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But How Do The Effects Sounds?


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Hey guys, I'm new here after seeing a video about the hd500 and been really looking into Line 6 as a whole and the Variax, after originally looking at the Fender/Roland guitar. So I'm really thinking about joining the club.


But for now, it's the HD500 that has me salivating, but I have a few questions that I haven't seen necessarily addressed after watching lollipop tons of videos and pouring over these forums.


I just purchased an EVH 5150 iii full half stack (sorry, no guitar center I walked into had any Line 6 heads for me to try, just the combo amps). Now I'm looking at getting some effects to accompany that sweet amp. My purist friends all have their multitude of foot pedals and their mess of patch cables and spaghetti to accompany it. However I see the HD500 and am thinking, why spend all the money to buy 5 or so pedals when I could get the HD500 with 100 effects for the same price? Their answer, I just like the pedals. Old dogs. Even though I won't be using all 100, I have the option in a great sturdy looking design, I like that.


1. First let me say, at this time, I have no interest in the amp modeling. I am only interested in the effects side of things with the HD500. Not to say its not something down the road I wouldn't have fun with, but for now, just the effects ma'am. So my question is, how do the effects sounds? How is the wah? Delay? Chorus? Etc? Do they sounds as good as if a had a cry baby or standalone stomp box pedals? It's my main reason for purchasing this, so as the saying actually goes, the proof isn't in the pudding, it's in the eating, so how does it taste?


2. Software - the other thing making me hold off purchasing was the software display. I was surprised that such a cutting edge company making cutting edge products would include a display reminiscent of a Casio keyboard circa 1987. I understand keeping costs down, etc, but it seems like in this day of iPads and iPhones that making the best intuitive easy to use controls would make this product something nobody else has. Then I saw that you could control your pod from your desktop computer. Awesome, that seems like the way to go for me. Question is, are their plans, or if their are they wouldn't announce it yet, to make a mobile iOS version for ipad to control and edit the HD500? That would be ideal.


3. Comparison Products - what other products, in the same class, would you recommend I look at? I've done some research myself, and in this price class, I didn't see anything that impressed me nearly as well as Line 6. Boss seemed to be the only near comparison, but by near, they looked to be a few years behind.


4. Are the products supported after new models? For instance the 500x just came out, so the 500 is $100 cheaper. Will I make a mistake getting the 500? Will new firmware or software updates not be applied to the older models (for a reasonable amount of time, I understand I can't run iOS7 on an iPhone 3.)


Thanks. Looking forward to getting this and maybe a Variax as well if I can ever find a guitar center that carries one. How can I be expected to order a guitar or amp without ever playing it? GC says order it and you have 14 days to return it. Sounds like a hassle just to try a guitar.




Shamus Cockhorse

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1. you should look for info on the 4 cable method (4cm) that would explain the setup alot better for you.

2. no plans for mobile that i'm aware of (for example an ipad not having an official usb port... they aren't going to support some camera kit hack)

3. the eleven rack might warrant some consideration... you can get those for @ 350$ new on ebay (without the pro tools software) but the 500/500x is a great value... 

4. they still support things far older than the 500, i think you'd be safe for a long time.

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i was going to suggest that... but i thought that with the 500 (or 500x) you can have twice as many effects (8 slots) and he mentioned possibly playing with the amp models later on... which do not come with the m13 obviously.


Just get an M13 if you wanna bypass the effects

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The FX in the HD PODS are M series....same as M-13....You can do 8 in the HD500...4 in the M13...


The M series FX are much better than the old X series stuff if you ask me...The Dimension chorus is one of my favs and it sounds like the real deal to me...It's a bit more tweakable than a real one as it has a mix parameter....Other cool things are like the Analog Delay, which is a Memory Man, have delay times that are much longer than the 300ms on the real deal...and the HD500 or an M-13 is actually less expensive than a Vintage Memory Man with the correct chips in it...

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I've used both the Boss GT series and the POD HD series and I think the Boss units generally have better sounding, more usable, and a wider variety of FX. But the HD500 has MUCH better amp sims (which you don't care about, at the moment). Also, the FX on the Boss units are much more tweakable. But this also makes them much more difficult to use. The LIne 6 units have much better human engineering. It got to the point where I had to read the manual each time I wanted to do something with the Boss units. I ended up not using it and selling it. Which is better: something that has 80% of the sound quality of analog but is used 20% of the time (Boss) or a something that has 70% of the sound quality of analog but is used 100% of the time (Line6)?


That being said, I've found FX on the HD500 that are very usable and satisfying.


Besides, the audience can't tell the difference between any of them.

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You have a ripping amp with the EVH and as you are interested in the Variax or the possibility of it, go for the HD.


The FX are generally good and there are heaps to use. Almost too many versions of some and it can take a long time to give each a proper evaluation. 


As you won't be using the Amp models I have a setup that really keeps the Amp pre there and utilizes the HD's DSP by connecting your guitar into the Amp and it's send to the HD FX return and it's out into the amps FX return. 


The only disadvantage to this is not running FX before the Amp's Pre to which you use the 4CM or use pedals.


The advantage is the Amps tone is more intact and less changed from running thru the HD's Preamp before your Amp's Pre amp.

It does effect the original tone of the amp as do pedals.


Your Amp's FX loop can utilize the HD in an embellished integration that preserves the Amp's tone better in my opinion. 

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