Does the Line 6 DT series actually sound better than running the HD500 into an amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Axe-Man, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    I've reposted this from the DM forum...

    I ask because I've got an Orange TH30 mini stack (2 x 112's) which I've just got back as it blew up just before NYE and I've just today setup the 4cm.

    I'm running the 'real' tube preamps (clean/dirty) and using some patches from the HD500 (Recto, Deluxe reverb etc) as comparisons and so far I'm pretty impressed with the setup.

    I've got the Recto and the DR sounding pretty solid (I'm a long tweaker with the HD series as this is my second HD500 and I've owned a HD300 before that) and whilst the modelled pre's/fx chains sound pretty bloody good, they don't sound as good as the real preamp; espec with some HD500 'magic' (EQ, Verb, Delay etc) thrown into the mix.

    As I wouldn't be able to compare these rigs side by side, would the DT25 sound better than this current setup or does it essentially sound like a well tweaked HD500 running into a 'nice', well matched power section?

    For reference, the TH30 has a great 4 tube 30 watt EL84 power section which is switchable to 2 tubes 15 watts, 4 tubes 15 watts and 2 tubes 7 watts so whilst it can't do Class A, it does that EL84 class A/B but it can do pentode/triode and also run with 4 and 2 tubes which is definitely a trick the DT can't do. Plus it should have more headroom than the DT as it uses 4 tubes and doesn't claim to be putting out 25 watts per pair of EL84s.

    I liked the DT50 I test drove but if I'm not going to get better tones I'll sit tight and save myself $1200.

    What are your experiences running this way?

    Have any owners tried their DT's into good amps/poweramps and found they are similar to the HD+DT combination?

    I have to admit to also being a little worried about the L6 depreciation factor. If I pay $1200, it'll be only worth $600 next year if I want to sell it where the Orange will still command ~$850 and I only paid $1050.
     
  2. BallisticGuitars

    BallisticGuitars Supporting Member

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    If it helps you, I bought an HD500. Then I bought a DT25 head/cab. Then I sold the HD500. Even though the preamp section of the DT25 is mostly modeled, the power amp section is all tube and that makes a world of difference to me. I never could get a convincing tube sound out of the HD, even when running through a tube amp. Going from 16 available amp models to 4 wasn't a big deal either.
     
  3. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    I know what you mean. 4 classic and cool sounds are plenty...I honestly will never use more than Fender, Marshall, Mesa and Vox out of the HD500.

    I've been mucking around and TBH I've got a pretty convincing tone out of the HD500 (preamps only) run into the Orange. I'm thinking this might be about (or very close to) as good as it gets with the L6 modelling gear atm and it doesn't sound shabby.

    I'm hoping to test out a DT25 next week as a reference point though I was quite impressed with the Dual Recto and Bassman sim today.
     
  4. BallisticGuitars

    BallisticGuitars Supporting Member

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    IMO the High Gain (i.e. Dual Rec) model in the DT25 is my least favorite - and I love high gain amps! It reminds me a lot of the Dual Rec model from the old Flextone and POD 2.0 devices, overly saturated and lacking dynamics. I've been able to tweak it so that it sounds pretty good but I prefer to use pedals for some high gain tones and for the times I want extreme metal tones I use the 5150 and Powerball models in my POD X3.
     
  5. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    Hey Jason, thanks for the feedback. This is a pretty important aspect for me personally. I love classic stuff but I also like gain (lots of it)!

    I've dialed in the HD500 with EQ and a TS pushing the Recto preamp sim into my Orange and it sounds really good at volume but not so good when the volume isn't cranked. But it does sound pretty darn good when wound up.

    I wasn't sure if I could get a great high gain tone with just the DT but it did sound pretty decent if not 'quite' like a killer high gainer.

    Do you run with a HD POD and the DT?

    How have you found the amp compared to other rigs you've owned?
     
  6. BallisticGuitars

    BallisticGuitars Supporting Member

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    I briefly tried using the HD500 into the DT25, but honestly the models I used most on the HD are on the DT, so I didn't spend a lot of time with it. Once I figured out that I liked the sounds out of the DT better than the HD, I stopped using the HD and sold it. Prior to owning the DT I didn't have an actual amp - I have a Rocktron power amp that run into a 2x12 cab. Perhaps if I had a tube amp, like your Orange, then I would have liked the HD500 better. Then again I wouldn't have had a reason to buy the DT, which I like better anyway.

    Prior to selling most of my gear 4 years ago (new baby), I had amps from Marshall, Mesa, Fender, Bad Cat, and Rivera. Going to Line 6 exclusively was painful, I could never recreate the dynamics of a tube amp, but it was convenient and quiet (with headphones). Getting the DT25 reminded me of what I really enjoyed about those amps from the past. The DT is not perfect, but for the $700 I spent on the head and cab, it's a fabulous compromise and it sounds close enough to the amps it models for me to really enjoy using it. I also have a preference for Analogman and Fulltone pedals, and they interact very well with the DT.

    One area that Line 6 totally misses is with their high-gain Marshall emulations. For those tones I will be using pedals, though I'm considering buying an ADA MP-1 to run into the DT25's power amp section (effect return). I may also try to run the 5150 and Powerball emulations from the X3 into the DT25 the same way as well. I just want to keep it simple, as that seems to the point of the DT amps anyway...
     
  7. DarthVanHollis

    DarthVanHollis Member

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    There is no way to say it sounds "better" as that is very subjective.

    I have a DT-50 head and an HD 500 and here is why:

    I tweak and practice at home with headphones on. I am really only tweaking the effects to get the delay to sound right or get the best wah sound.

    I leave my DT-50 head and cab at the practice space. All I need to bring is the POD, a couple guitars and my toolbox. I already have 4 amp sounds that I use and like and I can just use those with the effects base I already set up if I need to have extra patches. So there is not a lot of tweaking.

    In my band I need to be loud, the 412 cab is a necessity, a 212 cab would not do the job and the 50 watt head is cranked pretty loud.

    We recently did some very rough demos (just to be able to give the bars a CD sample) and I recorded direct from the HD and from the direct out of the DT (this is a HUGE plus for the DT - I hate having to rely on a soundguy to mic my cab) and they both sound excellent.

    For me, this set up is great. I think I have the best tone I've ever had and there was a set up I used 15 years ago with a 5150 head and Marshall cab with a rack full of effects that really kicked a$$.

    I also use my POD with a Mackie Thump 15 (and I'm about to get another one) when I jam with my brother. He plays acoustic and bass and we do Cream, Pink Floyd, and Tom Petty stuff. Totally different from my other band's hard/heavy rock stuff. We also use the Mackie as a monitor in my main band, which is why I'm getting another. I can also run the POD in stereo if I want with the two Mackies.

    It's all about what's right for you. If you like your sound, don't spend the money. It sounds like your set up is pretty flexible.
     
  8. Ryan

    Ryan Member

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    That's funny, that's pretty much how I would describe how I hear Dual Recs. ;)
     

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