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jpdennis

HD500X - normal or should I call support?

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Hopefully I can explain this with some level of clarity ... or not but here goes,

 

I have been reading the manuals, watching & following youtube videos, reading KBs & forums, searching via google, etc.  I have invested about 35 to 45 hours over the past seven days (yep, some will say "is that all" and some will say "about normal") and finally used it today.

 

I have learned my tones are slightly treble weighted which I can fix.  But after trying many things I had a strange sound come out of the darn thing in my headphones this afternoon.  The Treadplate, The Angle F-Ball 100, & Bomber Uber emit a weird sound, almost like a cross between a Jacob's Ladder & a spring only it is heard for about just a few milliseconds when I hit a power chord.  So, I decided to reload the 2.62.00 firmware, which I had done last Sunday when I first bought the unit.  To my chagrin I discovered that there was an odd occurrence with this reload.  Now I had read that there were only 2 user set-list available upon the update when I first upgraded it from v1.00.00 last Sunday and had asked some general questions about why v1.00.00 would be on a new unit.  Well, last Sunday after the upgrade, and I did not tell it to save my patches since I didn't have any, I had three user "blank" set-lists, not two.  But this afternoon I had a new set-list I had never seen and only two user "blank" set-lists.  Now this is a good thing, so no big deal.  I did calibrate the expression pedal and found it would not calibrate quite right.  I should 45 Duty Cycle instead of 0 at first then ranged between 100 and 65 during the "press A then B then C as I had it at full down, play with it, full up, wait for it, and so on.  It took three power cycles to finally work.  Then I created a Treadplate only patch and found the sound was the actual hum and hiss of the amp itself out of the box.  I even added a noise gate and viola I had recreated the problem, if that what it truly was.

 

So being the geek I can be at times I used Line 6 Monkey to downgrade the Firmware to 1.30 and started over.  Same issue with the Pedal as far as calibration and my found set-list was now no where to be found.  Well, I'll test the Treadplate.  Yep, no change.  So back to v2.62.00.  Only tie time the Pedal calibrated perfectly.  The missing set-list was now found.  But Treadplate still had the off-spring of Jacob's Ladder and a '63 spring reverb sound.  Hmm ...

 

So I played with all of the following;

 

amp parameters,
   master
   sag
   hum
   bias
   bias excursion
   drive
   channel vol

cab parameters,
   early reflections
   resonance level
   thump
   decay

 

Used all the microphones available as well

 

Turns out I can reduce the noise to just about a whisper without sacrificing too much tone, and for my ears it actually sounds more factual.  But I must admit I have a problem ... my ears are such that if any instrument is out of tune it physically hurts my ears ... really.  Or if a group plays outside the normal laws of dissonance ... well I have never said I wasn't odd.  So now the questions;

 

1) Are the High-Gain amps actually modeled with the hum, hiss, and spit of the amp circuits at those levels as you'd find in real world,

2) Has anyone else noticed this

3) Is it that problematic to calibrate the exp pedal

4) Should I have my POD HD500X sent in for Line 6 to look at

5) Have I been assimilated

 

'nough out of me

 

Thanks for any feedback on this

 

Dennis

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It's hard to say what exactly the problem is you might be having with your unit, other than the issues you had calibrating the expression pedal.  It seems to me that if the unit isn't that old you might be better off returning it to the store and exchanging it.  Most of the big box stores have a 30 day no question asked policy for return/exchange.  At least that way you'd start with a fresh unit.

 

In terms of sound, yes some of the amps do seem to replicate the underlying nose but it's not anything a noise gate doesn't fix.  It's hard to say whether the other anomole you heard was from the unit or some type of sympathetic resonance issue with your headphones.  Either way replacing it with a new unit would determine that as well as address the other issues with calibration.

 

In my experience sending something in to be looked at isn't all that useful unless the problem is consistent and duplicatable.  When it's intermittent there's not much they can do about it.

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It's hard to say what exactly the problem is you might be having with your unit, other than the issues you had calibrating the expression pedal.  It seems to me that if the unit isn't that old you might be better off returning it to the store and exchanging it.  Most of the big box stores have a 30 day no question asked policy for return/exchange.  At least that way you'd start with a fresh unit.

 

In terms of sound, yes some of the amps do seem to replicate the underlying nose but it's not anything a noise gate doesn't fix.  It's hard to say whether the other anomole you heard was from the unit or some type of sympathetic resonance issue with your headphones.  Either way replacing it with a new unit would determine that as well as address the other issues with calibration.

 

In my experience sending something in to be looked at isn't all that useful unless the problem is consistent and duplicatable.  When it's intermittent there's not much they can do about it.

 

If I don't use a noise gate the sound is like a trail off of hum you'd find with a highly over-driven tube amp at extremely high volume.  The noise gate reduces that to the milliseconds of fizz when I hit a power chord.  However, it is consistent and I can duplicate it ad infinitum.  I will call Guitar Center today as well to remove that from the mix.

 

a demo audio clip of the problem would be worth a thousand words!.. also posting the patches (zip format) could help to understand where could be the issue..

 

do a recording and post it here as a zip file or directly as a mp3 on some host sites like soundcloud..

 

we will see,..could be also that your device behaves just normally and you simply don't like some characteristics which become particulary evident when using modelers monitored by headphones as opposed to listening to real amps in a room..

 

eg: ghost notes caused by hum, some power-amp fizz, crackling crossover distortion over the note decays, are things that especially when monitoring with headphones are typically perceived as annoying by people unused to the accuracy of modelers, but believe it or not they are an important part of the game, and help in a certain extent to stand out a guitar tone in a mix..

 

also, some parameters when set at a too extreme value can cause some weird resonances..

 

post something and we will give a look at it

 

I was thinking the headphones could be a problem as well.  I found a 250 ohm Beyerdynamic DT-990 I will purchase.  I am currently using an AKG K240 which is about 55 ohms and that will go back to Guitar Center for a full refund (they said I had two weeks).

 

I am going to test a few other items I didn't mention to see if my Firmware bounce dance may have fixed two issues i had as well.  Will report back in two days.

 

In the meantime any other feedback will be well appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

Dennis

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I purchased the Beyerdynamic this afternoon.  So by Friday I'll know if it is the headphones.  I did use four guitars to be safe, a 1970 LPGT, 2010 Baker, 1980 GZ300, and an early Hamer Echotone (think 335 copy but with half way decent wood and assembly).  No change with the sound I heard.  More coming soon.

 

Dennis

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UPDATE:  Well, after all my troubleshooting I was reading another blog in this Forum about the resistance setting.  Hmm, so I set it to various levels and discovered that for the majority of my guitars 22K is a good setting for the High Gain amp models.  Amazing how relative all these threads are.  Kudos to the people use us Line 6 and share their experiences.

 

Thanks again

 

Dennis

 

PS:  If I can locate that thread I'll quote and recognize the contributor.  I was at work and just barely glanced at the info when I got called away and had to make the $$$ to pay for my GAS.

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Found this in the Gain Staging thread

 

A commenter on another thread was having volume and distortion problems with the JC-120 / Jazz Rivet which may have stemmed from gain staging.

 

Just as an example:

 

The Jazz Rivet does seem to be prone to input clipping, even with not-silly-hot humbuckers. Setting input impedance to 22K stopped the clipping, but with Drive at 30% and Channel Vol at 45% (to prevent any post-amp EQs in the chain from clipping) the patch was quiet. So I added gain with a Vetta Juice in front of the Mixer block and maxed the Mixer gain. This produced a very clean tone that was loud enough to be used alongside high gain patches in a setlist.

 

I've posted the example on Custom Tone:

 

http://line6.com/customtone/tone/1811263/

 

+1 to

line6bbd

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Now the question is, "How do I justify taking the HD500X back and just pulling the trigger on the Helix?"  Man, what a dilemma. :rolleyes:

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jpdennis

 

Very glad the impedance tweak helped. Also glad - at last - to be able to put something back. I've had *lots* of excellent free advice out of comments here while lurking around ;-)

 

Now the question is, "How do I justify taking the HD500X back and just pulling the trigger on the Helix?"  Man, what a dilemma. :rolleyes:

 

Well, it's your money, but what I am going to do is keep on with the POD HD for another year or so - since it will take *at least* that long for me to get a reasonable grip on what it can really do - then I might begin to think about the Helix. :)

 

Or so I keep telling myself...

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