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Pod Hd500x I Think It's A Keeper!


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#1 Guitarathome

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 04:50 PM

Hi, I have been a line 6 user and fan for going on ten years. I have bought "and sold" so much of their gear over the years. I remember how excited I was when The Pod HD500 came out I was one of the first to get one. I did like it, but after messing around with it for a few months I sold it because something just was not right about it. Well since then and this is no joke I bought and returned or sold 5 more HD500s each time hopeing it was just my poor operation or something I was missing and I would some how bring it to life and meet my expectations, but that never happened. "I always felt there was something wrong with the mixer and signal chain"

 

Then the HD500X came out and yes of course I'm a sucker and I ordered one. There is no way you can tell me they did not change something because out of the box with no effort or programing I was blown away and instantly had the sound I expected all along. I could be wrong, but I think they made some clear improvements to the signal chain or "something"?

 

Either way it does not matter I am happy now. Thank you Line 6 I am a happy customer and have always been a loyal customer even through the ups "x3, pod farm, DT25..." and downs "PODhd500". OH and I will keep the 500x no returns on this one!


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#2 arislaf

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:09 AM

my opinion.. without nastiness

 

1) I think you probably need a doctor to help you

2) the big differences you hear are just in your mind

3) you have to thank rather all the money you have to throw away for your compulsive experiments

+1


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Before line6 was called line6... they used to do r&d for other companies like alesis + others. and when those customers came to visit the offices of line6 (before it was called line6) and the receptionist needed to warn all the guys who were designing products for other companies (and for themselves... ) who were like 'in the back' the receptionist would announce over a tannoy 'tellephone call for 'fred smith' on line 6' the cunning part was that they only had 5 telephone lines, so it was the secret code for "hide your sh1t the feds are comin'" or "someone's coming, let's hide these PODs that we aren't going to release for another few years so they don't see them" 

 

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#3 toneman2121

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:18 AM

my opinion.. without nastiness

 

1) I think you probably need a doctor to help you

2) the big differences you hear are just in your mind

3) you have to thank rather all the money you have to throw away for your compulsive experiments

something must be lost in the translation because it sounds pretty nasty to me


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I'M SO HAPPY!


#4 joel_brown

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 04:59 AM

Sometimes the truth hurts.


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#5 arislaf

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:04 AM

..and also I would not exclude the possibility that the initial message was an underhanded advertising idea to convince us (missing the X people) to switch to the X factor..

 

most probably I'm wrong
but you never know

Well said! 


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Before line6 was called line6... they used to do r&d for other companies like alesis + others. and when those customers came to visit the offices of line6 (before it was called line6) and the receptionist needed to warn all the guys who were designing products for other companies (and for themselves... ) who were like 'in the back' the receptionist would announce over a tannoy 'tellephone call for 'fred smith' on line 6' the cunning part was that they only had 5 telephone lines, so it was the secret code for "hide your sh1t the feds are comin'" or "someone's coming, let's hide these PODs that we aren't going to release for another few years so they don't see them" 

 

BEST CABS: www.studiocat.com


#6 TheRealZap

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:06 AM

I have the 500 and the pro x, no difference between them... maybe you're ears are just in a better place now? :)


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#7 Akeron

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:18 AM

..and also I would not exclude the possibility that the initial message was an underhanded advertising idea to convince us (missing the X people) to switch to the X factor..

 

most probably I'm wrong
but you never know

 

An effective marketing strategy! :lol:


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#8 bjnette

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:46 AM

Sounds like you work in a music shop steve!


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#9 DeanDinosaur

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:07 AM

Maybe they improved the quality of the input impedance. A long time ago I switched from the HD300, that doesn't have input impedance, to the HD500 and the sound was definitely better on HD500. Now I also have Eleven Rack and that sounds better than both. It's worth mentioning that AXE FX one didn't have input impedance but AXE II has it. A change in the input hardware can change the feel and sound significantly.


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#10 DeanDinosaur

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 10:09 AM

Sometimes improvement or degradation is unintentional. The reason behind the HD 500X getting a new Chip 25% faster is that the supplier could no longer supply the same chips according to what I I read somewhere here in this forum. When physical hardware changes even if slightly (not the DSP chip),  analog hardware  input and outputs variations can lead to some very clear discernible difference in sound that could be perceived as being better or worse depending on the user. If you don't believe this all you have to do is change one of the tone/ pots to a different brand or size.


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#11 sosmusic

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 10:35 AM

I think a side by side test of the two units would be the best way to shed some light on this debate, or perhaps give us all some concrete answers. Anybody on here have boths units in their possesion ?


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#12 DeanDinosaur

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 11:58 AM

I'm actually not debating. Most likely they sound identical and should there be any slight variation it would very likely be insignificant. 


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#13 GodinSession

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 12:07 PM

To the original OP.  I too have been through three HD500's, same experience, mostly frustrated and returned them inside the 30 day return period.  Well a week ago, I got the 500x, and love it.  I mostly attribute this to the fact that I'm just smarter now with modelers.  I have had enough of them now to be able to get around on them.  I think when I had the 500's before, I would always use presets and try and tweek those.  This time round, I don't even think I've tried a single preset.  I started with a clean slate, making my own patches.  Also at least in my case, is that I have much better results with my strat and tele than my LP.  It seems to me that lower output vintage pups seem to work better than humbuckers.  At least for me it has been easier getting desirable low to mid gain tones.  My strat with Fralin Vintage Hots, into the Dr Z, or Park Models, with a touch of reverb has been fantastic.  Love the tone!

Perhaps some of the upgrades Line 6 has put out since the last HD500 I've had has helped also.  All I know, that like the OP, the 500x is a keeper, it will not be returned like the other 3 HD500's I tried in the past....


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#14 silverhead

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:29 PM

....This time round, I don't even think I've tried a single preset.  I started with a clean slate, making my own patches.  Also at least in my case, is that I have much better results with my strat and tele than my LP.  It seems to me that lower output vintage pups seem to work better than humbuckers.  ..

 

I think you're smart to start creating your own patches. That's when you really begin to understand how to get tones you like.

 

Also, have you tried using the PAD switch on the HD500x when using your LP?


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#15 Guitarathome

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:40 PM

I am sorry I did not consider the effects my post would have on the expert HD500 users I did not intend to offend anyone, and no doubt some of you have figured out how to make them work wonders. I just wanted to report my experiance. I know there are a million different ways to use them, and the reason I bought so many of them was because wanted it to work for me, and I never gave up. As I read more about new ideas I would buy in again and give them a try. Also I don't believe any of the amp models or effects sound any different from the original the difference for me has been feel, dynamics.

I have a M13 and when I connect it useing the 4 cable method to my amp I loose very little of the original feel and dynamics of the amp by its self. When I used the HD500 in the same manner the dynamics and feel of the amp were clearly reduced and after months of trying I could never get that worked out.  Now when I hooked up the HD500X it plays and feels exactly like my M13 right out of the box. For me the M13 rocked without any work and so did the 500X. This is only my observation I have not done a side by side test. I just wanted to know if anyone else had a similar experiance. I am not a 500 basher I have always been a fan thats why I kept trying.

Again sorry to all.


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#16 DeanDinosaur

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 04:49 PM

I don't think you need to apologize . I think if anything others need to apologize to you. That has been your experience and it's a valid one. There are many possibilities why HDX can sound better right of the box. Consider this:

The default on most patches in the HD 500 was Mixer Hard left Hard right!! Maybe the HD500X changed that!

 

For those who are looking for in your face natural amp sound, hard left and right has to be the worst possible setup. Pan the two mixer channels dead center and hear what I'm talking about.  I'm talking setting the same perceived volume on two patches with any amp where the mixer channels are dead center will give the most defined best natural amp sound for whatever reason. If you use one channel dead center and mute the other, you won't get the full amp sound you would get if you use both channels dead center.

In theory and science it might not make a lot of  sense but consider that in DAWS, there's a pan law of different volume changes or no volume changes when you move the pan position. I have no idea what pan law is used in the HD500 (possibly -3db, some of the experts might want to chime in if they're reading this), but the stereo image and overall punch are affected significantly with every pan position and I'm not talking about the volume variation.

 

 After all this is a guitar processor, yet you can have two independent stereo paths, which is not necessarily a good thing for someone who just want the whole bandwidth (if that's the right term) dedicated to guitar, not guitar and vocals or two guitars one left and one right or even Variax and guitar Blah blah blah.  So for anyone who's having a difficult time getting more natural full amp sound, I highly recommend panning the two channels dead center and for the sake of whatever is sacred to you, forget about dual amps.  How many of us have played dual amps in the real world!  The pods actually models very closely each amps regardless of all the naysayers. One amp with one speaker can sound pretty damn good, with little bit of tweaking! Before you start adding to the mix, get that one amp one speaker sounding right first.


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#17 TheRealZap

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 04:53 PM

yeah as others stated no need to apologize... the forum is to share opinions etc... 

i certainly don't agree with many.... but at least i get to see what those opinions are so that i can quietly make fun of them when noone is looking  :blink:  oops did i say that outloud?  :lol:


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#18 DeanDinosaur

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 05:43 PM

So TheRealZap, do you happen to know what's the pan law for the HD500, X and pro happens to be? Also since you have both the HD500 and HD500X, is there a different default on factory patches in regard to input 1 and input 2. Setting input one and two to guitar is far different sounding from 1:Guitar 2:variax and all the other crazy possibilities.

 

 Why can't line 6 give some guidance on this issue? I mean when they tested the models, what is the recommended setting to get the authentic sound they were trying to model?. I know it might sound funny that the the HD500X sounds different than the HD500, but that can be due to a different input/ output/setting and an issue that can be put to rest if line 6 gave some guidance. I had the HD300 first and when I moved to the HD500, I couldn't duplicate the patches I had in the 300 for the life of me. Do you want to know why, because it's not supported and it can't be done. Same amp, same digital simulation, yet staggering difference in gain staging and over all sound :o

 

the best one yet is: you recently posted a sticky with a conversion utility between POD HD 500 / POD HD 500X / POD HD Desktop / POD HD Pro. If they're so identical why can't line6 provide a converter? :blink:


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#19 TheRealZap

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 06:11 PM

I haven't done any side by side on the unit defaults... since i immediately started changing things...

but i was able to load my 500 tones to the prox without any notable differences.

 

I don't tend to use the panning functions enough to answer those questions.

 

as far as conversions go... my understanding is that they don't want to support conversion...  because the units might not be the same forever...

for example, there was a period of time when the 300 had models that the 500 didn't etc....

they don't explicitly deny the ability to convert from one to the other... which is a whole lot better than nothing!

 

when they are testing and modeling, they don't simply go for a tone... they model everything down to knob behavior etc....

and in some cases they may make adjustments that will allow you to exceed what the real amp is capable of while still being able to get all the sounds of the real amp...

examples of this would be a drive knob on the fender models, and the cut knob on the AC models... (i think... don't recall super specifics)

some adjustments they allow would not easily be done to the real model (deep edit parameters)

 

the 300/400 vs the 500 could be very different because of the differences in the software... some software functions on the 500 were external switches on the 300/400

and then you have things such as the variable z not being available to the 300/400

comparing the 300/400 to the 500/bean pro etc is like comparing granny smiths to red delicious... both apples but they aren't from the same tree.

 

 

So TheRealZap, do you happen to know what's the pan law for the HD500, X and pro happens to be? Also since you have both the HD500 and HD500X, is there a different default on factory patches in regard to input 1 and input 2. Setting input one and two to guitar is far different sounding from 1:Guitar 2:variax and all the other crazy possibilities.

 

 Why can't line 6 give some guidance on this issue? I mean when they tested the models, what is the recommended setting to get the authentic sound they were trying to model?. I know it might sound funny that the the HD500X sounds different than the HD500, but that can be due to a different input/ output/setting and an issue that can be put to rest if line 6 gave some guidance. I had the HD300 first and when I moved to the HD500, I couldn't duplicate the patches I had in the 300 for the life of me. Do you want to know why, because it's not supported and it can't be done. Same amp, same digital simulation, yet staggering difference in gain staging and over all sound :o

 

the best one yet is: you recently posted a sticky with a conversion utility between POD HD 500 / POD HD 500X / POD HD Desktop / POD HD Pro. If they're so identical why can't line6 provide a converter? :blink:


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#20 DeanDinosaur

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 06:25 PM

Thanks for taking the time.  With answers like this, I really hope those greedy (...) are paying you.


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#21 Guitarathome

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 06:31 PM


 

For those who are looking for in your face natural amp sound, hard left and right has to be the worst possible setup.

 

I always felt my bigest problem was with the mixer, but I really did try just about everything I could think of with it, and yes the in your face natural amp sound is exactly what I am talking about. Not quality of sound as that is the same.

 

I should qualify my sales and returns of the 500. I did not try the same thing over and over each time I was trying it with different gear like I bought a JTV59 and at the time did not have a pod so I bought one to try with the JTV, another time I bought a DT50 and had to give that a shot and so on. I sold my last HD500 just before the 500x came out because I had saved up the money to buy the AXEII.


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#22 Guitarathome

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 07:50 PM

OK something bad just happened. As you know I have been extremely happy with the 500X I have owned it for about a week and it has been perfect this whole time. So I decided to hook it up to my computer to install the latest firmware. I was worried it might change the sound and all was well after the update it still had the in your face open tone. So I installed the editor and again I was a little worried so I was playing while it was connecting and as soon as it connected to the editor for the first time bam the dynamics and open tone were gone it sounded a little like putting ear plugs in, and I instantly recognized the same familiar dull tone from the 500s before "Exactly the same". I have allways played the 500s connected to the editor for ease of use was that My problem all along or is there something wrong with my computer?

 

So I unpluged the usb and the sound did not change I ran through all my paches with the USB unpluged and everything was still dull and sounded nothing like before.

 

Then the good news I cycled the power with the USB unpluged and the great sound returned back to normal. Thankfully

 

Now with that said back when I used the 500s before my guitar always sounded dull when I would turn it on, and then it would sound great for a few seconds while it was connecting to the editor "I used to think why the hell can't it sound like that all the time" then it would retun back to dull once it connected. I think you guys clearly do not have this problem and your 500S have been rocking the whole time. It must have something to do with my computer.

 

Now I'm afraid to connect back to the editor.


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#23 joel_brown

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 08:41 PM

What other USB devices do you have plugged into your computer ?  Sounds like the problem has been found, just need to work on the solution.

 

btw - I give you high marks on being persistant after buying/returning the HD500 so many times.


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#24 DeanDinosaur

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 04:56 AM

...

so in the end I would conclude by saying that there will probably never be an official response (NDA may be?), and that the only answer we can get is through observation and reasoning,.. better than nothing.. or not?

True. I'm generally happy with the HD500 but I can see how some might be having problems due to basic issues such as what input or mixer setting to use.  I was always happy with what I was getting until I got the Eleven Rack that has no dual path, just a simple stereo path. I couldn't believe that my patches that sounded great in the HD sounded small and thin in comparison to those in the Eleven Rack. I figured there has to be a solution that's due to the input/output. Once I figured it out, I managed to get the amp sounds in the HD to be comparable. I wanted to get the full body amp sound and sure enough centering both  mixer channels did the trick + also added the graphic eq to compensate for some of the mids missing on one side of the split only. I will probably upload a patch and sound samples to illustrate when I get some time.


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#25 DeanDinosaur

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 05:09 AM

 

So I unpluged the usb and the sound did not change I ran through all my paches with the USB unpluged and everything was still dull and sounded nothing like before.

 

Then the good news I cycled the power with the USB unpluged and the great sound returned back to normal. Thankfully

 

The USB connection is capable of doing serious damage to the POD if you happen to end up with a corrupt patch!! I've had to recover my POD from a dreaded reboot loop twice after thinking it was bricked by using hardware resetting. I confirmed this by opening the same patch and getting the dreaded reboot loop intentionally, so I'm positive about this.  It was reassuring knowing that the designers are aware that such problems can occur so they have the hardware reset in place in the even that should happen.

 

Now remember if you use the Line6 driver panel for monitoring and happen to lower the monitor fader, every time you plug the USB, the volume is reduced based on that monitor slider inside the Driver window in the PC or MAC. Add to that some misbehavior and some bugs in the driver and you can end up with unpredictable behavior where you will lose volume completely when you disconnect from USB or the unit will sound like crap literally. I did get real wacky behavior several times and I basically did the Hardware resetting several times to fix the problems. My ability to build and trouble shoot computers helped in that regard, but I can see how not being aware of these issues, some might just be dealing with a malfunctioning unit that can sound like crap also due to these unresolved problems. Just remember to use Hardware Reset and you should be fine. 


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#26 joel_brown

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 06:18 AM

I think you can buy a USB PC internal card for about $20 or so.  If it was me and I knew I had some USB port issues, I'd invest in a USB card and get some known good ports.


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#27 dgtr

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 11:31 PM

I don't think you need to apologize . I think if anything others need to apologize to you. That has been your experience and it's a valid one. There are many possibilities why HDX can sound better right of the box. Consider this:

The default on most patches in the HD 500 was Mixer Hard left Hard right!! Maybe the HD500X changed that!

 

For those who are looking for in your face natural amp sound, hard left and right has to be the worst possible setup. Pan the two mixer channels dead center and hear what I'm talking about.  I'm talking setting the same perceived volume on two patches with any amp where the mixer channels are dead center will give the most defined best natural amp sound for whatever reason. If you use one channel dead center and mute the other, you won't get the full amp sound you would get if you use both channels dead center.

In theory and science it might not make a lot of  sense but consider that in DAWS, there's a pan law of different volume changes or no volume changes when you move the pan position. I have no idea what pan law is used in the HD500 (possibly -3db, some of the experts might want to chime in if they're reading this), but the stereo image and overall punch are affected significantly with every pan position and I'm not talking about the volume variation.

 

 After all this is a guitar processor, yet you can have two independent stereo paths, which is not necessarily a good thing for someone who just want the whole bandwidth (if that's the right term) dedicated to guitar, not guitar and vocals or two guitars one left and one right or even Variax and guitar Blah blah blah.  So for anyone who's having a difficult time getting more natural full amp sound, I highly recommend panning the two channels dead center and for the sake of whatever is sacred to you, forget about dual amps.  How many of us have played dual amps in the real world!  The pods actually models very closely each amps regardless of all the naysayers. One amp with one speaker can sound pretty damn good, with little bit of tweaking! Before you start adding to the mix, get that one amp one speaker sounding right first.

+1


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#28 bjnette

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 12:41 AM

Looks like a great subject for a comparison video.

You may well be right and there is some component design improvement.

I do agree that the presets are a liabillity to what is possile with the HD models and that creating a patch 

will get you your tone.


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