Line 6 Helix vs Helix LT vs HX Multi-Effects

Jed Van Wyngaardt

Jed Van Wyngaardt

The Helix changed the game for digital amp modellers with an easy-to-use interface. The robust hardware made it popular with gigging musicians, and the sound quality is what has allowed the Helix to keep its popularity. Not only is it simple and functional, but it sounds great in lots of different situations too and is still available in both rack and floor unit formats.

There are currently three versions: the Helix, the Helix LT and the HX Multi-effects unit. We’re going to take a look at the differences between them!

What Will I Learn?

  •  Intricate details about the Line 6 Helix product line.
  • The difference between the Line 6 Helix, the Line 6 Helix LT and the Line 6 HX.
  • The benefits of the powerful Helix multi-effects units.

So, what are the differences between a Line 6 Helix and Line 6 Helix LT?

The question on everyone’s mind will be ‘what’s the difference between the Helix and the Helix LT?’ You can look below for a chart showing all the differences but let me run you through some major changes.

  • The LT is smaller and lighter than the Helix. (12lbs vs. 14.6lbs)
  • The LT is made of bent steel rather than solid extruded aluminium.
  • Helix has 10 stomp switches and LT has 8 – These are only effect switches
  • The LT doesn’t have the small LCD screens below each stomp button. It does still light up in a colour corresponding to the effect. Yellow for distortion and green for delay etc.
  • In Pedal Edit mode you can only edit in performance view on the LT. Whereas on the Helix you can edit on the fly.
  • The LT has 2x sends and 2x returns in its effects loop. The Helix has 4x sends and 4x returns.
  • The LT has 2 additional Bass/Guitar inputs and the Helix has 5.
  • The LT has 2 additional Line inputs and the Helix has 4.
  • The LT doesn’t have an XLR Mic Preamp but the Helix has the StageScape Mic Preamp.
Helix LT Helix Floor
Dual DSP-HX Modeling Dual DSP-HX Modeling
6.2″ 800×480 Pixel LCD Screen 6.2″ 800×480 Pixel LCD Screen
62 Amps, 37 Cabs, 16 Mics, and 104 Effects 62 Amps, 37 Cabs, 16 Mics, and 104 Effects
12.5 lbs 14.7 lbs.
Up to 2 Expression Pedals Up to 3 Expression Pedals
No Scribble Strips Available Customizable Scribble Strips
20.87 x 11.93 x 3.66 inches 22.05 x 11.85 x 3.58 inches

Big features, little package

The Helix LT is the solution for someone who wants a slightly smaller Helix. It doesn’t have all the inputs and outputs you may need if you want to integrate it with a large pedalboard. Though you can still do so with a small board and the effects loops.

It’s still got the same number of guitar and bass amp models. It still has all the effects, cabs and mic sounds from the Helix. It still has the stereo ins and outs that are so important. It still has the expression pedal and expression out for another one.

  • Line 6 Helix LT Floor Amp & FX Modelling Unit
  • 779.0000
  • 0
  • Line 6
  • Guitar Pedals
  • Multi FX Units
  • Over 200 amp, cab, mic, and effects models
  • The Line 6 Helix LT is a lighter, more streamlined version of the highly-popular Helix standard. Boasting all of the same amp and effect modelling technology of its bigger brother, but with less footswitches, a simplified interface and not as many inputs and outputs, the Helix LT is still a valid choice for the serious musician.With over 200 amp, effect, cabinet and microphone models available, the Helix LT is the epitome of a versatile, all-encompassing floorboard solution. It's fair to say that Line 6 has come a long way since its first digital amp modellers from 20 years ago. Now offering incredibly convincing reproductions of desirable, renowned amps and effects with its award-winning HX modelling engine and dual-DSP, there's a reason why many modern players are turning to products like the Helix LT. [video_8]Ergonomic, User-Friendly UnitThe Line 6 Helix LT is still very easy to navigate and set up patches with, thanks to its 6.2" LCD display. You can easily experiment with different amp and cabinet models via this simple interface, and even go into deeper editing modes. This includes applying effects to your base tones, and even re-ordering them via a simulated signal chain. Cabinet impulse responses enable further levels of flexibility, letting you match up emulated amps with different speaker sizes, types and combinations. And with multiple microphone models available too, you can essentially play the role of a recording engineer!Sporting 12 robust, road-worthy footswitches, the Helix LT lets you change up your sound on-the-fly. With the ability to switch between preset and stompbox modes, you can flick between your very own patches or treat the Helix LT like a traditional pedalboard, by engaging the digitally-recreated stompboxes. Bank switches mean that you're not just limited to 8 sounds at a time, and you can setup different preset or effects banks for particular songs in your setlist.Extra FeaturesWe've only scratched the surface of what the Helix LT can do, but there are some other noteworthy features. The Helix LT has an expression pedal built onto the top of the chassis, which allows you to control effect parameters. This works fantastically with its wah models for example, but you can also use it to affect the mix of a reverb or delay setting, letting you attain ethereal ambient drones.If one isn't enough, there's an input on the rear on the Helix LT for a second external expression pedal too. The unit also boasts two effects loops, meaning that if you want to use your favourite overdrive pedals or other units in conjunction with the Helix LT, it will seamlessly integrate them.MIDI-enabled, the Helix LT can act as a controller by communicating with other MIDI pedals, or receive commands from another MIDI device to change patches and effects within the LT itself. Stereo 1/4" and XLR outputs also let you record directly into an interface, or send a signal to a front-of-house PA system for a large, in-your-face live sound.Here’s what line 6 say about the Helix LT Floor Amp & FX Modelling Unit:The Helix LT guitar processor features the same advanced HX Modelling technology found in the Helix Floor and Helix Rack processors. With a streamlined I/O complement and hardware configuration, the Helix LT guitar processor delivers the highest levels of performance, flexibility and control in its class. The award-winning HX Modelling engine leverages powerful dual-DSP performance to capture and recreate amps, cabs, mics and effects with authenticity and responsiveness. A large LCD and touch-sensitive footswitches with colour LED rings enable easy usage and fast, smart control.The generous I/O complement, with extensive routing capabilities, makes it easy to integrate Helix LT into an existing rig and provides flexibility for a wide range of stage and studio applications. Helix LT has preset compatibility with existing Helix products and also offers Variax guitar control integration. With Helix LT, the world’s most powerful guitar processing platform is now more accessible than ever before.SpecificationsDual DSP-powered HX modelling enginePreset compatibility with existing Helix products
  • As Seen On Andertons TV
  • 10% off Atomic CLR FRFR cab with modelling amps (June 2018)
  • 0
  • 0

What About the Line 6 HX Multi Effects?

The Line 6 HX Multi-Effects unit was released to give users the ability to get all of the effects of the Line 6 Helix without any of the amp modelling or cab emulation functionality. The HX Multi FX can be used as your standalone pedalboard or easily integrated into a pedalboard setup to give you access to pretty much any effect that you can think of.

You can run up to 9 effects at once in a number of different ways. The drives will stack beautifully with each other or with your already driven amp. Normally analogue effects are very difficult for digital processors to replicate however digital processing has come a long way since inception and the powerful DSP chip in the Line 6 HX is now able to replicate the dynamics you’d expect from an analogue pedal.

It’s worth mentioning that one of the hailed features of the Line 6 Helix was the quality of the effects and having these all available in a single unit was something that Line 6 fans and users have been calling for since the Helix was released.

It’s also got the ability to host 4 different ‘Snapshots’. These Snapshots are essentially different settings for your pedals that you have loaded up and a Snapshot can allow you to hit a single button and change the settings on all 9 pedals at once – if needed.

  • Line 6 Helix HX Effects Multi FX Pedal
  • 399.0000
  • 0
  • Line 6
  • Brands
  • Line 6
  • Line 6 HX Effects brings the power of the Helix to your pedalboard with over 100+ Helix effects all put into one small package. [video_1]Helix is amazing and has found it's way into the rigs of guitarists all over the world. But if that was a bit too much or you only really wanted the effects side so you could use your own amp and other pedals this is the answer. Even without the amps you are still left with over 100+ HX effects and additional legacy effects from the M series of pedals along with the DL4, MM4, FM4 and DM4. Easy To UseLike all of the Helix units the HX Effects is incredibly easy to control and use. Things like the capacitive touch buttons and scribble strips make it so easy to see and feel what you are doing when changing effects and adjusting them on the go. No big LCD screen here, all the information you need is now displayed on the scribble strips so even if you have never used a multi effects unit before this is easy to get up and running with. The HubOne of the great things about the HX Effects is the connectivity, it becomes the hub of your rig without you even really needing to think about it. Stereo in and out, dual effects loops, two external control outs and MIDI operation means that if you have other amps and pedals, this is incredibly easy to get plugged in and working.
  • NAMM
  • 5
  • 2


It is easy to see why someone would get confused when discussing the differences between the Line 6 Helix, Helix LT & and the Line 6 HX Multi-Effects unit but really, it’s quite simple.

Line 6 Helix – The Helix is the powerhouse of the bunch. It has all of the features you’d need from a multi-fx, amp and cab sim unit and is also super-easy to use. The Helix is as powerful in the studio as it is on stage and even as a practice tool. It’s been designed to have everything a guitarist might need in one box.

Line 6 Helix LT – The Helix LT does what it says on the tin – it’s the ‘light’ version of the Helix but still has all of the amp and cab sims available. It hasn’t got the uber-flexibility of the bigger Helix, however, it will easily cover all the bases that a pro musician would need to cover.

Line 6 HX Multi-Effects – Due to incredible demand from fans of the Helix, Line 6 decided to release an ‘effects only’ version of their Helix floor units. The HX captures all of their coveted effects in one unit and is your pedalboard replacement pedal. Or you could integrate it into an already existing setup.

Want to find out how Line 6’s Helix range compares to other amp modellers? Read our ‘Axe FX vs Helix vs Kemper vs AmpliFIRE – Modelling Amps Shootout‘ guide now!

Did you enjoy reading this article? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

Interested in finding out more about music gear and expanding your knowledge? Click here to view all of our Learn articles.

Jed Van Wyngaardt
Jed Van Wyngaardt
Jed has worked on our shop floor, handled guitar content on the site and now leads the digital content team. He's equal parts rock frontman/guitarist in Pandora Fox and wannabe folk singer-songwriter. Jed's a PRS, Tele and Orange Amps lover with an unhealthy obsession with fuzz, octave and ambient effects.

Responses & Questions