HD 147 review by Line 6

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (19 votes)
Line 6: HD 147

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from: used

Sound — 7
This solid-state amp runs much quieter than just about any tube amp in existence. It also has a built in noise gate that will greatly reduce noise even moreso. It was designed to emulate tube amps, and does a fairly well job at it. The idea here wasn't to outdo tube amps, but to give the user more options. Is it a Marshall JCM 800? No. But where the JCM 800 gets stuck is in its single known main purpose, which is its gain channel. The HD147 features FAR more tonal options than a standard tube amp, and requires no effort to dial in a decent tone, due to the complete lack of tubes and a tube's inherent inconsistency. I personally use the POD HD500 floorboard in the effects loop of this amp, since these newer, updated amp simulations sound DRASTICALLY more realistic than what the HD 147 offered during its initial release. I use the HD 147 for one reason, and one reason only: as a 300 watt power amp. Why? Because it delivers unbelievably clean and LOUD headroom. Coupled with the POD HD500, this combination becomes VERY intersting. However, the models featured within this amp are not bad at all. Just remember that they are emulations at heart, and can not replace the amps they are designed to emulate. They are more of a "snapshot" of a recognizable setting of their actual counterparts. They respond like tube amps, but simply not as defined as tube amps. For the money, they are quite fun, and suited well for most styles.

Overall Impression — 8
I use this amp strictly for its clean headroom. Since I use the POD HD500 in its effects loop, I don't use the amp's actual emulations. But if I couldn't use my POD HD500, I would have zero problems using this amps models live. It sounds good after dialing in a good setting, like ANY amp ever made, and no one has ever whined to me about it. Easy to use, simple to setup, very reliable, LOUD, and it looks VERY cool.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp is very reliable. There are zero tubes to change and protect. The settings are as simple as turning a dial, and sometimes pressing a single button. The amp is made of very rugged materials that include a chrome-like stainless steel chassis and polished knobs. It is quite heavy, but not as heavy as most tube amps. This amp is very gig-ready, and designed for live use. It looks menacing under darkened stage conditions, due to its unique chrome look and purple-blue LEDs that light the amp from the inside. No amp looks this cool.

Features — 8
This amp was made in the 2000's. It was designed mainly for hard rock and metal styles of music. It is a 300 watt solid-state amplifier. The high wattage in this particular amp was so that the amp has more "headroom" when the amp's volume is cranked up. This means that when used with a proper speaker cabinet setup (a 4x12 speaker cabinet that can handle this wattage...) it is less likely to output unwanted distortion or unwanted sounds like muddiness. This amp has four channels, or thirty-two if you purchase an optional Line 6 foot controller like the FBV shortboard. It features a headphone jack in the rear panel, has an effects loop, can power up to four 4x12 cabinets, can run in stereo, has 24 amp models based on real-life counterparts and modded versions of these amps, has speaker emulations, has A.I.R. II direct outs for lively use in direct out setups, has several modulation effects, delays, a compressor, and a noise gate that will be very necessary when cranking this monster of an amp. As far as sound options go, this amp delivers a ridiculous amount. It can suit most types of music. Its very easy to use, and simple to setup in a live situation.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I bought this head a month ago and hands down this thing CRANKS I play in a metal band and our other guitarist is pissed off at how much louder I can get than him (and he has a Marshall half stack) HaHaHa!!! and the on board effects are a nice bonus as well as the noise gate. Did I mention I only paid $260 for it.
    Hi guys. My hd147 has a problem. The headphone input work so i can practice with headphones. But the speaker outputs doesnt function. when i plug it to my 2x12 cab, i can hear popping sound from the speakers. Do u have an idea whats the problem?
    I would choose this head over any tube amp i've ever played (besides the mark V), except for the fact that it doesn't cut through. When i would practice with my band i had the volume MAXED out and i still wasn't cutting through, other than that it's an excellent head i'd recommend to anyone for studio or personal use. If you have the option to run it through a PA it would be excellent but live performances.
    A Bad Guitarist wrote: ^Lawl
    Yeah you probably wouldn't say that if you put them side by side, i have a dual rec and an hd147 in my hands at the moment, i'll pick the hd147 over a dual rec any day, know where near as loud but the tone is so much nicer and chunkier, doesn't cut through as well i'll admit, which is expected but it still competes with the dual rec even with a LOUD drummer. I was originally going to use the dual rec for recording my bands ep but the 147 looks like a good option and i've only had it for a day, oh and the cleans destroy the rectifiers hands down, hate recto cleans, they are barely clean and sound like ass.