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HD500 - VDI tone is different from 1/4-inch analog input
by guitar4u on 2012-05-13 15:24:21

Hey guys,

I've tested both, a JTV69 and Variax Acoustic 700 through a POD HD500 and experienced the same results: the guitar tone coming from the VDI input (direct) vs. the 1/4-inch analog input is noticeably different. The VDI tone is brighter, sharper and thinner. Also, I think I can hear more "piezo" through the VDI input. The clarity is nice but the differences between guitar models are less apparent (this is especially noticeable on the Acoustic 700 models). The 1/4-inch analog tone is a bit duller (less high end) but fuller and more natural sounding. It seems that this is the intended sound.

Are these differences normal, or is there a problem with my setup? Has anyone else experienced this? I like the convenience of powering the Variax guitars through one VDI cable, but the tone is a bit artificial and digital sounding.

Can you please share your experiences and point me in the right direction for proper setup?

Thank you!

Re: HD500 - VDI tone is different from 1/4-inch analog input
by daferalo on 2012-05-14 07:41:51

Hi Rich,

You have to be aware that only through the "guitar in" jack of your pod HD 500, you are able to access to the input impedance (guitar in-z) options, which is an "analog" behaviour. And it is a fact that the impedance value affects the tone you are getting (higher values would bring a brigther tone, for example). The input impedance option is not available for the VDI input, because I guess it does not make sense as it is a digital connection. So I think the tonal differences you are hearing are normal. However, you should be able to match the two tones by doing some adjustments.

Another thing to take into account is the A/D converter in the guitar. So, when going through the guitar analog jack output, your digital signal (i. e. piezo pickups signals) must be converted into analog one, but in the pod input it is converted back to digital. Those conversions could bring additional issues sometimes.

Honestly, I always use the VDI input for my JTV guitar and I am very happy of it. And also, think about the unique features you have when using that connection (powering your guitar, the ability to control several guitar options, and so on).

Best Regards,


Re: HD500 - VDI tone is different from 1/4-inch analog input
by guitar4u on 2012-05-14 12:54:30

That's very helpful. Thanks Daf! Can anyone else weigh in on their experience with this?

Re: HD500 - VDI tone is different from 1/4-inch analog input
by Line6Hugo on 2012-05-18 08:30:17

This was apparent in previous versions of the JTV firmware (1.71 and older), but has been greatly improved in the latest releases (v1.82).  Please make sure you have updated your JTV to the latest version following the instructions in the following document:






Re: HD500 - VDI tone is different from 1/4-inch analog input
by guitar4u on 2012-05-18 12:59:06


I do have version 1.81. When did version 1.82 come out? Also, I tried re-flashing the HD500 and it sounds different now (not perfect, but better). The only thing I did different was to unplug EVERYTHING but the usb FIRST, before I flashed the POD. Previously I had everything plugged in (the AES cable, S/PDIF cable, etc.). Would this make any difference in how the firmware is installed? I still prefer the analog input but the differences are more subtle (and managable now).



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