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I know RTFM but I am so lost with this hd500
by FTLOSM on 2013-02-05 12:05:13.9370

I am 45 and came from the days of a few pedals with an amp back in the 80's decided to jump in and get a hd500 here and omg i have spent about 2 hrs reading the online manuals and another 2 hrs just going thru messing with things on the hd500 trying presets, adjusting input and output settings (trying different things) this goes straight to my mini marshall stacks clean input channel with reverb off tone balanced all at 12, using left mono out amp switch by pedal on amp, output settings tried studio stack combo whatever i do this just sounds well bad....

I also hooked it upto the computer via usb used the hd 500 edit software grabbed a custom tone or two thru that played it thru the rockit6's I have on my computer and it too sounded really blah, I am NOT knocking this pedal it's more than likely stupid user error, guess I just don't get what I am doing wrong though but if I can't figure it out this is going back in the box and back to guitar center

For some reason too the tone just sounds very flat no highs to it, even with the pedal treble jacked I hear no highs even adjusted the amp treble up but still mud sounds....

Did other new to hd500 pedal users experience this much frustration on day one after a few hrs of still not getting decent sounds from it?


Re: I know RTFM but I am so lost with this hd500
by TheRealZap on 2013-02-05 12:25:14.6970

try using this guide:">">

might explain some things in detail...

but into amp clean channel all dials at 12 oclock... isn't particularly ideal....

you might try going into the effects return... (you may have to plug a cable into the guitar in, to activate it... but the preamp will be bypassed so it won't matter)

the main thing to remember though, is it's all personal taste... just because i gave you those pointers above... doesn't mean that's what will sound the best to you... and that's what counts.

Re: I know RTFM but I am so lost with this hd500
by silverhead on 2013-02-05 14:21:47.5920

I would begin by doing some administrative stuff: Use Line 6 Monkey to make sure your HD500 firmware is up to date. During the update process, choose to replace the existing patches/presets. Then perform a global settings reset and recalibrate the pedal.">">">">">">

Then start by using the HD500 without your amp. Connect the Rokit speakers to the HD500 Outputs (either the XLR or the 1/4" outputs - doesn't really matter at this point). Set the HD500 Output mode to Studio / Direct (see System Setup page 4). Forget about the factory presets and Customtone right now. Go to a New Tone preset and start experimenting just with the amps - not even any FX yet.

In the signal flow view of the preset, move the cursor to select the amp. Use knob#1 to select an amp model you are familiar with, and start playing with the amp knobs. At this stage, use the FULL (not PRE) amp models. Experiment with the cab and mic selections too (knobs #2 and #3); they have a real influence on the tone.

Assuming you are connecting your Guitar to the Guitar Input jack on the  HD500, set Input 1 = Guitar. Experiment with Input2 = SAME or Input2 =  <anything other than Guitar>. This can be really important for certain kinds of tone.

Still in the signal flow view of the preset, with the amp selected, double-press the ENTER button to access the Amp & Cab Edit screens. You’ll see up to 5  pages of options here, allowing you to fine-tune Amp, Cab and Mic settings. Pay particular attention to the interplay of the Amp Drive knob, the Amp Master Volume setting (Amp Edit page 2), the Bias setting (Amp Edit page 3), and the Cab LoCut setting (Amp Edit page 4). I find these 4 settings (in addition to the more familiar tone stack) have a huge effect on your overall tone. Spend a lot of time just getting familiar with all these controls and the different amp models.

Once you gain familiarity with the amps you will be ready to move comfortably to adding FX to shape the tone as you used to do with your previous analog pedals.

When you want to integrate your mini marshall stack you will need to learn about:

- Output Modes other than Studio / Direct

- the difference between using the FULL amp vs. PRE amp selections (cab/mic simulations)

- the difference between using one amp (an HD500 amp model OR your real amp) and using two amps (anHD500 amp model AND your real amp)

- optionally, the 4-cable setup method (4CM)

.... and yes, many new HD500 users experience what you are experiencing. There is a definite learning curve. Stay patient, read a lot, and come back here to ask a lot of specific questions (start a new thread for each question to make it easier to track the answers). In the end you'll be glad you did; you have an awesome device that is worth spending some time to get to know!!

... and most of all, have fun!

Re: I know RTFM but I am so lost with this hd500
by Spiderplayer7 on 2013-02-07 12:01:25.0860

I'm 51!! Also spent (many!) years with tube amps, couple of pedals, that was it. Got the HD500 a few months ago and wasn't that impressed to start with - got a so-so sound but nothing spectacular. Still, I persevered and after (not too much) tweaking I'm getting GREAT sounds and a lot of compliments on my tone. And I'm still tweaking, but these days it's more like fine tuning. But it was (is) a learning curve, all right. Keep at it, though, it's a great unit...

Re: I know RTFM but I am so lost with this hd500
by spikey on 2013-02-07 21:13:38.6320


to answer your last question, the answer is yes. Frustration is an understatement. You may get answers by some that claim they have had no issues dialing in the sweetest tones one can imagine in just a few seconds, and that the unit works just like yer papas old Fender. That, has not been my experience.... This guitar preamp/effects unit is many things. Its is very powerful, and also very convoluted and confusing and frustrating at times in its design and use. You can get wonderful sounds out of it, but most people have to spend alot of time learning how to tweak it's tones out of it. Its inputs and outputs are many, but they do not always works like you may think they should (or as you may think they are labeled), depending on the ways you might expect them to work with the rest of your Line 6 gear added to it. Frustrating? Why hell yes it is, but also rewarding tones can happen if you spend the time. Lots of players just want to play and not research new tone building technologies at Line 6 Pod University, and there in lies the problem for alot of new and old owners. Ive owned a Pod HD Pro for a few years, and I use about 10 patches that I have tweaked to fit my ears. Yep, 10 ... I dont need any more than this. Was it worth the hell in creating them and then tweaking them over and over until they sounded right? That answer will depend on you, and you alone. I wanted on many sessions to throw mine off a cliff. Could it have been designed better and still have been as flexible and powerful? Very possibly yes, but it was not. It is what it is, at least for the moment. A very powerful and good sounding guitar & amp efx unit that will do lots of things well if you can get your head around some of the weird and strange learning curves it sometimes requires... And finally, like anything else this unit is just not for everyone that plays a guitar. There are many other very nice sounding boxes out there that will give you less heartburn. That said, play with the Pod for say 6 weeks, and see what you can achieve with it. Then you will truly know the answers about whether or not the Pod is your cupa tea....

Re: I know RTFM but I am so lost with this hd500
by toneman2121 on 2013-02-08 06:36:15.9050

Spiderplayer7 wrote
                                       ... And I'm still tweaking...

even the seasoned players will say that. i know i'm still tweakin' after 2 years with the hd and i started with the 2.0

Re: I know RTFM but I am so lost with this hd500
by MelThorpe on 2013-02-08 08:50:48.5990

Hey Bill,

As a 42 year old player that grew up with DOD and BOSS stomp boxes, it did take a little bit for me to find my way around. Like Silverhead said, start at the very basics and go up from there.

After being frustrated the first couple days I decided to change my approach to it like I would approach a room full of 100 amplifiers and cabinets and crates of effects pedals. Firs try to dial in a good basic tone with a head and cab and then add the effects from there.

Also, the tone controls and some of the effects controls are not like they would be on a regular amp. So you really cant approach it thinking this is how I would tweak a knob if I was using a real Fender. Just play with each knob on the amp sim as if you have never used the amp before.

If you are going to use this with the Marshall, run the out of the POD to the effects return of the amp. This way you still get the warmth of the power tube section of the amp but bypass the preamp section which will color the tone. That's how I run mine.

And feel free to ask all the questions you want. Pretty much all of us have been there. =)

Re: I know RTFM but I am so lost with this hd500
by FTLOSM on 2013-02-09 20:55:35.8640

Had about 45 mins today to mess with this a bit more, bypassed using it with this mini marshall stack as there is no fx loop just the guitar input and choice of clean or distorted, I did hook up my krk rokits to the outputs and yeah those are sounding much better, I also tried it with my headphones on sennheiser 595's again much better than into the amp input.

I again spent time in the menus adjusting the output to studio, even downloaded the software hd500 edit, saw I had userbanks put a simple amp head in with a noisegate and a chorus pedal, it ends up with an asterik by the tone I named it ROCK1 put it in user slot 1A, clicked on 1B went to make ROCK2 tone, did that saw 2 tones both ROCK1&2 in those slots with asteriks by them, went to customtones grabbed one I thought that sounded neat saved it to the desktop clicked it but it went into my user 1a (rock1) slot, ticked me off bigtime, I then made ROCK 1 again moved it to 2a, but when I came back to the software it was GONE just shows empty, so I think I am doing something wrong in terms of saving the tones (custom made or downloaded tones) they seem to be overwriting themselves.

I see how this can be KILLER once I spend time, learn download some premade things and tweek them and finally learn to save them in my user banks, I do wish I had an amp I could get this into with an fx loop for what I understand would make this sound more pure (never did get what the fx loops are), slow but sure trying to teach this dog new tricks, I will be posting some questions and reading others questions and try to give this a good runthru before just boxing it back up, I think guitarcenter is 30 days on returns gives me another week or two of diving in to try and figure things out.

I do appreciate all your guys input, kinda felt like I got into something too deep here but I think if i can figure it out it might just be my new best friend (seems easier using the hd500 edit software than the pedal screen to me).


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