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had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by xCaptainx on 2012-07-11 13:19:49

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.

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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'

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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. I've got a full month of touring NZ in August, as well as main stage of Parachute 2013 (30,000-40,000 capacity arena)  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) album with HD500 and Axe FX) recordings with HD500

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

I'ma 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 xCaptainx on 2012-08-03 15:48:49

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 darligre on 2012-08-10 15:08:36

What are you using to make your HD500 slanted toward you on the floor?

Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by paligulus on 2012-08-10 15:32:16

Sorry to hijack with a slightly off topic question, but what is your HD500 mounted on and what is the prurpose of it?

Thanks for review - it will be interesting to see whether people will prefer this or the DT25!!!

Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by dshetrick on 2012-08-10 18:20:19

Looks like a Pedaltrain pedalboard.


Greatreview, xCaptainx. I would love to hear this set up. My local music store doesn't have the L6 speakers yet.

Since both the Pedaltrain and HD500 are angled, do you have any problems using the expression pedal on the HD500?

Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by xCaptainx on 2012-08-10 18:43:20

Thanks guys

I've got my HD500 and G50 mounted onto a pedaltrain 2 pedalboard. main reason for this is because the pedaltrain comes with a great flight case, and has plenty of room for me to hold spare leads, spare jug chords, my G50 transmitter pack and various other bits n pieces for general maintenance on tour.

I've also stuck a multi adaptor onto the end so I have a 'main' power switch on the multi box that can turn everything off. This way I just keep everything plugged in, plonk it on the ground, run one elad back to the L3M and my setup time is now about 2 minutes.

I've been touring this month with a hardcore band called Saving Grace. We're four shows in and I've used the L3M as my stage sound each time, with the stage scrims in front of our backline, it's impossible to tell that it is not a 4x12 behind me. I've been getting some very suprised punters asking me what on earth it is once we pull the stage scrim down, and I'm winning over a lot of people with it, haha. It's great

Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by grahamenglish on 2012-08-10 19:02:17

Nice review.

I've got an L3T as well. I've used it lots of different ways and it sounds great all the time. It makes a great keyboard amp. Pianos sound really full and as natural as you can get coming out of a speaker. Lately, I've been using it via my HD500 FX send and sending my Variax acoustic patches through it while the Variax mags go to the DT25. Lots of killer things you can do with a Varax, HD500, DT25, and L3T combined.

I'll definitely be getting a second one, if not more.

Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by muziccircle on 2012-08-22 01:54:18

You have a great review of the Line 6 L3T and L3M. Do you know is anyone has used the L3T or L3M for bass? I am running an HD for my bass setup with a duals tone to accent my guitar player. I currenty use a Carvin R600 2-10 combo and a Carvin 3way 15" cab. they sound great but they are heavey to lug around by myself. I was thinking 2 L3's or 1 L3T and an L3S for bottom end. I play in a rock/metal band and play slap on some songs.

Re: had a full evening with the L3T powered monitor + HD500 (gig volume review)
by Apologist on 2012-09-03 08:07:01

Again a bit off topic but wanted to share a great experience with a smaller set up for home use using a personal pa monitor like setup using the HD Bean and a Kustom PW50.

I know the Line 6 PA L3T is bigger louder and a better unit made for gigging but I just wanted something for the home I could use rather than having to crank up a tube amp and I was shocked.

The HD series shines through a personal PA set up monitor like this ... it's the same sound I get through headphones and I can get loud and it still sounds great. Wish I had tried PA monitor a long time ago .. I just got tired recently of practicing at  home using headphones and am glad I tried this type of set up.

If I ever decide to Gig with a band again I would definitely look into getting something bigger like the Line 6 L3T.

Thanks for the review.

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