I am looking to get a POD HD (probably the 500x) but want to know if the 'dirty' amp models can produce good clean tones.
What I mean is if I am plugged into a Mesa Dual Rec I can dial a clean tone without much difficulty. Likewise a 'plexi' style amp - and it happens to be a tone I'm quite fond of. HOWEVER a lot of modelling seems to have these types of amps tuned for gainier settings so you can't really use them for cleans without lots of careful level matching, or fairly ordinary sounds
Say with the Soldano - which channel does that model, or can you switch?
Next question, with the ability to lay out two amp paths, what are the routing possibilities? Every demo I've seen routes these to different outputs and either mixes them in an DAW or just uses it as a stereo configuration.
What I want to be able to do is to have two parallel paths and then mix them down to a mono output, preferably with the ability to adjust the mix levels between the two paths - e.g. 75% Blackface + 25% AC-30.
IDEALLY, I would love the ability to do this with an expression pedal - say starting off with 100% clean tone (e.g. from a Bassman) and then instead of stomping a button to instantly switch to a crunch tone (e.g. a JTM), I would use the exp pedal to do this instead.
I can do this with pedals and it gives an interesting dynamic texture to the transition.
Of course, with the ability to run any given chain in the parallel line, the possibilities don't stop there - blending effects in and out with a pedal is a very cool trick (see the FX Blender by Morley).
What I want to be able to do is send my final output signal (whatever that is) to both a DAW and my amp. The HD300 and HD400 have the PERFECT setting for this, which is the output switch on the rear of the device, which allows you to set it to 'DUAL' mode. This send to different signals - one with cab/mike and one without - to the different outputs.
Looking at those two, the HD300 is more flexible as it allows you to do this with both the 1/4" unbalanced and XLR outputs - one 1/4 and one XLR for each signal. The HD400 is not as flexible, forcing you to use the XLR for the 'studio' output and the 1/4" for the amp out but the trade off is presumably the retention of stereo operation.
I can't see how to do this with the HD500 or HD500X - for my use am I really better off with the simpler, cheaper models? I have to assume this feature is still there as it's a really good idea and is EXACTLY what I want.