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JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by LarryLion on 2012-06-01 06:05:58

Hello - I'm wondering if anyone else has observed this.  I've been struggling to get the tones I want from my JTV-69, via the VDI cable and a POD 500HD, and last night I simply plugged the JTV directly into my amp, using a regular 1/4 inch guitar cable.  I noticed a distinct improvement in the basic guitar tones, across all electric models.  So I switched back to the 500HD, this time with no 1/4 inch cable, but the VDI.  I selected a "New Tone" - blank - patch, and I noticed, no matter how I set up the POD (Studio/Direct, Preamp, etc) that the guitar tone was flatter, thinner, anemic almost.  Can Line6 explain this?  Is something happening at the D2A conversion for the 1/4 inch output that is not happening when the signal goes to VDI? 

My problem is that I LIKE the 1/4 inch tone, and I spend way too much of my time trying to overcome the awful VDI signal in the POD, which is obviously do-able, but (IMO) should be unneccesary. Note:  I am not talking about the MAGNETIC mode on the JTV, but the MODELED modes.  About the only guitar models that sound better through the VDI and POD, IMO, are the ACOUSTIC and RESO models, with the possible exception of the Danelectro.

Thanks, Larry



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by hobbes40 on 2012-06-01 07:13:14

i have noticed that using the Line6 VDI cable results in some problems when switching between patches. if, for instance, i'm in Workbench, tweaking some variax guitars and i then upload them to the JTV69, if i switch around my pod hd 500 patches i get problems. what seems to be happening to me is that JTV-->VDI-->HD500 results in what almost sounds like patches on the HD500 not completely switching from one to the other and for example, going from a crunch type patch to a lead type patch, the lead is much more gainey than it normally is. if i power off the HD500 and back on, the patch is fine. if i switch patches using a 1/4" cable from the JTV to HD500, all is well. also, i seem to frequently lose the connection to the JTV and HD500 when using the VDI cable. this cable was bought new from line6 a few months ago, has minimal use on it and has never been gigged (always taken care of properly).

anyone with any ideas on this?



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by LarryLion on 2012-06-01 08:17:17

For a number of tone-related reasons, I think I'm going to dump the POD 500HD, and VDI cable, I think, and stick with just the modeling capability of the JTV, through a regular (simplified) pedal board, a regular cable or wireless system, to my Amps.  I would really love to use the POD's switching capability for the JTV, and one or two of the stompbox sims, but the deterioration in tone via the POD is extremely irritating.  I suspect that they have done this for bandwidth reasons, but they could have had the identical D->A conversion at the POD end, i.e. replicated, but I suspect they have not done that.  Or I might bypass the VDI cable entirely, use the POD for its FX only, like any conventional guitar, via a 1/4 inch guitar cord. Pity, the "Dream Rig" idea had great potential.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by TexasStrat on 2012-06-09 07:00:57

Has anyone else noticed that in most or all of the videos showing how great the JTV sounds, the guitar is connected to the amp using a 1/4" instrument cable, NOT the VDI cable?



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by silverhead on 2012-06-09 07:19:02

I have not experimented with the following setup, but I'm wondering if it might help your situation......

Have you tried using the VDI connection only for power and JTV model control/selection with the HD500? In other words, connect the JTV to your HD500 using both VDI and 1/4" cables. Use the 1/4" cable to the Pod's Guitar input and set the preset Input to Guitar (not Variax) on the HD500. I believe that this will send your preferred JTV model signal to the Pod while maintaining the model selection control contained in the preset and also powering the JTV. Could you pleae try this and give us some feedback on what you think?



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by markcockerill on 2012-06-10 08:32:28

Just to add my two pennies.

I gave up using the Pod HD500 for gigging some time ago and during the time when I did use it I stopped using the VDI cable for all the reasons mentioned above. My JTV69, when plugged direct to the DT-50 amp via 1/4 inch told me a whole new story and the audible truth about how good the JTV and amp really are and also that my ears are indeed in perfect working order. For this reason I have spent a whole load of dosh on a pedal board populated with quality analogue pedals and I can tell you that from my personal humble experience that this was the right move. My sound has never been so good in my entire life and thus far has reached 53 with 35 of those as a regular gigging musician. Only last night I was complimented by many on how good my rig sounds and to be brutally honest, it did not take me months and months of programming to achieve a very satisfying sound. Putting the board together and making sure everything is in the correct sequence pre preamp and amp loop effects did take a little time and effort to wire up but 3 weeks after I started it was done and requires no further modifications.

I play in a rock trio and as such the whole sound of the band is very much dependant on the quality of sound and playing of the guitarist, for me to play well and confident then it must sound good and respond to my playing or I'm just wasting my time. (not wishing to discount our superb singer in the slightest). I'm not willing to compromise on the gear I gig with. The HD500 just wasn't it but may be for other users of the dream rig.

I've mentioned this before, the HD500 now resides in my recording environment and I will use it for songwriting where is does excel. I have been using my X3 Pro for several years as my recording interface but since I upgraded to 64bit Windows 7 and Cubase 6, it seems the drivers of the X3 pro caused instability and even system crashes or hanging. I have since removed it from my system and installed a Tascam US-122mk2 which for a hundred pounds is very stable and superb quality with much lower latency, (not that the X3 Pro ever gave me any issues in that respect). Oddly, all the pod farm pluggins work still. I connect up the HD500 without using usb and record through the Tascam. I have never used reamping so that is not an issue for me. For my personal needs, I realise now that I didn't use all the bells and whistles of an X3 at all to achieve the same results.

In summary, I have experimented and spent too much time and money on Line6 stuff that has given me more than a fair share of head aches to the point that I almost feel ashamed to have done so. Money spent on Line 6 gear, well that's just obscene as with all obsessions.

Only yesterday afternoon, I set up my trusty Variax 700 electric and Vetta (with the Armin mod) and gave it a right good thashing, now that is still a high quality rig by anyone's standard and still works perfect after all these years. So, on paper and measureably inferior to a HD500, why is it that the Vetta can still turn heads and still sound so good especially with my Ibanez, JTV and such.

I think I've spent too much time reading hype and clever marketing tactics.

Having to change the neck on my JTV69 the day after I got it just to turn it into a playable instrument should have been the last straw, but it has taken until a year later to really see the light and it's not all a Line6 one that I thought it once was. One can only bang ones head against the wall for so long.

To be honest, I've kinda given up. I am delighted with what I have now and as for the museum collection of Line 6 artifacts, lets say it won't be getting much bigger. Some of it has been and is terrific stuff.

Done

Ta ta!



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-10 10:13:02

I was intrigued by this thread - I always thought that the VDI and the 1/4 inch model sound from the JTV should be the same - so I decided to try out the experiment Silverhead outlined.

My patches have GUITAR+VARIAX as Input 1 and AUX for Input 2, so when I first tried a sound I expected just to have a louder thicker signal as I was effectively doubling up the input, however, I actually ended up with what sounded like a slightly flanged input, which to me indicates one of the signals is taking longer to get processed.

I then manually swapped between GUITAR and VARIAX for Input 1 on each patch to listen to the difference.  When on GUITAR the model sound was more immediate and more realistic.  When on VARIAX the model sound was slightly more digital and harsh sounding and seemed to have a very short delay on it. It was very subtle but was definitely different. The signal via the VDI is slightly delayed by a tiny amount but enough to hear when comparing it with the 1/4 inch signal.

I didn't expect to find any difference but I did.  The tests were just carried out at home levels so the difference may be much more pronounced at gig levels. I now want to try this at a gig even though it means having two leads connected but if it improves the sound significantly then it will be worth it.

I would be interested in what Line6  officially say about this. They must be aware that there is a difference.  Will it be addressed in the future so that the VDI and 1/4 inch produce identical output with no time lag?



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by silverhead on 2012-06-10 11:13:30

Thanks for trying this out and posting your findings. It intrigued me, too, so I tried out the experiment (JTV59 and HD500). My findings mirrored yours exactly. A slight flanging with the Guitar+Variax input. A subtle difference between the Guitar and Variax inputs separately, with no flanging on either.

I can't say I prefer one sound over the other (Guitar vs. Variax inputs) because I find the difference to be very subtle. Using just my ears, I can't say I notice any delay in one signal vs. the other, but I think you may be right that one of them is lagging a bit because of the flanging when both are used. My guess (based on absolutely no ' inside'  information) is that the VDI signal may be undergoing an extra pair of A/D conversions based on the underlying design of the signal routing. That could expalin both the slight difference in tone as well as the slight delay. However - it's just a guess.

My conclusion here would be the same as yours - yes, there is a subtle difference between the Guitar and Variax inputs, and it could be enough for some to prefer one sound over the other. And if you want to use the setup I suggested earlier, with both VDI and Guitar cables connecting the JTV and the Pod HD... make sure you do not have your HD500 Input set to 'Guitar+Variax'.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-10 11:52:51

Just to clarify - I was also using JTV59 into HD500 and then I was amplifying via live outs with a Marshall EL84 20/20 power amp into a Marshall 1922 cab. The difference at home practice level was very subtle but I did notice that the GUITAR input was more immediate in terms of response and slightly warmer.  The VARIAX input seemed to have have the tiniest bit of delay and was more brittle sounding. 

I usually use the VDI connection with my X3L for live gigs and I have never noticed this before, I have always been content with the VDI signal, but comparing the VDI with the 1/4 inch directly after one another with the HD500, I could tell that the VDI was different. I was surprised as I wasn't expecting to be able to spot any difference.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by Rewolf48 on 2012-06-11 04:57:25

I haven't tried this yet but I will.  I always use the VDI for the control it offers.

Looking at it from a theoretical system engineering point of view you have:

JTV has peizo pickup AD conversion then internal guitar simulation processing the output of which then is either onto VDI line or DA conversion on guitar output

The VDI line is a digital signal that is unaffected by cable length or quality of the contact points, the guitar cable will apply some RC filtering and some very minor degradation at the contacts

HD500 has Guitar Input with AD conversion or VDI input into Effect and Amp simulation processing.

I therefore would expect that the VDI line is a "brighter" signal because it is not subject to the filtering effects of the cable and that it appears first when compared with the analogue output which has had an additional DA and AD conversion.

As all guitarists ears are used to having a cable between quitar and amp it is not suprising that you are more comfortable with the cable filtering in place.

Now what I theorise and what is actually implemented is different of course - it could be that there is signal buffering going on which delays the signal over VDI more that the delays of the AD DA conversions, and it could be that L6 have included something of the Cable Tone Simulation that they have in the Relay wireless systems.

The delay issue should be really easy to determine - set up a patch with Input A = Guitar, Input B = Variax keep the patch empty with the signals completely left and right and record it as a stereo track. Then look at the left and right signals - it should be easily established which came first and whether one is brighter than the other.

As an enhancement to the HD500 I would quite like it if the Cable Tone Simulation from the Relay devices was available as part of the VDI options.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-11 08:23:32

Thanks Rewolf48.  I had overlooked the effect of the guitar cable.  I think that would explain why the GUITAR signal sounds slightly warmer and more like guitarists expect to hear.   It would also mean that with a future firmware update Line6 could address the situation and ensure that the VDI signal matches the 1/4 inch signal - or at least close enough that nobody can spot the difference - and to keep everyone happy make it an option so you can choose to have VDI match 1/4 or keep it as is for those who prefer the brighter digital sound.

Actually, thinking about it, ideally the HD500 should not be affecting the JTV tone - it should be the same as plugging directly into an amp via a 1/4 - the HD500 should be able to add effects and amp sims without initially affecting the input guitar tone. As the OP said - we should not have to program our patches to counter act the artificial effect being added by using the HD500 with a VDI. I think it should be rectified.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by ezaz on 2012-06-11 09:05:17

Well guys I noticed something else...

I Use my JTV 69 with pod X3 live and gearbox.

When I use the VDI cable, I noticed a big difference in sound when I use the input choice "variax" or "guitar + variax", but still I only use the VDI.

I also noticed that the alternate tuning works oke when I use guitar and variax and it works bad when I only use variax input.

So maybe it is not a matter of the cable but of the input on the pod...

What do you think

Ps I tried it out with the basic vocal tone program on the gearbox to judge the variax more on itself



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by daferalo on 2012-06-11 17:45:13

Hi folks,

I agree about what has been said here (specially because of the A/D convertions issues), but I would like to say something. Remember that ONLY through the guitar input of the pod we are able to change the input impedance value, so Are you sure that the differences heard between 1/4" and VDI connection are NOT due to an impedance value mismatch? As the VDI is a digital connection, it does not make sense to modify impedance values here, but I am wondering how much of the differences heard when using analog input Vs digital input are due to the impedance.

Best Regards,

Daf



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-12 02:11:53

Good point Daf.  I was using the defatult guitar impedance setting of AUTO.  Does that mean the HD500 should automatically select the best impedance for whatever is connected? Or does it just set an arbitrary value that will be OK for most cases? 

I would have thought and hoped that the AUTO setting would be the best for this experiment and should most closely match the VDI but I may very well be wrong.

I will repeat the experiment today and try some different settings for guitar impedance to see how that affects the sound.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-12 05:35:41

OK - gave it a try. I could barely tell any difference with the different impedance settings.  However, I only tried on a couple of my patches which used just LESTER BRIDGE and TELE BRIDGE pick ups, and it was only at home practice level, so it was hardly an all inclusive test, but to my ears I really could not spot much difference - even when comparing the lowest to the highest impedance setting - it was possibly getting brighter when I was using the 3.5M setting as compared to the 22K setting.  Also the 1M and 3.5M guitar impedance settings seemed closer to the VARIAX VDI sound - but it's all very subtle which is probably why many have not noticed it.

From the other entries in this thread it seems that the most significant difference is going directly via 1/4 inch into the DT50 or DT25 when compared to going via VDI into HD500 and then into DT50 or DT25. I have not got a DTxx amp so I cannot try this out.  However, from my earlier experiment there is a subtle difference between the GUITAR input and the VDI input through the HD500, so I can imagine there is an even greater difference when going direct to the DTxx amp, and I am sure some ears will be much more sensitive to that change and therefore they prefer the direct sound over the VDI through HD500 sound.  As I said before, ideally, there should be no difference in the sound and hopefully Line6 will be able to tweak the HD500 via a future firmware update such that there is no discernible difference.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by ezaz on 2012-06-12 10:52:13

Does anyone of you recognize the problem that the alt tuning works oke with the guitar input and the "guitar + variax input" but works awful with the variax input?

What could be the problem?



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-13 01:08:53

Hi ezaz,

Your question is a litlle off topic but having read your earlier post in this thread I can understand you are using JTV69 and X3L.  Your problem is caused because the VARIAX input on an X3L combines both modelled guitar sounds with the mag pickup sounds - so if you have applied an alternate tuning to the model and then play through the X3L with VARIAX input you will get the alternate tuned model plus the standard tuning from the mags which will sound awful.  Using the GUITAR input will just give you the signal from the 1/4 inch which will be either the model sound OR the mag pickup.

I just realised I have made an assumption here that you are using the VDI when using the VARIAX and the 1/4 inch cable when using GUITAR input - is that correct?

If you are using just the 1/4 inch when choosing GUITAR or GUITAR+VARIAX input then that explains why that still sounds OK with the alternate tuning because it will give you just the model or just the mags.

However, if you are using the VDI when you have GUITAR+VARIAX input then I would expect that to still sound bad as it will give you both the modelled and mags combined.

The X3L at the most recent firmware level should also allow you to choose VARIAX CH1  or VARIAX CH2 as input selection.  This allows you to specifically ask for just the model or just the mags via the VDI.  CH1 is model and CH2 is mags (I think that's correct).

Hope that helps you resolve your problem.

Cheers

Eddie



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-15 02:47:59

Hi Mark,

Very interested to hear that you abandoned using the HD500 as part of the dream rig for live work.  I currently use the X3L for live work via a Studiomaster GX12A powerd PA speaker, although I own the HD500, and I am attempting to roll out the HD500 for live work but the few attempts I have had so far have not turned out well although when I set the sounds up at home I thought they were good but the reality in the live situation was not what I wanted.  I had the same experience initially with the X3L but eventually found a combination that worked and I thought I could apply the lessons learned from that to the HD500 but it has not been the case. The same powered PA speaker setup but with the HD500 once again does not cut it for me at gigs.

So for you, essentially the HD500 only affected the tone of the JTV69 in a negative way, no matter what you tried, so you abandoned it?

Did you try using the HD500 just for its effects in conjunction with the DT50 and JTV69 - and if so did you not find just the effects from the HD500 good enough?

Also, have you missed the ease of use of stepping on a footswitch and having your effects, amp and guitar model all change at the same time?  Or do you not need that functionaility for your live use?

I don't own a DTxx amp so I am not familiar with how easy they are to control without an HD500 attached via the L6 Link - is it all just manual tweaking or does it come with a foot switch to control certain functions?

I have been considering getting a DT25 Head for use with the HD500 but hearing your experience has definitely put me off even trying, as I don't want to end up having spent another £600 and spent another few months of tweaking still to be no farther forward.

Cheers

Eddie



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-15 10:39:41

Hi everyone,

Tried a slightly different experiment today and I now fully appreciate what the OP was saying.

I compared going direct into my amp with the 1/4 inch as compared to going via the 1/4 inch cable into the HD500 and then to the amp via fx send from HD500, and tried the same via the VDI into HD500 and into amp via fx send from HD500.

The HD500 definitely affected the tonality of the model - I think it was too loud and therefore too bright and clear and was overpowering the amp input.  Going directly from the JTV via the 1/4 inch cable to the amp using the same model was so much better - it was like plugging the real guitar via the amp and not a model.  I was using a Tele sound and it was just so much more realistic going direct to the amp.  I could hear all the nuances of the model rather than an OTT version which is what you get via the HD500.

I tried using INPUT 1 on GUITAR and INPUT 2 on AUX and then with INPUT 2 on SAME - but that just made it worse as the model then became way too loud and powerful and was overdriving the amp input.

I am going to have to rewire my rig so I can have the JTV going direct to my Marshall JMP1 pre-amp as it does sound so much better.


Question - why does the H500 have such an adverse effect on the JTV modelled sounds?

I tried attenuating the signal of the fx send from the HD500 using the onboard control to see if I could get it to more closely match the direct 1/4 inch cable signal but although I could get it to match closer in volume the tone was not the same.  

Why?  The HD500 should not have a negative effect on the tone of the JTV but it does.  And now that I am aware of it I want to avoid it - just like the OP LarryLion and Mark have done!



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by anonyrat on 2012-06-16 00:03:31

My 59 + HD500 must be different from everyone elses as I get the same sound (well to my ears ) with guitar (guitar input) and Variax (Variax input)

I think got a nice clean sound with just Variax on both 1 & 2

The really interesting thing was, that I seem to the richest sound when impedance was 22k - huh

Cheers

BTW I am on the lastest versions of everything (even 1.56 Line Baboon )



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-16 05:40:43

Some things to note:

1) the difference between the modelled sound via HD500 GUITAR and VARIAX inputs is very subtle

2) the 1/4 inch cable that you are using will no doubt be different to mine and therefore will have a different effect on the tone due to its different resistance - my 1/4 cable for the experiment is a Prolink Monster cable about 20 feet in length - I have had it for over 10 years but it is still in good condition - it will most likely sound different to a brand new 10 foot cable with neutrik connectors.

3) we all have different ears  

4) going direct to an amp via the 1/4 inch cable is more noticably different than going via the HD500



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by anonyrat on 2012-06-16 21:32:59

edstar1960 wrote:

Some things to note:

1) the difference between the modelled sound via HD500 GUITAR and VARIAX inputs is very subtle
This is true

2) the 1/4 inch cable that you are using will no doubt be different to mine and therefore will have a different effect on the tone due to its different resistance - my 1/4 cable for the experiment is a Prolink Monster cable about 20 feet in length - I have had it for over 10 years but it is still in good condition - it will most likely sound different to a brand new 10 foot cable with neutrik connectors.
Again true - my test cable was a very cheap cable

3) we all have different ears  
Again you are correct - I have a left one and a right one

4) going direct to an amp via the 1/4 inch cable is more noticably different than going via the HD500
Alas I didn't try that



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by Crusty_Old_Rocker on 2012-06-17 05:46:06

I haven't read all the replies so this may have been mentioned already, but the 1/4 inch cable caries analogue audio and will be affected by the capacitance of the cable.  It is a tone filter and the capacitance (filter) changes based on the length of the cable.  The signal through the VDI is digital and therefore unaffected (unfiltered) by the cable.  To match the two, you'd need to apply some EQ to the signal from the VDI.

Cheers,

Crusty



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by LarryLion on 2012-06-18 07:26:45

Seems like I'm not alone - there is a marked difference between the analog & digital outs from the JTV.  It's a pity - the POD HD 500 could be a great tool, allowing switching JTV models/tunings, for every item in the setlist, at a gig.  That's how I wanted to use it, but this analog/digital  tone thing kinda killed that idea, until Line6 solves the problem, anyhow.

Larry



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-18 08:07:44

Hi Larry,

You mentioned in your first post that the only way to get the VDI tone to match the direct 1/4 inch cable tone was to EQ within the HD500 - did you actually ever do that?  And if so - were you successful in EQ'ing the VDI to match the 1/4 inch?  And if so, what EQ and what values did you use?

Thanks very much in advance!

Best Regards

Eddie



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-18 08:21:03

I had made reference to it in one of my later responses but I had not explained it clearly and in full detail like your update Crusty - so thanks very much for clarifying that for everyone.

Have you ever set up an EQ on the HD500 to get the VDI to more closely match the 1/4 inch direct signal?  Or has it never bothered you?

If anyone has actually done it then it would be nice to know what EQ models were used and what values needed to be entered - at least that would give everyone a starting point to do their own tweaking for their own cables and rigs.

I am not very good at using the HD500 EQ's - I don't know which is best to use for a specific purpose so I try by trial and error to find something that works and I usually end up just confusing myself and making everything sound worse - or I get ear fatigue and unless I make very big adjustments don't think my tweaks have altered the sound at all.  I wish they just had one easy to use graphic equalizer with 10 bands that could be optimized for electric/bass/acoustic/vocal usage that would then allow fine control over the frequency ranges. I think that even I could then get my head around that.  

PS: Have just submitted a product feedback form with just such a request....  



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by LarryLion on 2012-06-18 08:24:14

Ed

I fiddled around with EQ (a combo of 4-band and studio), the first for tone, the second for a bit of extra gain, until I had them better sounding than the flat sound that came in via VDI, but I will say this - I could never get exactly what I wanted, and I basically gave up -- too much time investment involved.  I want to play music, not fiddle with some fancy rocket launcher (that's what my drummer calls the POD!). I'm strictly 1/4 inch cable now, and use the POD500 (when I do use it) as a pedalboard, something like an M-13.  I also get to use my Line6 Relay G50 wireless system again (a bonus, in a dumb sense), which obviously the VDI does not support, and I use the POD 500 to do my amp switching. I don't use any Amp models (they are crappy through a real Amp), and I cannot control the Variax, because, IMO, tone is more important than that convenience.  However, thanks to the JTV, I don't have to take 3-4 guitars to a gig, which is a huge reason why I bought it. 

IMO, POD500HD = waste of money.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-18 09:06:45

Thanks Larry.

Sorry to hear that it has not worked out for you.   I agree with you that tone is more important and I am really frustrated that I can't get the HD500 to deliver what I can get with my X3L and also what I have heard other people get in all the great demo vids and sound samples and that many forum users confirm they have also got with their own gear.

Last night I gigged with the HD500 - and I used it just as a front end pedal board. I had spent hours setting up my patches and thought they were solid.  I was using a Sessionette 75 with a Marshall 1912 as an extension speaker cab. The other guitarist in the band had exactly the same amp and extension cab.  I had my JTV, connected with VDI into HD500. He had his Charvel, a few choice Boss stomp boxes and then the amp.  We were standing next to each other, amps behind us. Guess what?   Yes - he totally blew me away! Out matched me on every sound!   And I was only using the effects - the distortions and some reverb and delay and some EQ.  His sound was full of body and tone - my sound was mushy, weedy, indistinct and just did not cut it even though my amp was at a louder volume then his.   OK - so it's entirely my fault for not programming the HD500 correctly.   I know that I am not an expert but I do follow instructions and read the info on the forum and implement the knowledge that I pick up. I am sure I had the correct output settings and it sounded great at home and quite a decent volume - but at the gig with the band it just did not cut it.  I went through the same process and problems with the X3L and somehow managed to get some usable settings with an active PA speaker so I was confident that I would be able to do the same with the HD500 but so far I have failed. I have tried it with the same active PA speaker that I use with my X3L and again it didn't cut it at the gig. I have now tried it as a front end effects processor into a combo and it didn't cut it. My last ditch attempt is to try it with the 4 cable method with my Marshall JMP1 and Marshall EL84 20/20 so I may not be using many if any of the amp models - I have tried it at a rehearsal and it sounded promising - but I think it will also crash and burn in a real gig scenario. 

I have also been looking at possibly getting a better quality active PA speaker and going back to try that set up again - and I have just ordered a standalone MXR 10-band graphic equalizer in the hope that it will allow me to correct the tonal mismatch that comes out of the HD500 - so that may also be wasted money unless I send it back in the trial period if I find out it doesn't help quickly enough.  I have also been looking at the Hughes & Kettner Red Box classic thinking that I should use that instead. Whoah - stop the bus! What am I doing?  Why am I considering spending extra money and buying extra gear to get the HD500 to do what it is capable of doing?   I think I am really going crazy here!  It should not be this difficult.  Maybe I should just stop wasting my time on this and just move on.

Thanks for your input Larry and for starting this thread.    Hopefully I will get this resolved one way or another soon.   

Best Regards


Eddie



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by LarryLion on 2012-06-18 09:35:04

Eddie

Agreed 100% - same thing happened to me.  My fellow guitarist uses an AC30 with a (real) Les Paul or Tele, and a Line6 M-9 pedal. He can and does blow me away - but only when I use the VDI connection.  If I use 1/4 inch analog, I can do everything he does, and more.

Your problem was the VDI.  If you had used the POD500 purely for FX, it would be at least as good as their M-13 - there are some pretty decent stomp models in there, although I miss the janglebox for the Rickenbacker, one of Line6's other oversights. What I figure they could do, if they wanted to, was give us a wireless way of controlling the POD simply for mode controls - JTV model selection, alt tunings, knob assigns, for each setlist patch - and 1/4 inch for tone.  That would retain some of the functionality that I wanted.  Why the VDI is not wireless anyway, is beyond me, another topic entirely.

If you are using the acoustic or reso patches on the JTV, I have had great results through a Fishman Loudbox Artist (again with a cable, with or without the HD500). Puts a great acoustic sound at the PA, and the Fishman effectively becomes my acoustic-mode monitor.  For electrics, I have my regular mic'd amp, a Mesa-Boogie Express.  The HD500 does the mode switching, using the send-return for acoustic patches, and no send-return for electrics.  When I don't use the HD500, my traditional pedal board has a Boss LS-2 for routing signals, and on both rigs, I manually switch the guitar models (and tunings).  Not as fast as I'd like, but a way better than physically changing guitars!

Regards

Larry



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by silverhead on 2012-06-18 09:47:45

LarryLion wrote:

...Why the VDI is not wireless anyway, is beyond me, another topic entirely....

Yes, another topic. And it would be great to have wireless VDI. I think the control features could be done in wireless - but not the power. As it is currently designed (and it is quite old technology now) the VDI provides power as well as feature control. I'm not arguing that it shoud stay that way - just offering an explanation as to why it is as it is.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by LarryLion on 2012-06-18 10:18:01

Silverhead

I asked that question of Line6 a while back, when I was trying to rig up a wireless ethernet to the JTV and POD HD. I had erroneously assumed that because regular CAT5/6 cable worked between the POD & JTV, why not wireles Ethernet?  Hugo shot that idea down, but I did try kludge something together with an old Ethernet transceiver.  Did not work, and was too bulky anyway, plus it might have had too little bandwidth. Given the state of the art in miniature electronics, I still think that a small battery operated transceiver set for POD & JTV, sending/receiving control data only, would be very do-able.  If JTV's get more popular, and the aftermarket starts up, I'm hoping for a 3rd party product, if Line6 wants to keep its head in the sand.

As for the power provided by the VDI, who cares?  That's what 12-hour spare batteries are for

Regards

Larry



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by silverhead on 2012-06-18 15:07:28

LarryLion wrote:

..

I asked that question of Line6 a while back, when I was trying to rig up a wireless ethernet to the JTV and POD HD. .....

As for the power provided by the VDI, who cares?  That's what 12-hour spare batteries are for

Oh yeah - I remember that discussion. Turns out the protocol used over the cable is proprietary and does not conform to Ethernet, if I remember correctly.

As for who cares about the power, probably all previous version Variax owners, who don't have the new long-life batteries available in the JTV. They would either have to attach another cord anyway (for power only - but still, what's the use of wireless?) or set aside a budget to burn up a never-ending supply of 9V batteries, which you know it is time to replace when they die in the middle of a song.

Cheers.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by LarryLion on 2012-06-18 17:01:35

Sorry man, I thought we were talking JTV's.  I have zero experience of the older Variax's. I guess power does matter there.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by silverhead on 2012-06-18 18:02:12

That's the thing - the VDI technology is very long in the tooth in technology terms. I don't know exactly when the first Variax guitars were released (the 300 I think?) but it was likely nearly ten years ago. The VDI technology really hasn't changed since. It is used as a mature technology in the JTV because the JTV inherited lots of early Variax technology - the major gains in the JTV were in processing power, allowing more depth in the modeling (especially the acoustics) and more horespower for enhanced features like alternate tunings. Not to mention the improved physical build of the JTV guitars vs. older models.

However, like you I would love to see a new wireless technology for the JTV series, now that they have the power thing well handled. Maybe they could send all JTV audio (models and mags), as well as all control data, over wireless and eliminate the difference between the VDI and regular cable.

Anyway, thanks for the interesting discussion, and your contributions to the main topic of this thread.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-19 02:52:08

By the way - another user had started another thread reporting exactly the same issue:  http://line6.com/support/message/375013#375013



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by Crusty_Old_Rocker on 2012-06-19 05:42:52

edstar1960 wrote:

I had made reference to it in one of my later responses but I had not explained it clearly and in full detail like your update Crusty - so thanks very much for clarifying that for everyone.

Have you ever set up an EQ on the HD500 to get the VDI to more closely match the 1/4 inch direct signal?  Or has it never bothered you?

Hi Edstar,

No I haven't done anything about it because I really only use the VDI with the HD500.  I do use the analogue out on the JTV but only when going straight into an amp without the HD500.

You'd need to build an EQ profile to match the 1/4" cable lengths you use.  The capacitance typically takes a bit of the higher frequencies and alows more of the mids to come through.  I notice the capacitance of the cable more on Strats with their single coil pickups.  Try it for yourself, with a longer cable, a Strat makes a bit more of an "o" sound.

You can get very technical and calculate the capacitance of the cable length and look up the filtering that occurs with that capacitance value and apply that using an EQ, but it might be simpler just using your ears to match it.

Cheers,

Crusty



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by LarryLion on 2012-06-19 08:15:54

Crusty

I factored that in (the capacitance).  The difference in sound (tone) that I'm talking about goes way beyond the effects of an analog cable.  The best workaround that I've found, when I was using the POD, is, for every patch: Input A: Variax, Input B: Guitar (or Mic), then place all the FX on loop "A", and set the mixer with Left & Right panning centred.  It's not perfect, but playing with 4-band and Studio EQ's at the front of the FX chain will bring the tone closer to the 1/4 inch direct to amp routing, I find. There is no golden setting for EQ I can offer, but that was the basis of my workaround.  I have a gig to rehearse for, which will NOT include the POD, but after the gig I'll publish some of my EQ "formulas".



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by Line6Hugo on 2012-06-19 17:19:02

This is something that should have been cleared up in the latest update.  Let us evaluate this futher and I'll get to you when I get further info.

Regards,

Line6Hugo



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by edstar1960 on 2012-06-22 08:01:40

Very interested to hear your update Hugo.



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by guilhordas on 2013-04-23 09:34:48

friends, for everything that I read here, the solution, then, would not use either the vdi cable and the fourth wire while the pod and let the input setup for guitar and aux? This way we would have the convenience of vdi, controlling the JTV but the sound would analogico.Ou you guys think the problem really is in the hd 500?



Re: JTV - Different Sound VDI/POD vs Regular Cable?
by guilhordas on 2013-04-23 09:42:31

when you say using the 1/4 cable would be going through the HD500 or not?




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