The BEST amp modeler/processor/Effects unit for 1500 or LESS?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by ekulggats, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. ekulggats

    ekulggats SS.org Regular

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    Hey all.

    Looking to change my rig altogether. Been running a Tube amp, which I have enjoyed, but I think Its time to move on.

    Which of these modern all in one units is the one to go with? There's a small plethora of these things, from Axe-8 to Helix to Helix Stomp to Headrush to Bias head to Kemper to Boss GT1000.

    Things I want, in order of importance
    1**ALL IN ONE**ness. Has to be able to do at least a decent job of every role. At home practice, recording, live use, effects, amp models, cabs, etc etc. I am not a professional touring musician or anything, but I certainly want to write, record and perform. I would like to own three things- guitar, processor and cab/full range cab

    2 Ease of use. Ability to tweak and fuck around with new sounds efficiently. Also, I don't want to have to depend much on downloading new patches etc to expand my tones. Kind of what steers me from Kemper.

    3 Sheer amp quality/Feel- I am a would-be connoisseur of tone, and the amp sound quality is very important. I play alot of genres, lots of metal, prog, funk, bluegrassy stuff even some indie bullshit.

    4 Sheer amount of good sounding amps, Effects, cabs etc to fuck around with. The openness for creating new sounds/textures etc is a big part of my draw.

    So sorry for the huge post but yeah. Who has real experience with these things? Extra brownie points for reccomendations on the cheaper side. Haha.

    Thanks
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Willing to go used?
    How flexible is your budget?
    Do you need a foot controller right now?
    Are you looking for something rackmount?

    The two units that fit what you're looking for the best, mindful of budget, are going to be the AX8 and Helix/Helix LT.
     
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  3. ekulggats

    ekulggats SS.org Regular

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    I am certainly willing to go used. Not really wanting to go above 1500, but what would you have in mind? As for rackmount, I would prefer something floor based, I don't want to have to use an additional footswitch. But would if necessary.

    BTW whatre your thoughts on Headrush vs the two you mentioned?
     
  4. HerbalDude420

    HerbalDude420 SS.org Regular

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    There is no "best" all have great sound quality nowadays. It's what will work best for you and your setup. I have a helix and love it considering line 6 thing is modeling they know there shit.
     
  5. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Nevermind, if you need the floor board form factor, the two I mentioned are pretty much the best available right now.

    Haven't tried a Headrush myself, but nothing I've heard in clips or videos is very inspiring. I don't see a reason to go for it unless that's all you can afford and don't want a POD HD for some reason, which can sound really good.
     
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  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire thy fart is murder

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    helix is probably what you want. I was able to get some pretty good tones just from messing around with it for 10 minutes at guitar center. It's pretty easy to use. I've heard good things about the ax8 as well, but I don't have any experience with it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
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  7. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    used axe fx II, line 6 power cab, done?
     
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  8. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy SS.org Regular

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    You can't go wrong with any of the 3 you mentioned. But if it was me, I would go for the Boss GT-1000 paired with the the Headrush FRFR and it's done! You will be good for home practice and gigs. That bluetooth function of the GT-1000 could be really useful! Ola Englund did a good review of it and it looks like he's happy with it too.
     
  9. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    Helix LT. You'll still have 500 left over for weed.
     
  10. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    Edit: ignore me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  11. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    The AX8 is good if you ONLY care about amp modeling, need a floorboard, and want to save your bones.

    The Axe FX II will do the job if you want a rack unit that already sounds good, but is pretty much at the end of it's life cycle. No more updates.

    The Helix is not exactly at the level of the Axe FX II, but it's a RELATIVELY newer product, so it has plenty of time to be updated. Also it's still a REALLY great sounding unit and is super easy to use. Not to mention if you like to use outboard gear, the regular Helix is a godsend.
     
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  12. Blasphemer

    Blasphemer Bird Law expert

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    Helix, for sure
     
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  13. ekulggats

    ekulggats SS.org Regular

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    You say 'only' amp modeling with the AX8, does that mean it lacks elsewhere? and Is the amp modeling the same level of the axe rack units?

    How well would either fare with basic recording functions? I envision myself just using the tone from the unit, running straight into an interface into my daw to track, I don't need any computer controllability really.

    I have had decent time using an axe fx II XL and was very pleased with the sound quality, how would the helix and ax8 stack up?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  14. ThisBrokenMachine

    ThisBrokenMachine Architectural Metal

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    I own the Floor Helix and it's the best piece of gear I've ever owned.
     
  15. Kodee_Kaos

    Kodee_Kaos NegRep For Free Porn

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    I've got the Helix floor, rescued it from a worship band for $1,100. Picked up a decent PA for $200 off CL, boom. Way nicer than lugging a halfstack around.
     
  16. mnemonic

    mnemonic Custom User Title

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    AX8 uses same modelling as the Axe II, same amps, sounds, etc. It is more limited in some ways, no dual-amps, some effects removed (I forget which, just some of the weird stuff I think), no built-in audio interface, less dsp so you can’t do as much effects at once. Probably more comprehensive lists available online, if you search the fractal forum.

    Since it uses the same firmware, algorithms, etc as the Axe FX II, I wouldn’t be too enthusiastic about future firmware updates, as the II is end-of-life at this point.
     
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  17. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    Besides sheer volume of models not sure how Helix is outclassed by Ax II???

    Helix is going to get you most features for $$
     
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  18. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Yeah the AX8 used the same exact modeling as the Axe II. It's just you're limited by hardware and the fact it has no on board interface like the Axe II. You're limited by 8 effect blocks i believe, and can only use 1 of each effect (with some exceptions). By comparison if you run a mono chain with the Helix, you can use up to 16 effects and are only limited by the DSP.

    There's a slight edge with the modeling and effects. If you have golden ears you can notice it but i think the Helix's feature set makes up for that tiny gap.

    Im going by the fact I owned both a Helix and an Ax8. If i were to get one again, it would for sure be a Helix. I only used like.. 4 - 5 amps in the Axe. :lol:
     
  19. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    There is a slight bit more "life" in Fractal modeling, but for me that edge completely vanishes as soon as there is any other instrument playing/in a mix. Line 6's biggest issue has ALWAYS been the factory cabinet modeling, and IR loading has leveled that field quite substantially. But yeah, then factor in all the other features Helix LT has vs AX8 (USB interface, headphone amp - still can't believe they didn't put a headphone amp on a floor modeler, built-in expression pedal, dual DSP).
     
  20. Sogradde

    Sogradde SS.org Regular

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    Eh, depends I think. The newer amp models on the Helix like Friedman & Archon are pretty good and on par with the AX8 equivalents imho.
     
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