Line 6 POD HD500 : tjon901's user review
"Most user friendly POD HD unit"
The HD500 is the top of the line unit in the POD HD series. You can tell since it has the most buttons and the biggest screen. The big screen adds tons of usability to this unit. The small screens on the other models make it hard for you to do complex editing on the unit. You must use the pc editor to do complex patches. With this unit you can edit as much as you want on the unit. The unit comes with the same amount of amp models that the other units have and they all sound the same. The other big difference between this model and the 300 and 400 is that you can have twice the effects on a single patch this is why there are 8 effects switches on the face of the unit instead of 4. In amp mode each of these switches acts like if it was a stomp box effects pedal. This unit just as more user interface features which make it worth the extra cost. Comparing this model to an X3 live what you are dealing with is quality vs quantity. The X3 units have over 80 amp models while this one only has 16 from the factory. The 16 in this amp are the most used models in any of the line 6 units and they are modeled in much more detail than before. An X3 unit can sound as good as this but it will take much more fine tweaking to get the sound perfect.
This unit is much more usable than the 300 and 400. This is all due to the larger screen the unit has. The unit has a large screen like on the older POD units so you can see all that is going on in your patches. Unlike the 300 and the 400 it is very easy to edit a patch in the unit itself. You do not need to use the computer based editor on this unit. The funtionality added by the large screen makes this version very easy to use. The 500 has the same buttons on the face of it as the 400 but with twice as many effects buttons. The 500 lets you run 8 effects on a patch instead of 4 so you need to have 8 switches on the face for when you are in amp mode. This unit has all the same outputs as the other ones so you can connect it to anything. It has a large expression pedal that can be programmed to use with many effects. The bar on this model is smaller to it may be possible to hit the amp eq knobs with your foot while switching on the FS3 or FS4 knob. On the 400 and 300 the bar goes all the way across the amp to prevent this.
All the HD units in theory should sound the same but with the 500s better user interface it is much easier to dial in a great sound. You can do find tweaking on the unit and this makes it much easier for you to get the perfect sound quickly. With this unit you will not have to connect it to your computer to do any fine tweaking it can all be done on the amp itself. The majority of the amp models are based on classic blues amps. So if you are a blues or country player this amp has everything you want. If you are a high gain player it has some classic high gain amps like the JCM 800 and the Mesa Dual Rectifier but the number of high gain amps is a lot less than the number of cleaner blues amps. If you are looking for a large number of amps I suggest you try out the X3 pods instead since they come with like 80 amps on them and a lot more high gain amps.
If you are wanting to get a POD HD unit this is the best one. It has all the best features from the other units all in one. It has a large screen that enables editing on the unit without the use of a computer and it has the ability to switch easily between patches in a live setting. The amp models sound great and its a good rugged unit that can stand up to live situations. If you are looking for a POD HD I suggest you try and get this one first.