Since getting my LP Custom last year, I've been looking at the infinite choices out there for someone just beginning their aquisition of guitar effect pedals and such. While on one hand I could totally see myself owning (and enjoying) a pile of expensive boutique pedals, we are raising 3 teenage daughters and I dont see that scenario playing itself out soon :)
In my search for a more financially responsible option, I have found the HD-500 and M13 pedal boards by Line 6. Both intrigue me...
As I understand it, the HD500 is the big brother to the POD series. Amp modeler, pedal modeler, looper, with the ability to use 8 (or so) effects at once, but the User Interface is somewhat difficult to use (at least at first). Also, if Im not misunderstood, this unit is most often directly run into the PA system rather than into an amp.
The M13 is a stompbox modeler and looper only, but the user interface is much more simple than the HD and is specifically made to replace "a pile of boutique pedals." I believe it is usually used in the effects loop of an amp instead of straight into the PA.
I currently own a Vox modeling amp, but plan to purchace a Fender HotRodDeluxe soon. Our church's sound system isn't exactly up to date and Im not sure that it is set up to take a guitar via DI box, and honestly Im not very keen on the idea of having our (dedicated, wonderful, volunteer) sound guy set my tone/volume.
Both units are about $400 on ebay or craigslist so cost isnt much of a deciding factor here.
Would very much appreciate your input and insight on these units...
Thanks in advance,
Seems to me you've picked up a sense of what they are and what they're for. So I'd suggest that IF you must go this route then consider whether you intend to continue using an amp or want something to run through the PA (or a similar device like a wedge monitor instead of a guitar amp). Sounds like you may have answered that too.
If you must use an all in one modelling system, consider trying a Vox Tonelab and units from Boss, Zoom, Digitech, Eleven Rack etc. You may find you like the Line 6 tone but if you don't (and I don't like what I've tried, though not either of the units you mention) then there are lots of other options available.
Two more things - If you do buy that HDR, take time to get used to the different response a valve amp brings, because it will have a different feel to the vox. As for buying high end boutique pedals - don't. Most of us can get wonderful tones from carefully selected quite ordinary pedals (Danelectro cool cats, Visualsound, Toadworks, Boss, Rocktron etc - my pedal board has a Behringer Trem pedal because it sounds great). For me, the reason for using a processor/programmable board is convenience, so that I can turn up with a guitar, amp and single bag, plug in 2 power leads and 2 instrument leads and be ready to play. It won't sound as good as the individual pedals, but it's extremely convenient.
At risk of going off topic, I find that with a couple of pedals (Boss FBM-1 and CH-1) into my JTM style combo, I can cover more sonic territory than most in our church are comfortable with. I spend so much of my time trying to master the finger-pick-string relationship that I can't imagine trying to incorporate delay or wah or some other effect. However, I have the freedom at my church to pursue the guitar as a musical instrument rather than as a platform for sound effects "as the manner of some is", and a comprehensive set of amp models and effects really wouldn't contribute to what I'm trying to do. So I can't really knowledgeably recommend an all-in-one modeling device. For me less is more, though I also understand that I'm fighting current trends by using a 50W tube amp with no master volume and clean headroom that is almost frightening, and a minimal number of effects. I've been counseled about this before but have remained unrepentant. :D
There really is no compelling "need" to have so many effects in worship. And certainly the congregation isn't normally discerning enough to tell if you used a Dumble or a Marshall or a Line 6. But heck, if it makes the player happy, maybe it's a way to keep him/her engaged. I would rather that people focus on playing better, but it's hard not be "into the gear". Heck, I just ordered a Timmy drive and can't wait for it to arrive. That being said, I can't recommend any of the modeling systems because I don't like the sound. Others may mind.
My curse is that anything that uses diode clipping either in the op-amp loop (Tubescreamer and various mods) or in the output (Rat, MXR) produces a clicking artifact in the tone that I can hear, now that I've listened for it. It's very hard to hide the relatively hard switching sound of a 1n914 diode (Or any Si switching or power diode) anywhere in the audio stream. Germanium changes the voltage level but keeps some of the noise. Through a nice tube amp at a certain volume, with other instruments around, though, it's not very noticeable and the tone of the pedal comes through much better. Isn't the Timmy part of that Tubescreamer clone family of pedals?
Timmy - I don't know. I know it's not a mid-hump pedal, but it probably starts with a Tube Screamer as the base.
I have a curse like yours, but its not the switching that I'm hearing. It's the texture and warmth of most to all pedals that puts me off. However, I've heard some good overdrive from pedals. For me, the one thing that Solid State amps and Pods can never do is sound good clean. Plexi and Blackface clean have a tone and feel that I don't hear in solid state stuff.
I have NEVER heard a pedal that sounds "just" like a tube amp - even though that's the new claim that so many make. That being said, I like the sound of my Jetter Red Shift and the Timmy. If I could turn my amp up when I wanted an overdrive sound, I would never use a pedal. But alas, I'm never in venues like that. If I understand correctly, Angus Young uses little or no effects. That classic sound is just Marshall and Gibson under his fingers. I like that sound.
TBH the one thing that, for me, makes the biggest difference between good and bad overdrive tone is the speaker. But I do dislike that spattery, fuzzy drive tone, and love a tight, crisp tone.
Fizzy splatty tone is the worst. And you get it in spades from cheap tube amps as well as many pedals. I got rid of a Boss BD2 because it was so fizzy all the way to the end of the note.
Speakers are one element I've never had the time or money to play around with. I would love to take a couple of my amps to a place where I could plug in several different speaker configurations to see what tone I get.
And I have heard that the cost of the speaker isn't necessarily a factor.
Thanks for bringing that up.
Well, Aaron, we've offered our thoughts. I'm guessing it's not really what you wanted to hear, but some of us, having either tried modeling units briefly or used them more extensively and played with the settings and patches, still can't hear the sound we want out of what's available at the lower price range. Some of us have played with higher end units, such as the Fractal Audio products, and like the direction that we're headed, but still stick with a single basic sound and a limited stable of quality though not necessarily boutique equipment. The Fender amp is a good choice, and with some modulation, a tap delay if you need to go that route, a basic overdrive sound, and perhaps following it all up with a good volume pedal since you're leaning toward having control up front, and you can cover almost any tone that you would need. If you could find some of this stuff used, so much the better. I think using the Fender as your basic amp tone, then adding some variation with a few well chosen stompboxes provides a better quality of sound at this time than the multi-modeler at the same price point. If you haven't spent much time with a tube amp, play around with the Fender for a few days without effects, just to get a feel, then add stuff in. I can remember the first time seriously working out with a tube amp at volume, other than for a few minutes at low levels at a music store - well, let's just say it was a real eye-opener.
Oh yea, I forgot to agree on the Fender amp. That Hot Rod Deluxe has a great clean tone and will break up nicely for you. It's a way underrated amp these days best tube amp out there for that price. It's actually used quite a bit by professional touring musicians and is also very reliable.
i use an HD 300. I useit both in service throught the board and through my Marshall Half Stack in my Christian Rock Band. I read up on it and after a brief conversation with Mike Sweet from Stryper who also uses one i went with the HD300 best move I have ever made! I can do so much with it, and I cam set my settings through the computer system as it links straight to it! Go with the HD !!!
I have had the HD 500 for about a year or so. Everything in the M13 has been included in the HD pedals. The M13 does 4 effects at a time which the HD 300 does, but the HD adds all of the amp and cab models as well. I am not sure about the HD 400. The HD 500 which I have gives you 8 effects at once. I think it is superior to the M13 and the cost is only about $150 more. You have the option of choosing 3 different output modes (Stack, Combo/Power Amp, Studio/Direct). You can also shut off the amp and cab simulation and run the HD as a pedal board. It really is a no brainer to go for the HD pedal. It's the M13 plus more...