I've come full circle. Line 6 hd500x

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by davestrings11, May 24, 2015.

  1. davestrings11

    davestrings11 Member

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    I know this forum shuns line 6 products with the exception of maybe their wireless stuff which is pretty darn good! I'd like to share my thoughts on the line 6 pod hd500x. Before I start I should mention when I started playing guitar in 2003 I bought the first spider modeling amp. since then I've owned or own several Mesa amps (sold or traded them all) a couple of fender amps, orange, Laney, phaez amps, rockitt retro plexi, and my number one amp a metro JCM800 2203.
    I'm in a cover band playing everything from Hendrix and zeppelin to sublime to GNR to halestorm and everything in between. I could pull off most of those times with my JCM800 but the cleaner stuff is always a bit dirty. Then I stumbled across the hd500x. I'm running it through my jcm800 right now and using the 4 cable method. So when I'm using an amp model from the Pod the JCM800 preamp is bypassed. This works well because the pod is still being powered by a great power source that still gives me touch and response from the amp. Believe it or not the dual Rec model sounds better than I remeber the dual Rec sounding. The plexi is almost as close to the real thing as you get. And the cleans all sound great! The effects alone are worth the price of this unit. I know there's a big difference from line 6 modeling to tube preamp but if you don't want to spend 2k or more on digital gear, give line 6 a try. I would never spend that kind of cash on a digital piece of equipment. I've heard keeper and played through one and it sounded good, but not good enough for me to sell all my amps and go direct. The way I see it is in a cover band you need versatility. They're not your songs so as long as you get close to the tone and in some cases hit it right on the nail, nobody is gonna know the difference. With my original band that's a different story, my tone is jcm800 all the way with some bassman cleans thrown in. I'll post some videos of my gig next weekend of my band covering very different styles so you can get an idea. Most of the videos on YouTube are direct to a recording software.

    Thoughts, experiences and opinions are welcomed!
     
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  2. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Member

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    I've been an HD 500x user for a couple of months now, using studio/direct mode through two PA speakers. I've never sounded better. I originally wanted an Axe FX but I'd also like to feed my family this quarter, so I decided on the Pod.
     
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  3. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    I was completely satisfied with my HD500X, I actually played it more than my "real" amp. Had been running it through my KRK monitors and really happy with it. Friday I was ready to pull the trigger on their Stagesource L2M monitor to go along with it. Unfortunately, here's what I am dealing with since yesterday: http://www.thegearpage.net/board/in...se-had-the-error-code-80007211-issue.1579749/
    Up until then, it had worked flawlessly with no issues and I'd been updating along the way without any problems.

    Not bashing them, just an FYI since opinions and experiences were asked for. YMMV of course. However, if you Google that error code I experienced you'll see its been an ongoing issue for quite some time. Some people have been able to find ways to remedy it following the suggested troubleshooting, some haven't. I'm one who hasn't despite trying everything suggested to me. The last L6 product I owned was an M13, which suffered from the now infamous power cycling issue (unit would randomly power on and off). That one went back and Rich Reinken, their product manager at the time, got me another one. Unfortunately, I bought my 500X used from another forum member here a while back. My advice and lesson here: if you're going to get one, buy it brand new and maybe consider an extended warranty.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
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  4. davestrings11

    davestrings11 Member

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    I've tried going direct but I couldn't get the sound I wanted. I know its possible I just need to spend more time tweaking with a full band rehearsal. Actually the second time I ran direct was with another guitar player playing through my jcm800 and it blended well, I just didn't like my tone. I'll keep tweaking until I get it though! Any tips or settings you might wanna share?
     
  5. davestrings11

    davestrings11 Member

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    This is good to know. As far as updates, I'm new to all this, are they necessary if I think my unit is working for me like I hoped it would?
     
  6. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Member

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    Depends on what you're going for, really. I when I create or edit my patches, I run through a cranked PA because that's the application I intend to use my unit for. IME some of my patches don't sound good with headphones but sound great in a band setting
     
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  7. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure, I've always updated whenever its come up as being needed. I just assumed that if their software is telling me to update, I should do so. Yesterday I did get it working, but it was through my own trying, nothing suggested by Line 6 or their support forum members worked. If you follow that link I provided in my first post here you'll see I edited to detail the solution I found.
     
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  8. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Member

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    Some folks say things sound better with certain firmware updates and others say things got worse. I know certain updates contain support for some different line 6 speakers, & I know certain firmwares add models like the Solo 100, and the latest update adds support for the new model packs, as well as adding a global EQ.

    the latest updates and model packs came out right around the time I got my 500x so the first thing I did was update.
     
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  9. charley

    charley Supporting Member

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    I think the HD500 is awesome. But I've bought and sold 2. The sound quality was great. The thing heated up in the sun though, and the LCD would go black when it got too hot. Deal breaker.
     
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  10. lspaulsp

    lspaulsp Gold Supporting Member

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    It's funny you should mention this because I've never herd this before and it just happened to me Sautrday at an outside gig with the controller for my Flextone III. Took it out of the sun and it cleared up in about 5 mins.
     
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  11. charley

    charley Supporting Member

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    Well, it was a deal breaker for me. I love and take great care of my gear, but I am not interested in buying sunscreen for it;)

    If I were using it solely in the studio, or at home, I would have zero complaints about the HD500.
     
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  12. echos

    echos Member

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    I've had line 6 gear since the XT bean. I love their gear and have purchased each new hardware and now have the HD500. I've always been pleased with the tone I'm able to get. I now run an Axe Fx 2 and while I can certainly tell the sound improvement I'm still happy to have the HD. Just now experimenting with the 4CM and a real amp and having some fun with it.
     
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  13. davestrings11

    davestrings11 Member

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    I don't plan on playing in the sun lol
     
  14. Gtrman100

    Gtrman100 Member

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    I played an outdoor gig in 105 degree weather last summer with the sun beating down on my HD500x and the display went blank also. That was the first time that had happened, but it was so hot I almost passed out on stage. If I do that again, I'm going to make a cardboard shroud to keep the sun off the HD and I think it will solve the issue.
     
  15. lowyaw

    lowyaw Member

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    that's pretty cool. I somehow overlooked the fact you could have @Variable@ preamps, so to speak.
     
  16. CheeseGrater

    CheeseGrater Member

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    I'm in a similar boat - I use the pod's models for cleans and some bluesy stuff, and a tube preamp (in the pod's FX loop) for my dirt and leads. Being able to choose either a model or real preamp on a per patch basis is fantastic - really allows you to get the best tones for each style. Plus it makes adding FX anywhere in the chain super easy.
     
  17. davestrings11

    davestrings11 Member

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    This is what I want to do. how exactly is your setup? Right now, mainly because I don't have any time to figure it out or read on it, I'm unable to use both my jcm800 preamp with effects and bypass the preamp to use model preamps. Is there more cables required?
     
  18. CheeseGrater

    CheeseGrater Member

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    Does your jcm800 have an fx loop? I thought many didnt. But if it does, the chain goes guitar - pod guitar in - Pod fx out - jcm guitar in - jcm fx send - pod fx return - pod line out - jcm fx return - speaker out (aka 4 cable method as you probably know - yes you need 2 more cables to do this usually).

    So once this is set up, pod patches with the fx loop block on and no model will use the the jcm preamp. Pod patches with no pod fx loop and a model ON will use the pod model, since the signal never gets to the jcm preamp (pod fx loop off). Then in either case, the pod goes out to your power amp and youre all set. Now you can place fx before or after the pod fx block (JCM preamp) or model (pod model), depending on your patch, for pre or post fx....and control it all via patches on the FBV. For instance, in bank 1 for me, patch A uses a model block - so i'm using the pod as a preamp. Patch B uses has the model OFF and has an FX loop block, so it uses the tube preamp. By switching between the two patches, i can switch between using the tube pre or pod model. FX work the same in either patch - you just have to get your preamp level set the same as your model level - turned out to be really easy for me.

    I'm using separate preamp and power amp but its the exact same concept...although i must admit ive had better luck with the two separate units versus an all in one head (was noisy with a 5150) with regards to ground loops and level setting.

    There is also the dreaded tone suck, but i never tried my preamp outside the pod's FX loop so i'm blissfully ignorant to any tone loss....it just sounds good so i roll with it. The convenience of using patches for everything and being able to switch between real amp and model so easily is worth it to me.

    Would be happy to answer any other questions.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  19. davestrings11

    davestrings11 Member

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    Thanks! This helps a ton... If I have any more questions along the way I'll let you know.
     
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