Helix and poweramp question

Malikon

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Just to be clear, using this Helix with the L and R lines out...


into these two powercabs...


I could ping-pong the signal between the amps for stereo effects? Like having tremelo or flange moving back and forth from one speaker to the other? Use a wah on one but not the other?

Have one speaker a clean guitar and the other speaker a distorted guitar? Or one speaker 'British' OD and the other 'American' OD for a combined sound?

Basically I could split the signal and do different things with each cab at the same time using the Helix floorpedal?

Very curious whether that would work, it opens up some interesting options. Even having one cab detuned an octave lower? (Does the Helix even have a detuning or harmonizing effect?) ... one speaker doing the harmony would be really cool.

Thanks.
 

Rocco Crocco

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Yes to all.

You can run two independent paths with one guitar input. One of the best benefits of going digital with this stuff is doing creative routing like you're describing.

At home, I run Helix stereo through my studio monitors, placed directly in front of me, and my Powecab behing me where the stereo signal is summed to mono. It sounds so big! I get the stereo effects in front of me and the "balls" of a 1x12 behind me.



Helix de-tuning is not polyphonic (they will probably have a future update to make polyphonic pitch-shifting), so chords sound like shit when you downtune via Helix, but the single note harmony stuff, especially octave stuff, sounds killer.

Hope this helps.
 
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Malikon

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I used to like running a clean cab and then another one for OD, but this sounds way cooler.

...reaching the tipping point. It's an investment,.. and I guess kind of an odd one since I'm not full-time gigging anymore.

But damn it sure looks like it would be a really fun system to play with.

And I'm telling myself if I buy the 5150 amp I wanted and a bunch of effects, .. that wouldn't be cheap either. So either way will cost,.. but the Helix and cabs are sort of a complete package in that you're getting a ton of amps/cabs/effects all in one system. And if I suddenly decide I want to use a Wah,.. or something,... it's already right there, I don't have to buy yet another pedal.

Been watching reviews and more and more it just seems like a really cool option.
 

dspelman

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-pong the signal between the amps for stereo effects? Like having tremelo or flange moving back and forth from one speaker to the other? Use a wah on one but not the other?
Yup.
 

PierM

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I do have the 2 PC+ 112, linked with an Helix rack. You can go all digital through L6 Link protocol and control everything in the cabs via helix, per preset or global.

They sounds great indeed!
 

matthew bear

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I don't know if you have 2 guitar cabs kicking around, but I really like the helix with real cabs over the powercab.

So, you could get a power amp and Helix, and power 2 existing guitar cabs... Of course that's assuming you have them and love them.

The powercab is cool though, I don't want to give a false impression that it's no bueno...
 

mdubya

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I would get one power cab (or some other monitor, probably) and split the second signal to a guitar cab or run through the return of an effects loop on an amp. That would give you even more options, IMHO.

I don't know about the Helix, but the gain-y amps in the AX8 are foo king wicked. I am sure the Helix stuff is great, too. For entertaining yourself at home and home recording, you will have zero regrets.
 

mdubya

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I just saw this and it looks interesting if you want the option for volume.

I am very pleased with my XiTone.

That said, at low volume, my Presonus e4.5s are unbelievably good.

 

matthew bear

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I just saw this and it looks interesting if you want the option for volume.

I am very pleased with my XiTone.

That said, at low volume, my Presonus e4.5s are unbelievably good.

Powercab killer! I'm a V30 guy person myself, I'd love to hear this in person :hmm:
 

flamesarewicked

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I have a PS170 and a Mesa 212 recto cab.. and I know it’ll limit its capabilities being it’s a conventional cab... but how much am I missing out compared to a power cab ?
 

drew365

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I have a PS170 and a Mesa 212 recto cab.. and I know it’ll limit its capabilities being it’s a conventional cab... but how much am I missing out compared to a power cab ?
I don't think you're missing out tone wise. I'm currently running my Helix through a PS170 and an open back 2x12 CAB with Webers. This was a big change for me, but I'm totally enjoying it. My PowerCab+ gives me a lot of options and I always thought it sounded pretty good. But after A/B ing the two rigs side by side with the same patches, I decided to go with the 2x12 cab and keep the PC+ as backup. I really don't want to haul around a 2x12 to band practice and gigs, but it really sounds that good. I'm running the PS170 nearly flat, except I'm boosting a little bass. M & T set at 12 noon. Yes I'm stuck with one cab sound and I don't get to spend hours buying and auditioning hundreds of IR's. But that one cab sounds great, so I'll live with it.
Prior to the PC+, I was using a DXR12 for about 1 1/2 years. So going back to a standard cab is not something I was ever expecting. In fact I had the PS170 for probably 6 or 8 months without ever giving it a good workout because I thought it was just going to be an emergency backup option. I wasn't expecting it to become part of my main rig. But when you suddenly hear the tone you've been chasing, you just have to accept it and not try to justify it.
 
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flamesarewicked

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I don't think you're missing out tone wise. I'm currently running my Helix through a PS170 and an open back 2x12 CAB with Webers. This was a big change for me, but I'm totally enjoying it. My PowerCab+ gives me a lot of options and I always thought it sounded pretty good. But after A/B ing the two rigs side by side with the same patches, I decided to go with the 2x12 cab and keep the PC+ as backup. I really don't want to haul around a 2x12 to band practice and gigs, but it really sounds that good. I'm running the PS170 nearly flat, except I'm boosting a little bass. M & T set at 12 noon. Yes I'm stuck with one cab sound and I don't get to spend hours buying and auditioning hundreds of IR's. But that one cab sounds great, so I'll live with it.
Prior to the PC+, I was using a DXR12 for about 1 1/2 years. So going back to a standard cab is not something I was ever expecting. In fact I had the PS170 for probably 6 or 8 months without ever giving it a good workout because I thought it was just going to be an emergency backup option. I wasn't expecting it to become part of my main rig. But when you suddenly hear the tone you've been chasing, you just have to accept it and not try to justify it.
well the types of amps or preamps that I lean toward are usually coupled with a V30 cab anyhow... yeah the cab is hefty but I’m probably gonna put removable casters to help move it around.. then pop them off so it can sit on the floor.. it definitely gives a real amp feel to have the traditional cab..i need to get my volume levels right now..it’s a tedious task but I think once I get them matched up it’ll be a better experience for me...
 

drew365

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In reading about the two Weber speakers in my cab, (12A150, 12F150), they apparently emulate Fender speakers. One a blackface and one a tweed. So I think I'm getting a minimum amount of coloring, but just enough to make it interesting.
 
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flamesarewicked

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I recently picked up an open back 25w greenback 212... I may experiment with it some with the helix.. I won’t be able to crank it as much since they’re lower wattage speakers.. just wonder how It’ll sound with the more vintage sounding amp blocks..
 

chrisakinhan

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BluGuitar Amp1 vs SD PowerStage 170 vs Orange Pedal Baby

This review should be of interest to users of Helix, Kemper, Axe FX, and/or any other Amp emulation.
I just did a side by side comparison of power amps for Helix dialing in several tones on the Helix in the mid gain range for Blues, Blues Rock, Classic Rock genres. I plugged the out from Helix directly into these at line level and directly into the Amp1 return for the power amp stage only. I’ve compared the PS 170 before but this is the first time I’ve done a back to back with all three.

Conclusions and Notes:

PowerStage 170

Plenty of power/volume in small to medium sized venues or stage volume only.
I’ve heard people describe the PowerStage as sounding “sterile” compared to the Pedal Baby. I have to concur. It is more sterile sounding compared to it and outright dead sounding compared to the Amp1. After many comparisons back and forth between all three I believe I know exactly what is missing in the PS 170. It is missing a large amount of the natural harmonics produced by the tube amp, and since Helix is not super great at reproducing these, they are glaringly missing. The sound is there but there are large “gaps” in the harmonics from one amp to the next.

There is no “bounce” or “give” when you play. It feels completely “digital” or non-organic.

Orange Pedal Baby

It definitely sounds BETTER and like one reviewer on youtube recently stated, “more amp like”. Even though it was better, no matter how much I EQ’d Helix, there was still a lot of mojo and oomph missing. I WAS ABLE to increase some of this on the Pedal Baby itself by increasing the bass dial resonance, as well as reducing the treble dial resonance to more closely match my speaker. However, even though it had MORE body, presence, and harmonics than the Power Stage, it still lacked a glaringly large number of the harmonics that the Amp1 produces and although it also FELT slightly better to play, it still felt mechanical and non-organic.

BluGuitar Amp1

Just absolutely stellar in comparison to both of the others. When you take a Helix tone and send it through the Amp1 power amp you get:
1) The FEEL of a tube amp… that bounce and feedback is there… but I’m still playing a digital emulator! Best of both worlds.
2) Tons of transparent power on tap
3) It SOUNDS like a real tube amp with a glorious array of tube harmonics.
If I put the Amp1 at 100% for sound/feel, the PowerStage is about 65% and the Pedal Baby is like 70% at 12 oclock dials and maybe 78% when adjusting dials to match your speaker.
Conclusion: There is still no better option than a used Amp1 (~$400) for amplifying something like the Helix. I still think Thomas could make a killing just selling his nano tube power section only for ~$450 - $500.

What Helix user wouldn't want the feel and sound of a real tube amp?
 


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