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Old 12-06-2012, 06:37 PM   #1
iheartgun
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line 6 hd 147 opinions

whats everyones general opinon of the line 6 hd147? and what would be a good price for one that is used? i know they are nothing like the spiders. opinions?
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:01 PM   #2
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300w head. Didn't even know it existed.

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See, it's important that people clarify when they say "metal", because I pretty much always assume they are a Cannibal Corpse fanboi.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:39 PM   #3
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It's pretty good for metal. They have the same metal models as the Vetta II afaik. If you can get one cheap they're a pretty cool piece of kit.
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:00 AM   #4
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I'd rather get a Vetta II. The HD147 is a Vetta II without any of the FX, just the amp models. Don't see the point personally.

As for the amps themselves, they're good. Trent Reznor used Vettas on The Fragile, and if they're good enough for Trent, they're good enough for anyone.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:52 AM   #5
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As an owner of an HD147 for many years, I think I can probably answer any and all questions you might have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Offworld92
I'd rather get a Vetta II. The HD147 is a Vetta II without any of the FX, just the amp models. Don't see the point personally.
That's really inaccurate.

Put against the Vetta II, the HD147 is missing dual-amp mode, the screen, some of the more 'classic' amp models, a couple of the synth effects, pitch bender, wah modelling and dedicated Variax guitar integration.
What it has in place is twice the stereo power, particular models expanded in gain, updated noise gates and compressors, an inherent wah boost and a simplified and quicker interface, so it's a little easier to dial in sounds as you would with a traditional amp, compared to the Vetta II where you're always going to be working from presets and on-the-fly control is awkward. As time as proven as well, the simpler nature of the HD147 means it's a little tougher than the Vetta II, which were always plagued with all manner of firmware, software and hardware issues (especially the screen).

Basically, the HD147 is the 'metal' bastard child of the Vetta and Flextone heads. The Vetta II is the better amp, objectively, but better on paper and better in practice are frequently two different things, which is why the HD147 was the touring amp of choice for damn near every alternative and nu-metal band in the early 2000s (not to mention the recording amp of choice for loads of goth metal and rock bands, most notably Lacuna Coil and Evanescence).

I've got one, it's my main amp. Sold a fair few valve heads in favour of keeping it, if that's any indication of its quality. I absolutely will not plug my 7-string or any of my down-tuned guitars into anything valve now, and I only use my E/Eb/Drop-D guitars with valves if I really need a plain mid-gain tone and know I won't be needing any effects that night. The HD147 is not without its flaws, but it gets the job done and any time I pick up another amp I always find them lacking in comparison.

The key to using the HD147 is to ignore the presets and don't think of the tone as modelling tones. The HD147 was made back when Line 6 were still more focused on making a nice sound rather than an accurate copy of another company's sound. If you turn the amp knob to the JCM800 mode and expect to hear the exact classic Marshall tone you've dreamt about in your head, you're going to be very disappointed. If you simply think of the amp models as varying degrees of gain, you'll be very happy. The amp models are put in order from Line 6 original clean tones to Line 6 original distorted tones, then modelled clean tones to modelled distorted.

You'll also need to get used to dialing in more mids and bass, and less treble, than you're used to, if you want to get a more valve-like tone. That's just the nature of solid state.

The way I use mine is I just cycle through until I hit roughly the level of gain I want, then I use the speaker cab modelling to set the overall EQ (since this is applied after the amp model and its EQ section), then use the actual EQ controls to tweak the sound.

That said, nine times out of ten I end up using the Line 6 original Spinal Puppet tone - not modelled on anything, this was just their attempt at getting the best high-gain sound that they could out of a solid state form - the Line 6 own-brand cab model (effectively just a bass boost), bass maxed, treble and presence at about 6-7 and the mids at 4 or 8 depending on if I want a metal tone or a hard rock one, then simply adjust the gain to suit. It guts me that Line 6 have abandoned the Spinal Puppet sound in their newer amps, as it's by far my favourite tone out of any amp and I know for a fact that three of my five favourite rock/metal albums were recorded with it.

Speaking to other HD147 owners, I don't seem to be alone. Most people find just two or three modes they like bet and stick to those. This is the main reason why I'm not too fussed about the Vetta II. Extra fluff becomes irrelevant if you're always using the same couple of settings.

Only thing I will say the HD147 fails at is thick mid-gain rock tones. It's no worse than any other solid state modeller in this regard, but it's no better either. It's just the nature of solid state; the high-end will always be a step more piercing, the bass will always be that step clearer and the gain will always be that little bit fuzzier than you'd get with a valve amp. For that reason, I am now myself looking at grabbing a medium-high gain, small valve amp like an Orange #4 or Carvin V3M, to fill in the HD147s weak spots.


If you play any sort of alternative music or any kind of metal, and if you can get one in good condition and at a fair price with a FBV Shortboard foot controller (absolutely do not try to use one without this), I think it's worth buying.
It's not an amp that will suit everyone, and as an imitation of more expensive amps it's not very good, but taken on its own merits, for particular styles of music, it can sound great. The lack of good mid-gain tones is a considerbale drawback, but the quality of its high-gain tones and its flexibility both in sound and operation, make it a winner for me.

This unfortunately not-HD upload of Lacuna Coil in Japan is basically a half hour-long HD147 demo; both guitarists are using them, straight to the mixer (the cabs on stage are just for show):

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Last edited by MrFlibble : 12-08-2012 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:00 PM   #6
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wow.thanks for that. i may seriously consider one of these now. the legacy that i have handles mid gain and some high gain tones and has a beautifull clean tone but for my bands heavier stuff its lacking. all of our gigs are miced so we dont have to worry about that but then again 300w is pretty insane
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:40 PM   #7
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Excellent post.

Just to chip in, I own a Line6 Duoverb. It was their attempt at a boutique blues/rock-focused amp, but many of the same principles are true. I've previously owned a ton of nice valve amps; Boogie, Marshall, Orange, Hayden, all sorts, but I love the convenience of Line6 gear.

You have to dial them in with your ears, rather than your eyes. I've just spent 20 minutes programming tones into it for a gig tonight, and ended up using the Dual Rectifier into the AC30 cab model! In the real world I tend to favour JCM800s or Silver Jubilees, but the virtual Recto has a fantastic warm, chunky sound that I like better than the modelled JCM800!


If you've ever heard a Line6 amp and you thought it sounded awful, that's probably because the owner had the cab modelling dialled in wrong.
Some of the cabs simply sound awful, some of them only work with certain amp models, and a lot of the time it sounds better if you bypass them completely. Two of the cab models on my Duoverb are absolute muddy junk (especially on the Soldano SLO) so I use deep-editing software to switch them out, or bypass them completely.


The Legacy is a lovely amp but it's pretty much the opposite of what you need. It's dark, warm and smooth (which often surprises people), and more suited to fluid legato playing and chunky powerchords than tight metal riffing.

I think the HD147 would be a step in the right direction for you.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:01 AM   #8
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I believe the Duoverb was the HD147's counterpart. The Flextone were the all-round low-end amps, the Vetta was the all-round high-end amp, the HD147 was the specialised metal amp and the Duoverb was the specialised classic amp. Doesn't surprise me to hear you have more or less the same method for dialing in tones as I do.

I think Line 6 probably would get taken much more seriously if they stopped naming their sounds after other manufacturer's amps. They can sound so good when you just take them as their own thing rather than as an attempt to copy something else.

OP, I think if you were to run the HD147 and the Legacy at the same time, using the Legacy where finesse is needed and the HD147 for floor-shaking power, you'd have pretty much every sound you could ever dream of covered. As I said, I'm looking at maybe getting a Carvin V3M to fill in the blanks in the same way, and I previously did this with a Marshall JCM2000. It is hard to compete with a nice valve amp when you want quality, singing lead tones, but when it comes to throwing out grinding rhythm, nothing beats the clarity and power of a solid state with the headroom the HD147 has.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:03 PM   #9
iheartgun
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ill have to consider this. i really dont want to go back to solid state unless its a powerhouse of an amp. like this one is. im just gonna have to go play one i guess.

im looking at it from a gigging standpoint, we are always miced. i need a couple different tones. and i need to cut through. at this time im using my legacy with a gt10 using the 4 cable method. no gt10 preamps all legacy tone but using the eq's and fx from the gt10. it does the job and i have 4 patches that have different eq setups for different styles of music. ie: #1 is my main metal tone #2 is clean only #3 is 80's hair metal and #4 is rock/mid gain based. the only thing like i said that im lacking is the balls out metal tone even with a boost and an eq its like a boosted jcm800 which isnt a bad thing its just not good for the band.

from reading your posts im quite positive that the hd147 can do this and more with the shortboard but im also being drawn to the peavey Jsx. i dont want this to be a what amp thread tho. i need as much info as possible on the hd147 and so far you guys have brought the noise on that. and i thank you
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