Line 6 Helix LT Guitar Multi Effects Processor Review
The Helix LT is definitely worth a look if you want acoustic versatility on your feet. In the past, we took a good look at a number of multi-effect pedals. For many guitarists, most of them don't have the Helix candle on line 6, but it's expensive.
The Helix LT is a downsized edition in which the business has cut a few non-essential corners, bringing the price tag down into more rational realms, drawing on a larger customer base. That said, for the majority of us, it's still a lot of cash to part with, but it does have some great features.
You would think that the functions would be less impressive after slashing the original Helix price. We would say that it's a more versatile piece of kit, in certain respects. As the inputs and outputs have been limited, it's unquestionably easier to use. Compact and neater, it is.
This does not detract from the model and, without much sacrifice, allows Line 6 to retain the original character.
With hardy bent steel, the casing for the Lt is made. This gives it a weight that is lighter. It was previously built with an extruded aluminum chassis, but in terms of reliability, we can score the two about the same.
The layout is arranged neatly. Between stomp triggers, the spacing is generous, and the entire thing is as compact as possible. Each of the 12 switches had previously had a mini-screen with data (arranged in two parallel rows of six), but this is something that has now been gutted to save costs.
Information is now shown via the main display itself. Again, since they were more of a small luxury incentive, this does not impact the usefulness. Granted, the mini displays were sweet and easy to keep track of, however you get what you pay for at the end of the day.
The workflow is efficient, in spite of the complex routing capabilities. There are intuitive, user-friendly menus on the main screen that are easy to navigate. You can set up your rig in almost no time and then, of course, when you practice, power it with your feet.
With the regular preset setups, the high-end capacitive touch-trigger stomps can be used, or reprogrammed to your desires.
The dual DSP-powered HX modeling engine provides you with access to over 200 different model amps and cab emulations with different mic techniques and effects. With the expression pedal on the right-hand side, you can adjust the filtering and strength of the results.
This offers an FX loop that can be used in a mono or stereo way. For the mono looper, you get 60 seconds and 30 seconds in stereo.
There are a total of 104 built-in effects that include modulations and delays of EQ versions, as well as a number of forms of reverb and distortion. The Wah is fine, and you can also use pitch effects and a number of other filters.
As well as two quarter-inch returns, it has a quarter-inch input for your guitar. The key outputs have been simplified down to 2 x XLR, 2 quarter-inch, and two sends, and there is also a L6 optical output XLR connection and an RJ455 (Variax). On the rear panel, too, you have a MIDI in and through and a USB that allows you to connect to the editing program Helix. For tracking and silent use, there's even a headphone port.
Line 6 Helix LT
The Helix LT maintains the original Helix processing capabilities, but a few features have been omitted, and there are fewer inputs and outputs.
The frame has been lightened, but the rig's playability and reliability are not affected. You've still got 12 rough, professional-quality stomps and a great pedal for voice. Importantly, with 200+ amps, bus, and effects onboard, you have complete access to the HX modeling engine.
+ Solid processor for multi-effects.
+ 12 editable stomps and a pedal for expressions.
+ 200+amp, taxi, and implications.
+ Fair I/O combination.
+ Interfacing intuitively.
+ Looper from FX.
+ In/Out/Thru MIDI.
- For additional external stomp pedals, some people can prefer the extra shipment on the top-of-the-line Helix.
Why We Like It
In a smaller box, it's basically the Helix. You're not missing a lot. It retains all the same possibilities for tonal editing as the real thing, which makes it so sought after.
It provides a wide range of effects and lets you do away with your daisy-chained rigs in the DIY style. It works effectively, and in this 'less-fancy' style, it's a little simpler to use.