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Line 6 HD500 vs PODXT Live

Bentayuk

Senior Member
Messages
4,562
I've used a PODXT Live for years, and have a lot of fun with it. But when it comes to recordings, i find it hit and miss and was wondering if its time to upgrade.
How much better is the HD series than the PODXT? Honestly!
Are the tones that much better?
I generally play high gain metal, and prog. So its geared towards that.
 

Tarkus

Member
Messages
466
I think it's better. How much better? No way to quantify it for you. I still use an XTL for some live stuff but mostly as a stomp box modeler, not an amp modeler.
 

jrockbridge

Member
Messages
4,910
I think the HD is a big step forward in terms of dynamic feel and sound. However, I do recall some users were not happy with the limited amp selection in the HD. Specifically, I recall some Heavy Metal players saying they still preferred the X3 or XTL.

I thought my XTL felt stiff and sounded thin plus brittle. I liked the HD500 much better. But, my heaviest tones are Hard Rock and I sold my HD500 in favor of an 11R.

Nobody is qualified to make this determination for you. You're going to have to try the HD500 and decide for yourself. Just make sure to buy from a place with a no-hassle return policy.
 

interestedoz

Member
Messages
61
This is a good question. I have pocket pod , xt, xt live, x3, and hd. In my opinion the hd is superior in terms of feel and response when you play, however not necessarily in terms of recorded sound. I have blind tested another musician with the same song using xt/x3 tones, hd tones and gt-100 tones and that person clearly preferred xt/x3. Hardy a decisive test but I'm not sure the hd necessarily provides a more likeable sound...just my opinion.
 
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CheeseGrater

Member
Messages
709
For higher gain stuff it's much better. When i had the pod XT, i felt the need to run an A/B setup with a tube amp for my main tones, POD XT for cleans and FX. Once i got the HD pro, i was able to run models full-time and ditch the tube amp. It took some experimentation, but my live tones are every bit as good as my other guitarists splawn - except for one dept - fat singing leads - but i've never been that great at dialing in lead tones. that said, my lead tone is plenty good, just not as good as his les paul though splawn quickrod.

here's a medium/high gain demo i threw together (open air digital recorder)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B67Sz5EX77M
 

3dognate

Member
Messages
6,067
The XT Live was a lot easier to get a decent tone quickly... The tones in the HD have a much better touch/feel. Dialing in a tone with the HD takes some real effort in the deep editing parameters for crunch/high gain stuff.... The stock cab models have way too much low end information... but they didn't give a global EQ to shelf off the garbage... You can get rid of it but it's on a patch by patch basis... I found that it pissed me off far more than it was worth dealing with... If you are patient with your initial patch creation, you might be good and happy... it's a cabable unit. The XT Live I had was good and usable... there's a band I see occasionally, singer/guitarist plays an XT Live and the Lead plays an HD500... Singer has a better ear and gets probably a better tone in the FOH mix... But I blame that on the lead player's stone ear. Good player... **** for ears though.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,436
I had an XT and an X3Live. Both not good enough, imho, for recording.

The HD 500, imho, definitely IS, although I often use Logic's sims (they are okay overall, but very good at the sounds in my head).

It's a worth upgrade. I did NOT look back.
 

onedge custom

Member
Messages
178
I had the XT Bean (still do actually) and the HD500 Pro.

the HD is better - better effects, better routing options (both real and virtual), better QUALITY of models, overall better sounds.

the XT has some wins against the HD though - better/simpler patch setting (MUCH easier), better VARIETY of high gain models (I wish we could get the "Criminal" model from the XT in a HD form!!!)

I also have the Torpedo CAB and this combined with the HD is an order of magnitude improvement over the XT.
 
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interestedoz

Member
Messages
61
Hasn't the POD XT and X3 been used extensively on recordings the world over though? And hit records as well?

Also, does anyone know how extensively/successfully the HD has been used on released recordings yet?

For people who say the HD has better sounds, I am curious if you have ever A/B tested legacy line 6 sounds against the HD sounds in a blind test situation to see what listeners prefer?

Sorry for so many questions in one post!! hehe
 

deanesque

Member
Messages
778
Hasn't the POD XT and X3 been used extensively on recordings the world over though? And hit records as well?

Also, does anyone know how extensively/successfully the HD has been used on released recordings yet?

For people who say the HD has better sounds, I am curious if you have ever A/B tested legacy line 6 sounds against the HD sounds in a blind test situation to see what listeners prefer?

Sorry for so many questions in one post!! hehe
I had an HD500 for about year and could never get it to sound as warm and fat or like a real amp the way previous Pods did.
 

interestedoz

Member
Messages
61
I had an HD500 for about year and could never get it to sound as warm and fat or like a real amp the way previous Pods did.

In my opinion there is a "sterility" to the HD sound that is a problem. Like I said above, it responds more realistically when playing it but just doesn't sound as good as earlier generation POD's, but again, this is just my humble opinion.

Very keen to hear what others think!!
 

JackJordan

Member
Messages
1,357
I was able to get real good tones out of the Pod XT, but I always much preferred my amp and pedals.

I decided to try the HD500, and liked it as much, and often better, than my amps and pedals. I have since then sold thousands of dollars worth of gear and kept the HD500. I gig with it regularly and with great results. I feel that the HD series is much more "amp" like... but I don't use all the models (pretty much the JTM, AC30, & 65' reverb).

That's just been my experience. I think I'm done with pedals and amps, but will spring for the next gen of pods to see if I like them better.

:)
 

RipperShred

Member
Messages
473
I LOVE my HD Pro! If they ever get around to adding a VH4, Herbert, and XTC it could easily be the last modeler I'm inclined to buy! Otherwise, does everything I need and want.

It's fat, warm, punchy and has great cleans, rhythm and leads. Can't be beat for the money.
 

interestedoz

Member
Messages
61
I LOVE my HD Pro! If they ever get around to adding a VH4, Herbert, and XTC it could easily be the last modeler I'm inclined to buy! Otherwise, does everything I need and want.

It's fat, warm, punchy and has great cleans, rhythm and leads. Can't be beat for the money.
Perhaps a POD XT Pro or POD X3 Pro might beat it for the money though? IMO it depends on what people are looking for taking into factors such as playability, sound preference etc

Cool that you love the HD - I like line 6 in general :)
 

onedge custom

Member
Messages
178
For people who say the HD has better sounds, I am curious if you have ever A/B tested legacy line 6 sounds against the HD sounds in a blind test situation to see what listeners prefer?
Sort off... I had a blind set up done by a mate where we tweaked the Treadplate, the Angel Fball and the SLO models on both the XT and the HD and then he switched between the two while I played.

In terms of sound I will admit it's actually quite close. In terms of feel, I preferred the HD models.

Now... And this is a significant point for me, with the HD you can have multiple EQ's in the signal chain and use these as a quasi mastering process to really tailor your sound, with the XT you get one and it's fixed in its position. To be fair when we tested we only used the studio Eq in the HD and only in a pre amp position to have apples for apples comparison. In this case it's very close as stated.

BUT, when you add multiple EQ in multiple positions both pre and post amp and then add an external IR unit like the CAB... Forget it... HD will sound far better to all ears than the XT. Without the CAB, it is still an easy win for the HD.
 

MKB

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,652
The HD really kills the XT in the little micro tonal details such as how your pick sounds when it hits the strings, and your fingers rubbing the strings when you fingerpick. That stuff is totally lost in the XT. Some folks don't care about such things, but they are important to me.

That being said, the XT does have advantages and I can see why some folks still like them. But IMHO there is no comparison; the HD models are more transparent sounding, the models sound more different between each other than in the XT, and the live playing feel is much better with the HD.

The HD still has issues; it is very hard to EQ in the mix. This may be one reason that external IR units are so popular with the HD.
 

Badside

Member
Messages
1,552
The HD still has issues; it is very hard to EQ in the mix. This may be one reason that external IR units are so popular with the HD.
Well I've noticed that a lot of amp models are really lacking in mids, which tend to make them sound better when playing alone, but hard to place in a mix.

I've started using the same cab and mic model for everyone of my patch to help the soundman's job, as it creates a better continuity. I settled with the "Blackback" (Marshall with V30s) with the e609 mic. Then I tweak the "power amp distortion" control (aka in the Master Volume in the deep settings), when it's too high it tends to accentuate the mid scoop. On top of that I use the built-in hi-pass filter in the cab settings to remove the mud under 80Hz and tweak the cab resonance to get good presence without being too bright. I boot the thump a bit to make it sound like there's good bass despite the hi-pass (so it sounds fat but doesn't fight with the bass guitar).

It's true the XT was easier to place in the mix, but it also sounded much more artificial. My RP70 is also easy to place in the mix... with its cocked wah high-gain tone...
Balancing good tone and good balance in the mix is complicated even with real tube amps. Using modellers makes it a bit harder since you're most likely sharing monitoring with vocals.
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,436
It's true the XT was easier to place in the mix, but it also sounded much more artificial.
For sure.

I find that there are only 2 or 3 amp models I favor anymore. They happen to be the ones that fit best in the mix for the music I make in the space I work in. They happen to be the Plexi, the Clean Soldano, and the Twin right now.

I love some of the others (like the Dr. Z), but some of them just don't clean up enough for my uses.
 

jrockbridge

Member
Messages
4,910
....For people who say the HD has better sounds, I am curious if you have ever A/B tested legacy line 6 sounds against the HD sounds in a blind test situation to see what listeners prefer?
I never did a blind test. IMO there is a noticeable improvement in both feel and sound to the same amp models on the HD vs the XT/X3. IMO the touch sensitivity, ability to control sound through varied playing dynamics as well as guitar volume roll-off interaction are all much better on the HD. I would describe the general sound difference from XT/X3 to HD as more headroom or improved realism.

Your question reminded me of a demo I came across on YT. There is a blind test at the end ~6:36. The video compares 3 models on the X3 vs HD. The video is not in English, but there are some English subtitles on the left.

There is a High Gain comparison at about 5:10. Obviously, you can't feel the differences listening to this video, but I think you can hear differences even with the typical extreme compression that happens to web audio. In my experience, any slight difference you can hear on a YT video is MUCH more obvious in person.

Comparison at ~1:46, ~3:49, ~5:10(Bogner Uberschall), Blind Test ~6:36.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLGkptDdJ1A

 
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