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I 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!
The Helix finally came in stock today, and it’s on order! While I’ve been waiting over the last couple weeks, I’ve been obsessing about my big rig transition to the Helix. I’ve come across a couple of new video demos which just blow me away how good the Helix sounds.
These demos have me seriously considering going ampless. While I love my Blackstar Stage 60, this would be amazing simplification in my rig, and a serious boost in flexibility. We’ll have to wait and see when the Helix arrives.
Meanwhile, take a look at these videos – two very different styles, two compelling arguments:
It’s been a year since I saw that first demo of the Helix at NAMM, and I haven’t stopped dreaming about it! But I decided that I should really sell some old gear before investing in the Helix. And I just never got around to it.
But after the dreaded HD500X sunlight-wah-freakout happened again, this time in front of a huge crowd at a gig in October, I decided it’s time to make this happen, before the sunny season rolls around again. More
My Blackstar Stage 60 is a 3-channel amp, but with the additional gain switch on OD2, it’s effectively a 3 1/2 channel or 4 channel amp, depending on how you look at it. I absolutely love this flexibility! Blackstar’s catchphrase is “the sound in your head”, and it’s true. I’m really happy with the sounds I can get from this bad boy. I’ve put my overdrive and distortion pedals back in storage, as I can get everything I need from the Stage 60’s channels. More
I was super-excited to get my new Blackstar Stage 60 earlier this month. But immediately after plugging in and firing it up for the first time, I noticed some strange noise issues. I plugged the guitar in directly, with no other pedals and no effect loop. On all 3 channels, I heard some very obvious gungy badness on certain notes. The problem was not evident when listening through the speaker emulated output. More