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Decision help - HD PRO X or HD 500X


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Hi there,


actually I am a little bit lost. I am seeking a MFX mainly for the effects and not so much for the models. My amp is a JVM410H and I would place the unit in the FX-Loop. BUT!!! => I like the idea of playing around with the 4CM and can imagine to use it regulary if it works well. So now the question: I am not sure if the additional cable needed in case of using the 500X (easily about +20 meters in live situation) can cause problems in terms of sound loss and so on. I like the idea of having a simple FBV in front of me with just one cable to the 19"-Unit. The easy answer would be: "Go for the PRO!" Thats right, but this easy answer means to spend 500 EUR more in comparison to the 500X. It hurts a little bit more, as I do not need the "studio stuff" which offers the Pro in addition to the 500X. Anyway I would accept the additional money, if there would be good points which make the PRO to the clear winner in my situation.


Thank you for any advice or hint.



P.S.: Sorry for my english.



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To answer the question - 

any cable will cause a loss of signal. 

But I doubt you intend on using a 2 foot cord to plug your guitar into your amp because then you'd be stuck standing in the one position all night. 


FYI, I know guys who use 1 footers in the studio. 



As to the units themselves - it really comes down to if you want a floor unit of a rack unit. 

I bought the floor unit because I wanted a floor unit. My unit replaced everything that went between me and the pa. But had I wanted to, let's say, keep my system but add a new part - then I would have easily gone with a rack unit. 


And that brings me to my personal thoughts on the matter: 

I feel, and some agree while others disagree, do not buy these units if you are not going to use the amp models. These units have nice effects, but the bulk of their price tag, as well as the place that they really shine, is in the modeling.

Like I said, my unit replaced everything that went between the guitar and the pa. I wouldn't have bought the unit had I just wanted to an another effects unit to the rig. And that was before I even owned the unit to know just how important the amps are. 

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O.k. and thank you so far. But the MFX-market has not a lot more to offer (especially as I am done with TC-Electronics!). So it is quite logical to take a look at the PODs even if the modeling is not really needed. M9? What is the advantage of the M9 to the 500X? The price difference is not so big, so that I do not see a reason for the M9. Do I miss something?

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I went from my MarshallJVM410 to the hd500x and the L3t and am VERY happy...

I loved my Marshall, but the fact that my effects started disappearing and fading in the higher gain stages drive me nuts...


The best setup I had to work with a tube amp, control the amp and effects was a TC Electronics G System....

Built like a tank.... Metal and HEAVY, using the 4 cable

method you can run effects in the front and thru the Effects loop...

It will power your effects as well, and you can pull the patch bay in the back out and rack EVERYTHING and control your effects from the board and have multiple patches...




However I did the switch and would not look back, I have so many options now

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Get the 500x so you have a way to switch effects.. As far as the M9 vs the 500x, say even if you get the 500x and don't care about the amp models, you might stumble upon them by mistake and find sounds you enjoy.


At that point you could just run the Pod into the fx return of the amp head you have and get the best of both worlds, different amp flavors pushing the air through your real cab.


I did it this way for almost a year. Now I have an Alto TS112a and I'm not going back!

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The M9 will be easier as it's like having a bunch of stomp boxes.  The PODHD is great but has a bigger learning curve.


The PODHD, if used for just FX, into the FX loop of your amp will be nice for delays and reverb but distortions, overdrives, compressors, etc, are typically placed before the Amp's pre-amp.  This is why people use the 4cm method.  That allows you to configure certain FXs before the pre-amp and other FXs into the amp's FX Loop which is after the pre-amp. 


Not that this is the only way to use the PODHD.  I personally use the PODHD's Pre-Models into the FX return of my JCM900.  I use the PODHD Desktop and an FBV pedal board.  This way I only have 1 wire from my controller back to the amp.


As AlexKenivel said, you may stumble onto an amp model in the PODHD which you may like.

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The only cable that is really problematic will probably be the one from the guitar to the input on whatever is first. The rest of them are buffered and will not suck much tone.

That said, if it were me, and I didn't KNOW I was going to use modeling, I'd get an M13 and an M9 used. put one before and one in the loop.


Know that an HD 500X will get you similar functionality, but the M-series is so awesome to use with amps that's what I'd do.


And your english is fantastic.

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@shredjsx: What is your kind of music? As I am playing most of the time classic and hard rock, it seems strange in some way to switch from a tube "Monster" to a thing like a L3t. Don't you miss anything? ;-)

Rock, blues, southern, shred and metal....

So the JVM was great....

But my delay and Harmonist were rather too strong on the clean channel ( yellow)

Or too light on my main channel 0D 3 ( yellow)


Now I have Marshalls, Engl, Soldono, 5150, Bogners, you name it to play with, and multiple effects....

They are sensitive to volume on the guitar too...

Line 6 sounds so much like Tubes without the hassle and weight....

So many PC studio applications as well as live uses...

And the L3t loud speaker has TOO much headroom....

I won't go back...

Love Marshall....

But I can run JCM 800 with tons of cabinet options on here, or a 2204....

Or how about a Fender Bassman with a Tube overdrive or Screamer in front of it....

You'll never get the options you get from a HD500x and a 1400 watt power speaker with mic and acoustic guitar inputs and RCA inputs, it's own reverb, chorus and EQ and feedback controller for both inputs that @knows@ if it's on its side as a 2x12 guitar cab, tilted back like a monitor or up straight as a PA....


And to gigs with a PA, I just bring my board and the sound guys love it and I get consistent sound every time

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Too  many options, oh dear!  :o  Thank you again guys for your input. It is confusing, but very helpful!  :)  I am quite aware of the different options, but my main concern ist the "tonesuck"-issue of some devices. To have multiple devices is not an option, so a M13 AND a M9 is not on top of my list. And as I mentioned I play a JVM and will certainly not replace it with a modeller. I simply want a MFX with acceptable effect quality and the option to switch from "Clean Channel with nice Chorus and Reverb" to "Heavy Rock with Delay and whatsoever" with a SINGLE step. This is quite easy with both units HD 500X and PRO as both can switch channels of my Marshall via MIDI. But - coming back to where I started - I fear that additional gear and additional cables suck too much tone. I've seen so many posts in different forums saying "no way to get It work without loss of tone" on the other hand quite as much saying "no problem to set it up properly with a little tweaking". I used a GT8 (wrong company - I know) a couple of years ago only as FX in the loop, because it was not possible to set up the unit with 4CM without loosing lots of sound. This experience took me quite while and I have the hope, that a more advanced device lixe the 500X or the PRO would produce better results. Hope @PeterHamm is right with the cable issue...

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I'm sorry to say this with as much as I love my rig now, but if I had decided to keep my JVM ( I also have a messed up back and knee so weight was a primary issue, as well as I live in an apartment and I love to be hit in the chest by my rig...)

I would have gotten a TC Electronic GSystem again like I had with my Peavey JSX....


This will do EXACTLY what you want and control so much with your amp without sucking tone....

Check it out....

And get an HD500x for studio work...:)

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I have both a HD500X and a HD PRO X, but my PRO X stays in the studio and my 500X is purely for the stage.  I would probably use the PRO X in a pinch is something were to happen to my 500X, but with all the additional hassle involved in getting it wired up for gigs, I'd be really anxious to get my 500X fixed.  I want my stage setup clean and easy.  They don't pay me enough to spend an hour setting it up and tearing it down.

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  • 3 weeks later...

As previously mentioned, there was meant to be a mileage number in there too... 

$50,000 gear, $5000 car, 500 miles. $50 gig. 


But apparently, we are so used to buying cheap imported gear at the cheapest online dealer possible, that $50,000 worth of gear is now considered a Kardashian lifestyle? 


I have guitars worth more than $5k. And certainly going to a gig requires more than one guitar. 

It may no longer require amps, which also cuts down on the cost of gear, but you guys that go on stage with those $200 guitars crack me up. 



And I know that we are all sitting around making jokes, but do you know what else cracks me up... 

Anyone willing to play for $50 --- YOU DESERVE IT. And it cracks me up that you are willing to do it. 

Everyone and anyone, if you are reading this, tell places that pay less than $250 (per person, after expenses) that you refuse to play there. 

Tell your friends to do the same. Tell strangers to do the same. 


Eventually, when places can't find bands desperate enough for a gig for free, they will consider paying more. 



NOW, I will clarify that by saying -- some of you are trying to get famous. You need the exposure. You are selling T-shirts and albums and other merchandise. 

Those types of performers can play for less because they make the money from being exposed. You get money by selling your share of the tickets (pay to play). That is different than the bar bands that perform a service for the owner - play music that makes people dance so that they get thirsty and drink more. Or the restaurant lounge act that provides smooth jazz while people eat dinner. 


Basically, if you are making announcements over the pa like "tip your bartenders", "appearing here next week", or "last call" --- you need paid. 

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Is that $200 used or new? :)


Yep got some nice compliments on my EB Musicman, sounded awesome, etc.., poor fella was crushed when I told him it was a cheap OLP Copy. I wouldn't drive by some of the places with a $5k guitar in the car.


But from a pro's perspective I understand the sentiment.  

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$200 new, of course. I have made some really nice $200 used deals. You would be amazed at what crackheads, jilted lovers, and the "lost my job and need quick cash" people will sell gear for. 



And it is not just a professional perspective. Sure, if you are a novice/hobbyist jamming in your bedroom, that is one thing. And yes, I am in a position to buy nice things. But even if you are once-every-other-month at the VFW, you are a professional. You are a business. 



Besides, it was more about the meme.

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my advice would be, from my experience:


if you love your Marshall Amp, keep it, do NOT get a POD, use analog FX or something like TC G-System. I use my POD HD500 only as MIDI-Controller because this bad boy is a tone-sucker. In my opinion the POD HDs are not made to work with a tube amplifier, it is always a compromise.


If you want to have the flexibility of a digital guitar rig, buy a POD and a FRFR System.


I unplugged everything from my tube amp last week at band rehearsal (POD HD in front, G-Major in FX Loop) and it was like night and day.

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I have to agree with ts020572.  If you're not going to use the POD the way it was meant to be used, then you're probably going to be disappointed.  Can it be used that way?  Absolutely.  But it will be like taking the heart out of the design purpose out of it and eating around the edges.  At least in the way you're talking about using it.


Clearly lots of people have been very happy using the full range of the POD's capability (inluding modeling) with tube amplifiers as their output mechanism.  That is designed into the system.  But in that case you're only using your Marshall as a flat response amplifier and cabinet and nothing more.


To get the very best out of the POD you have to make the leap into pure digital sound production, and that's not for everyone.  That's a complete change in your paradigm of how you play music that comes with a fairly significant learning curve in order to be successful with it.  And you have to be very sure that you can really exploit the advantages of the flexibility of that kind of setup into your performance.


Those of us that have made that leap would never go back because we use the POD for all those specific advantages it provides and it would be very hard and expensive to duplicate what we get out of the POD in a non digital world.  If I were to characterize the type of person that gets the value out of the POD and FRFR setup they would fall generally into two categories.  Those that tend to play a range of musical styles and different tones and want to easily exploit various studio crafted setups into their music, and those that are more soundscape creators that use extensive effects and sounds in their music.  If neither of these descriptions sound like you, you probably aren't the type of person that will get the value out of the POD that it's designed to provide.

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The thread died on January the 29 and came back to life yesterday. So here I am again. I really appreciate the different thoughts even if not all belongs to my initial question. So thank you so far! I am aware of the pros and cons of digital stuff, but there are two things for sure: first I do not want to make a career as tapdancer and I am done with tc electronic. That was the starting point, which lead me to the POD and the question rack or floor. In the meantime I got a POD HD Pro X and think it is pretty good for my needs. After fiddling around for a while I have a setup with 4cm which works with my JVM and also with my Ironball. There is no real issue with tone sucking. I only have some additional noise with higher gain settings. But this seems to be a minor problem (of course for me and my kind of music) as the gates in the pod are working quite well. Right now I am waiting for the new FBV 3 as I rellay like the idea of having one single board in front of me with one single cable. Does anyboy know when the board will be available?

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