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chrisg942

POD HD 500X or Mustang 3

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So I bought a Pod HD 500X thinking I was surely getting an upgrade to my Mustang 3 combo. I've been trying for a week now to dial up some basic tones that I find sound better than similar set ups on the Mustang and I have yet to succeed. I've been using the Pod through my Alesis studio monitors and headphones primarily and it does sound pretty good but not nearly the response and clarity I get from the Mustang. I tried the pod through the Mustang using both the 4 cable method through the effects loop and through the front using the Mustangs studio pre amp setting. The 4 cable method didn't work very well for me. Seems like way to much tweaking and adjusting for my taste. The Pod through the front of the amp was OK but the tones were not better than what I can program through the Mustang alone. So my thought is that the speaker cabinet in the Mustang is probably why there is such a drastic difference in tone when I compare the Pod run through my Alesis Monitors to the Mustang. I have a hard time believing that the Mustang technology is better than the Pod's but so far the proof for me is in the pudding. I also tried the Pod through a Fender Blues Junior but it's hard to cover up the shrill tones of a blues junior no matter how you go about it. I have no need to keep the Pod if it's not going to give me superior tones than the Mustang. I like the set list platform, the recording capabilities, and the whole layout of the Pod better than the Mustang but if I can't dial in tones that I can use in live playing it really defeats the purpose. Anyone have any suggestions before I box up the Pod and sent it back.

 

Thanks

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I have both and my best tone is using the pre amp of the pod and cab of the mustang.

There are some settings to set in mustang, I can send it when I get home. For pod, I remember using studio/direct and connecting to return in.

People say Mustang is inferior for high gain tones

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On your PODHD, is Input 1 set to guitar and Input 2 set to Aux or Variax or anything else ?  That's step 1 with getting these things to sound right.  It's not easy getting a tone out of the PODHD.  That's it's biggest drawback.  But once you figure it out you'll be really happy.  Be patient.  I almost returned mine twice before getting it to sound right.

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I have both and my best tone is using the pre amp of the pod and cab of the mustang.

There are some settings to set in mustang, I can send it when I get home. For pod, I remember using studio/direct and connecting to return in.

People say Mustang is inferior for high gain tones

That would be great man. I would appreciate any help I can get. Yeah I've heard that opinion a lot about the mustang and it's partly what lead me to the pod. Not that I was getting bad gain tones. I just wanted to seen if the pods were better. Jury still out on that one.

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On your PODHD, is Input 1 set to guitar and Input 2 set to Aux or Variax or anything else ?  That's step 1 with getting these things to sound right.  It's not easy getting a tone out of the PODHD.  That's it's biggest drawback.  But once you figure it out you'll be really happy.  Be patient.  I almost returned mine twice before getting it to sound right.

Yes. I have it set up like that. I'm also using studio direct no matter what I'm playing through. It just sounds better to me. One thing that concerns me is that when I coneect to the Mustang thinking I'm just going to use the Mustangs speaker to project the pods everything is that the volume is pretty low. Way too low to ever play with a band and the Mustang is certainly a loud enough amp to gig with on its own. I'm sure it's just some setting that I need to correct. Your right about being patient with it. I've decided to keep it and play with it. There are far to many favorable reviews on this product for me to just give up. Thanks for the feedback.

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using the POD amp models and connecting the device to the front panel of any guitar amp you'll never be particularly happy with the results..

 

if you really want to use an external guitar amp, would be much better (night and day difference) to connect the device to its power-amp ie to its RETURN input (if any)..

 

best overall solution IMO is to connect the device to a decent flat response amplification system with at least a 12" speaker, using the STUDIO/DIRECT output mode, which enables the true IRs cabs..

 

I suggest also to use the single input approach, (ie in your patches set input2 to an unused physical input)

 

PS.

IMO the Mustang is a inferior product

So the Mustang has an effects loop with a send and return output...I tried something called the 4 cable method that requires you to move the loop effect in the Pod on what ever side of the amp you want effects to be at in your chain. I tried that and it didn't work. I god some really weird horrible sounds. Is that the method your talking about here. I'm committed to making this thing work.

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Thanks. I will try connecting this way today. Is Studio Direct the best output setting for this.

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There's no hard fast rules about which setting to use, only suggestions that may help.  I use Studio Direct into the FX return of a tube guitar amp and cab and it works fine for me.  But that may not be what's best for you.  It will take some time and tweaking.

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I bought a Pod HD 500X thinking I was surely getting an upgrade to my Mustang 3 combo.

 

You absolutely bought a better product.

 

 

First thing to remember - 

Modeling amp vs amp modeler.

 

And the reason you need to know that - 

The one thing I can say that I have not seen mentioned above (but I may have missed it)... 

I've found that the Mustang amps... well, really, most modeling amps... they provide a guitar amp sound - aka, what you would normally hear out of a guitar amp. 

But amp modelers produce an "album ready" sound. - aka, the guitar amp sound that gets mic'd and ran into a mixer and sent to a recorder or pa. 

 

So, for most people, all they have ever heard was their guitar through an amp. Hearing the "final product" often sounds odd to them. But other people, and I use myself as an example, have experience with live situations and recording situations, on both the stage and the production sides. So, we are accustomed to hearing that mic'd cab sound and can easily work with it. 

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I play a Mustang III sometimes just because someone lends me one and didn't recall it. The amp itself sounds lame to me overall (cabinet or speaker?) and I would only use it as a on stage monitor or home practice but it gets better if connected to a FOH System or good active FRFR monitor. It is a nice product to get quick and useable tones out of the box, but the POD has much more to offer.

 

If you really want to use the POD go and get a FRFR monitor, ask your Boss for two weeks of holidays and read this guide http://foobazaar.com/podhd/toneGuide/

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You absolutely bought a better product.

 

 

First thing to remember - 

Modeling amp vs amp modeler.

 

And the reason you need to know that - 

The one thing I can say that I have not seen mentioned above (but I may have missed it)... 

I've found that the Mustang amps... well, really, most modeling amps... they provide a guitar amp sound - aka, what you would normally hear out of a guitar amp. 

But amp modelers produce an "album ready" sound. - aka, the guitar amp sound that gets mic'd and ran into a mixer and sent to a recorder or pa. 

 

So, for most people, all they have ever heard was their guitar through an amp. Hearing the "final product" often sounds odd to them. But other people, and I use myself as an example, have experience with live situations and recording situations, on both the stage and the production sides. So, we are accustomed to hearing that mic'd cab sound and can easily work with it.

 

Well. I'm not sure I understand what you mean here entirely. I'm trying to find a product that I can use as a practice tool and as a performing tool. Based on what your explaining here is that if I take my Pod to a gig most people listening are going to think it sounds weird compared to the Sounds coming from the Mustang / Combo amp. Are you saying the Pod is just a recording device and really not meant to be used in a performance setting?

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I play a Mustang III sometimes just because someone lends me one and didn't recall it. The amp itself sounds lame to me overall (cabinet or speaker?) and I would only use it as a on stage monitor or home practice but it gets better if connected to a FOH System or good active FRFR monitor. It is a nice product to get quick and useable tones out of the box, but the POD has much more to offer.

If you really want to use the POD go and get a FRFR monitor, ask your Boss for two weeks of holidays and read this guide http://foobazaar.com/podhd/toneGuide/

Lol! You think two weeks is long enough?

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Well. I'm not sure I understand what you mean here entirely. I'm trying to find a product that I can use as a practice tool and as a performing tool. Based on what your explaining here is that if I take my Pod to a gig most people listening are going to think it sounds weird compared to the Sounds coming from the Mustang / Combo amp. Are you saying the Pod is just a recording device and really not meant to be used in a performance setting?

 

You totally missed that. 

 

 

When you are in your bedroom playing from a physical amp. You sound a certain way. That is what most MUSICIANS are used to hearing. - the amp sound.

 

When you go to a gig, you play your physical amp. It sounds the same to you on stage as it does in your bedroom.

But for the crowd to hear you, you then mic that physical amp and run it through the pa - it sounds a certain way. But a different way then it sounds to you on stage or in your bedroom. This is because the mic and the pa add another dimension to your tone. This is what most LISTENERS commonly hear - the final sound.

 

When using a physical amp, it doesn't matter if it is a live performance or a recorded track, the sound that is heard is never the same as the sound that your hear while actually playing it.

Musicians hear the physical amp sound. Everyone everywhere else hear that final sound.  

 

The Pod produces that final sound. The sound that paying customers find pleasant, even if it is not what the musician is used to hearing.

 

 

 

 

 

basically, with the pod, you get the tone of a 100 watt Marshall tube amp burning red hot because it is cranked to 10 so that it produces the sweetest tone, mic'd through a 100,000 watt pa system - but at headphone volume so that you don't wake the baby. 

When was the last time you played on a 100 watt Marshall tube amp burning red hot because it is cranked to 10 so that it produces the sweetest tone, mic'd through a 100,000 watt pa system --- while you were in the audience to be able to hear what it sounds like from that angle? My guess is never. So, of course, you have no idea what it sounds like. 

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You totally missed that. 

 

 

When you are in your bedroom playing from a physical amp. You sound a certain way. That is what most MUSICIANS are used to hearing. - the amp sound.

 

 

basically, with the pod, you get the tone of a 100 watt Marshall tube amp burning red hot because it is cranked to 10 so that it produces the sweetest tone, mic'd through a 100,000 watt pa system - but at headphone volume so that you don't wake the baby. 

When was the last time you played on a 100 watt Marshall tube amp burning red hot because it is cranked to 10 so that it produces the sweetest tone, mic'd through a 100,000 watt pa system --- while you were in the audience to be able to hear what it sounds like from that angle? My guess is never. So, of course, you have no idea what it sounds like.

 

Your correct. I have never had an opportunity to do that! It would be awesome though! I'm just trying to figure out how to dial in the best tones possible with this device. I understand what your saying here but the whole modeling concept is trying to replicate the tones and tendencies of real amplifiers and equipment. It really makes no difference to me if I'm hearing the tones as if they were coming from my amplifier as I'm playing them or out of my stereo sounding like the recording artist. In my opinion both of those tones would be more than acceptable. But currently, and most likely because I'm really inexperienced with these devices, the tones I'm hearing sound good but not exactly recording quality. I am keeping the Pod and maybe over time I can learn to use it and enjoy it like so many others. It is very complicated as there are many variables that you have to dial in to get it to sound right as was pointed out in the tutorial that was sent to me. Thanks for your comments and explanations.

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Then really, it just comes down to what others have said - learn to tweak your sounds and settings. It takes time. 

I was just pointing out that it shouldn't sound the same as your guitar amp sounds because it goes a step beyond.

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Playing in a Robin Trower Tribute band these days I know what a 50 watt JCM800 cranked up through 4 Celestion V30s sounds like.

Glorious!

 

The best sounds I have ever gotten that I personally like from my HD500 are through the return of several of my tube amps.

 

This morning through my 16 year old DSL401 the POD kills with cabs turned off.Funk Blues Metal Countey Roots Jazz etc...

great useable tones and way more convenient than my Trower pedalboard lol!

 

Dont give up on the POD.Everytime I dont use it for a while and then like today fire it up it surprises the hell out of me.

 

For the price used these days it is tough to beat.Be patient and you figure out a combination you like.

 

Another killer setup is an original Flextone with a good aftermarket speaker( the stock speaker sucks) and run the POD through the effect return.I see those amps for $150 from time to time.

 

good luck!

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using the POD amp models and connecting the device to the front panel of any guitar amp you'll never be particularly happy with the results..

 

Subjective opinion. Not necessarily true.

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Hey I like amp modeling and have a tube power amp that I plug my PODHD into.  It sounds great.  It sounds like a guitar through a cranked amp when I run it through a tube amp.  It doesn't sound like a studio mic'd recording of a guitar through an amp.

 

For the OP, bottom line is the PODHD takes a lot of time and patience.  It's biggest downfall is it doesn't come out of the box with a bunch of great tones.  It comes out of the box with a bunch of crap tones.  I damn near gave up and almost returned mine - twice.  Then, with the help of people here, I got it sounding friggin' awesome.

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What would you suggest to a friend that likes amp modeling, but doesn't care for FRFR?

 

That is like saying "I like bullets but I hate guns".

They kind of go hand in hand. 

 

 

Listen. There are no "rules", just examples that have been tried and testing and are recommended as a good starting point. If you can make it work using the pod going into the front of an amp, good for you. 

But if you say things like "I can't make it work", then it is time to quit doing what we said won't work and do what we say will. 

 

The one thing to remember is -- 

Sound. And how it changes

If you are using an amp when you make your tone, you will need to mic your amp. If you are using an amp to make your tone, if you ever change amps or decide to run direct, you will need to change all of your tones.

Whereas, if you run direct to the PA (or recording unit, or FRFR, or etc), your sound will always be your sound. 

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I like bullets and guns. Don't like FRFR. Fortunately my amp sounds great with the HD and pedals I own.

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