« Best of both (phaser) worlds ! »Published on 01/28/16 at 12:21
To say the least, I have no regret whatsoever regarding this purchase! I'm even close to ecstacy!
To make it short, the Helix features several modes, the "Vintage" one is close to MXR (both the script or logo, yes it is!), the "Smooth" mode reminds of the Small Stone and the "Tone Print" allows to configure the pedal via USB or directly through an iPhone put right next to the guitar's pickups (go and see the videos, it's really, really ingenious). I'll only detail the first two modes here. 4 ins/outs, mono and stereo... a great start!
In addition, the Helix features can be fine tuned with a very wide array of sounds: Speed allows to set the phasing effect's frequency, Depth defines the width of the variation, the feedback (like a delay) allows to set the repeat and signal regeneration rates, and the Mix (the only pedal with that option btw) which allows to mix the dry and the effect itself. A great feature, for sure!
The "Vintage" mode is rather light ans will give it all on Van Halen-style rhythms or big overdriven solos where the phaser will bring real volume and roundness. I put it ahead of the OD, after which I put an EQ and delay. Once all pedals settings set properly, solos become huge! In clean sound it's very neutral even if you can get weird sounds by tweaking the knobs!
The "Smooth" mode delivers a bulked up version of the effect. It really gets your clean and crunch sounds powered up for rock, funk and so on. On overdriven sounds, the effect is really present even if the "mix" knob allows to control the effect. I also noticed the Helix does not color the sound, it's really transparent!
In a nutshell, it's really versatile, true bypass, noiseless - and addictive! A stompbox made to be soldered right on your pedalboard so as to never get away from it, ever! I had it for €115 at Thomann, a real bargain! TC Electronic quality... Plus, it's built like a tank!