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What sound card is inside a POD HD500?

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POD500 has a very unexpected twist in it: as “a bonus†it works as USB Sound Card.


I listened to it once and… I cried. I cried because I missed my life worth of THAT quality music. I connected $50 Sony stereo speakers to it and OH MY GOD, it was unbelievable. That was the moment I knew that whatever is inside that POD500 thing is magical. It made my cheap speakers sound like million dollars.


I am considering buying that POD500 and use it JUST as USB sound card. It costs $500 and it’s very bulky. So I was wondering, is there perhaps that “bonus†sound card that sold separately or what would be the closest equivalent of the sound processing chips used in the POD500?


Thank you!


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Don't buy it just to use as a soundcard.

 

For $500, there are SOOO many better options out there. A 2nd gen Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 is $500. Better preamps, less latency, more ins/outs, MIDI. The 2i4 model is $200, has MIDI, too. I'm sure that this thread is about to be filled with recommendations from others along the same lines, only specifying their own favorites. 

 

If, however, you want a budget hardware based amp modeler that doubles as a soundcard, and can't afford a Helix, then an HD500X is not a bad option.

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Or buy a used PODHD on Ebay.  But seriously don't spend that kind of money on a PODHD to use as a sound card.  Lots of better options out there.

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I have seen a few HD Beans go for ~ $100, usually ~ $125-150.

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Don't buy it just to use as a soundcard.

 

For $500, there are SOOO many better options out there. A 2nd gen Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 is $500. Better preamps, less latency, more ins/outs, MIDI. The 2i4 model is $200, has MIDI, too. I'm sure that this thread is about to be filled with recommendations from others along the same lines, only specifying their own favorites. 

 

If, however, you want a budget hardware based amp modeler that doubles as a soundcard, and can't afford a Helix, then an HD500X is not a bad option.

Thank you for your kind reply. I know it's stupid, but I want JUST "external" sound card for my laptop. Like for to listen to music on my computer. Sometimes it's lossless music recordings, but not always. Sometimes videos on Youtube or Vemo have great sound track in them. Sometimes BLUE-Ray movies. That's what I want to listen to. So technocally I don't need it to "pre-amp" my own microphone or let's say Yamaha keyboard. Just "external sound card". That's it.

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I guess I need some explanation how ANY $7 USB external sound card is an option that is CLOSEST to the POD500 in terms of the sound quality but not only (also "color" of sound, etc.). Also how ANY device on that link has the same or almost the same chips.

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OK, how about this for $199?

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Cambridge-Audio-DacMagic100Silver-DACMagic-Silver/dp/B0078Q4FEG/ref=sr_1_6?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1513636933&sr=1-6&keywords=ad%2Fda+converters

 

Product description
DacMagic 100 is a mini marvel of digital engineering. Designed to significantly improve the sound quality of your existing digital music devices, DacMagic 100 is capable of extracting real hi-fi sound from all manner of gadgets. By simply connecting any device with a digital audio output - like Blu-ray players, Apple Macs, PCs, TVs and set-top boxes - DacMagic 100 digitally processes the audio signal, dramatically improving sound quality and reducing distortion in an instant. The result is greater detail, sparkling clarity and a real sense of scale and drama.

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Can you please answer the question, smart pants?

Nope. Don't know, and don't care. The truth is there is nothing magical about whatever components are in the POD, and nobody "official" is gonna tell you what they are anyway. There are far better, and infinitely more convenient options if all you want to do is listen to music from your computer...several of which have already been offered above. Personally, I'd start by fleeing in haste from that pair $50 computer speakers, and get some decent studio monitors, but that's another discussion entirely.

 

Oh, and it's "smarty-pants"...;)

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The question has already been answered. To clarify - the soundcard in the HD500 is the Line6 HD500. The closest comparison is the Line6 HD500. Only Line6 knows what chips are in it, and they're not talking! Alternatives have been recommended. Links have been provided. Google "AD/DA" for more.

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OK, how about this for $199?

 

https://smile.amazon.com/Cambridge-Audio-DacMagic100Silver-DACMagic-Silver/dp/B0078Q4FEG/ref=sr_1_6?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1513636933&sr=1-6&keywords=ad%2Fda+converters

 

Product description

DacMagic 100 is a mini marvel of digital engineering. Designed to significantly improve the sound quality of your existing digital music devices, DacMagic 100 is capable of extracting real hi-fi sound from all manner of gadgets. By simply connecting any device with a digital audio output - like Blu-ray players, Apple Macs, PCs, TVs and set-top boxes - DacMagic 100 digitally processes the audio signal, dramatically improving sound quality and reducing distortion in an instant. The result is greater detail, sparkling clarity and a real sense of scale and drama.

Thank you. That was very helpful. I've ordered it.

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Glad I could help. Do check back and let us know if it worked as well as the description claimed it would.....it sounds like a sort of digital BBE sonic maximizer.

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Glad I could help. Do check back and let us know if it worked as well as the description claimed it would.....it sounds like a sort of digital BBE sonic maximizer.

Here is my report.

You listen to music the following way: your computer + DAC or ODAC + AMP + headphones or speakers.

Cambridge DAC100 is the "DAC" part. Then you will need an amp(lifier). However, if you listen via headphones, you need headphones amp. DAC100 works with (speakers) amplifier. It has RCA output. It's "too loud", (distorts sound no matter what you do) for ANY headphones. (even 300 Ohms ones).

Then there is "Audioengine D1" DAC which is cheaper (perhaps because it's more specialized) and sounds considerably better via headphones, just because it has hi-fi quality built-in headphone amp as well.

Then there are BLUE headphones that don't need separate DAC and also have their own Amp inbuilt. However, these are "closed" headphones. If you listen to classics or strings exclusively - you won't like them: too much bass, no "air".

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