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DT25, HD500, M13 Random thoughts from a newb
by kevanprince on 2011-12-05 14:12:46.6100

Me: I'm a beginning/intermediate player. I know a few chords but often have trouble switching between them smoothly and quickly. I know the patterns of the minor (and therefore major) pentatonic scales fairly well, so I can kind of fool around in them a bit. For example, I can put a halfway decent chord progression down on the looper, then noodle over it with some scales, but I have trouble with phrasing and I lack speed. I said...beginner/intermediate. My musical tastes are varied: blues, rock, metal, and jazz. I blame ultimate-guitar for my GAS syndrome that is completely unreasonable for my level. For guitars I have a pair of American Special strats (HSS and SSS), an Epiphone Dot, and an Epiphone Les Paul.

I recently bought a DT25 combo (the Anderton's 46 minute YouTube movie was a big influence). The same day I purchased an HD500 since the two make an outstanding combination. I already had an M13 that I was using with my Hot Rod Deluxe. The first thing I did, was update the HD500 and upload a few tones. I'd had a little previous experience with an X3 Live that I hardly used , then sold, because it was "a bit more complicated than I wanted" (which seems funny considering the HD500 is pretty much the same animal in this sense.

Which brings me to this: After messing with some tones on the HD500 I just pluged straight into the DT25, set the parameters to their "defaults" (what's on that plastic card that comes with the amp), and checked out the amp by itself. I think it's a really good sounding amp. I'm a newb, yes, but also a bit of a car-audiophile, so I have at least a decent ear. Anyway the amp sounds quite good on its own.

Later, I hooked the HD500 up to the computer and built some really basic tones in HD500 edit. First, I just built one setup for each of the 16 amp models; I've never heard of some of them. Because I've been lurking here a bit, I used "pre" models and changed the inputs to 1: Guitar, 2: Variax. Then I just noodled a little checking out the defaults. I used the mixer to adjust the volumes so that there wasn't such a drastic difference between amp models. Then I went back through and started adding pedals to some of my favorite amp models. I added a volume pedal after the mixing board. The Screamer is one of my fav's right now so I added that to a bunch of the patches. In most, I also added delay and reverb (I'm not sure how the reverbs work in conjunction with the DT25's reverb). In a couple, I added a little chorus. I did add a few other pedals just to see what they did; like I said, I'm a newb so there's a lot that is completely new for me.

Man, the HD500 is so powerful and can do so much that it seems overwhelming. It's tempting to just plug the M13 into the DT25 and use that. I don't need a ton of tones right now, just enough versatility to have a nice clean tone (think: John Mayer), a bluesier overdriven tone (SRV), a nice crunchy rock/metal tone  (suitable for Tool, Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, etc.(not that I can play any of the songs...just if I decide to try I'll be close-ish on tone). I could probably get all that out of the HRD and M13 (I do also have a couple of other pedals: Fulldrive 2 and Bluesbreaker clone), but hey...that's GAS for you.

So I'm wondering if I should continue to fool with the HD500 or just set it aside for a while and use a few of the M13 pedals. The M13 is SOOOO much simpler to use. Sometimes, I find I'm noodling around with tones on the HD500 when I should probably be actually practicing technique. I'm also wondering if the way I was setting up tones in HD500 Edit makes sense. Really, I'm just rambling off some random thoughts for some feedback.

Thanks for reading!

Re: DT25, HD500, M13 Random thoughts from a newb
by sanhi on 2011-12-06 10:19:50.4500

Why not setup a couple of basic patches and store them in the User bank as a starting point? Clean / Crunchy and Lead. Add a little reverb, and that's it. Additionally you can put in some chorus and flanger in the clean bank, but have the effect 'off' by default. When you like you can activate them using the foot switches, enough versatibility when  practicing, it's not a requirement to put in every effect available on the HD500 is it?

At least this work for me, when I want a closer replica of a sound in a song, I copy the 'basic' patch and progress from there.

Re: DT25, HD500, M13 Random thoughts from a newb
by kevanprince on 2011-12-13 12:33:08.6480

Hey, thanks for the reply. I actually did do that to start. I just made a patch for each amp without any effects other than reverb, just so I could listen to what each sounds like by itself. So I've kind of been doing like you said...I'm still working with it. I should probably be practicing, but tweaking the patches is fun too.

Re: DT25, HD500, M13 Random thoughts from a newb
by kevanprince on 2012-01-31 13:37:17.1980

Time for a little update.

I was still wrestling with the DT25/HD500 combo. So much so, in fact, that I was very close to dumping the lot of it and just picking up a Marshall TSL601 or JVM215C (I already have a Fender HRD II so I figured I could cover most of what I want with those two and some pedals). The problem wasn't tone, it was/is complexity.

The DT25 combo sounds great by itself. What I really wanted to add was a few more amp models. This is where I figured the HD500 would come in. And I suppose it fits this quite nicely. However getting the two to work together to give me what I wanted ended up being more complex than it needs to be--too much conflicting information. So now I think I know a bit more and can now build some patches with just the amp models.

1. The best tones while plugging direct into the DT25 were via having the master volume cranked and then adjusting actual output volume via the channel volume and gain. My understanding is that cranking the MV gets the tubes warmer and more involved. Right track?

2. When the HD500 is connected, and trying to use PRE amps in such a way that the four preamp models from the DT25 are faithfully reproduced (the source of much frustration here about a year ago), I should use PRE amp models and still use the default cab/mic simulation (I had read that cab sim should be off before, but ON seems like the accepted method now).

3. With the four preamp models from the DT25 (Blackface Deluxe [normal?], Park 75 [normal?], AC30, Treadplate) what kind of reverb should I add to each? I'm guessing Spring Reverb in the Deluxe....? And ideally wouldn't the reverb come post? If so, is there a way to actually put it post using the L6 link? Or is L6 Link able to tell the DT25 to apply the correct effects to post? Since I also just happen to have an M13, I could put that in the effects loop and use it for only post effects if need be. EDIT2: Okay I just read that the 25's topology I is actually Blackface Double Vib PRE, not Deluxe like the 50...good to know lol

4. when editing the patches in HD500 Edit I don't see a MV adjustment. So...if #1 above makes sense, should I be setting up patches the same way, with MV cranked...I'm guessing I just use the MV knob on the HD500 (seems obvious but...)? EDIT: Okay, looking back at the manual, I don't think the MV on the HD500 correlates in any way to the MV on the amp. So do you use the MV knob on the amp then?

I'm sure I'll have more questions later, but as a newbie to guitar in general (yes I bought way too much gear for my skill level lol) I have a LOT to learn...including which questions to ask.

Re: DT25, HD500, M13 Random thoughts from a newb
by Nick_Mattocks on 2012-01-31 14:45:55.9200

Hi Kevin

First and foremost, no self respecting guitar player can have too much gear!!!  It's the law. LOL

OK having read from the top down, my feeling is that you should keep the M13 (great bit of kit IMO) but for now, try to work with the HD500 and DT-25 in partnership.  The HD500 has all the same FX as the M13 anyway and can be used pretty much exactly the same way you'd use the M13 if you want with the main exception being it doesn't do True Bypass - however the lack of True Bypass is not a show stopper.

In answer to the points in your most recent post:

  1. The DT-25 being lower in terms of power output will tend to go into power amp distortion much earlier than it's bigger sibling, the DT-50, so yes when you crank the DT-25, not only will you have whatever distortion you may have set up in the HD500 when it's acting as your preamp (or the preamps in the DT-25 stand-alone), you will also have power amp distortion at much lower levels than is possible with the DT-50.   It's a complex subject as to exactly why you get break-up/distortion from the power tubes, but suffice it to say that it's more about you approaching the limits of what the power tubes are capable of in terms of cleanly processing your signal rather than the temperature of the tubes.  The tube temperature is related to how hard you are driving the tube rather than being the cause of the distortion/break-up if that makes sense   There are people on the forum who can go into the actual physics of what's going on and can explain it better in depth than I have done and I'm sure that some may chip in with more in-depth information on this.
  2. Yes you should use the same preamp models in your HD500 as are in the DT-25 stand alone.  It's subjective of course as to whether you leave cab modelling ON or turn it OFF in your HD500 patches.  The cab modelling employed when running the HD500 in Combo Pwr Amp or Stack Pwr Amp mode is different to the cab modelling employed when in Studio/Direct mode and these cabs are referred to as Live cab models, whereas the cab models used when feeding a PA or Full Range, Flat Response system are 'full' cab models.  The bottom line as always though is to trust what your ears tell you and if cab models being turned OFF works better, then go with that.
  3. Yeah - you can use the FX in your M13 in the FX Loop in the HD500 or you can run the M13 in a kind of 4CM configuration with your HD500 by placing some FX in the HD500's loop and others between the HD500's 1/4" output and the DT-50 Power Amp In socket IF you use the DT-25 like an ordinary third party amp and are prepared to forfeit control that you've got when you use Line 6 Link (you could regain this control by MIDI if you really want to though ).  With L6 Link in play, you can still use the 4CM method of connecting the M13 to it, but your M13 FX would be between your guitar and the HD500 Guitar input and others in the M13's FX Loop which could be at the very end of your signal chain in the HD500.  The DT-25's Reverb seems to be active at all times, so that being the case you can save yourself some DSP resources in the HD500 if you're prepared to have the same reverb sound throughout all your presets.  The Spring reverb in the HD500 is a real DSP hog, so you are possibly better to off-load the reverb function to either your M13 or to the DT-25.
  4. When using a DT-25 with a POD HDx00/Pro by L6 Link, the POD's MV control is only active on the POD's analogue outputs.  It has absolutely no bearing on the DT-25's MV control.  There's a phenomenon often referred to as the Fletcher Munson Effect which basically outlines how our ears/brains interpret the tone of audio at low volumes and again at louder volumes. Look it up on Google but essentially to avoid the pitfalls of the Fletcher-Munson Effect, you should create your tones and tweak them at the volume level you intend to play at, so if you are gigging with your HD500/DT-25 rig, you need to tweak your presets at higher levels - i.e. gig level or as close to gig level as you can manage in a normal home environment where you have neighbours to consider

All the above is based on my own experiences and opinions.  For now, I'd stick with a simple HD500/DT-25 set-up and get familiar with how to get that working for you.  I would not worry too much about the 4 cable method at this point either as it can over-complicate matters.

Other users are likely to chip in with different ideas that work for them, which is cool.  Your own personal mileage may vary too. 

From my own viewpoint, no two guitar players will sound exactly the same even if you give them the same gear set up identically to use; no guitar amp is in any way high fidelity; no guitar pickups are in any way high fidelity, so the bottom line as far as I'm concerned because I want to play my guitar, is to get a good sound which is my sound in the ball-park of guitar players that I admire or am covering songs by, but not to get too bogged down in necessarily trying to nail someone else's tone absolutely precisely (that varies of course depending on the song, but you get the general sentiment).

Just my take.


Re: DT25, HD500, M13 Random thoughts from a newb
by kevanprince on 2012-02-01 19:20:30.9270

Nick_Mattocks wrote:

First and foremost, no self respecting guitar player can have too much gear!!!  It's the law. LOL

For now, I'd stick with a simple HD500/DT-25 set-up...

Okay, that first part is pretty much true. I do know that lol

But as for the second part...well, that's just an oxymoron! Haha. I'd love to keep it simple, but it just doesn't seem so simple most of the time. The THAT'S simple

Seriously though, thank you for your input. Every time I stick the HD in front of the amp I kind of get "option paralysis"--I need to just get over that. About putting the M13 in the effects loop (which I know isn't really necessary), I was more thinking about putting the HD500 in there via L6 link and pretty much just using the HD for its preamps and maybe a tube screamer or something, then sticking the M13 in the DT25's effects loop and only using it for reverbs/delays/etc. But again, that's not really necessary as I guess the HD/DT combo is smart enough to apply the post effects where they should be. And the more I use the HD the more I'll get over that option paralysis.

Do you know which reverbs are faithful to the various amp models? Like the Fenders would be spring reverb, right? I'm not sure what Marshalls/Mesas/Divided by 13s/etc. usually use. Though I suppose most people kind of disregard that anyway and just go with what sounds best to their ears...which of course is probably the best way to measure any of this.

Thanks again. I'll keep working with it. It's great gear.

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