I had a Kemper, that i recently sold and got myself a Helix. I will now explain why.
The Kemper sounds great. It really does. I also had the powered rack version, so i ran the thing trough all sorts of cabs, frfr speakers, you name it. I think that frfr is where it shines, but even when played trough a cab, it sounds very nice. On gigs i always went direct to PA and used the venue monitors for monitoring, except once, where i also ran it trough a cab on stage. The nice part is that you can turn of cab sim on some of the outputs while still keeping it on trough the others. Its quick to setup, and all the soundguys loved it. I also used the FCB1010 footswitch with the UNO4Kemper chip, and asigning stuff to the footswitches was a breeze, and it worked very well.
What sucks about the kemper is the user interface. The goddamn thing looks and feels like it came straight out of the 90s. Small screen, rotary knobs that feel like they are gonna fall of (not all of them tho, but some are flimsy as fuck), the neverending scrolling trough the presets.... Sifting trough thousands of profiles to find 4 that you like is frustrating to say the least. And once you do find them, i found that the more you tweak them, the worse they sound. I tried to find profiles that were 90 or 90% to the point wwhere i wanted them, and then just did minimal tweaking on them. Scrolling trough effects is also annoying, but at least there is a fixed number of them. The worst part is using IRss, because after you load them on the kemper, you can only delete them one by one. Also, want to have some sort of way to organize the rigs on the kemper into folders, or something that makes at least a tiny bit of sense? Fuck you, you cant, says Kemper. The only thing you can do is be clever with naming them, so that you can retain at least some semblance of sanity.
You are also pretty limited with routing. You can have 4 effect blocks before the amp block and 4 afterwards, and one of the last 4 has to be reverb. You have a parallel path option, but one of those paths bypasses the amp block, so i didnt really find a decent use for it besides maybe some bass patches. The effects themselves are decent, tho the fuzzes are a bit meh, and the reverb leaves a bunch to be desired. You could overcome that by using an fx pedal in the loop, but as far as i know you can only connect one pedal to the kempers loop.
As far as controlling it with a footswitch is concerned, i used the Performance mode for that. You hace 127 banks with 5 rigs in each. On mc FCB the bottom 5 switches controlled the selected rig, and the top 5 controlled some of the effects. It was enough for me, tho i felt somewhat limited at times.
Also, the only software that kemper supports is Rig Manager. Its horrible. Its buggy, organizing profiles is somewhat better than ont he kemper itself, but not much, and editing Performances is almost impossible, because when you load an entire performance from the RM to the kemper, you risk it deleting all the ones that are already on it. I eventually stopped using it and used a usb stick to load profiles, and did everything else on the kemper itself. There is also no full fledged editor for it.
The Helix on the other hand, is a breeze to use. The interface is intuitive as hell, the pc editor even more so. Loading IRs into it is as simple as drag and drop, and you scroll trough them with a slider. Setting up complex patches is as easy as it can be, since you have the signal path shown on a very nice screen. The footswitches are great, and you can customize your controls so much more than on the kemper. You can assign any block to any footswitch (even more than one at a time), you use them to change presets, or snapshots. Each preset also has 8 snapshots that are a variation on the same preset, which is very very useful. You cycle between the 3 footswitch modes with one button, and since it has screens over all the switches, its almost impossible to get lost. The switches are also capacitative, so you only have to touch them with your hand to select them.
The presets are separated into "setlists", where each setlist can hold 127 presets. Obviously all the effects and amp models are separated into categories, and everything is very very easily accesible. Aditional midi and amp controls are very easy to setup. The only thing i actually had to look up in the manual was how to rename snapshots, since everything else is so intuitive.
It has 4 (the LT version has 2 i think) fx loops for aditional pedals, external amp controll, midi... You can controll an entire rig with this one pedalboard. I actually use it as a standalone unit most of the time, but i also use it with my amp with the 4 cable method, and use it to switch channels on the amp with snapshots. It works spectacularly well.
You can also run 2 insturments trough it, each routed trough its own signal path and trough different outputs.
As far as sound goes, im not a really big tone hound. I like my things to sound good, but i was never on of the "this one sounds slightly more compressed with a harsher top end" kind of guys. I just tweak the eq if something bothers me. But i think the helix sounds every bit as good as the kemper, especially when using aftermarked IRs, but even without those, its a tone machine. As long as you are half competent at using modeling units, you will get great results out of it.
So yeah, obviously my vote goes to the Helix. I never tried the AX8 tho, so i cant say, but what i have seen from it, its not as easy to use as the helix. It sounds good, but then again, so does the helix. I think that Kemper was the clear winner a few years ago, but right now, i dont see any reason to get one, except if you plan on profiling your own rigs.
EDIT: i just noticed someone mention running out of DSP when doing complex presets on the AX8. I have to say this never happened to me on the helix, and my most complex patch right now is two amps, 5 delays, 2 drive blocks, 3 reverbs, 2 modulation effects and 2 IRs.
Dude, chill, this things happen. As it is its not really noticable since its on the back edge, and its black. All my guitars are dinged up from accidents like this, or banging them against stuff in practice spaces and gigs. Its just a part of owning a guitar. Also, guitars are sturdier than you think, so unless you actually get the neck to snap of, its probably fine.
gorkyporky Did you check eBay? It's been years since I looked at this but I think you could purchase the entire cable pre-made. Maybe Voodoo Labs made it?
I did not. I very rarely even thing of ebay, so im gonna give that a try!
Quote by Deadpool_25
Can’t you use the stock cable and use the connector/adapter you ordered?
Actually the one I linked (is that what you ordered?) allows you to specify how many feet you want the cable to be. 15’ cable is like $55.
I can, but i also want to have a backup, since my sodering really isnt that good. But yeah, the one you linked is great, BUT the shiping costs are almost 50$. I kinda dont want to pay over 100$ for a switching cable.
Alex_Djuran If i were you, id go for the Randall. I had a JCA50 and while its good, its not THAT good, and the lack of a clean channel really bothered me. Someone is also selling a crate 120H that i have no idea if its good, but maybe its worth a look, and there is also a couple of Peavey Valvekings for sale at that price.
metalmingee Thanks. I actually ordered the connectors already, now im just wondering what cable to use. From what i gather i can make do with a normal xlr cable, but its gonna take some wizardry on the 7pin end to do it for me. I cant for the love of me find a premade DIN 7pin cable that i could just wire a trs cable on anywhere close to me...
Johnny_893 Yeah, actually i didnt word that right. It uses a 7pin DIN connector at the end. Midi is just the name of the protocol, but the cables themselves have a DIN 5p connectors on each end and are wired apropriately. Its all a bit confusing, but yeah, technicly its not even a midi cable
Johnny_893 nope, it actually has a 7pin midi connector. the footswitch has 3 switches, not 2 like the 6505. I think that it doesnt give out midi signals tho, it just uses two wires per switch to close the circuit.
Deadpool_25 thanks, something like this is exactly what i need!
Well guys, today i became a proud owner of a 5150 II. Tested it a few hours ago, with my guitar trough my cab, and goddamn, it was great. I just have to figure out how the footswitch is wired so i can make some sort of adapter and switch from the Helix. But goddamnit, this thing rips!
Deadpool_25 Yeah, i kinda was, but tbh, its more because mesas are some sort of holy grail where i live. The demos i heard on the INTERWEBS were kind of a letdown to be honest. Im going to check out some 6505s this week, and im actually cheking out a 5150II today. I dont really care about the cleans that much, since im gonna use the helix to act as a preamp for clean tones. I pretty much only care that the amp i get has a really rally good drive channel, and so far i think i like the 5150 and its children the most.
I went to check out the Savage yesterday. It was.... bad. It sounded think and fizzy, with almost no bottom end, and a metric fuckton of buzzing. Also the speaker outputs and the power cable were really wobbly, so i think there was something wrong with the amp itself. Shame, i dont really have the budget for a new one. I guess im gonna go check out some of the 6505's this week.
Soxtar i have looked at the diavolo, but it retails for 769€, and for that kind of money i can get the used Savage, wich is way more flexible of an amp. I never saw a 3120 before, and there are none for sale here, used or new, and the tripleX sounds kinda buzzy in my opinion. At least the ones i heard.
Johnny_893 I just didnt like it. Oh, i liked the sound, but it never quite did it for me when i played trough a cab. I went trough a lot of profiles, and i only found a few that i really liked. I also HATED the user interface, its dated and a hassle to browse and setup rigs. Also, the more i played with the knobs, the worse the profiles usually sounded, so if i wanted a slightly different sound, i had to look up a different profile. Im not saying its bad, when you have it dialed in it sounds AMAZING, and its a breeze to gig with it. But everything else about it is just so annoying.
KailM im planing on setting it up so that the helix does all the effects, and also switches the amp, so i dont have to tapdance on a giant pedalboard. Had that kind of setup in the past and it was annoying as hell when i had to sing at the same time. Our other guitarist has a 6505 actually, and it sounds great, but i kinda dislike how the eq doesnt really to that much. The Powerball i had, had amazingly responsive knobs, and you could get many different kinds of distiorion out of it, but the 6505 only does the one. But damn, it does it very very well.
Ippon Sorry man, besides the Orange, none of those are available where i live, and even the rockverb is over 2k. Way over my budget.
T00DEEPBLUE TBH, im leaning the most towards the Savage. Its way more flexible than the 6505s, way cheaper than a new 5150II and tighter than the mesa. Seems like the perfect blend.
So. I sold my Kemper. And im building a new rig from scratch. I play in two different bands, one is a pop rock kind of thing, and one is a melodic death metal band. So, i decided im gonna get a Line6 Helix for the pop rock band, but i want to go for a real amp for the metal gig, since theres honestly nothing better than a 100w beast roaring behind you while playing heavy riffs. So, here is what i need: I need an amp head, that has a fx loop, and an amazing distortion channel. Thats it. I already have a 2x12 cab with V30s that sounds awesome. Now the thery is, that im gonna use the Helix with the 4 cable method. For rhythm and leads i plan on using the amps distortion channel, but for the clean and mid gain sounds, i can simply bypass it and use the helix`s modeled preamps for great clean tones. It gives me a huge amount of flexibility, while still retaining the growl of the real amp, switching presets with just one button, and to top it of, the amp itself doesnt have to be that versatile in itself.
So i checked the used market, and lo and behold, there are quite a few amps in my budget. Its around 1000€ btw, and Id rather go lower than higher. The sound im going for is modern metal. Think of Trivium, Machine Head, Architects.... So heres what i found:
-a bunch of 6505 and 6505+ heads in the price range. They are way more expensive in europe, but there are a few deals for around 700-800€ that look nice -an Engl Savage 120. I had a powerball a while back, and it was a beast. From what i know, the savage is even better. How does it compare to the 6505? -a mesa boogie dual rec! Its pretty rare to see those go for this low, but im wondering if its really the best thing for me.
I also just may be able to get the budget up enough to buy a new EVH 5150III 50w. But im not sure that one is better than the Savage or Dual rec. Other than that, i really didnt find anything in the new amp department that i would be interested in for my budget. Im also not sure how those 4 amps compare to each other, since out of all of them i only played the 6505.
Anyway, im all up for any other suggestions you guys might have. I think i can put together a really good rig, so i dont wanna mess up on the amp part. Any comments and ideas are very apreciated.
KailMSoxtar I think you guys nailed it on the head, it has the flavour of the scooped tones, but it does sound full and saturated as fuck, with a lot of umph on the low end. I guess i also have to train my ears a bit more...
Interesting. I ran the 6505 trough a Framus 2x12 with V30s, and it sounded quite scooped to me. Maybe i just dont know what im talking about. It sounded good in any way. Anyway, thanks. Id think that the factory tubes dont really matter after all this time, since the thing was probably retubed in its life. Are all the 5150's US made? I know that newer 6505s arent, but i dont know when peavey made the change.
Hey guys. So im selling some gear, and someone offered to trade me a Peavey 5150 amp made in 2002. Now, i know that its "THE" metal amp for modern metal, but i never actually heard it in person. My bandmate however, does have a Peavey 6505 (the normal, not the + version). Are those two amps identical? As far as i know the 6505 is just a rebranded 5150, but on the other hand, i see a lot of bands recording with "the original" because its suposed to be better?
I do like the sound of the 6505, but after playing with it for a while, it does seem like a one trick pony. Im guessing the 5150 is pretty much the same? Is it also scooped as hell like the 6505?
Anyway, id love it if anyone could clarify things for me.
I play a lot of metal (actually up to a year ago it was like 99% that), and i have to say, there really isnt such a thing as a "metal guitar" per say. But what i want from it is no longer than 25.5" scale, and 2 humbuckers. I like the emg 57/66 combo, but recently i got a 7 string with dimarzio dactivators and its very good indeed. I dont like floating bridges, so al my guitars are hardtail. Makes going from D standard to DropC really easy.
As far as amps go, i dont really see the benefit of running two amps in stereo for metal. Usually you dont need any fancy effects, just a bit of delay for leads and reverb for clean tones. People have suggested 5150s, and they are amazing amps. Mesa Rectefiers or Triple Crowns are also an option, Peavey 6505+, Randall Satan or Diavolo, Diesel, Krank, Engl... There is so many to choose from its kinda unreal, but most of them can do a great metal tone, it just comes down to the tiny details of it. You should invest into an overdrive pedal, because putting an overdrive with gain set to 0 and level to 10 in front of an already overdriven amp works better than just cranking the gain on the heads (altough that depends on the model. I never had any issues with just cranking my engl without the overdrive). If you have been playing for a long them you must have an overdrive in your collection anyway.
Finally, for the cabs, the general rule of thumb is, anything with Celestion Vintage 30 speakers is good for metal. Nowdays most people use 2x12" cabs, because they sound just as good as 412 cabs but are much easier to lug around, so you can get used 412 cabs for really cheap, since everyone is switching to 212. There are other speaker combinations of course, but a V30 is the default choice for a reason.
I have a rhoads shaped V and its comfortable to play in the classical position, like the upper pictures show. BUT you can only really play it in that position, so if after a while you get tired or your back is starting to suffer from being locked in one position, well, tough luck, you cant reposition it on your other leg. I have a bit of a back issue, so its annoying for me, but it can ceirtanly be done. Probably also helps if you arent a small guy tho.
I had an Ibanez GRG170 years back, and it was a solid guitar. Pickups sucked, but it played nicley, the hardware was decent and it looked good. Not mucch more you can expect of the lowest level of Ibanez guitars. I also played a few other GIOs, and while they arent great, most of them are decent enough. But honestly, if you already have a good guitar, you probably wont need this one, except for backups or like.... drunken jam sessions or something.
Dude if everyone is happy with the songs, but the vocalist is throwing a tantrum because he thinks there are to many drum rolls, thats on him. Especially if he doesnt bring his a game and acts like a douchebag who doesnt bother to preform well just because things arent done his way. Kick him out and get a different vocalist. If you force him to preform the songs as they are, he will probably halfass it at the show, and you band will suck because of it. Just switch him for someone who isnt as annoying.
Excellent. That's an extremely limited niche, however, and I'm not sure that production quantities for that use are going to make it economical to produce. I really haven't paid attention; Are they making these for guitars with 8,9 and 10-strings? Given metal, are we having a problem now with tracking rhythm metal guitars without these bridges?
Well.... yeah, we do. There is a lot of retuning and intonation issues in more complex riffs, at least as for as my experience recording goes, and from what i hear from other people. Obviously it can be done, its been done without the evertune for the last 30 years, but that doesnt mean it doesnt make life easier. As far as erg guitars go, im not sure if they have a 7 or 8 stringversion out yet.
1. its hard. If people arent willing to focus, then you cant really make them. Most people are in bands just to have fun, and anything aproximating hard work is not fun for them. The sad fact is, that being a good band requires a lot of work. The best thing you can do is to kick them out and find new and focused band members.
2. beats me. We had a hard time finding gigs as a high school band, even when there are no age restrictions for late playing in my country. Best bet is to visit local venues where gigs often happen and ask to play there.
3. no, not really. The only bands i heard of getting in trouble are serious tribute bands, and even that was more about using trademarked logos rather than just playing songs.
deathx88 Well from my limited experience of dialing in the savage, its hard to say. It did roar a bit better than the powerball when I A/Bd them, but that could have just been luck. As far as i remember, the knobs were just as responsive as they are on the powerball.
I did run both of them trough a randall oversized 412 cab with vintage 30s tho. What kind of cab are you running it trough? Because Powerball is a very very good amp, and i never had issues cutting trough, no matter who i played with. So it could be your cab. Or it could be the tubes. When were they changed?
As far as EVH 5150 goes, i heard a few of them live, and they sound amazing, just as tight and massive as engls do. Apparently they like a different kind of speaker tho, since people say that they dont get the best results with V30s in there.
Rhythm, especially in a band situation. I still play a bunch of leads, but its mostly because im better at them than the other guitarist in both bands. But in a live setting its just redundant. I like to move around a lot, and since i also sing, the only time i have to strut around the stage is during instrumental parts, so i dont want to stay still and concentrate on playing lead during those few moments i have.
I had a powerball mk1. It was a beast of an amp, and i never had any problems cutting trough the mix, even if all the internet said so. BUT the knobs were very sensitive. You really have to fiddle with it to find that sweet spot. It also sounds better with an overdrive in front of it. For leads i used an eq pedal in the fx loop, with the highs cut and boosted mids. The switches are also a pain in the ass, since they change the sound so much, so you really gotta take your time to try all the options.
I did try the savage as well. And to be honest, it did sound better to me, but i tried the 50w version, and it didnt have enough channels for my use at that time. If you have the option to get one, id go for it, but dont write of the powerball just yet, because after a bit of time, i managed to make mine sound better than 90% of the savages that i heard live (engls are pretty common amps where i come from, and most of metal bands here use them).
So last year i got myself a kemper. Its great, i love it, i think its the best thing since sliced bread, and so on. Im really happy with it. But seeing some horror stories online, i wouldnt mind having something as a backup, since now that i actually expanded my tonal pallet beyond two different tones, i cant realisticly expect to borrow another persons amp, if the kemper decides to die on me just before a show.
So the most clever course of action that i can see, is to get a second modeler. I know its gonna sound as good as a kemper, but tbh the people listening wont know or care, so it doesnt really matter. Im not gonna sping for a Helix as well, since first of all, its huge, and second, its to expensive.
I was thinking about a pod hd500x, but those are still pretty expensive for what they are, and they are also pretty big.
So i figured, what about the Mooer GE200? It seems like it sounds good, has a small footprint, and most of all, you can load in aftermarket IRs. So if anybody has experience with one, id love to hear your take on it. Also, if anyone has any other suggestions, im all ears.
Thanks man......just wanted to hear this a few times.
She's not my daughter but I want to help her not get stuck in a rut concerning equipment functionality because that can limit the directions she can easily go.
I dont really understand how the choice of a guitar limits where you can go. Sure, some pickups have different sounds than others, but seeing as how i can play metal on my telecaster with very good results, that isnt really a limiting factor in any way. Also, if she wants single coil tones and a floting bridge, why not look into some of the SSH jackson models with a floyd? Those should keep tune better than the fender-type floating bridges on the pacifica. And im not trying to say pacificas are bad guitars, the ones i tried were great. But maybe there is something more apropriate for her out there.
If she is really as good as you say, why dont you ust take her to a music store and have her try out guitars? Then she can get one that SHE likes the best, not one that is the best jack of all trades on paper. I know id be happier getting a guitar that actually fits in my hand and doesnt have the exact pickup configuration i wanted, than something that ticks all the boxes on paper, but feels bad in my hands.
It doesnt sound bad, i actually find it quite good for someone who never sung before. You are a bit off with your intonation, but thats probably because you dont know the song by heart. You can also hear that you dont have that much controll over your voice yet. But with some actuall vocal lessons, you could be very good.
Since i wrote in this thread a few months ago, i sold my old 26,5" scale 7 string and got a 25,5" scale one. Its much more fun and easy to play for me, since im used to pretty loose strings and 24.75" scales. I have to say im much hapier with this one than i was before, and its very well playable in drop A.
In my experience, any cable above 15€ sounded pretty much the same. Nowdays i get whatever cable they have in the store, that looks like it has durable connectors. They are usually livewire or planet waves, but i had some ibanez cables and they still work perfectly around 5 years after i got them. But the only difference between the 15€ cable and a 30-40€ cable (the price range i pretty much go to nowdays) is that the expensive ones last way longer. So in the end its cheaper.
I owned an epiphone korina explorer with emg pickups and an epiphone thunderhorse. The korina explorer was garbage, the neck was all wonky, the thing couldnt be intonated for shit, it didnt hold tune, it was very responsive to temperature change (more than any of my other guitars), and playing it just felt... wrong somehow. I dunno if it was the neck, the frets or whatever, it just felt like playing one of those plastic toy guitars for children. Would not recommend.
The thunderhorse was a completely differnet beast. It was way more balanced, and it played very well. Just had a bit of a chunky neck for my taste.
I also played the 1984 explorer and the neck was a a bit thicker than the thunderhorse, but still, it was a pretty nice guitar, much better than the 1984, but not on the level of the thunderhorse, at least from what i could gather in the 30 minutes or so of playing it.
Another thing, all of those guitars had the top strap button put on the back of the neck, because the guitar balances way better that way. Having it in the default position is gonna suck, so better be prepared to drill a hole into it.
The emg (im assuming we are talking about the 81/85 combo) are good pickups, at least for me. I preferr the 60 in the neck over the 85 tho.
If you are willing to go used, you can probably snag a used gibson explorer for a pretty decent price. those come with burstbucker pickups, that are stlll gonna be good for metal. In fact my thunderhorse had those, and i loved them as well. If you are not willing to go used, then the epiphone 1984 is probably the best bet. Or, if you dont mind bolt on necks, you can look into the standard range of chapman guitars. The Ghostfret seems like a fine instrument.
parhelia_0000 I dont care about sounds that much. I mean otherwise I wouldve never got rid of the tube amps I used a decade ago. Besides that, I can find “my sound” on almost any device. As I mentioned before, the most affordable solution is the line6 Helix. And even that is (a bit) too exspensive atm. Still way more affordable then tubes+pedals. Not to mention our bands setup.
Hey man, if i were you, id save up for the helix rack, since you dont want floor units. But what i wanted to say was, i get why you really dont want a floor unit. I ca get behind the no cable thing, and also, there is way less chance of beer spillage if you have a rack tucked away somewhere. Those are the two reasons why i wanted to get a rack setup instead of a floor unit.
Oh man, there is so much of this. You can google "strings sample packs" and you will find a bunch of hits. You can get free ones, or comercial ones, and most of the well known sound libraries, like Kontakt, have string samples in them. Id also recommend Friendlander Violin. Its not an orchestral pack, but a really good pack for a solo violin, that can give you beautiful results.