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Temptation is strong, must resist.


joel_brown
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After hearing Friedman amps, especially the BE100 it's hard to resist going back.  There are so many Marshall Plexi clones out there that sound so nice.  Just plug in and sound great.  No pedals, just guitar, amp, cab.  I would never buy a Helix, Kemper, or AXE.  For that money I'd buy a Friedman or some other Plexi clone.

 

I'm happy with what I have but the temptation is strong.  Friedman has this nice little combo that sounds incredible and is plenty loud and easy to carry.

 

Help me resist...

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Try taking one on a plane. 

 

When you are in Texas, but the show you produced is touring in France, and their gear takes a dive, and they call you and say "can you send the exact settings used for the 40 songs we are playing" --- try sending them 40 different rigs in 2 hours. 

 

 

 

Hey, I've said numerous times --- 

If I was still playing in "one band" and needed one "band sound", I don't know if I would have switched to digital. 

But, I no longer play in a one band, nor can I live with one tone. 

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I'm happy with what I have but the temptation is strong.  Friedman has this nice little combo that sounds incredible and is plenty loud and easy to carry.

 

Help me resist...

 

 

 

what is it that you have right now that you are so happy with. I'd like to know

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I use the PODHD into the FX return of a pair of JCM900 amps/cabs.  I use a 20ms delay between the L/R channels to give me stereo separation and place each JCM900 on opposite sides of the stage or hard pan in the P.A. when mic'd up.  The PODHD basically gives me an ENGL preamp with a little delay/reverb.  So I'm already lugging around too much stuff.

 

One Friedman with a great tone would be an improvement in how much stuff I bring.  I hate to give up the stereo effect though.  It gives small/mid sized venues that concert hall feeling.  Hmmm, I think I just talked myself into keeping what I have.

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Here's a thought.  How about a Model Pack for the PODHD with just one amp sound.  A Friedman BE100.  I would pay $500 bucks just for that one amp model.  Provided I didn't have to spend 3 weeks tweaking it to get it sounding right.

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There is nothing like the real deal and an Artist need the best tools for the job.

I wouldn't call the HD series inadequate for the task either.

But there is no doubt any piece of hardware has a tonal wash about it. I hear it with the HD 500.

Every Amp is not too far removed from another, there are differences in volume and gain but generally

there is a wash probably from the same equipment used to capture the modeling on every amp and

then the device itself going thru the same electronics and ADDC conversion.

But this is not an issue once you settle for the Amp models you use and most arent going to use every amp

one after the other in a live or recording senario.

It is perfectly adequate

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Keyword being "settle".  My choice is do I want to "settle" for what I have or do something else.  Higher end amp modelers are too expensive.  For that money I can buy a high end amp.  

 

After hearing a modded Plexi or Friedman, it's hard to go back to the PODHD.  I can't expect the PODHD to be as good but it needs to be closer than what it is.  The digital harshness is getting old.

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To pianoguyy's point, the POD's benefit is versatility. It gives pretty good renditions of expensive amps l cant afford for under $500. If you don't need the variety, go get the real deal. I would.

 

This stupid thing is right down the road from me and I would love to have it: https://augusta.craigslist.org/msg/6153692314.html

 

But I get a pretty good jtm45 tone on the pod, and a fender twin, and the Dr Z, and the Park, and...

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Keyword being "settle".  My choice is do I want to "settle" for what I have or do something else.  Higher end amp modelers are too expensive.  For that money I can buy a high end amp.  

 

After hearing a modded Plexi or Friedman, it's hard to go back to the PODHD.  I can't expect the PODHD to be as good but it needs to be closer than what it is.  The digital harshness is getting old.

How important is your Art to you? There should not be any financial restraints in achieving your Art. The medium

is important. I agree the sound of a quality amp especially when your in the room and interacting with it is satisfying.

Even when you mic it up it has that special something. 

As for digital sound that could be one way to call the wash that is with modelers but even a great sound desk has a wash or tonality to it.

Again any amp also has a wash to it. It will always sound the way it does and why modding them and pedals all help give something extra.

I think there is nothing wrong with having the finest rig money can buy; the pros do and they don't settle for less and they  maintain their choices with spares of the same as performing live as good as you can is vital for those we look up to.

Albeit, I have amps that are good and hardly use anymore; I am not as serious about it as I once was and am happy with the HD500 for now. That is me. 

One plus point on getting the amps you desire is they keep their value better than digital and can be considered more of an investment, if things change you can get your money back less maintenance and hauling.

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Keep the HD for back-up in the bag and go get your amp. We only go around one time in life JB and if you are jonsing that bad for it you might as well indulge yourself. "If" and its a big "if" you can score a deal (open box, used) then if a divorce is the plan after the honeymoon period you can flip it and move on without loss.

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I don't make "art". I make money. Artists die alone and penniless.

And the one thing that the "pros" have that you don't, is a dedicated gear team. They have people maintain the gear. They have people move the gear. They have people setting up the gear. They have people out testing new gear. They even have people who manipulate the gear to be different than it was (whether it be modifying, or studio magic).

Oh, and, also, Steve Vai uses a modeler. But he also has a line of amps he needs to promote, so he runs the modeler through the amp.

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The PODHD was great when it came out but with modern high gain tube amps sounding much better I'm going back.  I went with the PODHD because I didn't want to use pedals anymore.  These new amps don't need pedals and sound really nice.

 

I just can't take the digital harshness of the PODHD.  If I gott'a spend money on a Helix, AXE, or Kemper, then I'll just go buy the real thing.

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The PODHD was great when it came out but with modern high gain tube amps sounding much better I'm going back.  I went with the PODHD because I didn't want to use pedals anymore.  These new amps don't need pedals and sound really nice.

 

I just can't take the digital harshness of the PODHD.  If I gott'a spend money on a Helix, AXE, or Kemper, then I'll just go buy the real thing.

Harshness is a bit "harsh". I've found using a good clean tube tone really warms up the tones. Lately I've been experimenting with el84's for some models and 6v6 for others. It works really well with the right tube combination. Can't wait to try a Helix with this stuff.

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I just can't take the digital harshness of the PODHD.  If I gott'a spend money on a Helix, AXE, or Kemper, then I'll just go buy the real thing.

 

Surprised to hear this criticism (twice now on this thread). No idea how you set up, but I cannot complain of harshness, digital or otherwise. For example, the JTM-45 patch I use is in no way 'harsh'. It just sounds like a JTM-45 through an old 4 x 12. But as I say, no idea how you are set up, from patch to PA, so [shrugs].

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I use my PODHD into the FX return of a pair of JCM900 amps and cabs.  Been doing this setup for years.  Been very happy with it.  It wasn't perfect (never is) but one day a friend brought his modded Plexi over and plugged it into my cab.  Wow, it was nice.  I tried going back and tweaking the PODHD to get that tone and just can't quite do it.  The biggest thing that stood out was the smoothness of tone the modded Plexi has.  Also how tight the bass frequencies were.

 

I haven't changed any equipment in years and it's about time for an upgrade.  I'm sure the Helix will come closer but at that price point I'll just spend a little more and get the real thing.  

 

I haven't completely given up trying to get the PODHD sounding the way I want.  I just don't know if it can do what I want it to do.

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I'm guessing you've already tried this but, just in case:

 

- boost <low cut> in cab DEPs for a tighter low end

 

- turn <bias> up in amp DEPs for bloom

 

- trim the top end with mid-focus EQ or parametric EQ (after amp)

 

- pre-eq the amp to remove excessive bite

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Haven't tried pre-eq on the amp.  That's kind'a what I need is to remove some of the bite and smooth it out.  I'll keep trying and thanks for the tips.

 

Tips submitted with due respect. I read your posts, so I know you know your way around the HD. But... I've got myself into a box a few times only to discover that there *is* a way - because somebody here nudged my thinking.

 

Sometimes 'bracketing' the amp works for me: maybe a mid-focus eq in front trimming the top end and the parametric eq after the amp dialling the unpleasant harshness out (per Peter Hanmer's demo).

 

Anyway, good luck and let's face it, you can't really lose: either you stay with HD and end up with Helix, AXE, Kemper or you go for a modded Plexi. It all looks good to me :D

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Great comment. I've put a few remarks inline in [square brackets]:

 

here are some personal thoughs and possible suggestions..

 

If I remember correctly, you also use the single input approach (and maybe also customized Z settings).. and if so, it is an important detail to be considered.. (when connecting to a Friedman or else, no inputs and/or Z settings are in play)..

based on my last live/studio experiences with this device I would say that probably if you go back to using the default input settings you will obviously have to spend time to change the models settings, but you will get fuller, fatter and warmer tones, both with humbuckers and single coils.

 

[Yes!]

with a hotter starting signal it is possible to set the amp model gain to a lower value, so as to avoid triggering harsh resonances and other issues that tend to emerge more by setting the control beyond a certain threshold, ie what easily happens when the starting signal is so weak that needs too much gain to compensate for its weakness..

certainly a good adjustment of the amp eq controls is also crucial (eg with marshall I tend to keep the bass control quite low, same thing for the AC-15, etc. etc.), and among the eq controls (even if it is not strictly one) I would include the fundamental choice of the mic (if/when the cab model is used, and the output signal goes directly to the PA)..

I used the single input approach for a long time, wrongly believing that it was virtually the standard (not boosted) way of connecting a guitar to an amp, driven also by a deceptive official warning statement written at section 6.2 of the advanced guide...

As it is logical to deduce, I no longer use the single input approach (which now I consider to be the "half input approach"), and I'm happy with the results, I like more the sounds I get lately, sounds that may need some more twisting of the control knobs to find the sweet spots, but they are more full and organic.. eg Les Paul sounds fat like a Les Paul, not like a hybrid strat-paul.. and the single coils sound snappy but not too thin..

 

[Yes! I have an LP with underwound PAF clone pickups and only when I abandoned the single / half input method did it really sound right.]

at the end, it seems that a good adjustment of the basic controls of the amp models, and mic (and/or cab) choice is really all is needed in most cases, at least for me..

personally I do not really like working with EQ fx, especially if they should serve to correct issues rather than for creative uses, and as eventual corrective tools I see them only as a last resort, after trying all other solutions.. IMO the EQ fx may help some to cut out some unwanted resonances, but very often at the cost of stealing also something I would keep instead..

 

[Yes again. EQs are best reserved for when all else fails.]

time ago I've heard/seen an interesting comparison between HD and HX of which the amp models to be honest seem virtually identical if playing them through the same external IRs, while there are some noticeable differences when using instead their respective stock cabs, therefore I hypothesize that the HD cabs being darker are already filtered on the high frequencies, unlike the HX cabs that are not, and that could be the reason why the HX ones are more open/bright sounding and equipped also with an "hi cut" control, ie to let the users to cut as they want what probably has been instead cut automatically in a fixed way on the HD cabs (equipped only with a low cut control)..

I could be wrong but as far as I know a different resolution/length of an IR affects mainly the bass frequency range response rather than high one, so it could hardly be the main reason behind the dark/bright differences between the HD/HX stock cabs..

generally I wouldn't further cut the highs on the HD cabs, which in general seems already filtered on that side, but I would rather operate on the other controls/choices available to get the results I need

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These are some great suggestions.  I plan on spending some serious time tomorrow trying to dial it in.  A good friend of mine who has owned a lot of high end amps and modelers is also coming by to help me too.  He's had amps such as Two Rock, Metroplis, Friedman plus modelers such as PODHD, AXE, and Kemper.  He thinks I should be able to get it close enough that it would be hard to tell them apart.

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FWIW, regarding the single input / half input thing, my take is that for humbuckers from the low-wind PAF to vintage hot output range, then the hotter signal works best. If you are using mad ceramics, then maybe the single input will produce better results. But as always, YMMV.

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Made some good progress yesterday in tweaking the PODHD into my JCM900s.  My friend came by and helped me out quite a bit.  First thing he did was turn off the cabinet modeling and crank up the gain.  Then tweaked the Bass, Mid, Treble, and Presence controls.  He set it up using two Angel pre amps and tweaked them both slightly different.  One with more mids and the other with more gain.  Then we used a tiny bit of Parametric EQ just to get rid of some feedback.

 

I'm playing a gig this Friday, we'll see how it does.  It's definitely the best it's ever sounded.  Hopefully this will keep me from returning to the dark side...lol

 

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and tips.

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Not sure if agree about the HD being darker than the HX because of the cab IR EQ curve. It might be so, as I am guessing the 

the HX is simply more detailed because of more modern hardware which filters the internal conversions and thus raises the 

carrier frequency. Perhaps I do agree! LOL

Of course there are plenty of unknowns on the gear/devices that models the real world hardware.

But getting back to the HD I find the EQs on offer really are disappointing more often then not. It is probably just me as 

I am used to DAW EQs and the like. It is rare I can make one of the EQs within a patch work well enough to keep it. I can only say they are good for subtle removal changes but if something doesn't work for me after a proper effort than I consider it an impediment. Perhaps If I track the changes on a spectral analyzer I can work out the strenghts and weaknesses. As for by ear, no chance. The Global EQ is fine and one should be included in available EQ Pre amp models

I  route the FX sends to seperate line inputs on my Soundcraft Spirit mixer and engage it's 4 band para metric EQ with high and low shelves.This is how I did it years ago and a great way to get a tone that can cut thru when needed. Seems to add a bit of juiciness. I am generally going for a tone that is recorded These mixers are modular in design and are maintainable compared to the surface mount designs nowadays.But any mixer with an EQ can could be used.

 

That is awesome Joel, Glad you have a knowledgeable friend in such things. Please share once it is as good as it.

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When I made my remark about "Keeping me from going to the dark side" it was in reference to going to a real amp and not using the PODHD anymore.  Nobody here has ever watched Star Wars ?

 

Yes, I got that but I think the conversation just took a fork ;)  As I read it, bjnette was referring back to hurghanico's earlier comment:

 

>therefore I hypothesize that the HD cabs being darker are already filtered on the high frequencies, unlike the HX cabs that are not, and that could be the reason why the HX ones are more open/bright sounding and equipped also with an "hi cut" control, ie to let the users to cut as they want what probably has been instead cut automatically in a fixed way on the HD cabs (equipped only with a low cut control)..

 

 

Anyway, glad your mate was able to help out (a fresh pair of ears is just what it takes, sometimes). Hopefully that's the logjam broken now.

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I just got lucky to have a friend who has bought everything under the Sun, is a very good guitar player, and happened to be coming up that weekend to visit for the first time in several years.

 

He had some interesting comments about the Helix versus AXE - he's owned both plus the Kemper and PODHD too.  He said the AXE and Helix sound the same on everything from clean to gain tones.  The difference was the AXE was easier and quicker to build a patch.  Basically the defaults in the AXE were better.  

 

On the PODHD, his comments were "It's really good and is close enough.  By the time you get it in the mix, especially live, it's hard to tell the difference".  He also said you need a top quality FRFR speaker system or a tube amp and cab - like I use.  He's seen too many people who have a $4k guitar and PODHD then buy some $150 monitor to run it through and wonder why it sounds like crap.

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I just got lucky to have a friend who has bought everything under the Sun, is a very good guitar player, and happened to be coming up that weekend to visit for the first time in several years.

 

He had some interesting comments about the Helix versus AXE - he's owned both plus the Kemper and PODHD too.  He said the AXE and Helix sound the same on everything from clean to gain tones.  The difference was the AXE was easier and quicker to build a patch.  Basically the defaults in the AXE were better.  

 

On the PODHD, his comments were "It's really good and is close enough.  By the time you get it in the mix, especially live, it's hard to tell the difference".  He also said you need a top quality FRFR speaker system or a tube amp and cab - like I use.  He's seen too many people who have a $4k guitar and PODHD then buy some $150 monitor to run it through and wonder why it sounds like crap.

 

It the classic spend the money on the amp first rule. Its a tough road finding that one out after shelling a couple grand on a guitar. :)

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I am your father Joel! You are already are on the darkside of digital modeling of the real pure rebel alliance of

true amp circuity and speaker cabs. We can rule the Galaxy s8 with Helix Native when supported! Haha!

 

While I had some good solid state and a tube Amp, I found myself buying better tube amps because of the HD and my memory

of playing thru them when cranked with sustain that would last for days. The Helix comes close.

But nowadays, it is all work and HD is great for keeping my hand in. 

 

Hurganico, I have seen that video and while it seems to sound the same the test is flawed by Mitch who is an

Axe FX fanboy. Beneath his wry smile was the intention to discredit the Helix by demonstrating it was a HD500. 

He admits not going for tone or tweaking or claiming they were as selected stock. But that said; he probably tweaked to sound the same, 

After all he knows his Axe FX well and can deep tweak it in other videos when comparing it to Helix he prefers the Axe Amps but the Helix is easier to use, which is something.  I could be wrong about his intention

but I'd like to see a few more by others before I am convinced as in plenty of Helix vids I've listened to there is

more detail especially in the FX.  Not saying you are wrong as it is anyone's guess but they claim the models are from the ground up remodeled. Sales talk? Maybe, If I was honest about what I want to think

I'd say the Helix extra detail is more resolution in the ADDA converters and the two DSP chips are needed

to run the screen and routing capabilties as well as Flashware resolution bit depth etc. 

This is all conjecture and unfounded; not even an educated guess. It is what it is and it is better, no doubt!

I will grant you this, the HDs sounded great to me before Helix came out and still does.

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I resisted.  My friend came over and helped me dial in the PODHD and it's the best it's ever sounded.  Here's a link to the patch he did up for me.

 

http://www.childrenofthegraveband.com/HiGainStereoPreAmp.hbe

 

My rig is a pair of JCM900 Marshalls into a 4x12 and 2x12 cab running in stereo.  I have the PODHD setup for Studio Direct going to the FX Return of the Marshalls and Input Impedance set to 32k.  Basically this patch is for a tube amp going into guitar cabs.  If you try to use it for an FRFR system or direct to a P.A. it won't work.

 

Thanks to everyone for their responses and help.  I knew it had to be in there, I just needed some help getting that last little bit I needed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a Jackson USA Soloist with a Gibson TI bridge pickup and Bardin Middle and Neck pickups.

 

Just got around to trying out this tone. I run my 500x through the power amp of a Spider Valve 112 combo. I tried a few different guitars but it sounded amazing with my Ibanez AS103 semi-hollow with duncan pickups (PG bridge, 59 neck)...it had a great Bonamassa vibe. Thanks for posting it!

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With fine instruments like those, only the best will do unless it is late at night!

There are so many Amps available now that are more reasonable in cost then ever and some are extraordinary good and usually of a hybrid design.

Then there are the proliferation of pedals available; it seem there is a new pedal maker every other week and a new pedal every other day these days.

I admire those that rarely stray from their rig but understand the quest for tone and it's inquisitional, nature. There are plenty of players who have regretted selling off, so many stories, there is a lesson in it! LOL I was told once to never sell anything in music you buy and I admire those too.

But too many offload one bit of gear to get the next bit and in a constant dog chasing it's tale dilemma and it is understandable too; as tones evolve the need for different gear is required especially for the gigging pro. But now,too many times what you sell off you were just a bit tired of at the time. It is truly a great day when a new piece of kit surpasses an old piece of kit that does the same kind of thing. You might off load, if it has been years. For me I havent off loaded anything good and still use the HD500. I downsized to a unit and have a collection taking up space in a garage. What do you do?

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