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POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by MOFO on 2011-12-07 08:52:31

Hello, I've had the m13 for a few years (i use it as backup for my main huge rig, or for smaller stages). I've recently bought the hd500 and would like to use it as an M13 so to speak, meaning that I dont want to use any of the amp simulations, just as a straight multi fx processor with presets and instant access switches between guitar and amp. However, I find the models sound quite different from the m13's, even if i set all the parameters identical. Am I doing something wrong or is there a specific way to set up ins/outs etc in order to obtain the same sounds I get from the m13?


Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by jimsreynolds on 2011-12-07 09:25:32

Is your M13 in the loop or front-of-amp?

You need to set up the HD for an 'Effects Only' setup.  You can adjust it later for modelling if you like but if you want to cut to the chase .....

  • Make sure that your Output is set to anything other than 'Combo Front' or 'Stack Front' or you will find that the sound gets coloured by built-in EQs.   Try 'Studio Direct'  if you are using FX only.  The option is in your 'Global settings'.
  • Make sure that you do not have any amp model configured in your patches.  This will colour the sound also. 
  • Run your Master at 100%
  • The HD does not have a true bypass option like the M13.  This should not matter if everything is setup OK but it may possibly cause a different tone if you are using other external effects like a wah.  Google 'True Bypass Wah buffers' if you want to know more about this.
  • If you are hearing unwanted distortion:  make sure that your effects patches are set to
    • Input 1: Guitar.
    • Input 2: Variax.  This reduces overall input gain and noise even if you do not have a variax.

Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by jimsreynolds on 2011-12-07 09:29:49

Oh, and if you want to use effects in front of the amp and in the loop simultaneously then 4CM is the way to go.  If you are not familiar with this setup: details are here -->


Specificsfor the HD500 are here -->


It'sa pain in the ass initially, to get it setup.  With that said:  if you are looking to use the HD500 for FX only then it is very powerful and well worth checking out.  Once you get it, it takes no more time to setup for gigs than a good pedalboard.

Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by grouptherapy on 2011-12-07 14:23:48

Nice docs and very helpful, I really like this part as drawback

  • Tone suck can be an issue, where there is a level mismatch between the various connections. All inline effects will degrade the signal to some greater or lesser degree. Personally though, I find that this is not a major issue when the various levels are setup correctly. Be aware the argument around the impact on tone from pedals, buffering, bypass etc is a subject of intense debate.

It will be nice if the levels going in and out will be visible in the eg. POD HD500 so you can clearly see whats going on on the input and output of the unit.

I used to have HD500 and wasn't able to find the best volume balance in order to minimise the tone suck effect.

Now I am thinking to get M9 for the loop and use my fav OD pedals in front as the quality of the FX in M seris units seems to be better as per the various user feedback.

Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by jimsreynolds on 2011-12-07 15:13:41

When I first setup my 4CM I spent AGES sitting on the floor with a bypass box, switching it in and out and  listening to notes decay while setting up the levels.   The object was to ensure that the levels at each stage of the hookup were equivalent to when I started and without suck .  That really paid off.  I still need to watch out for level hikes with individual effects but tone suck really isn't an issue for me now.  The difference between HD there and HD disconnected is barely tangible to my ears and may be psychoacoustic now

On the M-series.  The effects are identical to the HD500  which is why I bought an HD:  more bang for your buck!  In fact now, with the addition of the 'hard gate' I think that the HD has more effects than the M Series.  I stand to be corrected here ....

Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by MOFO on 2011-12-08 15:38:12

I have to disagree here,i find most fx (al least the ones I use) are much different. I.e. Screamer on m13 with drive at 0% sounds dirtier than screamer on hd500 with drive at 50%! And mostly,digital delay with mod sounds terrible,definitely a step back towards the dl4,which was the main reason why i sold the dl4 and bought the m13. I felt there was a huge improvement from dl4 to m13,and the hd500 is a step back again. Also,the tube driver doesnt have as much gain as the m13..maybe the mm4 and fm4 models sound identical,but i dont care about those fx as i dont use them as much as digital with mod delay,screamer,tube drive,colordrive and fuzz face (which are all much worse than the m series). Thoughts?

Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by jimsreynolds on 2011-12-09 01:22:22

That is very interesting.   I (for one) chose my HD500 over an M13 because I understood it was the same effects in use.  I have read nothing since that suggests otherwise.

However, if the effects sound different/worse then that is relevant.

Do any other HD500/M13 Owners have a comparitive view here?  Are the effects different or is it just a setup thing?

Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by tonemasterus on 2011-12-09 09:35:21

I have had both and to my ears the effects are extremely similar.  Until I can do a full bypass set up like jimsreynolds did, I can't fully compare.  As of now I can say there are some differences between delays and some dirt boxes, but it also depends on mixer settings, etc.  jimsreynolds can you post your bypass patch so we can compare effects between devices?  It would help if we had a nuetral starting point for comparison.



Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by phil_m on 2011-12-09 09:51:15

I have both the M13 and the HD500, and I don't notice any real difference in the effects. The thing is, though, there are many places in the signal chain in the HD500 that the gain structure can be changed.  This can change the way the effects respond, especially the dirt models.

I believe the source code for the effects is the same on the two units (and on the other M and HD products as well). I just don't see any reason why Line 6 would develop separate algorithms for the same effects, especially when they explicitly say HD effects are the same as M-series effects. Any differences people hear would be coming from something else going on in the signal chain, imo.

I'm wondering if you're noticing that much difference that if perhaps you weren't using the wrong output mode on the HD500. One thing to remember is that for effects only, you really want to use the studio direct mode  or one of power amp modes. I think some people think that because you're using it in front of an amp, that one of the front modes is what to use. The problem with this is that the tone correction associated with lo, high, and focus settings in these modes remains on even if the amp/cab block isn't being used. That can really mess up the way the effects sound.

Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by tonemasterus on 2011-12-09 10:05:23


Thanks for your input.  I have notice some difference in behavior of the delay models regeneration, maybe it is a signal chain issue.  What is the best positioning and mixer settings of the delays to have a similar response to the M13 in front of an amp?

Thanks for your help.


Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by phil_m on 2011-12-09 10:25:59

Well, unless running a stereo setup, I'd leave the mixer settings at 0db and panned to center. You also probably only need to use one path, so mute path B. Of course, this can change if you decide to something fancier with wet/dry paths or whatever, but that would be my default. Also, you'd want to make sure that the input is set so that Path A is guitar and path B is set to Variax (or mic). Otherwise, if it's on "same", you would be doubling the input going into the effects. I suspect this point might be a reason some people are hearing differences, too. I would probably turn the pad switch off at the input as well, if the goal is to match the M13.

The thing about the HD500 is that is deceptively complex. It's not really hard to use, but unless you're careful you can do things that cause things to react in a way you're not necessarily expecting.

Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by tonemasterus on 2011-12-09 10:49:15

Thanks I will double check my settings.


Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by MOFO on 2011-12-12 16:19:42

Ok, after some extra experimentation, here's my opinion (and questions):

there must be something wrong in my set up (again, I'd like to run the hd500 straight between guitar and combo amp, no fx loop, no amp sim, just straight guitar>fx>amp setup), but if I only use one 1/4" output (either one) some sounds act strange (i.e. the digital delay with mod sounds out of phase producing a flanger as opposed to a smooth chorus like the m13 does). I've plugged a 1/4" jack going to nowhere on output 2 and the digital with mod sounds fine now, but I dont think that's the proper way to go! I mean, there's gotta be a way to make it sound right without this trick, isnt it?

Also, if I want to use it in this basic setup I just described above, where should I place the mixer in the chain? I find that if I place fx after it they sound much quiter than if I place them before the mixer... is this correct, or is it another setup issue?? I'm setting the mixer A and B to 0.0 dB, both panned 0% (center), since it's a mono setup.

Finally, how is the mixer supposed to work if I wanted to make a preset with parallel delays or parrallel delay and reverb? Because here's the thing: if I just place a delay on path A and a reverb on path B with no fx before the mixer, I only hear the fx on path A at half the volume they'd sound before the mixer, while if I place an effect before the mixer, then I hear both paths A and B, but still at half the volume I'd get without splitting the signal. Is the mixer only working fine with a stereo in stereo out setup or is there a way to make it any useful on a mono setup like I'm trying to run here??

Sorry for all these questions, but I've read all the manuals and advanced guides and cant find any info anywhere..

Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by phil_m on 2011-12-14 08:10:57

If you're just using one FX chain, and not doing parallel paths or anything, you should really mute Path B. You should leave the pan setting for Path A in the center. Using one 1/4" out will sum both outputs, so the difference in what you hear coming from just one output then with a dummy plug in the other are probably just a result of that. I've actually heard people mention similar things with the M-series products.

As far as where to put the mixer in the chain, I'd leave it at the end for effects-only setups, unless you're doing something with parallel paths. Then it's really whatever sounds best. The thing is, though, this is really beyond what the M13 can do anyway, so comparing this sort of setup to the M13 is kind of moot at that point. The HD500 just offers more flexibility in the way you set up the signal paths than the M13 does. This can be both a good and bad thing. Whenever more flexibility is possible, it also means that there's more places for things to get messed up.

Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by MOFO on 2011-12-14 11:27:06

yeah, that's what I thought! However, i think the reason why I was experiencing issues with parallel path only working with an effect before the split was due to the fact that I had input 1 set to guitar and input 2 set to variax, while if I set up input 2 to same path B works even without effects before the split. So I suppose I should be using different input settings per preset as opposed to global, and just set up the right one if I'm using parallel delays or series fx. Correct? It still messes up the overall volume though (e.g. when I use serial fx the volume is consderably louder than when I use parallel paths with direct on path A and fx on path B).. but I think it's just a matter of time and messing around till i figure it all out!

Re: POD HD500 as M13 setup?
by Line6Hugo on 2011-12-15 14:34:29

Yes, you would need to set your inputs per preset.  And make sure to use the Mixer within the signal chain to adjust any volume differences within your presets.



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