#1
Hello everyone,

I don't have much experience with amp modelers like Line 6 pods and such, but I'm starting to think that at the moment they might be the way to go. I'm really looking for a versatile rig with the possibility to do bedroom demo recordings, so something like a Line 6 pod could be the perfect option.

So I started thinking whether I should get something cheap like a pocket pod and save up for a tube amp, or get a better Line 6 pod like the HD500 or maybe save up for an Eleven Rack. The pocket pod is cheap and apparently sounds decent, I really appreciate the option to play with headphones so easily and I could possibly cook up some recordings with it as well. It would also leave me enough money to get an actual amp in the near future. However, the Pod HD500 and the Eleven Rack are a lot more versatile and a lot higher quality, however they're a lot more expensive and they would require a powered speaker as well as I wouldn't have enough money for an amp. As for my current 6505+112, it really does not fit my style anymore so I'm selling it as soon as I can. It's too loud and big for me at the moment and I appreciate clean tones a lot more nowadays.

So, do you think that the pocket pod could be enough for me at the moment, as I'm looking for good and diverse tones in low volume and the possibility to do decent recordings? Or would you recommend getting a better modeler as it could possibly replace an amp altogether? and if you would, would you get the Line 6 or the Eleven Rack? They're the best two modelling units in my price range I could get.

I live in finland, my budget is about 800-ish euros and I'm looking forward to playing anything from jazz and contry to black metal and modern prog. I'd love to record something and practice mixing and producing, and I really need something compact and quiet at low volumes.
Last edited by guitar/bass95 at Dec 25, 2014,
#2
Quote by guitar/bass95

So I started thinking whether I should get something cheap like a pocket pod and save up for a tube amp, or get a better Line 6 pod like the HD500 or maybe save up for an Eleven Rack.


That's a "NO" on the pocket pod. If you're going to look at one of those, look instead at the Korg Pandora P5XD or the Pandora Mini. The Mini is around $99 (new price), the P5 about half again or double that here in LA. Same general size, but the Pandoras offer SO much more for practice.

Between the Pod HD and the 11R, I'd point out a couple of things about the 11R. One, it's barely supported and hasn't seen an update in years, and doesn't seem to be an active product any more. It's a rack mount and there's no foot pedal readily available for it; you'd need a MIDI setup, so add that to the cost.

You have three choices with the Pod -- the HD (bean), the HD PRO X (rack mount) and the HD500X. The cheapest is the "bean", and it's the easiest to transport and to work with on a desk (there's a $20 stand for it that makes it nice). You can run it live with an FBV Shortboard ($199 new) or an FBV Express ($99). You can drop the bean into some gig bag pockets and take it with you wherever you need to go. Shortboards and Express pedals are fairly readily available for about half price used (in great condition). If you're playing live, both the bean and the rack keep your most important electronics in the backline out of harm's way. The HD500X footpedal is very good, but everything is out front, and that includes AC power and at least a pair of expensive guitar cables (guitar to HD500, HD500 to backline power amp or PA mixer). With the bean or the rack, you have one guitar cable running to the backline. The cable that runs between the front of the stage FBV shortboard and the bean/rack in the backline is a relatively cheap ethernet cable. No AC power out front where drinks or bodily fluids can be spilled on it. If you've got a wireless, your receiver stays in the backline, not out front in harm's way. And so on.

Meambobbo's Pod HD Tone Guide is excellent for working with the pod and eliminating odd fizzes, etc., and while it's geared toward the gainiacs, most of it applies to everything you do with the Pod. HUGE libraries of custom-built sounds online, both on the customtone Line 6 supported site and on several other websites.

With any of these modelers, a powered speaker or a power amp and a full-range speaker system with flat response will give you the greatest range of sound quality. For personal practice, I recommend a set of good *studio* grade headphones, of the Sony 7506, AKG 240, Sennheiser 280, or BeyerDynamic 770 style. No bass-heavy DJ or "Beats" style headphones. A good set of powered studio monitors (I'm using KRK Rokit 8's) will work well (Pods output in stereo OR mono) for bedroom/in home practice. But a lot of folks are using powered speakers like the Carvin PM12A (400W, 12" LF, 1" tweeter), particularly for practice, because they're lightweight (30 lbs), powerful and easy to cart around (and they'll take some abuse). They can work as a wedge monitor, as a standard amp on an amp stand, or as a speaker on a speaker stand (pole). very versatile. They're under $300 here in LA, but you'll have to find a reasonable substitute in Finland.

Fair warning: you need to be ready to spend some time learning any modeling unit. With the much wider capabilities, you also have greater depth of options and the other word for that is complexity. Spend the time, you'll get great results.
#3
I would go ahead and get the HD500. You should be able to utilize the 1/4 ports with headphones. And also, you could hook it up to a PA/Loud Speaker system in the future. It's also fairly cheap considering your budget: http://www.amazon.com/Line-6-POD-HD-500/dp/B003OUX8ZM

As far as modeling amps go, you should try one out yourself before you buy it. VOX Valvetronix, Peavey VYPYR, and Fender Mustang are a few modeling amps.

But I would just get the HD500. It should sound fine by itself, and it will fit your needs.
#4
A huge thank you for the detailed response! And also for the heads up with the pocket pod. The Pandoras seem to be a bit uncommon around here but I'll see if I can find any to try out. I have a friend who uses an 11R and he's doing fine so I had no clue about the update problems, however it was always my second choice to the Line 6 products anyway, so this at least cleared that up.

But you would say that the Bean is on par with the HD500X tone wise? The HD 500 wins hands down in ease of operation though, but the bean would leave a lot of slack for a controller as well. I'd say that the Pod HD pro gets a bit expensive when I have to pair it with a speaker and a board.

As for speakers/monitors, I was looking for a wedge style speaker to have better monitoring when I play at home as it would point the speaker right at my ears. And I hate the modern bass heavy headphones, however my friend has a pair of BeyerDynamics and I love those.

Point taken from the learning curve, however my favourite part of guitar playing as a hobby is the endless amount of information to learn. I'm actually pretty stoked for a unit that gives me so much new material to research and work with.

If you really think that the Pod HD is as good as the HD500x I might consider getting it with a good speaker and maybe a controller in the near future, however the rack model might turn out too expensive in the end. If I can find enough info on the Pandora I might stick to my plan of getting a tube amp as well, but with a quick search the local shops don't have it in stock. I'll keep looking though.

Quote by Will Lane
I would go ahead and get the HD500. You should be able to utilize the 1/4 ports with headphones. And also, you could hook it up to a PA/Loud Speaker system in the future. It's also fairly cheap considering your budget: http://www.amazon.com/Line-6-POD-HD-500/dp/B003OUX8ZM

As far as modeling amps go, you should try one out yourself before you buy it. VOX Valvetronix, Peavey VYPYR, and Fender Mustang are a few modeling amps.

But I would just get the HD500. It should sound fine by itself, and it will fit your needs.


Haha, I'm not a beginner I'm not looking for a Vypyr or anything along those lines. I'm looking for a professional, dedicated modeling unit to use in recording and gigging. If I only had money for a Kemper...
Last edited by guitar/bass95 at Dec 25, 2014,
#5
A used L6 Vetta I/II would be a great cheap solution. The combos go for $350-$450 used all the time. The DI out on it is very nice also
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Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
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#6
The Pod HD has identical electronics and sound. All three do. The HD hasn't been updated with the more powerful DSP that the HD500X and Pro X have, but this has nothing to do with tone, and only something to do with how many more FX you can slap on the chain, etc. The HD500x has the advantage (and disadvantage) of having all the switches on the same unit as the sound. For recording, it means that you'll be bending over and squinting at the ground to see where you're set. You can actually mount the Pod HD on a mike stand and put it up where you can see it if you're standing when you play. There are differences in the outputs on the rack; there are a few extra that you'll have to make sure that you're not going to use. There's also this: both the rack and the floor unit have Variax-specific inputs, so if you have a Variax guitar, you can use it with an ethernet cable (!) and you can change models/alternate tunings on the guitar at the same time you stomp to change the amps/cabs/FX on the rack/floor models.

You may want to get that wedge up off the ground, but any of the standard amp stands will accomplish that for you.
#7
Quote by Robbgnarly
A used L6 Vetta I/II would be a great cheap solution. The combos go for $350-$450 used all the time. The DI out on it is very nice also


Well, I don't know, I feel like getting a modeling combo kind of defeats the idea of having a portable modeling unit, especially since I'd greatly prefer a floorboard or a desktop. If the Pods are tonally as good as the Vetta I'd much rather get a pod.

Quote by dspellman
The Pod HD has identical electronics and sound. All three do. The HD hasn't been updated with the more powerful DSP that the HD500X and Pro X have, but this has nothing to do with tone, and only something to do with how many more FX you can slap on the chain, etc. The HD500x has the advantage (and disadvantage) of having all the switches on the same unit as the sound. For recording, it means that you'll be bending over and squinting at the ground to see where you're set. You can actually mount the Pod HD on a mike stand and put it up where you can see it if you're standing when you play. There are differences in the outputs on the rack; there are a few extra that you'll have to make sure that you're not going to use. There's also this: both the rack and the floor unit have Variax-specific inputs, so if you have a Variax guitar, you can use it with an ethernet cable (!) and you can change models/alternate tunings on the guitar at the same time you stomp to change the amps/cabs/FX on the rack/floor models.

You may want to get that wedge up off the ground, but any of the standard amp stands will accomplish that for you.


Okay, that's good to know. I am not going to use a Variax guitar so I'm kind of indifferent about that. The HD and the HD500 seem to have an equal amount of pros and cons, so I think I'll start looking at the used market to see how much the controllers and such would cost to see which option would end up cheaper.
Last edited by guitar/bass95 at Dec 25, 2014,
#8
I know I normally recommend the Jet City stuff, but what about a Line Six DT25 and a used bean pod?

Wait, just saw Thomman. Over budget (If went head and cab) but the principle is there.
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
Last edited by Fisheth24 at Dec 25, 2014,
#9
I'd love to get a Jet City Nice amps, definitely on my list if I decide to go down the tube amp path.

However, I don't really know about these amp-like modelers. I by no means doubt that they would be very practical and sound very good, but there's just something about the smaller units that fascinate me. I guess that if I we're to buy an amp I'd get a tube amp. I appreciate recs though and I'll think about them, but they are certainly my second options.

I did cook up a plan though. What would you say if I'd get the bean pod and a pair of headphones first, that way I could get my bedroom amp rig ready before the end of january. then I could relax and save up for a speaker and a controller during the next months, while having the means to work on my recordings and regular practice.
#10
Quote by guitar/bass95
I'd love to get a Jet City Nice amps, definitely on my list if I decide to go down the tube amp path.

However, I don't really know about these amp-like modelers. I by no means doubt that they would be very practical and sound very good, but there's just something about the smaller units that fascinate me. I guess that if I we're to buy an amp I'd get a tube amp. I appreciate recs though and I'll think about them, but they are certainly my second options.

I did cook up a plan though. What would you say if I'd get the bean pod and a pair of headphones first, that way I could get my bedroom amp rig ready before the end of january. then I could relax and save up for a speaker and a controller during the next months, while having the means to work on my recordings and regular practice.

I would get the POD HD500/500x over the bean for the built in floorboard, or you will have to shell out another $200 to get the FBV short board MkII to use your presets on the fly. But your idea is a good one, I use an older POD XT and a set of phones to do silent practicing

Yes the POD HD has slightly better modeling than the Vetta series, but it (POD HD) is their newest version of modeling.

Jet City's are an incredible value in Europe
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
Last edited by Robbgnarly at Dec 25, 2014,
#11
But at least in our prices, if I did spend an extra 200$ for a control board it would still be cheaper than the pod HD500x. And if tone wise it's indifferent, I'd say that the bean pod would be a lot more practical.

What do you all think of the BeyerDynamic DT-770 headphones? I've had some good experience with BeyerDynamics, and those seem to be pretty popular and not too expensive.

Too bad that the Jet City combo was discontinued, it would've been a great choice of an amp. I still have the 20 watt head to look at, though.
Last edited by guitar/bass95 at Dec 25, 2014,
#12
Quote by guitar/bass95
But at least in our prices, if I did spend an extra 200$ for a control board it would still be cheaper than the pod HD500x. And if tone wise it's indifferent, I'd say that the bean pod would be a lot more practical.

What do you all think of the BeyerDynamic DT-770 headphones? I've had some good experience with BeyerDynamics, and those seem to be pretty popular and not too expensive.

Too bad that the Jet City combo was discontinued, it would've been a great choice of an amp. I still have the 20 watt head to look at, though.

Oh, then I'd get the bean and the FBV in that case also. I bought a XT Bean because I had a FBV after I sold my spider valve.

Never used those, I'm partial to AKG phones.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#13
Quote by guitar/bass95
But at least in our prices, if I did spend an extra 200$ for a control board it would still be cheaper than the pod HD500x. And if tone wise it's indifferent, I'd say that the bean pod would be a lot more practical.

What do you all think of the BeyerDynamic DT-770 headphones? I've had some good experience with BeyerDynamics, and those seem to be pretty popular and not too expensive.

Too bad that the Jet City combo was discontinued, it would've been a great choice of an amp. I still have the 20 watt head to look at, though.


Dt770 are good headphones. Bit strong bass and recessed in a midrange but overall its a good natural sounding headphone for studio use that muffles outside noise quite well. In comparison Dt880, aimed for hifi audiophiles, is flatter and more neutral (except for the small treble spike) but is open/semi open design so no outside noise muffling.

Yes, im a former headphone hifi geek. Anyway Beyerdynamics makes excellent headphones for both studio and audiophile crowd.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
Last edited by MaaZeus at Dec 25, 2014,
#15
Quote by MaaZeus
Dt770 are good headphones. Bit strong bass and recessed in a midrange but overall its a good natural sounding headphone for studio use that muffles outside noise quite well. In comparison Dt880, aimed for hifi audiophiles, is flatter and more neutral (except for the small treble spike) but is open/semi open design so no outside noise muffling.

Yes, im a former headphone hifi geek. Anyway Beyerdynamics makes excellent headphones for both studio and audiophile crowd.


That's great, the 770's are right in my price range and they've been praised a lot (5 starts out of over 900 reviews on thomann is pretty much.)

Quote by diabolical
I'd chime in and suggest to look at Vox, I seem to find them more organic sounding and their new lines have USB out.


I have a friend who has a Vox preamp and it has always been kind of underwhelming, so I have kind of a preconception with the Vox modeler stuff. I'll look them up though, I think that Vox tube amps are great so I could think about the modelling stuff as well.

Right now I am inclined towards the Pod HD and the BeyerDynamics, since I could practically buy them right away.

So, I've used some smaller Vypyrs and Cubes, as well as a Boss ME and Guitar Rig 5. I assume that the pod HD series blow all of these out of the water? At least I've heard that the Line 6 stuff is the poor mans axe fx. And should everything work fine if I just plug my guitars in the input jack, phones to the headphone jack and if I want to record I'll just hook it into my computer via USB? I could also run it through my audio interface, but I guess that that is unnecessary?
#17
Quote by diabolical
Beyer 770s are great if you want closed back headphones. The Audio technica range $60 and up is also great.

Should be plug and play with the Line 6 but you might need some drivers for recording.


I think that closed backs would work very well with recording, I've found that the sound is a bit more focused. I have to look closer at the headphones though, there are so many options out there. I'll keep the 770's as my priamary option as long as I can't find anything suitable for cheaper. The Audio Technica's are a tad cheaper but the reviews aren't as stellar. But that doesn't really reflect the true quality.

And I hope that the drivers are downloadable, as they usually should be
#18
Yeah you get what you pay for. IIRC closest equivalent to DT770 in audio technica line would be A500 or A700. M50 plays in different category.

ESP LTD F-50 + Tonezone
Cort EVL-Z4 + X2N
Cort EVL-K47B

Marshall Valvestate 8100
Randall RG1503
Bugera 333
Peavey Rockmaster preamp

Line6 Pod X3
#19
I could imagine throwing 140 euros at good headphones, after searching a bit and looking at reviews I think that the best options are still the 770's and AKG K-271 MkII's, and out of those the Beyer's still seem to come out on top. And as I imagined all the drivers can be found on the Line 6 website. So, I guess I'm good to go? So far this is the best plan I've come up with that I actually have the funds to follow through with. I'll sell the Peavey at the start of january, and I should have the money for the Pod and the 770's with something to spare as well. Then I could start looking at the used market for a shortboard. In the meantime, I'll swap the pups to my Ibanez to actually make it sound good, and start saving up for a speaker and a guitar, which I should be able to get before summer. I hope I could find a used Carvin around here...
#20
Only thing I'd have to say is that close back headphones might get a bit tiring for longer periods, the open backs seem to feel a bit more natural. I 'd also suggest AKG 240 mkII. I actually rotate between the 770s and 240s, but for longer sessions the 240s win.
Some things that close back headphones are better for is pro sessions where you have to find a sweet spot on a snare or a 4x12 with drummer or guitarist blasting full speed.
The 770s are more tiring though but I can't see myself without them, same thing with the 240s. If I had to pick one the 240s would win as they're lighter and the open back design seems to sound a tad more natural to me. It might be the fact that also most studios I've worked with have them so I know how they're supposed to sound
#21
I'll take that into consideration, and maybe I can actually buy both at some point I could see if stores nearby had them in stock so I could try them out, the open back design has it's own advantages and now that I think of it my ears do tire easily, so I should definitely consider them too. Anyway, I'll probably be satisfied with either.