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#1 kutsab

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Posted 24 February 2014 - 05:29 PM

Hey guys – got a question for the BrainTrust!

 

I’m currently playing through a Spider Valve Mki + Mesa 5881s and over the years it’s severely changed my taste in tone. Coming from a metal core band running my (then new) PodXT Live into the power section of a DSL 100 and most recently fronting a wedding/cover band as a vocalist (guitarist on occasion): I’ve got a wide base of tonal preferences. I guess my taste in champagne is the only thing that grows up, haha! I digress…

 

Yesterday I used a DT-50 212 (I don’t really like the sound of the Mkii) to try out a handful of guitars but instead of finding a new axe to have on my list, I’m wanting more out of my rig. The whole experience got me wondering:

 

What are some differences between a DT50 + POD HD and an Axe FX + a tube power section? Not the obvious Google-able specs, but some real tonal/feel differences & totally opinion based.

 

Smashing my distortion pedal on as a kid was great, but now I’m in love with the warm characteristics and nuances I’ve gotten with my Mki. For instance the “usegtrvolume” patch really brings out the qualities in my Paul and started changing my approach to playing in ways as well.

 

My main concerns are:

 

Does the Axe FX have the ability to really emulate the subtleties/feel?

Would the POD HD change the responsiveness and feel of the DT amp?

Does the POD HD store amp channel EQ settings, or just effects and analog configurations?

 

I really loved the DT. I didn’t spend too much time messing with settings/EQ, but definitely know that there’s a pretty deep pool of capabilities and sounds… In fact, my tonal tastes have me wanting a new guitar that has some variance in pickup selection/sounds (not a Variax, but maybe something with the EB GameChanging tech).

 

Anywho, thanks in advance for the insight!


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#2 ColonelForbin

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:50 AM

Axe FX is suppposedly a pretty deep editing experience, as far as virtual amp modelling goes; though I have never actually gotten my hands on one. One of my buddies plays guitar in the band "Digital Tape Machine", and he's been working with the Axe FX, and seems happy.

 

While I don't know about the Axe-FX, I can tell you my personal experience with the DT25+HD500, and more recently with the JTV.

 

The ONE thing that the DT+HD500 does, that *nothing* else out there can do, comes from the Bogner portion of the DT design. When the HD and the DT are 'L6-Linked' together, you enable analog and power amp related switching to occur, so instead of just modelling the characteristics and response of the amp models, you are reconfiguring actual relays, switches, and various actual components on the fly.

 

As far as quality, it's hard to say - I would guess that for the price of an Axe-FX, you get what you pay for! Though, it's also still 100% 'virtual reality'.

 

The HD500, as far as amp and fx models go, is quite good. I have used the HD500 since 2010, and only recently upgraded to a DT25 1x12 combo. I didn't want the weight of a DT50, and the volume / power was a bit more than I needed, so the DT25 was a good option for me.

 

Thus far (I just added the DT25 and the JTV59 beginning of 2014) I am quite happy with what I am hearing, right out of the box. I used to endlessly tweak patches to get a decent sound, and now I am able to spend alot more time playing, and a lot less time patch editing.

 

In terms of the Axe-FX, my primary concern for myself, beyond the price tag, is the literally unlimited options. The Ax-FX can do things, of course, that the POD series will never likely delve into. For me, I think I would spend all my time learning to interface with the gear; though that can be exciting, it can prevent one from focusing on the actual music.

 

I was looking at the ElevenRack recently, since I was shopping ProTools, and they are bundling those two together for a decent price lately; essentially it's ony $100 more than the cost of the software to add the 11R. Not sure where they sit in the quality range; it's in the same basic realm, of amp and FX modelling as the HD and the AxeFX; 24bit, 96k, etc.

 

If you get a chance, the key to truly experiencing whether you will like the Bogner/L6 DT + HD, is to make sure you are using the L6 link. It does require a difference in understanding of what you are doing to your sound. I have had to re-do all my patch building ideas from the ground up.

 

The preamp portions of the HD amp models are all that is used when L6linking, and building patches using the 'pre' choice of the models. The 'full' version include power amp modelling, that is redundant when utilizing the actual power amp functions, which is where the Bogner portion of this rig really shines.

 

While the HD500 does a great job of direct amp, cabinet and mic modelling, I can say I just prefer the tonal warmth of the manner in which the HD and the DT share these duties. I realize this isn't as specific as you might want, so hopefully some of the others here who have had their rigs for longer than I can offer more specific insight.

 

The other bonus you get with the HD+DT rig using the L6Link, is the ability to chain up to four of the DT amps, and configure on a per-patch basis, what each amp will receive. You can set them as a basic stereo pair, left right. OR you can use dual amp configurations, sending each DT a different amp model. Again, the HD is only modelling the preamp portions of these amps, when choosing the PRE models for use with the DT. Tone stacks, gain, color, shaping. All the good stuff - pentode, triode, class A, class A/B, that is handled by the Bogner.

 

I guess once you factor in the cost of an HD+DT vs the cost of an Axe-FX + power amp, you are similar in price point.

 

Also, the newer StageSource speakers are also able to handle the L6Link features of the HD and DT rigs, so you could branch out even furthur into connection possibilities, by linking the HD to a DT and to an L2T or the like.

 

Lastly, if you get a chance to L6Link an HD to a DT, do yourself a favor and try out a JTV as well. I can honestly say my JTV59 is a revelation in guitar flexibility, and for being a Korean made axe, is really quite nice. For pure simplicity of being able to change a whole bunch of things with one foot switch on the HD, it's a nice option - you can even store the choice of magnetic pickup or modelling pickup for the JTV within the HD500 patch. Meaning, switches the DT to a Fender style amp while changing your JTV to a strat. Next patch changes the DT to a Marshall Plexi and changes your JTV to the onboard humbuckers, or to a Les Paul model, etc.

 

I upgraded to the HD500 from an X3Live, so I know how you feel, in terms of hearing the new HD amp modelling as compared to the previous offerings.


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#3 sheguitarplayer2

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 04:26 AM

Ive recently bought into the ' dream rig ' with the JTV, HD500 and DT25.

I own a Kemper Profiler and until recently an axefx2.

If you are after the sound of a real amp the HD500 and DT25 win hands down. The axefx would need to be coupled to a valve amp to be in the same territory. By then you've spent almost five times as much for the preamp/effects and foot controller and in this situation there is hardly any difference between the two.

The HD500 is also a lot easier to edit. (Axefx has an awful UI, and the computer editor doesn't function half the time as its updates lag behind the units constant firmware updates).


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#4 aggravation

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 06:52 AM

I've owned the AxeFXII and used it primarily through a good power amp Randall RT2/50 tube, stereo power amp into lots of different guitar cabs. You can get the kind of experience you are talking about. Or not, depending on how you set it up. But generally yes that should be no problem.

 

I have the DT 25 and a Pod HD500x and it too can get that, although the PodHD in front can be problematic just like the AxeFx was, if you tweak it poorly. Gain stages where you don't want them input mismatch sucking tone, etc.

Basically the more links in the chain the more potential for trouble.

 

And that is where I find the DT amp shines above everything else I've tried related to the modeling world. I can always just plug into the DT amp by itself and I'm there. Touch sensitive dynamics, killer tone, etc. Throw a few pedals in front...no problems. You can program the DT to have up to 8 different preamp 'flavors' available to you even when there is no Pod connected so you still have some variety but it behaves first and foremost like a good tube amp should.

 

Right now I'm using the PodHD in Line6 Link to the DT 25 but I have a series of pedals in front of the PodHD and I keep the PodHD on one preset most of the time and use the pedals to bring in all my favorite flavors of drive and the PodHD effects for reverbs and delays and lots of other stuff.

 

I've got other tube amps, boutique, expensive, sounding great kind of amps. Some of them can clearly outshine the DT in some particular way...nothing does Tweed Deluxe like a good tweed deluxe for example....

The DT however deserves to be there with them because it shines quite bright in so many ways. 


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#5 Brazzy

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 07:25 AM

Ive recently bought into the ' dream rig ' with the JTV, HD500 and DT25.

I own a Kemper Profiler and until recently an axefx2.

If you are after the sound of a real amp the HD500 and DT25 win hands down. The axefx would need to be coupled to a valve amp to be in the same territory. By then you've spent almost five times as much for the preamp/effects and foot controller and in this situation there is hardly any difference between the two.

The HD500 is also a lot easier to edit. (Axefx has an awful UI, and the computer editor doesn't function half the time as its updates lag behind the units constant firmware updates).

 

I was curious about how Kemper users felt about ease of use and quality of sound, thanks for sharing that. Also don't much about the axefx.

 

I've owned the AxeFXII and used it primarily through a good power amp Randall RT2/50 tube, stereo power amp into lots of different guitar cabs. You can get the kind of experience you are talking about. Or not, depending on how you set it up. But generally yes that should be no problem.

 

I have the DT 25 and a Pod HD500x and it too can get that, although the PodHD in front can be problematic just like the AxeFx was, if you tweak it poorly. Gain stages where you don't want them input mismatch sucking tone, etc.

Basically the more links in the chain the more potential for trouble.

 

And that is where I find the DT amp shines above everything else I've tried related to the modeling world. I can always just plug into the DT amp by itself and I'm there. Touch sensitive dynamics, killer tone, etc. Throw a few pedals in front...no problems. You can program the DT to have up to 8 different preamp 'flavors' available to you even when there is no Pod connected so you still have some variety but it behaves first and foremost like a good tube amp should.

 

Right now I'm using the PodHD in Line6 Link to the DT 25 but I have a series of pedals in front of the PodHD and I keep the PodHD on one preset most of the time and use the pedals to bring in all my favorite flavors of drive and the PodHD effects for reverbs and delays and lots of other stuff.

 

I've got other tube amps, boutique, expensive, sounding great kind of amps. Some of them can clearly outshine the DT in some particular way...nothing does Tweed Deluxe like a good tweed deluxe for example....

The DT however deserves to be there with them because it shines quite bright in so many ways.

 

I unerstand about going stack front being a bit touchy on the settings to get good tone, but it can be done. The L6 feed into the DT50 I'm really liking alot. I've never owned any tube amps up until Nov. 2013 so I can't say if it's better ot not but I can say I'm happy with buying into this rig, HD500>DT50 Head>DT25Cab. I started with the UX2 then went to the X3 Pro (GUI/Gearbox) with a Spider Jam and had fun with those so I felt the DT-HD thing was going to be ok for me and I was right. Even with the problems of the learning curve I had to endure it was worth it. I'll probably never use it to the fullest but I'll have fun trying.

 

To the OP: The Amp EQ settings are saved in the patch you create in the Pod as far as responsiveness it feels as responsive as just going in the front of the amp with the guitar, IMO, but I haven't used the DT25 I have the DT50. Can't see there being that much differance in responsiveness between the two though.


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#6 guitar_junkie

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Posted 23 March 2016 - 05:29 PM

Hi, Im new on here and this subject really interests me. I own both an AXE FXII which I typically run through a mesa 2:50 or engl e810/20 power amp into a variety of different cabs. It can sound great if you put the time in to learning how to set it up and programming your patches. You really have to spend a lot of time tweaking things to account for the fact that you are actually using a real tube power section and real guitar cabs... The AXE seems to me to be designed first and foremost to work with FRFR monitors and most of the AXE community these days has gone FRFR... Line 6 is clearly pushing in that direction as well, starting with the HD line, fire hawk, and most of all the Helix... This concept is something Ive had a really hard time wrapping my brain around.. Call me old school I guess but NO TUBES? Really? Really? Seems like a sketchy proposition to me at best... LOL 

 

However, I recently happened to pick up at DT50 and HD500 and for the first time ever with any line 6 products I was blown away by the tones I was getting and I LOVE the way the HD integrates with the DT! Optimizing the topology of the DT as you alter your HD amp settings is genius. I am used to line 6 processors Ive had in the past producing awful grainy digital sounding distortions that were really hard to work with regardless of having a good tube power section and I was more or less done with Line 6 as a company until the DT line caught my eye. 

 

Anyway, I think you all have made a bunch of really valid and excellent comments about the functionality of both types of rig and youv'e inspired my to try something I have been dreaming of for quite a long time! Im going to hook my AXEII up to a pair of DT's and use MIDI to make them interact with the AXE FX the same way the HD500 does, more or less anyway... My gut tells me the massive processing power of the AXE working hand in hand with a real tube amp with multiple voicings that can be altered to optimize the amp blocks used could be F'ing amazing!

 

Ill dunno if anybody else is reading this post anymore but I will report back with results when I can.. Also, if anyone has done this please dont hesitate to reach out to me with suggestions or thoughts... I am not a midi genius by any means so Id love to hear from you.. Thanks -Andrew


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#7 Brazzy

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 04:38 PM

Hi, Im new on here and this subject really interests me. I own both an AXE FXII which I typically run through a mesa 2:50 or engl e810/20 power amp into a variety of different cabs. It can sound great if you put the time in to learning how to set it up and programming your patches. You really have to spend a lot of time tweaking things to account for the fact that you are actually using a real tube power section and real guitar cabs... The AXE seems to me to be designed first and foremost to work with FRFR monitors and most of the AXE community these days has gone FRFR... Line 6 is clearly pushing in that direction as well, starting with the HD line, fire hawk, and most of all the Helix... This concept is something Ive had a really hard time wrapping my brain around.. Call me old school I guess but NO TUBES? Really? Really? Seems like a sketchy proposition to me at best... LOL 

 

However, I recently happened to pick up at DT50 and HD500 and for the first time ever with any line 6 products I was blown away by the tones I was getting and I LOVE the way the HD integrates with the DT! Optimizing the topology of the DT as you alter your HD amp settings is genius. I am used to line 6 processors Ive had in the past producing awful grainy digital sounding distortions that were really hard to work with regardless of having a good tube power section and I was more or less done with Line 6 as a company until the DT line caught my eye. 

 

Anyway, I think you all have made a bunch of really valid and excellent comments about the functionality of both types of rig and youv'e inspired my to try something I have been dreaming of for quite a long time! Im going to hook my AXEII up to a pair of DT's and use MIDI to make them interact with the AXE FX the same way the HD500 does, more or less anyway... My gut tells me the massive processing power of the AXE working hand in hand with a real tube amp with multiple voicings that can be altered to optimize the amp blocks used could be F'ing amazing!

 

Ill dunno if anybody else is reading this post anymore but I will report back with results when I can.. Also, if anyone has done this please dont hesitate to reach out to me with suggestions or thoughts... I am not a midi genius by any means so Id love to hear from you.. Thanks -Andrew

 

Sounds interesting, please let us know what you think after you've spent time with that setup you spoke of. Good Luck and have fun.


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#8 grandinq

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 06:23 PM

Im going to hook my AXEII up to a pair of DT's and use MIDI to make them interact with the AXE FX the same way the HD500 does, more or less anyway... My gut tells me the massive processing power of the AXE working hand in hand with a real tube amp with multiple voicings that can be altered to optimize the amp blocks used could be F'ing amazing!

Ill dunno if anybody else is reading this post anymore but I will report back with results when I can.. Also, if anyone has done this please dont hesitate to reach out to me with suggestions or thoughts... I am not a midi genius by any means so Id love to hear from you.. Thanks -Andrew


I'm intrigued by this idea! I am saving up for an Axe-Fx to use for recording. My live setup is the classic Dream Rig of DT25, HD500, and JTV-59. I hadn't really thought about using an Axe-Fx live because I wasn't going to buy a power amp, speaker, and foot controller (Axe is pricey enough on its own). But if it could work well with the DT, that could open up another world.

Keep us filled in!
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#9 grandinq

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 02:48 AM

I thought I would revive this thread with some good news and bad news. The good news is using the DT25 as a power amp for the Axe Fx can send really good. There is a thread on the Fractal forum where somebody describes how to setup the hd500 as a midi controller for the Axe allowing you to navigate some scenes and use the expression pedal and looper:

http://forum.fractal...d-looper.80425/

Basically it boils down to a patch he created for the pod to send midi messages to the Axe. Very helpful!

So I tried the next step. I disabled the cab block on the Axe, send the out from that into the power amp in on the DT and use the DT topologies. I can save a topology setting to my pod patch as well as class a vs a/b or triode/pentode. Again, very nice.

Then I hit an old limitation. I use a jtv59 in a live setting and connect it with the vdi cable. To get to the Axe I wanted to use the s/pdif out from the pod. Of course, I cannot send the dry s/pdif signal to the Axe and use the L6 link from the pod to the DT at the same time.

The workarounds would be: use a 1/4 cable from the Variax into the Axe instead of vdi, use the 1/4 and the vdi (with vdi just acting as a power cable to the pod), use a cable from the fx send of the pod to go to the axe. None of these are what I want. I don't like having two cables coming out of the jtv. I don't like relying on the jtv battery, just a psychological thing. The fx send I swear sucked the life out of the tone, although it was late at night and I should go back fresh to compare. The other alternative is to not use the jtv, as this setup sounded great with my PRS, but I need the versatility of the jtv live.

I am wondering if there is a way I can have the midi out from the axe go into the DT as a way to send topology changes. I actually don't have another midi cable to try this out at the moment. I also wonder if this will cause some annoying delay as when I select a program on the pod it would then send the PC to the axe which then sends the topology change to the DT.

In the end, as radats said on another thread, I'm trying to get the most of out equipment I already have. It would be great if I could afford an atomic clr for my axe, but that's not going to happen anytime soon.
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#10 DarrellM5

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 06:30 AM

Since you're opposed to using the battery in the JTV, I'd recommend either using the mags or another guitar.

 

It should be really simple for the Axe FX to control the DT via MIDI.  There's a DT Amplifier MIDI Implementation Guide available on the Line 6 site.  I'm currently using MIDI to control my DT with my Helix and it's a piece of cake.  There are several threads here on the forum regarding using Helix with the DT via MIDI that would be beneficial to you if you decide to take this route.

 

Another thing that works really well is to use the free DT Edit program to go in and configure your DT amp how you want (for example, turn of preamp, cab and mic modelling and set the topology).  Once you disconnect from the amp it will remain configured that way so there's no need to hook up the MIDI again unless you want to change something.  DT Edit has a super simple interface that takes about 30 seconds to figure out; it's really well designed.


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