Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: Guitar Center (used)
Ease of Use — 9
Okay... I'm a geek and setting up and performing with this for me is easy. Granted I am almost 50, and love technology and to me hooking this HD500 up to my laptop, firing up the Line 6 HD500 Edit software and tweaking sounds until they are to my liking is something I enjoy however I can see some people losing patience with the multitude of settings and the billion and one combinations of effects, amps, cabinets, mixers, etc... That one can run through this. Since I run my software weekly I get the latest updates and that includes sound samples that I can find and download from the Line 6 site. Editing a patch can be simple if you take it in steps. Come up with a process and stick with it. The manual, especially the guide to the various amplifiers available to you is quite impressive. You only need to remember that you will rarely go through them all if you played a week of gigs in different genres. I have found four that I like, one for each genre and I stay with it. Like I said, I would definitely buy this again only this time I would get the newer version. I bought this one used from GC and it was in immaculate condition. I love this thing. I can't give it a 10 because... well because nothing is worth a 10 really.
Sound — 8
Soundwise - I love the thing. It matches my country, metal, punk, blues and jazz versatility from night to night. I love the fact that I can tweak any sound the pedal board comes up with and make it my own. The only drawback was somewhat addressed with a previous update - the sound drop off from one effect to another. It's more in-line switching from the device's preferred settings for a Variax over a plain jane guitar. Once you get this little bug resolved, or get the update, you have a great device.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have had this for over a year now. It's been on cruise ships, airplanes, on beach stages and on normal smokey bars. It's constantly performed well. The lights work and my only complaint is that my old man eyes are making it difficult to read the content in the 2. 5"x 1. 75" LCD black and white screen. Since it is a solid state device, the only thing that we've had problems with is the headphone jack when my dog stepped on a plug I had in it and bent the connector. It now has a slight short. That's not a manufacturer fault... It's my fault to letting really big dogs near my system.
Overall Impression — 9
I play a number of types of music depending on gig, mood, or who is paying me. I have been playing for more than 25 years and gone through stomp boxes, multi-effects pedals, modeling amps, and hosts of other tools that come to market trying to cut down on my footwork during a gig. The Pod HD500 goes a long way to helping me with this. I like having the ability to have two versions of a TS-9 setup. One with max gain and one with less gain but more tone. If this were stolen, I would definitely buy another but I would get the newer version. What I love about it is that I do not have to carry multiple power supplies, replacement batteries, multiple connection cables, and my favorite feature is being able to use a Park, a ENGL, a Mesa Boogie, and many other amps... And run this directly to main bypassing my own need for an on-stage amp/cabinet. I love this one more than the Boss GT100. My only wish for this is that I could move the USB connector so I can hide the cable better.