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HD500X and analog stomp boxes

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Hi,

 

I've been settling into my HD500X for the last 3 months.  

 

One of the struggles I've been having is dialing up rich satisfying distorted tones.  I like the Screamer and the Tube Driver but I find that they aren't very responsive to my guitar's volume control.

 

I've tried adding an analog distortion and an overdrive pedal.  I'm running them through the effects loop and placing the loop in front of the amp model in the signal chain.  I'm using a JTV and want to use the VDI connection.  

 

I'm still not finding distorted sweetness.  Any suggestions?

 

Thanks,

Floyd

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There's probably more than just distortion involved in a tone not responding well to volume changes. For example, if I use my JEM 7V, like you say, volume changes from the guitar don't respond very well while using a tube drive in front of a SOLO-100 Overdrive. But, with the same patch and an Ibanez American Master, volume changes respond very well. So that must mean the pickups, the volume pot, and the capacitor on the volume pot are all variables on the guitar side of things.

 

I've also noticed that different amp models respond differently to volume changes.

 

And a compressor in addition to distortion before an amp may also affect volume changes, depending on the settings or amount of compression.

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You could try running a boost or clean OD into the front of the HD500x. Here's how I set mine up:

 

 

I have things set up a little differently to what you suggest.

 

I go from the JTV into HD500x via VDI (I never use the Variax input on the HD500x it's connected only to power the JTV and change presets via the footswitchs/patch changes). The 1/4" jack output from the JTV then goes into a DI box (you need a ground lift when using both outputs from a JTV otherwise you get ground loop interference), out the DI box and into an EHX Tortion overdrive pedal, which then goes out into the guitar in on the HD500x.

 

JTV ----via VDI----> HD500x

JTV ----via 1/4" jack----> DI Box -> Overdrive Pedal -> HD500x

 

It works well and really gives me a nice signal going into the HD500x.

 

Then I use the FX loop to place a Strymon Big Sky in there. I do plan on moving it so it takes the output from the HD500x, but then that would render the HD500x's looper useless. When I get a Strymon Timeline I'll definitely have it following the HD500x then, that will free up loads of DSP for the HD500x.

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Rule of thumb....don't run your OD's or distortion boxes in the loop.  Place them in front.  Start there.

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If using a Variax, put the loop up to first position in the chain and drop your distortion/overdrive into the loop there.  It's less than optimal because the loop will be running at line level.  Play with your loop levels to get the pedal to do its magic. 

 

Cheers,

 

Crusty

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Try this little trick.

 

Build a patch with two parallel signal chains using identical settings.  Put a "boost compressor" at the beginning of one of the signal chains before your distortion effects, leave the other without.  Use the boost compressor to drive things and add a decent dose of compression (get yourself plenty of sustain) use the signal chain without the compressor to keep your playing dynamics and attack.

 

There are many ways to really get the drive to go over the top.  Using the above trick on high gain amp models can deliver some impressive results.

 

Cheers,

 

Crusty

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