Actually I don't hear any difference. The dt25 is MUCH quieter in the second test you describe, and I need to raise the master on the pod to 11 o lock to get a similar volume level. Maybe there's a mistake in what you described? I was expecting roughly level volumes but these are waay off.
I'm using the plex 100 lead nrm pre.
You didn't mention the setting for channel volume... so i put it at 100%.
Test 1. With the dt25 master at 9-10 o clock, and pod master at 11 o clock. I can't really play much louder than this...
Test 2. The dt25 master at 100% and the pod master at 9 o clock. This gives me the same volume level, and it sounds the same to my ears. Just in case, I miced it up (i didnt try the direct out yet) and listened to the recordings, and I can't tell the difference there either.
From this I can conclude that either you made a mistake in your numbers above, or that at a bedroom volume level there is no difference whether you crank the dt25 master or lower the master and provide a stronger signal to the power section by cranking the pod master instead. As mentioned, there may be differences if you have reverb or something earlier in the chain, but I Don't hear any difference on the output of the power amp. Perhaps the amp needs to be much louder again?
It is pretty hard to resolve different results at that point. And I doubt whether this is really necessary... May be the fact that my amp is a DT50 and not a DT25 is a root cause for different tonal results.
In any case: I am talking about a gig volume level and not a bedroom volume level. I hardly can imagine to hear that much differences at bedroom levels. I personally do not care that much on the sound at bedroom or headphone levels. I use to practice with my POD HD500 at home and a decent headphone. That is pretty fine for me. And I use mainly the same presets (with pre amp models) as for live gigs.
I have used this new setup on several gigs and for a 3 days studio recording session so far and I am very pleased with a 50%-60% POD Master volume and a 50%-70% DT50 Master volume level. This configuration brings more power section saturation to MY tone than before (old configuration: POD Master volume at 100% and DT50 Master volume at approx. 25%) with SPECIFIC amps as mentioned (not the clean ones).
And I can pretty much more easily adapt the overall volume level to the specific environment I am playing without much negative impact on my tone with the POD Master volume as before. There is good range between 40-60% on the POD Master volume to MY ears where I can adapt noticably the overall volume level without loosing too much power section contribution to the tone. And I also agree that the more to you increase the POD Master volume to 100% the better these power section results (on specific amps) are noticeable. But the tradeoff is that the volume level is just too high for most locations to play.
Regarding the Marshall Plexi Lead I am using the Bright pre amp model with amp volume at 100% for Rhythm and lead tones.
On amps like the Soldano and the JCM800 which I use frequently, I also have discovered good results in tone by increase the DT-Master volume and reducing the POD-Master volume (again: at the same HIGH volume level as before). I therefore have kicked out some distortion pedals in several presets or I have reduced noticably effect paramaters like compressors and let therefore the power section contribute to a distorted tone.
I do not think that we are talking here on the level of mistakes. Simply speaking if it sounds good to me - it is good and I am not wrong. And it is fair enough to say that this does not necessarily apply to everyone.
Gear: JTV 59, JTV 69, JTV 89F, Godin Progression, Godin Seagull, Gibson Les Paul Deluxe, POD/HD500, DT50/212, DT50/Head, Marshall JVMC212, RIVERA Rockcrusher, Radial JDX Reactor
website: http://www.soundclick.com/wolbai Band: http://www.jump-backtorock.de/