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Pod 500 HD - Suggestions to Line 6; some thoughts after using it since release
by Masterstroggo on 2012-06-14 17:47:01

I have been an owner of line 6 equipment for about 6 years, some of the stuff I've owned include the Variax 700, POD, POD XT as well as their latest edition POD 500 HD.
Just as with other music equipment I have owned, I have discovered both the good things, as well as the less good things.

The stuff I like about the pod is interconnectibility with other equipment such as the JT Variax series, and also the line 6 monkey which is a good tool to keep your drivers and hardware

up to date. I will mostly focus on the things that I'm less content with, hoping that line 6 will read this, as well as other posts bringing up the topic and maybe listen to their customers.

My first suggestions is making future versions of POD easier to use, BOSS have grasped this and I think their stuff is more user friendly. I will return to this below.


Second: the different output settings
I have no clue about what the different output settings do, or why we should even need them. The signal coming in from the guitar and out to the amp should be as transparent

as it is with TC electronics G-system. Two outputsettings should be enough, Amp/live and Studio/record. The different frequency/focus settings are just stupid, If I want the tonal character to change I will use an EQ or any other effect! The POD shouldn't color your sound in anyway unless you want it to. I guess you POD 500 HD users know what I'm talking about. Basically the master volume should be bypassed when in amp/live mode to keep the output level from the POD exactly the same as when it entered the POD. Transparency is the key word here.

Third: Tone quality

I think some of the amp models are good for recording, especially the dual rectifier and the hiwatt amp! The problem when using the POD live though, is that it steals tone from your guitar, especially when using the effect loop in a four cable setup. I always use high quality cables, and never user longer cables than necessary, even though I experience some tone loss, more than compared to for instance BOSS GT10. I'm not fully aware of how the cable length simulation works, if its always on or only in Studio mode, but if it is always on I would want an option to turn it off completely.

Most of the effects are useful, even live. Some of the effects would need to be re-worked though. The smart harmony is the worst, it is useless, I can't help but comparing with the GT10 which is in the same price range, but sounds way better when comparing the smart harmony. The flanger effects doesn't appeal to my ears either. Overall I think many of the effects has too many settings. For users that are coming from the analog realm it can be kind of intimidating with all these options (even for me). I'm not a tech nerd, I don't care about how many settings you can fiddle with, I just want to be able to setup a good sound fast, even though that would mean having fewer settings to fool around with, make an "advanced" menu for those kind of users who like to be able to tweak every setting. For the overdrives and distorsions I'm also missing a bit transparency. I have a TC electronics Nova drive which has just the right amount of knobs and is transparent enough to allow the tonal character of the guitar to really shine through. I have tried to find a good overdrive in the POD to use live as a slight boost for solos, but I think all the overdrives in the POD color the sound too much. Also a solo boost effect would be great, which just increases the output by a user defined amount of db.

This is just some of my thoughts, the main things I want to see in the next POD is tonal transparency and ease of use. I think a portion of the ease of use, would kind of come automatically with

higher quality effects, that would decrease the need of having to tweak parameters to get a sound good. Regarding simplicity and ease of use; some of the best sounding phaser stomboxes out there have just one knob and a on/off switch, Line 6 should learn from that.

Overall I like the products that Line 6 do, but just as with other brands there is always room for improvement!



Re: Pod 500 HD - Suggestions to Line 6; some thoughts after using it since release
by jimsreynolds on 2012-06-14 23:32:29

Best place to register suggestions for updates is the feedback link here.  Line 6 monitor this channel --> http://line6.com/company/contact/productfeedback/

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Outputsettings:   the Pod is used by people with sophisticated and unsophisticated gear.   The output settings reflect this and cater for many scenarios.  Most users work out the one (or two) modes that work for them/their rig and stick with them.  Frequency and focus are key when you use amp modelling and plug into the front of a combo.   Yes, you can use EQ but that is a waste of DSP and effect blocks and may not be necessary if you get a good global output setup. 

Transparency:   The TC system does not have amp modelling so life is simpler for them.  If you want effects only then set your POD for Studio direct, and turn the amp model off.

-  If the POD goes in front of your amp then turn the POD Master to ~100%, the 1/4" output to 'Amp' and you should be good to go

-  If it goes in the loop, set the amp loop to -10dBV and the 1/4" Output to 'Amp' and you should be good to go

If it clips or your amp loop is line-level only then there are ways to fix that .... come back.

Tone quality:  4CM can sound just great and I use it constantly but you do need to get the POD and levels setup correctly and that can be a challenge.  Once you have it - its great.  Checkout the link here if you have not already -->  http://line6.com/support/docs/DOC-2522

There">http://line6.com/support/docs/DOC-2522">http://line6.com/support/docs/DOC-2522

Thereis no such thing as 'Cable Length Simulation'. If you are talking about 'Cab Simulation' then this refers to the Speaker Cabinet Simulation and is relevant to amp modelling.  Do I have it right?

Overdrives:  There are some good tones in there.  By default most have too much gain and output level for my tastes.  Try turning them down and setting EQ controls to the middle initially.  Try the classic distortion or overdrive for a more neutral sounding overdrive or a Buzz saw on lower gain to push a crunchy amp into a tighter distortion.

If you want a clean/solo boost, use a Studio EQ at the end of your effect chain and change the gain parameter only - boost by 3-8dB.  This works very well for solos provided you have headroom on your amp.      

On effect simplicity:  sometimes Line 6 model an effect with less controls to maintain authenticity and it people complain because they cannot push it where they want (many effects don't have a level control and actually need one !).  Line 6 cannot win !

Rule #1:  Download the advanced manual from this site and keep it handy!!!  Also, grab the advanced manual for the M13 processor cause that gives you what all the effect parameters do.  Meambobbo has also has an awesome POD resource that is beloved by forum users.  Grab that from here -->http://line6.com/support/thread/71651

In">http://line6.com/support/thread/71651">http://line6.com/support/thread/71651

Ingeneral:  the HD500/Pro is very flexible by design and that means that it is more complex.   I agree this is intimidating for many new users but that is why people buy the top end processors .... to get that level of control.  The HD300 and 400 give a simpler approach and work well for many people.



Re: Pod 500 HD - Suggestions to Line 6; some thoughts after using it since release
by holeshot1982 on 2012-06-15 04:33:00

Sorry man, I don't think you'll get much creditabilty here, first, member since 2007 but only 1 post? And in that one post your basically thrashing the HD500 compared to other units. The tags on your post will make so that a new buyer would generaly use those terms to search for a "review" and they would see yours saying how much better the BOSS and TC Electorincs units are compared to the POD.... Also, I don't care what guitar,amp,pedal, or unit you buy, you will HAVE to tweak to you, which there's plently of info on here for tips and tricks to help get you started..... Sorry, I call BS on your entire post!!!



Re: Pod 500 HD - Suggestions to Line 6; some thoughts after using it since release
by meambobbo on 2012-06-15 10:30:08

i actually agree with most of his post, other than the tone stealing for 4CM which I've never experienced.

I agree there should be two output modes, or ditch them altogether.  If the user wants the effect of switching output modes, let it be a global patch update or something like that, which can be further tweaked.  Or just include a global EQ - that's what all 4 "live" modes amount to.

Some of the tweaking is not user friendly.  I wouldn't mind default and advanced options pages.

The flangers on the HD SUCK.  I don't know how one manages to screw up such relatively simple effects.  I disagree about the smart harmony - I think it does a good job.

Overall, I think the Pod is the best at what it does, but I do hope Line 6 listens to the feedback and adjusts this and future products to their customers' desires.



Re: Pod 500 HD - Suggestions to Line 6; some thoughts after using it since release
by Masterstroggo on 2012-06-26 13:35:40

Holeshot1982, I do believe most products out there have room for improvement, and so does the HD 500. I'm nevertheless a satisfied POD user, and the reason

why I'm writing here is that I want the POD to become even better product, I want to contribute to the community surrounding Line 6 with my thoughts since I want to help them improve their products for the next generation of multieffect pedals. I know that there are a lot of conflicting views regarding how the POD should be like, but this is my view. I don't need credibility to express my oppinion.



Re: Pod 500 HD - Suggestions to Line 6; some thoughts after using it since release
by Masterstroggo on 2012-06-26 13:46:04

I have had some problems with loosing prescense when running the 4CM. Currently I'm using the POD in the effect loop only to avoid all that wiring that could steal tone. I have always liked to be able to tweak a lot of settings to experiment, but with time I have become a bit weary of having to tweak 200 knobs to get that sound. I have also had the benefit of having friends with different multieffect pedals and have been able to compare them all in depth. Overall the POD compares well, but leaves a bit to wish in terms of simplicity and effect quality (the flanger for instance). Some effects are great, such as the delay's which I like.
There is still something about the POD that makes me like it, and that's why I'm writing in this forum, just share my thoughts!



Re: Pod 500 HD - Suggestions to Line 6; some thoughts after using it since release
by Masterstroggo on 2012-06-26 14:24:12

Thanks for the extensive reply! a lot of good tips in there!
I will definitely check out the links!

I think I was meaning the input impedance simulation when I said cable simulation, doesn't it simulate different cable lenghts?

In terms of the simplicity, I think the POD 300/400 are more alike what I'm asking for, however, I always end up buying the high end stuff cause I don't want to compromise in terms of quality and functionality. I used to be a tech nerd, but I have become less fond of knobs with time, now I mostly want a really transparent sound from the effects section to make justice to the sounds of my guitars and amps. I love how you can program the expression pedal to affect multiple parameters simultaneously, that's the kind of programmability I like (and use this function live also)! But I don't want to have to fiddle with settings not vital to the sound I'm trying to create, such as output settings since I don't have a clue on what the difference is between them, or input impedance simulation for that part either (now I know where to read up on that though=).
Overall I'm a satisfied POD user and want to help in making the POD a better product, even for people like me that want's all the functions, but also want simplicity at the same time, and that's why I'm writing here!


Thanks again for the reply, I will actually print your post and test out the suggestions!




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