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I need your help in choosing Line 6 gear!!!!!
by martirap on 2011-01-31 07:50:18.5900

Hi!  I have a question for you Line 6 Community!

I would like to change my gear  and approach the word of modeling. I play crossover, funky metal and rap  metal in live situations, professional studio, and produce music at  home. Actually my basic sound is made by 2 Marshall Heads 6100 LM  Anniversary + param eq + bbe + 4x12 1960B  stereo + effects (Digitech, TC Electonics, Cry Baby etc... ). Transport  all this quipement in rehearsal, clubs, etc... begins to get tiring! I  need something that replace all of that without loose in quality. I need to have my sound in any situation, and also in home recording.
I have looking for 2 solutions:

* Line 6 Spider Valve MKII (more "traditional" and I tried it in a shop )


* POD HD 500 /
POD X3 Live
+ SR Jam 150 Plus box

(I've never tried POD in live situations or directly in PA and I don't know which one is better...)

(I tried put Guitar RIG 3 in my power amp+cabinet without satisfaction...)

(I'm a fairly good sound engineer and able with effect programming)

Your comments?


Re: I need for your help in choosing Line 6 gear!!!!!
by Rowbi on 2011-01-31 08:16:32.4990

well for the more accurate representation of its amp models the POD HD is the way to go.  the HD500 is more of a tweakers paradise and while it has more options available, it may be slightly less easy than a POD HD400 to dial in your tones, due to the extra signal chain options.

as far as direct to a PA goes, as I'm sure you'll already know from your sound engineering, no 2 PA systems are quite the same, bu some great results are possible with PODs.

recording is more feature rich with a POD X3, because you can record dry and reamp later.  the POD HD's only record wet via USB.  but if that's ok, then great.

alas, with your taste in amps and FX I can tell you know what you like in terms of tone, and the 6100LM is a very versatile amp, so I think the only real option is to actually try out a POD at length in a guitar store through a PA, or through some good cans.  the issue will be, working your way around all the settings quickly, which comes with experience, and is easy once you're used to PODs... but if you're not, then it may take some time to get your head around...  but if you're willing to put in the effort in testing, and reading maybe the main points in the manual before you go to test it out, then you will get some good results.



Re: I need for your help in choosing Line 6 gear!!!!!
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-01-31 08:51:17.9040


I hear what you say.  I also have Marshall heads and cabs which it has to be said do indeed sound great, but the trade-off is in that it does get pretty heavy to lug around.

I have the POD X3 Live and the POD HD500, a DT50 212 and a couple of Spider Valve combos (a MkI 112 and a MkII 212) so I'll try my best to remain objective in any comments I make.

Firstly, what follows is based on my personal experience, my personal findings and my personal opinion, so as with any decision making process you should research all the options open to you which includes testing as much as you can in the flesh before making your final decision

I have to say that for me I could never get the X3 Live easily sounding right through any traditional guitar amplifier but it does sound very good direct to desk, but for that reason I personally wouldn't spend too much time trying to make it work with a guitar amp and if an X3 Live was the only thing I had, I would want to go direct to desk

The HD500 is for me a big step forward from the X3 series and for me it sounds great through pretty much any amplification system I've tried it with including my Marshall heads, my Spider Valve amps, the DT50 particularly and then direct to desk.  Of all the POD devices, the HD series and the HD500 in particular is in my opinion the best that Line 6 have come up with to date and that said, it does produce extremely close emulations of the amps it models - again in my opinion.  As with anything as subjective as amp tone there are a couple of tones that some users are currently in friendly dispute with each other over and the primary bone of contention is about the Bomber Uber tone which is a model of the Bogner Uberschall.  The emulated Marshall tones for me are very good indeed and certainly close enough to save me some weight.  You should try an HD500 if you get the chance in my opinion or if your needs are a little simpler than those that the high flexibility of the HD500 will allow, you might find the HD400 suits you better.

The DT50 is a great sounding amp in its own right and when partnered with the HDx00 and properly configured it does produce an incredibly realistic sound that is very very close to the real amps that have been modelled.

The Spider Valve MkII is based on X3 technology and for a 40w amp it is very loud - can keep up with my Marshall TSL100 + 4x12 with no problem.  It has the ability to store 128 individual user defined presets and when partnered with an FBV Shortboard mkII it offers an all-in one solution which works very well in my opinion.  There are a couple of ongoing issues that some users seem to be experiencing and one of those is an audible pop when changing patches if the Channel Volume setting is stored below 50% and another is the time delay in changing between patches.  I can't say I have ever been inconvenienced by either personally, but again you need to try a Spider Valve and listen yourself to see whether either is a problem for you - it may be an issue or it may not.

If I had the money and I was looking for a very flexible but relaitively compact rig, I would certainly consider the Spider Valve mkII and possibly the HD500 to partner it and that way I could use the Spider Valve to its best advantage plus benefit from the integration of the HD500 and everything it offers too (you can connect the HD500 physically to the SV using what's called the 4 cable method (4CM) and use just the Spider Valve, The Spider Valve plus HD500 FX, or the Spider Valve power amp with just the HD500 feeding it - the last option leaves the cables all connected for convenience but is really just a 2 cable method of connection in practical terms).  The Spider Valve MkII can be controlled by MIDI and the controller can be the HD500 if you wish, but I do have an FBV MkII Shortboard as well.   I do use my HD500 and Spider Valve MkII in the 4CM configuration ocasionally although I mainly use the HD500 with the DT50.

With an HD500, you can pretty much use it with any guitar amp with an FX loop, so maybe one of your existing Marshall heads would make a good partner.

If I couldn't cover or justify the initial cost of an HD500 and an amp, and Line 6 was where I'd decided to look for my gear, I think I would opt for the Spider Valve MkII plus FBV Shortboard MkII to start with and then maybe add an HD500 at a later date.

With an HDx00 there really is no need to use an on-stage amp at all if you have a good PA and good monitoring.  But as a guitar player you might feel a bit naked on stage with no amp at all 

BUT - all that is all very well.  You really need to A/B the Spider Valve MkII with your existing gear and decide whether it measures up to your requirements.  The thought of going out with nothing more than a POD HD and a guitar is very appealing, but you'd really need to trust your live sound engineer to buy in to the POD and DI experience and you'd have to be able to trust that you wouldn't feel naked without the backup of an amp on stage with you

PODs are not everybody's cup of tea and neither are digital modelling amps for some people either.   You do need to spend some quality time with one or both before purchasing so that you have confidence that you are going to be happy configuring your tones with the digital gear - and remember there is a learning curve to go through with all this type of stuff as it's a different ball game to simply plugging into the front of a traditional valve amp and playing.

Try as much as you can before you buy.



Re: I need for your help in choosing Line 6 gear!!!!!
by martirap on 2011-01-31 17:03:23.5390

Thank you very much Rowbi and Nick for your reply.
I will try to test the HD500 before deciding....

Certainly I could never stand on stage without an amplifier or a monitor behind my back: often in clubs there are problems with PA or monitors or engineers! I need to secure at least a 50w to get my sound source and feel even in an emergency situation or when the drummer beats too much!

From what Nick says , it seems that put the HD500 in the return of a tube amp gives better results than the direct input into PA ... sure with old POD's was not.

I don't care how system accurately models the original amp, I'm interested in how "real" and how many "quality" you can obtain.

So, if the Spider Valve with older modeling but with specific pre and power tube amp sounds "better" then the HD500
, I will buy the Spider, which also has multiple effects including pitch...

If the HD500 sounds better than a Spider Valve in PA and you say that in any tube amp gets better, then I will buy the HD first, I'll do a little test with my Marshall head, and then replace it with a combo or a power amp with a 2x12 cabinet for a less single weight.


Re: I need for your help in choosing Line 6 gear!!!!!
by Nick_Mattocks on 2011-01-31 17:15:47.1000

Hi again

Just to clarify.

The POD HD500 for me sounds equally as good through a PA or into a valve amp's power amp section but especially good through a DT50 - my opinion.  The older X3 Live for me was not good through any guitar amp but was excellent through a PA system - again my opinion.

Note: at present the HD500 cannot supply a separately voiced output to the XLR outputs and the 1/4" outputs.  i.e. you can't send a Studio/Direct signal to the PA whilst sending a Combo Pwr Amp signal to your on-stage amp.  Both sets of outputs currently send the same signal.

The Spider Valve MkII does sound good to me and is a self contained all-in-one solution if used with a suitable controller like the FBV MkII Shortboard.

The Spider Valve MkII has a DI output which has two modes: Studio or Performance and in Performance mode, the DI signal is derived from the output transformer and so has valve 'goodness'


Re: I need for your help in choosing Line 6 gear!!!!!
by spaceatl on 2011-01-31 19:45:18.0750

hmmm....My HD400 sounds way better then my SV MK2...Pitch FX quality is very noticiable...The MK2 is good...but not the same level in the FX department as the HD...The SV is a great amp for the HD PODs I think...Of course, I think the DT-50 is the best choice...

Re: I need for your help in choosing Line 6 gear!!!!!
by shockwave199 on 2011-01-31 23:06:24.8120

You dragged around that whole rig and now 50 watts will suffice for stage? I think you're in for a shock- a pod and a 50 watt amp will be no match for your stereo power rig you have there at the moment. I don't care what amp you're talking, or which pod you're choosing. You're gonna feel anemic, to say the least.

You have two areas to try and duplicate and be happy, both for your ears and your back. One is the amplification. Second is the effects. Take the effects first because that's the easiest to say- you'll have no problem with that in either the X3L or an HD. Effects are quality and plentiful. Either pod- I'd be very surprised if you can't duplicate your gig sounds with the plethora of effects in these pods. Easy schmesy in that department.

Your amplification is a different story. There's a lot of options. But the first thing to consider is exactly what you want out of a pod. You don't have to use the amp/cab modeling in a pod, on stage. You can have a fantastic combo amp and just use the effects in the pod. There's plenty of stomps, modulation, delays, and comps to compliment an already great sounding combo amp. I use my X3L just this way for gigs. I plug it right into the front of my fender twin which already sounds excellent, bypass amps/cabs, and program in all the effects I need to do all the covers I do on clubdates. It can be that simple. And it sounds freakin great- mainly because of a great amp and great effects. And interestingly enough, I get a fantastic sound with this rig when I do use amp models- hooked up the very same way right into the front of the darn amp. Don't let anyone tell you it can't be done and sound great. It can. It takes the right output setting in the pod [not always the logical one], and final eq'ing on the amp [usually close to flat] to make the models shine. For instance, I dial in an AC30 with this setup and bam, the AC30 sounds authentic and great to my ears. If it's slightly thin, I can thicken it up to taste any number of ways. But it's an AC30 and a damn good sounding one. All right into the front of a fender, for cryin out loud! I'm never quite sure why so many people say it can't be done well, or insist that you need a 4-cable method or effects loop to make it work. That has not been my experience with an amp- at least not my fender. It sounded great this way with an XTL, and now an X3L. But there's a lot of choices for amplification, such as two powered PA speakers for what I'm sure is an amazing stereo rig. Or heck, even one of your Marshal heads and perhaps a smaller 2x12 cab. Lots to consider there.

You want to recreate your sound and park most of the weight of that gear. I get that big time. I'm pushing 50 and even my fender is getting heavier now. Think about what you want out of a pod though- all the modeling plus effects, or just effects coupled with a quality amp. It doesn't have to be the whole shebang in the pod for stage. I would suggest you audition an HD just to get a taste of all the effects it has. That's about all you can do. Exactly how the modeling side will translate and make you happy depends greatly on your choice of amplification, for stage work. That's a tough one to just blindly throw bucks at and hope it's the right choice. And for the duty of recording, I think the X3L is more geared towards that purpose. Don't count out an X3L man! But I think the pod offers the best of both worlds really- a killer great effects unit to compliment an amp on stage, and some fantastic modeling in a recording situation. But like I said, modeling can be great too on stage right into a quality amp. You say you can engineer sound well. You should have no problem taming either beast. That really is most of the answer- knowing how to coax good tone out the pod. It's not all that difficult if you know how- and any background in audio engineering goes a long way.

Good luck!


Re: I need for your help in choosing Line 6 gear!!!!!
by martirap on 2011-02-03 01:43:18.2810

For Spaceati:

Really the effects quality is so different in HD series?
You put your HD400 in a PA or an amp?
If in an amp you use input, S/R or only the power amp?


Re: I need for your help in choosing Line 6 gear!!!!!
by martirap on 2011-02-03 02:00:01.6240

For Shockwave199:

I do not think of replacing my rig with a live combo 50w ... We  talked about playing without amp and I said that this is the minimum of  security that I would bring with me on stage (50w valve amp or 150  monitor "studio quality" like SR do) then of course there are the  monitor of the service (normally each 100-180w ), but from the monitors already pass kick, snare, bass, vocals, etc ... But you gave me an idea: I could replace everything with 2 micro stack!

The  effects are not a big problem
of space / weight for me: I have  everything I need in 2 rack units + Ground Control with 2 midi expression  pedals  + cry baby 535q. The biggest problem are the 2 heads and 4x12!
My goal is to replace that sound without using them.
I saw that the HD500 POD has limitations in DSP whan using 2 preamp (stereo) + effects .... For  my sound (remember that I sound metal-crossover, not blues, jazz or pop  covers) and to improve, I would like to learn to use the models that I  believe are the future, but maybe they
haven't yet reached a sufficient  quality to use them without pass in a tube amp or cabinets with speakers...

On your advice, today I tried to use Guitar Rig 3 in my Marshall 6100 LM.

I  had the best results using it like a stomp box: removing the cabinets,  and plug in the front input, on the clean channel flat eq.

The sound is more "fake" using only the power amp (as I had experienced in the past).

By using the send/return is even worse because of more noise and hum.

Using my home PA or my headphones (with cabinets actives) I doesn't like too much, perhaps because there aren't 4x12 speakers that push 100w...


Re: I need for your help in choosing Line 6 gear!!!!!
by Rowbi on 2011-02-03 02:33:21.5250

martirap wrote:

For Spaceati:

Really the effects quality is so different in HD series?
You put your HD400 in a PA or an amp?
If in an amp you use input, S/R or only the power amp?


I've run my HD400 into a PA before.  sounded great.  I may get chance to do it again tonight, so if I remember I will, and I can try it against the HD through  a DT50.

the FX quality on the M series pedals, and the POD HD are the same.  very high quality.  the X3 and SV MKII series share the same platform.  I know in the X3, the main DSP ran the amp simulations, whereas a sub processor of sorts ran the FX (apparently).  whereas in the M series and the POD HD, the main DSP is used for the FX (as well as amp models in the POD HD).  so that's not to say the fx in the SV MKII or X3 are bad (they're really good) but they're just better in the POD HD and M series... kind of like saying one marshall amp is better than another... but it doesn't make either a bad amp... as it's all subjective, and not objective... but the objective part is that there's more horse power beding the M series and POD HD, so in my opinion the FX do sound a little better.

EDIT: the only way to know for sure, is for you to try them yourself.  then you can hear it all and decide

Message was edited by: Rowbi

Re: I need for your help in choosing Line 6 gear!!!!!
by martirap on 2011-02-03 16:40:21.4090

For Rowbi:

Thanks again!

Probably on Saturday I will have the chance to try a HD 500. In the store they also have a Spider Valve MKII ...

In the meantime I am reading the manual.

Re: I need for your help in choosing Line 6 gear!!!!!
by martirap on 2011-06-17 16:56:03.9200

At the end I buy my HD500....

It's a nice instrument!

I also buy 2 Active Monitor SR Technology Club

The sound is awsome!

I continue use one of my two Marshall 6100LM Anniversary head in 4 cable method, but now I have "modelized" its sound and often I use only the HD500...

POD is pretty easy to model, but there are some lacks....

- there is not a real parametric eq inside!!!

- it's impossible to use only cabinet emulations

- Midi can send only 1 program change on 1 channel

- DSP is sometimes a limit, it's impossible to send differents signals for the mixer and the amp

- a "compare" button is missing

- when you change amp model, effect etc... or you come back to the previous one all controls: volume, eq, cab, mic etc... return to presetted value!!!

- edit software on PC is so poor.... compared to other software...

but I like it so much and allows me to experiment with new sounds...

Thanks to all for your help and suggestions!


The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.