Yeah, not being able to adjust on the fly was one of my chief concerns. I don't know about other models, but with the HX Effects it doesn't seem to be an issue. On each switch for the effects, the 3 most relevant parameters (rate, depth or drive, tone etc) are right on top and there are 3 corresponding knobs. So quick tweaks are doable. That was huge since I'm always making little adjustments for the sound of whatever room I'm playing and I didn't want to menu dive.Pros: They sound good, they are flexible, you have infinite programmability, you can synch all of your modulation and delays to a midi clock if you play with a click. I am a tube amp guy, but I play with a lot of folks who use the Axe FX and Neural, etc. etc. and I admit that they sound really good. We have come a long way since the days of the kidney bean POD. I would say that my decision to choose to use an amp is more due to personal preference than objective superiority. This was not the case 20 years ago.
Cons: On the fly adjustment can be tough. I see a lot of modeler players who tweak their sounds in the bedroom, and then on the gig have way too much low end, way too much reverb, etc. etc. It's easy with a conventional rig to reach down and spin a knob without calling NASA to reprogram your rig.
Eventual obsolescence: As soon as somebody comes out with a better mousetrap, you have a very expensive paperweight. This is a pro and a con as the technology keeps improving. I've seen guys pour hours into programming their Line 6 gear, then throw that out and spends hours programming their Kemper, then throw that out and spend hours programming their Neural Cortex... and eventually something will come out that is better than that and they'll start all over again.
All that said, even though I don't personally like modelers, I'll admit that they have come a long way and that they really do sound outstanding now. I think the decision is more about interface and tweakability than it is tone at this point.
Cool, thanks for the reply. If/ when I get into modeled amps some sort of power cab will be a must. There's no substitute for pushing air and how your guitar vibrates and reacts to that.i use 'modeling' for recording.
it is perfect (PERFECT) for that.
for loud studio, or live work, i can run it directly into my mesa boogie MKIIb head (and various cabs) and it sounds awesome
there is ZERO downside.
and my recordings sound wonderful.
gotta get the right gear for yourself, tho.
i know what works for me.
I've gigged a Line6 Pocket POD.So I've recently dipped my toe in the modeling world when I purchased the Line 6 HX Effects. So I'm curious to hear your thoughts on it. What do you like or dislike? And like the title suggests, I really want to hear from those of you that use it. Those of you that plug your straight into a tube amp, I get it, you probably loathe them. But that's not really helpful, and honestly I was one of you until recently. I didn't plug straight in, always used a pedalboard. But I've always been resistant to modeling. I've used mostly analog effects into really nice tube amps. So what changed my mind?
I basically had two different live music listening experiences that nudged me into looking into the modeling. First one is a local soul/pop/rock band. The guitarist is probably THE guitar player here in Tucson, AZ. Unbelievable player always has exquisite tone and he has used a Helix ever since I started seeing him. Made me think, but I never saw him play a "real" rig, so I didn't have context.
Then recently I went and saw one of my favorite local bands that I've been seeing for years. They play music of the Jerry Garcia Band. He usually plays a normal pedalboard through a Fender Twin. Great tone. At the last show as I listened I thought his tone sounded really great that evening. I was distracted because I had brought my dog to the beer garden, so I was focused on the pooch instead of checking out his rig. I went up to check it out at set break, thinking maybe he got a new amp. I was pretty shocked when there was no amp, just an amp/fx modeler on the floor. It made start to rethink things.
I went out and bought a used HX Effects and set it up on a pedalboard. Like I said, I'm just dipping my toe in the water. I still have my analog OD's and my Volante delay on the board and plan to just use it for modulation. For context I play Americana/roots music, with a dash of Jam band stylings. My usual rig is my "normal" pedalboard into both a Fender Princeton reverb and either a Winfield version of a Tweed Deluxe or his version of a AC15 (GREAT AMPS!)
Just for fun I A/B'd it against the pedals that I have that are in the HX: Tubescreamer, KoT (clone) Klone, Boss vibrato and chorus etc. I honestly couldn't tell the difference (after a few minutes of tweaking the HX.) I haven't tried it at a gig yet. Will have that opportunity this weekend. But it has me wondering, do I go all the way in and try a Helix with no amp? Even if I did, and liked it, I still plan on keeping my amp and pedal collection. I probably will still gig with them at times. But oh man, the thought of such an easy setup sounds amazing. I'm scheduled for a surgery consultation for a spinal fusion, so the idea of not having to lug my two amps to a gig is VERY appealing.
Long winded set up, I know. Just trying to give some context. So any of you out there that are using modeling for gigs, what are your thoughts? What are some of the things you miss from your regular rig when using modeling? Thanks in advance for any information!
well,Cool, thanks for the reply. If/ when I get into modeled amps some sort of power cab will be a must. There's no substitute for pushing air and how your guitar vibrates and reacts to that.