It’as called Helix, and it’s a damned good looking effects processor. A full-color LCD display and 12 programmable footswitches combined with an extremely futuristic design makes for a lot of GAS feelings in me right now. It’s going to be Line6’s flagship guitar processor, although there is no current rollout date. The site is calling it an effects processor, but it looks like there will be amp modeling as well.
According to the video on the page, the Helix will be able to load 3rd party impulse response cabs, which is a very cool feature. Often the included IR cabs just don’t cut it.
One cool feature I noticed was multiple sends and returns – this is VERY important for putting different effects in at different points in the amp – some effects need to go in the loop (reverb, delay, chorus) while others need to go before the preamp (overdrive, distortion, boost).
For each switch they have something called “scribble strips”, which is just a cool name for little LCD screens with the patch name on them. Extremely convenient for being onstage when you may have forgotten which patch you programmed into which switch. You can also choose a ring color for each switch.
This is looking like a pretty good alternative and direct competitor to the Fractal FX8 which may or may not ever come out (we first heard of it almost exactly a year ago), which is supposedly going to be similarly priced and doesn’t have nearly the same appointments. The FX8 also looks pretty utilitarian by comparison, with no expression pedal to speak of and a comparatively bland control surface and monochrome screen. I can’t speak to the quality of the effects of either, since I haven’t tried them, but on features alone, for the same price, this Helix is coming out a bit shinier. It kind of looks like an Apple Vs. PC kind of a thing, so I’m sure there will be a a fight about this one.