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Pod HD Pro or Eleven Rack


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  • Pod HD Pro or Eleven Rack

    I've been thinking about upgrading my preamp. At the moment I'm using the original Pod Pro through a Peavey Classic 120 poweramp. I get a great tone and I really like the Pod Pro but, I really like the idea of using a great sounding preamp as an interface for recording. The Pod Pro doesn't have that because it's so old so I've looked at a couple of options.

    Pod Pro HD. The latest of the Pod Pro's, USB for using as an interface, great sounds, dual amp feature and affordable.

    Eleven Rack. Pretty much the same as the Pod Pro HD (though I'm not sure if it has that dual amp thing).

    I've watched videos and listened to clips of both and they both sound great. There's even a video of some guy comparing his Mesa Road King to the Eleven Rack and I couldn't tell the difference between to two.

    So what I'm asking is which one would you go for and your reasons why?

    Also, don't mention Axe FX that's way too much than what I'd be willing to pay.
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  • #2
    I've never used the AVID Eleven Rack, and I am relatively new to POD, being a Roland/BOSS devotee for a decade or so.

    That said, my impression is that you can dial in great tones with any of these current boxes. What I have liked about the POD is that it seems like th euser base really informs the direction of the gear. Roland/BOSS doesn't give a **************** about the user base at all. They still make nice gear, but they have huge blind spots. That said, the POD (even the HD) is WAYYYYYYY less spectacular than I was led to believe by the evangelists out there that helped to inform my decision to leave Roland/BOSS. Why? I had learned to tweak the Roland Boss stuff.

    So, I guess it really boils down to what you want and how you like to work more than quality of sound IMO - you can get a great guitar sound out of any of this stuff.
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    • #3
      I've had an Eleven Rack for quite a while. I brought home an HD500 recently (and installed 2.0x firmware before testing) and returned it after a week.

      The HD500 has a lot going for it. The physical construction and the UI usability are both better than anything I've previously seen from Line6 (and I've tried most of their guitar gear). The variety of FX, amps and routing and control options on the HD500 far exceeds that available on the Eleven Rack.

      That's the good news. The bad news is that features and options don't automatically equate to great sound. I spent five hours over five days trying to dial in an accurate-sounding Fender Twin on the HD500. That should be easy, right? Clean amps are a walk in the park for most modelers. Well, not for the HD500. When played moderately, the HD500's Twin was as good as the Eleven Rack's. But when hit hard, the HD500 Twin choked. Not clipping; just not sounding like a pushed Twin. Where the Eleven Rack (and a real Twin) produces a "zing" in the upper registers when hit hard, the HD500 produced more of a "thwok".

      I wouldn't say that the HD500 is bad. I like a lot of things about the HD500. I could even see building tracks (or playing live) using some of the cool FX-heavy patches. But my hope for the HD500 - that I'd be able to use it as a lightweight alternative to my Eleven Rack rig - was not met. I depend upon the sound and feel of the cleaner amps on the Eleven Rack; the HD500 was not able to deliver comparable behavior.

      I think you'll be very happy moving from a Pod Pro to an HD. Line6 really has made noticeable improvements in their modeling. If you like doing cool stuff with FX, the HD500 has a lot to offer. Frankly, I'm surprised that more isn't made of the routing and control options offered by the HD500; in that sense, at least, it really is a poor-man's Axe-FX.

      If you're yearning for the performance of "real" amp, though, I'd suggest giving the Eleven Rack an audition. You give up a lot in terms of options and routing, but the sims are outstanding. To take best advantage of the Eleven Rack, I'd suggest that you play it through some quality full-range speaker cabs.

      I'll reiterate what BrianMichael said: you can get a great sound out of any of the current crop of modelers. They're not interchangeable, though. All have their strengths and weaknesses, both tonally and operationally. Make sure that you understand what's most important to you, then audition all of the units that you think might meet your needs.
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      • #4
        I'd consider the Digitech 1101.


        • #5

          Quote Originally Posted by Task
          View Post

          I'd consider the Digitech 1101.

          You listen here you square headed fox, don't you derail this thread to another cool piece of tech!!!!


          • #6
            I had an 1101 from the time it launched until the 11R hit the market. I also bought (and returned) the HD500 after comparing it to my 11R. The 11R, to me, does a much better job of capturing the "feel" of an amp than the current generation of Pods. I have compared it extensively (side by side for two weeks) to the Axe FX Ultra and, though the Ultra has many more effects, the basic amp tones on the 11R sounded more musical and felt more responsive. I do currently run an AxeFX standard with my 11R, but I am using the AxeFX only for the pitch functions and some esoteric effects. To me, the basic effects on the 11R are as good as the similar options on the Fractal units. I can see myself keeping the 11R and remaining happy with it for many more years.


            • #7
              I've had the HD500 since it came out; I love it. I used it as a live multifx for a while too. But I use it at home either direct to my PC for guide tracks or, when practicing, on my Marshall EL34 100w.

              I've used an 11r and I've been impressed. No more or less than my Pod HD500, but the biggest detractor of the 11r for me is essentially being locked into ProTools. Not that PT is bad, but all my projects over the last decade are Cubase-based and I have no intention to change!

              So, in short, I'd suggest the Pod HD Pro for that reason, but the 11R is very good too. I don't think you will be dissatisfied with either one on a sonic level.
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              • #8
                I have both Eleven Rack and a HD500. I've used Line 6 products since the original red bean POD 1.0, than 2.0, XT, X3 and now the HD series. I have only had the Eleven rack for a week or two. As far as amp models go, I think the 11r edges out the HD500. The HD500 has some pluses like the dual amps and the effects are great. The 11r has something extra going on that gives it more of an amp feel. Currently I will use the 11r in my studio and the HD500 for live shows. In the future I will likely set-up the HD500 to act as just a midi controller for the 11r. If I do that, I will miss a couple of the HD500s amp models though. I like the DrZ, and the Supro is cool for slide. So even though I like a lot of the features on the HD500 if I go purely based on Tone, I would have to give my vote to the Eleven Rack (plus it's an interface).