With the advent of high-quality, low-cost amp modelling and more DSP than you can shake a stick at, amp sims like Line6’s Helix has many players wondering if they can now ditch their heavy valve amp rigs.
YouTuber Darrell Braun Guitar took a look at it and put the Line6 Helix LT Modeller Multi FX board against his Mesa Dual Rectifier (Blue Angel, 2 × 10 Combo).
Incidentally, the samples were recorded simultaneously with a splitter, so probably the best conditions he could manage. I think this video gives a good overall impression of what is possible with the Helix setup.
Did you get the differences right?
I think if you are honest, it is hard to pick which is the Helix and which the Mesa rig. But given that this is on YouTube, there is some compression in the audio quality going on in the background, arguably masking any tonal differences.
Luckily for me, I own a Helix LT and a Mesa so I could, in theory, try this out myself. But I won’t, as I am happy enough that the Line6 can do a decent job of making a guitar sound as though it is playing through a decent amp setup.
What I do think is good is that a company like Line6 can produce a product that makes gigging far easier for modern guitarists. It is also a convenient effect pedal rig and you can easily set up good quality recording path through it as well. Given all that, and that the Helix LT is well under a £1000, it’s a bit of a bargain.
Amp modelling and software is getting better and cheaper all the time. Line6’s Helix isn’t the only amp sim out there, either. Other interesting products include the recent Mooer GE200 floor pedal and software like IK Multimedia’s AmpliTube. Are we looking at a bright future for modern guitar players? Looks like it…