How does this realistically compare to the Helix?

I think the Helix is better. The Line 6 sound is comparable, the feel is comparable, and it has more functionality (and the helix is 6 years old!). I do like the touch screen on the QC… My issue is that it’s been almost a year beyond when I was told I’d have the device in my hands, it actually arrived in May, and we still don’t have a looper/the effects are fairly limited. QC does a great job with the stuff that’s already on the platform, but Neural are behind on the software development. They’re not going to catch line 6 or fractal. The competition has had too big of a head start, plenty of funding for R&D, and they’re primarily focused on ONE thing. Line 6’s entire modeling game is based on the Helix software, even if they drop new hardware from time to time. Neural has their hands in two cookie jars at once: trying to develop/sell archetypes AND the QC. The software isn’t directly compatible, theyre having to make the archetypes FIT the QC.

It’s a good product, but if Neural wants true success with the QC, they’ll need to ditch the Archetypes.

I recently ran the hx stomp through the cortex cabs and it was kind of sad moment. I really wanted it to sound good but it painfully didn’t. It wasn’t god aweful but it was easy for me to tell which one sounded, felt, reacted, and easy to dial better.

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There is/was an issue with having to “tame” the high end on Helix presets. If it weren’t for “Jason Sadites” excellent YT videos (look him up it’s worth your time), I would not have kept my Helix as long as I did.

Throwing my two cents into this discussion, I have been a massive Line 6 fanboy for years. Before I owned the Helix, I owned the HD500x and to this day, that thing is still going despite the beating it has taken. I bought the Helix on launch and my first observations were that it sounded like my HD500x, it just had more options, support for IR’s, etc. The Helix looks great, but I remember being kind of disappointed a lot of the amp models sounded like my HD500x. The added DSP was a welcome addition though.

Line 6 over the years has turned the Helix into a refined product. Several artists use the Helix including the guitarists in Jinjer and Dustin Kensrue of Thrice. They’re all getting solid sounds out of the Helix. Personally, I always struggled to dial my Helix in. For the Helix to sound good, you have to buy IR’s and you’re continually tweaking your sound.

I sold my Helix and got the Quad Cortex instead. It might not be as fully featured (yet), but I have to spend less time dialling in my QC than I ever did with the Helix. I was blown away by how good the stock presets for the QC sounded. It sounds more natural, how everything responds and decays. Decent amp selection, growing cloud library of captures and presets. I have my ideal setup for the next few years, Neural hit it out of the park.


This is inherently the problem with Helix in my opinion tho. You have to watch 30 hours of Jason Sadites video’s giving you tips on setting up compressors and split crossover eq’s etc etc to get what you want. On the QC you just put a few things together and they sound good. At least for me.