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Anyone else finding this problem with HD500?
by optimus_7 on 2012-04-30 18:57:20

Hey Line6-ers.  I've been gigging with my HD500 for a year now and I have had great success with it. That is - until I attempt to use the 4CM with my amp (a Blackstar HT Stage 60).  I've been using my amp as a POWER amp only at shows - all tones are assembled in the HD500.  When I come home and my rig is all dissassembled, I play a lot through my amp without any effects - and I LOVE the sounds coming out of it.  So I try using the 4CM to create new sonic fun - and alas, it sucks the tone right out of the amp.  I tried the solution found here,">"> still had no luck, though it was marginally better.

I decided to do some tests for myself to nail down the problem.  I've abandoned the 4CM for now opting to use the HD500 as a pedalboard that all goes into the preamp, since I'm only using effects that are appropriate before preamp.  Even still, I found that simply connecting the HD500 DESTROYS the tone/dynamics/etc. of my amp. The doc aboe alludes to this, but the solution of adding an EQ and rasing the gain 6 dB, then lowering the gain on the mixer by 1.5 dB just bugs me, and honestly, it didn't help much. Using a test tone from a cable tester to measure levels, I found that there is a 2.8 dB (not 6 dB) difference between the HD500 Input and the FX send. (on STOMP setting)  Why? I don't know.  By the way, I saw somewhere that adding effects to the chain (all effects are turned off) will suck your tone out - there is NO difference between how many effects are in the chain - it does not reduce the gain stage by adding bypassed effects - I've checked this thouroughly now.

But the problem of gain loss between Input and FX send was easily solved: Put the FX loop after the Mixer and raise channel A and B each by 3 dB, and pan both A and B to center. This will still work for 4CM users. "SICK!! my tone is back!  This is going to be awesome!" I say to myself.  Then I start scrolling through patches to make the necessary changes to the FX loop and Mixer, and notice - uh oh! 2 of my patches, WITH ALL EFFECTS ON BYPASS, and all other settings identical, sound TOTALLY DIFFERENT!  WTF?

I went further diagnostic diving and found that If I have a chorus, or a fuzz face, (don't know if there are others) in position 1 of the effects chain (bypassed, again) it completely changes the tone.  If they are anywhere else in the chain, or other FX are in position 1 - no problems.  Just wondered if others are seeing this.  Is it a bug in the new firmware, or has it been a bug all along?  EDIT - When I say position 1 - I don't mean Block 1 - I mean the first thing in the chain of effects.



Re: Anyone else finding this problem with HD500?
by meambobbo on 2012-05-01 07:14:33

Not sure about the gain level issues, but it sounds like the issue with the FX in the beginning of the chain has to do with input impedance.  See the advanced manual pages 2.5 - 2.7.


Ifyou are using "auto" impedance, the Pod is switching the impedance to the closest impedance matching the actual impedance of the modeled effect that the input signal is first routed to.  Amps and most effects are 1M.  The 2 you referenced are 22k.  That's a huge difference.  The tone will be much darker and looser feeling with those effects first in the chain.

You can override this by going into the system menu and changing the impedance setting to 1M (or your preferred setting) instead of auto.  Or just don't place those effects first.  And this can be made a global setting or per patch.

Re: Anyone else finding this problem with HD500?
by meambobbo on 2012-05-01 07:20:09

Your issue with the 4 cable method might be the same issue.

Re: Anyone else finding this problem with HD500?
by optimus_7 on 2012-05-01 09:15:23

Great point man - I know that the Impedance matching feature was added recently, but I've always left it globally at Auto.  I didn't realize that it affected the FIRST thing in the chain.  Good Catch! Thanks for the tip. 

It does affect the change in volume between input and FX send, and ONLY in a negative way - When set to Auto is where the 2.8 dB difference exists, and starting from 3.5M all the way down to 22K only reduces the volume difference from 2.8 dB down as much as 6 dB.  There is still a definite difference between input and FX send, even with the most ideal parameters.


The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.