Line 6 POD HD500
Line 6 POD HD500
tarrtime 12/10/2012

Line 6 POD HD500 : tarrtime's user review

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The Pod HD 500 is the flagship effects pedal from Line 6. Getting started is as easy as plugging in a guitar and headphones to start picking away at a preset amp model. Tweaking the internal processing of the pedal has a learning curve if you haven't used a Line 6 pedal before. I suggest using the downloadable software application to really go deep in the editing, but some people will always prefer twisting knobs.


This pedal has many improvements over the previous generation of POD X3s. The hardware has been upgraded to metal rather than plastic. This gives the pedal more of a rugged feel compared to the old plastic pedal which seemed like it wasn't made to last for very many years.
The internal DSP chips are capable of significantly more processing, which means that the amp sim models sound more realistic. There is also more storage, so there is tons of room for user presets.


I use a Variax 700 guitar with the HD 500. This allows for even more control because I can assign a specific guitar effects model to a particular user preset. Then with only click of a button, the entire signal chain can be changed. I can change between a Gibson Les Paul through a Marshall JCM800 to a Fender Telecaster through a Fender Bassman, to a Gibson J-200 acoustic guitar all by stepping on a footswitch. This can make for a huge range of possible sounds with only two pieces of gear at a gig.


The Pod HD 500 is another step forward in amp simulation. There are a wide range of amps included from clean to overdrive to extreme distortion. To me, there are still a few amps 'missing' from the X3 that I hope Line 6 includes as a firmware update to the HD line (Matchless, Orange, Budda). All in all, this effects pedal is capable of some very realistic amp sounds. Unless you are willing to pay for an Axe-Fx, this pedal is the best bang-for-your-buck.