Alto TX10 & Helix for home use?

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by James R, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    I got my Helix a couple weeks back and am enjoying the living snot out of it.
    I'm currently running it through my amp and cab, which sounds great, but my understanding is that it would sound even better with a pa loudspeaker.

    A nice expensive frfr like the L6 Stagesource is not in the budget at the moment, and likely won't be until the new year, at the earliest.

    Does anybody have experience with the TX10?
    Will it be a marked improvement over using the power side of my amp and a V30 loaded 212, when it comes to capturing the true voice of the amp models (and cabs, which I currently don't use due to my setup)?

    Also, the TX12 is only a few bucks more.
    If I go with the Alto, would you guys suggest bumping it up to the TX12?

    I'm kind of looking for the same "presence" that a 212 cab would have, playing on the louder side of home volumes, if that makes sense.
    I don't know what kind of db levels I'm hitting, but definitely not whisper quiet. More like having to raise your voice a bit to be heard talking over it.

    As always, thanks for any input you guys can share.
    I'm still very new to all this, and often confused when trying to wrap my head around what will suffice for the time being, and what will be a total waste of time and money.
     
  2. northernguitarguy

    northernguitarguy SWeAT hOg

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    I'll take an ignorant stab at it. I think this is totally the wrong speaker for modelling i.e. designed for PA use. We use a Line 6 POD XT Live for my Rock program at work and it sounds like ass through the Yorkville powered speakers we use for monitors. However, it does sound good through my old Peavey Bandit (high gain not so good, clean tones with FX sounds are pleasing). My guess is you are better to use your existing amp and cab, but a flatter speaker than a V30 could offer a marked improvement. A used 70/80 was a perfect choice for the Bandit, YMMV.
     
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  3. KenG

    KenG Senior Member

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    The FRFR solution will sound like mic'ed amp through FRFR. You may end up liking it fine, you may not, some folks will always gravitate to a guitar cab (the gamp itself doesn't add much).
    You need a decent FRFR with a high crossover frequency (2.5khz or higher) and it should biamped with less power assigned to the HF Driver. Don't think of an FRFR woofer like guitar speaker and avoid 12 or larger woofers their response has too much lo end and not enough midrange.
    Or you can buy guitar modelling speakers but they are expensive. They don't use woofer but fuller range large speakers which undoubta ly contributes to the higher$$$.
    You can also use Cabs or IRs with FRFR and a global filter or EQ to limit the low/high end to make it more guitar speaker like.
    If you use a guitar amp and cab turn off the amp models and cabs and use it as a preamp and effects unit. You can of course leave them on but please don't fool yourself that you're hearing the various models correctly. The guitar preamp/amp/speaker together will colour the sound.
    The real beauty of FRFR if you can get it set toyour liking is FOH will be hearing what you're hearing. You'll be able to hear the hi/mid/lo content for a wider range across the frontof the speakers as theydon't beam like guitar speakers do, so you won't be limited to playing in a certain location to be able to hear the sweet spot of a guitar cab.
    Take the time ifyou go FRFR to learn how to use it correctly and I think youll be happy.
    For reference I currently swap between SGEAR through powered studio monitors and an analog amp (AV15) and I can get huge guitar tones from SGEAR.

    As NGG points out small PA speakers are usually poor choices, they are not well balanced. Try a TS210A orsimilar instead
     
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  4. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    Thank you very kindly, gentleman.

    So, if I'm understanding, the Alto TS speakers will work well as frfr, but the TX will not.
    Good thing I checked here first.

    One of my biggest issues in understanding this stuff is that I'm strictly a home player.
    I've never had to run through a PA or anything other than an amp, or amp and cab at most.
    When I try googling frfr speakers I often get PA loudspeakers in the results, and I've yet to find anything that's actually described as frfr in the product descriptions.

    Like, I'm honestly a complete idiot when it comes to this stuff.
    Does it have to be a 2 way speaker?
    Are they all 2 way speakers (PA and frfr)?
    What the hell does 2 way speaker even mean?
    See what I mean?
    NEWB!

    Thanks again guys!
     
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  5. tzd

    tzd Senior Member

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    I tried the TX8 before. Volume wise it will be loud enough (for home use). But, the casing is made of extremely light plastic and you can hear that in the sound - it is very bright and gave me ear fatigue.

    I would go with the Alto TS210 or Electro-Voice ZLX-12P
     
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  6. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    I use the EV ZLX12P at home and live. It has been great. Some guys like the Alto better. I went with the EV because I was looking for a specific sound - I used EVM12L speakers with my tube rig - and the EV cab came closest to the sound of my EVM cabs. I did audition the Alto side-by-side with the EV and, in reality, the Alto seemed to provide a more neutral base for a variety of tones. My goal, however, was to capture the actual sound of my Rivera/EVM12L cabs with modeling. To that end, the "different" midrange of the EV cab made me happy. I think if I want a "smoother" more "generic" base the Alto would have been the better choice. If you have a local GC, go try both and see which is better for you. They usually have both in stock.
     
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  7. Sournote

    Sournote Senior Member

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    I recently picked up an Alto TS210 to use as a personal monitor for practice and in a band setting. Very happy with it for $200.

    I also have ZLX12P's we use for mains at practice and they work well with my POD as well.
     
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  8. Vortex

    Vortex Senior Member

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    I also have the EV ZLX12P that I bought with the Helix. To be fair I have only had both about a month & have had nothing else to compare it to. Sounds good so far. As I get better a making patches & learning a few tricks it's sounding better all the time. Eventually I may get another for a stereo rig but the little voice in the back of my head keeps saying Xitone. :cool:
     
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  9. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Premium Member

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    I had a TS210 and a TS212. I was very pleased. I still own the 12.
    Would you have another purpose for the TS down the road if you upgraded??? If so, it's a no brained to go ahead and get one.
    As far as which one, they each did certain things better. My nod goes to the TS212.
     
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  10. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    Thanks for the replies, I appreciate the input.

    I'll go try out a few options and see where it takes me.
    I may hold off on buying anything for a little while, just so I can increase the budget a bit if necessary.
    Like I said, I'm already really enjoying the tones I'm getting and the patches I'm creating, so if I hold off it won't kill me.
     
  11. mdubya

    mdubya Senior Member

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    I owned a TX8. I think you will be better off with something from the TS series, but with tweaks to my cab blocks, the TX might have worked. The TS 212 is only a few $$$ more than the TS 210, but the TS 210 might work better for you. :hmm:

    If you had said Helix and TS 210, I would have said, by all means, do it now, do it yesterday if possible. :thumb:

    ETA: I would give Pop's advice serious consideration.
     
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  12. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Premium Member

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    James, I have no clue where you are, but there's almost always a coupon on those. Store and/or manufacturer. Mine was a manufacturer mail in rebate and I couldn't believe how fast I got the check.
     
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  13. alstev

    alstev Senior Member

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    Check out the Laney irt-x, I haven't tried it but I've been scoping it out. There's some good reviews.
     
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  14. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    interesting that you mention the helix + TX10 that's EXACTLY what I did... now, I have only had my setup a week... so, honeymoon impressions, and limited time, etc... but the TX series is great with the helix. is something else "better" IDK... but it certainly works for me, and the TX series is very light, so if you want to go jam, it's easy to toss in the trunk...

    I don't feel like the TX is overly bright or anything, but TZD used the 8", not the 10... that can make a difference.

    if I see a deal on a TS, I'll pick it up and do an A/B... but others on TGP have done the A/B too, and found the TX to be quite similar. the biggest difference is the TS has the built in EQ, so you can tweak it...
     
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  15. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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  16. James R

    James R Premium Member

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    Thank you Cyber, that is very helpful.
    I appreciate the education. :thumb:


    I just watched a couple videos, that unit does seem to be a great solution at a decently fair price.
    Thanks.
     
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  17. jchrisf

    jchrisf Senior Member

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    I play my old school rack modelers through a Rocktron Velocity 300 Stereo power amp into two 4x12s and even at TV levels it sounds huge.. can't describe it if you have never experienced it. I've been thinking about upgrading to one of the top modelers/profilers. If I do upgrade and get a couple of FRFR speakers will it sound as good and huge as the 4x12s?
     
  18. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    there are some good prices on used TX and TS series Altos:

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Li...profileCountryCode=US&profileCurrencyCode=USD


    jChrist:
    if you are comparing 4x12s to PA/FRFR I don't think the experience is 1/1

    the 4x12 gives that punch to the gut that's hard to mimic any other way at home. but a modeller doesn't mean your 4x12s are obsolete... you can use that same stereo power amp with a modeller, (turn off the cab emulation, of course) and now you are set... and you get that "amp in the room", punch to the gut you are used to...

    the FRFR/PA speaker is more like studio, or a big live venue... where your sound, coming at you is still plenty loud, but surrounds you in sound... you aren't hearing the "amp in the room" so much as you are hearing the amp in the next room, mic'd and piped through a great sound system. (of course every mistake is even more painful ) :)

    part of the difference is the directional nature of the 4x12... it's kinda like an assault on the body.

    my wife left me alone in the house for a couple hours yesterday, so I was able to crank up the helix + TX10 at what would be a 'live' volume.. loud, clear, hi-fi-like. like swimming in an aural experience. when she got home, she came in and listened... loved it. I turned it down... the experience was still there, eventhough we could easily talk over the sound.

    some of it is like that, you have to re-train your ears to hear differently... like playing+mixing a recording at the same time...
     
  19. jchrisf

    jchrisf Senior Member

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    Thanks Rhust.. that was a good explanation. Just as a lot of guys here and at other forums that play the modelers through small speakers don't get what I am talking about when I try to describe the experience with 4x12s in stereo, I don't get how the new modelers with IRs will sound through FRFR. If I get one of the top three digital modelers and play it through my Mackie MR5 (5") speakers will I get the experience you described with them or will I have to get something bigger and better? Before I spend more money than I need to I'd like to think the Mackie speakers would give me the experience to know if I like the new stuff through my guitar cabs or FRFR better. You made PA/FRFR sound pleasant :)
     
  20. Rhust

    Rhust Senior Member

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    through 5" studio monitors? no. I don't possibly see how... not saying it will be bad, it just won't be as similar to the 4x12s... apples and oranges.

    it's like 1) listening to your favorite live album at home on a great stereo, vs 2) hearing it performed in a small club with no mic'd cabs.

    #2 is louder, felt in your bones, but is very directional. coming straight out the cab, right at you... #1 you are swimming in sound like a warm bath

    the bigger PA/FRFR speakers would be closer to a mix between 1 and 2... like listening to that album on a PA at a listening party or the same small club, but the sound is only coming from the house PA... the sound is there, but the experience is slightly different... you hear all the nuances that are usually only picked up in a studio... and sometimes mixed-out...

    to me, the PA experience is pleasant, but sometimes you want BRUTAL, not pleasant... they both have their place in my office space.

    FWIW, I like mine even through headphones... but that's the way I prefer to listen to albums too, always have.

    maybe that's it... think of it kinda like hearing yourself on a recording, post mix, while at the same time performing it. a big part of the IR/FRFR tweaking is in cab+mic choice+mic placement, etc... on the helix, you can pick the cab, then scroll through the mics, then adjust the placement, everything... it's a lot of ability to tweak... not that you HAVE to tweak it, though... just more options.... if you skip the CAB/mic/IR thing, and plug into a power amp and guitar cab, you lose that tweaking, but you get IMMEDIATE results...
     

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