the confused bugger is back!

i am looking for an amplifier to complement my Pod HD500...
My budget is about $6-700

I live in Australia, so will probably be getting the stuff from the U.S. (ebay/musiciansfriend/wwbw,etc)
The problem is, i'm gonna move back to India in six months... and all we ever get to play on in gigs in my city are Marshall MG250DX's.. the effects processor is either plugged into the amp into the input socket and is rarely used directly into the mixer..
amps are either mic'd or the emulated out (which sucks!!) is sent straight to the mixer...

So one question is : Is it possible to use a tube amp to drive only the cabinet section of solid state combo amps like the Marshall???

because if it IS, then i'll be wanting amps like
-> Blackstar HT-20/40 (coz i'd love to use the amp tube distortion live) or
-> Fender Deluxe VM 40, (my fav amp model in the Pod is the Blackface lux, based on the fender twin reberb... the VM40 is as close to the original as my wallet might allow!)
(the smaller the amp, the better coz i've to drag it's sorry ass to india )

if i cant then i'd rather look for either a small tube for gigs, or the solid state but ver loud zt lunchbox

I love the cleans of the Pod HD500, the heavy distortions are okay-ish..

The kind of music I play is progressive rock/progressive metal influenced from Porcupine Tree and Opeth...

P.S. - please dont recommend just a power amp or powered cab...

Mikael Akerfeldt uses a boss gt-8 directly into a Laney VH tube amp (gain set to zero) and only employs the GT-8's sounds...

Steven Wilson uses a system where his guitar signal is split into his TC Electronics G System and a Bad Cat amp, whereby he uses the TC for clean sounds, and the amp for Distortion...

I take inspiration from these musicians and would like to ape them a bit if i can
If the tube amp has an fx loop, you could go from the send to the SS stack's return?

Although about the POD HD, I use an X3, and I used to have issue with its distortions, but before you give up on it I implore you to try this first:

Leave the Output section to 'studio', if that's still in there, and turn off the cab modelling on whichever preset you're using. The difference is night and day. It make them sound so much better. I think it make everything sound better (once you readjust the EQ for compensate), but I've found the biggest difference is in the high gain settings.

Oh, and make sure you go from the POD's output to the amp's return, not the front end.
Last edited by Wolffgang at Apr 7, 2011,
another option for you would be buying only a power amp with a flat frequency responce. That way you could use your HD500 as a pre-amp and plug it into the power amp. Voilá! However youd also need a cab to go with the HD and the power amp. these are the 2 options that I recommend:

1. POD HD500 -> power-amp -> cabinet (this I explained above)
2. POD HD500 -> PA (mixer into PA speakers)

my 0.02