issue. Or maybe build an ICEpower board on the interior of the backdoor panel (hey @Elric -- do those boards on ebay have an issue with popping on power-on?).

    [​IMG]

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  2. mbenigni

    mbenigni Member

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    Does it come in black? ;)
     
  3. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Member

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    So many Kustom Krylon options available :)
     
  4. GravityWell

    GravityWell Member

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    Awesome. Choice colors too! Have you considered tilt back legs?
     
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  5. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Member

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    Was going for the closest thing I could find to fiesta red and sonic blue -- it came out a little more Florida than I intended, but still relatively happy with it. There's like 6 coats of wipe on polyurethane to try to keep it semi-protected, but I suspect its gonna get relic'ed pretty quickly. Which will still look better than any attempt I could make at tolexing it.

    Yes, I have considered tilt-back legs and may add them.
     
  6. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Trumpets and Tants Silver Supporting Member

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    I TRIED TO TELL HIM!!!!
     
  7. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    Man that looks clean!
     
  8. GravityWell

    GravityWell Member

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    A friend of mine and I re-tolexed a Fender Rhodes last year. It is a PITA... the results were not terrible, though.
     
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  9. Dave Merrill

    Dave Merrill Supporting Member

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    Looks great as is.
     
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  10. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Member

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    MIJLOVER, LordByron and JiveTurkey like this.
  11. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Silver Supporting Member

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    EXCELLENT.
    I love the TV cab look.
     
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  12. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Member

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    Bonus is that a rounded square is MUCH easier to cut evenly than a circle is freehand with a jig-saw.
     
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  13. dramaticrunner

    dramaticrunner Member

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  14. hippietim

    hippietim Member

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    Excellent! My assumption when clicking to read the thread was that it'd be black. Your choice of colors is kick ass!
     
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  15. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Member

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    Pffffft. Black. Sometimes is as if you guys are just a bunch of strangers on the internet that barely know me at all :D
     
  16. mbenigni

    mbenigni Member

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  17. Robot B9

    Robot B9 Member

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    Great job! Love it.
     
  18. DeSelby

    DeSelby Member

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  19. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Member

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    A few more thoughts.

    This idea of integrating a modeler into a cab for a "combo" amp type thing has long been in the back of my brain, but its actually a lot harder than you might expect to do it in a beneficial way. Considered it with my Kemper rack and...the cab just winds up being kinda bulky to the point where every drawing I came up with made me think "actually, I'd rather just have a separate cab and Kemper than this." That's because mounting a rack unit in the cab takes up actual active cab volume when you are accounting for how big to make the cab. So bigger cab + a modeler that weighs 5-10 pounds more than my Stomp board for Kemper/Helix/Axe III rack units - before you even add in the weight/cumbersomeness of the external foot controller and...an integrated approach just never made a lot of sense.

    This cab would work with an FM3. With an FM3 + FC6, a Helix Floor/LT, a Kemper Stage -- You've got 7 or 8 more pounds worth of pedal board to carry and its gonna have to be a pretty wide cab. You could do it, but its not gonna be nearly as "grab-n-go" as this setup.
     
  20. SAVEStheDAY

    SAVEStheDAY Member

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    An old school look for new school gear. It's awesome dude.
     

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