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FM3 or Line 6 HX Stomp as multi FX

I am currently waiting for my FM3 invite but have had the HX Stomp since August 2019. I will say that I much prefer the Fractal stuff, I had an Axe Fx II for about a year and loved every minute of it. Had to sell it to pay rent, but those days are behind us. Now that the FM3 is coming out I considered selling the HX thinking I wouldn't use it much. Then Line 6 released FW 2.9 with the Revv Generator Purple channel modeled and boy is it glorious! Such an awesome model. I will now be keeping it until FAS models the Revv Generator Red and Purple Channels.

Pros about the HX:
· I think it sounds good.
· Effects are good, lots of popular amps to choose from, the legacy effects are nice.
· For how small and cheap it is it is worth every penny IMO.
· I have been using it in place of my PreSonus FireStudio as well just for easy of not having to plug and unplug things constantly and it works well.

Cons about the HX:
· I think it is hard to use. Both the UI on the unit itself and the one on the computer are sort of difficult to figure out IMO. YMMV.
· You also can't do everything on the PC editor, you have to change some things on the unit itself which can be tedious to figure out.
· You only get six blocks (8 when 3.0 FW is released rumored) which is a major limitation in my opinion. Running a drive, amp, IR, EQ and output to my power amp is 5 blocks right there. Almost no room for anything else.
· The master volume is just that. If you're jamming along to a song you have to turn your source volume up/down in the app you're using or turn on of your output levels up/down in one of your blocks.
· Not nearly as flexible as anything FAS has ever made. You can probably get any sound you want out of a Fractal product. The HX/Helix is very limited and the sounds they give you are the sounds you get. You can't tweak the tube type and all the super deep stuff Fractal gives you. The HX does have Bias adjust and a couple of other things but nowhere near what FAS provides.

There are more cons than pros for sure. But in my world the two will co-exist. HX is a great backup too if you play shows. Have your set setup on the unit and if something goes wrong with your rig, the HX will do the job.


Edit: worded cons than pros wrong
 
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jbsn

Member
I do think the Stomp price will need to come down a bit with so much else in the space. $650 retail has been reasonable up to about this point but there are just so many new options either launched or launching this year.

On the other hand, I think 8-10 years from now I think we'll find them holding their own just fine (if mechanically working). The modeling quality is decently beyond the threshold of what's needed for a good recording or live sound. Whereas things like the POD and the hideous Digitech RP6 I had many moons ago....
 
I do think the Stomp price will need to come down a bit with so much else in the space. $650 retail has been reasonable up to about this point but there are just so many new options either launched or launching this year.
Agreed. It should be closer to the $500 range right now. It has been out a while and now there is a bigger player in the space: The FM3.
 

shatteredsquare

Power User
Helix sounds great with good IRs, i just finally gave in and bought the Helix stomp because i finally confirmed it can run off a power bank and a myvolts ripcord, that's battery powered amps/effects, with effects loop, MIDI+USB Audio IO in the pocket of the gig bag. BATTERY POWERED.
 

mehegama

Member
$650 plus tax and shipping for the HX Stomp??? In the UK it's like £420 final price shipped (about $520). what happened? I think for its price and size, what you get, it is unbeatable.
 

taracatac

Member
I have had the Helix LT, Stomp and Native. I picked up an Axe Fx II recently. IMO, the Fractal sounds much better, and is easier to get great tones. The Helix can sound great, but for me, it was not as intuitive as the Axe Fx. I use the PC editor almost exclusively, and I like Fractal's much better.

That said, for the OP's needs, I think the Stomp would fit the bill. Pickup a used one now and get on the FM3 waiting list.
 
How’s that the “same space”? The FM3 is $350 more. To some, that’s not exactly chump change.
You quoted me saying "same space" when I never actually said that. I said "the space". They are both floor board modelers with three switches that are trying to accomplish the same thing. They're competitors regardless of price.
 

bigfoamfinger

Inspired
In literally the exact same predicament. I’m leaning towards the FM3. Better effects, better UI, and IMO better overall device. I plan on having this be my pedal board so $1100 after tax isn’t bad at all

The wait list is what it is, and since nobody is gigging right now I have time to wait for the headphone version. I know how I am, and buying a Stomp is just delaying the inevitable (getting an FM3) so I might as well save myself the trouble
 

chrisjnyc

Power User
Both the Stomp and FM3 would work for what you need. I would say the Stomp is a better option, as its cheaper, readily available, and a bit smaller.

I find the FAS FX to be better sounding, but depending on what you need, the Stomp has a lot of options.
 

phillyred79

Inspired
Helix sounds great with good IRs, i just finally gave in and bought the Helix stomp because i finally confirmed it can run off a power bank and a myvolts ripcord, that's battery powered amps/effects, with effects loop, MIDI+USB Audio IO in the pocket of the gig bag. BATTERY POWERED.
Which size barrel plug did you buy with the myvolts ripcord? Also it's the 9V, 2.4A one correct? Any links?
 

shatteredsquare

Power User
Which size barrel plug did you buy with the myvolts ripcord? Also it's the 9V, 2.4A one correct? Any links?

I got a pack with a bunch of size tips, this video had links to the stuff in the description, I don't know what size plug it is yet. It's the 9v ripcord, I already have a bunch of 12v ripcords for the elektron gear, they are all center positive, I think the helix is center negative (like most pedals). So for helix it's ripcord + polarity reverse adapter + size adapter, myvolts has whatever you need

 

shatteredsquare

Power User
Which size barrel plug did you buy with the myvolts ripcord? Also it's the 9V, 2.4A one correct? Any links?

it's the regular 9v plug size but they put the extra large center pin on Helix Stomp so you can't use regular 9v pedal power cables... it's 9v ripcord + polarity inverter (the orange thing) + large center pin adapter
 

shatteredsquare

Power User
FM3 will have better amps and be able to do more quantity FX, but the FX are roll your own, not existing modeled devices. The helix stomp will sound just as good, less tweakability, faster to dial in, and instant access to pre-existing guitar FX devices, without the detailed tweakability. What Helix does give you is actual tape/analog/bucket brigade delay algorithms, none of which exist in FAS world. You get actual echoplex tape, bucket brigade vintage digital in various forms, memory man, all like they exist in the real world, and tuned the way the real world equipment is as it comes from the factory. You cannot do those effects with FAS gear, the closest you can get is to cover the existing digital delay with distortion and EQ to the point you couldn't tell the difference in a mix, because that's all that's happening. There is no analog or bucket brigade or tape delay in FAS world, 100% digital.
 

OrganicZed

Experienced
FM3 will have better amps and be able to do more quantity FX, but the FX are roll your own, not existing modeled devices. The helix stomp will sound just as good, less tweakability, faster to dial in, and instant access to pre-existing guitar FX devices, without the detailed tweakability. What Helix does give you is actual tape/analog/bucket brigade delay algorithms, none of which exist in FAS world. You get actual echoplex tape, bucket brigade vintage digital in various forms, memory man, all like they exist in the real world, and tuned the way the real world equipment is as it comes from the factory. You cannot do those effects with FAS gear, the closest you can get is to cover the existing digital delay with distortion and EQ to the point you couldn't tell the difference in a mix, because that's all that's happening. There is no analog or bucket brigade or tape delay in FAS world, 100% digital.

I'm pretty sure Fractal has tape, analog, and bucket brigade delay algorithms. I get that all of these are digital in the absolute sense because the Axe-Fx is a digital device, but the same could be said about the Line6 products. Am I missing something?

https://wiki.fractalaudio.com/wiki/index.php?title=Delay_block

The Delay block in firmware Ares has these types:
  1. Digital Mono
  2. Digital Stereo
  3. Analog Mono
  4. Analog Stereo
  5. Mono Tape
  6. Stereo Tape
  7. Ping-Pong Delay
  8. Dual Delay
  9. Reverse Delay
  10. Sweep Delay
  11. Ducking Delay
  12. Vintage Digitalv
  13. 2290 w/ Modulation
  14. Ambient Stereo
  15. Deluxe Mind Guy
  16. Stereo Mind Guy
  17. Mono BBD
  18. Stereo BBD
  19. Lo-Fi Tape
The following blocks in the Axe-Fx III are capable of providing a delay effect:
  • Delay
  • Multitap Delay
  • Ten-Tap Delay
  • Megatap Delay
  • Plex Delay
  • Pitch
 

shatteredsquare

Power User
I'm pretty sure Fractal has tape, analog, and bucket brigade delay algorithms. I get that all of these are digital in the absolute sense because the Axe-Fx is a digital device, but the same could be said about the Line6 products. Am I missing something?

https://wiki.fractalaudio.com/wiki/index.php?title=Delay_block

The Delay block in firmware Ares has these types:
  1. Digital Mono
  2. Digital Stereo
  3. Analog Mono
  4. Analog Stereo
  5. Mono Tape
  6. Stereo Tape
  7. Ping-Pong Delay
  8. Dual Delay
  9. Reverse Delay
  10. Sweep Delay
  11. Ducking Delay
  12. Vintage Digitalv
  13. 2290 w/ Modulation
  14. Ambient Stereo
  15. Deluxe Mind Guy
  16. Stereo Mind Guy
  17. Mono BBD
  18. Stereo BBD
  19. Lo-Fi Tape
The following blocks in the Axe-Fx III are capable of providing a delay effect:
  • Delay
  • Multitap Delay
  • Ten-Tap Delay
  • Megatap Delay
  • Plex Delay
  • Pitch

None of them are analog or tape or BB algorithms, they are just plain digital that you can add distortion to. Helix actually does the algorithms. FAS is 100% digital. Let's argue about it
 
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