Originally Posted by Cancer
Just my $.02. Unless you need a looper, a midi controller, or you like M series of floorboards that Line 6 has, get an X3 Live used (or new if you can still find them). IMO The HD 500 is a great toy, but it doesn't have have the swiss army versatility of X3 Live. I'm keeping my X3 Live (and am thinking about snagging another) it's that good of a studio tool.
What the HD does it does very well, the problem is it doesn't do very much and it lacks some pretty bread and butter amps (like the Peavey 5150 and JC-120). I've spent about a week now trying to transfer (re:recreate) my old sounds from my X3 and to be blunt it's been pretty nightmarish, especially with it now being so easy to overload the DSP. Don't even get me started on the editor, the GUI of which feels like it was programmed by rejects of a 1th grade GUI 101 class.
I've heard that other people have gotten some pretty decent recording from the X3 by using external impulses, and I'll be trying soon with the HD to see what happens.
If you were NEW to modeling I'd say go for it, as it is great fun, the amps really do 'feel' better and really response to your playing (especially the lower gain boutique models). I have t admit I find it insulting that L6 would charge the same for a unit which (amp sims wise) does about half of what it's predecessor did. Although to be fair, again, the looper is REALLY REALLY sweet.
Put another way, L6 should call this the M-HD as opposed to the POD HD, as this name is a more accurate reflection of what this unit does.
As an aside, I think L6 is completely giving up on "complete model virtualization" as all of their new stuff seems to say "plug me into an amp" even he new POD HD was designed to be the brain of their DT series, which (and I heard this directly from the rep's mouth) "effectively replaces the Vetta series". This all cool if you want to mike a modeled amp.(/rant)
I can certainly agree with most everything you've said here... I'm not really sure how you mean it's not as versatile as the X3, but I've also not had much experience with the X3. The experience that I did have told me this: The HD models sound better, hands down.
When I got my HD500, I didn't even try to create my old patches with the unit. I started from scratch and immediately tried to create an all new sound. I figured new toys should have new sounds. I agree 100% that the editor software needs a LOT of work. Gearbox was alright as far as GUI goes... HD Edit is just awful. I could blow diarrhea out of my ass at a keyboard and program/design something more functional than that without having the slightest clue what I'm doing! By the way, is it possible to assign a footswitch to an effect through the editor? I haven't been able to find it if there is.
I've had the HD for all of 4 days now and initially had quite a bit of negative things to say about it. The more I play with it, the more I like it.
I love that I can have 8 foot switches configured per patch.
I love the sound of the amp models that are included (Particularly their model based on the Dr. Z Route 66)
The built in looper... I dislike having a lot of stuff to carry around with me, so things being built in is great. It also gives me the ability to sit there and easily work through an idea I may have been stuck on while everyone else in my band is out for a smoke break.