I'm gonna dip my toe in the water

Discussion in 'Amp Modeling' started by alstev, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. alstev

    alstev Senior Member

    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    411
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    I never gave modeling much thought I haven't been playing that long, and when I play it's just guitar straight into the amp. Lately I've been wanting to get into pedals, which got me looking at multi-pedal floor units which led me to watching a bunch of YouTube videos of the Line 6 HD500X. I've decided I really don't want to drop a bunch of money on pedals when I can buy a piece of gear like this. The feature set really appeals to me a lot, I have to play quiet where I live right now so the headphone out will be perfect, and I like that I'll be able to use it as a pedalboard with my DSL40c. At this point I'm more attracted to the effects, but I'm keeping an open mind about the amp models. I can't demo one, so I've pretty much just decided to get it, I'm just wondering if anybody here has experience with a HD500X, if it's a solid piece of gear, and if you're happy with it, or not.
     
    Bobby Mahogany likes this.
  2. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,406
    Likes Received:
    8,720
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    There's lot of thoughts in this forum on em.
    I think it's a great way to see if the bug is going to bite.
    You can't get 100% of higher end modeler tone and they require more effort to get good tone. Once you've got a really good preset dialed in, I think you can experience a really good idea of what stepping up would get you. In my case, it definitely got me hooked on the form and function and what it's like to use one.
    Probably cost you $50 bucks at most to try. Buy one right, it's an easy flip.
     
    alstev likes this.
  3. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,187
    Likes Received:
    22,575
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    The HD500X is a very good choice.

    You can use it as "pedals" without the modeling functions.
    That said, more than decent modeled tones can be dialed in if you've handled real tube amps before,
    which you have done with your DSL and know a bit about tone.

    My best friend has been touring with one for years and has had no problems.

    Used ones are available, check the year of production as they have been on the market
    in different versions for a few years.

    Let us know what happens...
     
    Pop1655 and alstev like this.
  4. alstev

    alstev Senior Member

    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    411
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    Yeah that's my line of thinking, although the more research I'm doing the more I'm tempted to just take the plunge and get a Helix LT, I've got a Mesa combo I never play that could be sold, I'm thinking hard about it, modelling wasn't on my radar until a couple of days ago, I'm getting more, and more stoked about these units the more videos I watch.
     
  5. tzd

    tzd Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,465
    Likes Received:
    3,263
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    My first gigging rig was HD500X connected to DSL40C with 4-cable method. It works decently well. My HD500X provides compression and Wah before the amp, and chorus/delay/reverb and Volume in the FX loop.

    I don't normally use the amp models in the HD500X except in some special cases where I need to switch to a specific sound in the middle of the song.

    I also don't use the drive models, preferring to stick a real OD pedal before the HD500X.
     
  6. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,406
    Likes Received:
    8,720
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    Study the back of the LT. If the back works for you, that's a good plan.
     
  7. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    14,157
    Likes Received:
    12,302
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Of course you are getting excited. The flexibility these things will bring you will be shocking. Not to mention they trump any tube amp I ever played.
     
    alstev and mmd like this.
  8. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,262
    Likes Received:
    2,042
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    I made the switch a little over a year ago. I got a Helix nd have never looked back. I gig 4-5 times a month and that Helix is with me every time. Sound guys love it. 99% of other guitarists love it - they can't believe that I am not using a "real" amp. My stage sound is perfect - and it's never too loud, which make the band sound better all the way around. Go for it. I would be surprised if you didn't love it too.
     
    Donal and alstev like this.
  9. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    12,630
    Likes Received:
    15,944
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    If you sell the Mesa for the Helix, guess what? You'll still have that Mesa, IN the Helix :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
    Rhust and alstev like this.
  10. alstev

    alstev Senior Member

    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    411
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    I'm definitely going to make the switch, all the videos I've watched have convinced me, I'm just not sure what I want to buy, I can afford the Helix LT right now, but the Kemper videos have impressed me the most, I won't be gigging, and it seems to me the Kemper is more geared towards home playing too. I think I need to ruminate on this, and keep researching.
     
  11. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Premium Member

    Messages:
    5,406
    Likes Received:
    8,720
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2014
    I think I take back what I said about you buying a used 500X. Doesn't sound like you. If you decide to go Kemper, you're sorta on your own because of where you can get them. On the Helix, you can get an LT from a big guy with a good return policy, try it and if you want to step up, return and step up.
    I think Kempers are a great piece. Got nothing bad to say about em. I'm thinking the helix is more user friendly, more easily available and now has a pretty good warranty. I'm a big fan, but don't think you can go wrong either way.

    If you want to just test the concept, buy a new 500X you can return....but I bet you will.
     
  12. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    12,630
    Likes Received:
    15,944
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Sweetwater, Musicians Friend, ZZounds, Sam Ash, GC all carry Kempers.
    Kemper warranties the KPA for 3 years base warranty (more than Helix' 2).

    I'd also argue that the Kemper is pretty simple to operate. Instead of using a screen with what you turn on, off in a chain, you select buttons.

    USUALLY, all you do is select a rig, then operate it like you would an amp. Adjust gain, volume, eq, reverb level, delay level, all with knobs. YES, if you want to deep dive on tweaks, there is no software (yet). But, you really don't tweak a lot on it. When you profile an amp yourself, yeah, you tweak some of the amp module's deeper settings. Same for FX if you use heavy stuff. But usually, you just switch rigs, and use it like a legacy amp.

    I think you're confusing Kemper with Axe FX as far as who sells. Only Fractal sells Axe(s)
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  13. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    12,630
    Likes Received:
    15,944
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    K, I have a Kemper. I also have an Axe FX II. So, I am biased.

    Read my sticky http://www.mylespaul.com/threads/finally-my-lengthy-opus-comparison-of-the-axe-and-kemper.386136/

    It's long, but compares the Kemper to the Axe FX II and has a buy A if... for both. The Helix would slot in similar to the Axe, though imho maybe less so in the comparisons I did. I.E. It would be similar to the Axe in the complexity of signal chains you can do, lots of different effects like the Axe, if maybe, arguably, not as good as the Axe's. Amp sims would slot in like Axe's in my compare, maybe not quite at Axe Caliber (though darn close).

    So, use those guidelines. If you used it live, the floor form factor should also be considered on the Helix.

    Like that sticky, I think ultimately it comes down to what YOU prefer as far as functioning, and how you interface with the unit.
     
  14. hbucker

    hbucker Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,629
    Likes Received:
    1,229
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    I've had my AX8 since May and have WAY more good things to say about it than bad.

    Sometimes that satisfying "amp in the room" feel is missing, but when I run it (without IRs) through a power am and into my 212 cab, it is very satisfying that way. Depending on how I set it up, I even achieve this feel through the IRs and full range monitor that I use.

    The worst part about modeling, for me, is the learning curve. Arguably, once I know what I'm doing, the pain of learning is forgotten. But that curve can be a little frustrating for a digital skeptic/knob turner like me. That's where support forums and really poring over the owners manual can help. Patience is another virtue.

    I have yet to play it with a band, but that will change as of tomorrow evening. There is no doubt in my mind that it will sound good and that it will noticeably condense my rig for transport. This band situation will be the last step in my evaluation process. But so far, I have no regrets about my purchase. (Still haven't sold off all my of my traditional amp gear though)

    Once I settle into this as 'my rig' 100%, I'm sure there will be some selling, here and there.

    Good luck with your decision.

    P.S. Digital or Analog, I'm still the weakest link in my gear chain, and I don't expect that to change any time soon.
     
    Rhust and alstev like this.
  15. alstev

    alstev Senior Member

    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    411
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    Thanks for writing that, I read it last night and found it very informative. I think I'm leaning towards the Kemper, what you wrote has me leaning that way, along with videos I've watched. Also I've been checking out the online aspects for each, I'm going to take my time, I'll probably change my mind three or four times before I finally decide lol.
     
    hbucker likes this.
  16. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    12,630
    Likes Received:
    15,944
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    If you go Kemper, I am fairly certain, you'd be happy. If you do, and go Powered Kemper, you can use any guitar cabs you have, right away.
     
    alstev likes this.
  17. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    12,630
    Likes Received:
    15,944
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    You and me both brother. THough now, at least, it's only me holding me back, not gear and me.
     
  18. alstev

    alstev Senior Member

    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    411
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    Well I got a tax return today, I totally forgot I had one coming. I'm gonna take my Mesa combo down to Long & Mcquade and trade it in towards a Kemper. I debated between it, and an AX8, but I really need to be able to use headphones right now, so I'm going with the Kemper. I might be wrong but between the Fractal's, and the Kemper, the Kemper seems a little more noob friendly too, from what I've researched. I'm not ruling out getting an Axe-fx down the road either, I can definitely see it's appeal as I get more advanced in my playing. I'm really excited, I was looking at the list of amp models the Kemper comes loaded with, and my eyes were glazing over. The only thing that's gonna suck is waiting for the music store to order one in lol.
     
    frankv and mmd like this.
  19. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    14,157
    Likes Received:
    12,302
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    You won't be sorry. The only thought you might have entering your head is why you took so long..
     
    alstev likes this.
  20. cybermgk

    cybermgk Singin' the body lectric Premium Member V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    12,630
    Likes Received:
    15,944
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    I started Kemper, and added an Axe FX II, best of all worlds.

    WHEN you get your Kemper, register your amp at Kemper's site. Once done, it opens up places on the site, and gives you access to the forum.

    Upgrade the Firmware to latest, as well as the Rig Manager

    Get the Free Michael Britt Rig Pack they offer on Kemper site. There are also free packs from Choptones, Top Jimi and others. Kemper Site > Support >Downloads then set to Rig Packs. Also same place to get latest firmware and Rig Manager.

    FYI, if you load latest Rig Manager to a PC, you can use that to easily update Firmware.
     
    frankv and alstev like this.

Share This Page