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HD 500X and DT-50 Still Awesome!


robbieb61
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So I used to have the original "Dream Rig" setup that I bought back in 2009.
In 2015 I sold my HD 500 and got a Helix. 

Sold that a few months ago and got myself the Mesa TC-50 amp. Back to using a 4x12 and tubes and it sounds so damn good.

Anyway, I've had this DT50 amp sitting here for forever. And I figured...."Make a backup rig, just in case".

So I plugged the DT50 in and played through it. Sounds great!
So I went and bought a new HD500X so I could have effects and clean, crunch, and lead amp sounds.

I forgot how damn good the HD500 sounds when combined with the DT50 tubes.
And "no", I'm not using the L6 link. It sounds okay...but "muffled" and "fizzy" all at the same time. 

I'm running straight into the effects return of the DT50 and just leaving the topography of the amp set on "IV". Using the preamp only models with cabs turned off. Sounds gorgeous!

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To each their own.  But I found that the hd 500 sounds best with a tube amp. No fake EQ'ing to get rid of fizz or mud. It just sounds "right".

And the DT50 sounds awesome all by itself with it's HD amp models built into it then hitting those tubes.

I felt like the Helix came real close for me to sounding like a tube amp. I used a Bose L1 compact for FRFR for a few years with it. 
So yeah...I do think they can come close. 
And I enjoyed it.
But the real tubes change the equation so much better. I even used an ART tube preamp with my Helix in one of the effects loops to "warm" up it's sound. 

But anyway...my point to the thread is: Compared to Helix, and compared to full on tube amp...the HD 500 with the DT50 holds it's own rather nicely and is perfect for my backup rig. 

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I've tried all the combinations.  Yes they all can sound good.  I use high gain and play classic metal.  The tube power amp and the guitar cab sounds the best.  For lower gain tones or clean tones it doesn't make as much of a difference to my ears.

 

The great thing about the PODHD is it can be used in a lot of different ways and eventually you find the way that sounds good for your situation.

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Oye. This goes back 30+ years, but I remember the first time I performed on live tv. 

The "sound man" said to me "don't worry about what you are hearing in the room, it is going to sound great at home for the people watching"

 

And, guess what... 

That same argument has been used, numerous times, for the "amp vs modeler" debate. 

Are you concerned about what you hear, or what they hear? 

 

 

Too many of you are penniless, performing in front of empty rooms, or in rooms with built in crowds who are going to show up no matter who is there - but you can't grab their attention or make an impression. 

Maybe it is time you start being concerned with what the crowd wants more than what you want. 

 

In other words - pull your head out of your lollipop.

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Interesting conversation.  I've always been first a listener of music rather than a performer of it, no matter how many hours I spend whittling away on the guitar the time I spend listening to music far eclipses it.

 

As a hobbyist player, it's important to feel the power in what you do. If it doesn't feel alive to you, regardless of how it sounds to even God himself, then you'll lose interest. If that comes from a tube amp - more power to you. The Pod HD500X with the DT-50 is a solid rig. One I almost bought once upon a time.

 

However, as a listener I just don't believe the whole tube amp thing matters one iota anymore.  I rarely say that in the guitar playing public because most of them will stone you, but I've yet to meet the shill who can correctly guess listening to an album or attending a rock performance which ones are tube amps (and by the way, as far as I can tell - if it's a solid touring act with a huge following these days - the answer is very few are tube amps - and a similar trend appears to be happening in recorded music too) and which ones are done by modelers. For those rare few who are brave enough to try, they've never been accurate. Most just snort and walk away. Whether that's cowardice or impeccable confidence I've never been sure.

 

I am glad people adore tube amps and I hope that love continues, but so many tube amp users that I talk to assume that I'm kind of sad and wish I could follow in their footsteps. Truth is I'm not. If someone gave me the most expensive tube amp on the market I'd turn around and sell it to a tube amp fanatic, and then buy a L6 Powercab, and keep the other chunk of change to attend my favorite band's performances for the next few years.  I also ENJOY playing that way. The music doesn't feel dead to me at all. Truthfully, it reminds me of the world that caused me to want to play music in the first place.

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15 hours ago, pianoguyy said:

Too many of you are penniless, performing in front of empty rooms, or in rooms with built in crowds who are going to show up no matter who is there - but you can't grab their attention or make an impression. 

Maybe it is time you start being concerned with what the crowd wants more than what you want. 

 

That may sound harsh to many, but how true that is!

 

Long before modeling I was in my late teens during the early 80's. I was taught by some very great players to always pump my guitar tone (Hiwatt Custom 100) back in my face through my monitor. I was told THAT was the tone the audience was going to hear... so adjust your amp so THAT sound good. Do not adjust it so the sound from the cabinet blasting past your knees from behind sounds good. BEST LESSON(S) I'VE EVER HAD! Having that experience, going to modeling was easy for me. 

 

When I use my tube amps (an SF Vibrolux or an AC30) I mic them up and listen through my monitor - and adjust them for my monitor. When I use my Helix, I listen through my monitor. It's all good! 

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I make sure the sound man gives me the tone I'm hearing on stage.  I've done this for 40 years and played some big events, even had my music on T.V. for over a billion people when I did theme songs.  So here's my harsh statement.  If your sound man can't make your great on stage tone sound good out front then fire him and get someone with a clue.

 

Now there's some truth in that too.

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1 hour ago, joel_brown said:

If your soundman can't make your great on stage tone sound good out front then fire him and get someone with a clue.

 

Not all bands have their own sound tech, and not all bands get to carry their own sound tech to every show they do. How do you fire a sound tech at a festival 5000 miles from home? I find it's easier to setup a tone that they can't screw up :)

 

We have different approaches... that's fine - I don't disagree with you or the OP on how you are doing thing... I'm just adding mine. There are more players with your philosophy than there are with mine... I'm aware of that. 

 

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I've never been able to get a $50 guitar amp to sound like a $100k PA. 

Of course, I also built a career around a Peavy Bandit 65 and effects. Never having a tube amp unless backlined or sponsored. 

So what do I know. 

 

And in the case of music for television/movie work... 

You are mixing things completely different. It's one of the things we did on Nashville - providing multiple mixes of the same music based on whether or not it was going on the CD or which of the many different types of cable signals needed. 

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Who's talking about a $50 guitar amp ?  I want my nice tone I have on-stage to sound nice through the $100k P.A.

 

If the sound guy can't do that then he's certainly capable of screwing up your modeler through the P.A. too.  Yes it's nice to walk in with a modeler under your arm and if that works for you that's great.  I like my tube power amps and guitar speakers with my PODHD, that works for me.  When I do large events I walk out front during the sound check with my guitar and see how it sounds.  If it's not right I ask the sound guy to adjust it.  It's rare I've ever had an issue.

 

I know mixes are different for T.V. and most of my performances were live.  T.V. theme songs were boring but paid really good money. 

 

You can have your great tone on stage and out front too.  Sorry you haven't been able to have that.  It's really nice.

 

 

 

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NAMM announcement of new Helix update to incorporate all the ins and outs including the L6 Link so it appears the Helix will be able to do the DreamRig setup.

I was very close to pulling the trigger on the LT but would prefer to keep on with the HD500.

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