Happy? Yes, but the HD500 is not the "be all, to end all"....
I've been using my HD500 as a front-end to a small AD30VT for the last three years, (modded with an effects loop to use the power section) and it's been good, and consistent.
I decided to upgrade to an amp with at least a 12" speaker - I wanted a "bigger" sound. I was thinking of getting a DT-25 but, you know what?
IT ISN'T A REAL AMP!
I said it. Can of worms opened. Sorry.
It's true - any amp with Line6 labelled on it is NOT going to get anywhere near its value come resale time. Don't get me wrong, even my old Flextone I sounds decent enough, clean and driven. But, they just do not command the value of Fender, Marshall, or almost any other "real" amp brand.
I ended up getting a Vox AC30CC2. Why? Because it's an amp. Pure and simple. A true-blue, analog, through and through tube amp. It will never need a firmware upgrade. It will never need to be controlled with anything else but its owner. And, it too can change its output parameters. If it breaks, it can be easily repaired. Capacitors, resistors, transformer - still available. Can anyone find an upgrade eeprom for the original Pod?
Yeah, yeah, not nearly as flexible as a DT amp. Sure. I don't mean to debate "real" vs. Line 6 amps. But, it was a deciding factor for me.
Rant about Line6 amps aside, I used the HD500 essentially as a front-end to the Vox as well - the same as you would with a DT-25 amp. But unfortunately, the Vox has no built in ability to change channels, so that portion of the Vox, its preamp, went unused - and what a shame. And, the HD500 (without much fuss) can't switch between two paths out of the effects loop.
Oddly enough, a real sleeper of an amp came my way: a Peavey Bravo! 2 EL84, 25watt little dynamo! For really cheap.
However, the original cabinet, being WAY too stout, covered in armadillo tolex and I swear, 3/4" MDF just didn't allow its tone to bloom in a pleasant way.
So, you know what I did with that old Flextone I that nobody would buy, even for $100 WITH the floorboard? I pulled the Flextone amp out, and retrotfitted the Peavey in it. And it sounds glorious even with the original Eminance speakers!
And the Bravo, has a sweet "almost Marshall" drive channel. It feels really good to play this bastard of an amp. But, I'd need a separate footswitch for switching the Bravo channels as the HD500 doesn't do this (like many Boss units do).
So, after setting up a 4CM with the HD500 and the Bravo, I found a cheap Boss GT-8. This unit does switch channels per patch, and it's a lot easier to setup and balance levels using the 4CM.
I will say that the Boss' overall sonic character is no match for the HD500. Especially, the amps. Hands down, the HD500 SMOKES anything with Boss on its name plate. The sonic sheen and dynamics are SO much better than the Boss.
Problem is, the Boss unit is just far easier to integrate into a live setup.
I'm not only happy with the HD500 - I love it. But sadly for me, it just isn't as flexible as I need for live use.
Don't PM me...I'm not selling the HD500! It will make a good backup for the 5 year older Boss unit!