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Rating and Reviews: Line 6 Helix Rack Effects

Dial in genuine tone from the tour-ready Helix multi-effects rack unit. Program multiple signal chains with the on-board amp, cab, and effects modelers.

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"Should have gotten this in the first place" submitted September 23, 2018

By Eric Dahlstrom in Dalton, GA
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Musical Background: Guitar player for 40+ years. Semi pro, weekender now.
Music Style: Classic Rock, Blues, Pop Rock
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Overall: I made the choice to just spend the money on the Helix after a pretty bad experience with the POD HD. All of my concerns with the POD and it's recommended foot switch were overcome with the purchase of the Helix. Kudo's to zZounds, they took back the Pod, and I had the Helix on it's way with no calls, no trying to convince me to give it a little time. I wasn't happy, and that's all that mattered. Now, the Helix is very intuitive to operate and everything is plainly marked on the front of the unit. Menu's are easy to find, and navigate through. Plug this monster into your computer, and you can just about make this thing do the dishes. All amp models sound very realistic, and there are seemingly endless options for effects, both new and "Vintage". They name them differently, but in the manual it explains that the "Red Compressor" is based on an "MXR Dyna Comp" One of my complaints with the POD is that a noise gate had to be put in the signal chain, On the helix, the noise gate is on the guitar input, and can be set for individual presets or patches. it's automatically there. The other complaint that I had with the POD is the foot switch. You couldn't tell by looking down what effect you were on, or what effect corresponded with which button. The Helix Control has customizable LED colors and windows that display what the effect is. It even allows you to customize what you want to call it. I don't need to see that for a preset that I'm choosing a Tube Screamer, I just need it to say "Distortion" and the Editing software allows full customization. It's an expensive box, and pedal combination, but for this "Weekend Warrior", it's so far been reliable, and very easy to use. Two Thumbs UP!!
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"The. End." submitted October 3, 2018

By William S in Ypsilanti, MI
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Musical Background: 20 years - Guitarist, Audio Engineer, Studio Wwner, Producer.
Music Style: Rock, Pop, Country, Hip-hop, Classical
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Overall: This Helix rack (and foot controller) is a few Astronomical Units above anything Line 6 has ever produced. The routing options, sound quality, and indistinguishable-from-the-real-thing amps and effects live in another galaxy compared to anything on the market currently. I've used Kemper, Bias, AxeFX, and just about every other amp sim box and pedal created. Line 6 outshines them all in sound, fit, and finish. I've used Line 6 gear for nearly 20 years. The UX-1 and UX-8 along with all the Pod Farm compliments traveled with me around the world and served as my mobile recording studio throughout many deployments and combat zones. I was always able to coax a believable guitar sound from their gear but with Helix, the sound leaps out of my speakers. I tested my Dr. Z with matching cab against the Line 6 version. Once I dialed in my tone, I couldn't tell the difference. My Dr.Z head cost almost twice what this rack unit costs. EVERY amp model and EVERY effect are dead-on-accurate. I stick to basic set-ups but with the Custom Tone presets, I can draw from the technically inclined users that share their complex presets. There is NOTHING on the market that can compete with this unit. I prefer the rack because I mainly use this in my studio. I bought the foot controller too and it is rugged, well built, and easily integrated. If you are a live player - this will make the FOH engineer hug you!
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"L6 HELIX IS AMAZING" submitted January 12, 2018

By Daniel G in Long Beach, CA
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Musical Background: Iv been playing electric guitar, and bass for 10 years now
Music Style: I play a lot of progressive metal, a lot of 7 and 8 string guitar.
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Overall: Ive been playing guitar and bass for a while now and i have to say this unit is amazing. I bought a mesa boogie roadster not to long ago for recordiing and live use. Its and amazing amp but its to loud in my home studio for recording i kept getting complaints so i started looking for an FX unit. At first it was hard to justify why o should buy this over the kemper when the kepmer was only 300 more and it sounds exactly like the real amp. But what leaned me towards the line 6 helix is ALL THE POSSABLITIES, this unit is amazing i can usr it in so many ways. Theyres a lot of cool fx to play around with on this. I started creating music i never thought i would sonce i didnt own all those type of fx pedals.
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"The Next Generation is Here!" submitted March 2, 2016

By Peter H in Cincinnati, OH
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Musical Background: Professional Worship Leader
Music Style: Rock, Pop, Christian
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Overall: I've been working with Helix now for about 2 and a half months. After my extremely positive experience with HD 500 (I have had one since the very first days it was available), I expected good things, but I was truly surprised by how Helix exceeded my expectations. In-depth descriptions of features and capabilities are available elsewhere, so I'll just briefly summarize my experience in terms of what Helix brings NEW to the table, vs. previous Line 6 modelers. 1. Flexibility. This is the big thing right here. 4 totally separate paths that can be linked or not linked, that can work together or separately. For instance, if you wanted to run an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar and vocals through this at the same time, with 4 discrete inputs, you can. You can even manage separate outputs for them, some mono and some stereo, if you wish. That's not an ideal situation, because horsepower will be limited, but in theory, it actually can be done. What's more likely is that you will want, perhaps, two separate amp chains, even with some shared FX and some not, or perhaps, as I do, a piezo-equipped electric guitar plugged in, switching between acoustic, electric, or both, each with their own FX, on the fly. I can get about twice as many FX going in Helix as I could with HD 500, and I can get the kind of flexibility that allows me to stay on one patch for an entire set of material if I want. With HD 500, I might have needed 2 or 3 different patches. 2. Ease of Use. Rather than describe this, I will tell you that I'm a manual reader. I read the manual before my Helix arrived. When it did, within about 2 days, I misplaced the manual... for two months... I didn't bother looking for it. It's that easy. Online discussions helping navigate things you wouldn't think you could do with this product abound, too, so get online and learn. It's amazing. 3. Sound quality. I'm going to go ahead and say that I like most of the FX in the HD 500 probably just as much as Helix. Some that are in HD 500 that aren't here (like "Comet Trails") I like messing around with. At this point (early March 2016) I feel like Line 6 needs to add more FX to the box to really "finish it off" (there are fewer FX here than in HD 500), but I can do everything I need here, and I love the FX that are here now. A few of the FX in Helix are vastly improved from HD 500 (I like the verbs WAY better), and some of the new stuff is downright wonderful. The Klon and Timmy gain pedals are simply better than any analog gain pedal I've used, and the Studio Comp is an integral part of every single patch I write. But where we really see the biggest tone improvement in Helix... is... 3a. Amp tones. If you are the kind of guy who plays full-bore, never messes with the volume knob on your guitar, and just needs to be heard loud, you might think the HD 500 sounds just as good, but Helix is more responsive to playing dynamics on the amps I use (mostly the Matchless, /13, Dr. Z, and Fender amp models), you are going to be in heaven. This is as responsive as the best amps I've ever played through. I love taking a clean amp and setting up an EXP to gently toggle to a distorted sound, then add a Timmy or Klon. then back off the volume control on your guitar and it cleans up like (or sometimes better and more predictably than) a real amp. btw. DO NOT USE AMP + CAB MODELS. Use the amp only, then add a dual cab, and have at it. 3b. IRs. I don't use 3rd party speaker cab emulations, but I do use IRs to process my acoustic guitar signal. This has revolutionized my ability to make my acoustic sound great live. IRs already have changed the way I record acoustic guitar, meaning I don't need or want to even bother with miking my acoustic in anything resembling a dense mix. In short, I totally adore this product. One last thing... if you are thinking of getting Helix Rack, but not Control... don't. Get them both or get the floor version. The functionality of the remote with the scribble strips and touch sensitive buttons and on the fly editing with your feet... One of the executives from Line 6 feels so strongly about this that he recommends that if you are buying the Helix Rack without Control, he'd rather you bought a competing product. It makes that much difference. Disclaimer: I am a Line 6 beta tester, but am not compensated monetarily by Line 6 for this review. They nave not asked me to review the product, have not really influenced how much I love it, but you do need to know that they provided a product to me to test.
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"Helix Rack is the slick, black Cadillac of Guitar Sound! " submitted August 4, 2018

By Mario Ghecea in Everett, WA
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Musical Background: Composer/Producer
Music Style: Metal, Industrial and Darkwave
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Overall: I just got this unit today from zZounds and just as expected, it is slick and beautiful thru and thru. It feels like a brand new, leather interior, Cadillac of polished sound and I know the sky is the limit with it, judging from reading many reviews and taking note regarding how many happy and satisfied Helix community members are out there praising this thing. I have gotten the pedal board with it as well and it is also a high quality product and definitely recommended. I previously had the AXE FX II Plus and sold it to get this unit, because I was not one hundred percent satisfied with something about the sound. I would not fault the AXE FX, perhaps it was my lack of emotional endeavour to dig and dig, but I found it kinda cold and univiting to use. Regarding the Helix, this is exactly how you go about making a user friendly product and I'm going to wait to see the feedback for about a year down the road out there, if I ever decide to try the new AXE FX III again. I just find the Helix more intuitive, easier to use, looks way better interface wise, sounds Amazing, support from the community is bar-none without much competion and without added complexities and headaches, dialing in a sound you can only dream of. This unit is definitely a keeper and the zZounds folks went out of their way to ship it to me timely within two days, so kudos and what a great customer service. I will be buying from zZounds again. That is for sure!
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"OMG!" submitted August 29, 2018

By andy church in santa rosa, CA
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Musical Background: hobbie
Music Style: metal
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Overall: this thing is so awesome, there is so much talent surrounding this thing from the engineers, programmers, techs, at line 6, to the people uploading amazing sounding presets on the CustomTone website, just amazing. $1400 there practically giving these away when you consider the technology your getting, a $1000+ tube amp is not even on the same planet as this thing like comparing a tractor to a lexus
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