Hi All, I had mentioned a while back that our church was looking at guitar backline equipment and, instead of a traditional setup, was leaning towards a high end all-in-one, silent stage solution. Contenders were AXE FX III, Helix, Kemper and HeadRush. We'll the choice was made a couple of months ago and Helix was the winner. Our church is very contemporary in style - Bethel, Vertical Church, Hillsong United, etc, but we do throw in traditional hymns without mangling them too badly and the occasional "all acoustic" set. The Kemper and Helix made the short list, but we found the Helix to be a little more friendly for multiple guitarists' use and it seemed to have less of a learning curve (i.e. easy to set up basic patches and give a new guitarist a 10 minute run through and a "cheat sheet" to tweak the tone, amp and pedal settings to accommodate his/her guitar and style). We are fully silent stage, except for acoustic drums which are in an ISO booth, and the vocalists' voices. We are running 100% in-ear monitoring with stereo mixes that each musician can control, themselves. I have been left in charge of setting up the Helix, so I started with some of the excellent WorshipTutorials.com patches and tweaked them from there. I created variations with the "big 3" amps (Vox AC30, Marshall JTM 45, Fender Blackface Deluxe) and variations in gain for guitars with higher and lower output. Honestly, in the mix and in the monitors is sounds incredible and is incredibly easy to use, live. It is a perfect solution for us. It really comes through well for our online services and recordings, as well. All that to say, I have not been hauling my own rig to the church for a couple of months. As such, I started to contemplate if I should sell off all of my pedals and invest in a Helix for myself at home. I could get all the same tones and sounds from my rig, but it looked so big and un-elegant in comparison. I will always keep my old Bandit and my TubeMeister head and cab, mostly because that Bandit has been with me going on 40 years and is never going anywhere, and, well, tubes Gotta have at least one, right? So I played around quite a bit and found that I much preferred the pre-amp of my TubeMeister head to the Helix amp models. The models are very good, but A/B'ing them back to back with the TubeMeister pre-amp in the Helix effect loop, the difference was more noticeable than I expected - could be I'm biased, though, because I really like that amp. (Note: I am using 3rd party IRs for cabinets and NOT using the Helix built-in cabinets. For A/B'ing with the real pre-amp, I used exactly the same IRs and effects in the Helix.) I also preferred my EHX Hot Wax dual overdrive to the models in the Helix. Again - not because it is better than the models, it's just that I went through a LOT of overdrives before finding this one and nothing in the Helix sounds quite like it. So I opted to sell most of my pedals and simplify my rig with an HX Effects, instead of the full Helix pedalboard. Hot Wax -> TubeMeister preamp -> EB jr volume pedal -> HX Effects. Done! I may add a an MXR compressor upfront down the road, but I don't know - I kinda like the compressor after the drives anyway. For me the HX Effects replaces a cabinet (via IR), noise gate, tuner, compressor, EQ, modulation effects (which I rarely use) and a myriad of reverbs and delays. I'm still in the honeymoon stage, but I'm loving this simplified rig right now both with my amps, and direct. Note that the HX Effects unit does have some limitations over a full Helix system: HX Effects only supports 4 snapshots instead of 8; HX Effects does not work as an audio interface to a computer - only a Midi controller; HX Effects does not contain any amp models or Helix native cabinet simulations - only the IR loader; HX Effects does not have a headphone jack for portable practicing (also, it's a small footprint, but deceivingly heavy); HX Effects only supports 9 simultaneous effect blocks.