Currently Being ModeratedNov 2, 2010 10:14 PM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
I am/was having a hard time too. I did manage to configure a patch tonight that might do with a little tweaking. This is my first attempt to build a patch on this thing. I will upload the tone. It's called Hardy Beef Tone. I doubt it will fix your problem but it's worth a shot. I am going straight from the balanced mono 1/4" to a power amp in to a 4x12 cab. I have pad set not normal. I also have it set to line. I tried the the XLR outs and wasn't satisfied with my sound. It sounded weak so I switched to the 1/4". Now I am getting a better sound.
Message was edited by: FrozenOzone
Currently Being ModeratedNov 2, 2010 10:31 PM (in response to FrozenOzone)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
A few people have had some initial problems but mostly, they've got sorted out after a while so hopefully this'll end well for you.
My advice when getting things set up initially is to start with clean sounds. This helps eliminate distortions caused by poor setup, rather than distortions you want for your 'sound'.
Set up a patch with either no amp, or a Fender Deluxe, and nothing else. Personally, I'd start with no Amp. There should be no distortion of your signal with this setup. In my opinion, these HD500's are very sensitive to hot pickups. I would start by turning the +PAD on, or winding down your guitar volume. If the signal is distortion free at that point, then you have a reference point. My guess is that turning on the +PAD is probably enough, provided your output gain from the HD is not overpowering your input stage to your real amp (ie: the master volume isn't too high, as you said).
Let us know how that goes and we can take it from there.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 2, 2010 10:52 PM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
one little switch that's on top of your board that drasticallly changes your tone is the 1/4 Out. Make sure it's set to Line. Makes the whole difference in the world and often overlooked by the newbies.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 2, 2010 11:28 PM (in response to whiteop)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
The 1/4" out switch itself shouldn't change the tone. It changes the overall output volume from Line Level to "Amp" level. Line level is louder than amp level. It only affects the tone if you happen to be overdriving the input stage of your amp when on Line output. That being said, you may well be overdriving your input stage of your amp in this case, although for test purposes, turning down the Master Volume would have the same effect.
The take-away is that it's a level switch, not a tone switch, but may well be the source of your problem.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 2, 2010 11:50 PM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
Some very good pointers from the guys who've replied so far.
To add to what's already been said, I would suggest the following:
First, update the HD500's firmware to the latest (v1.1) - EVEN if 1.1 is already installed! Let's just make certain that it is installed correctly and that, like them or not, you can get a decent sound from some of the factory presets - when the update procedure asks if you want to retain your presets answer NO (Note your custom presets if you have any you want to keep will be lost, so you may want to backe these up using HD500 Edit before you start).
The firmware on your POD at delivery is almost certainly a pre-launch version and the nature of pre-launch firmware is that tweaks may be still have been being made to the final firmware that was available by launch date. The likellihood with pre-launch firmware installed at the factory is that some amp models may not yet have been fully optimised, so consider firmware v1.1 as the current optimum version and anything before that may show variable results.
OK - once you've got a clean updated system and you're on a level playing field, set the Output options to Studio/Direct and plug in just a pair of reasonable or good quality headphones to assess how the HD500 sounds through them.
Assuming all sounds reasonably OK, then the next stage is to set the Output options to Combo Power Amp, and connect both the Left and Right 1/4" outputs to the Left and Right FX Loop Returns on your Vetta - make sure you have a dummy 1/4" jack into the input of your Vetta. I don't think you should be using a 'Y' adapter if your amp has stereo FX returns - and to my mind that might be where the sound is being summed somehow out of phase leading to the nastiness you're hearing.
Turn the Master volume on your Vetta to a moderately low to medium setting so as not to blow the roof off.
Turn the Master Volume on the HD500 to about 12:00
Set the Guitar in switch on the HD500 to Normal
Set the 1/4" switch on the HD500 to Line Out
The factory presets - unless they are heavily effected as some are, should at least sound OK through the Vetta. If they sound really bad, then compare how they sound through headphones again and if there is a major difference (there will of course be some difference because headphones aren't speakers), then you need to try a different amp with your HD500 just to rule out the Vetta as a possible cause. If that produces the same horrible sound, then you may have a faulty HD500, ad so you may want to go back to where you bought it and have them audition the HD500 and check it out against another one. There's no way unless you design a patch to sound really nasty deliberately, that your HD500 should ever sound completely terrible as you seem to be describing.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 3, 2010 7:31 AM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
Check the "programmibility" portion of the Vetta head. Also, what's going on with the Y cable? Try sending a single mono 1/4" from the L POD output to the mono / L FX return of the Vetta. Make sure the Vetta is not processing that signal at all.
Do the firmware update that Nick mentioned.
Make sure the Output is set to match / studio / whatever that's called, instead of the combo / stack modes (to start with)
Basically, doing that, tweak with the line/amp setting, and take a look at what the Vetta is doing to the line in / fx return (is there an dB boost or cut, or any unintentional processing happening?)
I say use single 1/4" mono to eliminate the possibility of phase cancellation.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 3, 2010 7:42 AM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
I certainly don't have it all figured out yet.....but I've found a pretty quick method for getting my sounds tweaked.
I move the looper to the "pre" position, and then I record some playing. After I've got something recorded, I just let the loop play over and over, and while it's doing that I can tweak some settings and hear the result instantly. This has helped me tremendously in the "tone-crafting" department. Maybe this would help you too....
In fact, when I first turned on my POD HD, I was very unhappy with the crunch to metal type sounds, but I'm getting happier each day.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 3, 2010 12:51 PM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
UPDATE - Firstly - a BIG THANK YOU to everyone for jumping in here to help me out. I was REALLY excited to get this POD HD500 and was so disappointed in trying to get it to sound right. I tried all of the suggestions outlined here, and in particular, the one that seemed to help the most was reinstalling the flash memory and starting with a blank user preset and a single amp. I was able to get something halfway decent using that approach but something is still off. I triple-checked all the cables, connections and amp settings, using both my Vetta II head as well as my SV MkII head and I know I am good in that department.
So here is the latest.... I get an OK - but no better than OK sound starting from scratch but something is still definitely off. I seem to have eliminated what I thought was some clipping on the first go round, but there is something very wierd happening with the overall sound - almost like an EQ issue - but I am not using any additional EQ. The sound is very "woofy". It never hits crisp, clear and hard. It will get loud, but you really hear - and feel - the bottom woofing out on the heaviere tones and when palm muting. I am very sure this is NOT normal. Both the SV and the Vetta are rock solid when playing this stuff and I have matching 4x12 cabs for each so its not like the speakers can't handle it.
So I remain a bit stumped. I have tried both the pre and the full amp models and there are some differences, but the overall "woof" is still there. It just doesn't sound anything like "HD" and both the Vetta and the SV sound LOADS better. I am running out of ideas.....
Thanks for helping - Tom
Currently Being ModeratedNov 3, 2010 1:07 PM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
this may be dumb, but be sure to check all the Outputs modes... i guess, if youre running into a head effects return, you should start with the Stack Power Amp mode and not combo amp as you mentioned.
Also, why are you using a Y cable? i dont get that...
Currently Being ModeratedNov 3, 2010 1:23 PM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
I am using the unbalanced outs connected to the effects loop return of my Vetta II Head using a Y-Cable.
Why would you do this? The unbalanced outs can be mono if you only run out of either one. If you need stereo on the Vetta return, then just run two cables, one from each output.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 3, 2010 1:56 PM (in response to Karl_Houseknecht)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
Karl- Thanks - I've seen many of your posts and you truly are knowlegable. Thanks for investing some time here.
I am trying to use my Vetta II HD as a stereo power amp for the HD500. I have the matching 4x12 Vetta cab. I am going into the Vetta effects return jack which is why I am using the Y-cable. If I understand this correctly, I take the left and right 1/4 unbalanced outs, and go into the Vetta effects loop, which is a tip-ring-sleeve input - hence the Y-cable. What I might try, just for giggles is to take the S/PDIF out from the HD and see if I can go into the Vetta that way on the VDI - using it as an effects return. Will let you know how I make out. Something is still not right. Can't get rid of the wierd low-end "woof".
Currently Being ModeratedNov 3, 2010 6:06 PM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
Definitely double check your output mode on the HD500. I've been happy with the output of the Combo Poweramp output setting (liked it better than Stack Poweramp) into my Vetta II HD and Vetta 4x12. I'm using the full amp models and the cab modeling. The Vetta preset I created for this has all FX off (except for "fx loop"), no amp and all of the post fx routing in series.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 16, 2010 7:40 AM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
UPDATE - So I finally got the HD working right and in the end, I am not sure what exactly fixed it but I believe it was some combination of re-loading the firmware, triple-checking all the output settings, using brand new, high-quality patch cords, and starting my patches from scratch. I have a blistering metal tone coming out of my SV MkII head now (input to the power amp section), as well as a very nice EVH patch reminiscent of VH II. Thanks for all the help.
One big gripe about the POD HD 500 now that I am familiar with it. The clean sounds REALLY need a good boost option. I LOVED the Boost + EQ effect in my SV MkII head and can't believe its not on the POD HDs. On a similar note, the EQs in the POD HDs sound terrible to me. I fixed this by using an old-fashioned MXR 10-band EQ between the POD HD and the SV MkII power amp. Would love better boost and EQ options in the POD HDs. Perhaps an update in the next firmware?
Thanks again. You folks saved me!
Currently Being ModeratedNov 16, 2010 3:12 PM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
I hear you on the boost option, I started another thread on no ability for a basic clean boost with the 500, sure you can try using comp. fx, eq's etc... but they all color the sound and are unnecessarily complicated to get a simple clean boost.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 17, 2010 5:35 PM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
Here is my two and a half cents. I just purchased an HD500 a week ago. I have been using line6 since the beginning, so I am no stranger to their gear and limitations. I have had the original kidney, XT Live, X3 Live and UX-8. The HD500 sound quality is horrible. It is the most brittle thin sounding box I have ever owned, and I am a fan of Line6 boxes for what they are. I have spent 3 days trying to get one patch to sound even half as good as my X3. This box is a big dissapointment. The only reason I keep trying to make this thing work is because of the assignable footswitches and FX, and FX loop. The effect parameter editing access is unusable even in a studio situation. By the time I get to the parameter I want I forgot what the heck I was doing. I couldn't imagine playing out with this thing. The real crime here is that this box just washes out when you try to mix it with anything. It either sounds a million miles away or so thin you wish it would get away. Severely dissapointed!!!!!
My advice is to take the thing back like I'm going to do. Get yourself an X3.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 17, 2010 5:40 PM (in response to jreichow)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
Are you a metal player? I play mostly rock and cleaner stuff, and sold my X3L because it's not even in the same ballpark as the HD500. However, for metal players, this may or may not be the case as I don't play metal I'm, not able to say. If you're not a metal player though, the HD500 is SOOOOO much better than the X3L.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 17, 2010 5:49 PM (in response to jreichow)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
That doesn't sound right at all. There's no way the HD500 should sound in any way brittle or thin. To me the HD500 has way more body than the XTL or X3L both of which I still have. I don't like the X3L into any guitar amp - it takes way too long to tweak an acceptable sound out of it BUT straight to desk it's great. To me something is not riight with your HD500 or what you're playing it through. the obvious things are to check your output settings are right for whatever you're connected to and also perhaps to re-flash the firmware to the latest version/ i know that sounds like a stock answeer and to some extent it is, but often works.
Editing at the unit is far more intuitive than the XTL or X3L are for me, but everyone has different preferences.
If you can't get your particular unit sounding good, I'd seriously consider A/B'ing it against another one if you can as you may just have a faulty unit.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 13, 2011 6:09 AM (in response to Nick_Mattocks)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
Have a look to this post http://line6.com/support/message/333707#333707
It could solve your problem.
I have the same problem, this evening I will have a try and let you know.
Currently Being ModeratedDec 24, 2011 1:11 PM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
All new patches uploaded to CustomTone. Something weird happened previously where all patches were the same. This should no longer be the case.
Many of my favorites creations I've posted from everything from Acoustic guitars to classic clean and heavy electric tones for both 6 and 12-string guitars.
Hope they are useful to any who might check them out. You can also go directly to them by searching under my ID.
Happy Holidays to all!!
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 18, 2013 2:42 PM (in response to tommy1170)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
Best explanation !!!
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 18, 2013 3:47 PM (in response to amalia_91)Re: HELP - My New POD HD 500 Sounds Terrible!!!!
Best explanation !!!