Blackstar vs HelixI mentioned last month, as I awaited the Helix arrival, that I was considering going ampless- completely replacing my entire amp and pedalboard rig with a single device: the Helix.

So, once I started learning to edit on the Helix, the first thing I did was try to make a preset to match the sounds of the channels on my Blackstar Stage 60. This was surprisingly easy to do.  Very quickly, I had a Pedal Board preset in which I could switch between Clean, Overdrive, High Gain, and blistering Lead, all of which sounded close enough to my Blackstar.  And bonus, no more pause/delay in the sound when changing channels on the Blackstar. Changing snapshots on Helix is totally seamless.  Beautiful!

I A/B’d between the Blackstar and the Helix->EON610, playing on my SG. It was shockingly easy to adjust the Helix to be very similar to the Blackstar.  (I plan on doing some recordings to compare the two, and will update this post when I do).

So, I added a few effects- delay, reverb, etc- to my basic Pedal Board preset – and then took it to rehearsal this morning with the band.  We were playing with in-ears as usual, but now with my Helix running direct into our DL32R mixer, instead of mic’ing the Blackstar.  Everyone was impressed, and couldn’t really tell the difference between my new sound and my previous setup.  Sweet!

Seems like going ampless is a real possibility!


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