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HD500 PreAmp for Voicing II of DT50
by rbflapjack on 2012-01-14 19:33:55.6680

I am going crazy reading through all the posts on this stuff but slowly I am getting it worked out.  Ultimately what I want is to get the same sounds out of the DT50/HD500 combo that I love with the DT50 (like everyone else has said).  I really like the DT50 settings that came with it on the diagram attached to the top of the amp (I: Classic American Clean, II: British Crunch, III: Class A Chime, IV: Modern High Gain).  I downloaded the setlists provided on other posts that have the four preamp models that match the four voicings.  This is what I have:

I: Blackface Deluxe

II: Park 75

III: Vox AC30

IV: Treadplate with IV voicing

Here's what I did to test.  I created a blank patch with just the preamp listed above. Then I set the knobs on both channel A and B the same and matched the DT50 diagram.  I saved the patch.  Then I turn on and off the preamp block so the DT50 switches from A to B but since the DT50 settings are the same for both channels nothing should change.  I made sure all the knobs including channel volume were the same for both A and B.  Here is what I found:

I: Tone is extremely similar but volume is much louder in channel B

II: Waaaayyyy Different (subject of this post)

III:  Very Similar in tone and volume

IV:  Very similar in tone and volume

Therefore, I can not figure out what is happening in voicing II.  The knob positions are the same and the DT50 topology doesn't change when I switch from preamp to channel B but the channel B has a ton more crunch to it and the preamp (channel A) is totally clean.  What the heck is going on here?  I really wish like many others that I could bypass the amp block altogether and just have the HD500 send the topology and knob postitions.  I know that is what the four preamp models listed above are supposed to do but it doesn't seem perfectly seamless...

Re: HD500 PreAmp for Voicing II of DT50
by wolbai on 2012-01-15 01:35:37.4270

I can tell you what I did (DT50/212 + HD500) to get the most identical sounds between original DTXX voicings played standalone and with the HD500. (Hope I get everthing together again):

1. I have used the same pre amp models and topology settings like you with the standard settings.

2. I have used standard cab/mics sims on.

3. The DT50 has to run with master volume not pulled out (no low volume mode).

4. You have to run the DT50 at a higher master volume level (at least 11 a clock). In reality I run my DT50 at 2 a clock but with a power attenuator. Amps like the PARK-75 starts to work with distortion not under that master volume level. Under that level they are just like a toothless tiger (at least to me). So your test needs an environment where you can crank the amp at a high volume level.

5. I used one amp model (no effects) for channel A. Set the reverb knob at the DT50 to 0.

6. I did the settings directly at the DT50 for channel B for the amp I wanted to build up with the HD500 setting by switching to channel B with the switch at the DT50.

7. I switched back to channel A (standard settings of the model in the HD500). These settings are different (volume, treble, bass, etc.) to the ones on top of the DT50. Don't try to make them similar at that stage.

8. I used the looper to record a phrase with channel A on.

9. During looping the guitar phrase I changed between channel A and B AT THE DT50. You now can hear the tonal differences between original DT50 voicing and the HD500 amp setting.

10. Now change the knob settings (volume, treble, bass, etc.) at channel A on your HD 500 by try and error to get a similar tone. Switch between the channel A + B at your DT50 while the looper plays your guitar phrase.

If I remember correctly the settings where not all the same between DT50 channel B and the corresponding HD500 amp model (channel A). Especially the Voicings II was different.

Additional ideas which might help you:

- Input source 2 setting in the HD500 can influence the tonal character and the volume level. It is set default to "same". This doubles the guitar input level. In my case (because of my guitar) this causes distortion in clean tones. I therefore set input source 2 to "AUX".

- Guitar IN knob (normal + PAD) at the HD500: I set this knob to PAD, to lower the guitar input level.


Re: HD500 PreAmp for Voicing II of DT50
by rbflapjack on 2012-01-15 05:04:45.8900

That is very helpful, thanks.  I think the problem is with the dt50 knob like you said. I was pulling the knob out in mode ii. In channel b this gave me a nice crunch even at low volumes but thru the hd500 on channel a it was totally clean. I still don't understand why if the dt50 settings are the same for both channels and I confirmed that the knob settings are the same with the hd why one side is clean and one side is crunchy. I would give the combo a huge thumbs up if there was a way for the hd just to control the dt without altering the tone at all. I will try your method but I haven't ever used a power attenuators before. 

Re: HD500 PreAmp for Voicing II of DT50
by wolbai on 2012-01-15 07:52:19.9930

Every time you pull the master volume knob out on the DT50 the amp is switching into a "more modelling" mode (sorry for that not very precise expression). That means the DSP part on the overall tone is increased: the amp is modelling the power section to a saturation level for crunch/distortion WITHOUT being that loud. What I found out is, that once you switch the master volume over 12 clock that modeling part will be reduce more and more down to zero the more you open the master volume knob and vice versus. Don't know if there is something official by LINE6 on that. But that is at least what I am thinking how the system is working.

That also means: if you use the master volume knob pulled out (low volume mode) you HAVE to use full amp models in the HD500 to get a SIMILAR sound - meaning similar to the 4 DT50 voicings. Otherwise you compare apples with pears.

If you want to achieve a real tube driven amp sound with the DT50 + HD500 than you have to use pre amp models in your HD500 (by the way for the Voicing II it is the normal pre amp model - at least what I remember). This is also the official LINE6 recommendation how to run the system. For an amp like the PARK-75 you have to run the amp on a fairly high master volume to bring the power section into saturation to get that creamy/crunchy distortion. This amp is very dynamic, means very sensitive in the way you hit the strings and it respnds fantastic to when playing with your volume knob on the guitar. Master volume

under 11 o clock won't do it very good with this amp, it stays very clean and toothless (to me). Volume should be around 50%. Other amps like the Treadplate has a lot of gain and the power section starts to "cook" earlier.

Hope you can move on in your "DT50/HD500- journey". It takes time - I think for many users and so for me. But it was worthwhile. I am a satisfied DT50/HD 500 user now, but not from the beginning :-)


Re: HD500 PreAmp for Voicing II of DT50
by wolbai on 2012-01-15 08:51:58.7050

Oh - I have forgotten something: I just wanted to clarify a possible misunderstanding:

You do not have to use a power attenuator to run the DT50/HD 500 with the pre amp models. It is just my way to get a very consistent overall tone regardless whether I am playing at home very silent, at rehearsal or at a gig. Therefore I do not have two types of presets (one for low volume environments with full amp models and one for REAL ROCKING with pre amp models) which is - in my opinion - a necessity if you don't have a power attenuator.


Re: HD500 PreAmp for Voicing II of DT50
by rbflapjack on 2012-01-15 12:15:26.2780

That makes a lot of sense. I thought the knob being pulled out would effect the hd combo the same way but your explanation seems consistent with what I am hearing. Just curious, is a power attenuator part of the hd or something separate.  I too would like to get that good crunchy goodness while my kids are asleep upstairs.

Re: HD500 PreAmp for Voicing II of DT50
by wolbai on 2012-01-15 12:56:37.9150

Well, you can get a reasonable crunchy sound at bedroom level with your DT50 if you pull out the master volume (low volume mode) and using the corresponding FULL amp models in your HD500. For the Voicing II just use the full amp model PARK-75 (normal) with your HD500. This should bring you to a similar/identical sound like you are playing the DT50 Voicing II in a standalone mode with master volume pulled out. If you only play at home (no band, no giging) I would assume the low volume mode on your DT50 (and full amp models on the HD500) is perfect for your needs.

If you do not find that appropriate for you, then you should consider using pre amp models with a so called power attenuator, if you want to play this at bedroom level too.

But bear in mind: also with a power attenuator you will here some sound difference at VERY low levels compared to higher volume levels (product depended). And wrong usage or not appropriate specifications can potentially damage your amp. Also to mention: the power section tubes wil tear earlier than not using one (no knock outs for me).

The following link describes what this piece of eqipment is going to do (not part of HD500, no LINE6 equipment). The link leads you to the US-vendor Weber:">">

In principle it is a tool which is connected between your amp and the speakers. This piece of equipment transforms not needed wattage (volume) into warmth. I have seen this attenuator recommended here in this forum by a LINE6 Expert. I personally use a SPL Reducer, but I am not aware, if it can be sourced in the US.

Good luck - wolbai.

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