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Dream Rig: Hd500 Vs. Hd500x

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I'm considering assembling a DT25 dream rig. In a nutshell, what are the advantages/disadvantages/differences between using an HD500 and HD500X. I know the "X" comes with more bells and whistles, but are those extras worth it from a dream rig perspective? I completely understand a lot depends on how much flexibility/how many features I may personally want. But like buying a cell phone, I don't want to pay for stuff that sounds impressive that in real world applications, I'll never use.

As a point of reference, I primarily work in a touring act that does a tribute to the 60s Brit Invasion and American Classic Rock/Pop. However, I also work with an 80s tribute and sit in on shows that run the gamut from Standards to Metal. I currently have a Flextone III rig with JTVs. At present, I essentially use 6 basic user presets with different effect combinations. Working "globally" like this allows a generalize preset to work across most musical styles. Kind of a one size fits all strategy. Ultimately, I would like to be able to program custom presets for specific songs, and perhaps free up my hands from manual JTV switching between songs.

Hoping to get some feedback from others who pondered the choice of HD Pod to get.


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there's only a mild advantage tone wise in the ability to use another effect or 2... don't think that would factor into a brit invasion band...

the biggest benefit for you will be the improved footswitches in the X model... to some players its worth it for that alone... easier to see smoother etc.

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  • 3 months later...

At this point, you might as well go with the 500x. I bought my 500 back in 2010, and it hasn't given me any problems, but I haven't used it heavily, and it hasn't been gigged out with more than a couple times.


The newer DSP is a good bonus, and any footswitch upgrade is typically worth the extra $. Not sure what the original 500's are selling for these days; I'd expect you can score a 500x on sale for less than $500 anyway.

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  • 2 years later...

Late post:


Something I noticed with the 500 vs 500X - I did the model pack upgrade and when I plug in the JTV-69S, there is a "folder" of Variax specific settings that appears on the 500X, but not on the 500.  These could all be programmed and saved manually on the 500, but it is a default on the 500X.


The folder has song scenes already setup, including guitar, amp and effects. Hit the "Right Now" patch and it automatically sets the guitar for Korn's dropped tunings, selects an amp model and effects chain. Hit "Rain Song" and it switches to DADGAD tuning with a different guitar, amp and effects. The X is worth the extra dough... as is the model pack upgrade, especially if you can catch it on sale!

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