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by tahwos on 2011-03-11 19:46:42.4340

I'm just wondering if anyone has used the S/PDIF, on their HD500, to interface with their PC for recording. And... what their experience has been. I currently have both the HD400 and HD500 - one of them is going back tomorrow, and that's about the only thing I have not used yet. My current set-up does not have a functional/reliable S/PDIF, and my new card won't be here until "after", I return one of the PODs.

My preferred way to hook them up at this point, is through the balanced outs... I wasn't too thrilled with the USB, on any level... might just be my set-up, but USB has limits, that S/PDIF and XLR do not.

Thanks in advance for any "input" - pun intended ;-)

by MarekRos on 2011-03-11 20:00:46.4400

I love using the digital out and feel that it is one of the best features... Especially since you can up it to 96Khz.. Which many devices like my Motif XS8 can not do.... I think overall the HD500 is a much better unit since you get the added DSP room plus the S/PDIF... That said, I have never tried the XLR OUTS on this unit... Some units are so famous for their converters (MPC for instance) that I would rather go analog out for the added warmth... Of course MPC's cost more than the HD500 and I do not know that DA converters on the HD 500 would add any warmth, while the digital out gives a super clean noiseless signal. Also, I am tired of cables, if there is a sound benefit by using a devices analog path like an MPC, I will use them, but especially quarter inch cables, I do not feel hold to any standard of exactitude in how much signal flows through.. Often one cable is a tad bit hotter than another... And after swimming in cables I find the digital outs a welcome simplified release.. Hope that helps some what...

by tahwos on 2011-03-11 20:24:56.5140

Yes, that was extremely helpful... that's the kind on information I'm looking for - "your reasons why".

Most of the arbitrary differences in the 2 units fall into the category of "do I need it?/will I use it?" Like the DSP and the F/X arrangement on the 400 - it is disappointing that they can't be moved around, and several "different types" of F/X are grouped together on the 400, but my needs aren't really that pressing. I normally just use the amp, some tone shaping, and then 1 other effect to set "the mood" for that patch. "Less is More" so to speak, that's why I'm so curious about the S/PDIF performance - sound quality and DAW performance. If they could pack the performance of the 500 into the 400 box, I'd be set - I'm good with 4 buttons (yeah, I know there are more), but the basic layout of the 400, as far as my foot goes, plus the added benefit of the EDIT software, is why I'm still so torn, on which one to keep.

Thanks again!!!

by jesuscares on 2011-03-12 00:12:54.5440

Whats S/PDIF btw?

by chimp_spanner on 2011-03-12 02:07:05.5540

As far as I'm aware, SPDIF 'quality' doesn't vary from one unit to another, as the signal is digital. So it sounds as good or as bad as the unit itself! As for reliability, it's hard for me to comment as I believe my FW410 is more at fault here than my POD. The only real problem I've had is that exiting the tuner kills my SPDIF sync. This also happens with the X3. I did post about it a long time ago, and I believe some people had the same problem, with different interfaces. But again, could be my audio interface rather than the POD.

I like using SPDIF as it keeps the other inputs of my interface free, though. Also means I can carry two signals down one cable, so you could have amp A going into SPDIF L and amp B into R, and change the blend of tones in your sequencer later. Or have path B as totally dry and leave yourself open for re-amping if/when POD Farm HD becomes a reality.

by Octo777 on 2011-03-12 03:46:01.6050

I think regardless of S/DIF issues, the HD500 is still the better of the 3 HD products out at the moment with more improvements on the way.

Take the 400 back for sure.

by tahwos on 2011-03-12 12:20:46.2990



     the 500 is the only HD unit with S/PDIF


   As stated in my last post, the POV "better" features in the HD500, don't really apply to my setup. My decision on which one to keep, is pretty much falling on whether or not having the S/PDIF connection, out weighs the "form factor" of the HD400 - which I happen to like better (even fits in the Floor POD bag). Aside from those 2 points, and the F/X arrangement - the 2 units are identical. I'm not a "tone-freak", and don't daisy chain several F/X in a single patch - ever. Same thing with dual-tone - won't use it - didn't even use it when I had 2 amps and an A/B box. Speaking of improvements - I think it's also safe to say, that the HD500, is not the only one with "more on the way." Half tempted to crack 'em open and take a peek... the 400 may in fact have a spot on the board for it... and it just wasn't soldered on, and/or added to the software - which, like all things retail, usually end up with user "hacks", "cracks", and "mods". ;-)

by meambobbo on 2011-03-12 13:18:01.0730

i use the spdif.  the main benefits are that i can use the master knob to exclusively control headphone volume from the unit without impacting the signal sent to my computer, that the cord connecting the pod hd to the computer is smaller than a standard 1/4" cable, and that i get stereo sound through one cable.

i can't notice a difference in noise between spdif and a 1/4" unbalanced cable, but in certain situations you would.

by sparkyERTW on 2011-03-12 13:38:36.5180

I've been using S/PDIF as well.  As I run Linux for my recording setup, there's no USB recording capability (yet - and since I can code, maybe I should get off my lazy butt and help with the driver).  So running it in my Focusrite Saffire LE's S/PDIF input has been fantastic.

by tahwos on 2011-03-12 14:01:14.3570


     I didn't know the master volume worked that way when using the S/PDIF OUT to the DAW - thanks for the info!!!


    I ventured into Linux recording for a bit, using Ardour, while Windows DAWs were still incredibly expensive and buggy. Might venture back someday - but the whole package/command-line ordeal, really turns me off in that respect. Glad the S/PDIF is working out for you, that's the kind of feedback I'm looking for - user experiences with POD HD and S/PDIF.

Thanks guys! ;-)

by pagliacci on 2011-03-12 20:26:12.2540

The SPDIF is very conveninent, and the plus is "no analog coloration" into my Alessis io24 converter.  But when tapping the button on the HD500 to tune my guitar... most often I have to: go into the system page, bump the sample rate up or down, then back to the original sample rate to make my Alesis "see" the HD500 again.  This was the same situation with my X3 Live, so I would imagine it's the Alesis losing digital sync, not the HD500. (heaven forbid!)


by tahwos on 2011-03-12 21:41:18.2830


     That seems to be a common issue with S/PDIF and the tuner... I'm guessing it may have something to do with the tuner and "tap" tempo sharing the button. I warm up for a good amount of time, then do one final re-tuning, before actually recording something worth while - so it shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks for the feedback!!!

by tahwos on 2011-03-12 21:55:46.8010

I would like to thank everyone who responded to my post, for the prompt and informative answers. Based on your feedback, I decided to keep the HD500, as my main ride for the near and distant future. As used devices creep into the market, I plan to re-explore the possibilities with the other units - for gigging and modding purposes. I am currently re-reading all of the posts that were made prior to 7pm EST (when I left for Sam Ash), and will award points accordingly.

Once again - thanks to everyone, for the awesome feedback!!! Rock On!!!

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