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POD HD500 Gain stage issues


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Hi there gang.


I've recently bought a flex3 and got my hands on an extension cab for it. As a starting point I'm very happy with it. I'm starting my quest for a decent stereo live tone (again) and thought I'd invest in a POD500. Cheap on eBay and I can sell again if it doesn't work out.


I'm almost at the point of selling as I can't seem to get he thing to sit with the flex.


I've tried going from the pod to the effects returns, in the front. I've tried the second input of the pod set to Variax (switches set appropriately). I've tried unbalanced outs, XLRs out, sends etc. Also all of these out from the pod into a pair of BSS AR133s (decent DI boxes) into the flex in all configurations. Whatever I try the base emulations just don't sit (to my ears) well. They sound treblely, cheap, noisy and well....... lollipop! I've played with the gains on the pod relentlessly to no avail. As soon as I bypass the pod, go straight into the flex there is at least a decent tone right there.


I've bought an Amptweaker tight rock and immediately got somewhere tone wise. I didn't want to start down the pedal route as it's messy and gets expensive but I'm seeing no alternative unless I can make some ground with the pod.


Retro guitar effects aren't really my thing if I'm honest. I have a PCM 80, DBX160XT, TC M one, Klark comps and decent Drawrmer gates but I don't want to drag this stuff around.


Have I a faulty unit or is it really that off!


To my mind the gain structure is the problem. Feels like sticking a really badly designed cheap pedal into a half decent amp. To get even a decent starting point I'm having to cut all the highs on the amp and EQ on the pod push all the bass. Flatten all the comps, basically cut everything and build it up slowly from there. Doing this I can get a ......passable tone. just so unnatural and cheap. I'll use the modulations in send/return mode for a while but was hoping for a more rounded result. I like the synth sounds but for there equalisation that the pod is producing.


Constructive thoughts other than bugger off appreciated.



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It can sound shrill into some amps and others are acceptable. 

I dont know the FlexIII but going into an amp with modeling is going to be trouble.

Look in the manual for bypassing the modelling to make it a power amp only. You should only have to hold down a knob while it powers up.

Check it has a compatable FX loop for the HD.

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I have my old Flextone III XL in the rehearsal studio and use my HD Bean with it all the time. Works great. dummy plug in the gtr input and use the FX return. I find stack mode tends to work a little better. However, my big problem with the Flextone III was the speakers. Seventy80s in an open back combo is a horrible combination IMHO. Those speakers are fart city as they are designed for closed back cabs. I have a pair of 300 watt Madison Minstrels in mine. You need something pretty rigid in the open back to avoid Flextone Flagelation. The best approach with these amps IMO is to close the back on them...Or at least go half back...They are way too open IMHO...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for those snippets...


I really didn't think it was the drivers producing that saggy effect (want of a better word) if that's the case I'll be pleased as a couple of drivers and it'll be getting somewhere quite nice! 300w though !! What's going on there exactly. Wont that strangle the amp to death? Your talking headroom I'm assuming. If I replaced it with a decent efficient eminence equivalent with flat response will I still get the same sag at higher volumes? I figured it was something to do with the design of the amp causing major over break up. The 300w you use is for complete headroom regarding the amp design?? What about amp draw mis match issues with that? Also if I replace the 70/80 will I loose the useable breakup present at the moment. Any ideas on what is producing what (in depth) regards amp/speaker with regard tone break up guru? Complicated I know but kind of need to know. How does the 300w handle more useable break up? If you can remember?


Stack mode? You mean with extension cab? I guess I could try blanking the back off to get halfway there. I'm cheap!


Hi. Going into the fx returns of the flex


The flex to plug right into sounds full, warm, great actually. Better or usable initionally than the half stack Marshall and the orange in the studio. Haven't even bothered with POD to be honest. Might sell it. I'll try once more as modulation pedal but as I said I don't like retro pedals that much really. Maybe an M9 because of the size. It doesn't help I use mainly stock single coils as well.


Hi. Yeah 4CM modes just offers up horrible thin scratchy noises I wouldn't touch. Maybe with the driver solution it might sound better but I'm doubting it as there is quite simply no low end.


Thanks guys.

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Contrary to some popular myths, speakers do not "draw" current from an amplifier. It's an old rig mod using high rated speakers. Carlos Santana is the most notable that comes to my mind putting JBLs into Boogies...later using EV12Ls...Those are 200 watt PA drivers basically. PA drivers generally have less of a boost around 3K and have a much lower resonant frequency.


Stack Power Amp Mode is one of the Output modes...I tend to prefer Combo Power Amp with the Flexy.


If by saggy, you actually mean the far superior description of the "farty" nature of Sevety80s in a Flextone III XL open back combo, I agree....IMO, this issue is caused by the Seventy80s higher resonant frequency of 85 Hz....That's something sharper than a low E and flatter than a low F and in the bandwidth response of the driver..When the resonant frequency of the driver in the bandwidth response range, it generally turns to mud and is clue on the speaker having a lot of character (not flat)...In a closed back cabinet, this is much less apparent.


"Flatter" response speakers will ALWAYS have a resonant frequency that is below the bandwidth response. This is what you look for when you want clean low end and a clean speaker in general...This helps open back cabs in a big way. These sorts of speakers are nearly always PA type, meaning higher power rating and flatter response. It takes a lot of power to put those cones into breakup...Seventy80 is a great speaker for a 412 cab...not so much in an open back.

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Interesting. I'll try some EQ roll offs with the flexi.


I'll also try my original idea of using my PA tops. I have a pair of 12/3 inch powered KV2 midtops. Extremely efficient and fairly flat response.


Being connected to the audio engineer world I always matched my drivers to 2 to 3 times to power of the amp ( RMS to Peak respectively... aprox ) so what's going on there then?


I'll let you know what I find!



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