Helix 3.5 cabs: how do they compare now to Kemper Stage's?

molul

Roadie
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I guess this update has made Helix a more serious competitor to Kemper than it was before. I wonder if anyone here has both devices and what their impressions are when comparing both technologies.
 
I guess this update has made Helix a more serious competitor to Kemper than it was before.
The modeling hasn't changed, just a new cab block that's supposedly up to par with good 3rd party IR's. So nothing has really changed.
 
It's kind of an Apples to Oranges comparison because the Kemper doesn't have any sort of built in cabs or cab block.

This.

The core modelled tones are still the same, and IMHO they can rival anything else out there. The new cabs really elevate Helix as a whole though - they're as good as any premium third-party IR.
 
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Oh, my bad. I assumed Kemper also had amps+cabs but with a different technology.
 
Oh, my bad. I assumed Kemper also had amps+cabs but with a different technology.

Kemper uses Profiles for amp and cab sounds. These can either be a Profile of an amp which can be combined with a 3rd party cab IR, or a Profile of the amp and cab together.

It's a little different because there aren't really "built in" amps or cabs. The device itself is sort of like a "Profile player" where you can load any Profiles into it and it will "play" them. Kind of like an iPod (if anyone remembers what that was)

Kemper does make Profiles you can choose to use, but anyone with a Kemper can make their own Profiles and share them.
 
Do you think those who have their favorite/go-to third part IRs would bother using the new cab feature?

I was building presets to try the new amps/effects just yesterday, and noticed i didn't even bother to browse my IR library. The sound quality is deifnitely there.

Then again, the new dual IR loader is also a great addition - and with reduced DSP consumption to boot.
 
Interesting takes by JMP and Justin York at the other place regarding the new cabs.

So far I'm liking them (the new cabs). And I like and have a bunch of York's IRs. Are they different? Yes of course they are, just like OH's and LiveReadySound's (and all the other IR maker's IRs) are all different.
 
Interesting takes by JMP and Justin York at the other place regarding the new cabs.

So far I'm liking them (the new cabs). And I like and have a bunch of York's IRs. Are they different? Yes of course they are, just like OH's and LiveReadySound's (and all the other IR maker's IRs) are all different.

I can appreciate that @York Audio is probably in a weird spot. It can’t be good for business if anyone improves their stock cabs. But he has legions of fans (myself included) and I doubt anyone is going to just ignore his packs moving forward. The QC has a really good cab block, but I still found myself loading up York mixes.
 
Do you think those who have their favorite/go-to third part IRs would bother using the new cab feature?
The stock cab block (and even the old one) has one big advantage to those who are proficient with it: being able to manipulate mic type, distance, offset, and angle within the same spot is VERY convenient to reach a sound in your head. It’s a lot faster than flipping through IRs.

I realize everyone is different, but to me the cab block or an IR is just a means to an end—a way to get a specific frequency balance & character that sounds reasonably realistic.

It matters less to me if it sounds exactly like some dude’s specific Greenback and vintage mic, because I wouldn’t know the difference anyway. But being able to quickly sculpt the right tonality/frequency balance is everything in a mix.

I say this as someone who has hundreds of dollars in IRs from York, OwnHammer, and others. The utility of them has really diminished over the years for me. It might be a different story if they had a slick way to manage them just like the new stock cabs do.
 
The stock cab block (and even the old one) has one big advantage to those who are proficient with it: being able to manipulate mic type, distance, offset, and angle within the same spot is VERY convenient to reach a sound in your head. It’s a lot faster than flipping through IRs.

100% this - the biggest advantage of them is the interface and ability to fine tune what you need. It really is a much better experience than going through folders of generically named IR’s hoping you land on what you need.

I personally found the sound of them hit and miss, some I don’t mind, some I think could have been better. I also think their capturing process could have been more exhaustive but they have to make it work within particular constraints and perhaps what i’m after isn’t what most of the user base wants.

Caveat of the fact that I do make and sell my own IR’s, and they’re still all I use. As much as I appreciate the new interface, I just vibe with the ones I make more. Call it familiarity/bias/whatever, but I still feel like I have better options and better speakers to pick from. If the stock cabs are better, everyone wins and I think it’s only a good thing if people are content with not needing anything else. There’ll always be those who want to expand their tonal options and try different things, and 3rd party IR’s will always be there to find something different.
 
This is more like (maybe exactly like) the Quad Cortex cab setup and mic screen. Very nice.
 
I don't know about the Kemper, but I did go from Helix Stomp to Axe FXII XL+ back to Helix Rack and the new Helix cabs make Helix > Axe for me. In the end, anyone who can dial in a good tone can get there with either one, the Kemper, the Quad, the high level Boss, etc. etc. The differences are likely more nuance that the average "fan" would never notice in a mix.
 
Caveat of the fact that I do make and sell my own IR’s, and they’re still all I use. As much as I appreciate the new interface, I just vibe with the ones I make more. Call it familiarity/bias/whatever, but I still feel like I have better options and better speakers to pick from. If the stock cabs are better, everyone wins and I think it’s only a good thing if people are content with not needing anything else. There’ll always be those who want to expand their tonal options and try different things, and 3rd party IR’s will always be there to find something different.
TBH, your cabs are all I've used recently too!!

My take on the cab loader/cab block thing.... Neural have the best interface, but poor sounds. Line6 have a limited interface, but decent sounds. Fractal have the worst interface, but the best sounds; IR library dependent.

Kemper sucks bawls.

Honourable mention to the IR loader in Amplitube 5 too - I've been enjoying it. The 'list' aspect is a bit crap, but the built in filters and tilt EQ is really useful.
 
Honourable mention to the IR loader in Amplitube 5 too - I've been enjoying it. The 'list' aspect is a bit crap, but the built in filters and tilt EQ is really useful.
Amplitube has it so close - IMO they are still inconsistent for whatever reason, the good cabs sound great but some sound weird/fucked to me. I can’t help but feel like there’s at least some amount of botching going on - like I don’t think they captured 4 individual speakers in each 4x12 but the GUI gives the impression it was captured with every possible permutation available. It also involves a lot of clicking around and showing/hiding things to access it.

It’s just so typically IK to me - the promise and potential is huge and the implementation doesn’t quite get it right. There’s definitely some good captures in there that are worth digging out though.

Tilt is cool, I wish they also had a Z control in there to handle the different impedance interaction behaviours as they have so many different cabs and poweramps in their library.
 
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