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Problem connecting HD500 to an amplifier
by seanbaker1 on 2012-01-18 11:43:13.0600


HD500 newbie here.  I tried searching but try to search for anything with "amp" or "amplifier" give just too many results.

I typically play my HD500 with headphones or through some M-Audio monitors.  Works and sounds terrific. 

But I think I might be missing something, or just not understand how things work.  When I try to send the output to a solid state amp, there is a horrible static noise that makes it unuseable.  I have a Spider III 15-watt amp and a nice Roland AC-90, I've tried both and get the same results, just bad noise as soon as I plug the cable in.  I've tried every possible setting and input on both amps, and I've tried switching the line/amp switch on the HD500.

Interestingly, I get the exact same noise when I try to plug my Guitar Rig Mobile into one of the solid state amps. 

Is there something I'm missing, or are you just not able to use these types of modeling devices with a solid state amp?

Sorry for the noob question, and thanks for your help,


Re: Problem connecting HD500 to an amplifier
by jasonbogen on 2012-01-18 11:55:50.6740

What output are you using?  You should be using the 1/4 outputs (not the headphone  out).  Also check the levels.  It could be that you are too hot out.  Other than that it shouldn't be a problem.

Re: Problem connecting HD500 to an amplifier
by seanbaker1 on 2012-01-18 12:54:01.6110

Yes, I'm using the 1/4" output.  I've tried changing the levels on the HD500 using the Master volume, volume knob, volume pedal (when configured), etc.  No matter what I always get a steady bshzzzzzzzz sound.  I must be missing something fundamental!

Re: Problem connecting HD500 to an amplifier
by seanbaker1 on 2012-01-18 19:21:33.7070

In my latest test to figure out what I'm doing wrong, I plugged a high-quality 1/4" cable from the 1/4" out on the HD500 to an M-Audio monitor, no guitar plugged in at all.  Complete silence.  I unplug it from the monitor and plug it into either the Spider III or the AC-90, and I get the same faint high-pitched sound with lots of static, regardless of the levels on the HD500.  The sound is the same even if the Master vol is all the way down!  What's worse, the high-pitch and static remains if I power off the HD500!

I know I must seem like an idiot, but can anyone point me to what I'm doing wrong?

Re: Problem connecting HD500 to an amplifier
by jimsreynolds on 2012-01-19 05:52:16.7350


Can't say 100% but it sounds like it might be a ground loop to me.  There are a couple of things you can do about this:


Re: Problem connecting HD500 to an amplifier
by seanbaker1 on 2012-01-20 17:46:39.5760

Oh good grief, I figured it out!  I tried plugging everything into the same power strip as suggested, still heard the buzzing.  Woke up my sleeping laptop to read this post again and see what else to try, and the buzzing went crazy!  I always have the computer plugged into the HD500 with a USB cable so I can use the editor.  I unplugged the USB cable from the HD500, and silence from both the Spider III and the AC-90!

I have to think that this is a common problem?  I can live without the USB plugged in, just wonder if there's a way to keep it all hooked up without the buzz.  Maybe need a better-shielded USB cable?  I'm using the one that came with the HD500.



Re: Problem connecting HD500 to an amplifier
by Nick_Mattocks on 2012-01-21 01:16:20.2200

Yes this is a common problem when you connect the POD to an amp which is grounded AND a computer which is grounded too.  Happens with older PODs too.  If your computer is a laptop, it probably has a PSU with a third pin/wire for ground from the mains electricity supply.  You can source a replacement compatible PSU which only has a two core mains cable requirement and this should resolve the issue or you can run the laptop on battery power for short stints.

You can also break the ground loop between the amp and POD by using a 1:1 audio isolating transformer like the Behringer HD400 Hum Destroyer as Jim already suggested and this should also resolve your issue.


Re: Problem connecting HD500 to an amplifier
by seanbaker1 on 2012-01-22 17:28:12.6470

Yep, you're right.  Unplugging the laptop kills the noise, so it's still a ground problem.

Thanks guys for helping out with this!  It's a relief to have finally figured it out.



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