Jump to content
yas375

What combo amp or active monitors below $350 should I buy to use with POD HD500X?

Recommended Posts

I was playing guitar a few year ago and recently have decided to start playing again. Have ordered POD HD500X yesterday! Mainly going to play alone or with backtracks playing from phone or computer connected to POD HD500X. Maybe in future will also buy an electric piano to play together with my wife from time to time :)

 

I'm stuck with choosing an output device to buy. I'd like to spend no more than $350.

 

First question: combo or pair of monitors?

 

With monitors I can get stereo sound and I heard there are some effects which use stereo, but I'm not sure I really need this...

 

Second question: which particular model to choose in the price range?

 

Here are some options and my thoughts about them. Please note, I didn't try any of these amplifiers and monitors.

 

Combo amps:
* Fender Mustang II V2 40-Watt 1x12-Inch, $200. Lots of good feedback on this series on reddit. Looks like plenty of people using them and are pretty happy.
* Yamaha THR10, $300. I heard from a friend it has really great sound! But I'm not sure about this, is that it has amp modelling too. I'm buying HD500X, which does this job already, so I suppose I'll use "Flat" mode on the combo. Then why to pay for the rest?
* Line 6 Spider IV 15 15-watt 1x8 Modeling Guitar Amplifier, $100. Great reviews and very cheap. 15 watt probably will be enough to play at home?
* Line 6 Spider IV 30 30-watt 1x12 Modeling Guitar Amplifier, $200. Bigger speaker.
* Marshall MG30CFX MG Series 30-Watt, $200.
* Fender Champion 40, $180
* Orange Crush Pix CR35LDX 1x10" 35-Watt Combo w/FX Orange, $250. But I probably don't need any fx...
* Roland CUBE-10GX 10W 1x8 Guitar Combo Amp, $130
 
Combo amps with tubes:
* Orange Micro Terror 20-Watt Head + Orange PPC108 1x8" 20-Watt Speaker Cabinet 8-ohm Orange, $100 + $150. Tube!
* Vox VT20PLUS 20-Watt 1x8 Guitar Combo Amplifier, $180. Tube!
* Laney Amps CUB All TUBE Series CUB 10 10-Watt 1x10 Guitar Combo Amplifier, $250. Tube!
 
Monitors:
* KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor, $300 for pair.
* JBL LSR305 5-inch Two-Way Powered Studio Monitor, $270 for pair.
* Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor, $400 for pair with cables and stands.
* Behringer Truth B1030a High-Resolution, Active 2-Way Reference Studio Monitors, $300 for pair.
 
In my understanding these monitors are pretty a bottom line for monitors. I don't have in plans to make recordings in nearest future. I don't even have a nice table to place them on (working on a laptop). So maybe these are other reasons to buy a better combo amp, than cheap monitors. But if only a lot of guitarist who uses POD HD500X will say that using combo with all modelling power of HD500X doesn't make sense, then I'm ready to find a good place for monitors at my place :)
 
---
 
So the first questions first please: combo amp or active monitors? :)
 

 

Thanks in advance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I was playing guitar a few year ago and recently have decided to start playing again. Have ordered POD HD500X yesterday! Mainly going to play alone or with backtracks playing from phone or computer connected to POD HD500X. Maybe in future will also buy an electric piano to play together with my wife from time to time :)

 

Based on what you said here... I would NOT go for a combo amp. A good set of monitors is going to serve your purpose MUCH better. You will ultimately get a better sound from the POD, and the backing tracks.

 

For your $350 budget, here are some recommendations*:

 

JBL LSR305

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LSR305

 

Yamaha HS5 (just a bit out of your range)

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HS5

 

*I have heard these speakers in action... so that why I recommend them.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, you will be disappointed with the sounds you will get out of the POD with everyone of the Amps you have listed. The POD HD500x works best with an amp that has a serial effects loop, and I don't believe any of the ones you have listed has one.

 

Your best bet is a powered monitor speaker. cclement's suggestion of the JBL is a good one. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, you will be disappointed with the sounds you will get out of the POD with everyone of the Amps you have listed. The POD HD500x works best with an amp that has a serial effects loop, and I don't believe any of the ones you have listed has one.

 

Your best bet is a powered monitor speaker. cclement's suggestion of the JBL is a good one.

What he said....No fx loop = ugly mess.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should consider a powered PA speaker too.  I think that is one of the best options especially if you play any acoustic guitars into the Pod.  A combo amp just doesn't cut it for acoustic guitar (or for piano)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consider Roland CM-30. It has a built in stereo mixer (so you save some $$) and it sounds great! And if you can't afford two of them for $400, buy one for $200 and add another one when/if you need stereo.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a Tech 21 Power Engine powered guitar speaker amp...... its a little bit over your price range but well worth it in my opinion..

 

http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-TEC-PW60-LIST

I have heard great things about these. Check Kijiji for a used one. In my area they crop up from time to time. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just paid $350 for a lightly used Amplifi 150.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A used Roland KC-300, 350, 500, or 550 is a great deal on price - well within your budget - and will perform really well for POD as well as electric piano, and even has multiple inputs so you can play both at once. One drawback is the size and weight - especially the 500/550 is around 70 lbs. and easily 2' x 1.5' wide x 2' tall.

 

Otherwise, you would certainly get good results from the best PA speaker you can find within your budget. I'm absolutely thrilled with my QSC K8 and have used it gigging. If you don't intend to play out and don't need that much power, a studio monitor speaker like a Rokkit RP5 is inexpensive and will still get comfortably loud for home playing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd definitely go with studio monitors.  It's just more practical in my opinion, as you can then use the computer to play along with songs and for backing tracks and use the monitors as computer speakers.  Sure you can do this with a PA speaker as well, but they are obviously cumbersome for this.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monitors:

* KRK RP5G3-NA Rokit 5 Generation 3 Powered Studio Monitor, $300 for pair.
* JBL LSR305 5-inch Two-Way Powered Studio Monitor, $270 for pair.
* Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor, $400 for pair with cables and stands.
* Behringer Truth B1030a High-Resolution, Active 2-Way Reference Studio Monitors, $300 for pair.
 
In my understanding these monitors are pretty a bottom line for monitors. I don't have in plans to make recordings in nearest future. I don't even have a nice table to place them on (working on a laptop). So maybe these are other reasons to buy a better combo amp, than cheap monitors. But if only a lot of guitarist who uses POD HD500X will say that using combo with all modelling power of HD500X doesn't make sense, then I'm ready to find a good place for monitors at my place :)
 
---
 
So the first questions first please: combo amp or active monitors? :)
 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

Those studio monitors are not "cheap" at all. They are really good at what the do. They are all very flat as far as I have heard. Especially the KRK and the Yamaha

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks everyone for the feedback! I really appreciate this!
 
I've visited a guitar store yesterday. Has talked to a guy who sells guitar combo amps and to a guy who sells studio monitors. Both also think I should buy monitors. And indeed: of POD HD500X is good at modelling then I probably should go with something flat, without any flavors. Otherwise it's all gonna mess... So I think I'm buying monitors! :)
 
I've listened JBL LSR305, Yamaha HS5, and Rokit 5 a little in the store yesterday. Unfortunatelly it wasn't with a guitar. Just some music playing from a phone. Probably JBL LSR305 is my fav right now. According to what the guy in the store has told me, the Rokit 5 is not as flat as Jbl 305. And Yamaha HS5 might miss some bass. Also this is what I found about the HS5 on the internet too and its bottom frequency indeed a little higher, than the others. I don't have great hearing unfortunatellyб so for me it's gonna be hard actually to hear that Rockit 5 is not as flat as JBL 305))) But I'll try!
 
My plan is to wait for the delivery of my POD and then come to the store again with guitar and the POD and choose the best monitors I'll like :)
 
You should consider a powered PA speaker too.
 
Could somebody please reference me to what PA stands for here? From what I can google it seems that PA speakers are powered speakers. Is it correct to name JBL LSR305, Yamaha HS5, and Rokit 5 as PA speakers/systems? Or am I missing something?
 
Consider Roland CM-30.

 

Thanks! I'm adding a note on this one. I hope I can find it in the same store to compare with other options :)
 
A used Roland KC-300, 350, 500, or 550 is a great deal on price - well within your budget - and will perform really well for POD as well as electric piano, and even has multiple inputs so you can play both at once. 
 
Yes, sadly it's a little out of my budget. Also I'm not sure I really need mixer. Looks like the POD will be enough for my needs. In future when we will by digital piano too, I'm going to connect it to pod's Aux In. And if we will also need a backtrack we can plug a phone playing it through "CD/Mp3 input" or over the usb from a computer. :)
 
Those studio monitors are not "cheap" at all. They are really good at what the do. They are all very flat as far as I have heard.

 

I'm very glad to hear this! Because I was worrying about it and I know people pay $800 and more per monitor... That's why I thought I'm choosing between lowest price monitors))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Could somebody please reference me to what PA stands for here? From what I can google it seems that PA speakers are powered speakers. Is it correct to name JBL LSR305, Yamaha HS5, and Rokit 5 as PA speakers/systems? Or am I missing something?

 

Public Address (PA). PA speakers are used to play music or speech to a large area - Club, Event Stadium, etc. However, the more accurate term (though not used as often) is Sound Reinforcement speakers. They can be powered or non-powered, and come in a variety of sizes.

 

The big difference between PA(SR) speakers and powered monitors is PA(SR) speakers typically will be much higher in wattage they put out (or can take for non-powered versions), and their frequency response. Speakers (also called monitors) like the JBL LSR305 and Yamaha HS5 are meant for in-studio use, have less wattage, and typically will have a much better frequency response - sine they are used to "monitor" what you are recording.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PA speakers are powered full range speakers that bands use for vocals (and some use for their instruments too) PA is short for Public Address.  Might not mean much to you.   I use an EV ZLX-12P with my Pod at home.  It has more output power than a studio monitor but you may not need that for a small room. (also it is not stereo unless you get two of them)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you guys!

 

I understand now, that I need studio monitors instead of PA :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if this applies to the HD, but I heard Dweezil's sound check last year, I stood right in front of him and he sounded awesome. He's using 2 Fractals, because a single unit didn't not have enough processor for his patches. He also uses pedals in front of them. BUT he was using a pair if JBL powered PA speakers and he sounded great.

 

 Here's a link:

 

 I don't know what they cost, perhaps find one used?

 

     Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I woul go with studio monitors, as well. Not only will you get the truest sound, but you may find them useful for lots of other things, like improving the audio from your record/radio/TV/movie use.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, PA speakers are more rugged for transporting/gigging.

There also have a wider field of sound they throw whereas near field studio monitors have a small sweet spot for monitoring.

 

If you can stretch the budget a bit more I would go for 8" monitors or PA speakers.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

witch one is better?

VOX AC30C2 combo 1100$

or

Yamaha HS7 studio monitor for hd500x?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are two choices to consider in terms of combos ...

 

The BOSS Katana 100

Peavey Bandit 112

 

Both have serial effects loops so you could just use your HD500X for all the tones or you could use it for effects only and use the amp models in the combos if they sound better.  They also have the benefit that they will sound more like a guitar amp than inexpensive studio monitors which I guarantee you will not sound or feel like a guitar amp. Smaller, inexpensive studio monitors can sound good, but in a different way than a guitar amp.   Someone in the thread mentioned the Roland Keyboard amps and I've used a keyboard amp for a BOSS GT-10 for years and it sounds great.  Can get very loud too. I think going the combo route gives you more flexibility and if  you want to jam with others, you're good to go.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

witch one is better?

 

VOX AC30C2 combo 1100$

 

or

 

Yamaha HS7 studio monitor for hd500x?

"Better" is 193% subjective. It's dependent entirely on your personal preferences and needs. Studio monitors won't do you any good if you play live, and a tube amp often needs to be cranked to stupid volumes to get a decent tone, which is usually overkill at home. An amp is a very different animal than studio monitors, and the way you will end up EQing your patches on the POD will be very different depending on which one you choose. Good results can be achieved either way, but they are not at all similar in terms of frequency response.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×