Pedals v Helix - sobering thought

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clarkefanclarkefan Frets: 547
Just got my pedals to where I'm happy, and stupidly decided to add it up.

There's only 5 (wah, flanger, phaser, delay, reverb) plus an eq and a boost.

800 quid.  I can't believe it.

I could have a Helix LT new for that. 100+ effects plus triple-backwards somersaults on demand.

Sobering.  Thing is, I wouldn't swap, for all the usual reasons, like I cannot be arsed fiddling with crap, I don't enjoy the learning curves and deep diving, it takes away from the fun playing bit.

But, 800 quid, wow.  If I was in a band playing out I could see the attraction in the modelling stuff. 
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  • dindudedindude Frets: 6219
    Yup it’s not cheap, I have 6 sound making pedals, a tuner, and a simple non programmable switcher and I’m easily at £1600 - add in power supply, cables and board and we’re at £2k. Dread to think what all the pedal swaps to get to this point have cost too.

    But hey, at least it’s not a bloody Helix. 
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  • If it's any consolation - I've been using multi effects, with and without amp sims, for years.  In that time I've had a Digitech RP2000, Vox ToneLab LE, POD HD500, TC Electronic Nova and now I'm gigging with a Kemper.  Even without counting the Kemper, I'm still way over £800.
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  • dindude said:
    Yup it’s not cheap, I have 6 sound making pedals, a tuner, and a simple non programmable switcher and I’m easily at £1600 - add in power supply, cables and board and we’re at £2k. Dread to think what all the pedal swaps to get to this point have cost too.

    But hey, at least it’s not a bloody Helix. 
    You're not helping :) Forgot the TU-3 and all the cables and PSU, brilliant I'm up to 920, shit.
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  • Paul_CPaul_C Frets: 4820
    dindude said:
    Yup it’s not cheap, I have 6 sound making pedals, a tuner, and a simple non programmable switcher and I’m easily at £1600 - add in power supply, cables and board and we’re at £2k. Dread to think what all the pedal swaps to get to this point have cost too.

    But hey, at least it’s not a bloody Helix. 
    Imagine how much 28 cost . . . er, best not.
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 13928
    edited December 2018
    That's one of the reasons I went to the Helix - I had a very modest board, but selling the five or six pedals I had paid for the LT.

    However, I'm also putting together a board for my old band that's making a comeback - I'll be using the X88R preamp, so I need MIDI control, but I don't really need much else in the way of effects. In fact, what I need is two delay pedals and a phaser (all switched via MIDI) and a wah, that's it.

    So...I'm going crazy and doing it on the cheap. I've got a pair of Joyo Quattro delay pedals (£50 each, and they have trails and great-sounding analogue/modulation modes!) and a cheapo mini-phaser. I'm building a MIDI switching unit with the Arduino which will actually use the bypass method in the pedals themselves - so buffered bypass with trails on the delays, but true bypass on the phaser. All that will be controlled on a per-patch basis along with the X88R from my ancient ART X-11 MIDI controller which - inexplicably - keeps on trucking despite 25 years of abuse.

    From there, all I need is a switchless way (preferably a Weeping Demon Jr, but I'm curious about the Mooer Wahter), and I've basically built the whole board for about £200.

    Later, at almost zero extra cost (but needing a bit more electronics and coding design), I might even add the ability for the Arduino to control the actual pedal parameters too (as opposed to just the bypass state), but I'm not sure whether I want to go down that road.
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  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 14849
    The nice thing about pedals is you don't have to buy them all in one go. The Helix is a lot of cash to splurge in one go and it would be complete overkill for the stuff I used to play. I've also noticed that some folk still use favoured pedals into the Helix as well.
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  • @digitalscream , I don't understand most of what you just said but I'm pleased you're finding clever ways to get what you need :)

    I'd suggest as a phaser the new addition in my place,  the Phase 95, but I won't cos it's 100 quid :)
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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 153
    @Sassafras 's point is a good one. My pedalboard -- and I'm only a home player, so I don't really have to cover all the bases -- is probably about 800 quid. And the pedals I have that aren't on the board are mostly self-built, but Hammond enclosures etc add up. So I'm probably not far shy of 1000 quid.

    However, the most I've ever spent in one go is 200 quid, and the two times I did that, I'd just sold a bunch of cheaper pedals, and more or less funded the purchase from that. So, my net spend in any given month is never very high. It's taken me over 2 years to spend that net 900-1000 quid.

    I've also had several modellers and multi-fx, and I get much more fun out of the pedals, and the sounds are better. I wouldn't want to make that claim against the Helix, and I have wondered about getting a Helix stomp and replacing the digital pedals on my board, and just keeping a few "mojo" things.

     
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  • Musicwolf said:
    If it's any consolation - I've been using multi effects, with and without amp sims, for years.  In that time I've had a Digitech RP2000, Vox ToneLab LE, POD HD500, TC Electronic Nova and now I'm gigging with a Kemper.  Even without counting the Kemper, I'm still way over £800.
    Yes it is a consolation, thank you, in the "I'm not the only one" vein :) 
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  • Sassafras said:
    The nice thing about pedals is you don't have to buy them all in one go. The Helix is a lot of cash to splurge in one go and it would be complete overkill for the stuff I used to play. I've also noticed that some folk still use favoured pedals into the Helix as well.
    Yep, that's why it took my breath away :)  It's gradual, a chunky amount here, a hundred there, suddenly bloody hell WTF?

    And you're right the Helix for example would be well over the top for what I personally want, I have what I need and anything else is a burden.  Unless of course I was in a band needing those extras, fair enough, I'm sure the sounds from a Helix are good.
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  • Both routes get expensive...for example if you want to use all the modelling in the helix then you won’t want to go via a regular amp and cab so there’s a bigger outlay than some realise. To counter that is the dread when you add up the  value of all your pedals, board, power and cabling, then the amp etc.

    Ive tried both routes and real pedals/amps are by far my preference. The downside is that with real pedals, GAS is never far away, but at least there’s a huge choice and I can chop and change over time.
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  • jeztone2jeztone2 Frets: 1110
    edited December 2018
    clarkefan said:
    Just got my pedals to where I'm happy, and stupidly decided to add it up.

    There's only 5 (wah, flanger, phaser, delay, reverb) plus an eq and a boost.

    800 quid.  I can't believe it.

    I could have a Helix LT new for that. 100+ effects plus triple-backwards somersaults on demand.

    Sobering.  Thing is, I wouldn't swap, for all the usual reasons, like I cannot be arsed fiddling with crap, I don't enjoy the learning curves and deep diving, it takes away from the fun playing bit.

    But, 800 quid, wow.  If I was in a band playing out I could see the attraction in the modelling stuff. 
    That’s exactly what I’ve done. This autumn I’ve had a load of cable failures on the board. I’ve had noise problems using a Catalinbread Echorec with my MS-3. So in the end I sold everything off and bought an LT for £750. I’ve always used those Planet Waves pedalboard cable kits without a problem for years. But this year? I think someone’s quality control has dropped off a cliff. 

    I originally planned to use it with my drives in the loops as a pedalboard, but now I’ve seen those Seymour Duncan power amps. I may go down that route. 

    The main FX I’ve used for the last 18 years has been the DL4/M5 modeller Pedal sounds. So that’s why a Helix felt like a no brainier.
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 2199
    Since buying a Helix I’ve saved a fortune, but the best saving has been time, no more worrying about patch leads looking untidy and more spent playing, the regular updates are a pile of new gear to play with that’s free too
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  • On the flipside, I tried to go with the HXFX and sell all my pedals and I've started going back the other way. None of my pedals would sell so it effectively doubled the cost of it. The setup I have wired up currently costs about the same as the HX FX but has the sounds I want, only one pedal could be replaced by the HxFX (Octavia) as the drive sounds on it seem quite similar to each other and the octave/whammy FX on it are nowhere near as good as my Whammy V and Boss multi overtone. And they are less noisy.

    Admittedly the drive sounds might be better on a full Helix as you could use the amp models as well (and i'd be lying if i said I wasnt interested in the Divided by 13 model) but whilst you could get a Helix LT for £800 you'd still be needing £300 on top for an amp be it guitar amp or frfr so it's not that much different unless you're the kind of player that needs lots of  unusual effects or are in a covers band and need one of effects
    I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1332
    Interesting observation @clarkefan as someone who has just taken the plunge and bought a HX FX, which on the plus side gives me all the fx I'll ever need, OK they might not sound exactly like those they are modelled on, but as I've never heard most of the real things anyway and Joe Punter at the Dog and Duck couldn't tell either, no problem to me.......on the downside I lose out on the opening the box and trying a new pedal excitement/disappointment.....
    Last month I finally decided to replace my TC Electronic Rusty Fuzz and splurged on a Rotosound Fuzz Reissue, a Dunlop Mini Fuzzface in Germanium and Silicone, dislike them all (!) £350, then found sonic Nirvana in the new EHX Green Russian...another £75.......those four purchases would have paid for the FX which includes all the Fuzz Ill ever need and distortions, drives reverbs, delays...you get the picture, no patch leads or power supplies......
    Lets say I see a video of someone playing a Klon and fancy trying one, ooo I have one on the HXFX etc.......
    And after a few mins getting to grips with using the thing, its piss easy, really and I'm not the sharpest tool on the tech box......

    So far it works for me
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  • jellybellyjellybelly Frets: 311
    edited December 2018
    Good to hear some of these observations - doing something similar in getting rid of my board (potentially) in favour of the HX Effects which is currently sat under the Christmas tree. Timmy, Rat and El Capistan are my mainstays - and I’m not getting rid of them just yet - but I’m hoping to get very close but without the size and hassle of a Pedaltrain Jr.

    If after a period I’m happy with the change, the HX will be more than covered by selling the three pedals mentioned above, nevermind the other pedals I have knocking around, patch cables, pedaltrain etc etc
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  • I use Helix a LOT. But I also have a ton of pedals. Way over £800 worth!

    Neither sound objectively "better" but just different. There are tones I can get from a Source Audio Ventris and DD-500 that I cannot get in the box on the Helix.

    The Helix platform is so flexible; you can go half pedals half Helix with the HX Stomp, you can go mostly Helix and a few pedals with the HX Effects, or you can go huge and go Helix with a couple of additional pedals too.

    I can't quite chance going huge myself, because I'm still a pedestrian. So I need to be able to carry my board at the same time as a guitar. So I have multiple options, and I think that's the best way to go if you can afford it.

    Also Line 6's customer support is second to none.
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  • Really interesting thoughts, thanks all :)  

    I think all the talk about how the Helix stuff works and all the options available has sort of confirmed my feelings that I'm happier where I am, there's just too much involved in modellers for my (home player) needs.  I freely admit I'm a bear of little brain, all the options and choices that are gold to some just give me a headache.

    When I'm feeling brave I might try the HX some time :)
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 20171
    I use Helix a LOT. But I also have a ton of pedals. Way over £800 worth!

    Neither sound objectively "better" but just different. There are tones I can get from a Source Audio Ventris and DD-500 that I cannot get in the box on the Helix.

    The Helix platform is so flexible; you can go half pedals half Helix with the HX Stomp, you can go mostly Helix and a few pedals with the HX Effects, or you can go huge and go Helix with a couple of additional pedals too.

    I can't quite chance going huge myself, because I'm still a pedestrian. So I need to be able to carry my board at the same time as a guitar. So I have multiple options, and I think that's the best way to go if you can afford it.

    Also Line 6's customer support is second to none.
    You mean Yamaha's .... ;-)

    I just got a HX Stomp .. like the amps and cabs and the delays, mods etc. I'm not too keen on the distortions which is fine as I can use pedals. And I have over £800 worth of pedals .. Stymon gear isn't cheap ..
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 2199
    Fretwired said:
    I use Helix a LOT. But I also have a ton of pedals. Way over £800 worth!

    Neither sound objectively "better" but just different. There are tones I can get from a Source Audio Ventris and DD-500 that I cannot get in the box on the Helix.

    The Helix platform is so flexible; you can go half pedals half Helix with the HX Stomp, you can go mostly Helix and a few pedals with the HX Effects, or you can go huge and go Helix with a couple of additional pedals too.

    I can't quite chance going huge myself, because I'm still a pedestrian. So I need to be able to carry my board at the same time as a guitar. So I have multiple options, and I think that's the best way to go if you can afford it.

    Also Line 6's customer support is second to none.
    You mean Yamaha's .... ;-)

    I just got a HX Stomp .. like the amps and cabs and the delays, mods etc. I'm not too keen on the distortions which is fine as I can use pedals. And I have over £800 worth of pedals .. Stymon gear isn't cheap ..
    I may be wrong, but although Line 6 are the parent company now, Line 6 still operates quite independently and the credit to Line 6 is justified 
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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 1952
    Try selling a Line 6 Flextone or Spider amp here. You’d be lucky to get £50 for an amp that cost £600 new. 

    Stick with your pedals. They’ll be worth money in ten years, unlike a ‘helix 1’ which you won’t be able to sell for love nor money. 
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 2199
    TheMarlin said:
    Try selling a Line 6 Flextone or Spider amp here. You’d be lucky to get £50 for an amp that cost £600 new. 

    Stick with your pedals. They’ll be worth money in ten years, unlike a ‘helix 1’ which you won’t be able to sell for love nor money. 
    I agree, a ten year old Helix won’t be worth a lot, but don’t see your average pedal being much of an investment either,  at the end of the day they’re all tools, did any joiners hang on to a hand drill because a Black and Decker wouldn’t be worth anything in 10 years?
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  • I suppose you could see it like the depreciation value on buying stuff and selling it at a loss, probably works out the same if you stick with it
    I may feel slightly sad, but I won't cry
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 20171
    John_A said:

    I may be wrong, but although Line 6 are the parent company now, Line 6 still operates quite independently and the credit to Line 6 is justified 
    Line 6 UK was closed and staff in it's excellent support department were made redundant. Everything was moved to Yamaha in Germany. Line 6 is operated as a totally owned subsidiary of Yamaha.

    Check the UK website contact us page - Yamaha Germany. This doesn't mean that the support given isn't top notch.



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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 4356
    TheMarlin said:
    Try selling a Line 6 Flextone or Spider amp here. You’d be lucky to get £50 for an amp that cost £600 new. 

    Stick with your pedals. They’ll be worth money in ten years, unlike a ‘helix 1’ which you won’t be able to sell for love nor money. 
    I think you're wrong, actually. It's a pretty common claim, but take the AxeFX - the first ones came out approx. 10 years ago, now. Still reasonable to expect at least £500 second hand for one. I wonder how much they'd be worth if Fractal hadn't willingly brought out successors to it?

    It's like any gear. Long term, some stuff is in demand and other stuff isn't. A Spider was always sold as an affordable consumer item. A Helix is sold as a professional tool. How much it's worth in 10 years will be down to a; what age-related faults start to occur and b; how good its reputation is, long term - how many famous artists use it, how many users make positive noises online etc.
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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 1952
    Technology will continue to march on.

    When Helix 2 comes out, Helix 1 values will plummet. Line 6 gear just doesn’t hold its value.  

    Bit like old iPhones...
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 4356
    Well, I guess you've always been right before. :'(
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 2199
    TheMarlin said:
    Technology will continue to march on.

    When Helix 2 comes out, Helix 1 values will plummet. Line 6 gear just doesn’t hold its value.  

    Bit like old iPhones...
    May be true, but by the time it comes out I’ll probably have had mine 5 years and it’ll have paid for itself 10 times over and it won’t sound any worse than it does today
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  • jellybellyjellybelly Frets: 311
    edited December 2018
    I think the old L6 stuff suffers as it wasn’t particularly well made or particularly good. In terms of modellers, the Helix is a watershed product. 

    L6 pedals have always held their value pretty well, even the monsterous tonecore ones. I’m confident the DL4, M9 and M5 will continue to hold their values and any of the Helix products will - to an extent - hold theirs too. 

    I paid £350 new for my HX Effects (PMT knocked £50 off for it being a display model). If it’s worth less than £200 - adjusted for inflation and assuming it’s in good working order - I’ll be very, very surprised. 
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  • Yeah, digital gear never holds its value, i mean look at how much the 2290 resale plummeted after TC released the Flashback
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