If you had asked me years ago which pedals I would include in my dream rig, I would probably count down the brands and the effects I prefer. Back then I was convinced that individual pedals were the best solution and I bought countless of those. It was definitely the process of trial and error, and I wasted a lot of money on the units that didn’t work so well. They usually ended up somewhere in the dark corners in my basement, piled up as I was always too lazy to sort them out and throw away. Later on, one of my dearest friends introduced me to the multi-effects pedals and I can say without hesitation – suddenly my life was upside down. He let me try out his favorite one and I was surprised by the convenience and flexibility of the single package. The first attempt was a complete failure – these things require a decent time to grasp. However, once I got the hang of it, I was so impressed that I decided to invest in my own multi-effects processor. On that journey I tried out many units and Line 6 POD HD500X is definitely one of my favorites. If you want to treat yourself with a sophisticated piece of equipment, then you should check this one out. Keep on reading and I’ll tell you what is so great about this particular pedal. Let’s begin!
Line 6 POD HD500X has so many features to brag about that we would need a couple of days to list down all of them. I’m not exaggerating even a bit – this thing is the embodiment of versatility. First and foremost, this puppy offers you the ability to create almost any flavor you can think of. You could even do a magic trick with it – ask someone to think of an effect and this fella will reproduce it. Amp simulations and effects amount to 130 (maybe even more) in total, which is more than we would even dream about. They include famous cabinets and speakers, as well as distortions, overdrives, filters, modulation and so much more. You have the ability to use up to 8 effects simultaneously, leaving a lot of room for layering.
What is more, HD500X has 512 preset locations, so that you can save all your favorite combinations and recall them whenever needed. This means that you can prepare for your upcoming live beforehand and jam on stage like a real pro. This bad boy has an in-built looper with 48 seconds of recording time and all the essential functionalities (a.k.a. even more layering options). If you enjoy Line 6 products and own James Tyler Variax guitar or StageSource loudspeaker, you can easily pair them with HD500X and create a system that can be altered virtually. You can access any combinations and choose the one that you prefer in a specific scenario. Additionally, this pedal has a built-in tuner to keep your instrument in its perfect shape. It also has free editor, which gives you access to even more settings and lets you craft every single component of your sound. Let’s not forget the wide array of connections, including balanced outputs, an output for headphones, mic and expression pedal inputs, FX loop and MIDI. It goes without saying that we’re dealing with an extremely powerful beast here, and though I did mention its main features, it still has quite a lot hidden under the surface.
The controls of Line 6 POD HD500X are quite interesting themselves. Here we have the combination of assignable footswitches and knobs that take up different functions depending on what is selected. We do also have several encoders that modify specific settings by default and don’t change throughout the whole tweaking process.
In the top left part of the pedal you will find the LCD display which shows you what’s going on. It is surrounded with a couple of buttons and encoders that lets you scroll through different settings and save or recall the presets. Next to the display you will see several controls: Gain controls how much distortion is added to your sound, Tone controls (Bass, Mid, Treble and Presence) craft the frequencies and accentuate/cut the specific ranges, Volume sets the level of the selected amp type, while Master Volume determines the level of the overall output. We also have footswitches that can be assigned with various functionalities. Even though I tried to discuss all the basic controls, I still suggest referring to manual for thorough information. Don’t let that scare you though – tweaking is a time-consuming process here, but it is not difficult if you have some experience with multi-effects processors.
Line 6 has created many marvelous devices, but POD HD500X is a real masterpiece. The quality of amp simulations and audio effects will keep you regretting all the time you spent without this pedal. Amps are extremely accurate and respond to your playing dynamics wonderfully. They are like living creatures that always know how to assist your performance. This magnificent beast operates noiselessly, allowing you to keep it on all the time. The looper and the presets give you so many options to work with that you’ll be stuck experimenting for days on end. The control panel is well-thought-out, with everything in the right place. The ability to construct your own chain and move different items around virtually will enable you to try out many different scenarios and select the one that suits your situation the most. No matter what I say – the words can’t fully describe the capabilities of HD500X. You have to let your ears be the judges here!
All in all, Line 6 POD HD500X is one of the best multi-effects processors out there. If you are skeptical about those, it will definitely force you to forget all your doubts. It might even leave you reluctant to experiment with individual stompboxes – that’s how amazing it is. Take your time with it, understand what is what, then spend all the time you have on tweaking and trust me, you’ll achieve mind-blowing results. Good luck!
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