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Playing POD HD500 thro Firehawk 1500


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Could anyone advise me on the following please;

Is it possible to connect my guitar to my POD HD500 and then connect that to the Firehawk 1500 and utilise the Firehawk as a speaker system without using an amp of any kind. ?

If so which of the xconnections on the back of the Firehawk do I use.?


Derek B

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Well it does have an FX Return and that would be where I would try it. On normal amps its where I go.


You know, my first thought on this was, nope that's not going to work as it's going to bypass the horn - like all the suggestions to use the XLR inputs. Then in a peevish moment of "oh what the hell I'm going to sell my HDProX anyway I'm fed up with everyone talking about their bloody Helix's" I decided to plug it into the return of the effects loop for a blank patch. Just to convince myself that it wouldn't sound any better...


It sounded amazing, and I'm fairly sure the horn is still being driven (I taped a sock over it and the sound is diminished - ergo horn is not bypassed - can't comment about state-of-the-sock).


Just for references I had the guitar mix set at about 50% and the effects loop on the FH1500 in 'mic' mode. On the HDPROX I was using the unbalanced outputs set to Line and the volume all the way up - eventually - start low!. Crank the main volume on the FH1500 'to taste' as they say in recipe guides. Remember to use a blank patch on the FH1500 so there is no additional tonal coloration.


Set up a comparable Plexi 100 Bright patch on the HDPROX and FH1500 (not at the same time) and the HDPROX has it when the volume goes up.


Not sure if the XLR outs on the HDPROX will work any better, but might give it a go If I can find the leads...




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  • 3 weeks later...

The horn still works with the left XLR input in the back of Firehawk 1500. When both XLRs are used I believe the horn is disabled and the coaxial speakers are used. 


amcevoy posted this in another FH1500 thread on the connections and which speakers are being used. -  (not sure how to quote across threads, but wanted to give him credit)


If you wanted to run a wet-dry-wet setup and take advantage of all the speakers with, try this. In a dual amp set up for PodHD, place the FX Loop block right after 1 amp model to run one that model (dry or with pre-effects) into the guitar input of the Firehawk (uses 12" center speaker and Horn).  Then have the second amp model and all the post effects go XLR out to the back of FH1500 (uses the coaxial speakers, but not sure if this is also using the 12" center). 


If i had to guess, I think this is how Devin Townsend has been using his Firehawk 1500 on tour for a single source monitor for a wet-dry-wet rig.

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  • 3 weeks later...

IIRC The FX Return uses the horn and middle speaker. The L&R monitor in's use the side speakers and middle without the horn.  Using the FX Return and the monitor L&R ins uses everything.


Just connect your HD500 stereo outs to the L&R monitor ins on the back of the FH1500. I doubt you will miss the horn.

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If you play clean stuff as me, the best sound (and I'm seriously saying BEST) it's coming from the Firehawk 1500 amp blocks, nothing more, nothing less.


The difference between using, for example, the fender clean amps (in the HD version) stock in the Firehawk 1500, and the one I've in the Helix connected via Monitor IN, it's embarrassing. Same simulated amp, same settings, no effects, just the amp block. Try for yourself. :) Not talking using headphones, but using the Firehawk as a monitor/speaker.


Using just the FH 1500 you get that huge, airy, open, bright tone. It's like you have the real amp in your room. When you go back to the one in the Helix (or whatever modeler connected through the Monitor IN, or the Returns), it does sound flat, closed, very small and compressed. Same using IRs.


There is nothing you can do to make external modelers to give you the same huge sound you get straight from the Firehawk, using its own Amp blocks. There is some trick the FH1500 DSP is doing with speakers, when using its own amp blocks, something you can't do when using back inputs.


If you want to test yourself, and you have the Helix, or the PODHD, try a preset with just a Tweed bright amp block in the modeler, connected to the Firehawk through Monitor IN. Then do the same using the same amp model, but this time using the one you have in the Firehawk. Save both, and switch between the two to compare A/B. :)

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There is nothing you can do to make external modelers to give you the same huge sound you get straight from the Firehawk, using its own Amp blocks. 


I disagree, cause I do this all the time with a Kemper running wet dry wet into the FH1500, and with my Helix. Huge sound. Good sound.

Yes the FH1500 sounds great on its own too, but when connected with the above guitar preamps "correctly", its a great sounding FRFR amp.

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Happy you like it, still there is a problem with that amp and it's not an opinion. Proof is there are a LOT of reports about that and no, there is not any "connected correctly" to talk about. There are 2 inputs, they work bad, really bad...  But glad you like your tone.  :)

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There are 4 inputs I have tried . Return, 2 monitor ins, and the main input on the FH1500. I have not tried every combination , but I have a kemper and a helix. They both sound great thru the FH1500.


And specifically , I have been running my kemper with the direct out on set to "Stack" that goes into the return on the FH1500 and the kemper mains out set on "delay and reverb" , and that goes to the two monitor inputs on the FH1500 , and it sounds really great. I had to adjust the levels a little bit out of the kemper so the delay and reverb didn't over take the stack, but once I even them out, it sounded great.


I did notice with the helix to the monitors in only, it was a little dull, but I didn't go back and adjust anything, I believe there is a gain knob back there ? But when I connected three inputs, both the monitor inputs and the left out from helix to the main input of the FH1500, it sounded really good.


I was not aware of issues with the speakers. Is this wide spread or effecting only a few ?


But the amp I have sounds great, I am really enjoying it with the modelers , especially the kemper. I can get good tones with the amp only, but nothing compared to my kemper and using the fh1500 as a cab so to speak.

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"Sounds great" means not to much in terms of facts checking. :) It may sounds great to you, and that is totally fine. But that is a subjective opinion. I will never argue with that. Happy for you. I see many other guys which are feeling same as me, with the amp working compressed, dull and weak, when connected to the Helix or something else. Don't get me wrong, it does sounds great to me too, but when used alone. It's huge.


Fact is, there is a BIG difference when using built in AMP blocks and when using those coming from external devices, due the difference speaker usage by the DSP.

The "in room" effect you get using just the FH1500, with its own amp blocks, it's impossible to reproduce when using whatever connection you want. Monitor IN, Return IN, 4 Cable, 5 Cable, etc..


Other than that, the SNR is real low quality when using external device, as well the drop in overall volume.


Said that, again, if you are happy with your tone it's totally fine.


At the moment I'm using the Helix with L2M and FH1500 alone and I'm happy too.


Hope they will fix that aspect with future firmware (if it will ever happen), because getting the same "amp in the room" effect, but using the Helix amp simulation quality, would be a blast.

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Hello all,


I did tried the PODHD500X on the Firehawk 1500 with the combi-jacks-XLR monitor in.


After several hours to try it, I did not thought that this use of the amp is better than plugging directly my guitar in the Firehawk 1500 itself and re creating my PODHD500X sound on the app. Definitively, I prefer the direct input of the guitar. This is sure you cannot use 'dual tones in one patch" as I could with the PODHD500X, but I created 2 tones in the app.


Hope this will help,


Regards from France,



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