BEST LINE 6 HELIX ALTERNATIVE (OUR TOP PICK)
The Line 6 HX Stomp
The Line 6 HX Stomp houses a lot of the same effects and amp models that you get in the Helix, but in a much smaller form and with one less SHARC processor. It's part of the Helix family of effects, kind of like the younger brother and significantly cheaper than the full Helix board.
I've been surprised at how popular the Helix has become while being so expensive, even if it can essentially replace an entire guitar rig. So I suppose this is for folks who agree with me, that the Helix is cost prohibitive in a lot of cases and could use a more affordable alternative.
Luckily, there are some solid options, and you don't have to go far to find them.
The Helix is actually part of what Line 6 calls the Helix family of effects, the details of which aren't particularly important. They're just cut out of the same programming and processing cloth.
And if you're looking to save money, while still buying from that line, the Line 6 HX Stomp is your best bet.
Read the full review: Line 6 HX Stomp
It uses the same SHARC processor and ports a ton of the Helix effects, amps, and cab models. While there are other Helix alternatives (we'll list some more of them below), we think it makes the most sense to stay within the same brand and, in this case, even the same series.
We often write about products and include partner links in those pages that lead to retailers we trust, like Sweetwater, Musician's Friend, and others. If you click through our orange buttons and make a purchase, we might earn a commission at no extra cost to you. It's a great way to help support our work and get some awesome guitar gear. Thanks for taking the time to use our site.
4 Best Helix Alternatives
In this table we've included several Line 6 Helix alternatives, including the HX Stomp. Use the compare buttons to see basic specs and pricing that is updated live. Note that the Helix itself is in this table (at the bottom) for easier comparison.
Line 6 HX Stomp
Line 6 Helix LT
Line 6 Helix
Compare More Pedals
Use this search box to find more pedals to compare to what we've listed here. We're continuously adding to this database, but many of the popular pedals and multi effects are already included. When you add a product from the search results, it will show up on the comparison bar at the bottom of the page.
For most of our product reviews we take our own photos, in-house. Thank goodness for portrait mode. For those interested in using these photos, that is completely fine with us as long as you give us credit and don't claim the work as your own. Simply linking to guitarchalk.com near the photo is totally fine.
Price differences between all options
Prices accurate as of Sat, September 30th, 2023.
Why is the Line 6 Helix so expensive?
There is a ton of processing power and hardware that goes into the Line 6 Helix. It includes 12 footswitches, an expression pedal, and a huge display, at least by guitar pedal standards.
It's also MIDI compatible, houses multiple send/return loops, has balanced XLR outputs, and all of that is just surface level spec sheet highlights.
Once you get into the effects and amp models, there's a ton of processing power and functionality.
You get what you pay for.
Is the Line 6 HX Stomp worth it?
Pivoting to the HX Stomp, is it worth the investment at the lower price?
If you were already set on something similar the Helix, the Stomp gets you the lower price point. But aside from price, you have to be buying the HX Stomp to replace the bulk of your rig.
Once you have it, you don't really need anything else, aside from perhaps a nice tube amp to lay down a base tone.
Even without an amp, the HX Stomp can handle amp models.
If that's how you want to set up your rig and you want to consolidate, then an investment into something like the HX Stomp is certainly well worth your time.
Does the HX Stomp have a looper?
The Line 6 HX Stomp does have a looper with the following specs:
- 60 seconds (mono)
- 30 seconds (stereo)
- 1-switch looper
- Shuffling looper
Can you get the HX Stomp at Long & McQuade?
The Canadian retailer, Long and McQuade, carries the Line 6 HX Stomp and the Helix.
Browse on L&M: Line 6 HX Stomp
Can you use the HX Stomp with an amp?
The HX Stomp has the ability to replace an amp and probably give you more flexibility. However, you can also use it as a traditional pedal in a signal chain between your guitar and a regular tube or solid state amp.
For testing the HX Stomp, this is how we set it up, as a pedal going into a Boss Katana with very basic settings.
How big is the Line 6 HX Stomp?
The HX Stomp is roughly 7 x 5 x 2.5 inches. We outlined some additional measurements here.
Read more: Line 6 HX Stomp Dimensions
Is the HX Stomp a better option than the Helix LT?
The Helix LT is another great Helix alternative, designed to be a lite version of the full dual-processor Helix.
However, we did not make it our top choice here because it's still fairly expensive.
It was about $1200 at the time of publishing this roundup, $500 less than the full Helix. Check the price guide above for updated numbers, but the $1000 plus discount you get with the HX Stomp is just a far better value.
Of course, that is just our opinion.
It's a choice you have to make, but we'd opt for the Stomp over the Helix LT.
Is the Eventide H9 Max a good alternative?
We've listed the Eventide H90, which is the newer version of the H9 Max. If you drop down to the H9, that's still a good Helix alternative, built in the same multi-effects mold.
That said, the H9 has less effects than the HX Stomp and less flexibility overall.
You don't have to spend $1700 to get a great multi-effects pedal. And that's not to bad-mouth the Helix. It's a great pedal with a really good reputation, and tons of people have been willing to pay the asking price
But if you're not one of those people, our Line 6 Helix alternatives will save you a ton of money and get you a similar experience.
A lot of players find that they only use a small percentage of what multi-effects pedals can do anyways, kind of like the 80/20 rule.
In other words, 20 percent of the functionality accounts for 80 percent of the results.
Something like that.
If you have questions, hit the comments section below. We'll get back to you as quickly as we can.