Line 6 Helix

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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1457
    FarleyUK said:
    Hey guys, used to have a Helix about a year ago and.moved to an AX8. Not looking to start a war or anything, but one of the major differences I found between them was that the ax8 amps just felt and responded better; has this been addressed in the later Helix firmwares? Has the feel and responsiveness been improved?
    There haven't been any major changes to existing amps according to Line 6, but there have been quite a few new ones.  The default settings for some have been changed so they sound better before any tweaking.  For me, and I've played both, the Helix amps sound, feel, and respond every bit as good as the Axe FX and the UI is heaps better IMO.

    each to their own though, and if you like the axe fx then no need to change, I don't think one is sonically 'better' than the other, just a bit different.
    Do me a favour and like this:

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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 2258

    I finally tried the Helix into a decent monitor and it sounded great.  I could easily use the Deluxe Reverb as my main sound.  That said I’ve just ordered a new amp, so I’ll be sticking to valve amps for the foreseeable.... 




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  • siremoonsiremoon Frets: 551
    FarleyUK said:
    Hey guys, used to have a Helix about a year ago and.moved to an AX8. Not looking to start a war or anything, but one of the major differences I found between them was that the ax8 amps just felt and responded better; has this been addressed in the later Helix firmwares? Has the feel and responsiveness been improved?
    No it's still absolutely diabolical and you'd really hate it.  To be honest I only use Helix for all my recordings, rehearsals and gigs because it's cheap and I couldn't afford a proper unit.  I have no ear for tone or feel or responsiveness or any of that obscure subjective stuff so it's not an issue for me that it is so bad.  It's a bloody good job the audiences are always profoundly deaf or I'd be completely screwed.
    “He is like a man with a fork in a world of soup.” - Noel Gallagher
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  • gearaddictgearaddict Frets: 524
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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 2258

    Quick question -  Updating a mates Helix, no idea what firmware he has.

    Do I just use the latest Helix edit to back up and then the latest editor to go direct to 2.60?
    Or do I need an older editor to back it up? 

    I've always been though each firmware upgrade incrementally, I seem to remember something about using older versions of the software if your Helix was several updates out-of-date.  Although may have dreamt that!!
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  • shuikitshuikit Frets: 136
    I just got a Helix which was on v1.something just fired up the updater software and it installed 2.6.  Funnily, it recommended that I did a full backup but when I started HX edit, it said I needed to update the firmware before I could use it!
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  • siremoonsiremoon Frets: 551
    edited July 11

    Quick question -  Updating a mates Helix, no idea what firmware he has.

    Do I just use the latest Helix edit to back up and then the latest editor to go direct to 2.60?
    Or do I need an older editor to back it up? 

    I've always been though each firmware upgrade incrementally, I seem to remember something about using older versions of the software if your Helix was several updates out-of-date.  Although may have dreamt that!!
    You have to backup using the version of the editor that is compatible with the firmware version you are starting with. 

    The upgrade procedure is different depending on whether you are starting with V2.20 or higher, or, V2.12.2 or lower.  The new upgrade procedure is very easy, the old one was much more of a faff.  The V2.30 release notes explain the different procedures:


     Also note that prior to V2.30 of the editor there was no "one button saves everything" backup function and no way to back up the global settings so these will be lost if starting with Helix firmware of V2.12.2 or lower.  Make a note of what the global settings all are before you start if in this situation unless your mate doesn't care about them all being lost.

    “He is like a man with a fork in a world of soup.” - Noel Gallagher
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  • duotoneduotone Frets: 255
    Finally got around to using & tweaking the Factory  template files on the Helix...very useful. 

    Not sure why it's taken me so long to do so, but better late than never!
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  • John_AJohn_A Frets: 1457
    Just been playing with my Helix.  At the moment I'm pretty much using one patch (JCM800) with 4 snapshots and a few switchable effects for our whole set I've spent a lot of time on the patch and to my ears sounds great.  Today I  thought I'd just try some more of the amp models.  Have a couple of observations:

    Just using the default amp/cab block with no other effects other than a bit of reverb it sounds great.  I'm sure this wasn't the case on the release firmware 2 years ago.

    Switching between presets is almost gapless, again I'm sure this wasn't the case on the release firmware 2 years ago.


    Do me a favour and like this:

    https://www.facebook.com/MarkedCoversBand
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1132
    Updated both my Floor and LT to 2.6 earlier then promptly had to go through my presets (not too much ball ache as I only have 4 for gigging) and unwet the reverb. Everything is sounding sweet though and I’m loving the Cali Clean model.
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  • John_A said:
    Just been playing with my Helix.  At the moment I'm pretty much using one patch (JCM800) with 4 snapshots and a few switchable effects for our whole set I've spent a lot of time on the patch and to my ears sounds great.  Today I  thought I'd just try some more of the amp models.  Have a couple of observations:

    Just using the default amp/cab block with no other effects other than a bit of reverb it sounds great.  I'm sure this wasn't the case on the release firmware 2 years ago.

    Switching between presets is almost gapless, again I'm sure this wasn't the case on the release firmware 2 years ago.


    I’ll plus 1 this 
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  • robinbowesrobinbowes Frets: 1798
    I got mine on 8th April 2017 and I've never had problems switching presets - it's always been unnoticeable to me. But then I don't switch presets when actually playing, only in gaps.
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  • hubobuloushubobulous Frets: 2051

    Same here. I use snapshots within a song and change patches per song. If we play medleys, I just ensure that the patch is set up to cater for everything required which is normally quite easy

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  • TeetonetalTeetonetal Frets: 5931
    I got mine on 8th April 2017 and I've never had problems switching presets - it's always been unnoticeable to me. But then I don't switch presets when actually playing, only in gaps.
    If you switch from DSP intensive to DSP intensive patch whilst playing, clear gap. Hence the snapshot feature.
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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 2258
    siremoon said:

    Quick question -  Updating a mates Helix, no idea what firmware he has.

    Do I just use the latest Helix edit to back up and then the latest editor to go direct to 2.60?
    Or do I need an older editor to back it up? 

    I've always been though each firmware upgrade incrementally, I seem to remember something about using older versions of the software if your Helix was several updates out-of-date.  Although may have dreamt that!!
    You have to backup using the version of the editor that is compatible with the firmware version you are starting with. 

    The upgrade procedure is different depending on whether you are starting with V2.20 or higher, or, V2.12.2 or lower.  The new upgrade procedure is very easy, the old one was much more of a faff.  The V2.30 release notes explain the different procedures:


     Also note that prior to V2.30 of the editor there was no "one button saves everything" backup function and no way to back up the global settings so these will be lost if starting with Helix firmware of V2.12.2 or lower.  Make a note of what the global settings all are before you start if in this situation unless your mate doesn't care about them all being lost.

    Thanks.  This is great.

    I take it if he’s not bothered about losing everthing and starting again, I can just update with the latest updater and go straight to 2.6?

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  • siremoonsiremoon Frets: 551
    edited July 13
    siremoon said:

    Quick question -  Updating a mates Helix, no idea what firmware he has.

    Do I just use the latest Helix edit to back up and then the latest editor to go direct to 2.60?
    Or do I need an older editor to back it up? 

    I've always been though each firmware upgrade incrementally, I seem to remember something about using older versions of the software if your Helix was several updates out-of-date.  Although may have dreamt that!!
    You have to backup using the version of the editor that is compatible with the firmware version you are starting with. 

    The upgrade procedure is different depending on whether you are starting with V2.20 or higher, or, V2.12.2 or lower.  The new upgrade procedure is very easy, the old one was much more of a faff.  The V2.30 release notes explain the different procedures:


     Also note that prior to V2.30 of the editor there was no "one button saves everything" backup function and no way to back up the global settings so these will be lost if starting with Helix firmware of V2.12.2 or lower.  Make a note of what the global settings all are before you start if in this situation unless your mate doesn't care about them all being lost.

    Thanks.  This is great.

    I take it if he’s not bothered about losing everthing and starting again, I can just update with the latest updater and go straight to 2.6?

    Yes, the correct version of the editor is only required to back up the settings before you start.

    BUT you still need to follow the correct update procedure for the build you're starting from.  If the old build is V2.12.2 or lower you can omit the steps to back up and restore HIS presets if he doesn't want them but DO NOT omit the step to restore the global settings and FACTORY presets.   
    “He is like a man with a fork in a world of soup.” - Noel Gallagher
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  • This probably sounds like a bit of a daft question when they are poles apart in cost however, has anyone who could get good tones from a zoom G3 or G3x then upgraded to a Helix? I'm very tempted to buy a new or used LT, even though I find some pretty good tones out of the Zoom and just wondered whether they found it a huge upgrade or not. It'll be home use mainly through headphones alrhohga I'll probably get some monitors for it also.
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  • vasselmeyervasselmeyer Frets: 2327
    The quality of the Zoom, whilst good, doesn't really compare (to a guitarist's ear) well to an AxeFx, Helix or Kemper. However, I had to use my G3 direct at a tiny venue recently and the audience (who are ones buying the venue's drinks) didn't care in the slightest! It was good enough
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 875
    This probably sounds like a bit of a daft question when they are poles apart in cost however, has anyone who could get good tones from a zoom G3 or G3x then upgraded to a Helix? I'm very tempted to buy a new or used LT, even though I find some pretty good tones out of the Zoom and just wondered whether they found it a huge upgrade or not. It'll be home use mainly through headphones alrhohga I'll probably get some monitors for it also.
    I used to have a pedal board with a G3, MS70CDR, and a few other pedals - drives and compressor. I still think the G3 is a great unit, and amazing for the money. Anyhow, I then went on to a Boss MS3, plus a couple of drives and the MS70CDR (not at all bad) and then finally got a Helix LT... Best thing I ever did - interface, sound, capabilities overall - it's a different league imho.
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  • Megii said:
    This probably sounds like a bit of a daft question when they are poles apart in cost however, has anyone who could get good tones from a zoom G3 or G3x then upgraded to a Helix? I'm very tempted to buy a new or used LT, even though I find some pretty good tones out of the Zoom and just wondered whether they found it a huge upgrade or not. It'll be home use mainly through headphones alrhohga I'll probably get some monitors for it also.
    I used to have a pedal board with a G3, MS70CDR, and a few other pedals - drives and compressor. I still think the G3 is a great unit, and amazing for the money. Anyhow, I then went on to a Boss MS3, plus a couple of drives and the MS70CDR (not at all bad) and then finally got a Helix LT... Best thing I ever did - interface, sound, capabilities overall - it's a different league imho.
    Sold!
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 875
    edited August 15
    Megii said:
    This probably sounds like a bit of a daft question when they are poles apart in cost however, has anyone who could get good tones from a zoom G3 or G3x then upgraded to a Helix? I'm very tempted to buy a new or used LT, even though I find some pretty good tones out of the Zoom and just wondered whether they found it a huge upgrade or not. It'll be home use mainly through headphones alrhohga I'll probably get some monitors for it also.
    I used to have a pedal board with a G3, MS70CDR, and a few other pedals - drives and compressor. I still think the G3 is a great unit, and amazing for the money. Anyhow, I then went on to a Boss MS3, plus a couple of drives and the MS70CDR (not at all bad) and then finally got a Helix LT... Best thing I ever did - interface, sound, capabilities overall - it's a different league imho.
    Sold!
    Perhaps I should add that my main use of the Helix is as a gigging guitarist (jazz/pop/funk/blues styles), and also shortly after getting the Helix, I decided to get an Alto FRFR speaker to take advantage properly of the amp and cab modelling. More recently, I got a second Alto FRFR so I can go stereo when practical - not strictly necessary, but I love the stereo possibilities with effects. At larger gigs, I send a direct out from the Helix to the PA. Anyhow, in this context, the Helix has changed my life very much for the better - it really is a stunningly good sounding thing, massively flexible and versatile, near endless possibilities, and very easy to use and program.

    Re headphone use - that's not a biggie for me to be honest, but there has been some recent talk on the forum that you need a fairly decent set of headphones, of fairly high impedance, to get the best results. If it was me, I'd want some sort of decent monitors for home use also (I use my Altos, although they're a bit big for this) - I think there are limits to the results one can get with headphones, with any guitar processor (not just the Helix).
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  • chickenchaserchickenchaser Frets: 9
    edited August 17

    Perhaps I should add that my main use of the Helix is as a gigging guitarist (jazz/pop/funk/blues styles), and also shortly after getting the Helix, I decided to get an Alto FRFR speaker to take advantage properly of the amp and cab modelling. More recently, I got a second Alto FRFR so I can go stereo when practical - not strictly necessary, but I love the stereo possibilities with effects. At larger gigs, I send a direct out from the Helix to the PA. Anyhow, in this context, the Helix has changed my life very much for the better - it really is a stunningly good sounding thing, massively flexible and versatile, near endless possibilities, and very easy to use and program.

    Re headphone use - that's not a biggie for me to be honest, but there has been some recent talk on the forum that you need a fairly decent set of headphones, of fairly high impedance, to get the best results. If it was me, I'd want some sort of decent monitors for home use also (I use my Altos, although they're a bit big for this) - I think there are limits to the results one can get with headphones, with any guitar processor (not just the Helix).

    I'd agree on the headphones thing, and I've got a pair of Panasonic monitors at the moment, although I think i'm going to get a set of Audio Technica M50x to replace them. I'll get some monitor speakers next year when I get a dedicated music room in the house but until then its got to be silent or quiet practice due to little ones. Its probably overkill, but I work hard for it so why not?
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  • Perhaps I should add that my main use of the Helix is as a gigging guitarist (jazz/pop/funk/blues styles), and also shortly after getting the Helix, I decided to get an Alto FRFR speaker to take advantage properly of the amp and cab modelling. More recently, I got a second Alto FRFR so I can go stereo when practical - not strictly necessary, but I love the stereo possibilities with effects. At larger gigs, I send a direct out from the Helix to the PA. Anyhow, in this context, the Helix has changed my life very much for the better - it really is a stunningly good sounding thing, massively flexible and versatile, near endless possibilities, and very easy to use and program.

    Re headphone use - that's not a biggie for me to be honest, but there has been some recent talk on the forum that you need a fairly decent set of headphones, of fairly high impedance, to get the best results. If it was me, I'd want some sort of decent monitors for home use also (I use my Altos, although they're a bit big for this) - I think there are limits to the results one can get with headphones, with any guitar processor (not just the Helix).

    I'd agree on the headphones thing, and I've got a pair of Panasonic monitors at the moment, although I think i'm going to get a set of Audio Technica M50x to replace them. I'll get some monitor speakers next year when I get a dedicated music room in the house but until then its got to be silent or quiet practice due to little ones. Its probably overkill, but I work hard for it so why not?
    Try an IK Multimedia iLoud
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 875

    Perhaps I should add that my main use of the Helix is as a gigging guitarist (jazz/pop/funk/blues styles), and also shortly after getting the Helix, I decided to get an Alto FRFR speaker to take advantage properly of the amp and cab modelling. More recently, I got a second Alto FRFR so I can go stereo when practical - not strictly necessary, but I love the stereo possibilities with effects. At larger gigs, I send a direct out from the Helix to the PA. Anyhow, in this context, the Helix has changed my life very much for the better - it really is a stunningly good sounding thing, massively flexible and versatile, near endless possibilities, and very easy to use and program.

    Re headphone use - that's not a biggie for me to be honest, but there has been some recent talk on the forum that you need a fairly decent set of headphones, of fairly high impedance, to get the best results. If it was me, I'd want some sort of decent monitors for home use also (I use my Altos, although they're a bit big for this) - I think there are limits to the results one can get with headphones, with any guitar processor (not just the Helix).

    I'd agree on the headphones thing, and I've got a pair of Panasonic monitors at the moment, although I think i'm going to get a set of Audio Technica M50x to replace them. I'll get some monitor speakers next year when I get a dedicated music room in the house but until then its got to be silent or quiet practice due to little ones. Its probably overkill, but I work hard for it so why not?
    Not overkill at all - it seemed like a bit of a wodge to spend when I got mine, but the thing is just such a great bit of kit. It still puts a grin on my face, and when I think what I had already frittered away on various pedals and paraphernalia before getting it, and what I might have spent since, if I hadn't bought it... actually pretty amazing value - you'll love it. :)
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  • BlueingreenBlueingreen Frets: 695
    Megil are you happy with the dirt options on the Helix?  I'm swithering about a Helix or an HX Effects but that's the $64K question - it's not worth it for me if I end up bringing analogue dirt pedals.
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.” Bertrand Russell

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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 2258

    I have a Helix LT and had a G3, the Helix has better amp models no question, and is a far superior system.  But some of the Zoom effects are equally as good as the line 6 ones and some I prefer.     However the Helix drives are much better than Zooms, IMO.
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 875
    Megil are you happy with the dirt options on the Helix?  I'm swithering about a Helix or an HX Effects but that's the $64K question - it's not worth it for me if I end up bringing analogue dirt pedals.
    @Blueingreen - indeed I am. I should say that I have changed from being a pedal board user, who got all his dirt effects from individual drive pedals, going into a clean amp, to using the Helix LT usually going direct to PA plus an FRFR monitor, and using the Helix amp models (sometimes pushed with one of the pedal models) to get my dirt sounds. So I was never a valve amp user for distortion/overdrive, and I'm sure those quality valve amps can sound superb for drive sounds.

    But to my ears, the Helix amp models, sometimes pushed with one of the drive pedal models, can certainly produce extremely good drive sounds, and clearly superior to the results I could get before using dirt pedals on my old pedal board setup. I particularly like using the Helix's "Minotour" overdrive (a Klon model) going into the Litigator amp model (a Dumble amp kind of thing) but the worlds your oyster really. Being able to use the amp models is one reason I didn't go for the HX Effects, and I do think that was the right decision in my case.
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  • Megii said:
    Megil are you happy with the dirt options on the Helix?  I'm swithering about a Helix or an HX Effects but that's the $64K question - it's not worth it for me if I end up bringing analogue dirt pedals.
    @Blueingreen - indeed I am. I should say that I have changed from being a pedal board user, who got all his dirt effects from individual drive pedals, going into a clean amp, to using the Helix LT usually going direct to PA plus an FRFR monitor, and using the Helix amp models (sometimes pushed with one of the pedal models) to get my dirt sounds. So I was never a valve amp user for distortion/overdrive, and I'm sure those quality valve amps can sound superb for drive sounds.

    But to my ears, the Helix amp models, sometimes pushed with one of the drive pedal models, can certainly produce extremely good drive sounds, and clearly superior to the results I could get before using dirt pedals on my old pedal board setup. I particularly like using the Helix's "Minotour" overdrive (a Klon model) going into the Litigator amp model (a Dumble amp kind of thing) but the worlds your oyster really. Being able to use the amp models is one reason I didn't go for the HX Effects, and I do think that was the right decision in my case.
    The Klon into the Litigator is indeed a very good combination.
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  • Megil are you happy with the dirt options on the Helix?  I'm swithering about a Helix or an HX Effects but that's the $64K question - it's not worth it for me if I end up bringing analogue dirt pedals.
    That all depends on which dirt pedals you are using just now.

    ive never got happy with the dirt pedals on Helix because but that’s probably because none of the deals I had on my board were modelled in helix

    however, the Klon, Ts808, Fuzzface, OCD are all pretty spot on. There’s a few oddballs I like as well including the Line 6 original KWB which is pretty awesome

    Basically my answer is: the pedals are great... if you actually like those particular pedals. If you’re not too set on a particular pedal or your preferred pedals are actually modelled in Helix then you’ll be more than happy 
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  • BlueingreenBlueingreen Frets: 695
    Thanks for the answers guys.  I'm not super-fussy about dirt sounds, but I have an M9 and never found the dirt sounds adequate.  I'm using my (Quilter) amp as a pedal platform and use a Lovepedal Amp 11 and/or an Xotic BB Preamp.  But I'm not really committed to either of these  and sometimes gig with just a Flyrig 5.

    The main attractions with the HX Effects are cost and simplicity - I just carry on with the way I'm doing things but with a different "pedal board".  The idea of the amp modellers is appealing but it would mean acquiring a different amp/speaker set up as well so it's a much bigger leap. 
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts.” Bertrand Russell

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