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tylerhen

HD500x right for me?

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I saw the Firehawk in an article recently and looked into it.  Don't like having to use bluetooth and a phone or tablet to control it.  Also then heard it doesn't have as many amps \ effects as the HD500x.  Also missing some features like dual amp.  I don't even know what that is but everybody misses it so it must be important.

 

So now I'm looking at the HD500x.  

 

I play 99% of the time in my home by myself.  Once in a great while with some friends just for fun.  I work in technology so I am able, but I am not the type to sit for hours playing around with tones.  I usually just want to jam along with a song I've been learning.  So if I'm playing a GnR song, I will want to use a preset, or download one, and get to playing.  I don't want to build my own Slash sounding patch.  I don't have the patience or skill for that.  I do have the patience to find cool patches online, download them, save them, etc.  I probably won't record anything, and I will be playing through an amp.  

 

So that's me.  Here are some concerns I have with the HD500x:

 

It's old.  Yes I've read old does not necessarily mean not as good as current stuff.  I do agree somewhat, but something better could be right around the corner and would fix some of my other concerns.  

 

It's hard to program, I've read.  Again, I mostly just want to save patches and load them, not edit or build them.  Is this difficult to do as well, or is editing the patches mainly the difficult thing to do on the 500x?

 

I will be playing through an amp.  I don't have speakers or monitors or anything.  If it doesn't sound good through my amp I will take it back.  My amp doesn't have effects loop.  Hopefully it has some kind of bypass or something.  I have the Vox Valvetronix VT120+.

 

So does this sound like a good device for me?  Could I easily download a patch that sounds like Slash, Frusiante, etc. and be up and running pretty quickly or am I going to be spending hours trying to master this old clunky device with a small interface?  I just basically don't want to have to "master" this thing to be able to do the simple things I like to do.

Thanks for the help!  

 

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If the choices are Firehawk and 500, but you hate bluetooth --- then the 500 is the winner by process of elimination. 

 

The people who say the 500 is hard to program are douche bags. But the Firehawk is no better. I admit to it being hard to learn - as is any new device/activity. But once learned, it is actually very easy. >>> You're not just learning to drive a car. You're learning to program the clock and tune the radio and control the GPS and use cruise control -- AND change the oil and tires.

(Spark plugs and air filters are what you have to also learn on an AXE) 

 

The only people who have an inkling of credibility when saying that it is hard to program are the ones who are trying to dial in a precise tone -- like you said, getting the exact Slash tone instead of just a generic distorted guitar. 

 

 

BUT 

Based on the rest of your statement, I don't know if I could honestly suggest either of them. 

It doesn't sound like you need, and can't benefit from, all of what the 500/Firehawk has to offer. Even an HD300 is too much unit for you. 

I would rather see you buy a $50 product and possibly need a 2nd $50 product, than a buy $500 product and only use $50 worth.  

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With the HD500x, you can really get caught up in the minutiae of the finer details of settings, spending a fair amount of time on a patch. Then the next day you might listen to it with fresh ears and decide it sounds like crap.

 

There is a bit of a learning curve with the device, and to really benefit from all of the features right away, you kinda need experience in guitar recording techniques. You can learn this, of course, after acquiring the x, but it may take some time.

 

Read through this a little...

 

http://foobazaar.com/podhd/toneGuide/

 

and you might decide if it for you, but from what you are saying, it sounds like you want more of a plug and play device. You should look elsewhere. 

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Save up a little more cash and buy a DT25. It's a real amp that will give you almost all the amps in the HD, and then you can add pedals you may need separately. Plus, it's a loud or quiet practice device, and it's easier to dial in if you don't want to mess with all the settings in the Pod.

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Looks like you can get a clean input on your amp. It has a stereo Aux input 1/8 stereo mini....So all you would really need is an adapter so you could get stereo 1/4 outs of an HD to your amp and bypass the vox modeling...Whether or not an HD500 is right for you is hard to say. I really like mine and I use it with various amps, direct to PA systems and at home on cans...Seems like it might be worth a try if you have that option...

 

Helix is coming pretty soon...but not sure that would really be what you are looking for....best of luck to you...

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Thanks for all the help and not thrashing me.  Great info.  I think we are all looking for efficiency, in one area or another.  Some people want to be able to efficiently create and edit tones.  Some people want to efficiently get a preset tone and not have to create or edit.  These devices try to provide both at a great price point.  I just want to find one that leans to my side.  I wish I had more time and creativity.   I can learn any device, but I'm tired of being an early adopter and putting too much work into something that will be infinitely easier tomorrow.  

 

Like, I bought the Line 6 Spider Jam 3 about 6 - 7 years ago.  Amazing!  But after using it a year or so, the weaknesses become excruciating.  Now I have the Vox Plantronix VT120+.  Great for what it is.  But it's getting weak compared to what is coming out, and it's muffled sound is killing me now.  

 

I think the HD500x or Firehawk type device paired with an frfr studio monitor would be pretty hard to beat, yes?  isn't that where this is all going next?     

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the thing is: you have to find the amp/modeler/whatever device that makes you smile. Don't buy something new every few years. No, forget that, even if you found your dream-rig, G.A.S. won't stop :-) But invest in your most desired amp and you will be happy.

A really good amp does not get weak as other devices hit the market.

 

I bought a really nice amp (Carvin V3) and speaker years ago, and until today it is my most loved device. Just plug a guitar in and it feels and sounds great.

But I also play a POD HD through a guitar cabinet with the band, just for the convenience to have every possible sound on board.

The POD also works as midi-controller for my amp and multi-fx, so it was a good investment.

 

Analog devices are the quickest way to find your sound. So as others have said, I would get a nice amp, maybe a used one.

The small Laney amps, like Cub 12, sound really good and take pedals really well.

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and if you plan to buy a POD HD, maybe the HD Desktop (used?) would be best, because it is much easier to turn knobs without going on your knees everytime.

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I think the HD500x or Firehawk type device paired with an frfr studio monitor would be pretty hard to beat, yes?  isn't that where this is all going next?     

 

 

I mean, I skip any speaker situation and go straight to the PA. I have the sound guy send it back to me in the monitors. 

But, yes, you are correct, an amp/speaker that has no personality of its own (such as frfr) is the best thing for amp modeling. Putting a Marshall model into a Fender amp/cab is not going to make it sound like a Marshall. Even if you bypass the amp section by using a different input, you are still using a Fender speaker and Fender Cab and all that jazz.  (Fender - Jazz. Get it? Piano made a funny)

 

But since you have an amp, and not an FRFR, that is one of the reasons I said that I didn't think either product was right for you. 

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so far you have bought two all in one modeling amps.  They are both good at what they do but are not built to work with other modelers since they already have all that on board!  A real guitar cab and speaker will never be the best all around solution for a modeler like the HD500 or Firehawk.  You really need a FRFR speaker to take advantage of all its capabilities.  As Pianoguyy says, with your current amp, neither one is right for you.  IMHO.

 

However, if you pick up a good FRFR like the Alto TS110a to go with either the POD or Firehawk I think you will be amazed at the difference.  Now it just becomes a decision between having the added features of the POD like dual amp paths vs having the Firehawk's BT editing and cloud access to ready made tones.  I got the impression from your post you prefer a sort of plug and play type unit over one you need to put a lot of effort into so on that basis I would point you towards the Firehawk.  Hope that helps...

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"The only people who have an inkling of credibility when saying that it is hard to program are the ones who are trying to dial in a precise tone -- like you said, getting the exact Slash tone instead of just a generic distorted guitar".

 

Tell you what, I think I've just read the post of all posts from my Axe to my HD500 to GT100. I am as guilty as the rest, spot on mate, they are all great pieces of kit, our own ears and expectations are the things that don't match the product. Diamond comment, I might have to seal and use this on other forums..lol starting with myself!

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Exactly, that's why I said an effects \ amp modeler coupled with an frfr would be where this is all going.  I would rather not use my amp because as you said, it will have an effect on the sound I'm trying to model.  However, aren't these devices coupled with an frfr really an amp, in the end?  Kind of weird.  It comes full circle.  

 

Seems like these things go in cycles.  Somebody builds an all in one amp with lots of effects and mods, then people build better pedals and devices to use external to the amp.  Then again, somebody creates a new amp and includes all the new stuff in the amp.  An all in one package.

 

I'm not happy with my amp anymore anyways.  I will keep it for playing with friends, but i'm ready to try something new.  And something even more dynamic and flexible.   

 

I'm not at the point anymore where I want to buy an amp and lots of pedals.  It's too expensive and inconvenient.  The mods and effects are getting better and better (firehawk, hd500x).  However the 500x and configuring it is very dated, and the firehawk is more of a lateral move in many ways, and limited in others.  I think the next thing to come along will solve those problems.  And yes, I get that there are always new gadgets and you can never be completely happy, but it's obvious the hd500x is amazing and just fixing a couple things would take it to another level.  The next iteration of devices like these, I think I would be very happy with.  

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Exactly, that's why I said an effects \ amp modeler coupled with an frfr would be where this is all going.  I would rather not use my amp because as you said, it will have an effect on the sound I'm trying to model.  However, aren't these devices coupled with an frfr really an amp, in the end?  Kind of weird.  It comes full circle.  

 

Seems like these things go in cycles.  Somebody builds an all in one amp with lots of effects and mods, then people build better pedals and devices to use external to the amp.  Then again, somebody creates a new amp and includes all the new stuff in the amp.  An all in one package.

 

I'm not happy with my amp anymore anyways.  I will keep it for playing with friends, but i'm ready to try something new.  And something even more dynamic and flexible.   

 

I'm not at the point anymore where I want to buy an amp and lots of pedals.  It's too expensive and inconvenient.  The mods and effects are getting better and better (firehawk, hd500x).  However the 500x and configuring it is very dated, and the firehawk is more of a lateral move in many ways, and limited in others.  I think the next thing to come along will solve those problems.  And yes, I get that there are always new gadgets and you can never be completely happy, but it's obvious the hd500x is amazing and just fixing a couple things would take it to another level.  The next iteration of devices like these, I think I would be very happy with.  

 

You are right, these devices coupled with a FRFR are really an "amp" but the important difference is the physical cab and speaker, not so much the actual amplifier portion.  Well, the next level of iteration is already here but it is a big jump in price too.  Line 6 just announced the Helix and Fractal has the AxeFX II+ and there is the Kemper profiler.  $1500-$3000. 

 

If you can, get to a store and try out the 500 and the Firehawk through a FRFR unit.  You will have to just see for yourself which fits your needs and budget best.  At least with a good FRFR, you just get a new multieffects board when you want to change it up and still use the same FRFR...

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Yeah, sounds like a good idea.  So right now I have a 100watt amp.  If I get an frfr, how much do I need to spend do you think, to have good sound and plenty of power?  And what size speaker do I need?  Anything else about frfr's that i need to know?  Thanks!  

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Seems like these things go in cycles.  Somebody builds an all in one amp with lots of effects and mods, then people build better pedals and devices to use external to the amp.  Then again, somebody creates a new amp and includes all the new stuff in the amp.  An all in one package.

 

 

FRFR isn't really new. They just never really called it that. It was never a 'thing'. 

All FRFR really is, it's a PA system. Small. Private. Personal. We've had 'PA on a stick' for years. 

It's you home stereo system. Putting out no characteristics of its own. Letting the radio and cassette deck sound like it is meant to sound like. 

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I do have the patience to find cool patches online, download them, save them, etc. I probably won't record anything, and I will be playing through an amp.

 

So that's me. Here are some concerns I have with the HD500x:

 

It's old. Yes I've read old does not necessarily mean not as good as current stuff. I do agree somewhat, but something better could be right around the corner and would fix some of my other concerns.

 

It's hard to program, I've read. Again, I mostly just want to save patches and load them, not edit or build them. Is this difficult to do as well, or is editing the patches mainly the difficult thing to do on the 500x?

 

I will be playing through an amp. I don't have speakers or monitors or anything. If it doesn't sound good through my amp I will take it back.

Imho, for your stated goals, this is not the unit for you. Plug-and-play it is NOT. There's a step learning curve, even for the tech-savvy. And having no FX loop will introduce another layer of problems, as all of your patches will be altered by the amp's tone stack.

 

Then there's the problem with other people's downloaded patches. Don't expect them to sound anything like what they're supposed to, because 98% of them won't. There are simply to many variables involved to expect drag-and-drop tones to sound the same on two different rigs, with different guitars, etc.

 

You might look something like the Amplifi...same price range, and designed a bit more for plug-and-play use...although you will still be stuck with the app/Bluetooth interface for editing.

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As far as new products ---- 

There is a new 'high end' unit coming out in a few months. So, my guess would be, either for Xmas or NAMM, they will introduce 'entry level' versions of that product. Which would be the official end of the HD500, although it would still be supported for longer. 

 

 

Buying an FRFR: 

how big do you need? 

It is your bedroom. How much volume do you currently use --- that is how much you get again. 

Do you get two, to run in separated stereo. Can a single cab with 2 speakers work. Did you want XLR jacks. 

We can't answer that sort of thing. You just need to do your own shopping based on our knowledge and your preferences. 

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"The only people who have an inkling of credibility when saying that it is hard to program are the ones who are trying to dial in a precise tone -- like you said, getting the exact Slash tone instead of just a generic distorted guitar".

 

Tell you what, I think I've just read the post of all posts from my Axe to my HD500 to GT100. I am as guilty as the rest, spot on mate, they are all great pieces of kit, our own ears and expectations are the things that don't match the product. Diamond comment, I might have to seal and use this on other forums..lol starting with myself!

 

HA. 

Normally, people would focus on what I said before that. 

 

 

To them, I say: 

Oh, NOO, someone call 911. We need a Wambulance. 

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Just to demonstrate to you -- and everyone: 

Download this patch 

*HERE*

 

If you want to build a non-exact tone, that is how simple it can be to build an awesome patch. 

Dual amps and a distortion pedal. It was made in  --- minutes. 

Sure, add a noise gate if the hiss is too much for you. Add some reverb if you want some an 80's metal. Change or add whatever is needed based on what you are trying to build. 

But really, you could perform an entire concert with just that one single tone. 

 

It took longer for me to type this post than it did to make the patch. 

 

 

 

 

 

*DISCLAIMER* 

If that is all I was going to do for an entire show, I wouldn't have bought the HD500. It is too simple of a patch for the expense and capabilities of the product. 

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You sound like the exact person Line 6 had in mind when they created the Amplifi, other than the Bluetooth thing.  

 

If you are interested in the HD500X route, there will probably be a boatload of used ones for sale, with model packs, very soon as a lot of people will be jumping on the Helix bandwagon and trying to come up with the cash.

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You sound like the exact person Line 6 had in mind when they created the Amplifi, other than the Bluetooth thing.  

 

If you are interested in the HD500X route, there will probably be a boatload of used ones for sale, with model packs, very soon as a lot of people will be jumping on the Helix bandwagon and trying to come up with the cash.

 

1. I've already seen an increase of them for sale. Which could just be a coincidence. Summer is here. 

2. Buying one with model packs is not a reason to buy it. Once you reinstall the firmware, the packs are gone. I would do that the minute I buy a used product to get back to factory settings. 

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 I mentioned this before and it gets a lot of positive reviews from folks using modelers.  I am getting a pair myself as I get rid of some other gear first...

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/928101-REG/alto_truesonic_ts110a_ts110a_active_600_watt.html

 

The 12" Alto is also currently 199.  I have the 10" but will probably grab the 12. It is loud but personally could use a bit more oomph using the 10 with a band. Really nice sound for the money all around nevertheless

 

I know going from an XTLive to the 500X I really noticed a huge increase in better tone. Listening to some of the Helix demos though....sounds like the 500, lol.  Will it be a thousand dollar more difference in tone than the 500... I doubt it imo.  :D

 

We're weird... always thinking the new thing is going to solve all our perceived 'problems', :lol:

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The technology is there.  The models and effects are easily combine.  The user interface or app is easy to build.  Somebody just needs to combine them and we wait for the price to drop.  As far as solving problems, I think we are at a peak not a valley with these devices.  For me, nothing I'm looking for is unreasonable, or cutting edge.   

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The technology is there.  The models and effects are easily combine.  The user interface or app is easy to build.  Somebody just needs to combine them and we wait for the price to drop.  As far as solving problems, I think we are at a peak not a valley with these devices.  For me, nothing I'm looking for is unreasonable, or cutting edge.   

 

Yeah.  Of course there's always leaps and bounds to be made when tech is new but then, as you say, it reaches a peak. If you can't get perfectly enjoyable tones out of stuff like the 500, its more a psychiatric problem than a hardware one for you. :D .

 

However, what I would think would be a major improvement, is the ability to get gainy-high gain tones without the accompanied noise of an analog circuit so that there'd at least be silence  when not playing the guitar without having to involve noise gates. 

I know nothing of how modeling works but I figured if the noise that comes with high gain settings being due to the inefficiencies of analog circuits of real world amplification, that that noise could be eliminated while keeping the relevant tone intact when modeled.

 

......wait a sec.... the variax connected to the HD does that, doesn't it??? duh!

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The 12" Alto is also currently 199.  I have the 10" but will probably grab the 12. It is loud but personally could use a bit more oomph using the 10 with a band. Really nice sound for the money all around nevertheless

 

I know going from an XTLive to the 500X I really noticed a huge increase in better tone. Listening to some of the Helix demos though....sounds like the 500, lol.  Will it be a thousand dollar more difference in tone than the 500... I doubt it imo.  :D

 

We're weird... always thinking the new thing is going to solve all our perceived 'problems', :lol:

 

If you are in a band, I don't know if having your own volume matters. That is what the pa is for. 

And there are debates over whether a 10 or 12 sounds better. Why not go for 16 or 6. They all provide different results.  

 

As far as the Helix being worth $1g more --- I don't think it is just about sound quality. If it was just sound quality, it would rule out thousands of buyers because they are happy the current product. 

The Helix price is also 'the extras'. The interface is bigger and better. The way you design patches is (assumed to be) better. Instead of simple press on press off pedals, they now have 'after touch'. Multiple fx loops. It's just got more 'extras' regardless of sound quality. 

 

 

 

 As far as solving problems, I think we are at a peak not a valley with these devices.  For me, nothing I'm looking for is unreasonable, or cutting edge.   

 

There comes a point in progress, where the advancements surpass the need. 

Meaning, in 1999, when everyone was buying 300mhz computers with 56k modems, it wasn't enough for what we needed. So we bought the 400mhz and the 500 and the ---- it wasn't until recently, that computer speed no longer matters (unless you are into serious gaming or video production) and really isn't even spoken about in ads because all available speed is more than we need.  

Cars too. The speed limit is 55. Do we need cars that get their best gas mileage at 75, or cars that go 212? If you think about it, all cars are high performance cars today. 

 

Is modeling tech there yet? 

Dunno. But the technological tools needed for modeling to get to that point is already there. 

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Maybe plateau is a better word.  Look at smart phones.  5 - 10 years ago, every new phone that came out was revolutionary.  It was worth it to buy them and deal with the bugs and wonkiness because it was brand new.  Now basically every phone does the same thing and it's flattened out.  They are very reliable, easy to use, and predictable.  You expect that now.  You wouldn't want to have to go back and deal with those challenges in your phone now.  

 

That's where I'm at with the HD500x.  I know it's old and I can tell that I will be dealing with configuring something that SHOULD and WILL be much easier very soon.  And not because of some technological leap, but just from upgrading a few things with technology that is already common.  It's nothing new, and will also plateau soon.  I CAN get enjoyable tones out of something like the HD500X, I just don't want to pay $400 plus buy a speaker, and be monkeying around with something four years old.  Probably sounds strange to somebody who's been using it for years, but hey, it's money and time.    

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Own a 1x12/2x12/half stack/full stack with head? Buy an M13

Want to record like you have a 1x12/2x12/half stack/stack? and have a pa and want to play live with that badass sound and have a ipad with hd edit for your hd processor but cant afford helix. You know!

 

You want to pass the helix up and save for a Kemper because you're young? Do it.

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Cheap and easy solution for you is the 

Fender Mustang III V.2 has modelling plus power and very easy to dial in your sound for a small venue no need to mike up keeps up with a drummer however not as programmable as the pod but easy to make and store patches.  Take a look at this guys u tube Chanel he did a series on mustang v the real thing here:- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNYCekIbACIRUPs1qmL-ZqLIS9daaiXhg   

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Buying one with model packs is not a reason to buy it. Once you reinstall the firmware, the packs are gone. I would do that the minute I buy a used product to get back to factory settings. 

 

True, but if I were to sell my HD500X, I would transfer the model packs to that person to sweeten the deal.  If I were shopping for a HD500X, I'd be looking for someone to do the same.

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Which assumes that the buyer and seller (not everyone is a forum member) both know about model packs and how to 'gift' them. 

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I bought the HD500X and two KRK Rockit 8 speakers.  Sounds incredible.  Doubt I'll ever play through my amp again unless I have to.  

Thanks for the help!  Also, anybody have any packs of patches they can share?

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