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EBS_freak

Fractal Helix killer?

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33 minutes ago, Akio Dāku said:

Very nice, do we have an idea on price? X

1000 usd

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58 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

1000 usd

That's the direct price from Fractal Audio.

The list price (what you will pay from a shop) is $1400

So unless there is a way of buying direct in the UK without incurring extra import duty, we'll probably be paying the list price which works out at £1160 at today's exchange rate. 

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I think they may have nailed the form factor by steering away from the 12-footswitch-mothership-control-panel style layout of the competition. Good design IMO. Keeping plenty of nice I/O options and looks to be built like a tank too.

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27 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

That's the direct price from Fractal Audio.

The list price (what you will pay from a shop) is $1400

So unless there is a way of buying direct in the UK without incurring extra import duty, we'll probably be paying the list price which works out at £1160 at today's exchange rate. 

$1,400 retail in the US will work out pretty close to £1,400 in the UK once you've add transport, Customs duties and 20% VAT.

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1 minute ago, Al Krow said:

$1,400 retail in the US will work out pretty close to £1,400 in the UK once you've add transport, Customs duties and 20% VAT.

This is, very sadly, true.

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9 hours ago, CameronJ said:

I think they may have nailed the form factor by steering away from the 12-footswitch-mothership-control-panel style layout of the competition. Good design IMO. Keeping plenty of nice I/O options and looks to be built like a tank too.

For me the lack of foot switches is a major minus. Before I had my Helix I was a BassPod user. Initially I tried to get away with the cheaper 4 switch pedal, but it was simply too limiting, so I had admit I'd wasted my money and get the much bigger Shortboard.

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6 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

So they've copied the HX Stomp and made it twice as expensive.

Good luck with that.

The AxeFX sells like the bucketloads and it’s actually hard to get your mitts on one. That alone makes them desirable... and the chances are, whoever buys one already has a Helix (a full fat one at that)... and a Kemper. They are at the boutique end of modelling...

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19 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

The AxeFX sells like the bucketloads and it’s actually hard to get your mitts on one. That alone makes them desirable... and the chances are, whoever buys one already has a Helix (a full fat one at that)... and a Kemper. They are at the boutique end of modelling...

To me modelling is a bit of a red herring. I don't care how accurate a particular amp/cab/fx sim is. All I care about is can I get a sound I like out of it.

So the user interface and the connectivity is far more important than the realism of the sims.

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I don't think there is a boutique end of modelling.

Each unit has good things and bad things. If Line 6 didn't have Yamaha money then the Helix would have to be priced up there with Fractal.

Helix is the price that it is because of economies of scale.

 

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1 minute ago, BigRedX said:

To me modelling is a bit of a red herring. I don't care how accurate a particular amp/cab/fx sim is. All I care about is can I get a sound I like out of it.

So the user interface and the connectivity is far more important than the realism of the sims.

Definitely.

 

There is so much whinging from many people about "fizziness" on some amp models like a Marshall Plexi... thus confirming they have never played a real Marshall Plexi at all, because they are fizzy as hell when cranked!

All the "it's not accurate" bollocks comes from people who have never had any or any adequate time with the real amps and are instead based on recordings of them they happen to like.

 

Buyers would probably be happier with their sounds if the modelling manufacturers didn't provide lists of modelled amps - to stop comparison to an individual listener's own favourites.

Then it either sounds good or it doesn't.

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42 minutes ago, fretmeister said:

So they've copied the HX Stomp and made it twice as expensive.

Good luck with that.

My thoughts entirely. Fractal can go and do one.

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They have to be able to A/B them and have a model sound like an amp... as that is their main selling feature... and the fact that you can have the sounds of otherwise unobtainable amps within the digital box. People like to know what the sound is that they are meant to be sounding like - and the fact that a lot of people are tone deaf.

For example, if you were going for an early Beatles sound, the vast majority of people would not use their ears, they'd head for a Vox AC30 model straight off.

Modellers also cater for the uber geeks - who dont get out of their bedrooms and like tweaking to their hearts desire, doing comparisons between the real amp and digital equivalents and uploading their findings to YouTube. It's all valid.

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4 minutes ago, Wolverinebass said:

My thoughts entirely. Fractal can go and do one.

I don't think that's entirely fair. One manufacturer has responded to another the moves of a competitor... and if you read the forums, have responded to the user voice. You can't blame them for trying to expand their business and keep their customer base happy.

I never understand why people get so upset when manufacturers announce products... it keeps things interesting and prevents a monopoly. It's also how business works.

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1 minute ago, EBS_freak said:

I don't think that's entirely fair. One manufacturer has responded to another the moves of a competitor... and if you read the forums, have responded to the user voice. You can't blame them for trying to expand their business and keep their customer base happy.

I never understand why people get so upset when manufacturers announce products... it keeps things interesting and prevents a monopoly. It's also how business works.

I tried the axe fx a few years ago and actually didn't like the amps or distortion very much for bass. However, the rest of it was great. I hasten to say that was the ultra and things have moved on somewhat since then I bet. I hope their stuff does well, it just seems like that's a bit steep price wise for what it is in this one case.

As for line 6, I did give serious thought to getting a full helix, but then realised unless I put it in the studio, I'd never need that much. Pretty much the same for all 3 full fat units. I'd probably get the stomp for live work. 

I enjoyed playing the kemper and it's great. I'm not sure who has the biggest share, but those 3 have something for everyone.

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6 minutes ago, Wolverinebass said:

I tried the axe fx a few years ago and actually didn't like the amps or distortion very much for bass. However, the rest of it was great. I hasten to say that was the ultra and things have moved on somewhat since then I bet. I hope their stuff does well, it just seems like that's a bit steep price wise for what it is in this one case.

As for line 6, I did give serious thought to getting a full helix, but then realised unless I put it in the studio, I'd never need that much. Pretty much the same for all 3 full fat units. I'd probably get the stomp for live work. 

I enjoyed playing the kemper and it's great. I'm not sure who has the biggest share, but those 3 have something for everyone.

Thats the point - all 3 have their strengths. Kemper is still the only one out there that has the ability to profile - and that will continue to be it's USP... and the fact that the professional profiles are so so so good and so cheap, that particular platform is always going to have a strong fanbase... Kempers vision was actually pretty stunning - the hardware is now getting on a bit... but they are still wringing the most out of the DSP in there and with the official editor coming along shortly, I would image the interest will increase one again as I believe that was one of the Achilles heals of that particular unit.

There always seems to a strong wrestle between AxeFx and Helix... and price always comes up. But as stated above, you have a relatively small operation trying to compete with a large operation, so it's no surprise that the costs are higher. It all depends on how you look at things though - AxeFx and Helix (and Kemper) gives you a vast arrange of amp tones and Fx, in a portable package, without the risk of valve failure, at the price comparable to a boutique amp with a few boutique pedals. When you look at it like that, they are pretty cheap.

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Is there any likelihood of Kemper releasing a compact floor-based unit? I’ve always looked at Kemper with a curious eye but the form factor is a barrier to entry for me.

Aesthetically, this new Fractal FM3 reminds me of a hotrodded Headrush GigBoard. It looks to be built like an absolute tank - internal PSU is always nice to see. I suspect it’s quite a bit larger than may appear at first glance, maybe about 3/5 to 2/3 the size of a Helix Floor or equivalent?

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I am not sure this is a direct battle between it and the Stomp.

I think it sits between that and the helix floor unit.

If you add the FM3 to the FC6 it works out less than the helix floor unit, plus you get full Axe FX3 functionality, but you can break it back down and make it more modular.

Yes it’s expensive, but I think it sits quite nicely between areas, especially if you like Fractal.

What is nice is that as a company if you were waiting on the AX8 they have automatically shifted you to this unit (unless you don’t want to), knowing that actually this would replace it and stop the Apple like business model where you buy and then have to buy again

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6 minutes ago, Cuzzie said:

I am not sure this is a direct battle between it and the Stomp.

I think it sits between that and the helix floor unit.

If you add the FM3 to the FC6 it works out less than the helix floor unit, plus you get full Axe FX3 functionality, but you can break it back down and make it more modular.

Yes it’s expensive, but I think it sits quite nicely between areas, especially if you like Fractal.

What is nice is that as a company if you were waiting on the AX8 they have automatically shifted you to this unit (unless you don’t want to), knowing that actually this would replace it and stop the Apple like business model where you buy and then have to buy again

Hm. Looking at the dimensions of the FC6 and the fact it seems to be of the same design language, the FM3 may be more compact than I thought. It seems feasible that FM3 has been designed to sit seamlessly beside an FC6.

From the Fractal website:

  • FC-6 Dimensions. 11.2″ x 9.2″ x 3.5″ (283mm x 233mm x 88mm). Weight: 6.7 lbs (3 kg).
Edited by CameronJ

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2 hours ago, CameronJ said:

Is there any likelihood of Kemper releasing a compact floor-based unit? I’ve always looked at Kemper with a curious eye but the form factor is a barrier to entry for me.

You mean you have never seen the Kemper Profilerboard?*

No photo description available.

* totally photoshopped.

Never been done as I suspect the official answer is always get the profile and the floor board. And if floor boards are your thing, there's plenty of midi support to plug whatever you want into it. Funny though, you aren't alone, requests for a Helixesque floorboard format is seen regularly on the Kemper forums.

I've got a Kemper - and I totally dig it...although I must admit the floorboard I find a little annoying as I don't use it all the time and could do with the scribble pads like the Helix as my memory is useless and the screen is too small to see whats going on in the slots when you are playing live. If I'd know that before hand, I'd probably have gone for a midi controller with scribble strips.

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