#1
I've been thinking about getting one of the PODHD500X's and have some questions about them. I've tried to find some of these answers but haven't been able to so far. Wondering if anyone has any experience with them and what are your thoughts. I have a really nice pedal board right now (Furman SBP-8) and only have a few effects that I use. I have a delay, chorus, flanger, wah, and tuner on it. So I'm not a huge effects guy and currently use my amps distortion.

However I have started taking on lead vocal duties myself and I find it difficult to tap dance on my pedal board and sing at the same time. So I like the idea of being able to set up different patches for different songs where I can switch multiple effect at the push of a button. But also be able to use it as a regular pedal board and switch in and out certain effects at will.

A few questions I have:

Number 1 is of course how good does it sound in a live setting? I've heard clips and YouTube videos but I'm never sure how much post processing has been done on them.
Is the unit built well enough to stand up to gigging?
It comes with POD Farm and I know you can use it for recording but does it also include POD Farm as a VST plug in or would you have to buy it separately.
Kind of an addition to question #1 for the guys that gig with it. Have you done away with your amps and just started running strait into the PA or power amp into a cab?
Guitars
Fender Am Std Telecaster
Schecter C1 E/A
Schecter C1+
PRS Singlecut SE
Takamine Acoustic

Amps/Cab
Bugera 6262 2X12
Egnater Tweaker 40W 1X12

Effects
Crybaby Wah
MXR Phase 90
MXR Noise Gate
Boss DD-3
Boss CH-1
Boss TU-2
#2
I might be able to help you with POD Farm. POD Farm is entirely free to download, but you have to have L6 hardware (or an iLok key, but then you have to pay) to use it, In your case, that'd be the HD500. Just install Line 6 Monkey, set up drivers (very simple), then POD Farm and it should just work.
#3
If you just want the FX and you plan to still use your amp, check out the Boss GT-100 instead. I have an HD500X, and as time goes on, I miss the GT-10 I used to have. Boss just does FX better. Amp modeling is where Line 6 shines, and the HD500X is really better than the GT100 in that aspect. So it's important to know if you're going to use your own amp or not for tones.

There are certain genres where digital modeling works live. Djent stuff, modern prog metal in general, the whole new wave that's popular right now. That works, if that's the sound you're going for. In general though, digital modeling cannot replace live amps. It doesn't have anything to do with the superficial tone, it's the feeling that's gone. The magic that happens somewhere between a tube poweramp and guitar speakers isn't there, and you can tell. 99.9% of your audience might not be able to tell, but **** em, gear isn't about them.

Trying to get back on track, the board itself is fantastic. The new switches and lights are sexy as hell. It is definitely live durable.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X