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Thread: Latest-Generation Modellers: Comparing the Right Thing

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    Mojo's Minions Sirion's Avatar
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    Default Latest-Generation Modellers: Comparing the Right Thing

    In a few days I will have the opportunity to try the Helix, the Headrush and the GT-1000 side by side. These are pretty much all the modellers you can expect to find in Europe, and I will most likely get one of them eventually. Whilst I want them to be able to do more, my main concern is how well they can do a mid- to late-80s Marshall- or Soldano-style tone think Sunset Strip. Whilst I have found a few George Lynch and Warren deMartini patches for the Helix, there is little to be found on the two other units. Do any of you have any practical experiences with how one would go about dialling such a tone on these units?

    I do a single amplifier + IR comparison, or possibly with a distortion unit only, as I am sure that each of the units can do the effects very convincingly.

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    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Latest-Generation Modellers: Comparing the Right Thing

    The GT-1000 has a few model names that you will recognize, but most are names that Boss came up with. For the tones you are looking for you probably want to try the "Maximum" model.

    Check page 6 here for better explanation of the models, although they just added a few new models with the latest firmware update, along with some new od/dist pedal including a "Centa OD" which is really nice - https://static.roland.com/assets/med...er_eng04_W.pdf

    Here's the sound list of the factory presets, and the first one - Premium Drive is really good, it's pretty much what sold me on the 1000, but probably not enough gain for what you are looking for - https://static.roland.com/assets/med...nd_eng02_W.pdf

    It's really hard to try any of these out in a few minutes, or even a few hours, but some hints for gain settings in the 1000 is that there is a high/mid/low switch for gain on the amp models in addition to the gain control. Setting the switch to mid and cranking the gain doesn't sound exactly the same as setting the gain to high and backing off the gain even though you have roughly the same amount of gain, hope that makes sense.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Archer250's Avatar
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    Default Re: Latest-Generation Modellers: Comparing the Right Thing

    Good luck.

    The thing with these modelers is that the factory presets tend to be... Not very representative of what the unit can do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myaccount876 View Post
    Attenuators are for pussies. Neighbors calling the cops isn't a problem - if the cops can actually still decipher the neighbor's complaint on the phone with the Marshall in the background, you're doing it wrong and it needs to be louder.

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    Default Re: Latest-Generation Modellers: Comparing the Right Thing

    [Something like 4th time trying to post this, don't know why SDUGF keeps eating my post.]

    I have no personal experience with the GT-1000 or Headrush. I've heard great things about Headrush for ease of use. Most of the comments about Boss multi-effects amount to be sure you like Boss effects for everything, as they have their own sound.

    I have Helix Native, so aside from not having the ADC/DAC/impedance-switching input, I'm very familiar with how that sounds. [And I'm pretty sure all of those things are plusses for the Helix hardware compared to my UMC404HD.]

    Helix is very flexible, but I found the cabinet modelling frustrating, so I moved on to IRs, which I found much more instant gratification. Helix has great effects, from the Legacy collection of old Line 6 models updated to take advantage of higher bit depth ADC/DAC & DSP processing, to the new Helix models. I actually often wind up using Legacy versions of many dirtboxes, because they have added tone controls that make them more flexible.

    For a list of amp models to check out, aside from the classic dirtbox (or extra preamp) into classic amp [there's tons of classic rock amps, from Bassman to multiple flavors of Plexi and the JCM800], here's a list of oddly named models that might be harder to recognize that might suit:
    Brit P75 models Park 75, and more resembles a bass or PA model of a Plexi. Great option for classic Marshall tones, oft used in place of Plexi.
    Line 6 2204 Mod is based on a hotrodded JCM800. Probably fairly obvious, but often missed by people looking for high gain Marshally tones.
    Placater Dirty models a Friedman BE-100 BE/HBE channel. Modded Marshall with ridiculous range of feel.
    German Mahadeva models a channel of the Bogner Shiva.
    Derailed Ingrid models a Trainwreck Express. Ridiculously dynamic Marshally tones. Probably at it's best at lower gain, for the dynamics, but still great when pushed too far, just loses the touch sensitivity.
    Line 6 Doom is a hybrid JCM800 preamp with Hiwatt power section, tweaked for more gain.

    Solo Lead Clean/Crunch/OD model the channels of a Soldano SLO-100.
    PV Panama models a [early block letter] Peavey 5150 lead channel, which is infamous for it's similarity to the SLO.
    Archetype Lead models PRS Archon lead channel. Gets some comparison to SLO, but has it's own thing going on.
    ANGL Meteor models an ENGL Fireball 100, a tight high gainer.

    Some fun models easily overlooked:
    Soup Pro models a Valco Supro S6616. Run into a Celestion IR, very early Led Zeppelin.
    Line 6 Litigator began as a mockery of Blues Lawyer Amps, but evolved into it's own thing. Feels as early Boogie as Dumble. Frustrated it's designer by being difficult to stop playing for almost everyone who tried it, including him...

    I've probably put in the most time on Line 6 Litigator, it's terribly addictive, though I abuse it for it's gainier range and cascade multiple dirt boxes in front. But I've also had a lot of fun with the legacy Colordrive into a Plexi, gets very "And the Cradle Will Rock". Humbuckers into parallel paths with JTM45 into G12H30 panned left, Plexi with G12M25 panned right is great for AC/DC-style rhythm.

    I tend to do a tape delay after the IR and then the legacy Plate reverb, with very low mix, for a bit of air.

    And Archer250 is right. "Factory Presets Suck" is commonly bandied around in digital modelling forums...

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    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Latest-Generation Modellers: Comparing the Right Thing

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirion View Post
    In a few days I will have the opportunity to try the Helix, the Headrush and the GT-1000 side by side.
    So, did this comparison happen? If so, thoughts?

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    Mojo's Minions Sirion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Latest-Generation Modellers: Comparing the Right Thing

    My apologies! I was out of town when doing this, and so busy with other things that I haven't visited the forums much.

    I did, however, write an exceedingly long review on another forum:

    http://www.dinosaurrockguitar.com/fo...sh-and-gt-1000

    The short of it is as follows:
    * I think the GT-1000 might be a generation behind the others in sound quality, and I liked the Headrush ever so slightly more than the Helix, but at this point you can make all of them sound good. (I didn't bother to try many effects, as I think in most realms, digital has been more than good enough since the late 80s Eventide units.)
    * It might be that what should be your main concern when deciding which unit to go for is the interface and manner of routing: the Headrush is very much an amp+pedals experience, whereas the GT-1000 gives you the flexibility of a rack rig of yore, with the Helix coming somewhere in between. I thought it worthwhile to discuss the GT-1000 in particular on this point, as not a single review I have seen have seemed to grasp this.

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    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Latest-Generation Modellers: Comparing the Right Thing

    Interesting takeaway.

    FWIW, I am currently using a GT-1000 and it took me quite a while to get the best sounds out of it, there were more than a few times I was about to sell it and buy a FlyRig. Now, I think it might be the most advanced one of the ones you reviewed, but it's not the most straight forward. I also rarely use the SM57 model, it is a little harsh in the top end.

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    Default Re: Latest-Generation Modellers: Comparing the Right Thing

    a friend plays the Fractal AXE II professionally -it sounds pretty damn amazing. -I hate it when I admit this out loud.

    Wasn't as impressed with the Kemper or Helix.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Archer250's Avatar
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    Default Re: Latest-Generation Modellers: Comparing the Right Thing

    Ah, see. The switching delay could be completely solved by using whatever switching mode they call that changes parameters within the presets themselves (Fractal calls it SCENES and Line 6 calls it SNAPSHOT)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myaccount876 View Post
    Attenuators are for pussies. Neighbors calling the cops isn't a problem - if the cops can actually still decipher the neighbor's complaint on the phone with the Marshall in the background, you're doing it wrong and it needs to be louder.

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    Default Re: Latest-Generation Modellers: Comparing the Right Thing

    Sirion, I think you missed a bit on the Helix for routing (possibly because that's a bit harder to set up on the floor models than plugin). There are four paths, though it's tricky to figure out how the splits work and the routing is a bit nonobvious. Plus you can use some of the IO connectors for up to 2 loops at any point in there, if you are working with outboard effects.

    You can also mix snapshots & stomps, or use all stomps or all snapshots. Max of 8 (currently, there's ideascale votes in for expansion, I particularly like the snapshot toggle idea with twice the snaps), and I think the split is 4/4. I have no idea how to do that on the actual hardware unit, though, as I don't have one, but it's discussed on TGP quite a bit... I don't know if stomps can trigger multiple things at once yet, or if that is restricted to snapshots.

    So far, I only use snapshots on Helix Native. I have snapshots that change multiple amp & effect parameters, turn numerous effects on or off, switching instrument panning amongst 4 different routes (all stereo). You can even switch which IR each of the max of 4 IRs (1 per path) uses.

    A lot of vendors don't have Helix firmware installed, which may mean it's missing some great amps, particularly for Sunset Strip tones. Did you check out the Placater, for example? It's a great hotrod Marshall (Friedman HBE-100), but surprisingly good for cleans and low-gain as well. Friedman's HBE-100 is a killer amp, and Line 6 did a great take on it. Line 6's naming (and humor on some of them) is a bit of a headache, it's easy to miss some that may be to your taste if the more obviously named ones weren't plug and play magic for you.

    Line 6 has a fantastic ecosystem on the Helix, with a range (plugin, pedal, multiple floor models, rack) nobody else has (yet). But competitors have their strengths, too. HX Stomp probably wouldn't exist but for Amplifire, and Fractal Audio has pretty well staked out the highest end with the Axe-Fx III. Or if the AX8 meets your needs, wouldn't be surprised if it has better coverage for your tonal preference. 6550 Marshalls without the earbleeding volume, etc... But the paths and number of simultaneous amps and effects are a lot more limited than Helix. I don't know if Fractal can swap amps or deep parameters in a scene, that'd solve things for simpler virtual rigs.

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    Default Re: Latest-Generation Modellers: Comparing the Right Thing

    The amp modeling on the Boss units has had a particular sound to them throughout the GT line over the years. The latest one I can hear the boss styling in the sound/character of the distortion in all the clips I've heard so far, the distortion sounds are far clearer now than they have been before so its an improvement for sure. Its also not the unit to get artists tone out of quickly because the amps available are few & you have to manage with eq which is time consuming at times. On Kemper or Fractal there is a wide library of amps to pick from that makes that process quicker. So for someone that would want quick amp sounds to match their favourite ones then the boss unit is not the best, although it can still get there. Effects quality wise i dont feel any of the top tier units are falling short nowadays. Boss has kept its older format of individual blicks while others have implemented a more freestyle approach allowing multiple reverb blocks for example.

    I still use my boss gt10 for fx & t21 character pedal clone for amp sound. Its a very convenient live rig for me because of the flexible control features. I can use the expression pedal to switch the tuner on in heel position, toggle between manual mode in toe position that enables me access to 6 switches for turning individual fx blocks on/off while still having two onboard control pedals for triggering specific parameter changes to my liking. So far i havent needed to upgrade it for my live usage needs.

    Speaking of tech21, the character series is discontinued i believe except for the blonde pedal, rest all are gone. The new flyrigs have more features added in them that are nice.

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