Currently Being ModeratedDec 28, 2012 10:40 AM (in response to utubebenscott)Re: POD HD500 into Mesa Boogie Lonestar
If you want to use the preamp tones from the Lonestar but just use FX from the Pod then check out the four cable method.
The method, and why it is used, is described in the doc here ==> http://line6.com/support/docs/DOC-2523
The specific cabling and settings to getting it working with the HD500 are described in the doc here ==> http://line6.com/support/docs/DOC-2522
A video from Line 6 on the subject is here ==> http://line6.com/support/docs/DOC-2112
Currently Being ModeratedDec 28, 2012 5:12 PM (in response to utubebenscott)Re: POD HD500 into Mesa Boogie Lonestar
I have a Mesa Boogie Roadster 2x12" combo. I use my PodHD500 connected to fxloop for modulation, reberb and delay with great results (with amp and cab emulation disabled). Compression are almost OK, but I like more the compression before the input of the amp, not in the FXloop.
Trust me, you have a top amp, forget the four cable method and the amp emulations on the PodHD, the emulations are not bad, but nothing compared to the great real tube sound of your amp. The only thing that I use is: one TS808 and one Crybaby before the input of my amp, and the PodHD500 in the FXloop. The sound is perfect. If you use amp emulation on podHD wit your Lonestar, you always get a "plastic sound" compared to sounding with the amp's preamp.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 28, 2012 5:17 PM (in response to jjm35)Re: POD HD500 into Mesa Boogie Lonestar
In the loop is cool too but the OP was looking to use the tube drive distortion effect also and that is unlikely to sound great in the loop. Certainly it is an easier setup to have the Pod in the loop and a couple of dirtboxes up front of the amp than 4CM but I would not write it off out of hand. 4CM does not imply amp models, quite the opposite.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 29, 2012 5:14 AM (in response to utubebenscott)Re: POD HD500 into Mesa Boogie Lonestar
you are right, but 4cm affects so much to the tone of the amp, becouse you have to convert the signal from analog to digital to the PodHD, then process it, then convert again to analog to the input of amp (the signal is already affected to some digital aliasing, and lose a little dinamics becouse the digital conversion), then, inside the amp, will be pre-amplified, and send AGAIN to the PodHD, converted AGAIN to digital, precessed AGAIN, and converted one more time to analog before return to amp, and be amplified by the output tubes. Total 4 A/D D/A conversions, and two digital processing. Too bad for a tube amp as good as Boogie Lonestar.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 29, 2012 6:01 AM (in response to jjm35)Re: POD HD500 into Mesa Boogie Lonestar
Yeah, all true I'm afraid. It's a trade off between tone and convenience. The A/D Convertors and buffers on the HD series seem pretty good. I can discern a slight tonal change on my JVM when 4CM is in use but dynamics are pretty much unaffected with the levels set right on the hardware and in configuration.
Pedals (with good or true bypass) will ultimately have less impact on the tone when turned off and you can mitigate the problem pedals with switchable loops but with 4CM you can completely change the positioning of your effects in the chain along with all settings and your amp channel (if Midi equipped) at the touch of a switch. That is a trick that you cannot really pull off with pedals unless you want lots of duplicates. For many people with modest requirements, this is not a consideration and if utubebenscott just wants a tube booster up front then maybe he would be better off with the Pod in the loop and a separate stompbox up front as you suggest.
For me, I like the versatility of 4CM and can live with the tonal impact. I have a homemade true bypass loop pedal so in principle could bypass the 'front of amp' part of the 4CM hookup using that and the 'FX Loop' part of the hookup by turning off the amp loop. In practice I don't really feel the need.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 29, 2012 9:50 AM (in response to utubebenscott)Re: POD HD500 into Mesa Boogie Lonestar
Like the OP, I like to use the HD500 for effects only and like jim35 I don't like the tone suck that occurs with the 4CM. I have found that by disabling all sims(no amp selected), placing the FX loop after the mixer, using the line setting on the loop and using the mixer volumes to boost the signal, I am able to get a purer signal going into the amp. I do this without using an EQ effect to make up for signal loss and when I've a/b'd this set up there is only a very minute difference in overall tone. After tweaking the global EQ's the difference is even less. I have also found that the effects sound much more natural and responsive with this set up as well. YMMV but this works great for me on my Blackstar and is giving me the best tones I've had in 30+ years of searching.