The Line 6 Helix Rack is my go-to guitar effects processor. Being able to take it from my home studio to my live rig is extremely convenient, but the greatest thing about the Helix Rack is how quickly it lets me reach the sound in my head. The simple layout also makes saving and organizing my custom presets easy. On top of everything, I love that I can download and save impulse responses for a limitless range of realistic tone.
Love the tones and flexibility
Was worried a little bit pulling the trigger to buy this unit. I have a POD X3 Pro, HD500 Rack and HD500x pedal board. I wanted to get back to having a rack unit and when I read about how flexible this unit was with the 4 send return paths and the ability to have 3 expression pedals attached to it, I figured what the hell. Going from the POD computer editing to the Helix was a bit of stumbling point at first but now I love it. The tones I'm getting are much better than I was with the HD500x and the with the floor control I can have patches now that can comprise all the parts for a song that I need. No longer to I have to have a separate patch just for the acoustic part or the tuning change. The snapshot feature is wonderful. I like how you can even on the fly edit your pedal settings as you play. It is sweet being able to read the displays without my glasses and name the patches as well as the snapshots so they make sense, change the color of the buttons so you can quickly see what but it what just by the color. If you get one please take the time to read up on how to do the editing and get on the forum and read what everyone says about how to setup your patches so they will get the best tone for you. Oh yeah the IR's are so much fun to play with. Almost too many options at times, but very easy to find some patches built in or online and get playing quickly. I run mine through a 50w per channel tube power amp and love the harmonics I get out of it. Everything from sweet clean tones to the most heavy 7 string tones you could want.
Line 6 Helix Rack Unit
I am a bass player. I was torn between the rack version and the pedal version. I am thrilled that I got the rack. The sounds are amazing, and while it is a little more to carry, it is very worth it for the peace of mind to not worry about having expensive hardware on a bar too floor.
An amazing piece of gear. I'm a 63 year old, long time player. Have used almost every amp imaginable trying to find "the" sound. Thing is, we all know you need much more than a single amp to provide the sounds you need. This gives me anything I want. It's very easy to use, great UI and feels great to play through.
Helix Rack & Pedal are AMAZEBALLS
I just bought an EVH 5150 III 50W with a 1/4 cab. I love the sound of the amplifier, and I bought a bunch of pedals. HoF reverb, mxr phase, boss digital delay, a few different chorus pedals. All of these were fun, but every single time I wanted to change my sound, it was back to the floor and changing all the dials. For over a decade I've used my DAW exclusively to create guitar cabs & tones. Playing through my monitors just stopped being satisfying when I moved from the city to the suburbs, for the first time I had some room to expand. I was reading reviews about Steve Vai's setup and like many were very interested in his rack he uses on tour. The Fractal Axe FXII was well reviewed by the pro's who got time of day from the company. However after reading many reviews on the company's website itself, I was amazed how belligerent the owner was towards customers having a hard time. I then came across a review about the helix, honestly I've been turned off by Line 6 for many years, as they went far away from modeling, and seem to focus on making subpar amps with digital fx.
I was surprised to find out how much innovation the company has put into this product, but it seems like they spared no expense to make this. The processor is out of this world, high end. Also, when I set up the Helix, the customer support at Line 6 was terrific.
The helix community of users who are sharing different sounds, IR's, and even some of the companies who are selling different patches are fantastic. I love pulling up the sound, and having all of the buttons on the pedal available to change different parameters of the sound. It's like having several panels on each patch, versus having physical pedals that you constantly have to change and rearrange.
Setting up the helix to the Mac is very easy, although I did run into some white noise, and that was corrected by using a Hum X. If you want to have the ability to edit directly from the computer and test the sounds this is the easiest route to go, you might not have the white noise, probably had more to do with my homes electrical wiring than anything.
The bottom line, the audio that comes out of my speakers is gorgeous. Helix just did another major update and added over 22 major upgrades. There are multimillion dollar amps from world class & exclusive studios that are being emulated into this community and it feels like I'm getting a multimillion dollar sound.
Helix is G-D!!! (Not Clapton!!!)
No I don't work for Line 6 but I did stay at a Holiday In Express last night!!
Most remarkable effects processor available. If you can't find your sound with this thing you don't know what you are looking for! I've had mine for a year and use it always. If it died I'd immediately buy another.
If you can come up with the cash this it is the Bomb!! Kemp/Fract are good but nowhere near as user friendly. You do need to buy the additional Floor Controller with this unit otherwise get the floor model. The Rack model has slightly more studio stuff and has a bit more connectivity.
++Plus++ if you have the time during daytime business hours Line 6 has live customer support who "live to help you!!
This will be my guitar platform for some time
When I got my Helix I had some issues with it. But I was using it as a corner stone in my studio, but as any decent audio engineer would do, I adapted to the quirks of my new system. Some updates helped as well I think.
Coming from Digitech, Pod, Eleven Rack, and now the Helix...
The functionality of this unit far exceeds anything in its competition. It has a 8x8 USB audio interface, with premium DAC, 123db dynamic range on input, and other goodies that under the hood do all add up.
As far as user interface it is in a league of its own. The competition can give you tones on par, and "maybe" slightly better, but they can't touch the UI of Helix.
That out of the way talk tone. The Helix is meeting my expectations, and sometimes beyond each time it is really put to the challenge. Over the course of several months finishing up an album, I dialed in some really nice clean tones, some nice slight overdrive, lead, and rock tones with this unit. The best I have ever had. I was content with my Helix then, but not quite "blown away."
This remained until I ReAmped a metal track, where I had higher gain tones out of the helix I was pleased with, but not overjoyed with. In 15 minutes from a blank patch I dialed in the best high gain rhythm guitar tone I ever have for this track, with the front panel of the unit (not the pc editor) and without using any IRs. "So can it do metal?" It most certainly can!
The more time I spend with the Helix the more impressed I am with it, it covers anything I want. It is a ReAmping machine, and when Helix Native gets here it will be such a great expansion to this platform.
The only draw backs are it lacks stuff for Bass Guitar (but that is fixed with a bass guitar focused package that comes with a FW update near Feb 2017).... And the reverbs could be of better quality, they are ported HD, and Mseries reverbs. Line 6 has stated that HX reverbs are in the pipeline, but no time frame is given as to when they will be released.
They have released several amps, and quite a few FX for free in firmware updates.
The Helix platform keeps expanding, and I love it.
This rack unit is simply amazing. Im still messing with the presets but its rocks !!
Previous played a stereo mesa triaxis rack but its was so heavy and a pain to program everything.
The helix is amazing ! Just using headphones right now but sounds awesome. Cant wait for some monitors or FRFR cabs !!
Thanks to Ed Nystrom for the help again !!!
Free At Last!!
I was on the road for over twenty five years. I took two amps with me, a Fender Twin Reverb and a Highwatt 103 with 4 12's. Now, with the Helix Rack, I have a 4 space rack system that plugs into anything including a power amp and speakers, the PA, a Mixing board. You can never have too many effects, but what to bring? With the Helix Rack, I have every major effect type at my finger tips. This is almost too good to be true. Actuallym now, I have too many choices, so I revert back to the Twin, Plexi and AC30. I actually enjoy finding new sounds. I'm certain that I will keep finding new ideas for many years.
Feature Rich, Great Price Point.
Unbelievable amount of features for less money than its competitors. Tones are there. UI is the best in the business. Rugged and built strong. And it's a looker! You won't be disappointed.
Best Amp Modeling Processor I've Ever Owned
Short And Sweet,IF You can buy the LINE 6 HELIX GUITAR AMP/MULTI-FX PROCESSOR,BREAK OUT YOUR DEBIT/CREDIT CARD AND GO FOR IT,YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT ! I've owned more than 1 and less than 100,lol,and this is By Far THE BEST Processor I have heard.
I WON'T Bore You with every single thing I Liked and thought was Awesome,or ,the tricks/shortcuts to make your own presets,because,alot will be wasted on the "USUAL" review entries regarding the Ups or downs with programming,besides the fact EVERYONE has their Own likes/dislikes as far as the factory presets needing to be "tweaked to be useful' and my Liking or Disliking the different amp,speaker cab,fx,etc. models,because,not everyone will agree with my tastes and will more than likely NOT be the same as mine .The IMPORTANT Things to me are the ability to edit,tailor the presets to MAKE THEM MINE. This unit has the capability to create nice,warm,Clean Patches,to some NASTY,Hi-Gain Lead patches,with REALISTIC ,Ambient, BELIEVEABLE Sounds that Bring a GRIN to my face!
From one guitar player to another who has been in cover bands,recorded demos,TRY IT,YOU'LL LIKE IT !! and GOOD LUCK Prying Yourself Away from the Helix,It is a LOT Of Fun when you Make Yourself a "HOLY GRAIL PRESET !!
Worth the money but doesn't play well with others!!! By that I mean other Line6 gear!! Not fully integrated with the DT series amps!! Despite the VDI only marginal interaction with your Variax (can't interface with Workbench?????????? Needs FRFR speaker to really get full audio value. Another piece of advise-- Don't buy this model (Rack) without the Helix Control foot controller. You really need this to get full function of the Rack unit.
Helix Rack and Helix Control
I don't usually do reviews, but this deserves it. Had given up with the POD HD 500 and went back to using tube amps, kept reading the reviews and watching videos of the Helix so thought I'd try it.
OMG-Line 6...night and day from the POD HD stuff !! The Helix SOUNDS SOOOOOOO GOOD ! And is so very easy to adjust and program, THANK YOU Line 6-OUTSTANDING JOB. And for the price it can't be beat, for less than the price of just the "UNIT" of the competition, you have the Helix Rack and Control (which is also outstanding btw), so everyone complaining about it being expensive...just shut up and look at something else. Anyway, I AM VERY IMPRESSED !!!!!
Line 6 Helix Rack
Yes, 5 stars... that's right! I've been playing in several cover bands ranging from artists like Elvis to The Black Keys and have been continually searching for "The Perfect Tone". Prior to the Helix I was playing a Marshall JVM410h with 4x12 vintage 30's through a Boss GT100 via the 4 cable method. Was I disappointed... no, I mean its a Marshall tube amp so of course its great, but I was tired of lugging around all my gear and then spending another 30 minutes to set it up. So after much research I opted for the Helix Rack with floor controller and I'm now about ready to sell all my Marshall gear! The design and construction of this product is superb and the overall look is great. Initially I was not impressed with the factory tones and thought maybe I had made an expensive mistake, but after spending some time with my nose in the online manual and tweaking the dials I have found musical heaven. Never has my guitar sung so beautifully... the clarity... the tonality... the crispness are all wonderful. The Helix has renewed my vigor to shred and I am looking forward to watching jaws drop at the next gig! Get Yours... Period!
Just plain cool
See other positive reviews, copy and paste here. Setup to run straight to PA or cabs or through my Mark 35 head. All signals sound great, just be sure to adjust your settings according to how your amplifying the signal.
A New Birth For Modeling
So, I bought this unit strictly to put in my studio rack as, Hopefully, a way to offer more amps and effects than I could possible afford to my customers. lets keep in mind I did this before with a Line 6 Pod HD Pro. The HD Pro got used for one metal record before I sold it due to the fact that even with 3rd part IR's in my DAW I couldn't get rid of the synthetic sound, Not good stuff... And of course I was never going to pay the sticker for an Axe FX and the Kemper is a one trick pony that isn't worth it to me. I had moved on from the Modeling idea and just kept recording real amps. When I heard of the Helix I was of course intrigued Yet hesitant. I finally, after a certain couple actually good Demo videos, took the plunge. It didn't hurt that my Sweetwater Sales engineer had good things to say. Right off the bat it has usable sounds. The internal cabs suck so I use 3rd party IR's. It actually sounds like a mic'd cabinet is in another room. You could shoot this thing out with a real amp and no one would know which was the real amp or which is the model. It responds like a real amp as far as dynamics and feel. My guitarist was blown away on the feel. I will say that the amps are not dead ringers right out of the box. It took me some time to get the JCM to sound like a JCM, but once I experimented and tweaked and tweaked I've got to say I'm 90% there. Close enough to where in a mix you'd never notice. I only gave it 4.5 cause I haven't dove in to it all the way yet and want to see how many amps I can actually tone match. great buy for a studio though!
The navigation and PC editor are great. Even the actual screen and controls on the unit are easy to use. The display is gorgeous!! I knew my way around this thing in a few hours.
It sucks that some people wont use it just because of the brands history. I say whatever sounds good use! who's gonna know unless you tell!
Great but No Effects Spillover
Line 6 is soooo... close on this. The interface, options, ability to arrange effects order, and sound quality are the best in the business. It great for recording, not so great live.
If they could solve the lack of delay and reverb spillover issue, it would be perfect. I've read all the forums and the emotional discourse on both side of the issue. I tried the workarounds. They didn't work well with my setup. (I have a RJG GT/22, which is awesome). I like smooth transitions between presets with nice "seamless" effects trails.
The amp sims are good, but I have limited need for the amp/cab simulators (currently running a Triaxis and various other Boogies). I would like to see an effects-only version, perhaps a HELIX RACK-FX , that has spillover and near-zero preset change latency. With no amp sims in the chain, the original signal should not have to be silenced during program changes. Fix the spillover and it will easily get 5 Stars.
For me the preset change issue was the deal breaker, so I sent it back. Sweetwater was its usual excellent in customer support. Don't buy from anywhere except Sweetwater!
HelixRack Guitar Multi-effects Processor with Amplifier Modeling, Simple Editing Interface, Output for Foot Controller, Aluminum Enclosure, Analog and Digital I/O, and USB Recording out More Info...
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