Price paid: $ 1350
Purchased from: FireHouse Guitars
Ease of Use — 10
The menus are so easy and it is so intuitive that its a pleasure to make your own presets. Editing on the fly while playing is very simple too, you can do everything from your feet. They really thought about everything with this one. Line 6 hit it out of the ballpark. I have spoken to a ton of guys who have sold their Kempers and Fractals to get this thing. It is that sweet and the company actually cares about the users! I never would have gone Line 6 in the past but this thing really made a believer out of me!
Sound — 9
Man this thing can do it all. Metal, rock, jazz, blues. I am running it into a Matrix FR212 (FRFR) cabinet and have been using third party IRs so really I can dial in any classic amp tone I may want with it and it's convincing. There is so much variety here, you would never get bored with it. We do mostly original music (hard rock/metal) but I do like to play covers for fun sometimes and I have patches for everything from Velvet Revolver to Stone Sour on here. It nails all of them with ease. This is the perfect solution for someone who plays covers or in a Church band. Also great if you are trying to do the whole silent stage thing. Just get a set of in ears and run it to the PA.
Reliability & Durability — 8
There are some people who have had trouble with them updating, scribble strips going out or switches going out but so far I think I got a good one. Everyone I know who lives in the states and have had any trouble usually get it all taken care of in a week or less. Line 6 really has some awesome support for this product. It is built like a tank and have seen a few pics where someone dropped one but it works just fine still (lots of road rash) I would still take a backup to a gig though, just in case.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall impression is this thing is insane. Take the Helix quiz on their website, you won't be able to tell the real amp from the Helix, it's that close. In a mix you would never know. Its also works great with your DAW. The reamping function is a great tool in the studio and probably mu favorite feature. What I hate about it is you can go tone chasing for hours and that rabbit hole is deep. It is easy to dial in a good sound quickly but its also easy to get lost experimenting and not actually playing. If it got stolen I would replace it but I would go for the rack mount with floor controller instead of the floor processor unit just for safety reasons (don't want anything to get spilled on it or someone tripping on it) and if anything happened a floor controller is much cheaper to replace.