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Podhd500x Alone Sounds Better Than My Dt25 In Full Power Mode!


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#1 Stratman82

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:30 PM

Ok heres the thing....I own a podHD500x (and before that had an HD300). I've also had a DT25 amp since they came out in late 2011......

 

I LOVE the HD500x and the tones I can get in full amp mode. I've spent hours tweaking and building up a really useable setlist of full amp patches via monitoring headphones. Hell, I just played along to Seek and Destroy and my tone matches the original almost perfectly. I'm also getting amazing edge of breakup blues tones with my strat and Les Paul.

 

BUT, I've never really gelled with the DT25. For a start, its way too loud for home use in full power mode. Therefore I tend to play direct from the pod through headphones or sometimes even into the AUX in of my Yamaha THR10 via the pods 1/4 output.

 

When I do use the DT25 it actually sounds best in low volume mode with my "full patches" i.e. bypassing the tubes and essentially using the amp as a glorified PA system. Now, I hear you saying thats because I've spent so much time tweaking my "studio" patches. And thats a big part of this, no doubt.

 

However, the problem with the DT25 in full power mode (tubes engaged) is that it is essentially a different "instrument" interacting with my rig. I have created a twin set of "pre" amp patches for use with the DT25 with all other settings within the patch exactly the same as my "full" patches. What do I find? Some of those patches are ok and sound pretty like the full patch I've slaved over. But most require serious tweaking.....essentially creating a completely new patch that integrates properly with the DT25's tube section. The volume levels for a start are often wildly different...of course when you start adjusting the preamp volume within the patch that often affects gain and leads to a whole load more tweaking.

 

I can honestly say that even after serious tweaking of "pre" patches specifically to suit the DT25 in full power mode they still don't sound as good as the "full" studio patches with amp in LVM or even direct through headphones. At best they are just as good. Theres something wrong here- surely the tube amp should sound even better?!

 

The upshot of all the addittional tweaking needed is that my main perceived benefit of the DT25, having a store of patches for use in all settings- home to stage- doesn't exist. I might as well bypass the tubes and use the DT25 amp as a PA, or even just use the podHD500x for home practice and develop a completely seperate "loud" rig with another tube amp that sounds better!

 

So I'm now considering my options and would appreciate the wisdom of other experienced users.

 

Option 1: Keep the DT25 and use it in LVM as a PA system for my pod and the set of "full" patches I've cultivated so carefully. After all, I'm mainly a home player so will mainly be in LVM or using headphones for practice.

 

Option 2: Sell the DT25 and on my rare forrays into stage work go direct to PA. Problem is I'm then struggling for a speaker to play through for practice jams with friends which do happen now and then.

 

Option 3: Sell the DT25 and buy a stagesource Lt2 for home through to jams and occassional live use. That would again mean I could use all my full patches. However, an expensive rig without the perceived benefits of nice amp tubes- an all digital setup. Can the Lt2 be quiet enough for use as a monitor at home??

 

Option 4: Sell the DT25 and buy a nice tube amp like a Fender PRRI or Orange OR15H. Seriously tempting as I will have a lower wattage tube amp for home use with the benefits of tube "feel" and still a viable live option. But the podHD500x would be relegated to a practice tool.

 

All opinions and pearls of wisdom gratefully received! Thanks.


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#2 hurghanico

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:49 PM

IMHO since essentially you are very happy with your POD patches if I was you I would go for your option 1 and keep the DT25 rather than spend further money for other gear that I seriously doubt that could give you better results ;)


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#3 arislaf

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 12:53 PM

Agree with Hurghanico !


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#4 Stratman82

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 01:07 PM

So in the unlikely event that LVM isn't loud enough and I switch to full volume mode on the DT25 with my full amp patches...what's actually happening?!

When I last trawled these forums months ago there was no clear consensus on this. Seems ridiculous but I don't want those tubes spoiling my tone or causing weird volume problems between patches! That's something I didn't mention above- the full patches can all be the same volume direct from the pod but in full power mode one is ridiculously quiet while the next shatters the windows!

At least this must all say a lot for the quality of the podHDs modelling.
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#5 hurghanico

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 01:14 PM

..That's something I didn't mention above- the full patches can all be the same volume direct from the pod but in full power mode one is ridiculously quiet while the next shatters the windows!..

 

well, I fear that like so many other users here you'll have to do some patches that are good at home and others that are good for the live..

that's a more than normal thing, and there is no other way out ;)


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#6 evilmikehoo

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 01:22 PM

I'd keep the DT25. You may feel like fiddling around with a few patches for it in the future just for something to do, curiosity or just for a hobby. I believe, at that time, you'll be very happy you kept. it!!  ;)

 

P.S. Somewhere here in the forums, somebody put together a setlist of basic tones and setups just for the DT25. It just might be a good starting point for ideas - or just may need a few additions and tweaks to get you closer to what you may be lookng for!


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#7 Stratman82

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 01:44 PM

I guess you guys are probably right about keeping the DT25...certainly no point in buying an Lt2 when I've essentially got a PA in the DT amp when in LVM.

If the podHD wasn't such an amazing quiet practice tool I might regret starting on the long and overly complex road with this rig...

The pod + DT combination with all its modes and permutations is far too complicated and temperamental- at the end of the day it detracts from playing guitar! I'm not sure that the versatility and  "loud" tones offered by this rig justify its complexity, learning curve and expense over simpler tube amp rigs with good inbuilt or external power attenuation. I guess I was drawn in by the idea of patches and community sharing etc after liking the podfarm software a few years back.....

However, I suspect my "loud" tone would be better with a quality/ traditional tube amp. Mabye even better direct from pod to monitor speakers (home) or PA (live, rarely) without all the volume imbalance hitches that seem to arise with a pod to DT amp connection.

Whatever I do I'll keep the podHD for home use- an amazing piece of kit for that application at least. I think in a few years time hybrid amps will have moved on and integration with digital interfaces will be more seamless. We will look back and see the DT as an early prototype rather than a classic "amp for life"....

 

I guess what I'm concluding after 2 years experience with this kit is that podHD modelling is now so good that a hybrid tube amp (of the DTs quality) actually sounds no better with tubes cranked than the pure digital sound from the modeller. That digital sound does not therefore require an amp and would be just as good through speakers or a PA. This is especially so when the digital source + hybrid amp combination is so glitchy and requires (despite first appearances) a  re-tweak at every volume level.... as would a better quality traditional tube rig.

 

The complexity and price might all be worth it if it all worked as I thought it would- one set of well crafted patches that sound good at home and can be played unchanged through a hybrid tube amp with nothing more than enhanced tone quality due to the tube effect. Alas that isnt the case and the podHD + DT amp comination might as well be a completely unrelated rig in comparison to my studio setup podHD.

 

In fact it would be simpler (if possibly a bit less versatile overall) to set up a single channel analogue tube amp/ combo with the pod as an effects only pedal board!! I'd probably play guitar more than fiddle with settings for a change. And I dare say the "tube" tone might be better too.


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#8 hurghanico

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:18 PM

since the power amp section of your amp is essentially a Bogner one, it should be pretty good..

and so you have already a good tube amp at the disposal

 

if you want, one thing you could try also is to connect your POD to the DT25 FX return jack rather than by the L6 Link, in other words doing the same thing you should do with a traditional tube amp, thus avoiding that the DT25 will auto configure each time its power stage according to the selected amp model on your POD, so maybe you can get more balanced levels between your patches..

 

just an idea!


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#9 Stratman82

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:45 PM

since the power amp section of your amp is essentially a Bogner one, it should be pretty good..

and so you have already a good tube amp at the disposal

 

if you want, one thing you could try also is to connect your POD to the DT25 FX return jack rather than by the L6 Link, in other words doing the same thing you should do with a traditional tube amp, thus avoiding that the DT25 will auto configure each time its power stage according to the selected amp model on your POD, so maybe you can get more balanced levels between your patches..

 

just an idea!

 

That might indeed be an option, thanks, although it kind of defeats the purpose of this rig and its supposed advantages.

 

As I say above (after editing my post a couple of times)

 "it would be simpler (if possibly a bit less versatile overall) to set up a traditional single channel analogue tube amp +/- the pod as an effects only pedal board!! I'd probably play guitar more than fiddle with settings for a change. And I dare say the "tube" tone might be better too."

 

Im seriously considering keeping the podHD and getting a better (dare I say it "proper") tube amp for use with or without the pod.


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#10 Stratman82

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 03:04 PM

Sorry for replying to my own post but...I guess an alternative option would be set the podHD up in effects only mode as a pedal board in front of the DT25 in full volume mode and use "patches" only for effects set ups.

I could simply load the most common amps into the 4/8 channels (almost exclusively fender deluxe, jtm45, jcm800 and mesa boogie) and do all the tweaking from the amp itself to suit venue and volume..... Would probably make the tweaking a bit more simple and "traditional".

I guess once id stumbled on workable volume and EQ settings from the amp I could attempt to configure them into a pre amp patch on the pod (sure to fail but worth trying!).
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#11 geppert

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 04:33 PM

Sorry for replying to my own post but...I guess an alternative option would be set the podHD up in effects only mode as a pedal board in front of the DT25 in full volume mode and use "patches" only for effects set ups.

I could simply load the most common amps into the 4/8 channels (almost exclusively fender deluxe, jtm45, jcm800 and mesa boogie) and do all the tweaking from the amp itself to suit venue and volume..... Would probably make the tweaking a bit more simple and "traditional".

I guess once id stumbled on workable volume and EQ settings from the amp I could attempt to configure them into a pre amp patch on the pod (sure to fail but worth trying!).

 

I tend to use my POD HD500 and DT25 (L6 Linked) in the manner you described above (outlined in red).

 

Note: I found of course, that with no active preamp selected in the POD that the DT defaults to Channel B, but, you can manually switch to Channel A and still use the DT internal preamp(s) with your "pedal board POD" . To that end I purchased a foot switch for my DT to allow me to do this with feet instead of hand switching.

 

In my case, I only use 2 Voicings on the DT, CH A Clean (Fender Twin) and CH B Crunch (Vox AC30), My tone stacks are set for each voicing independently on the DT Channels A&B and I don't change them much. But I will admit that certain venues do make me "tweak" the tone stacks from time to time.

 

The way I gain stage the DT for gigging is ....

 

1) Master Volume up FULL

2) Clean Channel A ... has Tone Stack to taste, Channel Volume up FULL, then Drive set to deliver the volume I need for the venue. This keeps Channel A as clean as possible.

3) Grunge Channel B ... has Tone Stack set to taste, Drive up FULL (I like the most crunch for the AC30) and Channel Volume set to taste against whatever Volume I have Channel A set at. I usually set Channel B slightly louder than Channel A.

4) Channel A/B switching is done with a foot switch (or by hand if need be).

 5) The POD remains for both, an 8 efx pedalboard (different patches, sans active preamp, provide different 8 x efx combinations) .

 

I don't believe that this type of workflow is what most people here use, but it works for me.

 

If you give this approach a try ..... let me know if it works or doesn't work for your needs? I would be curious.


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#12 Stratman82

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 10:23 PM

Very interesting geppert, thanks.

Of course, using the rig in this way massively reduces its versatility and essentially renders it a more old school 2 channel amp. I guess if you only ever use two preamps then that works as you get the benefit of a more traditional "interface" between guitarist and amp. I'm sure many would say it defeats the purpose of the DT25 and they would probably be right.... I guess you'd still have 3 unused preamp banks per channel though. You could presumably go from 1 to 2, 3, 4 within channel A or B respectively by hand? I've got a funny feeling that that would work fine without the pod connected but start getting glitchy with it connected. I played live once without the pod and prior to that updated the amp via midi and DT edit (excellent 3rd party software) so that I had different amps in channel sets A and B. It was ok.

Btw, master and volume maxed out...that sucker must be loud!

Philosophically, I've stopped playing computer games as I feel the time invested in acquisition of guitar skill is much better spent. It's cross transferable and will last forever. Skill on a computer game is often only useful until you start playing a new game or the next console comes out. I'm starting to think that the "dream rig" is similar to computer games. I'm spending hours tweaking and getting to know it and ultimately for what? The technology is sure to be updated in the near future and that time in "skill acquisition" will probably be wasted, particularly if I move away from Line 6. At least time spent getting to know traditional tube amp is transferable to similar analogue units...and that will always be the case as classic amps will never go out of fashion.

In the meantime I'm playing guitar less and leaning over to adjust software parameters in my laptop...
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#13 geppert

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:11 PM

Tinman .... yes it is more of an old school approach I grant you, but for what I do it works. With the master up full I push the tubes but it doesn't have to be loud per se. I make the volume adjustments to suit the venue. If I don't need it loud then I just back down that drive on Channel A until it is where I want it and same on Channel B / Channel Volume. I get it where I need it with this approach. Truthfully, for what I do, the POD has way more options than I use. If I am lazy for rehearsals I sometimes just use the DT. I kind of like that sound but I need delay and chorus so I am not totally happy when I don't have the POD. Everybody's different.

 


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#14 evilmikehoo

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 04:54 AM

Well, for me, I have plenty of time on my hands. I found and tweaked a few tones that I really like just for my particular styles of guitar playing and practice (thru headphones). I spend most of my time playing, but I do set aside some time to just play with and experiment with the 500. I set up several setlists for this. By the way, I have the DT50 212. During my "experimental" time, if a find and/or develope a tone that I'm at least beginning to like, I'll save it to whatever particular setlist I'm working with (L6 link w/ DT50, 4CM, Studio, etc.). Whatever mood strikes me, I'll go back to that tone and work with it a bit more (or if I learn something new - especially from this forum!). This way, I don't have the pressure of developing a tone and can take the time to do it right while not taking time from my actual playing. The rewards are extremely satisfying. Again, I take it more from a hobbyist standpoint. I accept the fact that it is quite a learning process and by taking this attitude, it seems to be coming to me much more quickly


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#15 radatats

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:59 AM

I have had line 6 gear for ages now and love the HD500 and DT-25 too.  My rig has 2 matching 2x12 cabs, 1 with the DT-25 and one with my Flextone II head.  I run the link to the DT and the 1/4 outs to the FX return of the Flextone.  I set the DT master to a level that works and match the Flextone using the master on the POD. I can compare my patches side by side and also get an amazing stereo wall of tone that way. I also use Shure SRH440 headphones for most tone building before trying through the amps.

 

All that being said, I honestly believe the straight POD tones stand up on their own.  I often wonder why I dropped so much cash on the DT.  I like to set up dual amp patches and obviously the DT won't do that. I just let it push the amp in the A channel. In reality the DT-25 is nothing more than a single channel reconfigurable tube power amp when using the POD.  If you are clear about that, OK.  Of course it is a really good one and my single amp patches shine with it.

 

As for gigging, I have multiple choices about gear setups... both rigs for backline, or just one of them, and the xlr outs can always go FOH either alone or in support. BTW, I also have my cabs wired so each cab can run stereo by itself too so I can get my true dual amp tones with a stereo power amp from the POD with just one cab.  Many options this way that you can't have with any other gear.

 

I would suggest you keep your DT-25 setup and if you want another option for at home use, just get a quality stereo power amp (SS) and either a cab to match what you already have, a stereo 2x12 cab or a pair of FR cabs.  You will spend less cash and less hassle than trying to fiddle and tweak another tube amp to do what the POD is already doing for you.  And who wants to mess with 4 cable setups anymore? Not me... As for going live, no matter what setup you choose there will always be tweaking at the venue but it should not be much more than basic EQ during soundcheck or your patch wasn't right to start with.  That is the biggest drawback to the POD, no global EQ...  I also have an ADC EQ into a Rocktron Velocity 300 power amp that I can run with the POD that fixes that issue and sounds great too.

 

Just my opinions...


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#16 mrkphpps

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:06 PM

Hey Tinman

 

Couple of years ago, bought an Epiphone Valve Junior thinking it might work for home practice.  Just 1 valve, 5 watts, 8 inch speaker.

 

How wrong could I be - loud enough to threaten the windows let alone the neighbours when starting to break up...

 

I've been using an Hd500 for a couple of years, initially though the FX return of a Peavey Valveking combo, then through a decent quality FRFR powered speaker.  But a DT25 at gig volume was a huge leap - just felt and sounded right.  Admittedely I had to put together a new setlist with pre models and balance volumes all over again, but the investment was worth it for me in improved tone and feel.

 

The DT25 is configuring the power stage to match your pre-amp model, and this can mean that it behaves differently from the modelled power amp (dimed by default in the HD500 models - would be super loud in full power DT25 to deliver the same power amp distortion).  You will need at least to balance volumes.

 

If you like the modelled power amp distortion from the HD500, you might want to run straight to PA / use studio monitors or headphones at home.  Watch out for Fletcher Munson - what sounds good at home volume will likely sound boomy / harsh at high volume.  You're also likely to want to reduce the gain / distortion levels as volume increases.

 

There's no "right" answer here - but in my humble opinion, the HDXXX / DT25 combination can deliver good tones.

 

Good luck

 

Mark


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#17 Stratman82

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 01:46 PM

Guys, I really appreciate your thoughtful advice...I can honestly say that (for whatever reason) the responses on this forum seem so much better considered an, well, intelligent than other forums! Mabye tech- minded people are drawn to Line 6 gear!

Anyway, you're starting to change my way of thinking on this (not usually an easy task)... Mabye a more old school approach to the DT will help initially...surprising how many seem to take this approach despite all the versatility on tap. I guess lack of "plug and play" is the trade off for versatility in this case.

Admittedly, lack of opportunity to tweak at higher volumes probably colours my views too.

I'll keep the DT25.... will no doubt be tempted by an OR15H soon though....!
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#18 Stratman82

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 12:47 PM

Update: I may fall on my own sword here and ultimately lose cash through foolhardy inexperience but....

I've decided to give an OR15H a spin hooked up to my DT25 combo speaker. The DTs 8ohm speaker impedance means that in the (likely) event that the Orange tone is lacking at home volume in the 7 watt mode, I can crank it up and try attenuating with my 8ohm THD hotplate. It also means I keep the DT25 in the short term before making a final decision on this, whilst avoiding an immediate requirement to purchase a new 112 cab.

I think a direct comparison and trial at home is the only way to settle this. I may eat my words and decide I prefer the Line 6 tones + versatility after all. Or, I may prefer the Orange tones and be bowled over by its simplicity. I'll sell the unit that I like the least rather than hastily selling the DT first and regretting it later....

Sold some other gear to finance half the Orange head price so potential loses are less.

I'll keep you posted for those that care!
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#19 stumblinman

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:32 PM

Update: I may fall on my own sword here and ultimately lose cash through foolhardy inexperience but....

I've decided to give an OR15H a spin hooked up to my DT25 combo speaker. The DTs 8ohm speaker impedance means that in the (likely) event that the Orange tone is lacking at home volume in the 7 watt mode, I can crank it up and try attenuating with my 8ohm THD hotplate. It also means I keep the DT25 in the short term before making a final decision on this, whilst avoiding an immediate requirement to purchase a new 112 cab.

I think a direct comparison and trial at home is the only way to settle this. I may eat my words and decide I prefer the Line 6 tones + versatility after all. Or, I may prefer the Orange tones and be bowled over by its simplicity. I'll sell the unit that I like the least rather than hastily selling the DT first and regretting it later....

Sold some other gear to finance half the Orange head price so potential loses are less.

I'll keep you posted for those that care!


I think we all lose money on the tone chase. Let us know what you think. When I finish my OR15H patch I'm building I will send it to you for comparison. It uses DT25 and HD500, so should be plug and play for you. I'm almost satisfied with it, so hopefully with work and coaching sports I will be done by the weekend. I will PM you when it's done.
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#20 Stratman82

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:42 PM

I think we all lose money on the tone chase. Let us know what you think. When I finish my OR15H patch I'm building I will send it to you for comparison. It uses DT25 and HD500, so should be plug and play for you. I'm almost satisfied with it, so hopefully with work and coaching sports I will be done by the weekend. I will PM you when it's done.


Intriguing....sounds good. I knew I wouldn't be the only one drooling over the tone in that video!
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