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Switched from Helix to Axe Fx III

AndyTNBD

Experienced
I love Helix for effects. But I do prefer the Axe amps by a large margin. I think once I get my FM9, I won't have much need for the Helix anymore. But we'll see.
 

fcs101

Fractal Fanatic
I think the massive upper hand that the Fractal has are the really good factory presets...
Personally I think Fractal's major edge is the amp modeling; it's incredible. I don't really use too many effects these days because of it (mostly just delay and reverb). The amp is the basis for any good sound. L6 does a good job with many effects, but I've always felt the amps are lacking.

I do agree that the excellent factory preset make it really easy to just dive right in (even for the preset challenged :p).
 

Paulzx

Inspired
I think the massive upper hand that the Fractal has are the really good factory presets, whereas Helix’s factory presets sound like garbage. The factory presets can psychologically make a player think a unit is really good or really bad. I think the Helix can be tweaked to sound good, but modern modelers should sound good out of the box and shouldn’t require as much tweaking as the Helix does. I honestly never could get Helix amp modeling to sound good at all and Fractal has some really cool models like the JMP-1, CAE preamp, and Atomica stuff. Some of the Helix’s effects are good, but I think the UI and parameters are laid out strange. And the pitch effects in the AxeFx, like detune, etc. are 100x better. I do think Helix has an excellent Tri-Chorus. IMO, Atomic Amplifire has the best modelling behind Fractal, it’s just unfortunate that Atomic abandoned the product.
That is a good point, the factory presets on the Helix are useless, I've never used them for anything. If the Fractal factory stuff is that good straight out of the box, it's a big plus point. Helix does dial in some good stuff if you know how to do it. Then again a lot of people complain about the endless parameters to edit with the Fractal lol.

I think comparing an Axe fx III to a Helix is a bit unfair because the Axe is twice the cost so nobody would be happy purchasing a unit like that if it wasn't quite a bit better. Helix is better compared to an fm3 at least in price. Fm3 is likely a better unit on the sound quality of the patches but Helix beats it hands down on functionality.

Where the Helix really excels is with ambient sounds using effects. Where it lacks compared to fractal tones in my view is on the high gain tones. I think it's the way the units produce the distortion. Helix distortion sounds good when playing meaty chords but not as good on single notes or small chords, it lacks a bit. You just notice these things when you play a lot of high gain stuff
 

mattbarden

New Member
It is nice to have those deep dive parameters on the Fractal stuff. The Helix could really use some more things like that IMO. I haven't felt I needed to use many of them on the Axe 3 (yet), but I would much rather have those options and not need them vs need them and not have them.
 

srf399

Member
I use the deep dive stuff all the time.... For me it doesn't change the sound so much as the feel.
 

cole lewis

Inspired
I think comparing an Axe fx III to a Helix is a bit unfair because the Axe is twice the cost so nobody would be happy purchasing a unit like that if it wasn't quite a bit better. Helix is better compared to an fm3 at least in price.
Twice the cost? You might want to double check your math there...

And “helix is better compared to an FM3 at least in price”. I’m not sure what that means.
 

fcs101

Fractal Fanatic
I think comparing an Axe fx III to a Helix is a bit unfair because the Axe is twice the cost so nobody would be happy purchasing a unit like that if it wasn't quite a bit better. Helix is better compared to an fm3 at least in price. Fm3 is likely a better unit on the sound quality of the patches but Helix beats it hands down on functionality.
I most often see comparisons of the FM3 to the Stomp, which I think is more natural given the form factor. The question then becomes one of, "Do I want to spend an additional $450 for the FM3?"

I think the natural comparison for the Helix is the FM9.

The Axe III is in a class by itself.
 

Paulzx

Inspired
Twice the cost? You might want to double check your math there...

And “helix is better compared to an FM3 at least in price”. I’m not sure what that means.
I should check my math should I? Helix is or was around 1300 pounds, an axefx 3 was over 2200 pounds here so by my reckoning it's about double the price give or take I don't know why you seem confused or that I've said something grossly incorrect.

Oh and you're not sure what the comparison to the fm3 means? Given the fact they are a similar price, does that help you at all?

Are you sure of anything at all.. do you wake up confused too? I would suggest rather than posting snarky remarks, just stick to constructive conversation, and I think you'll be less confused all round 😉
 

cole lewis

Inspired
I should check my math should I? Helix is or was around 1300 pounds, an axefx 3 was over 2200 pounds here so by my reckoning it's about double the price give or take I don't know why you seem confused or that I've said something grossly incorrect.

Oh and you're not sure what the comparison to the fm3 means? Given the fact they are a similar price, does that help you at all?

Are you sure of anything at all.. do you wake up confused too? I would suggest rather than posting snarky remarks, just stick to constructive conversation, and I think you'll be less confused all round 😉
I forget the European prices for Fractal stuff can be a bigger difference here.

Can always get a FM3 And FC6/expression pedal. Plenty of functionality. Yes it will be more money than the Helix.
 

Paulzx

Inspired
Can always get a FM3 And FC6/expression pedal. Plenty of functionality. Yes it will be more money than the Helix.
Yep that was basically what I was trying to say, it's all a lot more money than a Helix, only the fm3 without any extras is a similar price
 

cole lewis

Inspired
Yep that was basically what I was trying to say, it's all a lot more money than a Helix, only the fm3 without any extras is a similar price
I'd still go with the FM3 personally. The price difference when you look at what you get is completely worth it. I do understand though, harder decision to make over the pond.
 

jbsn

Member
Fractal is the king but gotta say I haven't managed to part with my HX Stomp, you can dial some pretty nice stuff on it. I still have my bass "rig" and some other things in it as I haven't dialed that in the Fractal yet. If only I'd had something like that 25 years ago would have saved a ton of cash and it would be more than good enough to play any show, at least in my case as I'm not running tons of effects.

we are living in good times
 

fcs101

Fractal Fanatic
Fractal is the king but gotta say I haven't managed to part with my HX Stomp, you can dial some pretty nice stuff on it. I still have my bass "rig" and some other things in it as I haven't dialed that in the Fractal yet. If only I'd had something like that 25 years ago would have saved a ton of cash and it would be more than good enough to play any show, at least in my case as I'm not running tons of effects.

we are living in good times
Your Stomp will eventually begin to collect dust. :p
 
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