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Spider Valve or POD HD???
by mtreehugger on 2011-03-15 10:47:43

Coming out of guitar retirement (as a newborn empty-nester), I am very excited about purchasing either an HD POD or a Spider Valve 112 or 212 amp with shortboard.  I really like the tones I hear in those amps!  I'm looking forward to switching between sounds and effects that, once dialed in, are compatible volume-wise, with just the click of my toe.  However, I'm wondering if I wouldn't be happier with an HD POD in front of my vintage Dual Showman Reverb amp, for which I already own a couple of cabs.  IMO, the price differential involved isn't that substantial, and both tube amps have great natural tone.  I'm basically looking for more and better saturated tones plus effects, for practicing quietly at home, playing with a band, (hopefully) gigging, and recording at home, than I'm able to get currently with my Fender plus stomp boxes.  I understand that the HD amp modeling in the new PODs is better than the Spider's modeling, but I'm unclear whether having the most advanced modeling surpasses the advantages of integrating modeling directly into the amplifier as is the case with the Spider Valve.  Would I be able to get everything a Spider 212 has by putting a HD400 POD in front of my Fender?  Or vice-versa?  What are the trade-offs?  THANKS!



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by Dino334 on 2011-03-15 17:21:01
I have the SV HD100 mkii and t he POD HD500 and use them in conjunction with each other.  For all of my high gain/metal sounds, the spider valve is the only way to go.  I actually prefer the Spider Valve's Marshall Plexi styled sounds over the HD.  The VOX amps are pretty similar.  For the cleans, I prefer to use the HD models.  By hooking the POd into my head via the 4 cable method, not only can I use effects from both units, I also have the opportunity to use both units for amp modelling.  So yes...they are both great units.  If I had to give up one or the other, I'd keep my Spider Valve rig.  Sound is subjective and it's all what you are looking for.  Hope this helps.

Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by mtreehugger on 2011-03-16 06:03:29

Thanks, Dino!  That helps!  Question:  Does your HD 500 pod do everything (and more, obviously) that the shortboard does?  Or do you still need the shortboard controller to do some things?

I drove my music dealer nuts yesterday, asking him to take an HD 500 out of the box, and then messing around with it for 2 hours.  I put it in front of a SV 100 head (mk1), and I really loved the fender and vox tones, and switching cabs really seemed to add versatility and tonality to the basic amps.  However, I'm starting to get the sense that putting a POD in front of an amp (i.e. my Fender) does not give the same responsiveness that the SV amps give.  It seems like you get the tone but not the feel.  Is that accurate?  (I'm very new to this)  I seemed to get more feel but less tone from the SV's I've tried.  To get the best of both worlds, it seems like I'd have to do what you've done by buying both, but that's getting into more investment than I'm comfortable with.  Are there any SV owners who put PODS in front of their tube amps?



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by spaceatl on 2011-03-16 16:32:19

Sounds like you have some nice amps....The modeling in the HD PODs is way better than the SV modeling IMO...SV does sound great but the amp models and FX are better in the HD PODs...You got some nice amps...I say go for HD...The HD400 tweaks exactly like a MK2...HD400 has a bit more in it and the quality is very apparent to me when I have compared directly...



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by Dino334 on 2011-03-16 18:56:52

The POD HD series has nothing on the SV when it comes to high gain/metal.  NOT even a close second (search thru the posts and read how many HD users were completely disappointed to it over the X3 series).  The SV knocks the HD out of the playing field when it comes to that.  Again sound is subjective, but I don't even think there's much of an argue there.  The effects are definitely better, as are the routing options on the HD, though a few favorite effects are missing on the HD.  Comparing the two on similar amp models, like I said before, the class A models/ Vox models are pretty similar.  The Marshall sounds are better on the SV, and the cleans are better on the HD.  Though I also run all my stuff thru a dbx 31 band eq and a bbe sonic in my rack to tweak the sound I am looking for.  Wow..I guess with that, it's not fair for me to compare the two separately as my sound is probably more processed than Kraft cheese LOL.   Honestly, they are both great units and I don't think you can go wrong with either one.



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by sofnwhat on 2011-03-16 20:12:15

I read a lot of those threads that are not happy with the metal tones on the HD's. I've had my HD500 almost a week and haven't much time on it. I've gone back to school and don't have much time anything else. At first I was buying into it, but I have a few patches I'm happy with. They are there, they take more time dialing in than the XT's and X3's. I'm a hard rock/ metal player and my main amps models on the previous POD's were the Lunatic and Big Bottom, which aren't even on the HD's. I just sold my SV HD100 MkI with the SVPre mod to help fund a DT50 head. The metal tones were a lot easier to dial on there too, it's an awesome amp all around even with the limited effects.

To the original poster, you may be better off (especially if you aren't playing metal) to get the HD500 and 4CM it to your amp now or just go into the Power Amp In on the back of the amp if you have an effects loop on it. Going into the front of the amp is not the best route if you are using the amp models. You are putting a preamp in front of a preamp and they don't play nice together Good Luck.



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by spaceatl on 2011-03-16 20:18:52

I very much disagree with that assessment. But I think I understand where some of that comes from...Regardless of what I think, in the end what really matters is what you think will work for you...It's the wizard, not the wand or even what the wand is plugged into...A good wand and wand amplifier certainly helps...But being comfortable with it is probably the most important IMO...But what works for me, likely doesn't work so good for next guy and visa-versa...Not trying to be argumentative as I respect your opinion on this and I think it is excellent to get all the different points of view...

I have a SVPre MK1, MK2 & DT-50. I have been using the HD Pods for a little while longer than most folks and I think the mistake a few long time Line 6 users make is to try and tweak HD like XT, X3 or even SV...It just isn't the same at all in my mind. I had to change my approach with HD...What I did on XT and SV just doesn't really work all that well in HD I found...The Engle is one of the better models I have heard them do and it has enough gain to do whatever high gain tone that is needed. Every Full amp model has no less than 128 combinations of cab and mics...Very doubtful that most of the folks complaining have taken the time to check that out. Lots of cool stuff in there...The other bit that I think is overlooked is that a lot of folks just automatically disable the cab model when using an HD POD with a conventional amplifier power amp input using the pre-models. What is overlooked is that even though a cab is selected, it is NOT the same model as what is use when the HD is in studio mode. What I have found is that in this use, selecting a cab that close to what is actually being used gives the right result...At least for me it does in that capacity...

I can certainly understand heavy tone folks wanting more selection. I get that...To me what has really changed is that the models are really behaving more like the real thing than before...I am pretty impressed with the rectifier model too...I love the JCM800 and the Park 75...Park isn't a high gain amp by itself, but I can get great heavy tones out of it with some help...It has a great core tone I think...I really don't like the rectifiers that much as they are very tempermental and are sorta one or two trick ponies to me...The HD model hits me the same way, but what I like is that after I have wrestled the tone out of it I can store it and recall it...hard to do that on the real one...I am actually using that model a bit more than I did is past versions of it...

Right now, the HD models move from clean to heavy almost exactly like the SV...But I actually find there to be less flexibility in the SV...HD has 32 amp models, 32 cabs and 8 mics...but the mics only apply to 16 of the cabs...It takes a long time to go though the 2048 FULL model, cab & mic combinations...It also takes a little more time to check out the 272 PRE model, Live cab combinations (17 cabs actually since you gotta include no cab too as it has it's place for sure as another color)...I have run HD in studio mode, though the power amp in of 6 different conventional amplifers and the DT-50 (That's the shanizzle I think for HD)...I have never heard better from Line 6 for any style.

To be completely honest, when I started using HD I really felt the same way as a lot of those posts...where's the metal? I was frustrated because tweaking habits I had with all the previous gear just wasn't quite working the way it did before...So I took a step back and tried to go at it from some different angles and for me I could not be happier...It took me about a month to really start getting happy with things, and now HD is my goto gear...I still like the SVs and I think there is great tone there too...It is unique...I don't see the SVs as modeling amps...They are somewhat original to me...But just judging the raw tone, I think my MK1 with SVPre and bias mod has better raw tone than my MK2...I get the same tones out of the MK2 and to be completely fair I am doing the bias mod to the MK2 as soon as I get some time...That mod is the bomb for getting the tone just right since I am able to check the bias before every show and keep the drift in check...I think there is also a beneficial shielding effect since I am using metal pots mounted to the chassis that give some farraday protection to that voltage in there...It's a subtle thing...Those little plastic pots deviate under vibration...wirewounds don't do that...but it might just be a tonal placebo...

I think going either way is fine...In the end, the player has to choose what they like regardless of what anyone on some forum says. I love them both and continue to use them...What people say on a forum rarely influences my end decision on what I choose to use because the gear I get isn't to make them happy, it's to make me happy...It took me a long time to come around to using a POD as I have been using thier amps for quite a while. I bought an XT bean 3 years ago as a convienent all in one spare...It saved my butt a few times...I have recorded with it too, but the feel was never as good as the Line 6 amps...The same XT based models that are in my Flextone III XL sound and feel better than the XT using the Flexy power amp...The models are baked different...HD is the first POD that I have ever chosen to use over the modeling in one of the amps for a live performance...

To sum up...The future is so bright for HD I gotta wear a welding mask...



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by mtreehugger on 2011-03-16 21:48:30

Wow, thanks for the great answers!  It's just plain wonderful to get help from such experienced, articulate modeling enthusiasts!  I'm sure you guys know how to rock!!!

     Ok, so let me be clear:  I currently own one non-practice amp, a 70's Fender Dual Showman Reverb.  IAt 85 watts, it's too much power, and resorting to stomp boxes to get some dirt never really satisfied me.  It does not have an effects loop, unless you count the spring reverb unit (which I don't think counts, rca jacks and whatnot).  I've heard that you can plug an HD POD into the instrument input, and I've heard that you can't, due to unsatisfactory results.  To avoid putting 2 pre-amps together, is it true that you can just run a pre-amp from the POD into a guitar input successfully? 

     BTW, I'm leaning toward getting both the SV combo and the HD500, because after messing around with a bunch of the latest boutique amps, I'm just plain taken by the sounds in both Line 6 products.  (The other amps, not so much.)  I love everything in the SV from jangle or twang or whatever it was up through crunch.  In the HD500, which I plugged into the front of a 1st edition 100W spider at GC, I loved everything from clean up to the 60's-era Marshall (at relatively low volumes).  Anyway, this was yesterday, before I read that you should turn the bass and treble to zero and the mid to max.  Be that as it may, I set it for what I thought to be clean and flat EQ, and that was my impression.  Doing it the right way can only improve the sound, right?  Also, maybe this is why I didn't like the HD metal tones as much (due to stacking pre-amps).  Although... it seems most would agree with me on that...

     Hey, spaceatl, how do you figure there are 32 amps in the HD?  Did I miss something?

     In truth, I'm a classic rock guy, and metal tones in the lower registers aren't always for me, but they are great for soloing!  I suppose if I had to pick one sound, it would be Townsend on an SG or LP through a Hiwatt (circa 1972, I believe).  (I don't recall seeing hiwatt as one of the 16 amps : (

        Another question I have is this... If I have both the SV MKII combo and the HD500, do I still need the FBV shortboard?  My guess is that without the shortboard I wouldn't be able to download the updates or use any of the SV's tones via the POD.  But if I'm right, then I'm buying 3 pieces of gear, which I actually will probably balk at doing.  But since I'm not a metaler that much anyway, maybe I can live without the SV tones?  (that's a question, by the way)

     As for recording, can I record wet sounds from the SV's modeler with the amp in standby mode?  Can I basically do the same with the HD?  (As you might have guessed, I pretty much record by the seat of my pants, but it usually comes out good enough to impress most of my friends--at least the loyal ones.

THANKS!!!



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by mtreehugger on 2011-03-16 21:58:27

Hi Sofnwhat, thanks for the reply!  I wanted to mark it as helpful, but I had 3 posts and when I marked one helpful the other 2 were flagged as "correct."  Then when I clicked on that, thinking I'd be able to chenge it, I was surprised to find that the thread status is now set to "answered."  IT IS NOT!  (at least not IMHO)  Anyway, I wrote a follow-up question to your post above (if you're interested).  THANKS!



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by spaceatl on 2011-03-16 22:32:44

The other 16 amp models...Each modeled amp has two models in the HD POD...There is a PRE version (preamp modeling only)...The FULL version ss preamp and power amp modeling in the model...My own personal view is that there are perhaps some best practices, starting points, suggestions, recomendations or whatever you want to call it...That is good stuff to get going, but there are no rules...Some really unique tones have come out of trying something unconventional...Anyway, the PRE models are different...The are tweaked for the DT-50, but work remarkably well with a tube power amp...Still I cannot recomend the DT-50 enough with the HD pods. The EL-34 power amp turns into a Class A 30 watt when using the AC-30 PRE model in full power mode...It sounds and feels like an AC30....It's a 50 watt Class AB with the Twin...While the SV is remarkably good with just about any modeler I have tried with it's power amp, it won't really squish like a Class A...Basically, the DT50 is an analog power amp modeler...

Second model on the dial is the Hiwatt 100...great model...really nice...

No, you don't need a shortboard...you can kick patch changes on the SV MK2 via midi...very nice for 4CM the SV preamp into the loop...so you can have both...I guess the only way to makew that better is to use two SVs...I have done that...4 CM both SV preamps into the loop...for using two amps I really need two amps...trying to make that work in one amp is an exercise in futility IMO...



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by mtreehugger on 2011-03-17 07:39:28

     Yeah, last weekend I compared the spider's "Class A" model to an AC15, and the Vox just killed it!  The Vox had so much sparkle and depth (with a Strat) compared to the SV 212.  But I didn't take much time to tweak the SV either...  So this was the one case were line 6 didn't measure up, at least out of the chute.  But Vox amps scare me because the volume and gain controls are SO interdependent that I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to change tones effectively live.  With Line 6 you just save your settings!

     Before I started this thread I'd been through most of the Line 6 info on the DT-50, so I'm a bit familiar.  (very spendy and not that available to demo, unfortunately.)  They say when switched to class a mode it's now a 25 watt amp.  Can you make yours sound like a 25w Hiwatt?  Can you re-create most tones more or less authentically in both 25w and 50w positions?  Because if you can (and I didn't get that from the info I've seen), now we might be talking about something approaching the ultimate amp for a guy like me.

     Actually, I'm surprised nobody integrated digital electronics into the tube amp stages before now.  The auto industry has been doing similar things for decades.  However, the DT-50 carries it a step further than what I might have imagined by blending amp modeling with natural tube sounds in proportions that change as you turn the volume nob...

    "There are no rules."  SO true!  That's what makes the Beatles and Hendrix standouts, even today!  (inventiveness/imagination coupled with supreme talent)



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by sofnwhat on 2011-03-17 10:30:21

What Space said is true, you shouldn't need a shortboard if you have a POD HD. You may not be able to update the SV MkII though. Another thing, I've used the POD hooked every which way. You CAN get good tones going in the front of the amp, the POD even has a way to adjust for this, but it is my least favorite way. The best results I got was going into a tube power amp and a 4X12 cab. If you go into the power amp in of an effects loop on a regular guitar amp then you are simply using it as a power amp. Maybe you should look into the DT50 amps, that would be the to go in my opinion to get the most out of you HD. But tone is so subjective and there is no right or wrong, just what works for you. I do think you'll be get some killer tones running the SV and HD together though.



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by sofnwhat on 2011-03-17 13:22:31

PA120186.JPGmtreehugger wrote:

     Yeah, last weekend I compared the spider's "Class A" model to an AC15, and the Vox just killed it!  The Vox had so much sparkle and depth (with a Strat) compared to the SV 212.  But I didn't take much time to tweak the SV either...  So this was the one case were line 6 didn't measure up, at least out of the chute.  But Vox amps scare me because the volume and gain controls are SO interdependent that I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to change tones effectively live.  With Line 6 you just save your settings!

     Before I started this thread I'd been through most of the Line 6 info on the DT-50, so I'm a bit familiar.  (very spendy and not that available to demo, unfortunately.)  They say when switched to class a mode it's now a 25 watt amp.  Can you make yours sound like a 25w Hiwatt?  Can you re-create most tones more or less authentically in both 25w and 50w positions?  Because if you can (and I didn't get that from the info I've seen), now we might be talking about something approaching the ultimate amp for a guy like me.

     Actually, I'm surprised nobody integrated digital electronics into the tube amp stages before now.  The auto industry has been doing similar things for decades.  However, the DT-50 carries it a step further than what I might have imagined by blending amp modeling with natural tube sounds in proportions that change as you turn the volume nob...

    "There are no rules."  SO true!  That's what makes the Beatles and Hendrix standouts, even today!  (inventiveness/imagination coupled with supreme talent)

Concerning the DT50, that's the big plus. You can run it Class A or Class A/B at 50 or 25 watts and the POD can switch all that on the fly as well as how completely the POD intergrates with the DT50. That's why I sold my beloved Spider Valve HD100. That and the fact that I'll have a smaller footboard set up. I consolidated my M13 and X3L to get the HD500 and figured I'd use it like the M13 with my SV, but then decided that getting a DT50 Head would make much more sense. The above picture shows you how much floor space that I was eating up, but it doesn't show you the expression pedal for the M13, my EH Bassballs, or Dunlop 535Q wah pedal that was sitting there too.



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by mtreehugger on 2011-03-18 06:18:15

Thanks for the pics!  That's a lot of real estate, and a lot of cords to trip over, for sure!  So you're saying that now the only device you have on the floor is the HD?

     Also, if I had an SV and an HD500, do you think I'd miss not being able to update the SV, or would the features of the HD cover all those bases anyway?  In other words, would owning an HD-500 make the prospect of updating the SV a moot point?

     I read a complaint on the DT50 that something in the neighborhood of loud popping noises occurs when switching.  Do you experience this?  Is there a workaround or a fix?

THANKS!



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by mtreehugger on 2011-03-18 06:58:48

When I read this thread -- http://line6.com/community/message/210455#210455  -- I got the impression that the HD is a tone suck unless hooked up as a MIDI controller, which has me wondering if in this case all the modeling would be gone.  Is that true?  What about the 4-cable method?  I'm sorry if these are dumb questions, I think I'm getting informational overload to a certain extent.

THANKS!



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by mtreehugger on 2011-03-18 10:34:49

Ok, that was a dumb question.  The original poster had invested in an HD500 and a DT50, but for some reason didn't have the L6link (a scenario beyond my imagination that I'd missed as I skimmed the post.)  Just to be sure:  With the L6link, this combo meets or exceeds SV MKII + FBV shortboard MKII in all areas (except perhaps metal tones), correct?

    I do wonder about this verbiage from Line 6 ( http://line6.com/dt50/flexibility.html ) :  "Selecting a POD HD preset automatically optimizes DT50 analog components."  I'm inquiring as to the definition of the word "preset."  Is the optimization/configuration of the tube amp limited to factory presets?  Does it exclude the settings I save?  If I was playing in class AB mode and wanted to recall something I saved in Class A mode, could I get those settings--and switch back again--with a click of a footswitch?  Or would I need to throw some switches on the amp at the same time?

THANKS!



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by spaceatl on 2011-03-18 11:00:37

No it is not limited...Although it will do that when you first select an amp model. This insures you get the matched analog config on the DT-50 for the selected amp model....But if you wanted to run the AC-30 pre into the DT-50 configured as Class AB/Pentode/NFL 1...all you do is flip the switches on the DT-50 and store the patch on the HD500...One thing I really love about this setup is that you can tweak the tonestack on the HD500 on the DT-50...You just save it and it recalls everything like you saved it...The combinations are nearly endless...

I think the only caveat that many of us have asked for as a feature is to remote control Channel B on the DT50...When the amp model is engaged in the HD500, the preamp is coming from the HD500 and Channel A is a remote control (best way I can describe it)...When you disable the AMP, the DT-50 changes to Channel B...But Channel B is actually using the DT-50 amp model...So that channel is WYSIWYG...Clear as mud?



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by mtreehugger on 2011-03-19 06:04:23

Definitely clear as mud, if not clear as a black hole (some light might pass through mud...)  But that's fine, it'll be a while before I get there.  And if that's the only shortcoming, I'm guessing it's a small trade-off.

     Going back to my original question, I must declare it answered.  I am now the proud owner of an HD500!  Make that thrilled owner.  So for now at least, given the either/or question, the POD HD is the winner.

     The only remorse I have is that I actually could have been the happy owner of a B-stock SV 112 MKII with 90 day factory warranty for less money, and to think that I have this relatively small floor toy instead of that extremely versatile pro-quality combo amp, well, it doesn't quite compute.  But all I need to do is plug the headphones and my guitar into the HD, and nothing else matters.

     I didn't care much for the sound I got in front of my Fender amp, though, but I'm in the house and could only afford about 3 seconds at volume a couple of times.  Since I'm still trying to catch up to where I was as a guitarist before my "retirement," I'm hoping I can hone sounds and save patches on the HD via headphones that aren't that far off when I later go to use them with an amp in a band.  I suppose that's a pipe dream, but it's also a learning experience.

    THANKS FOR ALL THE HELP IN MAKING MY DECISION, FOLKS!!!  (Especially you space, who put in the most effort)  Ok, gotta run, my HD is calling me.



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by SSstormtrooper on 2011-04-16 03:36:19

If I can get an absolutely incredible tone from a cheap old zoom 2020 floorboard plugged into the front of a 1970 Ampeg Gemini

2x10 combo I'm sure you'll be able to do the same into your old Fender with your HD500.

PS:I love my SpiderValve HD100 Mkii with matching floorboard lol



Re: Spider Valve or POD HD???
by mtreehugger on 2011-04-16 05:44:15

That's what I'm thinking!  I actually haven't put it in front of my Dual much at all yet because I just don't see the point at the low volumes I need to have right now.  I'm running through studio/direct mode until such time as I can move into a practice space where volume isn't a problem.  I've been thinking that since the SV amps clean up so nicely, they might in fact be quite similar in tone (sans modeling) to my amp.  The architecture of the SV has all the modeling before the signal hits the first tube, so I might be able to get pretty close to that going in the front.  Somebody somewhere made the point that the reason for going through the effects loop (which my old Fender does not have) is due to modern high gain pre amps, which my old Fender does not have.  With all the options in the hd for fitting it into your rig, something's gonna hafta work out really well.




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