I managed to do dropC on a 24.75" scale with as low as 10-52 strings without issues. 10-56 was better, and 10-60 was even betterrer, and 11-56 will also work fine. So yeah, its not even an issue to be honest. 

As far as GhostFret goes, i just did a setup on one of them, and its a great guitar. Its a bit neck heavy, so thats a pain in the ass, but thats really one of my pet peeves of guitars, i hate neckdive. But other than that, it was a great guitar. Really the only think that isnt really stellar on them are the pickups, but i think they make up in that department with stainless steel frets, locking tuners and great fretwork. They also look awesome, and i know thats not really a popular opinion, but i think thats a pretty important factor when deciding on a guitar. Anyway, if your kid has his heart set on it, you really cant go wrong with it.

And dont get him a 7 string for drop C, thats a really bad suggestion.
Well I had the pleasure(?) to play a bunch of instruments from the 70s and 80s, and let me tell you, most of them suck. They are old, malfunctioning, the frets are worn down, the finish on the neck is fucked, the wiring is usually shoddy as hell, the neck is bowed into all sorts of shapes, they have a bunch of dings and cracks.... I have played exactly one guitar of that age that actually plays well, but all the others were just... bad. So just blindly ordering an '84 guitar from Reverb sounds like a bad idea to me, especially for the budget you are going for. 

What you SHOULD do, is go around some music stores and see what you like. Something might surprise you. But as a general, it would seem that Fender MIM strats are for for you. They have the fender neck (duh), you can get them in a HSS config so you have a humbucker in the bridge, and actually, i KNOW there is, or at least there was, a model with a floyd rose on it, because my friend has one. Im just not sure if its still in production. You can also look for used USA models, you should be able to get some for your money.

Other options are the Jackson San Dimas, or the Charvel Pro-Mod, but im not sure how the necks are on those, so you shuold try them out first. 

Ibanez also has a few guitars without the wizard necks, like the SZ and SZR series, AR and ART. They arent baseball bats by any means, but they arent wizard thin. I actually have an old SZ320 and its one of my favourite guitars. No floyds on those tho.

You can also check out the higher end Yamaha Pacificas, if any of those catches your eye. i just got the 611 and its amazing. But again, no floyds.

Besides this you should obviously check out the schecter and esp options, they do have smaller necks, but again not really ibanez wizard thin. 
Jet City. Altough i see you are in the us, and already have a cab, so a used 6505/5150 head is right up your alley. 
So, about a few months ago I stopped playing in my last metal band, and after trying to do other stuff than metal, I realized that I only own a single "non-metal" guitar, and that one is a 150€ tele knockoff that is kinda falling apart. All the others are EMG equipped dark shred monsters. I decided I "need" a new versatile guitar, so I went on a quest trough all the local stores and trough all the used listings to find something that I like. I tested out a bunch of fenders, epiphones, PRS`s, Godins, G&Ls, Yamahas, and things i never even heard of. At the end I was pretty set on a G&L Legacy, but i rememberd there is a store i havent yet visited, and lo and behold, they had this Yamaha! It played beautifully, and i went back and bought it the next day after I tried it. 

So on to the guitar. It was around 650€ new, but you can get them for around 600 in bigger online stores. I gladly paid extra for the privilege of actually trying it out first, and knowing what im actually getting. The nut is a graptech TUSQ nut, graphtech string saver saddles on a yamaha bridge, and grover self locking tuners. All this works great, and it stays in tune for a looooong time. I had a jam session that lasted 3 hours yesterday, and the guitar is still in tune. Im actually really surprised. Intonation is also pretty spot on.

The neck is slim and fast. It has a glossy clear coat on it, and i guess a lot of people dont like that, but i prefer glossy necks, so it feels great to me. Its slimmer than most fenders as well. Its actually only slightly bigger than ibanez or esp necks. Frets are well done, but nothing really special, and the fretboard, which is rosewood, feels nice. The neck heel is not carved or anything, but i have suprisingly little issue with reaching the high frets. There is however a crack in the finish at the neck joint. The guitar is under guarantee, and I marked the crack with a marker to see if its spreading, but i think its just one of those finish cracks that a bunch of guitars have, and i dont want to return it and risk getting a worse playing one, just because there is a small crack in the finish.

The body is adler, and it seems to be made out of 3 parts, and it has a flamed maple veneer. It looks nice, and it also sounds nice when unplugged. It has as much sustain as any guitar i ever played. The finish is good, but i did find few flaws in it, but thats to be expected of the guitar in this price range.

It has a Seymour Duncan Cusom 5 that you can split in the bridge, and a seymour duncan P90 something in the neck. It sounds great, the bridge can handle a lot of gain, but it cleans up much nicer than EMGs im used to, and can actually do nice cleans without fiddlig with the amp eq or rolling the tone of. If you split it its a bit quieter, and gives that bright stratty chime, that you kinda have to tame with the tone knob. 

That being said, the tone knob has a much wider range than im used to, and i find myself actually using it for the first time in my life. The gripe i have with it, is that its to easy to turn, and sometimes it can turn on its own if you throw the guitar around to much. 

The P90 in the neck is somewhere between a humbucker and a single coil, so it does really nice warm cleans, but it can also scream for leads if you want it. Its suprissingly quiet, and it has only a bit more hum than the actual humbucker in the bridge. Actually splitting the humbucker gives you much more buzz than the P90 on its own. 

The middle position on the 3 way switch is good for cleans, but i find that each pickup on its own is more to my liking. 

So all in all, im very happy with it. The only thing that really bothers me is the easily turning tone pot, and i guess the crack in the finish. But other than that, i cant give any faults to this. Anyone looking for a guitar in this price range, I cant recommend it enough. Hell, even people looking for guitars in 2x the price range should take a look at this. 

Anyway, here are some crappy pics, that i dont really have the will to edit to look better. 

This is the pic of the neck crack, you can see where i marked the thing. 
Quote by dthmtl3
Not at all. Lots of ways to get a good guitar sound that costs much less than $1K.

Aside from all that. As important as it may seem to sound like so-and-so, the goal should be to develop your own sound with what you have at the time, a sound that will inspire you to play.

I guess modeling software would work. But when you pull together the cost of software, an interface and decent speakers/monitors....  Sure, you can get a decent sound with cheaper setups, like the Katana or the PODs, vypers, or some of those lunchbox amps and so on. But getting a really great sound takes like a grand for sure, and matching the tone in that video seems like it would take some cash to achieve. For sure you need some sort of cab with a decent speaker, and some sort of decent amp, and those two things together... well....
hunterwskating Yeah, a 6505 with an overdrive in front and into a cab with V30 speakers. Or something comparable, but this is literally the cheapest way to get this kind of sound. 

Alternatively, you can get a good modeling unit like the Helix, and do the whole thing that way, but it still clocks at around 1k$. Or you can go with a Katana or a similar modeling amp, but its not going to be the same. 

In conclusion, getting a really good guitar sound is expensive. 
Played an Ironball a few times. Didnt like it, mushy and undefined and just... weird. The bigger heads are killer tho, and i had a few of those.
The only thing out there that does this is the line6 Variax, and to some extent, Peavey AT-200. People seem to like the Variax much better than the peavey tho. It gets updated much more than the Peavey, which seems to be stagnating at the same level it was when it was released. And the Helix-Variax integrations seems like a really cool thing to have. 

Besides that, there are no pedals that can do this, and the Gibson robot tuners are supposed to be pretty bad. And even if they work, doing 5 different tunings with the same set of strings seems like a bad idea to me. 
Yeah, but my potato of a phone takes shitty pics. 
Try them? Really, just try them out on the Zoom, and if you like the ones on the unit, theres no need to buy individual pedals. 
dannyalcatraz Well I ended up taking the Yamaha. Its pretty amazing. Its very well made, everything fits together nice, and seems like a really solid instrument. The only thing that bothers me is a crack in the finish at the neck joint, but as far as I know its just finish deep, so i dont want to trade it for a different guitar that might not play as well. And it does play amazingly, the action is lower than on all my other guitars and it doesnt buzz at all. The P90 sounds somewhere between a single coil and humbucker, and can do some really nice tones, and the bridge humbucker can do great crunchy tones, but can also hangle hi gain like a champ. The tone knob is really easy to turn tho, to the point where a jolt of the guitar can send it turning, so i may have to change it. Works fine tho, i just hate having to check it all the time. Its a push pull, so maybe thats the issue, since i notice those tend to be more loose than normal ones. The locking tuners are great, i just had to get used to them, they are even more handy than the normal kind of locking tuners. And speaking of tuning, it stays in tune forever. I had a writing/recording session yesterday, and I only had to tune when i started, and its still in tune today. The tuners and the graptech nut really seem to do the trick. All in all, id recommend this guitar if you are thinking of buying it. You can even wrangle some single coil tones out of it, but since you can only split the bridge humbucker, thats kinda limited. But other than that, its really versatile. 
Either a small tube amp, that i can use in tandem with my Helix, or some sort of active speaker to use with it. Im leaning a bit more towards the amp tho, i tried the Marshall Origin 20 head a few weeks ago and it was very fun to use. 

As far as guitars go, I just got a Pacifica 611, and im very very happy with it, but i am thinking i could get some sort of Strat or Tele, basicly a dedicated single coil guitar. I have to sell a bit of my old gear first tho, ive got a bunch of things taking up space, and with the renovation of my apartment, i dont know how much funds im gonna have for any of this things. 
Ive ordered 3 guitars online. I honestly thought it was more, but now that i think about it, it was just 3. Out of those three, one is great and I still have it, but two were.... kinda bad. I just sold them on and took a bit of a loss, but if you buy from a store with a good return policy, i think its great actually. But i wouldnt buy used online, id only do that with effects and maybe amps, but even thats kinda risky... 

Altough somtimes i feel like id rather take a risk and get a crap amp, rather than suffer the awkwardness that ensues when you come to a random persons house to try out an amp, and it turns out you hate it.
Im actually in the same boat as you at this exact moment. I want SOMETHING that can do nice beautiful cleans, sweet crunchy tones, but that can also handle the ocasional metal thrown into it. At this point ive narrowed it down to some sort of HSS strat, a Player series Telecaster with two splittable humbuckers, G&L Tribute ASAT Deluxe (basicly a HH tele with a fancy paintjob, but its really pretty!), a G&L Legacy HSS, or, and this one is so far my favourite, because the one I tried playes amazing, a Yamaha Pacifica 611. It has Custom 5 Seymour Duncan bridge humbucker that you can split, and it has a P90 in the neck, that does great cleans, but it also sings when you try to do nice screaming leads with hi gain. Its a really amazing guitar. There are a few version, i found one thats a hardtail, but there are also ones with a trem system. I suggest you take a look at it, it has a bunch of features that no guitars in its price range have (locking tuners, graptech nut AND bridge, brand name pickups...), and most importantly, it plays great. 
Quote by snaggleyoda
A lot of guitar players originally developed their songs on piano in olden days. A guitar or for that matter any stringed instrument is essentially a piano with a different method of forming notes. Piano notes are made with various lengths of wire. Guitar notes are made by varying lengths of wire with our fingers. You now have my long winded musical lesson for the day. Now go forth & play on your portable piano!

You know, *insert instrument* is actually just *insert any other instrument* with simply a different method of forming notes. 
I used to think so, but then i got an absolute gem of a guitar for 160€ brand new in a store. Never did find anything cheaper than that, that was also good, so maybe 160€ is the limit?
dannyalcatraz Yeah, its pretty great. Plays like butter, and sounds great as well. I also never had a guitar with a p90, so thats a plus. I think its the glossy neck that does it for me. All my guitars had gloss necks, and satin ones just feel weird i guess. That might be the issue with the G&L actually. 
Well, actually just got home from yet another store (yeah, we have 30 small stores with like 5 guitars each, instead of one big one), and they had a Yamaha Pacifica 611HFM. P90 in the neck, humbucker in the bridge, and its splittable, graphtech nut, graptech saddles, and it looks great in rootbeer red. And. It. Plays. Amayzing. Honestly, it puts the G&L to shame. Im gonna take a few days to think, and maybe go to another store, but I may have found the one for me. 
metalmingee Actually i was tkinging about asking if they can do a setup before i try it again, just for the hell of it.
dannyalcatraz What else caught my eye? Nothing, to be honest. There was a white Tele that looked nice, but played okish, since it had very sharp fretboard edges. The best playing one was some sort of swamp strat, but it had SSS pickups, and it looked like it was covered in cake frosting. The Revstar was cool and all, but it wasnt the MIJ model, and there were a bunch of flaws with it. As far as the Chapman goes, i got in touch with a few people that have one, and they say that its pretty neck heavy, so thats now out of the question, because thats something i really hate on guitars.

At this point, i think that some sort of HSS strat is my best bet, but besides the G&L and a Squier that was really not good, i have yet to come across one. I also found the Fender Player series HH Tele, but i cant find that one in any store around here. Its pretty frustrating,  because the stores are really not stocked well. I guess ill have to risk a few hours of driving at some point, and browse the entire damn country.
If I understand the question correctly, you are wondering how they play the piano part of that song live on guitar? Easy, just play the same notes. When the part is as simple as the one in Head over heals, it really isnt that complicated. 
dannyalcatraz True. On paper its everything i wanted in a guitar, locking tuners, HSS, brand name pickups, looks nice, well balanced.... But i also played a few Fender strats and teles in the store, and some played a lot better... Ill probably go there and try it out again, but I think im gonna pass tbh. Its just a really big gamble at this point. 
Dave_Mc Yeah, im kinda wary of this as well. The story is, that they ordered it for some guy who never showed to pick it up and now they havent sold it for like 2 years or something. The guitar seems very well made, but to be honest, it plays ok but not amazing. It is in dire need of a setup and new strings, but I have a hard time judging how much better it will play after that. 

So as I am currently looking for a new guitar, I have been going trough the local stores like a junkie needing a fix. I want some sort of rock/pop guitar that can do nice clean and slightly overdriven tones, but that can also put out a good bite when played at high gain. 

So lo and behold, after a whole lot of nothing that I liked, i stumbled across a G&L Legacy HSS. I think. I actually cant find the guitar anywhere online. Its a black strat shape with a white pickguard. Neck is a bolt on maple with a rosewood fingerboard. It has locking tuners, a PTB switch (passive treble and bass from what i can find online), a seymour duncan humbucker in the bridge, and two G&L single coils. It has a fancier floating bridge than most strats, and the headstock says its made in the legendary Fullerton, California, so im guessing its a Made in USA guitar.

The price is set at 1500€, which is consistent with US instruments around here, but they are having it on sale for -40%, so really it comes down to less than a grand. It plays well, altough it does need a string change and a setup. The bridge kinda throws me off, but it hsould be easy enough to block.

Anyway, as I cant really find this exact guitar online, im wondering if you guys can tell me if its really as great of a deal as im imagining it is? Because right now it looks like a new US made guitar with warranty and everything, for the price of a second hand one. 

The other guitars I have been thinking about getting are the Yamaha Revstar RSP20CR (kinda pricy tbh) and the Chapman ML3 Pro Modern, so I'm kinda wondering how it compares to those in terms of quality. 

Well you can get the LT version. But honestly, not really. Not many used out there because its still relatively new product, and people who buy it seem to like it, me included. It honestly seems like a really solid piece of gear, so buying used doesnt seem like a big deal to me, but it depends on how much of a deal you get. 
This could work, to some extent I guess. I mean, SOAD has most of the stuff written in drop C for example, and Slipknot is in DropA. So unless you come up with some really quirky tuning for the 7 string, you still wont be able to do it, without retuning the whole thing. Basicly you would need to go from standard tuning to drop C, which is still pretty tough without changing string gauges. 

What you can do, is just tune each guitar a bit differently. I currently have one set in standard, one in Eb, and one in D, and I can drop the low string on all of them, which efectively gives me 6 different tunings that I can play at anytime without any major modifications. I also have a 7 string thats used for B and dropA stuff. You have enough guitars to do this, unless you really need to keep all of them in the same tuning. 
Quote by thob30041
from there can I go directly to pa or do i need a sound card or mixer?

Well "directly to PA" is a broad notion. In short: yes. With this setup you can go direct into a PA mixer that is connected to the entire PA system, but if you are using a single active speaker, you can go direct into that one, without the need for a mixer. A sound card is not needed in any case, unless you want to record to your pc.

I run my modelers direct to the sound guys mixer when doing live shows. 

For practice i just hooked it up direct to a Yamaha DXR15 speaker, without any mixer in between. Its a bit harder to control the levels, because you have to reach behind the speaker to find the volume buttons, but it works just fine. 

At home I have a small mixer (, and i have my computer sound card connected to the stereo channel, and the modeler to the first mono channel. Then the whole thing feeds into a pair of studio monitors. That way i dont need to run my computer everytime i want to play, and i can control the volume of the computer audio and guitar separately (very handy for playing with backing tracks and so on). 
You need some sort of cab simulation after the preamp, otherwise it sounds like a can of bees. There are actually a lot of people who use a setup like that, a preamp pedal into some sort of cab sim and then into some sort of PA system or speaker. A good and cheap cab simulation pedal would be the mooer radar, but there are others as well.
Are you sure you are hitting the string hard enough when tuning? A lot of people (including me) pick the string way lighter when tuning it, then when they are actually playing. When I started hammering away with the same force when tuning like I do while playing, my tuning got way more precise. And the lower the strings are tuned, the more they seem to be susceptible to this.  
dannyalcatraz Out of those, only Godin, Gretsch and G&L are readily available in europe, and even Godin is kinda limited. G&L does have some nice guitars for the price range tho, i will look into them. 

metalmingee I didnt think of a Firebird, and it would seem that the Gibson ones are actually within my budget, thanks! Im not gonna even consider an SG, because every single one I played was so unbalanced, it was just a pain in the ass to play. As far as LTD's go, I actually have an ec-401, and I like it a lot, but its loaded with emgs of course, and setup for dropC. I was actually looking into getting the 1000 with the piezo pickup, i could do a lot with it, or just one with the seymour duncan piskups instead of emgs. Its an atractive idea, because I already know that I like the esp neck shape, since I alreay have 2 of their guitars. As far as pickup changes go, yeah, i can change them, but with the ammount of different guitars on the market, id rather find something that i dont have to modify straight out of the box. 

T00DEEPBLUE Forgot about FGN, thanks!

dannyalcatraz cant find those Electras anywhere, but the Hangstorms look nice actually, the Super Swede has all the features I wanted. And it seems to be a 25,5" scale LP copy, which is interesting.

trashedlostfdup Im not really into semihollows, ive tried a few in the last years, and they just dont do it for me for some reason. 

noobX Im kinda hesitant. I already upgraded the pickups in it, but thats because i got them for real cheap. I dont want to invest more into the guitar than it was worth new out of the box, but seeing how the frets are already showing a decent ammount of wear and how the hardware seems to be rusting and failing, i just dont think i want to sing a bunch of money into a guitar like this, because id literally have to change everything, and at that price point, i already have enough money for a new guitar. 

Anyway, thanks guys! You gave me a bunch of ideas and brands that i didnt really think of on my own. It does seem like some kind of LP clone would be the best safe bet, but i guess i still have a bit of thinking to do. I already did a tour of local music stores, and i guess ill do another one and just drive a bit further, because i couldnt actually find anything that i like in the local ones. 
If you like it, keep it, its that simple. I had a few guitars that were objectively bad, but i really enjoyed. Dont just sell it of because someone who never even played it says it sucks. 
Hey guys,

So after a bunch of years of playing in metal bands, I've found myself playing a more of a rock/pop type of music in a band. And what do you know, all my guitars are those dark emg equiped (I love EMG's for metal, sue me) types that just scream DARKNESS AND FROST! So about a year ago I actually got myself a cheap telecaster knock off, and put a dimarzio Chopper in the bridge. It plays nice, and the clean sounds are good, but when i switch to a more gainy sound, the Tele twang that it gives out, even with the hotrail pickup, is not somthing that i particularly enjoy. So if I'd take a tele, it would have to be one of those with a humbucker on the bridge...

So this is a good point to talk about what i want. I want a humbucker in the bridge, so i can still get some good gainz when i need them. Other pickups dont really matter that much. If there are humbuckers in it, it would be nice if they were splittable. The catch: I dont like strats very much, and I dont want one of the Ibanez superstrats. So basicly Tele's, LP shapes, maybe PRS's (not to fond of those as well), we can even go with explorers and V's. I already looked at some, and the Epi Prohpecy with passives seems like a good deal, with all the coil splitting and whatnot, or maybe one of the LTD EC-1000s with passives as well. 

If you want to hear what the tonal pallete im going for, its basicly Coheed and Cambria, Marmozets, Muse... So it kinda has to be able to do some nice and shiny cleans as well as some pretty heavy rhythms. Im gonna be running it trough my Helix, so im kinda set as far as amps go. 

Budget: up to 1000€, but lower is fine. Location is obviously in Europe, so Thomann links will probably rule supreme here. 

Thanks a bunch guys!
Well the pedal you are describing would have at least 7 (so basicly at least 8 or 10) buttons, an expression pedal and a screen. I mean, thats going to be roughly the size of the Helix in any case. 

But, for what its worth, the only one that i can think of is the Behringer FCB 1010. Cheap, pretty reliable and works well. I used it with a Kemper for some time extensively, and it worked great. The Roland FC300 is really similar, but i never tried it. It has a few buttons less, and it seems to be over the 400$. Then there is the Yamaha MCF10. Those should have enough switches for you, and they all have at least one expression pedal. 

None of those have the type of switch that you want tho. So you might have to look into like a Voodo Lab Ground Control pro. That one is probably in your budget, but it doesnt have an expression pedal. In fact, most of this types of controllers, dont have an expression pedal. And it seems it runs the same price as the official helix remote anyway, so its not really worth it in my opinion. All of the other midi controllers of this kind that I know about, are way more expensive (like the Mastermind GT and the MIDI Forte), and also dont have expression pedals. So in that case, its better to just get the helix remote and an expression pedal, since it will be the same price or cheaper, and much much easier to setup

So to sum all this up, the only real options here, that have enough buttons and expression pedals, are the FCB1010 and the Yamaha MFC10. So if you are willing to fuck around with midi programing, those two are your best bets. The others either cost more than the helix remote, or dont have expression pedal, or both. 
Trough my experiences, a good modeling setup beats anything else for home use. I went from a solid state amp, to software amp sims, to tube amp with a pedalboard, back to software amp sims and finaly to physical modelers. They sound good, and sims and modelers have much more flexibility than a normal amp, so its a great songwriting and recording tool. If you have a decent computer rig that can handle modern amp sims with very little latency, id go for that, and see how you like it. If you dont want to involve your computer (because it can be kinda tedious when you just want to jam out for 20 minutes without the hassle of turning on your pc and firing up your DAW), just get one of the actual modeling units. The Helix LT is probably the best bang for the buck thing out there right now. 
With the question being so vague and badly formed the answer can only be: yes. 
Oh yeah, forgot about that. It didnt give me any problems when i had the JCA50 tho. And i think the 22 has a normal fx loop, not the line level one htat the bigger heads have (had?). 
Depends on your budget. You cant really get a very good all tube amp for this kind of money. Jet City comes close I guess, and they are ok amps, but nothing really earth shattering. So if you want a full on entire tube amp for this price, id recommend you look into those amps. 
Ballio ah ok well, thatnks for that indepth explanation. Btw, 4 out of 5 paragraphs of my post are about the helix. 
Quote by Ballio
oneblackenedNaw, nothing in a PC is "expensive", but things that are new get price fixed and over charged.
It's been around for 9 years in one form or another.

Example: charging ~600 to 700 dollars for a low end TB3 audio interface shows you what a scam it is, the interface is different from USB in only one way.
A small circuit, and It plugs into TB3.

It's the usual scam, you pay more for that which is new, regardless of what it cost the manufacturer.

Are you serious here? R&D isnt free. And a lot more r&d goes into this than just sodering in a new port, different connections have different data protocols, which also means you need entire new drivers and data handling software on the thing. On top of that, labor isnt free, transport isnt free, storage isnt free, even selling the damn thing isnt free, and then the vendors also take their cut, and then on top of this you also have tax. And seeing as how its (suposedly) the first thunderbolt interface, god knows if its even going to catch on, so the whole thing is a gamble for the company. There is so much more that goes into any product than just cost of material.

Regarding the Helix, i also went with the full sized one, because of the more sturdy build quality, but mostly because of the scribble strips. They are a lifesaver for me because i get stupid on stage, and having a button say "PRESS ME NAO" really helps. The aditional outputs on the back also came in usefull a few times, but i could live without them.

I have run the thing through a few different setups now. I had straight into PA, with inears for monitoring, straight into PA with venue monitors for monitoring, i ran it trough my own powered speaker for band practice and jamming, i ran it with an 5150 in 4 (actually 5) cable method, and direct into the fx return of that amp as well. It really shines in all of those roles. But you need separate patches for most of those uses. I use it with my cheap studio monitors at home.

When going straight to amp fx return, instead of amp models, you need to use only preamp models in the helix. I mean, you can do whatever you want, but that just works the best. If you have a good tube amp, i suggest the 4 cable method in any case, over the simple fx return, because in the 4 cable method, you can use your amp to its full potential with all sorts of effects, but if you want, you can bypass the amps preamp and just select a different one on the helix. Just make sure you have an amp with master volume, otherwise its a pain in the ass to adjust all the levels.

Going direct to PA requires some more tweaking and eqing than your average amp, but if you know whwat you are doing its pretty simple. And its here where the global eq really comes in handy, especially since you can set it to work on both main outputs, or just the xlr or 1/4".
Dreadnought Compared to similar products, it actually isnt that expensive. The BOSS gt1000 is more expensive, the ax8 is more expensive, the Headrush is more expensive, not to mention the Kemper and AxeFx. Its just the price of top of the line modelers these days i guess.