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  • That's been my experience too. The first thing that I did when I got my HD500 was to dump all of the presets and start over. My sounds work for me much better than some one elses.
    Carvin DC400; Fender Cyber-Twin head, Carvin 2x12, JTV69, DT25, Epiphone Nite Hawk, Tele squire, Wechter acoustic, Carvin AG 1000, Gretch 5120

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    • I have a JTV-69/Pod HD500 rig too, and can empathize with the recent comments. I can get the HD500 to "work" to my satisfaction, but the time investment required to tweak each and every preset I need, is not something I expected when I bought the rig. The Variax works, plays nicely with my conventional amps (i.e. non-DT amps), but the HD500 is just a pain in the neck for me. I basically use it now simply for mode-switching the JTV, and a few effects, and even then I'm tied to the HD500 with the VDI cable, when I would have preferred to remain wireless. I have spent countless man-days trying to get useful tones out of the HD500, and after my band's next gig committment, I WILL be selling the HD500, and reverting to a conventional setup, even if I have to remember to twiddle JTV knobs and tap-dance a bit more on my pedal board!



      The Line6 documentation and obscure settings are part of the problem. If it wasn't for forums like this one, and the Line6 community, I would not get any use out of the HD500 at all.

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      • Quote Originally Posted by LarryLion
        View Post

        I have a JTV-69/Pod HD500 rig too, and can empathize with the recent comments. I can get the HD500 to "work" to my satisfaction, but the time investment required to tweak each and every preset I need, is not something I expected when I bought the rig. The Variax works, plays nicely with my conventional amps (i.e. non-DT amps), but the HD500 is just a pain in the neck for me. I basically use it now simply for mode-switching the JTV, and a few effects, and even then I'm tied to the HD500 with the VDI cable, when I would have preferred to remain wireless. I have spent countless man-days trying to get useful tones out of the HD500, and after my band's next gig committment, I WILL be selling the HD500, and reverting to a conventional setup, even if I have to remember to twiddle JTV knobs and tap-dance a bit more on my pedal board!



        The Line6 documentation and obscure settings are part of the problem. If it wasn't for forums like this one, and the Line6 community, I would not get any use out of the HD500 at all.




        Are you using the computer editor, or trying to do everything from the front panel? Also, have you checked out some of the user preses that are available online, like the ones Dr Funky mentioned several posts back?
        CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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        • Quote Originally Posted by Anderton
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          Are you using the computer editor, or trying to do everything from the front panel? Also, have you checked out some of the user preses that are available online, like the ones Dr Funky mentioned several posts back?




          Craig, I'm using the computer editor, and I tried the suggested presets - a lot of them, actually. Basically, I view the 500HD as a glorified switcher now, with a few exceptions. As I said, the time investment required to get patches sounding half decent is just ridiculous. And, one thing I forgot to mention, if (as I did), you create the perfect patch for, say, a Mesa Boogie rig, when you take it over to a Fender, forget about it. Yet, if I skip the 500HD, and plug the Variax directly into another amp, I can get useful tones in seconds, usually. If that happens in a remote location, on a strange amp, forget about quickly twiddling knobs on the HD500, when you don't have a computer & the Editor SW handy. Either I am missing something fundamental with the Line6 setup, or it's just not designed to be used in all configurations. I suspect the latter - this gear (HD500, Variax, DT amps) were designed, first and foremost, to work together, so integration with 3rd party gear is, not surprisingly, sub-optimal.



          I'm not investing in the DT amplifiers, nice as they might be. Once bitten, twice shy. But I am hanging around, with bated breath, for your HD500 review section of this excellent review.



          Larry

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          • I would be the first to say that taming amp sims is not easy. However, I've been doing it for a long time; at this point, I find it very easy to get the types of sounds I want. The key for me is EQ.



            As the HD500 has been around a while and I already did a review when it first came out, perhaps that part of this pro review should concentrate more on tips and techniques.



            One more question: When you create presets that end up going into different amps, are you using the HD500's cabinet and amp emulations? With one sound design project, I needed to create sounds that worked with a wide variety of amps. There were definitely some specialized techniques I had to do to make that work, but once I figured it out, the amp to amp variations pretty much reflected only the characters of the amps themselves. IOW my assumption was that if someone wanted to go through a Marshall, they were doing so because they wanted it to sound like a Marshall.
            CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

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            • Quote Originally Posted by LarryLion
              View Post

              Craig, I'm using the computer editor, and I tried the suggested presets - a lot of them, actually. Basically, I view the 500HD as a glorified switcher now, with a few exceptions. As I said, the time investment required to get patches sounding half decent is just ridiculous. And, one thing I forgot to mention, if (as I did), you create the perfect patch for, say, a Mesa Boogie rig, when you take it over to a Fender, forget about it. Yet, if I skip the 500HD, and plug the Variax directly into another amp, I can get useful tones in seconds, usually. If that happens in a remote location, on a strange amp, forget about quickly twiddling knobs on the HD500, when you don't have a computer & the Editor SW handy. Either I am missing something fundamental with the Line6 setup, or it's just not designed to be used in all configurations. I suspect the latter - this gear (HD500, Variax, DT amps) were designed, first and foremost, to work together, so integration with 3rd party gear is, not surprisingly, sub-optimal.



              I'm not investing in the DT amplifiers, nice as they might be. Once bitten, twice shy. But I am hanging around, with bated breath, for your HD500 review section of this excellent review.



              Larry




              Hi Larry,

              I hear what you are saying, and by the way, I read your note on Line 6 forum today and agree with your suggestions. As Craig says, taming amp sims is not easy. Don't give up on the HD 500 so easily. It is really quite powerful but it is a little complex to get great tones out of, and really needs a lot of attention in terms of tweaking. When I work with presets I find basic amps and ideas that have some sonic potential, then I work with them until they sound great with my system. I would expect that anyone who would try or work with presets that I have placed on Customtone.com would have to tweak heavily for their own systems to make it work. After all we may be using different string gauges. different amps, and tastes in distortion, EQ and effects are certainly different. I do put all optional effects on foot switches 1-4 for people to try them or ignore them at their pleasure.



              I find that presets on the HD units with full amps and cab/mics ~ may work for people but only under low volume conditions (home/ studio etc), but for gigging volumes, I now make my presets without full amp models (preamps only and no cab models). the reason for this is that I find that I get the best sound going into the power amps in of tube amps ( I have Marshall DSL combo, and a Fender Hotrod both work well). But, seem to get the best sound going thru a Line 6 Spider Valve (no surprise there), and the best tone of course is thru the DT amp using the Line 6 link. the reason for that of course is that when you go from HD unit to DT amps thru L6 link you can instantly change the class A/ AB, NFL topology I- IV, and Triode/ pentode output. these are all analog settings affecting the power tubes in these Bogner designed amps. Not only do they sound great, but it makes the system even more versatile and allows you to make changes in power amp output sounds that you never could have achieved before.



              Finally, I discovered that the presets really sound terrific in stereo if you set them up right. using some simple stereo effects (if you use effects) like chorus or stereo/ ping pong delays can make a patch sound much more interesting. I also found that the dual path presets (usually using 2 amps same model with different settings or 2 completely different amps) just can sound delicious coming out of 2 real tube power amps. You really can't successfully get the sound of 2 amps going out of 1 amp. They don't even have to be 2 DT amps. I use the Spider Valve and the DT myself. But, I can easily see someday getting a 2cd DT amp (when my wife doesn't notice a new member of our family so to speak).



              I was quite disappointed when I first got the HD 500. The presets were almost completely useless to me as a musician. I realized that Line 6 was using them to demonstrate effects or just to show a bare amp model so that people knew what was available in the unit. It is up to us to make it sound useful though. I suggest going back to Customtone and finding people who get a lot of 4 and 5 star ratings with their presets. Take a few that sound like they might be promising and tweak until it sounds good through your system. I do notice it is much trickier if you are going in through the front of an amp than just using its power amp in to dial in good tones from the HD unit. And I would really suggest going to a store and trying out a DT amp. Being able to change the NFL topology and class for any preset makes a HUGE difference in the tone you can get out of it. I put DT information in all my presets (as well as JTV settings), but these are just suggestions to people for starting points for their own presets. In the end, we all arrive at our own idea of the best tone. Goodluck, and have fun!

              Funky

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              • I'd appreciate the HD500 tips and tricks, if you have any. To answer your question, I've tried the amp and cab sims, but they tend to make things worse, especially if you are using different amps. I do use a Fender amp/cab sim on a patch for a Doors song, simply because I could not get a Gibson SG sound any other way.



                I am using the exact amp that I've developed patches on, for the gigs. Fewer surprises that way.



                Using amp/cab patches is fine if you're going direct to PA. I've tried that, and it works fine, but won't solve my particular issues. I've also tried bypassing the preamp of my Mesa and Fender, but that is also unsat to my ears.



                I'm hoping that Line6 creates a simple, VDI or wireless (!!) stompbox simply for amp & Variax switching, i.e Variax model and tuning, acoustic and electric amps, mono and stereo, that sort of thing. I'm pretty sure there is a market for a gizmo like that, for those folks who want to stay with conventional gear, aside from the JTV itself.

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                • I have a little radical solution for you to try... First you need an amp that you can get good clean and distorted tones from and be able to switch channels on. One of your own amps that you like and know well. Bring it with you to a music store with your JTV Variax and Pod HD. Next use a Dummy pedal that goes out in stereo. I have tried a Digitech Hardwire Delay, but any Stereo out chorus unit would be just as good. Power off, must be true bypass. one out going into your familiar amp rig front end, and the other into Your Pod HD now L6 linked to a DT 25 or 50 amp. Try matching clean presets to clean on the DT and similar with your dirty stuff. I think you will be surprised, no amazed at the results! JTV 1/4' out to dummy stereo out pedal, one out put to your amp of choice (with foot controlled channel switching), the other out to Pod HD L6 linked to a DT amp. Put some presets in the HD that have DT info that you can switch when you change HD patches. I will be surprised if you don't want to buy the DT amp on the spot. Just please do them a favor and don't play "Stairway to Heaven" for the umpteenth time that day.

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                  • I really have to agree with the previous comments that the DT25 just makes the HD500 work better. I was always wrestling with the pod to try and get something useful out of it. I got the DT25 and straight away, the ability to get useful tones out of the pod was increased dramatically. Everything just sounded right. In fact, I found it difficcult to get a bad sound. This was the opposite of the experience when I just had the pod. I could get okay sounds but I was always changing the settings because it didn't sound right. Now I spend about 15 mins pulling together a tone and then about 30 mins setting up the effects and delays I want. Everything else is minor tweaking that I would do with any amp.



                    +1 on going and at least trying one out. It can't hurt.

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                    • Here is a question that Line 6 refuses to answer on their forums. What 4 amp models in the HD 500 correspond to the amp models in the DT 25? The manual says that any fiddling you do on the amp will change that parameter on the HD 500. That seems to be the case on everything but the model switch. The number will change on the amp, but when the link cable is plugged in, the model doesn't change. I'd love to dial in a tone on the amp and save it to a preset but it doesn't seem possible.

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                      • Craig, First off thanks for the in depth review, I really appreciate it (as well as thanks to all who have posted). I have The HD 500, am getting a JTV 59 shortly and have the DT 25 at the top of the gas list. Anywho, being somewhat of a noob with the HD 500 (which I love), I was hoping you would expand on the EQ portion of it and how you use it to get better tones. I can modify patches from the Line6 site and build some basic ones, but the EQ has always eluded me in terms of how to use it. You mentioned it was your key to getting good tone, so any chance there will be a little tutorial of sorts on how to use the EQ in the HD 500?
                        "Ish What did I just say ?"

                        "Um... I think I tore my sac "

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                        • I have found that for me, my HD400 works best into a full range system keyboard/acoustic guitar amp not a guitar amp. I setup my presets for the amplification i'm going to use them on. I have several patches tweaked to my amps but most of those have the sim turned off.



                          I mostly use a small stereo PA system. I like that it works just as well for my keyboards and acoustic guitars as with my HD400. And since its coloration is much less, I can do most of the setup using headphones and then tweak them as desired in the full rig at gig volume.

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                          • Quote Originally Posted by Futuresman
                            View Post

                            I can modify patches from the Line6 site and build some basic ones, but the EQ has always eluded me in terms of how to use it. You mentioned it was your key to getting good tone, so any chance there will be a little tutorial of sorts on how to use the EQ in the HD 500?




                            There will be now
                            CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                            Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                            • Quote Originally Posted by kbeaumont
                              View Post

                              I have found that for me, my HD400 works best into a full range system keyboard/acoustic guitar amp not a guitar amp. I setup my presets for the amplification i'm going to use them on. I have several patches tweaked to my amps but most of those have the sim turned off.




                              Excellent point, and one I should have brought up myself. Before the DT25 showed up , I used only the Bose L1 for stage use on gigs in the US where I brought the gear. For gigs in Europe, I could use my same setup up to the input of the L1, but instead plug it into a PA. This gave me a consistent sound.



                              I think that in the future, it's mostly likely that I'll continue using the L1 for a variety of reasons, including that using synths is part of my act and they feed it as well. However, for recording, the DT25 is about as good as it gets. I've tried Dr Funky's suggestion for a stereo setup, and experimented with splitting to a Peavey Windsor and DT25. They like each other very much



                              Then again if I guest with some other bans solely on guitar, I suspect I'll be using the DT25. It's a simpler solution in that context, not to mention the sound.
                              CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                              • Quote Originally Posted by dramey
                                View Post

                                Here is a question that Line 6 refuses to answer on their forums. What 4 amp models in the HD 500 correspond to the amp models in the DT 25? The manual says that any fiddling you do on the amp will change that parameter on the HD 500. That seems to be the case on everything but the model switch. The number will change on the amp, but when the link cable is plugged in, the model doesn't change. I'd love to dial in a tone on the amp and save it to a preset but it doesn't seem possible.




                                I've listed the corresponding amp models for the dt25 in post #224 on Page 12. I'm not from line 6 and certainly not an expert, but I'm guessing the reason why the amp model does not change in the pod when thee topology switch is changed is because the model depends on more than the topology; it's also the class and pentode/triode. Maybe they figure that if you were doing drastic changes like that you would most likely creating a whole new patch and want to do it thought he pod or with Edit.



                                There has been considerable speculation about how closely the models in the Dt25 (set up as on the info plate on top) match those in the pod in other forums. Several members have done extensive testing and concluded that they are the same , but the plethora of options inside the pod make it difficult. Again, line 6 have not come out to tell users what the settings should be to match those of the dt25. It seems like it shouldn't be this hard if they are the same models, but anyone who has gone into the deep editing parameters of the pod knows how extensive they can get.



                                I can post links to the conversations about this (on the line 6 forum) if it is allowed in here (Craig?).

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