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Line 6 hx stomp , it cant be as good as it looks?


Twunkbass
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After 6 or so years of not being able to play bass or guitar i'm back. And alot of the gear market seems to have changed. Primarily darkglass stuff and the helix.

From what I can see is that at £400 ish quid the helix can do pretty much all effects, amps,  and IR's for both bass and guitar, and well.

I'm awaiting a darkglass B7k from a lovely gentleman on here. Would the helix do a similar sound quality?

 

Basically, whats the damn catch?

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I love mine but I use it mostly as a multi effects pedal and don't make so much use of the models or IRs.  The amp models are very gainy to start off with but can be tamed nicely.  I don't really like the cab sims but there are some great IRs out there which are much better for this purpose.

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I've been using a HX Stomp now for about 3 years, superb bit of kit either in front of an amp or completely by its self direct, I've had no issues

get the tones I want, whats not to like! Not totally sure you'd need the Dark Glass as the Stomp does some decent good distortion ... Only thing

you might want to look at too is the Line 6 Pod GO which 'seems' to pretty much do it all too ...

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Don't have a HX Stomp, but do have a POD Go.

 

It really depends on what you're after TBH. They are both excellent pieces of equipment that will offer the user more solutions than they were aware they had "problems" for. 

 

The HX Stomp is a compromise because of the footswitches & connectivity (compared to a Helix Rack / Floor / LT), but it offers the ability to have parallel processing (more than one chain of amps/effects/etc.). For extra footswitches, the HX Stomp XL is maybe a better option.

 

However, if you're after a "simpler" setup, amp/cab model, a few effects, but no parallel processing, then the POD Go is ideal. Same amp/cab/effects models as the Helix (IIRC, there's only 3 or 4 effect models missing), same great sounds, but in a gig friendly format. Been using mine for a while now, and it's excellent.

 

I was torn between getting a HX Stomp or the POD Go, and plumped for the POD Go, glad I did, because I think the extra features on the HX Stomp would end up causing more issues (constant tweaks & experiments, etc.), rather than working with the limitations and simply setting up a few great sounding patches, and then tweaking to suit.

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I sold my full fat Helix because the Stomp was so good. The Stomp, a wireless and an extra switch are all I use now. My whole rig fits on a PT Nano. 

 

....it even does a decent impression of a Darkglass... 

 

Where are you? Perhaps a local BC will hook you up. 

Edited by Jack
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I've owned the Stomp and Effects and now the Stomp XL so am a fan but it's not perfect, the main negatives vs individual pedals are:

 

  • Sounds aren't generally quite as good as good individual pedals - especially envelope filters and synth .
  • Not as 'hands on/foot on' controllable and settings aren't immediately visible as individual pedals. 

 

....there are lots of positives that I'm sure you're aware of though, they outweigh the negatives for my situation at the moment - needing to be portable and play multiple genres. I think if you want something that can do Bass and Guitar effects and have amp + cab sims for both and a good range of effects in a small size then it's a winner.

 

There is similar priced competition from the Amperoo 2 and Boss GT1000 and Headrush and Mod Dwarf that might be worth considering too.

 

 

 

Edited by SumOne
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As a box of tricks, it's very handy, very flexible, and sounds great.

 

If you're looking for negatives...

 

I agree with SumOne- the synths and filters aren't so hot, and neither are the octaves, really.

The outputs are balanced and can be set to instrument or line level, but there is no XLR output, which isn't ideal for most sound guys. It's a unit set up to be DI'd but without a standard DI connection.

The footswitches are limited in number, especially if you want to use the tuner. I have an extension for two extra switches, but it feels a bit faffy.

All those lights, screens, and processing power, yet the compressors are all set by ear- there is no gain reduction metering, or even an indicator to signify the signal crossing the threshold. I believe this feature is available on other versions of the Helix, so might make it onto future updates, but it is missing on the HX Stomp.

The power supply inspires very little confidence. It's clunky, awkward, and cheap feeling, and has a non-standard barrel connector (as far as pedals are concerned) so can't be replaced or upgraded with something sturdier, longer, and easily available like a One Spot. I'm a jobbing player, so I'm waiting for that flimsy wire to start to go, then have to hunt for an acceptable replacement.

The master volume on mine feels a bit fragile- in fact despite the pedal's cost and chunky looks, it genuinely feels a little cheap.

 

As everyone says. It's great, but it's far from perfect.

 

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Went down this road as a guitarist!!

 

Spent more time tweeking and adjusting than playing and then still didn’t like it.

 

Home to live settings also very different so bear that in mind.

 

On Bass I would question how many actual effects you need and is it worth it compared to good analog pedals 

 

Room for both but modellers / digital platforms do take over your life in endless tone chasing !!

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I've found that after a month or two of owning multi-fx units that I start to miss individual pedals (hence having owned Stomp, Effects, and Stomp XL). Perhaps the grass is always greener and it takes that long for me to forget about the negatives of individual pedals but they just seem to be a bit more fun and kind of have a bit more personality to them - they feel a bit more 'musical' if that makes sense, there's something about them that I prefer. 

 

If I was only playing one genre (Reggae is my main thing) and didn't care about cost or size then my ideal pedalboard would basically be the things I sold to get the Helix:

  • Tuner: Korg pitchblack mini (slightly more visible then the Helix tuner).
  • Compressor: FEA Opti-FET compressor (better sounds than the Helix comps, more intuative/visible to adjust, footswitch for sidechain, metering LED). 
  • Preamp: One Control Crimson Red (it's just one very specific Amp + Cab sim but it just so happens to be the exact amp + cab sim sound I want for Reggae which Helix doesn't replicate without using a lot of blocks).
  • Boss RE-20 (more intuative/fun way of doing echo than via Helix).
  • EQ/DI: Tech 21 Q-Strip (seems a more intuative way of getting better EQ results than via Helix, and it has DI things like ground lift and XLR).
  • Isolated Power brick (using a sturdy standard kettle lead which is better than Helix power supply). 

 

....I think all of those do their specific jobs better than the Helix, but that pedalboard costs >£800 new vs Stomp XL £560 (or Stomp £430). The other big downside to individual pedals is when I want to play other genres e.g. add some octaver and Fuzz etc.  that needs more pedals so costs keep going up and either the pedalboard gets massive, or pedals need swopping, or it starts becoming more than one pedalboard. It all just got a bit of a faff for taking out of the house which the Stomp XL simplifies and makes convenient (also signal chain re-organising options of multi-fx units are a big benefit). Still though, I reckon it's only a matter of time before heart beats head and I put the Stomp XL up for sale and go through the whole pedalboard buying process all over again! 

Edited by SumOne
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2 hours ago, Jus Lukin said:

As a box of tricks, it's very handy, very flexible, and sounds great.

 

If you're looking for negatives...

 

I agree with SumOne- the synths and filters aren't so hot, and neither are the octaves, really.

The outputs are balanced and can be set to instrument or line level, but there is no XLR output, which isn't ideal for most sound guys. It's a unit set up to be DI'd but without a standard DI connection.

The footswitches are limited in number, especially if you want to use the tuner. I have an extension for two extra switches, but it feels a bit faffy.

All those lights, screens, and processing power, yet the compressors are all set by ear- there is no gain reduction metering, or even an indicator to signify the signal crossing the threshold. I believe this feature is available on other versions of the Helix, so might make it onto future updates, but it is missing on the HX Stomp.

The power supply inspires very little confidence. It's clunky, awkward, and cheap feeling, and has a non-standard barrel connector (as far as pedals are concerned) so can't be replaced or upgraded with something sturdier, longer, and easily available like a One Spot. I'm a jobbing player, so I'm waiting for that flimsy wire to start to go, then have to hunt for an acceptable replacement.

The master volume on mine feels a bit fragile- in fact despite the pedal's cost and chunky looks, it genuinely feels a little cheap.

 

As everyone says. It's great, but it's far from perfect.

 

 

Just on the power supply point - add one of these to a one spot (or any standard supply capable of 1A) and you are good to go: 

 

https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/RockBoard-by-Warwick-Line-6-Converter/1FUZ?origin=product-ads&gclid=CjwKCAiAqIKNBhAIEiwAu_ZLDhRDpul7RA18EjXM-VkBO8_UZ-s5JKey6jSDsJy2w5V_5KUQBtow9hoCYAcQAvD_BwE

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22 minutes ago, AJ567 said:

 

Just on the power supply point - add one of these to a one spot (or any standard supply capable of 1A) and you are good to go: 

 

https://www.gear4music.com/Guitar-and-Bass/RockBoard-by-Warwick-Line-6-Converter/1FUZ?origin=product-ads&gclid=CjwKCAiAqIKNBhAIEiwAu_ZLDhRDpul7RA18EjXM-VkBO8_UZ-s5JKey6jSDsJy2w5V_5KUQBtow9hoCYAcQAvD_BwE

Good to know, thank you.

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Just reading some of the other replies reminded me of a guitarist I used to play with. One day he turned up to practice with a Helix LT - decided that it would be simpler to have a fancy multi FX rather than patch cables that break. Sounded great, his peals before were fine too though. One day, he decided that he wasn't making the full use of the Helix, sold it and set up a traditional pedalboard. Turns out he had some faulty patch cables and spent the first 20 minutes of band practice tearing apart his pedalboard!

 

I feel like I hear people saying that they're not "making full use of the thing" as a reason for selling their Helix products a lot as well. I think as long as what you're using the thing for is comparably priced to a similar set of pedals and it performs to a standard where you're happy, keep it to do those things. You don't have to use all of the bells and whistles all of the time, but they can be useful every now and then.

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On 26/11/2021 at 13:40, AJ567 said:

 

Just on the power supply point

 

You know what? One of my One Spots came in a set with a bloody Line 6 adapter already- what a prat! 😄

 

It would be nice not to have to faff about with an adapter, but it's nice to know I won't need to buy one, either!

EDIT: Although it isn't clear whether the adapters also invert polarity. I'll dig through and see what I've got, but it looks like the advice is to use a One Spot, then polarity inverter, then 2.1mm-2.5mm adapter. Still a pain in the bum, whichever way you try to fix it.

Edited by Jus Lukin
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18 hours ago, Jus Lukin said:

 

You know what? One of my One Spots came in a set with a bloody Line 6 adapter already- what a prat! 😄

 

It would be nice not to have to faff about with an adapter, but it's nice to know I won't need to buy one, either!

EDIT: Although it isn't clear whether the adapters also invert polarity. I'll dig through and see what I've got, but it looks like the advice is to use a One Spot, then polarity inverter, then 2.1mm-2.5mm adapter. Still a pain in the bum, whichever way you try to fix it.

 

This line 6 thread has an explanation for that :

 

"The Stomp is center negative, just like the vast majority of pedals out there. The reason so many solutions require a polarity swap is because the 3rd party L6 cable adaptors (to bring the size down to standard) were designed for older L6 tech that was center positive and also reversed polarity. So if you're using the L6 adaptor you have to use a polarity reverse cable to bring it BACK to center negative.

 

With that said the Truetones are great. I own the 12. Both the 6 and the 12 come with all the cables."

 

 

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I sold off a load of individual pedals to go to a Boss GT10B that needed a Mass megabrain to pilot it. I sold off that and an electric guitar multi to buy an HX Stomp. A lot of great pros and cons already given, but for my two Pence worth.... I now have a board that has my Helix Stomp, an extra two button footswitch to scroll through the presets, leaving the three onboard buttons for turning on and off individual effects, a separate tuner/mute so I don't keep to use a button on the Stomp for this, a separate wah because I can't have an expression pedal and the extra two buttons connected, a boost pedal for when I need to raise up the volume because I can't find a way to use presets with the limited number of buttons, and a powerbank to power all but the Helix. So my one pedal solution is anything but. I also use a two button footswitch for my Ashdown amp because I prefer the Ashdown sub function to the octave effects on the Helix for what I need right now, and I like going from my pedal board into the amp overdrive sometimes. 

 

Every extra that I have could be done by the Stomp, but I'm not sure it could be done in a live situation. And that's what I need. 

 

Individual pedals will sound better BUT if you have a number of very different basses how many pre amp pedals do you buy? Because some like passive basses and some like actives...  The Helix has things I use then don't need for years like flangers, it lets me put a chorus into a chorus, etc. Overall, it's something I can't do without for my new band. I don't have the patience to learn how to use the full size Helix, maybe the Stomp XL would be better for me soon. Even then, though it's not what I set out for I'm happy with the set up as being better than good enough, it's just not perfect as others have said.

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Only thing to consider is if 3 pedals is enough. You can connect controllers too if you need more but might not be for you. 

 

Sound wise it's brilliant. If individual pedals sound better then it's negligible, and not worth the need for a traditional pedal board! 

 

I'm thinking about picking up a 2nd one if I see one cheap! 

 

 

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