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Variax bass/guitar & HD500 Among Other Questions
by krovx on 2010-11-13 09:03:43

Hey Everyone,

I have been a long time Line6 fan. I remember my first Spider, and I am still rocking a Guitarport. Figured it is about time to get with the times. The HD stuff sounds amazing. I am very impressed. I am also thinking of jumping on a Variax bass and guitar, so the HD500 w/ the variax accessibility seems like the right path to go. However, I have been trying to research a few things but have not been able to find much information, perhaps some of you can help?

I operate Macs on Snow Leopard, but I am able to boot into Windows XP Service Pack III. Will I have software compatibility issues with the HD500 and the Mac? It sounds like Line6 is working to resolve these issues, my PodFarm stuff works great with Snow Leopard.

Does the HD use Pod Farm or an entirely new interface? Can the HD work with Pod Farm so I do not have to connect the Guitarport to use my old stuff? This is important especially if I get the Variax instruments and want to use my Pod Farm bass amps, etc. I have a feeling that backwards compatibility is not a possibility....am I wrong?

Is there another way to connect a Variax instrument to your computer without having to use a Pod-type interface and still be able to use Pod Farm? Would rather take advantage of the ease of one wire between the guitar and computer instead of multiple ones to power the variax, etc.

Finally, does anyone know if there is HD bass stuff in the mix? I see on the HD menu something labeled 'bass'

Thank you everyone in advance.

Warm Regards,

Ted



Re: Variax bass/guitar & HD500 Among Other Questions
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-11-13 09:26:46

Hi Ted

Welcome to the forum.  We're all pretty happy to chip in and help out if we can I think

You may have to put up with a bit of good natured banter or sarcasm from time to time, but we can take as good as we give LOL

I'll try and answer all your questions sensibly, (and maybe some less than sensibly) in line below

I operate Macs on Snow Leopard,  but I am able to boot into Windows XP Service Pack III. Will I have software compatibility issues with the HD500 and the Mac? It sounds like Line6 is working to resolve these issues, my PodFarm stuff works great with Snow Leopard.

Never mind, I'm sure the Mac thing is just a phase   (I did warn you....)  Seriously: - sorry I don't do Mac if i can avoid it but I'm sure if there are any issues they will be resolved where interoperability between the POD HD500 and certain software is planned

Does the HD use Pod Farm or an entirely new interface? Can the HD work with Pod Farm so I do not have to connect the Guitarport to use my old stuff? This is important especially if I get the Variax instruments and want to use my Pod Farm bass amps, etc. I have a feeling that backwards compatibility is not a possibility....am I wrong?

For now there is no link with POD Farm with any of the HD units.  This may change, but right now it won't work with the HD500.  Guitar port is not accessible either

Is there another way to connect a Variax instrument to your computer without having to use a Pod-type interface and still be able to use Pod Farm? Would rather take advantage of the ease of one wire between the guitar and computer instead of multiple ones to power the variax, etc.

You can use a standard VDI lead to power the Variax and transfer the signal from the guitar to the HD500 and then into the computer by USB, but again - no POD Farm at this time (unless you are licensed by iLok)

Finally, does anyone know if there is HD bass stuff in the mix? I see on the HD menu something labeled 'bass'

No real bass specifc stuff in the HD500, but you can get a perfectly usable bass tone from the models that are there.  the Fender Bassman amp is modelled and this was originally designed as a bass amp before 6 string guitarists decided they liked the sound of it too

Apologies for the dig at Apple there - I'm a hardened PC user since 1984 so I couldn't resist sorry

Nick



Re: Variax bass/guitar & HD500 Among Other Questions
by Hey_Joe on 2010-11-13 09:33:57

krovx wrote:

Hey Everyone,

I have been a long time Line6 fan. I remember my first Spider, and I am still rocking a Guitarport. Figured it is about time to get with the times. The HD stuff sounds amazing. I am very impressed. I am also thinking of jumping on a Variax bass and guitar, so the HD500 w/ the variax accessibility seems like the right path to go. However, I have been trying to research a few things but have not been able to find much information, perhaps some of you can help?

I operate Macs on Snow Leopard, but I am able to boot into Windows XP Service Pack III. Will I have software compatibility issues with the HD500 and the Mac? It sounds like Line6 is working to resolve these issues, my PodFarm stuff works great with Snow Leopard.

Does the HD use Pod Farm or an entirely new interface? No, no VST for the HDs yet. PodFarm will not work with the HDs. Can the HD work with Pod Farm so I do not have to connect the Guitarport to use my old stuff? Nope - still need your Guitrport to communicate with PodFarm. This is important especially if I get the Variax instruments and want to use my Pod Farm bass amps, etc. I have a feeling that backwards compatibility is not a possibility....am I wrong? You are correct no - backwards compatibilty

Is there another way to connect a Variax instrument to your computer without having to use a Pod-type interface and still be able to use Pod Farm? Would rather take advantage of the ease of one wire between the guitar and computer instead of multiple ones to power the variax, etc. Only option is the 1/4" out of the Variax if you don't go the VDI route, but you miss out on so many options that way.

Finally, does anyone know if there is HD bass stuff in the mix? Nobody knows and Line6 is not saying whether there will be add-on amp model packs like for the XTs, GuitarPort, etc. - so as it stands there is really only one "official" bass amp in the lineup, as you probably have seen; the Fender Bassman - (even though most use it for it's wonderful 6 string sounds). There are a few guys who have put together usable bass patches but nothing like the almost limitless possabilities with PodFarm and the bass expansion model pack. I see on the HD menu something labeled 'bass'

I would  say that if you can get a good sound dependable used Variax bass you should snatch it up, I checked into geting one on eBay and found too many were offering no exchange or money back - for an instrument that could have various problems with the Variax guts I wasn't willing to spend $800 (that's what I was seeing them go for) and then have to turn around and spend who knows how much at a service center to get it working. So I'm going to hang tight and see if after the new JTV next gen Variaxes come out whether Line6 moves forward and adds the acoustic and bass versions.

hope that helps

Thank you everyone in advance.

Warm Regards,

Ted



Re: Variax bass/guitar & HD500 Among Other Questions
by krovx on 2010-11-13 09:52:41

Thanks for the information guys!

Nick, no hard feelings against Apple. I use to be a big PC fan and was actually training to be a MCSE for awhile, but the past two years I have been hooked on the Mac. Once I figured the Apple logic, I just prefer it. It does take it awhile though, and PCs are still great tools. I don't get the animosity between both camps, each respective tool has pros/cons and when the kool aid drinking commences I tend to shy away

Forgot all about the Fender Bassman Model, duh!

Sounds like I will have to do an interface tap dance for the time being if I want to use POD Farm. Unless sometime in the future Line6 bridges them together. I feel that once a person gets used to the HD they probably wouldn't like going back.

My technology skepticism is getting the best of me. I know the HD is rather new and I always like to wait awhile for the 'bugs' to be identified and worked out but I just want to jump on one of these.

Joe, I am a bit skeptical of picking up used Variax's for that reason but the prices can be great. I am trying to find a Guitar 300 because I prefer hardtail.



Re: Variax bass/guitar & HD500 Among Other Questions
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-11-13 10:08:30

No worries - just teasing on the Apple thing - admitting you like Macs is fine - it doesn't carry the stigma it once did - I mean this IS 2010 after all

I don't really subscribe to the PC vs Mac thing either - after all, what's the point? EVERYONE already knows PC's are best

I did buy a copy of Snow Leopard to try and get a Hackintosh system set up - always useful in my line of work to know how the other half live - but haven't done it yet (closet Mac user alert!).  I did quite a few of those MCSE training courses - pretty good - great if the tutor can relate stuff to the real world rather than Microsoft's rather twee scenarios which during some of the tests tend to be more about whether you can decode a double negative statement properly to get the right answer rather than just answering a straight question

With the HD range, despite some comments you might read here on this forum, the units were very heavily tested before release and as a result there is a pretty stable set of products from the starting gate.  There are a few genuine bugs that have been flushed out, but pretty minor ones really and i'm sure the engineers will be sorting those out over the next few weeks hopefully, but, yes you are right - resisting the urge to be an early adopter sometimes pays off.

You should take your guitar along to your local Line 6 store and try an HD500 out in person though really to get a good feel for how it feels and sounds to you.   Take your credit card with you at your own risk!!!

Nick




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