Let's talk POD HD with real amp - 4 Cable Method

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by JB Eckl, May 27, 2015.

  1. JB Eckl

    JB Eckl Member

    Jan 1, 2008
    So here's where I'm at: newly gigging again, and I'm between pedalboards. I want to use my real amp, a Mesa Lonestar Special, and the guitar sounds for this band are heavily crafted Gilmour-type setups, not a 'pedal or two in the chain'. I will eventually create another giant spaceship pedalboard, but not in 2015.

    So the way to go for now is to use my HD500 - I can do crazy routing like in the studio, and I can set everything up on Exp pedals which are much more fun to work with than stomp switches (especially while singing!).

    I set everything up in standard 4CM - guitar to POD input, POD fx loop sends to my Amp input, then my Amp's loop sends to POD fx return, and finally POD output goes to Amp's fx return. Now I can put any effects before or after my Amp's preamp section. Good.

    After MUCH careful tweaking and A-B-ing, I got my dry guitar sound very very close to what it is without the POD inline. Really not bad! Unfortunately I like dual effect chains for true crazy studio routing, so that creates all kinds of drama with levels and extra effect blocks used up for summing the 2 paths etc.

    I got some advice from the awesome Sean Halley at Line 6, so I'll be sharing whatever he tells me. But if you guys have any thoughts on this, they are all much appreciated!
  2. zarl

    zarl Member

    Jul 5, 2006
    Northern California
    I used this exact setup for a couple years -- Lonestar Special and HD500 in 4CM. Also, I used a small MIDI Solutions box velcro'd to the HD500 to control channel switching on the Mesa. With a 4 channel snake, this was a clean setup with lots of options. I agree that you can get it set up so that the 4CM doesn't color the tone significantly. I hope Line6 implements delay spillover in patch changes in their next gen unit.
    JB Eckl likes this.
  3. Alex Kenivel

    Alex Kenivel Member

    May 24, 2015
    Bay Area, California
    I've hooked up my HD500X to my Carvin MTS3200, while running studio/direct and it sounded great.

    Sure, it's not what you're "really supposed to do," but it works. I've A/B'd through my 2x12 with V30s, and 2 two-way PA speakers with 12" woofers and they sound so close I cant really tell them apart
  4. lowyaw

    lowyaw Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    Over the pond and far away
    About 2 years, Marshall JCM 2000, cranked clean channel, 4CM, studio / direct. No probs. Very useful, sounds actually much closer to the real deal than a lot of players think. I ran it in "FS5-8" mode, so I could have most switches assigned to FX blocks. One good idea that I overlooked somehow, was creating presets with amp models after POD's fx loop, so you can switch preamps - bypass your amp's pre and replace it with a model - when you need a different vibe.
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  5. mikebat

    mikebat Member

    Jan 8, 2014
    It's cold outside.
    I did it with a Mesa Roadster and it was cool for a while. It takes a lot of time to match the levels and get any digital clock noise under control. In a band context, it worked fine. I had my channel switch footswitch right up against the speaker cab, and the HD500X out front near my mic stand.

    I had 1 bank, with 4 presets for each song, and the top row of switches turned off/on additional effects on each patch if the mood struck me. I usually left the third preset as my lead/volume boost/feature part patch, and #4 as a preset using a wah.

    I did not like turning the wah on while in a patch using the toe switch because sometimes it would cause a short or soemthing and reboot my POD. It happen a few times live, and afterwards I decided the quickest and most reliable way to avoid this is making a dedicated wah patch if the song required it.

    So each song had a bank of 4 patches, with the flexiibility of adding extra fx on the fly. One preset set for solo/boost. One for wah/filter

    When I changed rigs and went to a Marshall JCM800 with a loop, it just did not get the same results from the HD500X. The digital noise was emphasized, and the level matching was MUCH harder. Since I MUCH prefer the Marshall over the Mesa, I rebuilt my rig with pedals on a pedaltrain in a 4cm. I keep the POD for home use and recording demos.
  6. manicompression

    manicompression Member

    Apr 8, 2015
    Cleveland Ohio
    Your idea seems fine but the one thing I would be leary of is the effects loop on the Mesa. I cant speak to the lonestar but on my early 2000s dual rec the effects loop is some wacky serial deal where it cant ever be 100% wet which makes it damn near useless for 4cm use.

    One other consideration would be the effects / memory use in the Pod. I know i rarely hit the limit on mine using just a few effects, but if you want to use a preamp, 2 delays and a particle verb you could hit the wall pretty quickly
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  7. alp

    alp Member

    Jan 9, 2007
    Ankara / Turkey
  8. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Bloomington, IL
    One thing that I wish was an option in the HD500... I get that a good number of people out there like Pietro that are big users of Dual amp paths so you are excused from my following comment... but I wish that the dual path section and mixer section were able to be turned off. In 4CM and for general single amp use I find the mixer block extremely annoying...

    I was using the HD500X in 4CM with a Hughes & Kettner Grand Meister (which has 4 Channels and handles MIDI switching) the HD500X functioned fantastically with... nearly Ideal setup.
  9. CheeseGrater

    CheeseGrater Member

    Jan 12, 2013
    Hampton Roads
    I'm using 4CM with the pod now after previously avoiding it due to tone suck problems. I'm happy and it works great. My advice to anyone else trying to do the same is to stop comparing the dry signal to the Pod processed signal, and just go after good tone - the dry and D/A processed tone will never be the same, at least with the pod as your multi fx, but you can still have a great sounding rig. I don't even think about it anymore when playing.
    Alex Kenivel and lowyaw like this.

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