Thinking about going digital (HD500): need advice on amplifying

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by jmp, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. jmp

    jmp Supporting Member

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    I've really been enjoying my GDEC3 lately, so much so that I'm thinking of getting my first big-boy digital rig. My sights are set on the Line 6 HD500. I like the feature set and the samples on YouTube sound dead-on to my ears. However, I'm confused as to how to go about amplifying the unit.

    I'm considering either the Line 6 DT25 amp, a Tech 21 Power Engine or a QSC 8 FRFR monitor.

    Could someone give me a concise run down of the general pros and cons to each potential option?

    As to which one might best meet my needs, I will be using the HD500 mostly at home and anticipate a lot of lower volume use with the occasional times when I will have he house to myself and will want to turn it up and get that "loud amp in a room" sensation. I don't gig (maybe once every 2-3 years) so that's less of a consideration.

    Thanks for your time.

    -Mike
     
  2. Chris Martins

    Chris Martins Member

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    You should probably get the DT25 then. Everybody is raving about the combination of both units, and rightly so. 25 watts is loud enough to get those walls shaking.
     
  3. DarrenTD

    DarrenTD Member

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    I would go with the DT25 also, out of the choices you've listed anyway. If you decide on FRFR, I suggest checking out the RCF line before the QSC stuff. IMO of course.
     
  4. geoangus

    geoangus Member

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    Mike,

    I'm playing pretty much as regularly as you are, and I went down the same path last year and ended up with the QSC k12 to go with my HD500. Sounds pretty darn good, but not the same as an amp in the room.

    I'm not sure if I'd repeat that route or not. I've heard great things about the DT50 & DT25 and would definitely consider them. At this point though, I think I'd probably look for a second K12 which would give me a pretty decent PA as well as amplification.
     
  5. Infandy

    Infandy Member

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    I have had an HD500 for about a year now and got a DT25 1x12 combo last November.

    The HD500 was good before I got the DT25 - took me a while to get used to it but when you put in the hours the tones you get can be fantastic (ignore the presets).

    Add the DT25 into the mix and it is even better - - both for in the house (full volume or low volume mode) and for live - i take mine with me every 2 weeks to band practice and it cuts through perfectly. I Can get pretty much any tone I could ask for..... for the money I dont think this combination can be beat.

    I also have studio monitors and a Peavey Classic 30 which i now never use with the HD500 - both sounded good (Classic 30 I used the effects return) but were not a patch on the DT25.

    The DT25 as a stand alone amp is also pretty awesome without the HD500.
     
  6. jmp

    jmp Supporting Member

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    Regarding the DT25 combo, are you satisfied with it or do you sometimes wish you had gotten the head/cab separates? Do you feel the combo has sufficient body and resonance? Does it rattle much at volume?

    -Mike
     
  7. cardinal

    cardinal Member

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    I know this isn't one of the options on your list so feel free to disregard if you've already rejected the idea, but I'm using a modeler with an EHX 22 caliber power amp and my favorite guitar cab. Very inexpensive, sounds great for low volumes, sounds great at obnoxious home theater volumes, and let's me use my preferred guitar cab rather than something I might not like as much. EHX 44 Magnum might be another good option.
     
  8. jmp

    jmp Supporting Member

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    If I already had a separate speaker cab I might consider that. My only amp is an 18 watt Marshall-- probably not the best choice for a modeler output.

    BTW, the Marshall and my remaining pedals will have to go bye-bye to fund this purchase, so I truly will be "going digital" and not looking back. Been putting a lot of thought and soul-searching into this decision.
     
  9. Infandy

    Infandy Member

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    I love the combo - really practical for me and only one box to carry instead of two.

    We play pretty loud at practice... covers of foo fighters, QOTSA, RHCP, AC/DC etc. and I've never had a problem with rattles at volume, although to be fair - I rarely have to go up too high with the volume as 25 watts in the practice room we use is plenty loud enough.

    This is in a sound proofed practice room roughly 40sqm - not had the pleasure of playing it in a big venue yet - but bear in mind it also has direct outs to go to a PA. Maybe someone else could chip in with how this works in practice as I haven't used this feature yet.

    Its a pretty solid (and heavy - reallllly heavy) unit and i've absolutely no complaints or regrets with it.

    Head/Cab does look cool - but the extra cost and 2 boxes instead of 1 swayed me towards the combo. I can carry guitar in 1 hand, amp in the other and HD500 and cables in shoulder bag = 1 trip to and from car! Added bonus of doubling up as like a session at the Gym!
     
  10. GuitarKidd

    GuitarKidd Member

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    To help you feel better about your decision, I have been "digital" from the begining. When I started playing, at first, I borrowed a crappy SS practice amp, when I knew I wanted to play for forever I went digital for a myriad of reasons.

    1. Cost - Modelers give you so much bang for your buck vs. their analog counter parts. They are very family/wife friendly.
    2. Portability - Plug in modeler, plug in guitar, connect to PA, tune, done (maybe a little tweaking of EQ for different PA systems)
    3. Reliability - Haven't had a one crap out on me yet.
    4. Tonal options are HUGE. Think about your possibilities and the creativity they give a player.

    My progression has been this RP100A>GNX3 (bought used sold for used for same price after a 1.5 years)>POD XTL Live (only had for a couple weeks)>GNX3000>RP500>POD HD500.

    I have a Fender Princeton Chorus amp that is solid state. I use it when I need a monitor for my guitar or use it on very rare occasions as the actual amplifier... it doesn't sound that bad at all.
     
  11. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Silver Supporting Member

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    For the most realistic tones at home or live I would probably go for the DT25. I believe that gives you a lot of options at home for both low volume practice AND recording and it also gives you similar options live (HD500 -> DT25 (as backline) + DT25 XLR output to FOH). The integration between the HD500 and DT25 is supposed to be great as well.
     
  12. Lele

    Lele Member

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    Oh, my God. Fellows, what a high volume can you play at home?!!?
    I understand that in Italy (and most Europe) we have a lot of apartments (like mine) so playing at high volume is a major problem, not to mention in the evening when I'm home late. But with a 75W ss amp (just using the return/main in), the few times I use it instead of the headphone, I can just put my RP500 volume at 2 or 3 (it goes from 0 to 99)!!! At the rehearsal room I use it somewhere between 25-50 (it depends if I go into the mixer too or not). So looking at your answers, I feel like laughing or crying (for what I miss).
    My answer to the post of JMP would be so different from yours!

    A tube 25W amp, or a powerful and big ss amp/monitor, for me it seems they are a big waste of money, power, and also they will not render, because of the low volume you will force them. Or maybe I'm completely wrong, and you are lucky and can play at high volume at home...
     
  13. jmp

    jmp Supporting Member

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    Lele,

    So what would you recommend for low volume apartment playing with an HD500 (or similar)?

    -Mike
     
  14. Will Chen

    Will Chen Member

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    I'm not Lele, but to avoid waking my kids late at night its headphones or near field monitors set very low.
     
  15. Pietro

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

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    Studio monitors (bookshelf speaker sized) sitting on foam on a shelf doesn't carry to the next apartment much.

    If you decide on FRFR, check out the threads Jim Soloway has started on the subject over the past few months. LOTS of great info there...
     
  16. Infandy

    Infandy Member

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    A huge feature of the DT25 is the Low Volume switch which basically allows you to get similar tones to what you would be getting with the tubes cranked but at much lower dB.

    With that switch on it's no louder than my TV at normal to low volume and if you need to go really quiet (for me when the kids go to bed) just plug in the headphones to the HD500. I have 2 banks of patches - one for the DT25 and another for Headphones.

    Saying that - I'm not a huge fan of the HD500 through headphones - for me Scuffham S-Gear on my IMAC sounds better and I tend to use that if i'm playing late at night. This is possibly down to my headphones in fairness which are not exactly High End - YMMV

    Luckily I work from home so can crank the amp up during the day when i'm on a "break" ;)
     
  17. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    DT25 by a long shot.

    The HD500 sounds IMHO pretty bloody aweful through headphones and only ok through FRFR. Through a well matched quality tube poweramp/power section it can sound ok to very good depending on how much tweaking you do and how well you match the power amp to it (some are average, some are good, some are great).

    If you want a quiet platform for home use (headphone usage for example) get an Eleven Rack.

    If you want something that sounds like a tube amp for home and jams/small gigs, the HD+DT can't IMHO be beat for the money.
     
  18. Lele

    Lele Member

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    Mike, please bear with me... I'd like to be able to help you, but everybody has such different needs, so maybe I'll say things that are useless to you.

    To be honest, since you said that you don't care about playing live, maybe you don't need a real Full range amp. The theoretic advantage of a frfr amp is that you could tweak a sound on your amp, and get a similar tone with any other amp or pa system. No! I will say it is not so at all, specially if you can't play it at high volume at home. And also in that case some major difference can be expected. So an amp without a tweeter at the end could be easier to get a nicer/smoother tone even if you'll end up adjusting your tones with more treble that you'll have to cut in case you play live (or at higher volume) with a different amp system.

    But you already have a guitar amp (the G-Dec), so I think you should first try with it. Maybe you could use the rear aux in, so that you cut away the (additional) modeler of Fender. Maybe the HD500 modeler + the Fender modeler could clash...

    Or you could try a ss small amp (Peavey Envoy for example that has no loop unfortunately or the powerful Peavey Bandit) or a small tube amp (like Laney LC15-110 - beware of the older LC15/R). Tech21 Power Engine is very good too. But again it is so powerful!
    A favorite monitor here is the expensive FBT Verve 8MA (hey, it's an Italian product!). It's very good, and again VERY powerful. But this could be helpful for a more real full range flat response amp, to be used to adjust the sound for live use later and for monitoring on a stage. We're talking about more than 150W anyway!

    At the end, I'd consider also very small amps with a small speaker (like 6" or so) if you don't mind the little low frequencies you'll get from that kind of stuff (no amp in a room effect unfortunately). They are quite expensive anyway, but very practical, for example: TC-Helicon VSM-200XT, or even studio monitors.

    What I do not like in a small format / close to head use is anyway a speaker with a separate tweeter or with a tweeter that is not coaxial (I mean a different position of the tweeter and the woofer like any or most studio monitors and frfr cabs). You will note immediately that the (treble) tone is very directional, and as soon as you move your head or your position, your tone will be very different. A coxial design is even more helpful for a guitar player in my opinion. But again, studio monitors are always made with a separate tweeter, and are very helpful to listen to a clear mix.

    Now enjoy your choice! But start with your own current amp... ;-)
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  19. Ransome

    Ransome Supporting Member

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    I have to chime in on the DT25. I bought the amp first then added the HD500. So far I have come very close to replicating my pedals with it. The tone alone with the DT25 is amazing as well!
     
  20. veus55

    veus55 Silver Supporting Member

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    I have both the DT25 and QSC K10.

    There is no comparison. The DT25/HD500 is the best tone I have ever had. There are so many options.
    The integration is flawless.
    In order to get the best sound you need to be able to learn how to tweak the HD500. The patches out of the box are useless.
    There are some great patches on Custom tone that you can use as a starting point to getting great tones.

    I am an eclectic player who plays in a covers band with a big range of styles from Hendrix, Beatles, Metallica, Ozzy, Rush to U2, RHCP, etc... I can't think of a better combination than the DT25 and the HD500.

    I also have an Axe Fx II and although the Axe FX II is in a different category when compared to the HD500, I have not been able to get it to sound as good as the DT25/HD500 combo in a live situation.
    Dan
     

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