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EddieVanSilva

Power Amp for POD HD Rack unit

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Hi guys. I'm currently a Vetta user. I play in a 80's hard rock cover band. We mostly play smaller bars, outdoor events, etc.

 

I love the vetta, both because for these smaller shows, I only need to carry in the head, rather than 50 pedals and other gear (it's just a perfect gigging head to have everything built in and have pretty good sound), plus it seems that everyone HATES line 6, or any other amp that isn't some million dollar boutique amp.

 

My vetta is starting to do funny things, and now I'm getting worried that it may be on it's way out. So while it's still working ok, I'm looking into what kind of gigging rig to replace it. If they still made a vetta, I would buy another one in a heartbeat.

 

Just for reference, I run the Vetta through the Line 6 cab with V-30's. I've had it about 10 years I think, and I think it's a great sounding cab.

 

So I'm tossing around the idea of getting the new POD HD rack unit, and using the FBV shortboard I already have. Since my biggest love about the Vetta was the convenience of having an all inclusive head, with really no other equipment, I would want to entertain the idea of finding a rack mounted power amp rather than carrying around some monster tube head. I guess my thought is that I could mount a power amp and the POD in one rack case, and at least SORT OF have the same convenience as the vetta (one 412 cab and one rack case).

 

Obviously, since I played the vetta for so many years, I'm not a tube snob. Does anyone have any real world experience gigging with the POD HD and a rack mounted power amp. I want to hear some good feedback on both tube AND non tube power amps. at most of the small shows we play, 80% of my guitar is heard through the cab, with just a little bit going into the FOH speakers to put the guitar sound in areas away from my cab. We are pretty loud for the small bars, since we have a hard hitting drummer and requires me to add some extra volume to be heard.

 

The power amp would have to be comparable in headroom to a typical 100w guitar head.

 

Any real world opinions??? Thanks guys!

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Carvin TS100, been using one for years...nice tube power amp, won't break the bank. 2 channels, 50W each if you want to run stereo...or you can run it in bridged mono for 100W in to a single cab. Has an impedance selector switch (4, 8, or 16 ohms), which is a nice feature that many power amps lack, so you can run it into just about any cab on the planet without load issues.

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If you want a solid-state amplifier that will reproduce the same fast dynamic transients as a 100 watt tube power amp (typical 4x 6L6), then you need to look for a power amp that is rated 400 watts @ 8 ohms or higher. That's the trick....

 

Tubes can exceed their rating by upwards of 4 times in fast transients, so if you match that to a solid-state peak rating, you can get closer to the same feel...I say go for a Class D amp....You get high power and they are much lighter weight...

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Matrix GT1000fx.  Best power amp hands down, matched with any of the L6 stuff.  

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Matrix GT1000fx.  Best power amp hands down, matched with any of the L6 stuff.  

 

Interesting...I'm intrigued by their FRFR 2x12, being on the lookout for other FRFR options in case my L2T flunks it's 2nd repair attempt at silencing the rattling fan.

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After buying an HD500, I took a brief learning period. 

But once I started using it, I never carried an amp again. I have gone straight from the Pod to the PA ever since.

No heads, no cabs, no combos. Guitar to Pod to PA. 

 

Have you considered that? 

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I have considered that, but there's been shows where we have mic'd the cab to play through FOH (but I run mine direct out), but due to bad mixing and monitoring, there's been times where I had a tough time hearing myself through the monitor, but could bump my amp up a little to be heard. I think I want to keep it set up more traditional. Plus, my rhythm guitarist uses an older Marshall half stack, which doesn't have the direct out, and I think in a small bar, it would sound a little off having a half stack playing and having the sound very "directional", while my sound would be spaced out among the FOH rig.

 

I believe my Vetta is either 100 or 150 watts. I've read a few reviews about some different power amps, but there were VERY mixed reviews, and none of them were using them in conjunction with the POD HD. People have raved about tube power amps, and a few said that there were solid states that did a great job. I dont mind either one, but would like to hear if any is already doing so with their POD HD. I did read good things about the carvin, not sure if the power will come close to the vetta, but then again, I always run it on half power, 1/3 of the way up and can easily be heard over the drums. We do very little recording, everything that I'm asking is strictly for the live shows.

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I believe my Vetta is either 100 or 150 watts. I've read a few reviews about some different power amps, but there were VERY mixed reviews, and none of them were using them in conjunction with the POD HD. People have raved about tube power amps, and a few said that there were solid states that did a great job. I dont mind either one, but would like to hear if any is already doing so with their POD HD. I did read good things about the carvin, not sure if the power will come close to the vetta, but then again, I always run it on half power, 1/3 of the way up and can easily be heard over the drums. We do very little recording, everything that I'm asking is strictly for the live shows.

 

I've never had a volume issue with the Carvin into a 4x12...plenty of headroom. Rarely have it cranked past 1-2 o'clock, with POD master vol around 3 o'clock....and my drummer is a gorilla, beats the daylights out of those things, lol. And yes, I've been using it with the POD HD for a little over a year now. Quite satisfied with the sound I get out of it, with the exception of my acoustic patches. That's the only reason I'm migrating towards an FRFR rig...progress has been slowed due to technical difficulties, however, lol.

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Anyone ever use a Rocktron Velocity 300, while using the POD HD and a 4 12 cab? interesting description on their site, I wonder how well it would power 4 12" speakers at live volume. I like the size of it, that would cut down on some of the bulk of a rack setup, just don't know how well it would pair with the POD, or if it could keep up.

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Anyone ever use a Rocktron Velocity 300, while using the POD HD and a 4 12 cab? interesting description on their site, I wonder how well it would power 4 12" speakers at live volume. I like the size of it, that would cut down on some of the bulk of a rack setup, just don't know how well it would pair with the POD, or if it could keep up.

 

Unfortunately a lot of it will boil down to your personal preference...test driving different ones first would be the way to go, but generally not feasible unless you've got buddies with a bunch of different gear. Eventually you'll be stuck rolling the dice.

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I've gigged with my Matrix a number of times.  I still have tube heads because getting over the mental block of "having to have big tube amps" hasn't left my mind.  However, I get in the mood here and there and say "What am I doing...I'm a rock guitar player...let me power my POD with my tube head".  I'll do that for a few gigs...then realize something's missing tone-wise (obviously something only I can hear or care about).  Then I plug back into my Matrix and AWWWWEE.  The tone is perfectly balanced, a perfect flat EQ/response, with that EVH sag, complete definition, punch, "TUBE TONE", power, headroom, etc.  The power amp weighs like 6 pounds.  My 2 space rack, 4x12, POD HD500x sounds way better, bigger, better in every way...more versatile than any tube head I've owned in years.  

 

My my opinion, but I'd say try it.

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I've gigged with my Matrix a number of times.  I still have tube heads because getting over the mental block of "having to have big tube amps" hasn't left my mind.  However, I get in the mood here and there and say "What am I doing...I'm a rock guitar player...let me power my POD with my tube head".  I'll do that for a few gigs...then realize something's missing tone-wise (obviously something only I can hear or care about).  Then I plug back into my Matrix and AWWWWEE.  The tone is perfectly balanced, a perfect flat EQ/response, with that EVH sag, complete definition, punch, "TUBE TONE", power, headroom, etc.  The power amp weighs like 6 pounds.  My 2 space rack, 4x12, POD HD500x sounds way better, bigger, better in every way...more versatile than any tube head I've owned in years.  

 

My my opinion, but I'd say try it.

 

Now I want one...lol

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What are you comparing a Matrix price against?  They're $750.  They could easily get away with doubling that and people would pay that.  Fryette, Mesa power amps etc...$1500.  It all depends on what you're looking for and what you're comparing your price points to.  For me, I'm not a boutique amp guy at all...but my history includes amps that are generally within the 1200-2500 price range....so this price point is incredibly reasonable, especially given the consistent performance and tone I get. 

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Velocity 300 is skull-crackingly loud. Easily competes with a 100+ watt tube head. And easy to get different tube tones out of it. Reactance at half way is like an EL34 amp, and full out is like a 6l6. Love it. Wouldn't go back to tubes unless I was making enough to afford a tech and a roadie or two.

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What are you comparing a Matrix price against?  They're $750.  They could easily get away with doubling that and people would pay that.  Fryette, Mesa power amps etc...$1500.  It all depends on what you're looking for and what you're comparing your price points to.  For me, I'm not a boutique amp guy at all...but my history includes amps that are generally within the 1200-2500 price range....so this price point is incredibly reasonable, especially given the consistent performance and tone I get. 

I'm not saying it's out of my price range completely. I guess from being a vetta fan, I get good sounds out of my amp, and when I go to set up for a gig, I get alot of haters put their noses up to that amp, as they are wheeling in a 2,000 dollare head, 1,000 dollar cab, and a pedal board that looks like it belongs on the starship enterprise. When they DO hear me play, I get a great response from those same people. I'm not saying my vetta sounds better than boutique amps with all the pedals and such, I'm just saying that, to carry in less weight, have more versatility, less set up time, and play in venues that have horrible acoustics, and do it all for "pennies on the dollar" compared to some others, that's what I'm all about.

 

So long story short, I'm not throwing ANY power amp suggestion out the window yet. but if a bunch of people give a great respose to some cheaper, but durable and great sounding amp, that will probably be the one I go with.

 

I love the sound of a tube head. But let's face it. 99% of the places my band plays at, are old bars. Good crowds, but the bars were built in the late 1800's to early 1900's as a farm house or store or restaurant, and converted years later to a bar, with acoustics never being a thought in that conversion. There's this one place in particular, that regardless of your sound, the echo is so terrible, and the bar has this old piano that they shove into a corner to make room for bands, and that thing makes all kinds of funny noises when you play. You wont' be able to tell the difference between a good tube head and a good modeling rig there.

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I like cost effective....I would suggest a Peavey IPR 2000....My cabinets already have Speakons....

 

Stereo Class D....370 watts @ 8 ohms per channel. weighs 8 lbs....Costs $400....

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I like cost effective....I would suggest a Peavey IPR 2000....My cabinets already have Speakons....

 

Stereo Class D....370 watts @ 8 ohms per channel. weighs 8 lbs....Costs $400....

 

That's an interesting choice! I have the 5000 as one of my amps in my PA system. I had it for about a month and it crapped out on me. I took it back and they sent it to Peavey and fixed it under warranty and I haven't had any problems since.

 

From lugging my other amps around, I love that it's light as a feather.

 

My only concern would be the tone it produces for guitars. I have zero experience using a power amp for guitars, as I've always went through some type of guitar head or combo. I see that some of these amps, such as the Rocktron and the Matrix, as well as the tube heads like the carvin, seem to be made for guitar, and have some sort of tone shaping to accomodate a guitarist's tone. With that being said, does the amp/cab modelling in the HD500 do a good enough job that a more "sterile" amp would still do a great job?

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Your Vetta Power amp is nothing but a very simple Class AB Transistor HiFi amplifier....You could use it on small full range PA speakers and the response would be no different than just about any other stereo SS power amp that puts 75 watts per channel into 8 ohms....

 

There is nothing mystical or magical about a power amp....Certainly there are some that have some extra tone controls of some type that make them easier for a guitar player to use....in the end, it's your preamp and your cabinet that will make the distinction between PA and guitar usage....A power amp is a power amp and is just there for power....Certainly Tubes behave differently, but no real difference in the bandwidth other than tube amps tend to be wider going upwards of 30-40 Khz flat....Turn them upside down and they all look like sisters.... :D

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I use a mesa 50/50 tube power amp. After trying alot of SS power amps, this just sounds better. I just did a bias mod to it which really has changed the tone for the better I think, will know for sure next gig but it was great before this. It's not too pricey, reliable, not crazy heavy, and sounds great.

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Well, I THINK I've at least narrowed it down to SS only. With people giving their thoughts on certain tube amps, and doing a ton of research, it would seem that I would definitely get a better sound with tube power.

 

But with that being said, the reliability and low maintenance of SS, as well as price, has gotten my attention. My rhythm guitarist uses a Marshall TSL, and his tone is definitely more "cutting" than mine playing through the Vetta, but I would have to assume that, at the VERY least, the new POD HD would have as-good of tone as the Vetta, but I imagine since it's way newer, it's ability in making good tones is probably better.

 

There are some solid state amps that have some tone adjustments on them, and while they probably don't have any way of making it sound EXACTLY like a tube amp, those amps, in conjunction with the POD, would probably be capable of producing a better sound than my vetta already does (once I dial everything in to my liking), and if I am content with the Vetta (aside from it's issues it's having), I would still think the SS amp and HD combination would be an improvement to my sound, and give me the reliability and price I want.

 

Of course, which one??? It really stinks that there aren't any big music shops nearby that might carry a good selection. I'm going to continue my SS research, probably just roll the dice and hop for the best.

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POD HD is 10x better than Vetta Models....FX a better too....Especially in FRFR situations and SS power amps on gtr cabs....I often use my HD Desktop with my old Flextone III XL (same XT models just fewer and same power amp as the Vetta II combo)....it is a convenient little stereo guitar cab and it has enough power for the little rehearsal situations I use it for..Held its own next to an AC30 just fine. I do have different speakers than the stock ones....Never have liked Celestions in a modeling rig...

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I use a POD HD 500 with this Poweramp through a 4x12 with Celestions V30: http://www.thomann.de/de/harley_benton_gpa_400.htm

It stays really cold, even after one hour of loud playing, so you may put this amplifier in a small Rack with the POD Pro.

 

It replaced my Carvin V3 and a G-Major, they get much love now at home.

Does POD with Poweramp sound as good as my V3? A clear no!

Is it as easy to dial in? No (and the V3 is not easy to dial in at all, many, many knobs).

Does it sound good enough for me to have fun playing it? Of course! I love the flexibility.

Does it sound good enough for my bandmates? Sure, they do care more about what I play.

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Just an update...

 

I found a guy locally that was selling an HD Pro, and incidentally had a Rocktron Velocity 300, and for the price I couldn't pass it up. He also had a real nice 412 cab, and for the package deal, I got that too.

 

This is nice, because I basically have to come up with all new tones to replace what I have in my Vetta, and with the other cab as well, my plan is to have both hooked up side by side, crank the vetta to typical live volume, and do side by side comparisons to get all the levels to blend well. This took me a long time with the vetta, always tweaking it during rehearsals, so having these two side by side might actually speed that up a bit. I haven't had much chance to play with it due to work, but once I get things tuned in, I'll post back with a report. 

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Just an update...

 

   I haven't had much time to play around with my new gear much, but yesterday I was able to commit a few hours to start making some good tones for my gigs.

 

   So far, I really like the Rocktron Velocity 300. I played with some settings, and once I got a tone roughed in (at live volume), I adjusted to the reactance and definition knobs a little, and really warmed things up. Hard to explain, just seemed to give it more life, rather than a sterile sound. In doing so, the tones I played with were made using preamp only, no cab.

 

   It's taking me a while to figure the Hd pro out, and every time I hear something that I don't care for, I go back to the manual, and find that there's some other hidden adjustment that can solve that problem, but I had to really dig through to find it. While frustrating, I actually really like those hidden things. From having the vetta for so long, I learned that when you're needing a little something extra in the tone, those little hidden adjustments are just one more way to perfect your tone (if there is such thing).

 

   One thing I can't seem to figure out. I created a couple tones, and used one preamp in the signal chain. after getting it to sound decent, I decided to try adding a second preamp to it (a lot  of my favorite vetta tones were created using 2 amps). This tone had a fairly heavy distortion, with subtle effects added like a slight touch of verb and gate. It sounded good at first, but noticed that anytime I would play an artificial harmonic, the level would cut drastically, and then the very next note I played with no harmonic was significally louder. It didn't sound like anything was clipping. I turned off the effects to see if that had any impact, but it didn't. I tried each amp individually, and did not notice this issue. This was very consistent, so it's not anything in my technique.

 

   I'm sure there is some step I'm missing or have set wrong, but I can't find what it is. It almost sounds like the tone goes into super compression whenever I hit those artificial harmonics. As of now I don't have any compression on these tones. This issue is VERY noticeable and I would never play out like that. Once I get comfortable with this unit, I may only use 1 amp for most of my tones, but since I used 2 on the vetta I want to at least experiment with it to see what can be done with this thing. Any ideas???

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I guess I should point out that as far as how I set it up, I set the HD line/amp switch to "amp", and originally started running in stereo to the rocktron, but it seemed like I was running out of headroom to play at live volume. So yesterday I ran it mono. I also set the HD output to stack power amp. Not sure if these settings would contribute to my issue, but figured I'd give you all the facts. 

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One thing I figured out with my rig is that I like the voicing of Combo PWR Amp better than Stack....Stack has a scooped mid vibe to it....Even though I am using closed back 212 cabs that one would typically suggest using Stack PWR Amp Mode, Combo PWR Amp is closer to what I am looking for...

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I guess I should point out that as far as how I set it up, I set the HD line/amp switch to "amp", and originally started running in stereo to the rocktron, but it seemed like I was running out of headroom to play at live volume. So yesterday I ran it mono. I also set the HD output to stack power amp. Not sure if these settings would contribute to my issue, but figured I'd give you all the facts. 

 

I set mine to Line with the Velocity 300...  it is a hotter signal and I love it in stereo myself...

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Maybe check out the Stagesource speakers; have you looked at the L3 or L2? If you live anywhere near Irvine, CA, there is a pair of L3 (L3m + L3t) on Reverb.com for $1500..

 

You could put a single L3 vertical on stage; still be able to run the HD in 'studio/direct' mode for feeding the mixer / FOH / monitors, etc., but still have control on stage for your volume. Run the two XLR's from the HD direct to the mixer in stereo; then use the Line6 link to send the L/R summed signal to the L3, or L2.. Not an inexpensive option; though if you find any used, the price might be better..

 

I love the HD modeling and all that full range / flat response thing - direct to mixer is appealing, what you hear is what they hear! But the more I dig in with pairing it to a DT amp, it seems, the more DT amps I acquire!  Here's why I like the DT:

 

-linked to the HD pro, 500, 500x, etc. it blends the 'traditional' amp on stage, with the modern amp modeling including XLR DI out (from the back of the DT, rather than from the HD..)

 

-I like tube amps; actual tube tone - not just the amazing emulation of a tube amp mic'd - but the actual sound of the amp and a speaker..

 

-I don't like playing direct if I don't have control over the stage volume; surrender to the monitor mix if you must; but I like being able to tweak the stage sound from the amp; simple, quick, and familiar.

 

-In terms of the DI on the DT; it's awesome. It's transformer tapped so you get actual tube tone in the XLR send, and it's mic level so works 100% fine with all snakes and such, channel inputs won't get overloaded - it's mic level, so the mixer / soundguy needs to gain the signal up accordingly. Evens things out, makes it sound more realistic - direct at line level just sounds different. I don't mind mic'ing the cabs for a better sound if the soundguy is good. If I am mixing from stage... I usually skip the cab mic and just use the DI.

 

I have a pair of the DT25 combos; I run them in various combinations of wet/dry and stereo L6Linked to an HD500x. I just picked up a used DT25 head and cab; and am in the process of getting a second 1x12 cab to make a mini DT25 head+two cab stack.

 

Unfortunately, for you, you might need a bigger set of speakers to get the most from it; or possibly the DT50 for more power. Which means more weight.. The DT50 1x12 combo is crazy heavy, and the DT50 2x12 combo is ridiculous. They make a 4x12 cab; then you are back to where you started!! 

 

Keep the thread updated, I am curious to find what solution you come up with. Always have my ears open to new ideas that weigh less! The DT25 combos are heavy-ish; I tweaked my back moving one a few weeks ago. The DT25 head is not too heavy, and the cab is quite manageable - so that's a good way to split the weight up. Doubtful a single 1x12 will do it on stage if your other guitarist is rockin' the Marshall 4x12 though!! Not sure what the DT50 head and 4x12 cab weighs.. But that would be a 'traditional' half stack, with  the added interconnect options to the HD amp modeling; with a solid XLR di out from the DT head..

 

Food for thought!

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