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Explain using the HD500x preamps to me as if I’m 5


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Hey everyone,


I’ve been reading up on the HD500x preamp models and how to use them, what they do, best way to hook them up, etc. I’m seen various different reports everywhere I look on the success of using them. So here I am. 


Ive been hooking my HD500x to my amp (Fender DeVille) using the 4cm as basically just an effects rig. Nothing modeling wise aside from delays, compressors, distortions, and occasional mod effects. I’d like to start toying around with the preamps in the Pod but I’m basically clueless on what the purpose is, how to set it up properly, and I’m finding that I’m not educated enough to translate a lot of the posts I’ve seen elsewhere. So I guess my key questions are....why the preamp as opposed to the full amp with the cab turned off, what’s the best hookup method for this, and at the end of the day, what is the desired result? As mentioned in the title, the most basic information is much appreciated and you won’t be insulting my intelligence to put things as simply as possibly haha thanks guys!

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  • The full amp model includes the pre-amp, the power amp then the cab/mic modeling.
  • The preamp model excludes the "power amp" section, but still has the cab/mic modeling. This mode does use less resources, but you don't have the deep editing features (bias, x-bias, master, etc... etc...),

Since you are already used to the 4CM method... it's easy to experiment.... 

  • Insert an amp block either just before or just after the loop, and set the bypass volume for that block accordingly. 
  • Set one of your switches to simultaneously toggle the amp and loop. When the amp is on the loop is off... when the loop is on the amp is off. 
  • Loop on (model amp off) will be your real amp's pre-amp.... loop off will activate the amp model in the HD. 
  • Now experiment with different amp models... pre-amp or full models. Just be sure to turn the cab/mic choice to none. Sadly, this must be done every time you change amp choices. 
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5 hours ago, rfhlevon said:

what’s the best hookup method for this,


I use no amp. I run direct. 

That, to me, is the best way to hook the unit up. Simply because it allows the unit to be used as it was intended; without a 3rd party device coloring anything. 


It also prevents situations like what you are in - changing the hookup method, renders all previous tones are useless. 



5 hours ago, rfhlevon said:

what is the desired result?


There are no "rules". There are only starting suggestions based on things people have tried over the last 50 years. The only rule is - do what needs done to get the tone you want. 

In fact, many of my tones use a preamp. 







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The subject of this thread reminds me of a question I once got at a job interview for technical support: "Can you explain what the internet is to a child"? , but I digress, there have already been good answers to your question about the the preamps, so I'll let those stand...

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