For 4 cable hook up multi-fx, I'm looking at the HD500, X3 live, and RP1000.
1)can I actually control what goes in the loop and main input sections and the order of each? (I know you can on the hd500, not sure on the other 2). What I want is delay, all forms of mods, and compressor in the loop, and drive . Just something I need to know if I happen to go with a multi that allows the use of main signal paths and fx loops.

2)Though they use different terminology: Do all 3 have the same basic idea, where on one bank you can have 4-5 presets (bottom switches), and the ability to turn on/off each item of those presets (top row of switches)?

3) Which has the better Overdrive (for adding some dirt to an already dirty signal)? I'm inclined to think the HD500 cuz of the added parameters (which I need). Also, which has the better Modulation (phaser, flanger, chorus) and harmonizer?

I can't really try these out, since the X3 isn't made anymore and since my nearest GC just flat out doesn't have the other 2 in stock.
Charvel So-Cal (SH6TB/N). Joyo pxl pro.
Loop1=Crybaby from hell, Seymour Duncan 805 or Green Rhino, EQD Hoof. Loop 1 into ISP decimator II.
Loop 2 (FX loop)-Line6 M9. Loop 2 into mxr 10band. All into a Peavey Triple XXX 212, Ibanez IL15.
I presently own the Boss GT-100, got rid of an HD500 in order to get it. You are not listing the Boss GT-100 as one of the complete multi-efx sytems you are considering, is there a reason for that?

They all basically function the same way. Overall, I would say that the RP1000 is the "oldest" technology of the bunch. What it comes down to, in my opinion is, what are your key usage requirements for such a device.

They all have strengths and weaknesses, I've gigged with the HD500, and the GT-100 and overall quality of tones and more importantly the ease with which minimal tweaking/programming can get you decent/great/amazing sounds gives the GT100 the edge. Depending on your ear and tastes you may decide that one has better amp modeling than the other, its is frankly virtually impossible to tell the differences in my opinion, however is quite universally agreed among those who have actually used both, that the Boss GT100 has far better effects (modulation, delays, chorus, phaser, flanger, wah, pitch, reverbs...you name it...all the classic boss effects in the unit).

So, if you are using a solid amp already with an effects loop and want to run the four cable method (exactly how I use it with both my Mesa Mark V and my Marshal DSL) you will be thrilled by the GT100, it is simply so much easier to use than the L6 or Digitech's grid/knob interface...as well, depending on your plans for stereo effects chains, etc...you have to consider that the HD500 may hit you with DSP limitations as the effect loop block counts as one of your effects whereas it doesn't with the GT100.

Yes you can totally customize the signal chain, place the effects where you want before or after the effects loop, use amp modeling or not, etc....the GT100 has a far better "live/performance" mode so that the unit acts very similar to a pedal board.

The L6 user base has definitely created more patches that you can download but again the Boss GT100 is set up in such a way that you can create your own easily if you some idea of base sound you are looking for.

As for distortion/overdrive sounds, again it comes back to personal taste. Are you planning to get it all from the pedal or from your amp? If from the pedal I personally liked the Boss pedals better than the L6 overall...that said each unit has some classic, great sounds...that's why they are all still in business. Overdrives, again I believe the Boss versions are better the OD-1 and others in the board are/were industry standards on hundreds/thousands of recordings and the sound great on this thing too.

If you can, buy both knowing you can return the one you like least. GC has GT-100's used for ~$399...I think the HD500's can be had for similar prices cuz they just released the HD500X which has more DSP memory than the previous unit.
Jackson: DKMG w/Zakk Wylde EMGs
Fender: Fat Strat HSS
Epiphone: Les Paul Custom w/SD Pickups
Dean: Performer E Acoustic/Electric
Vox: DA5
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Digitech: GNX4 Workstation
Digitech: EX-7 Distortion Factory
Boss DR-880
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my budget is $250 used. GT-100 is out of that range. HD500's go for that, but at a bare minimum.

For drive sounds, the base of my sound (distortion and EQ) will come from an amp, and the boost in gain (dirt added to an already dirty signal) will come from the multi fx. I won't be using amp modeling, which is why I didn't list it.
Charvel So-Cal (SH6TB/N). Joyo pxl pro.
Loop1=Crybaby from hell, Seymour Duncan 805 or Green Rhino, EQD Hoof. Loop 1 into ISP decimator II.
Loop 2 (FX loop)-Line6 M9. Loop 2 into mxr 10band. All into a Peavey Triple XXX 212, Ibanez IL15.
Last edited by Maidenheadsteve at Oct 15, 2013,