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Is the Firehawk a step back from the HD500X?


xmacvicar
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Since I am sort of new to the Line 6 world I am curious everyone's thoughts on this. Is the firehawk FX a step back from the HD500x? I see with that modeller you can do dual signal paths, etc. What is everyone's take on that?

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It's not a step back; it's a different product for a different market. Firehawk is a single path processor designed for the mobile user, compatible with iOS/Android devices and Bluetooth. The POD HD500X is a dual path processor for use with PC/Mac over a usb connection. Apples to oranges.

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  • 3 weeks later...

While silverhead is correct in saying they are two different products for different markets, that's not always how the customer sees it. E.g. I "upgraded" from my Pod HD with Shortboard to the newer FHFX and was disappointed. Sure there are some good features on the FH, like coloured LEDs and editing on iPad (when it works) and there are some new amps, but it is less stable. The sound "artefacts" and frequent app crashes are annoying to say the least. The POD gives you much more complex tone modelling but it is a little more difficult to edit on the unit or PC compared to iPad.

 

So in a nutshell, if you like simple editing (from which you can still get some great tones BTW), and play without the iOS app connected and editing on the fly, the FHFX will be fine. If you like complex modelling and more stability then go for the POD HD.

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All of which was fully explained in the original marketing information, I honestly don't know why people bash it for not being able to do what the 500 does when it never claimed that it could, at release the hd500x was still more expensive bought new than the firehawk, I'm not having a pop it's just that when I'm forking out a few hundred quid for something I tend to read up about it and do my homework, it just baffles me that so many people bash the firehawk for not being better than the 500. It's a bit like bashing the zoom g5n for not being as good as the helix despite the fact it's newer

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.. I "upgraded" from my Pod HD with Shortboard to the newer FHFX and was disappointed. ...

I'm curious - what made you think it was an upgrade when you purchased the FHFX? Was it just because it was newer or was there something in the marketing materials that suggested it was an upgrade?

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Hrmm I dunno guys. Seeing that the firehawk fx FORM factor is literally identical to the HD500X which I am assume many would agree (2 rows of footswitches, same general size, same amp models for the most part, fx, etc), and generally speaking companies release products on a trajectory that are somewhat improvements or features over the last, its hard to envision the product classification that is the firehawk fx.

 

"lets make some thing just like the HD500X, with colored LED's and mobile device control!".... are those enough 'features' to make it fit into its own specific product niche? I'm starting to think no. Also given the fact that is includes all the same amp models as HD500X, etc. I think a bunch of people would agree that the firehawk would be like, the next step towards the helix. But its not.

 

I could see the firehawk fx having all the same stuff as the HD500X (same amps, ability to split signals, assign way more instances of FX, etc) AND THEN mobile device control to be the next logical step in its product offering. But again, its not. 

 

Add in the somewhat disappointing lack of support or improvements on the FHFX and you have something, in my opinion, that feels like a step back (especially considering the HD500X was released years prior).

 

Just my 2 cents. Carry on :D

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I'm curious - what made you think it was an upgrade when you purchased the FHFX? Was it just because it was newer or was there something in the marketing materials that suggested it was an upgrade?

The FHFX was four years younger, contained new HD models including several other new amps plus new effects. The "new" POD had the same old amps and appeared to be using the same old firmware and of course the UI on the POD looks like it's from the 1980s. The Bluetooth/iOS system didn't exist on the POD and was being promoted by Line6 as the next big thing. I only thing I knew I was giving up by moving to FHFX was dual paths but that didn't bother me too much. Pricing was about the same. The FHFX form factor was all in one, so overall, it seemed like an obvious upgrade and a step towards Helix.

 

As xmacvicar says, it is usually assumed that with new products you get all the old features, PLUS new features. But of course, companies don't highlight what they've taken away unless there is a direct benefit.

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I agree with you on the form factor stuff, but line 6 did a comparison chart showing what each unit was capable of and it made it quite clear that the firehawk was a sideways step away from the hd500 , basically aimed at people that liked the hd500 but didn't like the endless tweaking involved with it, I think that if the firehawk has everything that the 500 had like dual paths and endless cab parameters then all of a sudden it becomes much harder to dial in

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My experience: I bought Firehawk FX and liked it very much. Never had a single issue and worked on some preset which gave me great tones. 

My setup is simple: FHFX into Harley Benton GPA-400 solid state 400 watts power amp, into 2x12 V30 guitar cab, switch on line out, cab simulation on, and to my ears, in to my band's buddies ears, sound great. 

So out of curiosity I bought PD 500hdx out of a great deal, and I started a comparison one to one.

To me FHFX sounds better.

I exact same settings with amp Soldano SLO clean channel + tube screamer and the two units sounded very very different, to me FHFX much better.

I did the same for all my presets and the results was the same: the two units sounded very very different.

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I think firehawk uses different cab models, I think I saw somebody post back when it was released that the amp models are the same as hd500 but the cabs are pod farm models, I could be wrong but it makes sense as a lot of people had beef with the hd500 cabs

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The cabs and (some) amps are different. I personally preferred the cabs that came with POD, but there are new FHFX cabs that I like too so no big deal. What I found frustrating when switching to FHFX is that I had a great LIne 6 Elektrik tone dialled in on my POD which I cannot replicate on the FHFX, even with the exact same settings. But on the flip side I have created some brilliant new tones on the FHFX with hi gain amps that I couldn't do on the POD, even with the Metal Pack added.

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  • 1 month later...

Two different sound palettes. Two different interfaces. Two different boards. The FHFX is not an "improvement" over the HD500X; it's a sideways step rather that a step ahead. I bought both, thinking I'd get rid of one... But I can't! That's how good, and how different, they both are. Interface-wise, the Firehawk fares better on stage in a live gig environment, while the HD500X is more comfortable in a studio setting. Tone-wise, they are nearly equivalent -- but not identical. The HD500X is capable of rendering a somewhat deeper, more sophisticated sound palette. The FHFX, while certainly no slouch in the tone department, finds better use delivering more standard, tried and true tones and effects.

 

Anyhow, that's my opinion, subjective as it may be... And I'm sticking by it.

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  • 7 months later...
On 5/31/2017 at 7:04 AM, xmacvicar said:

Since I am sort of new to the Line 6 world I am curious everyone's thoughts on this. Is the firehawk FX a step back from the HD500x? I see with that modeller you can do dual signal paths, etc. What is everyone's take on that?

 

This article might help you with the comparison of products:

https://guitargearfinder.com/guides/comparing-line-6s-multi-effects-pedals/

 

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