POD HD500 or Tech 21 Character Pedals For Playing Direct - Live

Pedal-Maniac

Member
Messages
61
I've decided that I'm sick and tired of lugging my 212 combo around when I play live so I'm really considering a direct rig. Can't afford the AXE but the POD HD500 looks interesting. Also alot of folks seem to like the Tech 21 Character pedals for going direct. (British - Blonde - Liverpool - California - Etc.)

I know that the HD500 has the great Effects but I don't necessarily care about effects. I have a TC Electronics Flashback Delay which I love. What I want is realistic (as possible) amp tones direct through the mixer. Has anyone compared the POD HD500 amp models to any of the Tech 21 Character Pedals in a direct live situation?.

I play in a Praise and Worship band so I need a nice clean tone, a low gain slightly broken-up tone and a nice med to high gain tone. I play a Schecter C1 Classic w/ Dimarzio Crunch Lab in the bridge and a Dimarzio PAF Joe in the neck.

I know that nothing compares to a great tube amp thats miced but the size, weight, and convenience of the modeling equipment is what has me wanting to make the switch. Thanks!
 

guitarnet70

Member
Messages
4,179
Have tried the Tech21 stuffs a lot of time ago...just going by memory my vote goes to the HD, though I remember the Liverpool to be very good. If you take 3 Tech21 pedals you're at the same price of an HD and you have 19 amp models less...and no FX's...no-brainer, IMHO
 

Pedal-Maniac

Member
Messages
61
If you take 3 Tech21 pedals you're at the same price of an HD and you have 19 amp models less...and no FX's...no-brainer, IMHO
Yeah, I agree but if the Character series pedals had better amp tone I'd be willing to for-go the bells and whistles of the HD. Unfortunately I don't have a Tech 21 dealer in my area to be able to make the comparison myself.
 

enchan-ted

Member
Messages
221
I bought the Blonde to keep around as a back up. I've plugged it into the PA and it was pretty awful. I own the HD300, which I bought as a back up as well and have used it instead of my amp for the last 2 months.

I run a compressor and an overdrive pedal in front of it and it works just fine. If you were wanting to use any post pre-amp external effects than you definitely want to go with the HD500...the 300 doesn't have an external effects loop.
 

dbun

Member
Messages
844
The HD500 works really well direct in live situations. I'd definitely be looking at one of those.
 
Messages
854
I have the HD500 and a "B" rig of a Liverpool along with an M9 and a Fulldrive. The HD sounds so good, especially after the firmware updates, that I'm thinking of selling the other stuff.
 

Electric I

Member
Messages
3,407
If I was king, all multi boxes would have a loop.

To blend outboard analog od/dist boxes with digital fx is a great choice to have.
 

Pedal-Maniac

Member
Messages
61
Well it sounds like for the money POD HD is the way to go. Is the HD500 worth the extra bucks over the HD300 & 400?
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,440
Well it sounds like for the money POD HD is the way to go. Is the HD500 worth the extra bucks over the HD300 & 400?
YES!

I also have a 500 AND a Character Blonde. The Blonde is a last-resort or "lend to someone" solution. It's VERY limited and the sound is not quite as good.

I'm glad I have it as a backup, though...
 

weshunter

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,237
at first glance, i think i'd prefer the 400 but most ppl on here seem to go for the 500
 

Voxguy76

Member
Messages
450
I have both a HD500 and Tech 21 Liverpool in the effects loop. While I really like most of the amp sims in the Pod, I prefer the Liverpool to the Pod's AC30. Can't comment on the other Tech 21 models but the Liverpool sounds great and works well with the HD500.
 

tech21nyc

Member
Messages
1,699
You can't dispute the bang for the buck factor when it comes to multi-effects-modeler units. I would suggest to the OP if effects are not that important would be to compare just the bare amp tones of the modeler without any effects in order to do an apples to apples comparison without to our products. That way you can evaluate the tonal response and feel of the units without the effects skewing your opinion.
 

danel59

Member
Messages
940
I've decided that I'm sick and tired of lugging my 212 combo around when I play live so I'm really considering a direct rig. Can't afford the AXE but the POD HD500 looks interesting. Also alot of folks seem to like the Tech 21 Character pedals for going direct. (British - Blonde - Liverpool - California - Etc.)

I know that the HD500 has the great Effects but I don't necessarily care about effects. I have a TC Electronics Flashback Delay which I love. What I want is realistic (as possible) amp tones direct through the mixer. Has anyone compared the POD HD500 amp models to any of the Tech 21 Character Pedals in a direct live situation?.

I play in a Praise and Worship band so I need a nice clean tone, a low gain slightly broken-up tone and a nice med to high gain tone. I play a Schecter C1 Classic w/ Dimarzio Crunch Lab in the bridge and a Dimarzio PAF Joe in the neck.

I know that nothing compares to a great tube amp thats miced but the size, weight, and convenience of the modeling equipment is what has me wanting to make the switch. Thanks!
While I don't own an HD500 I have had the opportunity to try one of a friends for a few weeks. I also have owned a Liverpool, British and a California
I currently use an Ethos that I am very happy with the tones, and like you prefer to go direct if at all possible for worship applications esp. While the HD500 may have better tones one thing you have to consider is, do you like tweaking because with my limited access to the HD, there are some good sounds but it does require tweaking to get them and if you don't use a lot of effects ie just your Flashback(I have that one too) it might be worth your while to try a Character or two and go with those.
Of course they need to be worked with to find the tones but if you are used to amps and don't like programming these are definately worth checking out
 

78deluxe

Member
Messages
5,355
I've decided that I'm sick and tired of lugging my 212 combo around when I play live so I'm really considering a direct rig. Can't afford the AXE but the POD HD500 looks interesting. Also alot of folks seem to like the Tech 21 Character pedals for going direct. (British - Blonde - Liverpool - California - Etc.)

I know that the HD500 has the great Effects but I don't necessarily care about effects. I have a TC Electronics Flashback Delay which I love. What I want is realistic (as possible) amp tones direct through the mixer. Has anyone compared the POD HD500 amp models to any of the Tech 21 Character Pedals in a direct live situation?.

I play in a Praise and Worship band so I need a nice clean tone, a low gain slightly broken-up tone and a nice med to high gain tone. I play a Schecter C1 Classic w/ Dimarzio Crunch Lab in the bridge and a Dimarzio PAF Joe in the neck.

I know that nothing compares to a great tube amp thats miced but the size, weight, and convenience of the modeling equipment is what has me wanting to make the switch. Thanks!
I would recommend the PODHD300. It does not sound like you need the 500. And I would recommend the HD300 above the Tech21 pedals. The ability to select different cabinets, mics, reverb, etc on the PODs put them in a different class than the Character pedals when going direct, IMO.
 

BigWave

Member
Messages
501
I've been using my Blonde direct lately and like the ability to tweak on the fly. It's much easier. I have a POD XTL too. If I have a number of amp/speaker/effect/level changes then the POD wins. But if I just need clean/crunch/Dirty, the Blonde with pedals is easier to grab and go.
 

rsm

Member
Messages
14,086
Depending on the sound guy, venue, PA, etc., you may lose some of these nuances in a live setting.

OP, if you want an all in one solution or want a number of amp / cab / mic options the HD series are hard to beat for the price. On the other hand, if you plan to use pedals and only need one style amp, the Character series are hard to beat.

My boards are TC Electronic based, this is a decision I made awhile back, I dig the effects. I run my Liverpool in the insert loop of my G-System for my direct board.

I'd like to see something like the M5 for amp/cab/IR/mic only, and I'd go for it...until then I went back to my Liverpool.

I had a British but sold it as I dig Vox tones more.

Tech 21 should consider creating programmable versions of the Character series with the ability to have 3 presets.

IMO

I would recommend the PODHD300. It does not sound like you need the 500. And I would recommend the HD300 above the Tech21 pedals. The ability to select different cabinets, mics, reverb, etc on the PODs put them in a different class than the Character pedals when going direct, IMO.
 
Last edited:

atson67

Member
Messages
1,194
Yeah, I agree but if the Character series pedals had better amp tone I'd be willing to for-go the bells and whistles of the HD. Unfortunately I don't have a Tech 21 dealer in my area to be able to make the comparison myself.
Have a Liverpool and it sounds much more like an AC30 to me than the HD simulation. Much more important, it sounds really nice and has a good feel to it. If you are after amp simulation in the 1st place, I would prefer the Liverpool over any of the HD amps. BTW I did a side to side comparison between amps (miced/monitored in studio) , the HD 500 and the Liverpool. IMHO of course.
 

guitarnet70

Member
Messages
4,179
The Liverpool is, IMHO, the best Tech21 product to date. If you're after AC-30 sound it is hard to beat, agree. It all depends what you want from your rig. After the last FW update the quality of the other amp models in the HD is, always IMHO, higher then the equivalent on the Tech21 range (Liverpool excluded). At the end it's just a matter of taste, FWIW if I would only be after an AC-30 sound....I would buy one and call the day! :)
Being this not the case I need the flexibility of a modeler.
 




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