Sound — 9
I use a variety of guitars and amps depending on the jobs I am on. This is one of the reasons for buying this unit, I wanted so variety in my set up. So far I have used the unit, straight into the desk, straight into my small Blackstar combo then mic'd as well as in the FX loop of my Cornford MK50 Stack. It sounds fine to me and allows me to have some fun FX as well mess about with real ans simulated amp tones. Guitar wise I use, Parkers, Les Pauls, Strats amongst others and it seems fine with all of those. You want to sound like your favourite artists? Go to the Custom tone site from Line 6 and download the patches, super simple. Click Click click click click... you are Steve Vai. The majority of the sounds are great although I have found you do need the noise gate on pretty much everything just to reduce any hiss.
Overall Impression — 9
My styles vary dependent on my employer at the time, so I can literally be going from Maiden to 60's R&B from night to night. I wanted flexibility without having to lug tons of amps and pedals about. This unit so far supplies that. I have been playing over 30 years 20 as a professional so I have owned more gear than is good for me, this I am hoping, will be a long term companion as certainly the tones are all there. The one thing I wish this did have is the boost facility that Boss used on a few units so when you get to a solo you just stomp on it and it raises the level by a few db. That would be helpful but I can get by without it. If you have the money and you want a cool unit with lots of FX and a looper, buy it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Seems to be built like a tank, so so far durability isn't an issue. I case all my gear anyway so it is protected from the rigors of use. It will be off on a European tour shortly so I will find out just how well it stands up to a heavy touring schedule. I have used this straight into the desk and with a few tweaks here and there which are very simple to do it has been absolutely fine. I have had Line 6 gear before and never really had any issues and I'm expecting any now. fingers crossed this is the case.
Ease of Use — 8
The HD 500 is the top Floor POD currently out. It is a relatively straightforward unit to use if you have previous knowledge of Floor multi FX pedals. I bought this to replace my Boss GT5 that had done over a decade of sterling service if not more. The basic patches are all fine and give you a general idea of what you can get out of it. I rarely use a units presets as they are never what I was looking for. This unit does come with a USB connector and an editor for using on a computer. This is far more useful than the small display on it. As I already use POD farm 2 this editor was nice and straightforward to use. Drag amps and FX to where you want them in your chain. I advise using the Editor, it is just so simple when you do.