Zoom G11 VS Line 6 Helix (Comparison)
Our Verdict and Opinion
While the Zoom G11 is probably overpriced by most comparisons, it's less than half of what you pay to get your hands on a HELIX. And while we'd probably prefer the Helix in a price vacuum, we can't ignore the value we get from the G11. It serves a purpose similar to the Helix and will cost you roughly $800 less to procure.
To a certain extent we'd argue that most multi-effects processors are overpriced. Despite touch screens, more lights, and more versatility, they do pretty much the same thing they did 20 years ago. But in this particular example, we're looking at two similar multi-effects floor pedals where the price is incredibly different.
The Line 6 Helix costs about $1600 while the Zoom G11 tops out at about $800.
This means the Helix needs to give us a lot more than what we get in the G11, which it sort of does.
The Helix has a lot more presets, more amp models, and more effects.
But is that worth spending the extra $800 when the G11 already gives you a massive amount of tools to work with, many of which you'll likely never use? While we like the Helix - and especially the cheaper Helix LT - we can't ignore the value of the G11 which catches our attention with a much lower price tag and comparable roster of features.
Zoom G11 VS Line 6 Helix Simple Compare Table
Use this table to get a simple, preliminary look at the two multi-effects pedals. The most glaring difference is going to be the price tag, which we've already talked about. Though you can also skip down lower where we'll look at audio demos and break down a more detailed specs sheet.
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Line 6 Helix
Please consider that these comparisons are meant to reflect opinion and are subjective in nature. While we make every effort to be as accurate as possible, preferring one pedal over another is more of an art than a science. It's also important to note that we're trying to make the highest value recommendation, meaning cost has a significant bearing on our choice. You can leave questions about the process in the comments section below.
Watch the Comparison Bullet Points
Detailed Specs Side-by-Side
The Helix has over 1000 presets which easily outpaces the roughly 340 you can access in the G11. Amp, cab, and mic models are also more plentiful in the Helix, while some would also argue that the tone quality of the Line 6 effects are better than the Zoom effects.
Personally, we'd say that's too much hair splitting. Effects and algorithms in both boards sound quite good.
However, the Helix board does have a uniquely "enthusiastic" reputation and is just more loaded than the G11. But are the numbers worth it? Do you really need that many presets or additional effects?
In most cases, we'd argue no.
1024 (8 setlists with 32 banks x 4 presets)
240 User Patches, 100 Preset Patches
Number of effects
Total not specified
Distortion, Delay, Reverb, Modulation, Pitch shift, Synth filter, Compressor/Limiter, Wah
9 x Simultaneous FX: Razor Drive, Wave Shaper, PolyShift, Geminos, SwellVibe, Delay, Fuzz, Octave, Wah, Rotary and more
Over 100 Amp, Cab and Mic Models (latest firmware)
24 x Amp Models, 24 x Cabinet Models
1 x XLR (mic), 1 x 1/4" (guitar), 1 x 1/4" (aux), 4 x 1/4" (return)
1 x 1/4" (instrument), 1 x 1/8" (aux in), 2 x 1/4" (return 1/2)
2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4", 4 x 1/4" (Send)
2 x 1/4" (L/mono, R), 2 x 1/4" (send 1/2)
You'll notice from the demos below that the Helix is pretty flexible, and provides more nuance between factory presets. In other words, instead of having a de facto "metal" setting, you have a bunch of settings that would be considered different flavors of metal that can take a long time to explore.
The G11 is more stubborn about giving you a basic list of presets and letting you customize them to your liking. Though the Helix accommodates this approach as well.
Again, the Helix is probably better in the tone and sound sample department, but not quite enough to get another $800 out of us.
Summary: Which one would we pick?
We've done a lot of comparisons involving the Helix series and we don't often pick against it. But the price difference here is a huge deal, and the G11 impresses us enough that we think it's a safe and higher-value alternative to the popular Helix board.
That's not to say you'd be wrong to choose the Helix - but you're definitely gonna have to pay a lot more.
At the end of the day, we're pretty impressed with each board and what they're able to do respectively.
Give Zoom a chance and go with the G11.
Questions and Comments
Do you have questions about the Zoom G11 or the Line 6 Helix? If so, leave them in the comments section below and we'll do our best to help out. We'll see you there.