So, I actually picked this up about a week ago, but after playing guitar for 13 years, I finally own my first tube amp
I traded my old POD X3 (the HD500 is so good I hadn't turned the X3 on since I got it) for a Peavey Windsor head:
I don't have a cab yet (plan on scoring a used Marshall for cheap) but brought it over to Budda's to jam on Thursday and plugged it into half of his stereo Peavey cab (he can fill you in on the details, can't remember what speakers he has in it) and it sounds sweet. The guy I did the trade with also threw in an MXR Zakk Wylde overdrive, which works quite nicely with this amp.
The tone is very obviously Marshall-like (essentially, this head's supposed to be a cheap JCM800 knockoff, I believe), and the power mode knob (the proper name of which I can't remember right now) that let's you blend anywhere from full 100-watt Class A/B down to 50-watt Class A is a lot of fun. Both ends of the spectrum sound great, but completely different.
I did most of my playing with the HD500 4-cabled into the head, and it sounded great both as effects-only, and using the pre-amp modelling into the head's power section. Can't decide if I prefer the AC30 or Bassman sim for my cleans (will likely use both for different purposes), and the Mesa sim sounded great too. Mostly I played with the amp's own tone, though.
Also, a Telecaster through a POD HD500 into a Marshall clone will djent with the right models/effects, especially when pitch shifted down to a low-F# (incidentally, the pitch shift on the HD500 is surprisingly good, and oddly enough even better when put after the overdrive)
Also, also, neither of us could figure out why it is so ridiculously massive (seriously much bigger than the Roadster)
Video of jamming is currently uploading.
Now with video!
Most of the video is the head straight up, sometimes with a boost from the POD (I think the Tube Driver), sometimes with the MXR, sometimes both (mostly when going for a little more juice on leads), cleans are the AC30 model into the head's power section, with cab sim on at first and then cab sim off (at the end, you'll hear the difference).
(all made up on the spot, so excuse the many bum notes )
[VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTHO6pA8muc]‪Jamming‬‏ - YouTube[/VIDEO]
Sorry for both of us having our backs to the camera the whole time