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Move over Mustang: Line 6 Firehawk Fx

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by burntfrijoles, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Friend of Leo's

    Feb 12, 2010
    Jacksonville
    I acquired this from GC yesterday (via trades+ a little cash) to dip my toes further into the modeling world. I was pleased with my Fender GT40 so I wanted to go to the next step. (Yes, I am too cheap to spring for the Helix LT.)

    This is much better and easier to use than the GT40 albeit more expensive and lacking a speaker. I am currently outputting the tones to my Yamaha studio monitors. I will at some point invest in more appropriate loudspeaker. (Disclaimer: I still think the GT40 is a fine little modeling amp.)

    I only glanced at the manual and was up and running in no time. The Firehawk’s patches are created and edited by an iPad app (or Android tablet app). The app is highly intuitive and super easy to use. Connectivity is good. My only beef so far is that there are only three effects blocks that are totally free for assignment. Delays, Reverb, Eq, etc are fixed blocks in the signal chain. However you still get a ton of options for ordering effects. So, my Gilmour Shine On patch has a Color sound stomp, compressor, Phaser, Delay and Reverb in the signal chain. (I also have the noise gate engaged and may add the Eq to the chain). I am using the Hiwatt Amp model but the Dual Showman model also sounds good in this patch.

    I find the models to be very good indeed. Again, I know that they aren’t Fractal, Kemper or Helix quality but they certainly "good enough" to cover each type of tone well. The effect pedal models are also very good.

    As for the preset patches that come with the Firehawk, like the Fender GT and I suspect the presets on most modelers, they leave a lot to be desired. I think I actually liked about 6 of the 128 factory presets.

    When I walked into GC yesterday I didn’t know whether I was going to use my trade proceeds for the Firehawk or a Vox AC10. I’m glad I chose the Firehawk.

    It is inevitable that I will upgrade to a better modeler at some point in the future. For now, this meets my needs until I am ready to make a bigger investment. It is entirely possible that when I upgrade that my tube amps and effects will be sold.
     

  2. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    The Firehawk appears to be a way to re-brand the HD500 technology in today's "Helix" world. I find it a little disheartening that they chose to provide "fixed blocks" for some of the effects... but this may be one reason the unit is so simple to use. It is nice that they seem to include the original POD2 amps models as well... the Vox Normal channel is fabulous!

    I've used Line 6 modeling since 1999. I bought an original POD when they came out and used it in the studio for years. I later upgraded to an X3 which I used in the Studio and Live, then again to a HD500 which I continue to use. Like you... I would like to jump to the next level but funds will not support it. Even the Helix LT is out of my range at this time. Since I also own a Variax I've tied myself to the Line 6 units... I find the VDI input indispensable.

    Enjoy the Firehawk, there should be some great tones in there. If you are just playing at home - stick to the Studio Monitors, but if you play out you should get a decent FRFR cabinet to take full advantage of the unit.
     

  3. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Friend of Leo's

    Feb 12, 2010
    Jacksonville
    I think they did it to limit the amount of processing. The DSP engines in the Firehawk or HD500 are not up to speed with the Helix for example.
    My reluctance to go all in on the Helix is that I am not able to fully use all of the functionality. I am a novice when it comes to tweaking the more detailed parameters. I am going to try to educate myself before I go all out.
    I like the sound from my studio monitors but I hate disconnecting them from my AI when I play it as a standalone. However I may follow your suggestion and just buy a separate monitor for the Firehawk.
     

  4. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    47
    Aug 17, 2012
    Seattle
    There is a ton of functionality with a truckload of features packed into these units, but they're not designed that way so that one individual needs to be a techno geek mad scientist to get the most out of it, they're meant to cater to as many different people and situations as possible.
     
    burntfrijoles and codamedia like this.

  5. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Friend of Leo's

    Feb 12, 2010
    Jacksonville
    Totally agree. It really couldn’t be easier to use. Surprising how quickly to find a good tone and tweak it. For example: knowing that Cropper used a small tweed, i selected that model. I swear it was instant Steve for Soul Man and Dock of the Bay. No adjustment or tweaking. Amazing!
    Today I checked out some of the user created tones in the “cloud”. A few were quite decent but I didnt choose to download any.
    I’m very pleased. I'm afraid the Mustang GT40 is now going to be get very little attention. For that matter I probably wont spend much time with PRRI SE.
     

  6. Lambieka

    Lambieka TDPRI Member

    Age:
    112
    18
    Sep 15, 2017
    Europa
    interesting
    And it has quite some different in and outputs
    good to hear the modeling device sounds OK
    Made the decision this week to go for the gt40
    but now i'm going to compare these two in a shop
     

  7. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Friend of Leo's

    Feb 12, 2010
    Jacksonville
    As I said, it's not a knock on the GT40 at all. I have really enjoyed the GT40 and have since I got it in early May. In fact, the GT40 is what has peaked my interest even more in modeling so I thought I would try the Firehawk.
    The Line 6 is double the price of the GT40 and doesn't include a speaker. The GT40 is a very good value.
    I haven't tried direct recording with the Firehawk via USB into Logic but if that goes well then it will make my recording setup much more functional and efficient.
     

  8. Lambieka

    Lambieka TDPRI Member

    Age:
    112
    18
    Sep 15, 2017
    Europa
    The maine comparison for me in my situation will be the software
    What kind of fx does they offer, the quality of it and the capabilities (?)
    New I can buy a gt40 for €200 and the firehawk for €333
    I won't use the speakers but I will use the several in- and outputs which the gt doesn't have that many

    I will be in a decision-making process for a while
    which is also part of the fun
    I'm not in a hurry
     

  9. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Friend of Leo's

    Feb 12, 2010
    Jacksonville
    Although it's not the latest in modeling technology, the effects models are very good. The iPad interface is excellent. You can drag and drop effects in the chain to reorder them. You can assign different effects to any of the 5 footswitches for each patch.
    It has effects send and return so you add your own stomp boxes.
    The AC30 model is excellent as are several of the Marshalls like the "Jump Plexi" and I think the Fenders are quite good as well.
    I also like that you can compress, EQ each patch in addition to having the noise gate.
    As I said, I only glanced at the manual and I have had no trouble navigating through the App. However, the App is everything. There is not big LCD display to do editing on the floorboard unit itself. It may be a different story with Android since not all tablets run the most up to date version of Android. iOS is very stable in this regard.
     

  10. Lambieka

    Lambieka TDPRI Member

    Age:
    112
    18
    Sep 15, 2017
    Europa
    Thnxs for the info
    Good you mentioned the interface because it's also an important issue
    I think i'm going to download the manuals and read about it
     

  11. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Friend of Leo's

    Feb 12, 2010
    Jacksonville
    Update: I really liked this kit. I was able to replicate a fair number of tones that I like fairly easily. I even borrowed some of the settings from Helix patches from youtube and they came out quite nicely.
    GC also just dropped the price of the Firehawk by $100. The editing App in iOS is wonderful.
    All that said I returned it and upgraded to a Helix. I had enough unwanted, neglected gear lying around to trade in to make up most of the different in the steep price.
    My return has nothing to do with how the device sounded. It is excellent IMO. I just realized that modeling is the future for my needs. So rather than wait a year. and trade in the FIrehawk at little value I decided now it the time to commit to digital.
    I still have my SE PRRI (with 12" speaker) and most of my pedals but it's just too easy to create excellent tones with these devices. I thought that with the GT40 which got me started on this path.
    I will write a review of the Helix after I get some of my own tones built.
     
    Lambieka likes this.

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