Pod HD500: 3rd time lucky (sort of)

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by The Interceptor, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. The Interceptor

    The Interceptor Member

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    I've had the Pod HD Desktop a couple of times but got frustrated with it and let it go both times. I use my 11R as my main device, straight to an Alto TS112A, and that works well; however, I have this nagging feeling I needed to properly experience the HD500. Also it could function as the backup if/when my 11R has a hiccup.

    Today I picked up a pristine 2nd hand HD500 for a sensible price. I quickly got a halfway reasonable Engl tone, and the compressor + Fender amp tone is great (as I remembered from the Desktop version). I'm not having so much luck with the Marshall patches though. The user interface is ok, not as good as 11R or Boss GT100, but easy enough. I just wish it had some sensible EQs.

    The form factor is excellent - I can see why these things are popular. It remains to be seen if I can get tones that are 90-95% of the 11R. More to come.
     
  2. mojah

    mojah Member

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    Good luck. I found it to be a big time pit
    - black hole. The form factor is great. I wish my 11R had that. Maybe with the epsi and some Ir's mine could be usable again. The cab / mic models in the HD are horrible.
     
  3. Noise Under The Floor

    Noise Under The Floor Supporting Member

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    I'm giving it a 3rd try myself. Had an HD500 a while back and it was buggy/glitchy. Liked some of the tones I was getting, but ultimately had to return it due to the bugs. They apparently worked those out in a firmware update. So, then I got an HD desktop for a crazy low price when one store was blowing them out. Used it for a while but later sold it to fund a a Strymon BigSky. Recently though, I've needed an easy all-in-one solution to play with headphones and be able to just grab and go. Picked up a 500HDX last week in the Emporium from another member. It'll probably stick around a for a while this time.....at least until that new Fractal AxeFx floor unit comes out. :crazy

    I agree with you though, I had a hard time getting decent Marshall sounds out of it. The JCM 800 is probably one of the worst sounding models they have in there. On its own, it sounds nothing like any 800 I've ever owned. The secret though is to put the Tube Screamer pedal model in front of it and apply and tweak some additional EQ after the amp in the path. Its funny though, my go to higher gain amp in the HD was the Treadplate, when outside of the POD I actually can't stand Rectos. Go figure. FWIW, I believe Line 6 now has an tweaked and "improved" JCM 800 model in the latest firmware update.
     
  4. The Interceptor

    The Interceptor Member

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    Well, so far so good; I have few decent patches and I have got the hang of the para EQ.

    Does anyone know how to "fast scroll" (or coarse adjust) on the parameter knob? Cranking that to drop from say 2000 kHz down to 0.25 Hz takes forever!
     
  5. Pietro

    Pietro 2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy

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    The global EQ that's coming could change a LOT of things for everybody...

    btw, that Marshall sound you're looking for? Have you tried the Park?
     
  6. Jdstrat

    Jdstrat Supporting Member

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    The Marshall and Vox amps seem to require more extreme adjustments to find the pocket with them, in my experience. When I build patches, these are the steps I always take for classic blues and rock tones:

    --lower amp drive to around 30, or at edge of breakup
    --set channel volume to 12:00
    --lower amp master volume to about 30-50
    --the above three parameters are the holy trinity of parameters to dial in an amp's starting point, imho
    --set low cut DEP to 120

    Other things I have in every patch:
    --add a tube comp first in the signal chain, dial it back to unity gain and bring it up slowly to bring out the best in my pickups
    --add a reverb after the mixer block
    --switch out mics to taste
    --sometimes I set a tube screamer right before the amp, set between 15-25 for lead tone.

    I cheat a little and use an EHX Soulfood in the FX loop after the comp.

    Maybe something in there might be useful.
     
  7. Jdstrat

    Jdstrat Supporting Member

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    The knobs are velocity sensitive. Spin it faster for a faster adjustment, slower for slower. I'm not sure whether every parameter works this way though.
     
  8. CowTipton

    CowTipton Silver Supporting Member

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    What particular Marshall sound are you looking for? Can you cite examples?
     
  9. Digital Igloo

    Digital Igloo Member

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    Remember, POD HD's deep cab parameter defaults are global—the same for every cab. That is, they won't be appropriate for every style of playing.

    For example, if you're djenting, you'll want to drop the Res Level and maybe boost the Low Cut a bit.
     
  10. The Interceptor

    The Interceptor Member

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    Well, what I would consider the usual suspects: late 70s hard rock/heavy metal such as Judas Priest, Scorpions, UFO etc. 1984 era Iron Maiden. Also Gary Moore's Still Got the Blues tone would be nice! And finally, some lower gain AC/DC would be good too.
     
  11. Tmidiman

    Tmidiman Member

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    Try this - Res to zero, ER to Zero.

    Now build from there what you want.
     
  12. The Interceptor

    The Interceptor Member

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    Well so far I'm pretty happy. I've got a couple of Marshall patches working pretty well using the Plexi Lead 100 Bright (I never use the JCM800 because it was always a sub-optimal model in the Pod HD range IMO). Tweaking that with the para-EQ, a bit of EV reduction and thump increase, and I'm close to my expected tone.

    I've got a solid Fender patch in development. This is easy because I always thought the Pod HD did a great job of compressor + clean Fender amp (with all of the variants). I can't wait to add the opto-tremolo because that was one of my all time favourite tremolo effects (including some fancy pedals).

    In the high gain space the Engl will be the answer. That is perhaps the least developed for me but it has promise.

    Overall this is working out better than I expected. The feel and volume-roll-off performance is not as good as the 11R, but it's not a disaster either. I think the clean Fender tone is possibly better than my 11R equivalent.
     
  13. CowTipton

    CowTipton Silver Supporting Member

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    What are you running it through?

    If it's two monitors (or direct to soundboard/computer) try dual amp patches especially for high gain. I think it really excels at that.
     
  14. The Interceptor

    The Interceptor Member

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    I'm using a single Alto TS112A, so not an option for me.
     
  15. chumbucket

    chumbucket Supporting Member

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    I dug the Pod HD bean when I had it. The Bassman amp sounded great to me.
    I never used the unit itself for tweaking, only the editing program. Much faster.
    As someone else stated, for heavy tones, go with two different amps in stereo. It took me only a matter of minutes to dial in something heavy as hell.
     
  16. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

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    One neat trick you can do with the HD is do downloads from Line 6's CustomTone web site page. Have your HD on the same computer and the editor open, and you can drag/drop the downloaded tones to your HD and try them out immediately. There are quite a few tone examples from other players that fit the categories you mention. I've found this to be very useful to get you in the ballpark for setting up the HD for a particular tone.

    As DI said in an earlier post, watch those deep cab parameters. The cab sims on the HD is its weakest link, and getting the deep parameters wrong can only make it worse. And sometimes the default settings can be improved by tweaking the deep parameters.
     
  17. Funky Monkey

    Funky Monkey Member

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    You can still run two amps in the HD500. The output/number of speakers doesn't matter. Just adjust the pan in the mixer section to 0 instead of hard left/right.
     
  18. The Interceptor

    The Interceptor Member

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    I've been continuing to tweak (as a HD500 owner is bound to do!) and I've concluded that my favourite amps are the Soldano OD and crunch. They are very close to spot on for me, with the tube driver in front. I suspect the Marshall amp sims might not get much of a look in now.
     
  19. The Interceptor

    The Interceptor Member

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    I'll just continue this discussion with myself. So I thought I was making progress with patch development, then I compared some of my higher gain patches to the equivalent on my 11R. Big mistake! The 11R sounded a lot crisper, so I had to go back into the HD500 to rework a few combinations. Some new cab selections and I'm back on track. Not sure I'm in 11R territory though...probably should promise myself not to fire up the 11R for a few days.
     

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