Posts by burningyen

    Cool. Completely off topic, but why this amp? Are they good? This completely swept me by.

    I've never played a BE-100 in real life, but the clips I've heard have sounded pretty special. And I didn't try all of Tim's profiles (his prolific output was overwhelming), but of the ones I tried the one I used for that clip had the right amount of gain and a nice warm tone.

    I know that you play in a very good Pink Floyd cover band, will you be able to live without FXs spillover? There is no spillover in Helix and it could take long before they implement it...

    My Floyd tribute folded a while ago (I now have a new band). But I think I can live without spillover for now. In a single patch you can have 2 separate amp models in 2 totally different signal chains with different sets of FX and use a footswitch to toggle between those signal chains. So it's essentially like having 2 separate patches, and when you switch away from the signal chain with delay in it the delay will continue to sound. So, basically spillover.

    To my ears the Helix models do sound like real amps (miked, of course). I don't think we've ever heard the actual real-life specimens in L6's collection, so we'll probably never know for sure how closely the models mimic those specific amps. But that's kinda irrelevant to me when the Helix has already passed the threshold of what I need to hear and feel in order to be happy with the basic tone and response.

    I can understand feeling gunshy after products fail on you. I'll post an update once I've given the Helix a loud workout.

    I spent some quality time with the Helix last night. There are pluses and minus compared to the Kemper. Here's what I found (all of this is obviously IMHO, to my ears, through my headphones, etc.):

    • Overall, the quality of the basic amp tones is equivalent to the Kemper. The models I focused on last night were the Dr. Z Route 66, AC30 Fawn and Roland JC120. I didn't feel I was giving up anything with the Helix (you can hear for yourself at And for me, the process of turning an idea into a finished patch is faster with the Helix than it is with the Kemper. Of course, a lot of that is due to the incredible variety of profiles available for the Kemper. With the Kemper, if you want a JTM 45 sound, you first have to figure out which JTM 45 profile to use. With the Helix, the choice is already made for you. The Helix does require some effort in terms of testing different mics (16) and distances (1"-12", there's no parameter for on/off axis), and I find that significant high cut is needed for almost every model. But that process is faster than finding profiles. I will say, though, that there are a few extra-special-to-me profiles from TAF and MBritt that I don't think I'm going to be able to replicate on the Helix. And there is no Pure Cab. I was happy with my tones through my headphones but will have to wait to see whether that holds up at band volume.
    • The quality of the FX is mixed. The wahs, distortions, delays and modulations are equivalent to the Kemper's to my ears. (I haven't dug into the fuzzes yet.) The Pitch Whammy (transpose) effect is glitchier than the Kemper's (as you can hear in the U2 clips on my soundcloud). The Twin Harmony effect in the Helix pales in comparison to the Kemper's Harmonic Pitch. No user scales, no Pure Tuning. The compression and reverb sound quality is equivalent, but I like the subcategories on the Helix a lot better than the presets on the Kemper.
    • It's probably unfair to compare workflow when I've spent 3 years with my Kemper and only a few hours with the Helix. I found the Helix UI easy to navigate (lightyears better than the POD HD500 UI!) but still not quite as easy as the Kemper's. For example, to add or swap an effect on a Kemper, you click the FX slot button, turn the Type knob to the effect you want, and (with Autoload on) you can go straight to tweaking. On the Helix, you need to push the joystick knob (JK) a few times to move the cursor to the desired slot, press to select the slot, push or spin the JK to scroll down the menu of FX categories (Distortion, Dynamics, EQ, Delay, etc.), push the JK right to go to the Mono/Stereo submenu, push or spin the JK to choose Mono or Stereo, push it right again to go to the FX submenu (Digital Delay, Multitap 3, etc.), push or spin the JK to scroll to the effect you want, push the JK to select it, and then you can start tweaking. On the other hand, selecting amp models on the Helix is a little easier since the selection is clearly much more limited compared to the Kemper, and there aren't any submenus to navigate. With both units getting to the deeper dive parameters is simple, so no difference there. And with both units, with more power comes more complexity.
    • The capacitative footswitches are awesome. Setting up the switches for FX is super easy.
    • Somehow the Helix' 14.6 lbs feels a lot heavier than the Kemper lunchbox' 11 lbs, maybe because of the larger size. The size of it was kind of daunting at first. But it's well-designed. The curved sides make it very easy to pick up. And when you take into account the weight of the expression pedal and footswitch I use with my Kemper, the weight difference is only about a pound.

    So there you have it. Biggest question marks right now are whether I can dial up Gilmourish sounds I can live with, how everything sounds at band volume, and whether reliability issues get resolved. I've seen some reports of freezing up and don't think I'll be gigging with the Helix just yet.

    Hope that helps.

    Mine arrived yesterday, but it was my wife's birthday, so the Helix had to wait. Spent literally 10 minutes with it this morning just to make sure it was working. Noodled into Preset #1 (Hiwatt), added a Big Muff, twiddled some knobs. 1st impressions:

    • A lot brighter than the TAF Gilmour profiles I use on my KPA. I didn't have time to check if there's a way to get the Normal channel or jumpered sounds out of it. It will probably need low-pass filtering and/or more distance between the virtual mic and cab. I'll probably end up using the TAF WEM IR.
    • Very high resolution and satisfying feel. I don't think I'll be giving anything up in this regard if I switch from the KPA to the Helix.
    • Tweaking is a breeze, but I'm expecting more tweaking will be needed compared to my KPA. I'm starting to realize how much I've come to rely on the work of 3rd parties in capturing great sounding profiles. Now it's on me to figure out mics/placement/pres/EQ. Or use IRs.

    Again, just some off-the-cuff impressions. I'm still buzzed on new toy excitement and will really dig in tonight.

    Eagles, In The City: TAF '58 Tweed Pro w/2x12 Jensen cab
    ZZ Top, Waitin' On The Bus: MBritt 72 Mars ! - w/3rd-party 1x12 Bad Cat cab far-field IR
    Chris Isaak, Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing: [I forget, will check] w/Recti Shaper for the fuzzy part
    Police, Tea In The Sahara: Kemper JC120
    Dire Straits: Roel Corstjens RC JTM45 VI w/Wah Wah, Green Scream, and Vintage Chorus
    Stone Temple Pilots, Interstate Love Song: Kemper BrunoToni

    I really like the DiMarzio Virtual Solo for fat-but-Stratty-if-you-want-it bridge tone. A very versatile PU:

    I also like the Area 67 for glassy Strat tone and the Area 61 for woody Strat tone.