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I had never really bothered to A/B the tone of running the VDI vs a 1/4" cable and always assumed the VDI would always be the better choice because it's transmitting digitally.

 

However I recently noticed some clipping when I played certain strings with a lot of attack.  I also noticed that the tone of the magnetics over the VDI was very different as well.  I very rarely use the magnetic pickups and hadn't really thought to check this before.  

 

I plugged in the 1/4" and the magnetics immediately sounded much better.  Also I wasn't getting the clipping on the modeled pickups the way I did before.  

 

My setup is a JTV69 and JTV59 running into a HD500X.  I've tested the following:

 

Both guitars get the clipping effect over the VDI.  I didn't test the 59 mags, but assuming the effect will be the same. 

 

I've tried a different VDI cables and got the same effect.

 

I've tried using different patches on the HD500X

 

I set input one on the HD different to input two to eliminate doubling the signal on the input.

 

I'm guessing I haven't noticed this before because I rarely use the mags and usually only use the HD500X for live use.  Live I'm not able to hear my signal quite as clearly and probably only hit the strings really hard when the band is loud.  I usually use plug ins when recording, but I've been spending a lot of time dialing in some patches lately. 

 

Has anyone else noticed this happening?

 

 

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There are some significant differences in the interfaces:  With VDI, the D/A conversion is done in the Pod for both the Mags and the Models.  With the 1/4 inch cable, the Mags are analog and the D/A conversion of the models is done in the Variax.  There will be some tonal differences with different hardware.

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Yes, there will be differences between the analog and digital outputs. At the very least there are different D/A and/or A/D conversions going on that will minimally affect the sound/tone. For instance, the mag pickups via the 1/4" output may indeed sound 'best' because it is the most natural; there is probably no internal conversion - it's straight analog from the strings to the HD500, using basically the same technology that has been around since the earliest days of electric guitar.

 

The most important variables, I think, are in the HD500 signal processing - especially the doubling of inputs and the susceptibility of different FX to input clipping. As is often the case, there is no right or wrong here. Just set things up the way they sound best to you.

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I noticed this too, it was a bit better after I had the mags lowered... I gues that the a/d converter in the HD500 is a bit more forgiving...

 

Sammy

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Apart from only using one input for variax and setting the other input to guitar, the only other way that I am aware of to reduce the volume of the mags over the VDI is to physically lower them, and also to use the volume knob on the JTV to lower the volume when using mags.

 

If that does not reduce the volume enough for you, then I guess the only other option is to attenuate the volume by using the first fx block to bring the signal down.  I guess you could do this by placing the FX loop there and placing a short cable from FX SEND to FX RETURN on the HD500X, leave that block on and attenuate the SEND signal as needed.   Another way would be to use the VINTAGE PREAMP from the EQ section, adjust the GAIN and OUTPUT as necessary to attenuate the input signal.

 

Hope that helps.

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I double checked my JTV59 and I'm got really getting the clipping of the moddeled pickups over VDI the way the JTV69 is.  I'm heading out of town today and won't get the chance to experiment further with it until later this week, but I'm wondering if the floating bridge could make a difference.  Maybe the saddle is able to vibrate more when the string is hit hard causing this weird sound I'm getting?  Maybe other JTV69 owners could chime in. 

 

I've attached a file of what I'm talking about.  This was recorded using the VDI into HD500X with all amps and effects turned off.  Just straight signal.

 

The only other thing different is I added a Mag-Lok to stabilize the trem.  I don't think that would affect anything, but who knows. 

 

I haven't had the JTV69 long at all, so if something is wrong with it I should still be covered under warranty.  Otherwise I love the guitar!  

 

 

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There are some significant differences in the interfaces:  With VDI, the D/A conversion is done in the Pod for both the Mags and the Models.  With the 1/4 inch cable, the Mags are analog and the D/A conversion of the models is done in the Variax.  There will be some tonal differences with different hardware.

So is there an A/D converter in the Variax that digitises the magnetic pickup sound which is then decoded again in the HD500?  I guess it's logical but it never occurred to me?

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There's no power coming from the guitar if the battery is out and the 1/4" is used. How could there be any A/D conversion?

So is there an A/D converter in the Variax that digitises the magnetic pickup sound which is then decoded again in the HD500? I guess it's logical but it never occurred to me?

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The Mags are digitized when using the VDI cable.  They are not when using the 1/4 inch and no battery.  The Variax electronics are unpowered and there is a relay that sends out the Mag signal when there is no battery and you are using the 1/4 inch.

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So is there an A/D converter in the Variax that digitises the magnetic pickup sound which is then decoded again in the HD500?  I guess it's logical but it never occurred to me?

 

As I understand it....

If you use the VDI cable to connect a Variax to a POD, then the Variax sends the digital models as is, but it has to digitise the signal from mags and send to the POD to process and finally the POD converts it's digital signal to analog for output to an amp or headphones or mixer or whatever.

If you use the 1/4 inch cable, and use the battery to power the modelling side, then the mags are just sent as is to the 1/4 inch as in a traditional electric guitar and the models are converted from digital to analog onboard the variax and then sent to the 1/4 inch.

So the Variax has A/D converter for the mags for use with VDI  and a D/A converter for the models for use with 1/4 inch.

The POD has an A/D converter for GUITAR/AUX/MIC inputs and a D/A converter for it's output.

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Yes.  The Variax mags can either go out the 1/4 inch as analog signals or out the VDI as digital signals.  The VDI supplies power for that to work.  The nice thing about the 1/4 inch is that the guitar need no power to send the Mags out the 1/4 inch connection.  You can still use the mags this way without the battery installed.  (or if it happens to go flat on you)

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I've noticed different levels, too.

 

In my experience, the difference between one reasonably good ADC/DAC and another is very subtle (if even noticeable at all) compared to the relatively big tone difference that you get by changing gain a couple dB in one stage of a guitar rig.

 

Unless there's something wacky going on that we haven't pinned down yet, I'd expect that precisely compensating for level differences would make the tone effectively the same between the VDI and the 1/4" outputs. (You'd think that L6 would have compensated precisely for this during R&D/QA, but maybe it slipped through the cracks.)

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Ive noticed both volume and tone differences between the VDI & 1/4" guitar cable.  VDI is louder and sounds much more bright, electronic and stale.  I really like the tone when using the 1/4" cable.  Has anyone found a solution to this?

 

Im using JTV-69 - POD HD500

 

Thanks.

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Thanks - I fully understand the reason for the difference.  Im interested if anyone has found a solution to it - a way to make the VDI connection sound more real and organic??

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Thanks - I fully understand the reason for the difference.  Im interested if anyone has found a solution to it - a way to make the VDI connection sound more real and organic??

 

Have you tried using an EQ fx block in your patch when using VDI to adjust brightness and volume to match the 1/4" sound?  I would think that is the only way to do it.

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Thanks - I fully understand the reason for the difference.  Im interested if anyone has found a solution to it - a way to make the VDI connection sound more real and organic??

 

I'm afraid you'll just have to tweak and EQ your way out...

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I have not tried that yet.  I honestly haven't done much with the EQ settings in my HD500.  Where in the chain should I put the EQ fx block?

 

Does anyone have suggestions on where to start with the EQ settings?  edstar & cruisinon2 - have neither of you experienced this difference when using the VDI cable?

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I have not tried that yet. I honestly haven't done much with the EQ settings in my HD500. Where in the chain should I put the EQ fx block?

 

Does anyone have suggestions on where to start with the EQ settings? edstar & cruisinon2 - have neither of you experienced this difference when using the VDI cable?

Honestly, I've been using the VDI since day 1. I went this route because I wanted the functionality that the VDI connection allows, so I didn't dwell on any differences there might be between the two.

 

Forget what anybody tells you about the "right" way to build a patch. Start from scratch and allow your ears to tell you when it sounds good. You might prefer the EQ block before the amp model for some amps, and after it for others. Same thing for clean vs. dirty sounds. Individual settings are entirely subjective...depends on what kind of tones you're looking for, your playing style, string gauge, etc. etc.

 

There is no right or wrong way to do it. If it sounds good, then it is good...end of story. But the long and arduous experimental phase has no quick work-around.

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I always use the VDI and I do not notice any problems with it.  It's a different A/d so the analog results will be different but it sounds just fine to me.

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+1 to cruisinon2.

 

There is no shortcut and there is no right or wrong way - just whatever way you sort out to get the tone you want.  Like cruisinon2 I also used the VDI pretty much exclusively for the JTV/HD500 functionality - so I just worked with that rather than try to get it to sound identical to the 1/4" cable sound, which I agree does sound different and warmer to my ears, but I don't think it is so different that I need to match it with the VDI. I just use VDI and tweak my tones accordingly.

 

If you want to match the VDI to the 1/4" inch tone, then I would suggest you try with the EQ fx block as first in the chain as you are trying to emulate the 1/4" cable resistance in the signal path - so it makes sense to me to tweak the guitar signal before it hits any other fx or amp - and you should be able to A/B the results between VDI and 1/4" and quickly identify the settings needed. There are a whole bunch of EQ fx to choose from but it may be best to start with the simpler ones to understand and tweak first - such as the studio EQ to just remove a bit of top end.

 

Work your way through them and see if you can tweak the VDI signal to be more in line with your 1/4" signal tone.

 

Good luck - and let us know if you crack it!   :)

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Using a VDI will bypass any coloring that a guitar cable would induce, as well as coloring from the D/A converter on the Variax, and instead would rely on the POD's D/A converter.

 

VDI should sound better than 1/4 in theory, but I highly doubt there's much of a difference. I didn't really hear anything when switching from 1/4 to VDI.

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It's funny folks talk about vintage tone and wanting the classic tones, but neglect to account for the guitar lead in that. It obviously matters. When even the Relay wireless units come with cable emulation, having the cable tone taken out by the VDI seems like an oversight. I don't use VDI even with a complete dream rig since I use wireless, and on my G50 I have cable emulation on.

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It's funny folks talk about vintage tone and wanting the classic tones, but neglect to account for the guitar lead in that. It obviously matters. When even the Relay wireless units come with cable emulation, having the cable tone taken out by the VDI seems like an oversight. I don't use VDI even with a complete dream rig since I use wireless, and on my G50 I have cable emulation on.

 

Yes it is odd that Line 6 provide the wireless RELAY units with cable emulation but they don't provide a guitar cable emulation parameter in the global settings for the PODs that have VDI interfaces.   It's not a deal breaker for me and I guess for many others, however, it does make a difference to some users and as they already have it in the RELAY series, why not pop it into the POD as a nice little extra for those who want it?   Perhaps if enough people make a case for it on Ideascale then they may be able to get a business justification for including it. 

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The HD-500 has virtual impedance selection, which strongly implies they are also modeling cable capacitance.

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The type of pick you use matters too, perhaps more than the cable. I recall that in very early April a year or two ago Line 6 announced a pick-modeling product using some vintage picks. Don't know whatever happened to that.

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My understanding is also that VDI includes a simulation of a cable. (and the HD500 Impedance setting is real and only on the Guitar Input)

 

Not certain that it is connected, but you can hear the filtering when you lower the volume knob as the tone gets less bright - which is what happens with the real equivalents. If using a normal guitar and old wireless link with a short cable then the tone remains bright as the volume is lowered.

 

Depending on how much you use your Tone knob (I know many people have never touched it!) you can program a slight reduction in the Tone setting from the HD500 against each patch and lock the Tone knob so that when connected via VDI it is always say 80% Tone. If you also tweak the Tone Resistance and Cap setting in Workbench you can probably get exactly what you want.

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The type of pick you use matters too, perhaps more than the cable. I recall that in very early April a year or two ago Line 6 announced a pick-modeling product using some vintage picks. Don't know whatever happened to that.

 

:D    :D     :D

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The type of pick you use matters too, perhaps more than the cable. I recall that in very early April a year or two ago Line 6 announced a pick-modeling product using some vintage picks. Don't know whatever happened to that.

 

It was scrapped along with their plans to genetically engineer a drummer who could count past 4 and didn't speed up when they got to the chorus...utter failure. Test subjects all died of severe dehydration...drooled to death. :P

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I will try to record a short clip in the near future switching between the VDI & 1/4" cable to show how different it sounds on the same patch.  My problem is that I finally have a nice clean patch I really like, but it only sounds good through the 1/4" cable.  Ive been trying the EQ fx as suggested but not having much luck yet.  I will continue to play with it as I can.

 

Sounds like some have not experienced the difference in tone.  Maybe Im doing something wrong.

 

Also - could someone explain to me how to setup so that I can A/B between the VDI & 1/4" inputs.  Ive been manually switching them.

 

Thanks for all the help.

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My problem is that I finally have a nice clean patch I really like, but it only sounds good through the 1/4" cable. 

 

I prefer the tone of the 1/4" output ( vs VDI) too 

 Since the VDI path is actually an AES/EBU "all digital" audio connection, there will be a different sound for those with ears keen enough to hear the distinction  

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Ok, I think I found a simple solution to make the VDI sound identical to the 1/4" input.  You have to put input1 on Variax and input2 on Same.  If you leave input2 blank (ie don't select anything) then you get the "electronic" type tone (at least to my ears).  This has made my VDI input sound the same as 1/4" input.  I even recorded a short bit and switched between patches with these different input options and its pretty clear to me the difference.

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The type of pick you use matters too, perhaps more than the cable. I recall that in very early April a year or two ago Line 6 announced a pick-modeling product using some vintage picks. Don't know whatever happened to that.

 

LOL! Might have been on April 1st perhaps ;)

 

http://line6.com/pickbot/

 

"PickBot 3D Printer is unlike any 3D pick printer you’ve ever experienced. Only PickBot 3D Printer’s patent-pending TMI™ modeling technology leverages authentic RawTalent™ Compound Granulate to accurately model the guitar picks of your favorite stars. Want to change your playing from the nuanced style of a renowned jazz great to the thundering chords of a chart-shattering rock legend? With the PickBot 3D Printer’s radical new approach to pick modeling and insane rockstar settings, the transition is easy."

 

"With the PickBot 3D Printer, practice and years of hard work are no longer necessary. Attaining the character and dexterity of your favorite star is as easy as hitting ‘print’ and sipping a latté while PickBot 3D Printer does the rest"

 

"And with our exclusive PickPerfectâ„¢ auto tune technology, featured in Premium Raw Talent Compound Granulate packs, even tone-deaf players with an out-of-tune guitar and missing strings can play like a virtuoso."

 

 

  • Accurately models string attack and sustain of famous guitar players
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  • 128 presets
  • Breakthrough Talent Model Infusionâ„¢ (TMI) technology
  • Prints 3 picks at once from RawTalentâ„¢ Compound Granulate (granulate sold separately in Regular and Premium packs)
  • Automatically adjusts tip thickness and weight for increased speed and articulation
  • New pick models downloadable from the cloud
  • PickPerfect auto tune technology fixes any pitch, anytime, anywhere
  • Support for AMPLIFi tone matching in a future software update
  • Requires standard USB connection to host computer
  • Two bottles of RawTalentâ„¢ granulate included
  • Rockstar-modeled pocket lint available in convenient gift-size accessory packets
  • Approachably priced at $9,999 (U.S. MSRP)
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That's the one I was talking about!! I'm waiting for April 1 2015. Betcha there's a cable-bot in the works, but only through the VDI.

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Ok, I think I found a simple solution to make the VDI sound identical to the 1/4" input.  You have to put input1 on Variax and input2 on Same.  If you leave input2 blank (ie don't select anything) then you get the "electronic" type tone (at least to my ears).  This has made my VDI input sound the same as 1/4" input.  I even recorded a short bit and switched between patches with these different input options and its pretty clear to me the difference.

 

Good to hear that you have found a solution that works for you.  Have you read the threads by perapera on "HD500 Routing" http://line6.com/support/topic/2033-pod-hd-500-500x-new-routing-schematics/?hl=routing and hurghanico on "Single versus Same Input" ? 

Bottom line is that when you use SAME for INPUT2 that you effectively double your input into the HD500 which equates to about a +6db volume increase in the signal hitting the first FX block or the AMP if no FX before it and if it's the first thing before the path split.

This implies that the tonal difference you have experienced is because the 1/4" output is +6db hotter than the VDI output.

 

Have you tried using INPUT1 with GUITAR and INPUT2 SAME and then running the 1/4" out from the JTV into GUITAR in of the HD500, and compared that to INPUT1 VARIAX and INPUT2 SAME and just using the VDI ?   

 

The reason I ask, is that if the 1/4"out is +6db louder then it will sound louder and provide a much hotter signal in comparison.   However, if they are the same, then both scenarios should provide the same end result.  

 

What HD500 input settings were you using when you had the difference between the VDI and 1/4" connections?

 

Thanks.

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Good to hear that you have found a solution that works for you.  Have you read the threads by perapera on "HD500 Routing" http://line6.com/support/topic/2033-pod-hd-500-500x-new-routing-schematics/?hl=routing and hurghanico on "Single versus Same Input" ? 

Bottom line is that when you use SAME for INPUT2 that you effectively double your input into the HD500 which equates to about a +6db volume increase in the signal hitting the first FX block or the AMP if no FX before it and if it's the first thing before the path split.

This implies that the tonal difference you have experienced is because the 1/4" output is +6db hotter than the VDI output.

 

Have you tried using INPUT1 with GUITAR and INPUT2 SAME and then running the 1/4" out from the JTV into GUITAR in of the HD500, and compared that to INPUT1 VARIAX and INPUT2 SAME and just using the VDI ?   

 

The reason I ask, is that if the 1/4"out is +6db louder then it will sound louder and provide a much hotter signal in comparison.   However, if they are the same, then both scenarios should provide the same end result.  

 

What HD500 input settings were you using when you had the difference between the VDI and 1/4" connections?

 

Thanks

 

I have not yet read those threads, but I will be soon as it appears I may learn a few things there.

 

I do see what you are saying.  Now that I think about it - I believe all my presets are setup for INPUT1 GUITAR and INPUT2 BLANK.

 

When I compare the same tone as INPUT1 GUITAR & INPUT2 BLANK against INPUT1 Variax & INPUT2 SAME - the tones sound exactly the same to me.  Sounds like I also need to compare those 2 setups with INPUT1 GUITAR & INPUT2 SAME to see if the 1/4" input is louder.

 

The HD500 settings that gave the difference in tone (to me) between the VDI & 1/4" are: INPUT1 GUITAR & INPUT2 BLANK against INPUT1 Variax & INPUT2 BLANK.  I was bascially switching to my variax guitar and only changing the INPUT1 setting.  Thats when it sounded very thin to me.

 

Is this expected?  Why would the 1/4" input be +6db hotter than the VDI input?  To me it sounded like more than just volume, it was more like depth and "process" related.

 

Thanks for the info and help.

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I have not yet read those threads, but I will be soon as it appears I may learn a few things there.

 

I do see what you are saying.  Now that I think about it - I believe all my presets are setup for INPUT1 GUITAR and INPUT2 BLANK.

 

When I compare the same tone as INPUT1 GUITAR & INPUT2 BLANK against INPUT1 Variax & INPUT2 SAME - the tones sound exactly the same to me.  Sounds like I also need to compare those 2 setups with INPUT1 GUITAR & INPUT2 SAME to see if the 1/4" input is louder.

 

The HD500 settings that gave the difference in tone (to me) between the VDI & 1/4" are: INPUT1 GUITAR & INPUT2 BLANK against INPUT1 Variax & INPUT2 BLANK.  I was bascially switching to my variax guitar and only changing the INPUT1 setting.  Thats when it sounded very thin to me.

 

Is this expected?  Why would the 1/4" input be +6db hotter than the VDI input?  To me it sounded like more than just volume, it was more like depth and "process" related.

 

Thanks for the info and help.

 

How are you setting INPUT2 to BLANK?   I have never seen this option on the HD500.  My HD500 gives me SAME or each one of the physical inputs and Variax options or combination of GUITAR+AUX+MIC.  It never presents BLANK or a blank option.

 

From what you have said about situations you have tested, I think you will find that the 1/4" is louder if you try it with INPUT2 set to SAME.

 

I would have thought that the VDI connection and choosing VARIAX would provide a signal level similar to a connection coming in via 1/4" and choosing GUITAR (assuming that INPUT2 is set to an identical value in each case, whether that is SAME or another input).  Especially if you are using the same JTV69 in both examples - and assuming that it is battery powered for the 1/4" connection method.  If anything, I would expect the 1/4" connection to be quieter because the physical impedance of the connecting cable would come into play - although that is usually a subtle difference and usually mainly affects tone by removing high end to different degrees depending on length of cable. The only other thing that can affect the 1/4" tone into the HD500 is the "Guitar In-Z" setting.  I believe this defaults to AUTO so it will set itself to match whichever fx or amp is first in the chain in the patch path.  If you have set this to another value then you could be forcing the 1/4" tone to be darker than it would be if left on AUTO which may make it sound more different to the VDI tone BUT it should not affect the signal volume to the degree that you are noticing.

 

Another thing that could be happening is that you have a faulty VDI cable or connection that is causing the VDI signal to be quieter and therefore thinner.  Have you tried a different VDI cable?

 

Another thing could be that your HD500 is faulty and the component taking the signal from the VDI to the processor isn't working properly. Or the JTV is faulty and the component sending the digital signal via VDI is not working correctly.

 

And finally it could be that all HD500's work like this and that most of us haven't noticed because we either always stick with VDI or we always use 1/4" and we don't bother doing a comparison.  If I get the chance, I will charge up my JTV battery and try a direct comparison using VDI and then using 1/4" for the same patch.

 

At least you know that if you use INPUT1 VARIAX and INPUT2 SAME that you are getting the results you want with VDI which does mean the problem is signal strength (volume/gain). As I said earlier that is effectively doubling the input signal hitting the first fx or amp which equates to a +6db boost - so it would be interesting for you to try using INPUT1 VARIAX and INPUT2 GUITAR but then place an EQ fx first which gives an output boost of +6db.   Also if you are using just one path with everything pre split - then try moving everything into PATH A and mute PATH B at the mixer block.  If I remember correctly from the routing and single input discussion threads, that using just INPUT1 and then only PATH A results in a similar volume boost to INPUT2 SAME - but I might be wrong - it's another thing worth trying.

 

The question does remain though - why such a big signal strength difference between VDI and 1/4" with your JTV69 and HD500 combination?  And is it a common issue and therefore is it working as designed or is it a common problem that most people have just not noticed or is it a rare problem that only affects a subset of users possibly because of a bad component from a particular production run?

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to my ears, the sound of magnetic, through the vdi is absolutely different from the sound through the 1/4, as water and and wine.

  in 1/4, the tone is much more natural.


as I do not own the more jtv battery (is dead), a way I found was to connect the cable vdi only to feed the guitar and use a cable 1/4 simultaneously .

On pod I disable the Variax in 2 inputs and set to guitar and aux . On Variax control (utilities/pod) I set into global (do not force)

this way I have the sound of models only through  1 / 4, which in my opinion sounds much better, even in models

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don't worry about that..

 

both the VDI and 1/4" inputs work good and almost in a identical way..

 

the main differences are that using the 1/4" input you can decide to not use the auto Z parameter and use instead a fixed Z value of your choice.. and you are using a real analogic audio cable of some lenght and quality level which affects the impedance interaction between your POD and guitar..

 

where instead using the VDI (I believe) is like having the Z always set to auto and using a virtual high quality cable of a fixed lenght..

 

regarding instead the virtual inputs settings, except for the eventual differences due to the impedance,

being input1 the physical connection used, the following input1/input2 settings give the same signal level in pre position:

 

1) variax/same = guitar/same

 

2) variax/guitar = guitar/variax

 

between the solution 1 and 2 the mathematical relationship is 2:1

 

Thank you for the input and clarification Nico.

 

I am just surprised that the VDI and 1/4" signal strength can vary by +6db according to the tests performed by agordon.  I might expect a slight difference but not that much.  However, I understand what you are saying that it is not worth worrying about because the difference can be compensated for with other controls and parameters.

 

Thanks also for clarifying the situation when using SAME as INPUT 2 and the fact that it does double the signal strength.

 

User agordon has indicated that he gets the same signal strength when using VARIAX/SAME and GUITAR/OTHER.  He will test whether GUITAR/SAME increases the volume level above what he gets with VARIAX/SAME, and from what he has already said, I believe he will find an increase in volume, so that in his particular case VARIAX/SAME will not equal signal strength of GUITAR/SAME.

 

I have yet to test it with my JTV/HD500 combination as I always use VDI.

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https://soundcloud.com/hurghanico/vdi-vs-14

 

if you want give a listen to the link above here..

 

 

Thanks Nico!  From listening to your clip I agree that with your Variax 700 into the HD500 that there is very little difference between the VDI and 1/4", which is how I would expect things to be.

 

agordon has reported his experience is very different with his JTV69 into HD500 - so it will be interesting to find out if it is something to do with how he has programmed his patch, or if his VDI cable or connections are faulty, or if his JTV69 or his HD500 have some fault.  Perhaps he will do a demo recording to demonstrate for us.

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