so wil we see a $500 unit from line6 anymore? Seems the pricpoint bar has been raised?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by stratcat1980, Dec 7, 2017.


  1. Willowdale

    Willowdale Member

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    Hopefully Line6 has stopped catering to the lowest common denominator & will continue to play in the higher end of things(which is really not that high)...where so much more is possible than the budget crap that is always compromised & seriously lacking. Where’s the fun in that:dunno
     
  2. Gary Ladd

    Gary Ladd Member

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    Who is this Line 6 you speak of...:confused
     
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  3. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    Yesssss, @Digital Igloo! Nailed it.

    I've recently come back to TGP after almost a decade absence, hoping that the modellers have improved (when i left the big ones were Pod X3, Boss GT-8, Zoom G9.2tt, etc. the first axefx had also been released). Also, there was no shortage of mfx units for bassists!

    I come back expecting to pay ~500 for a full featured modeller and find the TGP modeller community have lost their collective minds, spending thousands on Kempers, Helix's and Axe Fx (which was always expensive). And the bass options are pathetic.

    So yes, i'd love for anyone to release a great modeller come NAMM. Really hoping for a Zoom B5n or a Boss ME80-b.

    And L6 dude guy? Please bring back tonecore. You and Digitech had that "single purpose modeller" thing going nicely and i miss it
     
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  4. chequepoint

    chequepoint Member

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    Time Value of money says that even if you haved the cash, especially if you have the cash, and someone is offering you 0% for a year you take it. Invest the cash somewhere else for the time.
     
  5. DigiPOV

    DigiPOV Member

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    What makes helix a big three? Price?

    Youve
    Its true, I don't care about a color screen, in fact I have a hard time believing that the Helix scribble strips are as visible as the GT-100 pedal assignment screens in manual mode.

    I said color screen because thats what people will want.
     
  6. yanakosk

    yanakosk Member

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    No need to worry any more for the new models in the 500€ price range from Boss, Zoom, Digitech etc.
    Mooer radar with any newish modeler up to 400-500€ will sound very good.... Did I mention that i love my Mooer radar!!!
     
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  7. HesNot

    HesNot Supporting Member

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    Saw a bit on the new Mooer multi effects pedal on Anderson’s and Chapman made an argument that at that price point you’re better off with a computer/ipad at least for home/recording than a multi effects pedal at least with respect to tone/sounds.

    I wonder if that space may be ultimately killed by computers of some variety.

    But technology trickles down at some point - if there is a market for a board the Helix tech will filter down into a more affordable and perhaps slightly limited format at a lower price.
     
  8. phil_m

    phil_m Supporting Member

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    The problem is that there is limit to how low the price can go when it comes to building hardware out of high quality materials. The price of technology decreases over time, generally, yes, but if you're sticking that technology in a board that's built to be gigged with, and you want to hit a certain price point, it's going to mean making some decisions about what can stay and what can go.

    I think people are somewhat unrealistic about what $500 should buy nowadays. Consider the fact that there are plenty of stompboxes out there nowadays that are approaching or even above $500. The Strymon BigSky, Eventide H9, and other come to mind. From a hardware perspective, they certainly have less going on than a large multi-FX.
     
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  9. mikah912

    mikah912 Member

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    Indeed. People are wildly naive about the profit margins in the musical instrument industry these days. Aint nobody Apple-ing their way through the competition. Not Line 6, Not Fractal...no one.

    If the opportunity exists to sustainably cater to a market at any price point, Line 6 - as well as their competitors - would love to jump on it. Nobody really wants to leave money in this niche industry on the table.
     
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  10. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    Some really great conversations here!

    Another couple thoughts...

    First, remember that the first higher end modelers with IR capabilities were fairly expensive. Fractal and Kemper units were over $2,000 I believe. Eleven Rack was over $1,000. Atomic was the first to bring the price down to $600 although in a fairly limited pedal form. So this new range of modelers in the $1000-ish area is kind of the new $500 threshold. And not for nothing, but inflation has pushed $500 from ten years ago to around $600.

    Second, the only ways I can see Helix scaling down to cheaper modelers is by dropping one of the DSP chips and placing some limitations in terms of usage. Just to kind of flesh out my concepts:

    Helix Mini - Amplifire style pedal with a single chip, a smaller LCD screen (black and white?), a few switches, and a row of knobs. There would be only the ability to run a single amp model, a single cab block (or impulse), one drive pedal, one modulation pedal, one delay, one reverb. With all that, maybe the price could get down close to $500? I don't know. Maybe $600?

    Helix FX - M9/13 style pedal with anywhere from 4-6 effects blocks and a looper. I'd change the layout though, instead of having knobs for every pedal, have a single row of knobs and an LCD screen with some detail for editing, but then have scribble strips above each footswitch. Should have a much smaller footprint than the M13. No amp/cab modeling (or you could be sneaky and have an impulse block to use with AIAB pedals). Again, should be in that $500-600 range.

    So your product range would be:

    Helix Rack/Control - $1800
    Helix Floor - $1500
    Helix LT - $1000
    Helix Mini - $600
    Helix FX - $600
    Helix Native - $400

    None of those devices would compromise on tone or quality, just features.
     
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  11. JiveTurkey

    JiveTurkey Supporting Member

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    This is where naive me steps in and asks; how much time and money is saved if they use existing hardware designs/enclosures with some small mods to remove functionality?
     
  12. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    One thing that I think is often forgotten in these discussions is that, for the most part, the $500 modelers were not highly regarded and that wasn't just because they lacked an aspirational price point. They all made compromises in function, workflow, or quality. They sold in decent numbers and were useful to musicians but the consensus was that they were compromised.

    If you want a $600 modeler, I think that price point is pretty well exemplified by the Amplifire. It sounds great but has some limitations in workflow and connectivity relative to upmarket products.
     
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  13. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    That's true but, nonetheless, the low-end modellers today sound great and kick the flagship modellers of yore in the pants. Plenty of members here use the Zoom G5n or Boss GT-1 and have few complaints. Of course there are compromises when scaling back a Helix or Fractal, but to many musicians the old models were unusable or difficult to dial in and/or they'd get lost in the band mix. If I'm spending 1500+, I want it to sound as good as my rig and likely replace it. If I'm spending 1k less, I want it for those times my rig is too cumbersome and I am fine with compromises.

    Compromises are fine, but the inability to find anything useful in a modeller does not fit in that definition.

    I theorize that, thanks to the proliferation of cheap digital recording technology and the huge number of self-produced recordings/demos/albums/etc, the average competent guitarist nowadays is a little more knowledgeable about dialing in tones than their brethren of the past who just wanted to plug and play, and that alone would have a large effect on the acceptance of modellers.
     
  14. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Member

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    Line 6 is in a somewhat difficult situation in the $500 price point as it stands.

    A single processor Helix at $5-650...no thank you. Even with fairly run of the mill patches that include an amp/cab block you're ALWAYS going to be strategizing to avoid processor limits - you'd basically be looking at a slightly more flexible, but also more frustrating firebox with more switching options.

    A single processor Helix with a fixed signal path to alleviate that frustration? I don't think Line 6 can introduce a fixed-signal-path product at this point given its product history without a lot of tomatoes being thrown about it being a huge step backwards.

    Same conundrum if it only has 3-6 footswitches -- "the HD500 sold for same price and had 12 footswitches?!?!? WHY IS LINE 6 MOVING BACKWARDS?!?!?"

    An HD500 with a new processor that allows IR loading sold at $500? "Seriously?!? Can you believe they're recycling that old tech?!?!?!?"

    The problem is Line 6 has too much history of kitchen-sink products at that price point. I mean, if they came out with the creme-de-la-creme firebox -- great MIDI implementation, stereo w/ dual amps, effects loop, smart preset management that use encoders with visible parameter indicator so you can still have WYSIWYG functionality, etc., etc., and sold it at $500, that would seem steap to me for a Line 6 product based on what they've previously sold at that same price point. If Strymon released the very same box with the very same sounds I wouldn't think twice about the price. Is that rational? Nope. But buyers in this space are not remotely rational.
     
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  15. mikah912

    mikah912 Member

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    I'd posit that people are actually far more satisfied with the abundance of options in the VST world since so many guys - in the current musical landscape - are primarily bedroom players anyway. Should you want to go physical, a lot of those same people are just going to grab a Katana or Code similar unit that's easy to configure, get good tones and play.
     
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  16. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    Good thoughts. I do think that Line 6 today is not the Line 6 I remember. The L6 of 10 years ago was, to me, the Bose of the modelling world. Good stuff, but way overhyped and overmarketed when it came to their flagship stuff's capabilities.

    Nowadays, L6 IS the Helix system. Their website has almost nothing else except for products that still continue to sell that they put out pre-Helix. I remember when there were a lot of products on their pages (as mentioned, I really miss the Tonecore line).

    If L6 put out something like the Boss ME-80 at 600 and based on the Helix tech, I'd definitely be interested. Use the Helix name, not the L6 name.
     
  17. Stokely

    Stokely Member

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    As someone said, if there is a void, it will be filled...by someone.

    I don't know how many people would need something for live use that is direct (no amp); that isn't huge (like the helix); that isn't super expensive (because $); and ideally would load IRs and/or sound great. There's at least one person: me. :D I"d be adding something small-ish to my keys rig at some point. Personally I don't need something will a zillion fx at once, or multiple amps, though I know many of you real guitarists use these features. :)

    So for me, the firebox has laid the gauntlet down. It does enough, and sound great. I might turn toward the regular amplifire unit for flexibility, but that would be my min/max in terms of $. I welcome more competition in that range of 3-600 bucks! I'm watching the mooer g200 for reviews as well.

    Edit: the size thing is a pretty big deal for some people. I have a couple friends that take buses/ride bikes in cities and they have to keep things as small as possible. My issue is more with stage space, considering I have two keyboards on a stand as it is!
     
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  18. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    Using Ben Vesco's DSP tables...

    Amps ~ 25-40%
    Cabs ~ 10%
    1024 IR's ~ 10%
    Delays ~ 5-10% (10-20% stereo)
    Dirt ~ 5-15%
    Mods ~ 3-10% (6-20% stereo)
    Reverb ~ 5-10% (10-20% stereo)

    Helix Mini using a single amp and cab/IR would be up to 50% of available DSP. Add one stomp and one modulation and you're up to 70%. From a DSP standpoint, if you want delay and reverb, it would have to be mono only. But you could have Amp (40%) + Cab (10%) + Stomp (15%) + Mod (10%) + Delay (10%) + Reverb (10%). They could also limit some of the highest DSP models and/or do some optimization (if possible). HX reverbs really wouldn't be possible.

    Helix FX could have a bit more flexibility and could operate stereo. Let's say you have six blocks...Stomp x2 (30%) + Mod x2 (20%) + Stereo Delay (20%) + Stereo Reverb (20%). Again, they could limit some of the high DSP models, but it's possible. Adding HX reverbs would be tricky though...think about doubling the reverb DSP and that's going to eat up resources. And again, you could have an IR block to incorporate AITB pedals.

    My assumption is they need to use the same DSP chip to maintain a unified architecture, otherwise you're having too much development all over the place.

    Anyways, I think $600 retail would be a good target price. It doesn't cannibalize sales of the higher end units and with the usual discounts it does come down closer to $500.
     
  19. stratcat1980

    stratcat1980 Member

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    All good points. I remember my 1st axsys 2-12 amp. And i remember the the vetta2 combo that was like 3k. I just couldnt spend that kind of money. Some did and there was a whole forum dedicated to it. Now i see the vetta 2 combos for $400 locally and pass on them because if they blow there are no parts to repair them. And $400 is still too much.

    I really thought the HR would be a 500.00 unit and still think it is. And for line 6 to make a 500 crippled unit now would be silly of them as the helix lt used market will be around that price anyhow. I have seen used helix non lt at 699.
    Because of line 6 resale values making a $500 unit just doesnt make sense.
    Because the fractal stuff isnt in guitar center they have better resale value and are more unique in that respect. Line 6 came out with the spider v amp which to me is a joke. Remember the 1500 watt w/d/w amp thingy with old tech in it?? what happened to that thing that weighed a million lbs??Not many bought it because to ship it back to a store was not cost effective. To me they wasted product money on that lame amp that was likely helix profit so line 6 is not the line 6 from 20 yrs ago.
     
  20. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    While there is a slice of guitarists who might be more capable, I'd hardly say the "average" is anywhere nearly as capable as you suggest. The volume of fundamental questions in this section and the recording sections indicates that an awful lot of folks are still in "plug & play" mode.
     
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