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Poor Output from POD HD500
by cammy55 on 2011-03-20 03:33:21

Tried gigging my HD500 and output is very quiet. Connectd via balanced outputs on HD500 to PA mixer stereo inputs. I the also changed to left and right outputs on the HD500 to stereo in on the PA mixer and still very quiet. I have the HD500 set for studio output. Any help would be much appreciated.

I'm playing a Fender USA Custom Deluxe and all cables are very high quality and working.


Campbell UK

Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-03-20 03:57:06

Which outputs are you using from the HD500?

If you are using the 1/4" outs  to feed your PA then make sure you have the slider switch to the left of the expression pedal marked 1/4" Out set to LINE. Similarly if you are feeding an on-stage guitar amp's power amp section via its power amp input or the Return of its serial FX loop, you need this switch to be set to LINE.  If feeding a guitar amp's front input, this switch should be set to AMP

If you are using the XLR outputs direct to desk, then these should be treated the same as if they were actual microphones and fed into microphone channels on your mixing desk

The 1/4" outputs will provide a hotter output than the XLR outputs, but whereas the XLR outs provide a balanced signal designed for longer cable runs, the 1/4" outs are unbalanced

Ensure that the HD500's output mode on Page 4 of the System Setup pages is correctly set to Studio/Direct if you are feeding the PA directly and there's no on-stage guitar amp in the mix

Ensure the HD500's Master volume control is turned up sufficiently loud.  This does affect the overall output level available from the POD -


Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by cammy55 on 2011-03-20 04:08:33

Many thanks for your detailed answer. I did try these options but still output was quiet.

Would ther be any merit in connecting to the headphone socket.?



Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-03-20 04:30:18


No - I don't think the headphone output is the right output to use - there'd be no harm in trying it using the proper TRS split output cable, but really, the standard outputs should be able to provide ample output for any FOH mixing desk.

I would seriously check the HD500 with another PA system if you are able to do so as it should be capable of a very healthy signal level.

I take on board that your cables are all high quality cables, but even high quality cables can be faulty, so to be absolutely certain that the problem isn't related to your cables, please ensure that you substitute all your cables with known good cables for the purposes of testing - FWIW - I don't think it is going to be a cable problem, but to be 100% certain you would need to test your cables against a set of known good cables

Ensure that the mixing desk you are using doesn't have PAD switches on the input channels and that these aren't set to pad the input by -20 dB or more.

Try a different known-good POD HD500 if you can with your PA - this will determine if the issue is with the POD or something else.

Which outputs are you using from your POD HD500?


Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by cammy55 on 2011-03-20 04:46:13

Many thanks Nick. Pod HD500 is new and I'm connecting using balanced XLR outputs on the HD500 and then tried replacing these with left and right outputs 1/4 inch jack ...but still little output.

Any ideas please.



Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by whiteop on 2011-03-20 05:03:21

Is the channel volume turned up loud enough? I know it's an obvious a answer but you'd be surprised at what I've had to deal with at times. And that's the mixer volume i'm referring to. If you hook up the HD500 to a regular amplifier and you have plenty of volume that might be your answer. Otherwise it sounds like you've got it hooked up correctly. Also try using some of the stock patches to see how loud they are. Sometimes it's simple thing like having your gain and master volume set up correctly that make a difference too.

Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by cammy55 on 2011-03-20 07:19:37

Many thanks for the response. With an amplifier it makes a hefty racket via the left 1/4 " jack output cocket straight into a guitar combo.

Tried factory presets and still lack output.

The chap in the band who does the sound assured me the mixer channel was up to maximum .

Total mystery.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.



Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-03-20 09:08:36

That suggests to me that the HD500 is fine because it works well with an amp.  Try a different PA desk - somewhere - even at a local shop.  It seems to me that that's where the problem lies in your case.  Gain adjustment should be possible on the PA


Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by rahan95 on 2011-10-13 07:08:10

Happy owner of a bean POD HD, I decided to purchase a HD 500 to leave at the rehearsal place and I can only confirm this low output level issue, which seems to happen on HD300/400 too (see other threads on this forum about this)

Same guitar, same cables, same patches, same monitors (Fostex PM 0.5 MKII) : the output level on the HD500 is twice as low as the one of the bean POD HD.

There's really an issue with those units which will hopefully be adressed via an update

Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-10-13 08:19:40

Hi rahan95

On the HD500 you will notice a switch marked 1/4" Out AMP/LINE on the top of the unit to the left of the expression pedal.  This should be switched to LINE when outputting a signal to a power amp.  You will find that PRE amp models in the HD500 are probably best suited to using a third party power amp section of say a Marshal or Mesa head.

I regularly use a Marshall JVM 205H 50w valve head' s power amp section and there is no lack of level whatsoever coming out of the HD500.

Your problem may be related to how you have that AMP/LINE switch configured, which outputs you are using from the HD500 (XLR give a similar level to a typical dynamic microphone like a Shure SM57, whilst the 1/4" outs give a much higher level signal when in LINE mode as is needed for most power amps).  Your amp's FX Return may have a button to set the incoming signal level to either -10dB or to +4dB.


Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by rahan95 on 2011-10-13 09:26:47

Hi nickmattocks

As stated in my post, I'm not using any of my POD's in an amp but in monitoring speakers.

The switch on the HD500 is of course set to Line, Amp will only decrease an already very low output signal

As I said, I have a POD HD bean to compare my HD500 to and there's no question : its output signal is very, very low.

I also have a POD X3 Pro used on the same rig and it's equally satisfactory as the HD bean. Only the HD 500 causes issues =(

EDIT : I'm using the 1/4 jack outputs to connect any of the 3 devices

Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-10-13 09:56:00

That seems pretty strange to me

I also have nearfield monitors - KRK Rokit 6 G2. I have in the past conducted exactly the same kind of comparison with the HD500 via 1/4" outputs going into the KRKs and then with the same guitar, same POD HD patches, same cables and same level firmware on both the POD HD bean and HD500 and I've also included the POD HD Pro in the same test.   I also have an X3 Live and from that too there's no issue into those same monitors as far as level goes

The output levels were exactly the same from both units as well as the HD Pro.  Sorry I don't know why your POD HD500 is outputting such a low level signal. 

With all things being equal, there should be no difference between the levels.  The physical differences between the HD500 and the bean include the AMP/STOMP switch on the back of the HD500 and the GUITAR PAD switch on the top.   Assuming those are correctly set - and you seem to know what you're about, so why wouldn't they be? there shouldn't be anything else getting in the way.

Now there is one thing that occurs to me that just might be making the difference and that's the Expression Pedal.  IF you have never calibrated the pedal AND your patches include a Volume Pedal effect, I wonder if the Expression Pedal  needs calibrating and whether it might just be stopping short of 100% at full toe down at around 75% or something like that.

Can you compare the bean and the HD500 through another system just to be absolutely sure it isn't something about your monitors - I don't think it is your monitors, and I do think it's something specific to your POD HD500 whether it be something in its configuration or whether it be something related to the hardware itself.  If it were hardware related I would think that it might affect one output channel rather than both

It would be great if you had access to another HD500 to see if that exhibits the same problems with your system as your current HD500.  Do you know anyone else with an HD500 that would let you try their unit or would your local Line 6 dealer allow you to test a new unit alongside yours perhaps?

This issue doesn't appear to be common. Can you point out some of the other threads where users have highlighted this as an issue?



Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by rahan95 on 2011-10-13 10:30:32

Hi again Nick,

We had the same idea at the same time =)

The problem is now solved but the root cause is hard to believe...

i decided to try the bean and the HD500 in my Atomic 112 and both levels were exactly the same !

I then noticed that if I plugged the jacks halfway in the HD 500, the volume would rise. So I tried with 2 other cables and everything worked fine on the Fostex too !

In summary, the cables that work perfectly fine with my monitors and the POD HD won't work properly with the HD500 on the same monitors, but are perfect on the Atomic =)

here's a related post on this forum :

Andone on one of the biggest French forums :,probleme-de-niveau-de-sortie-sur-pod-hd-500-de-chez-line-6-ou-pas.html

Idon't see anything special on the "faulty" cables but I don't know their brand since I got them when I bought my X3 Pro used.

Thanks again

Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-10-13 11:11:44

I'm glad you resolved the problem.  It almost seems like the jack plugs on the 'faulty' cables are slightly longer reach than the others or perhaps the shape of the tip is responsible and is allowing to switch on the tip connections to remain almost closed.  It's an interesting one and one to put in my mind's library of odd problems LOL

Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by rahan95 on 2011-10-13 11:13:55

It can't come from the jack plugs since the issue would be the same with the Atomic 112 I think =)

Maybe the shielding ?

Anyway, it's indeed a good one to remember =)

Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-10-13 11:24:30

I was thinking that perhaps there is a larger 'shoulder' on the tip of the 'faulty' cable jack plugs which would allow the switched connector on the tip connection to stay shut - remember these will be closed to prevent noise when there's no jack plug inserted so if the shoulder on the plug is deeper on the faulty cable then the switch could feasibly stay nearly closed.  I haven't taken a really close look at that part of the jack sockets as used in the HD500 and I can't see the jack socket in an Atomic amp either.  However I do know that 1/4" jack plug designs are not all equal.  Anyway, one to chalk up to experience I guess.  Thanks for coming back with the resolution.


Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by rahan95 on 2011-10-13 11:55:36

Please excuse my poor English but what I meant is that if something was causing problem on HD500 plugs, I would have this drop in output volume on the Atomic too =)

Re: Poor Output from POD HD500
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-10-13 13:18:27

I understood that certainly, but not necessarily if the design of the jack socket in the Atomic is slightly different from the design of the jack socket used in the POD HD500 or your monitor speakers.  I'm just curious as to why this happened.  There must be an explanation - but the main thing is that you have solved the problem, so my curiousity is now just idle curiosity.


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