A little background. I'm incredibly familiar with the whole range of POD series. Esp the HD series and the X3 series. I've always been able to dial in really really amazing high gain, full round, huge sounding, real world...usable live tones. I've been able to always configure my POD's for full blown big rock band original and cover band situations. I've always used a POD with a tube power source, whether it's 4 cable method to a tube head, or using the amp sims and using a tube head as just power or more currently using my Matrix GT1000fx. I'm really proficient with use of the different output settings, the different input settings, getting the most out of punchy loud, usable tones with the mixer, etc, etc.
So w/out getting into the A, B, C's of the most basic common sense suggestions....is it possible that the HD's really, for the most part....short of over tweaking and having to go to extremes....that they sound like "lollipop" overall going direct into powered speakers or PA's? I'm 95% speaking of high gain tones. I've tried this for hours with my HD500, My HD Pro and now my 500x.
Right out of the gate, and I know most of you who have tried this...know this....the higher gain tones or any subtle use of gain or drive....sound brittle, harsh, overly out of control. The tones are cheap sounding and not meant for practical use in a pro situation. Even after EQing the crap out of everything, even on direct output, even using stack out and dialing back the global highs and mids....on full amps and pre's...mixer in front and back of the amps, after relfashing a few times, after resetting....the high gain tones....running direct....just suck overall. Does anyone have anything they've done to make these usable running direct? I'm not talking your bedroom, blues, clean guitar....tele/strat guy. Those tones are easy to achieve. I'm talking any of the amp models that are higher gain...looking for that fluid, gain, pro level, big, round, brown...smooth overdrive.
My rig is simple....my pod pedal board into a Matrix....and either a mesa 4x12 or two Orange 1x12's....with some analog pedals mixed in...and "yes"...I've done the physical troubleshooting w/out pedals or anything in the way. I DO NOT think there's anything wrong at all with my 500x...I guess effortless amazing high gains tones running the pod into my Matrix or any amp. Again, this has been the case of all POD's I've ever had, running into all kinds of PA's, or powered/active speakers.