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had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by xCaptainx on 2012-07-11 13:12:26

Righto so I was lucky enough to be able to try out the brand spanking new Line 6 L3T powered monitor tonight at band practise. They just arrived in the country late last week.

Now to give you a bit of background on my thoughts/initial impressions..

- I've been using my HD500 D.I at shows lately, and using whatever foldback is at the venue

- I havent tried any other popular powered monitors associated with digital rigs yet i.e. Mackie, QSC K series, Alto etc.

- I've been using the HD500 + poweramp for quite a while now.

- I'm simply after a loud FRFR solution, I didn't touch any of the additional controls on the 2nd side panel.

I'm fairly confident with the ins and outs of the HD500, so I was extremely interested in comparing this to a standard poweramp/cab setup, and the quality of the sound I've been hearing from general foldback.

Size wise, it's really good. It's in the same price range as the Mackie HD1221 in NZ, I havent seen the 1221 in person but most of the videos show it to be like a standard Wedge size. This seems a bit concerning for me as I still want to have a 'backline' pushing air behind me, as well as using the in house foldback up front (and just in case a p.a isnt grunty enough and I need to have some on stage sound cranking as well.

<a target=new href=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v331/x_captain_x/IMG_20120711_193817-1.jpg" class="jive-image" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v331/x_captain_x/IMG_20120711_193817-1.jpg"/>

The size of this unit is great. We put it next to an oversized mesa cab with castor wheels and they are pretty much exactly the same. Obviously the L3T isnt half the width!

I kept it in P.A/reference/FRFR mode tonight as it was only the HD500 going through, with full emulation/rig happening from the HD500.

It was loud. VERY loud. I have my HD500 master volume at 50% as I have an additional output going to our drummer, for his in ear system. That gives him the level he needs for his sample pad/metronome/in ear system. I had the L3T volume at half way and it was incredibly loud, it sat in the mix perfectly and wasnt clipping at all.

EVERYTHING sounds better louder, that's a fact. I REALLY got to appreciate my patches and tweak them a bit more tonight due to having it blasting in my face at a 'gig' volume, it was muh better than tweaking on my studio monitors at home. I'm extremely confident at being able to have this replace a 4x12 behind me on stage and filling out my stage sound, no problem at all. I'd then have an XLR running out from the HD500 to the soundguy for his 'mic'

<a target=new href=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v331/x_captain_x/IMG_20120711_205957-1.jpg" class="jive-image" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v331/x_captain_x/IMG_20120711_205957-1.jpg"/>

Now there are two kickstand options. The handle acts as a 30 degree kickstand, this is what this picture is. Thereis also additional foot kicks you can snap out and have it at 60 degrees. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of that setup but I have to be honest, the 60 degree version was my favourite. The 'virtual tilt back' feature was extremely interesting. It aims the sound to 'head height'.

One thing that I really liked was that it sounded great all over the practise room. It wasnt directional, it seemed to fill out the room really, really well. Even when on its side and acting like a wedge. The 60 degree tilt back was great. When I do parachute next year I'll probably opt for this approach and have the L3T to the side of me, or on front of the stage (you can probably tell I'm already sold on this haha)

Bit late and rambling a tad, but yeah this was great. If you know how to tweak the HD500 and get the most of it, you'll have a great experience with the L3T. I'd highly recommend this over a 4x12, or 2x12 and poweramp setup, especially if you are comfortable and confident enough with the HD500 doing everything for you. 1300w gives you plenty of headroom. I was able to hear a lot more with my bigger chords and progressions during certain bits.

btw we had an axe fx ultra + poweramp and mesa cab in the room, running a SLO patch with a gibson SG, with my L3T/HD500 setup, with the gunslinger retro  running the Engl patch, gain on about 10%, with a tube screamer out front and about 80% on both deep cab editing options (I forget the name of them) With the master volume on the amp at about 85%, and the sag at 10%, you get a really crisp, dry, tight metal tone. I'm not a fan of engls in real life but I really, really liked this tone. It's not as 'loud' as the mesa amp option on the HD500 but I think it sings out way better.

Sorry I'm not much of a tech nerd with sound systems, but, this sounds mean, loud and awesome. I'm getting one.

btw please check my band out! I've been using Line 6 products in one way, shape or form for the last decade (pod, pod xt, HD147, Vetta and now HD500)

www.facebook.com/indreadresponse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atrOlc0fJvA (full album with HD500 and Axe FX)

http://soundcloud.com/xcaptainx all recordings with HD500

HD500 D.I tone (full band) audio direct from soundboard

http://soundcloud.com/xcaptainx/in-dread-response-through-1

http://soundcloud.com/xcaptainx/in-dread-response-apophis-live

http://soundcloud.com/xcaptainx/in-dread-response-cannons-at

I'm a B.C Rich endorsee so all clips have been recorded with either a B.C Rich Warlock NJ Deluxe with emg 81, or Gunslinger Retro with EMG 81x.

Really looking forward to using this L3T and HD500 live from now on!



Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by thewhites on 2012-07-11 16:32:26

Amen!! I am glad to see someone else praises this setup like I do. My tone is incredible using the L3t and the HD500 along with the JTV89 variax. I loaned my L3t (I was there of course) to my buddies band a couple of nights ago and used it on the right side for the mains of the PA and ran it against his mackie thumps on the left side. I have always told him that the mains are is makes your band sound either good or bad. If you buy cheap you get cheap. If you spend the money the band will sound 10 times as good. I called him out front during the sound check in front of the Mackies and said listen. Then I pulled him over to the L3t and looked at him and smiled. He walked away haha. The clarity and punch is so much better.  .



Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by xCaptainx on 2012-08-03 15:51:22

So I had my first gig with this today. My initial writeup was after borrowing an L3T.

Local distro let me pick up the L3T again for my current tour. 15 minutes into the drive back I got a call from their head office to say that they have a few L3Ms. Went back and got the L3M instead. L3M makes much more sense for me, as the only difference is the L3T has an additional DSP control panel and additional inputs with their own effects on them (delay, reverb etc, accoustic emulation, they are there for the singer/songwriter who would do an accoutic gig and use it for vocals/accoustic guitar. Very cool feature but of no use to me as I simply want a FRFR system for the HD500

First show on our saving grace tour was Ohope. Incredibly small town, blink and you miss it kind of dea. Was dreading the worst as it is a tiny town and we were playing in the middle of nowhere with no cellphone reception.

It was AWESOME! Great turnout (it was an all ages show) and the crowd was great and got looked after really, really well!  On a side note, small town crowds are usually 500% more enthusiastic and energetic than bigger towns. Kids were having a great time and not woried about what was cool or what other kids were thinking of them like they do at auckland shows, haha. I'm siked to do a 'small town tour' of NZ now haha.

Anywho, our turn to play, got up on stage, took the 4x12 backline off, put up the L3M (standing up), put our stage scrims up to hide the backline and had the HD500 out front with one lead running back to it. Also then took the XLR cable from the cabinet mic and stuck it into my unit, and just told the soundguy to treat it as per normal i.e a mic'd cab. Said that the HD500 emulates a lot of the 'mic placement' details so he won't need to do much. The P.A looked to be doing mostly kick and vocals anyway, so I cranked my stage sound up for good measure.

It was loud, VERY loud. Other guitarist was using a 5150II and Hiwatt 4x12 and it kept up  with it easily, I was at half volume and drowing him out. Also for it's size, I was amazed at how much bass/body I was getting out of it. Rest of the band were totally sold on it as well, our bassist said it sounded just like a 4x12/traditional setup and he couldnt tell the difference what was behind the stage scrim.

Was also siked to have kids come up while I was packing down going all 'brooooooooooo what is that?' haha. Got a lot of 'where's your amp' haha.

Love my new L3M/HD500 setup. I'm doing a HD500 clinic for our line 6 local distro in September, hoping to have an entire Line 6 P.A setup to crank through!



Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by sozeg on 2012-08-05 04:07:28

That set up sounds great. I've only recently got an hd500 and I'm looking at ways to replace carrying around a big amp. Do you mind if I ask you afew questions on this?

Would it work just the same with a small amp like the dt25 behind you rather than the lt3?

What's it like having the lt3 acting like a monitor in front of you rather than behind you?

Would you use the lt3 at a big gig in front of you or just use the house monitors, or, could you use the lt3 in front of you just for your own sound and still have the house monitors to give you the rest of the band?

Can you explain further what output you use to send to your drummer and what he is hearing through this?

Sorry to bombard you, just really interested in this set up. Thanks for the photos as well.

Cheers.



Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by xCaptainx on 2012-08-05 04:34:40

No problem at all

Would it work just the same with a small amp like the dt25 behind you rather than the lt3? I've got no experience with the DT25 but I choose this as it's a Full Range Flat Response setup, the HD500 is doing everything and the L3M is a flat E.Q, it does not colour the HD500 signal at all. I'd imagine the DT25 would, as would the cabinet that I'd be choosing to use with it. And then the D.I signal being sent to my drummer would be completely different to what I am hearing on stage. Plus I wanted to elimate a mic'd cab on stage and have a straight D.I to soundguy/p.a

What's it like having the lt3 acting like a monitor in front of you rather than behind you? I just played two gigs this weekend and I had the L3M behind me standing up where a traditional cab was. I preferred this as it still gave the soundguy a loud 'stage sound'. Some of the venues we play at can be small bars and I've had a sound guy once tell me he relies on a bit of stage bleed/stage volume as his p.a was quite small. The L3M was louder than the 150w tube amp my other guitarist uses so there was no problem there. I've yet to use the L3M as a monitor on front of stage, but for the last two months I've been going D.I with just house monitors so I'm used to having a fairly quiet stage.

Would you use the lt3 at a big gig in front of you or just use the house monitors, or, could you use the lt3 in front of you just for your own sound and still have the house monitors to give you the rest of the band? Well that's the great thing about this, I could really do whatever I wanted to do. My personal preference would be to have the L3M behind me acting as a tradtional 'cab' for stage sound, with an XLR from the HD500 going out to the soundguy, and still use the house monitors for traditional mix of the rest of the band. I'm going to be playing Parachute in January on a 20,000 capacity main stage so I'll probably just follow this route. We have stage scrims that our backline hides behind anyway so it makes it nice and tidy.

Can you explain further what output you use to send to your drummer and what he is hearing through this?just one of the XLR outputs. My I have a 'mono' signal, so to speak, so I have one XLR going to drummer, one XLR going to p.a and the standard left output 1/4" jack going to L3M. Everyone hears the same thing.



Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-08-05 04:54:32

Just to be clear, could you still run a stereo output if you wanted to, provided you had two L3M/L3Ts? I.e. you would run left line out to one L3T, right line out to the other L3T, then two XLR outs to the P.A? (Forgetting about the drummer monitoring thing)

Also would there be a way to sneak in a mono signal from another guitar on one of the two L3Ts? My band sometimes has two guitars and sometimes has one guitar, but I want to consistently have the same volume on a stereo basis, so my "one guitar" HD500 patches are either dual cab or just stereo, with the goal of making it sound like there are still two guitars even if there is still only one (i.e. the two channels are panned hard left and hard right, completely separated). Right now this works just fine going straight into the PA because I'm going through a mixing board that easily takes care of this... I guess my question is, can I have two simultaneous guitar inputs in the L3T effectively treated as equals? Kind of like a basic onboard mixer?



Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by sozeg on 2012-08-05 07:29:04

That's great. Thanks very much for the detailed response. I would love try out the lt3 instead of an amp. I'm quite liking the idea of no amp as well and just using the monitors from the main pa. Its placing a lot of trust in the sound guy though! Sometimes we don't get time for a sound check so if I had no amp and couldn't hear the monitors I'd be screwed! That's a worst case scenario though. I think I'll mess around in the rehearsal studio and try d.i to the pa and see what's it like with just the monitors. I guess that's the ultimate, being able to turn up for a gig with just  a guitar and the hd500! A lot easier than humpfing a Marshall half stack up three flights of stairs.

Thanks again.



Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by sozeg on 2012-08-05 07:35:23

By the way, I checked out the links to your band. Whilst its not totally my kind of music the playing is immense and a really pro video. Hats off to your drummer though, has he got robot legs to do double kicks that fast!



Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by xCaptainx on 2012-08-05 16:11:28

Astaroth_CY

Just to be clear, could you still run a stereo output if you wanted to, provided you had two L3M/L3Ts? I.e. you would run left line out to one L3T, right line out to the other L3T, then two XLR outs to the P.A? (Forgetting about the drummer monitoring thing)

Yes, The l3T has the additional DSP controls and two additional inputs, you could simply use that. I have the L3M so I don't have the additional DSP controls (felt there was no need as I'm currently happy with the 'mono' output method, as it means I have 'four' outputs ont he HD500 to ultilise (as well as the output on the L3M itself!)


Also would there be a way to sneak in a mono signal from another guitar on one of the two L3Ts? My band sometimes has two guitars and sometimes has one guitar, but I want to consistently have the same volume on a stereo basis, so my "one guitar" HD500 patches are either dual cab or just stereo, with the goal of making it sound like there are still two guitars even if there is still only one (i.e. the two channels are panned hard left and hard right, completely separated). Right now this works just fine going straight into the PA because I'm going through a mixing board that easily takes care of this... I guess my question is, can I have two simultaneous guitar inputs in the L3T effectively treated as equals? Kind of like a basic onboard mixer?

The L3T sounds like it would be the better choice for you, as it has the additional DSP controls on the side and two extra outputs. The manual refers to singer/songwriters using it for a mic + guitar, but I see no reason why you couldnt plug in anything you wanted.



Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by xCaptainx on 2012-08-05 16:13:17

exactly, that was my reasoning too! our cd release last year we had 8 guitar cabs on stage for that 'wall of sound' look. While it was awesome, it was a huge pain in the ass! We've since gone with stage scrims which hide our entire backline and once we started doing that, re relised that if D.I works so well, what's the point of lugging anything else around? The l3T/l3M are incredibly lightweight (I carry it with one hand with ease) so I'm very happy with it.

And thank you for the kind words about my band!



Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by Astaroth_CY on 2012-08-05 19:04:47

Thank you! It's definitely the next piece of gear I'm buying. What a beauty!




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