Exactly right, because the M9 is designed purely for FX, and the Pod HD isn't. The Pod HD series (all of them) are designed primarily as amp modelers, although they also have integrated FX. They work great with an external power amp if you use only the Pod HD preamps and bypass the physical amp's preamp section. But if you don't want the amp modelling, and want a purely FX processor - you already have one in the M9. The HD500 is simply not going to work as smoothly as the M9 as a purely FX processor because that's not what it's designed for.
If you are set on trying one I suggest the HD300 or HD400 because they are designed with an FX-only mode which may make them more suitable for your purpose.
.. I like the idea of having 4 effects out front and 4 effects in my amps FX-loop, which is why I am interested in the HD500/HD rack.
Buy a second M9. It's cheaper and w;ll do a better job.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 18, 2012 5:21 PM (in response to silverhead)Re: HD series + transparency
Not 100% sure I agree that the HD is designed primarily for amp modelling, although I'll concede the point for the sake of keeping the peace
But you can assign effects to all 8 footswitches, and can disable the amp modelling. I'd say in theory, it's as applicable to FX-only usage as amps. But the one I had wasn't really as clean sounding when everything was disabled - this seemed to be a hardware issue to me. I was writing here to see if things had perhaps changed.
I did think of a second M9, but was really curious as to whether a HD500 would let me consolidate all my effects into one easy unit. I guess I only want it all!
There has been no hardware update so if you were finding an issue there I'm sure it's still the same.
The software updates have mostly been related to additional amp models and more features/interaction with JTV guitars. I can't say there's been anything that really addresses using the device as an FX-only processor. As you say, in theory it should be applicable; but in practice I have heard of issues like you experienced. Then again, I don't have personal experience with using it only for FX - I am only saying what I've heard here. So like toneman says - no harm in trying one out again.
... and we don't have to agree on the primary design intent.......... .....don't concede! Peace is compatible with differences of opinion respectfully stated.
I use an HD500 with a classic JVM410C in the 4 cable method (4CM). I went for the HD over the M series because I wanted more than four concurrent effects and the flexibility of order and routing. With the HD I can have up to eight of whatever, wherever I want them. When using the HD for FX only I have never actually run into a DSP overload issue. I guess if I stacked a bunch of particleverbs I might be able to but within practical usage you should not see an issue.
Is it tranparent? Well if I hook up in 4CM and listen very carefully then I can detect the slightest loss of shimmer on the JVM Clean green mode . Does it put me off? Well, no. The tone is still really darn good and the benefits of my 4CM hookup far outweigh the impact of what I am hearing. My focus is live rather than recording so my views are given in that context.
Noise was an issue on dirtier channels, in a 4CM hookup, due to a ground loop between the amp input and FX loop via the POD. The fix for me was to modify my loop cables to remove the ground connection. This is safe and killed the noise. Bottom end loss ..... I don't think so but I have not really been listening explicitly for that. If you do go this way ... let me know what you think as I am not much of a a size queen for the bottom end on amps . The classic JVM loop was parallel and always leaks a bit even with the mix at 100% and that is not cool for tone preservation. I think the loop is much improved on the Satriani model and is fully serial. If you run the HD fully in the loop for delays and modulations then you can easily knock it out of the signal chain anyway. If needed, I have a method to knock the 'front' part of the hookup in 4CM out also using a true bypass box. I don't actually use it in practice cause I really don't 'feel' tone suck in the hookup.
Combine all that with the MIDI amp switching for the JVM, controlled from the Pod HD and there is a lot to commend it. Marshall have dramatically improved the MIDI on the Satriani model and you can now individually turn features (master/fx loop/channel/reverb) on and off using Midi CC commands alongside the already-available full program changes using Midi PCs. This means you could (for example) assign a footswitch on the HD to toggle to 'Master 2' on the JVM for a solo. You can effectively now replace the JVM Footswitch with an HD500 or Midi controller.... there is full functional overlap from what I see.
Is the setup perfect and pristine enough? Well that depends on your standards but it is good enough to meet what I need. I would definitly suggest that you give an HD500 a whirl. If you want to try 4CM, my guide was developed on a JVM and should be good for the JS model. http://jvmforum.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5333. Must admit that the JVM410HJS is the first Amp that has given me GAS in a while (though I would miss my reverbs and clean green !).
Currently Being ModeratedNov 19, 2012 3:08 AM (in response to jimsreynolds)Re: HD series + transparency
It sounds like you've had quite a different experience to me. I can put up with a slight change in tone; but this was really drastic. I guess I just need to grab one and try it out. I hadn't even considered the midi functionality actually, some good ideas there Jim, thanks!