So you are saying Line6 have no DSP programming talent? Doubtful. Cliff is a mad scientist but is a small boutique shop. People have been getting great tone out of PODs for a long time. HD500x at 500 bucks with 30 dollar dsp has been a pretty big hit for Line 6 . Next gen modeling, user IRs, RJM mastermind GT level foot controller, FOUR freely routable FX loops and people dismiss it because it is Line 6?My guess would be Made in USA vs. mass-produced in China. American labor costs money and is something I'm willing to pay more for, especially when--like you implied--the modeler sounds so damn good. An MFC with the exact same components assembled overseas will be less expensive than here in the USA (assuming, of course, you manufacture enough units to make the shipping charges worth it).
The point that I was making is that I don't believe Line6 when they offer hyperbole like "We have 20 years of experience getting the most out of a DSP". Experience means nothing if it isn't quality experience; you may have 20 years of experience doing a mediocre job over and over again. I know plenty of folks in my industry who have years of experience and little real skill. What I'm saying is that I trust what Cliff will do with that $30 SHARC in the AX8 will be on a level completely different than Line6, because talent and skill are just, if not more important, than years of experience.
None of that matters, of course, until we can all try out a Helix to see if the Line6 hype is more than hyperbole. Like I said, I'm very curious to here an AX8 and a Helix side-by-side.