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If you play metal don’t buy the Helix

Rex

Legend!
I've never seen one, and I'm an old guy - the trick is to roughly determine, and factor in, what bias there is, and how much, to extract something of value for your purpose. There's lots of good, useful, and biased, gear demos on Youtube - we just have to use common sense to separate out the facts.
Common sense and guesswork. There’s some of each involved. :)
 

Morphine

Inspired
I've never seen one, and I'm an old guy - the trick is to roughly determine, and factor in, what bias there is, and how much, to extract something of value for your purpose. There's lots of good, useful, and biased, gear demos on Youtube - we just have to use common sense to separate out the facts.

I think as long as people realize that the opinions (especially those from the more popular YouTube personalities) are bought and paid for then you should be fine. Sadly, the channels with the widest reach very rarely are providing unsolicited reviews anymore.
 

rossipedia

Inspired
I wrote out a whole large post about the difference between subjectivity and objectivity, but I feel it would fall on deaf ears and honestly, I don't care that much.
 

ben ifin

Inspired
I am the kind of person who finds a piece of gear and sticks with it for a long time (The last pedal that I bought was a digitech rp250 back in 2008.) After weeks of research on different options between the helix, fm3, boss gt-1000, headrush, etc. I decided on the helix LT because every YouTube guitarist I saw couldn’t stop singing their praises for it.

The first day I got it I spent 7 hours on it. Not because I was enjoying it, but because it was taking that long for me to find a usable tone for the type of music that I enjoy; metalcore, death metal, slam. I was getting more and more frustrated that I couldn’t find a tone that would even match the free plugins that I had been playing with prior. I tried everything, EVERY amp/cab available, dozens of community made presets, and as many IR’s as I could download. There was a distinct buzzing noise with every single high gain sound that it could make, as well as the fact that when I plugged it into an amp it sounded like it gave a muffled sound like it was playing through a pillow, which I found unacceptable for a device that I had paid over $1200 for.

I had read online that many people found the fractal tones to be much better and more realistic without the buzzing or the muffled sounds. I had no way to test any of these devices in person but regardless i returned the helix LT and reluctantly ordered the FM3. After setting up I IMMEDIATELY heard a night and day difference. It felt like the $1000 device it was supposed to be! The tones felt so much more realistic, they had the low end which was completely absent from the helix. There was a life in even the factory presets that the helix didn’t have. Even with the hundreds of amps and cable available I was able to find a workable tone within minutes, and I was able to tweak the community presets into something I would consider perfect with minimum effort.

I’m not writing this to gush over the fm3 or to sound like a fanboy. I’m writing this because it’s exactly the thing that I needed to read when I was researching which to buy in the first place. If you play metalcore/death metal/djent/slam or any high gain music, you should know that fractal is used by all of the artists we listen to for a reason. Most devices just aren’t capable of creating the tones that we look for. I can’t speak for many other devices but the fact that it is difficult to find anybody on YouTube who demos other devices for anything heavier than ‘edge of breakup’ level tones speaks volumes. Metal guitarists thrive with fractal devices.

As a user of both an LT and an FM3 there is simply -no- night and day difference:-


This guy has numerous outstanding hard-rock / metal Helix tones as good as anything you will find in the FM3 - the FM3 has however -more- amps to pick from that is true - but if you cant find a great metal tone in the LT [ or the FM3 ] it is not, i.m.o the units fault.

On a great side note, Fractal are probably only weeks away from releasing Cygnus -and- Helix FW 3.1 is probably equally only a few weeks away and that is the first Helix FW ever where they have specifically said there will be audio engine improvements .... :) Very interesting time for both platforms.

Ben
 

mehegama

Member
I wrote out a whole large post about the difference between subjectivity and objectivity, but I feel it would fall on deaf ears and honestly, I don't care that much.
if you refer to me, i absolutely know what is subjective and objective. I ve always been of the opinion that one can use whatever suits them best. Now in this specific post the issue is the OP said there is "a day and night difference". No matter how subjectively you want to see this, it is simply not true. There are differences between the two but these differences are so small that most people cannot even distinguish them. So what the OP is saying is simply not true. And again if under your definitions of objectivity and subjectivity, someone that says it is night in broad daylight, i m not going to accept it as his subjective reality.
Yes there is always subjectivity in people's opinions but some opinions that defy reality should not be taken into account in my opinion.
 

mehegama

Member
Depends on the level of your hearing acuity. Everyone is different. If you have a high level of hearing acuity the differences are readily audible. I don't think it's proper for me to give my opinion so I'll leave it at that.
I understand and I agree, but was pointing on the day and night difference basis of the OP post. The whole post contains very strong opinions that can easily be tested and have been multiple times.
 

chris

Legend!
I understand and I agree, but was pointing on the day and night difference basis of the OP post. The whole post contains very strong opinions that can easily be tested and have been multiple times.
How can you test/prove an opinion of what someone hears and experiences? Personally, I would describe it as a day and night difference too. Am I wrong? Lying? This doesn’t mean other gear is bad. 2 things can sound good and still have a day and night difference.
 

mehegama

Member
How can you test/prove an opinion of what someone hears and experiences? Personally, I would describe it as a day and night difference too. Am I wrong? Lying? This doesn’t mean other gear is bad. 2 things can sound good and still have a day and night difference.
You have both the devices? Have you ever tried them both in blind test? I have. And my results were the same as loads of these test done by many people including Mikko. Thus given that these tests show that the differences are very small, and absolutely not a day and night difference, I think this is not a matter of opinion. I m not talking about workflow, tweakability, how easily you get there etc.
Now you can still claim that you hear a day and night difference, but given the results of these tests (i m not even referring to my own experience on this) and given that these results show that they pretty much guessing which is which, I think the truth is probably closer to not having a day and night difference. These things are measurable and have been tested. I love both platforms and my point was that you can get amazing tones from both devices, and there is no day and night difference tonally between them.
 

JoKeR III

Power User
Why is it that these types of threads always devolve into a "how can you not see I'm right?" argument? Everyone is different, some will find common ground, others will not. So be it. Each person has their opinion and it's just that; an opinion. No reason to "die on a hill" defending your position.
 

chris

Legend!
You have both the devices? Have you ever tried them both in blind test? I have. And my results were the same as loads of these test done by many people including Mikko. Thus given that these tests show that the differences are very small, and absolutely not a day and night difference, I think this is not a matter of opinion. I m not talking about workflow, tweakability, how easily you get there etc.
Now you can still claim that you hear a day and night difference, but given the results of these tests (i m not even referring to my own experience on this) and given that these results show that they pretty much guessing which is which, I think the truth is probably closer to not having a day and night difference. These things are measurable and have been tested. I love both platforms and my point was that you can get amazing tones from both devices, and there is no day and night difference tonally between them.
I must be lying! I’m a liar!
 

mehegama

Member
I must be lying! I’m a liar!
i did not call you a liar, come on. You might be in a small group of people that have a more sensitive ear to distinguish frequencies, but again the day and night definition as used by the average person means huge differences, and that is simply not the case. The vast majority of people will not be able to identify the differences.
You ll always have people claiming they can hear the tiniest difference, Vai-style with his 1ms latency intolerance or Billy Corgan claiming he can hear tonal differences depending on the colour of the guitar (!!) but again blind tests say otherwise. So let's agree to disagree.
 

JoKeR III

Power User
I love both platforms and my point was that you can get amazing tones from both devices, and there is no day and night difference tonally between them.
Agreed that great tones are possible with both units. Agree in part that there's not a "day and night" difference between them but I hope you could concede that there can be "negative" aspects in the tone of a device that once you hear it, you can't unhear it. It's kinda like a ringing in the ears. You don't hear it all of the time but once you do, you can't unhear it. This is what becomes a "day and night" difference to some. I hear something in the Helix that I haven't been able to ignore which led to my choice to buy the AX8, then the Axe III and FM3. Doesn't mean I'm special or have "golden ears" or sensitive hearing. Simply something that's there to me.
 

DLC86

Fractal Fanatic
if you refer to me, i absolutely know what is subjective and objective. I ve always been of the opinion that one can use whatever suits them best. Now in this specific post the issue is the OP said there is "a day and night difference". No matter how subjectively you want to see this, it is simply not true. There are differences between the two but these differences are so small that most people cannot even distinguish them. So what the OP is saying is simply not true. And again if under your definitions of objectivity and subjectivity, someone that says it is night in broad daylight, i m not going to accept it as his subjective reality.
Yes there is always subjectivity in people's opinions but some opinions that defy reality should not be taken into account in my opinion.
I'm an optician and I can tell you that subjectivity is all that matters when any kind of perception is involved.
Some customers can't stand a small error/change in their correction even if they still clearly see 20/20 and beyond, so they run to buy new glasses as soon as their correction change by 0.25D, and that makes a night and day difference for them.
Other customers wear the same glasses for years even if their myopia has changed by 1.00D, they don't think it's worth spending money for that "small" improvement.
And I also encountered a few cases (very old people usually) which have never weared glasses despite being myopic for their entire life, and refuse to wear them cuz they can't adapt to seeing all those details, they're too used to their old blurry world.
 
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