You have my every sympathy. I no longer use the HD500 and most definitely not the Line 6 Link for gigging because of that very reason. I have the DT50 head and 4X12 cab so you will understand that my dilemna with volume was excessive to the extreme.
Because I have gone back to high end pedals of my own choosing and still using the DT50, I can set my master volume at full on with channel 1 at around 1 oclock and channel 2 at around 10 oclock. Both channels of the amp are midi programmed to be Soldano crunch and dist channels from a flick of the on switch. I do not have to reduce any output settings on any of my pedals to compensate for the high volume capability of the amp. Everything is pretty much set at default output and indeed when I A/B against my guitar and lead straight into the amps input jack the apparent volume is pretty much the same.
I play very loud at gigs and the way I have it set up just plain and simple works with no digital artifacts, drop outs, just plain old dripping tone.
I know it doesn't help you in your current position and I can tell you I gave the dream rig a fair crack before realising it wasn't for me.
Each to their own, but try the 4 cable method and ditch the L6Link, ok, so if you use a Variax, you are back to manual selects but it has to be better than excessive volume.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 5, 2013 8:46 PM (in response to markcockerill)Re: My Rig is Too Damn Loud
Thanks for a thoughtful response. I have the same discussion on the amp board and have gotten some good ideas there too. Basically I reflashed everything and it got alittle better. I got some good advice about speaker load and may rewire my cab to 16 ohm and see if that helps.
What I really thinkis just that the HD500 output signal is just too damn hot going into the amp. I really think you have tio design your patches differently when using the DT. Patches that sound great with the HD500 to the board are not necessarily good to use with the DT.
What I am looking at now is building patches with the mixer as the very last stage in the chain. I am just building virtual 4 cable patches using one amp in the A channel path and nothing in the B channel. The DT is mono anyways so it doesn't make any difference. This way i am just trying to do it like I had the real gear in front of me, Dial in your amp tone first. Add effects and adjust gain for realistic result. I don't want a 10db boost from a distortion pedal, just a tone change and a slight boost. My "FX Loop" effects are placed after the amp and before the mixer.
As I go I adjust the mixer level down so I can use the master on the DT. Mixer B is muted, A is panned to center and level adjusted to keep the output low enough so I don't overfeed the DT. I think that is the problem here. The HD just puts out too hot of a signal to the DT to allow us to really drive the power section with the master. The super strong signal produces loud volumes with small voltages applied to the power tubes. The object here is to get a low strength signal to the power section and allow the master to provide higher voltages to the power ltubes to get the volumes. If I am right, the overall tone should be better, more 'tubey' and responsive too. I have a lot more work to do but so far so good.
What it really boils down to in conclusion is the L6 Link. Without that cable, everything is manageable albeit requires some thought about the cabling method you apply, depending on how you require the rig to behave.
Everything else, I totally agree with you, I cannot understand why the output via the L6Link is so extraordinarily hot like it is. I guess if enough is mentioned about the issue then Line 6 may spot this on here and do some magic with an update. It doesn't bother me in my situation but some users that rely heavily on the Dream Rig may well want to push this issue.
I don't think changing your speaker impedence to a 16ohm load will yield the results you might expect. It will still be painfully loud.
Just another point. If you do away with the L6Link, then don't forget to set appropriate output from the HD for the amp input type but I'm pretty sure you know about that stuff already.
Currently Being ModeratedMar 9, 2013 9:09 AM (in response to markcockerill)Re: My Rig is Too Damn Loud
OK so after much experimentation and reading tons of posts, youtubes, the manuals etc... I finally solved the problem. I think my analysis was right because in the end what I did was just set the Guitar Input switch on top of the HD500 to PAD and set the global Guitar 2 input to Variax. That lowered the signal going to the DT to a manageable level and now I can use the Master to control volume on the DT25.
Before doing this, the signal was so hot that the Master could not be set higher than maybe 2 or 3 (8 or 9 oclock). As soon as the Master engaged, the volume was already near stage level. It was almost unusable for home play. Now I can listen COMFORTABLY with the Master at 2-3 and still have stage level with the Master turned up. It is a world of difference. Many of the patches I have made and downloaded sound better now because they are not overpowering the amp. It sounds amazing at 12 oclock... (with ear plugs!)
The one thing I am still working on is the first FX block in the chain. According to all my research, with my inputs set this way my guitar signal is only coming in on the A path so I have to use a mono block first to send the signal to both paths if I want to use any stereo blocks or dual amps later in the chain. However, by doing it this way I get a 6db reduction in signal strength at the first block when it sums the two inputs. Combined with the 10db(?) reduction by using the PAD setting, my signal is now low enough to pass to the DT without overpowering it.
For now, I am placing a noise gate set at 50/50 as the first FX. A lot of the patches I downloaded already have it set that way and it works good. Other than making sure your signal is routed correctly from the first FX block, you don't need to change anything else on any of your patches.
Other changes made, added my own "beam blockers" to both speakers (2x12), and rewired cab to 16 ohms. Rewiring had NO effect. Beam blockers do seem to have reduced the harsh ice pick effect but I don't see any other big change in tone or volume.
Bottom line, if you are feeding a DT25/50 with a POD HD500, set the Guitar input switch to PAD, Guitar 1 input to guitar and Guitar 2 input to Variax (Global).
I guarantee you will like the difference. If you need more volume on stage at any time, turn the Master down first and set the Guitar input switch back to Normal.