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Spider valve tones & HD 500 tone options on Mk2.
by jesuscares on 2011-09-30 00:14:23

I would like to know if this type of wiring would work:

With use of a A/B/Y switch

1.Connect the HD 500 at the back of the amp on the A channel

2.Connect the guitar's clean out into the amps main input

I would like to know if I can choose between the 2 set ups using the A/B switch with 2 cables plugged into the amp (back & front ).Will a dummy cable connected to the back of the amp into the power amp in from the HD by any means bypass any functions of the amp?The reason I'd like to do this is that I find some tones going from HD to the power amp input good & some tones going directly into the amp main input with spider valve effects preferable.

Also I'm curious to know what would happen if on a Y configuration both the outputs from the guitar were on,on the front & back of the amp,at the same time.



Re: Spider valve tones & HD 500 tone options on Mk2.
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-09-30 13:42:01

I'm a little unclear what you want to do, but I think it's this (please correct me if I'm wrong):

You want to have the output from your guitar go straight to the Spider Valve front input as normal and to use the amp as a normal Spider Valve, AND - you want to have the option of switching the guitar's input to go to the POD HD500 guitar input and then use the Spider Valve's power amp as the amplifier for the HD500.

The Spider Valve's Power Amp in socket breaks the link between the Pre Amp output and the Power Amp input.

The Spider Valve's Pre Amp output does not break any links between the amp's pre-amp and its power amp so you can use the pre-amp output to send a signal to another power amp (such as a second Spider Valve's power amp) in parallel with the original amp's power amp if you wish.

OK - so at the Power Amp in socket on the back of the amp you would need an A/B Y switch to have its output connected to the Spider Valve Power Amp In socket and the the output of the HD500 plugged into the A input on your A/B switch whist the Spider Valve's Pre Amp Out would need to be connected to the A/B switch's B input.

That would work fine, but it's only half the story as ideally in order to keep the level coming from the guitar the same as it would be if just connecting to either the HD500 or the Spider Valve guitar inputs, you also need to switch the guitar output to either the HD500 or to the Spider Valve in parallel with what's going on at the amp's Power Amp In socket.  

You might get away with a simply Y splitter for the guitar signal, however , you may notice a slight or more noticeable drop in level from the guitar on both devices if you do this because the fact you are using both inputs the input impedance on both devices will each be affected by the other.  It will probably be OK albeit a tiny bit quieter but you need to try it and see what you think.   If the signal level is acceptable for both units and you aren't experiencing any significant 'tone suck'  by simply splitting the guitar output you should be OK, but you may find that using an active splitter which will buffer the effects of splitting the guitar signal might help. 

If you do need to use a switchable splitter, you then have the problem of making both the input A/B splitter work in parallel with the power amp input splitter.  You may need to either source a ready made dula channel A/B box or maybe make a simple dual channel A/B box using a passive Double Pole Double Throw latching push button footswitch  (like you get on some types of stomp box) or get someone to make you one perhaps with buffered outputs to minimise any tone suck issues.

You may experience additional hum doing this and you may need to utilise some kind of hum elimination such as 1:1 ratio audio isolating transformers.

If you have your guitar output active on the front guitar input and power amp input at the same time with a direct connection, the pre-amp out wiill be switched off because of the way the Power Amp In jack breaks the link between preamp and power amp when a jack plug is inserted.  Your guitar would then just be fed to the amp's power amp.  You'd hear the guitar, but it would be quiet and you'd have no pre-amp, tone changing ability and no FX.  It wouldn't be very inspiring I'm afraid.

However I think I might approach it in a different way by using the HD500 and the Spider Valve wired as if in the 4 Cable Method (4CM) with the ability to use the HD500 directly with the Spider Valve power amp; as an FX only unit in with the Spider Valve to add more FX to the signal chain (with some positioned before the SV's input and some in the SV's loop) or by only passing the output from the guitar through the HD500's input circuitry to the HD500's FX loop out  and the SV's pre amp output through the HD500 circuitry with the HD500 FX loop in with no amp modelling or FX from the HD500 applied (I call this a 'NULL' patch) (NOTE: this NULL patch appraoch may change the tone coming from the Spider Valve's pre-amp slightly)

Physical connections between the guitar, HD500 and Spider Valve would typically be as follows:

Guitar > HD500 guitar input

HD500 > stereo FX loop out (using a special cable with a stereo jack on the end that plugs into the HD500 FX loop out to sum both left and right channels to mono by linking the tip and ring connections to a standard mono jack plug at the other) > Spider Valve guitar input

Spider Valve Pre Amp Out > HD500 Left (mono) FX Return

HD500 1/4" out > Spider Valve Power Amp In

Set the AMP/LINE switch on the HD500 to LINE

Assuming your SV is a combo, set the output mode to COMBO PWR AMP

1 - To use the HD500 as Pre Amp to your Spider Valve power amp, just set up your patches in the Spider Valve but don't include an FX Loop effect in the HD500's signal chain.  Use FX and Amp modelling in the HD500 as normal (I would normally use PRE amp models in the HD500 personally)

2 - To use the HD500 as an FX only addition to your Spider Valve with some FX (say Wah and Screamer) in between the guitar and the amp's front input st up a signal chain something like this in one or more of your HD500 patches:  Wah - Screamer - FX Loop (turned ON) - Chorus - Delay - Volume Pedal (whatever you want - the FX Loop controls what goes before the amp's input and what goes in the amp's own FX Loop).  DON't use any amp modelling in the HD500 for this as you may get unexpected results by layering HD500 amp models on top of Spider Valve amp models - although it might be fun to try (keep the output level low when experimenting in case of feedback) to generate some maybe slightly whacky sounds

3 - To use the HD500 in a NULL preset mode so you can use the sound of your Spider Valve's pre-amp pretty close to normal but without having to rewire anyhing, you simply do the same thing as in 2 above but you have NO FX and NO Amp Modelling - i.e. everything is bypassed except the HD500's FX Loop.

In 3 above, you may not hear exactly the same tone using the NULL patch approach.  It may be slightly different to using the amp with no HD500 connected.  Any differences may be negligible to you - you need to decide but nevertheless this should work.  I think it should work well enough too - again, you need to decide whether it's good enough.

Just a few thoughts there on what might work for you.

Nick



Re: Spider valve tones & HD 500 tone options on Mk2.
by jesuscares on 2011-10-07 22:26:39

Thanks a lot.I might have to read this a couple of times to get a good understanding.Your understanding of my original question is perfect.From your response I guess there may be some complications such as hum & level difference when using according to the set up I basically wanted.The spider valve combo by itself is amazing.I wish HD users can have a  download of their amp models into the SV.Will read through & get back to you.



Re: Spider valve tones & HD 500 tone options on Mk2.
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-10-08 04:07:55

jesuscares wrote:

Thanks a lot.I might have to read this a couple of times to get a good understanding.Your understanding of my original question is perfect.From your response I guess there may be some complications such as hum & level difference when using according to the set up I basically wanted.The spider valve combo by itself is amazing.I wish HD users can have a  download of their amp models into the SV.Will read through & get back to you.

Yes - that's right.  You may have to make some small compromises here and there, but the down-sides as far as I'm concerned are minimal, but that's my take on it.  Not everyone will necessarily agree though as everyone's needs and expectations are somewhat different, but in general terms certainly you should be able to get something usable by combining the HD500 and SV's capabilities.

Give my 'essay' above a few reads and try a few things out to see if they work for you.  By all means pose any follow up questions you may have as and when they arise..

Nick




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