Line 6 POD HD500X Guitar Multi-Effects Processor
While the PODHD500X isn't Line 6's flagship guitar processor, it is still very capable and much in demand as evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive response that it continues to get from users and expert alike.
It follows after its predecessor, albeit with a more powerful CPU and improved interface via colorful LED rings around the footswitches.
While it is well loved for its HD amp models, it also packs quite a lot of effects (over 100!), applying the same HD modeling technology on actual stompboxes to get them to sound as close to the real thing as possible.
The amp modeling and effects section together allow for a wide variety of tones, while the deep controls that you have over each amp and effect parameter allows for even more in-between tones, so you can craft your very own sound.
The LED rings add to the unit's overall eye candy and improve the already intuitive interface of the unit.
It also houses extensive input and output options, including having its very own mic preamp, so you can use it for a variety of instruments and even vocals.
Other features include built-in 48-second looping, tuning and compatibility with Line 6' modeling instrument (Variax) and amps.
- Effects: 100+ (8 Simultaneous)
- Amp Modeling: 30 "HD" Models
- Footswitches: 12 + Expression Pedal
- Presets: 512 User Presets
- Input: 1 x 1/4", 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" Aux, 1 x 1/8", 1 x 1/4" Pedal Input, 2 x 1/4" FX Returns, 1 x Variax Input
- Output: 2 x 1/4", 2 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" Headphones, 1 x 1/4" FX Send, L6 Link, 1 x S/PDIF
- MIDI: In/Out/Thru
- Extra Features: Tuner, Mic Preamp, Variax and L6 Link Compatibility, 48-Sec Looper, Effects loop
- USB: Update / Audio Interface
- Dimensions: 2.91" x 21.5" x 10.29"
- Weight: 10.6 lbs.
Being a PODHD user for many years now, I am but one of the many who commend its balance of versatility and sound quality. Like many reviewers, it allows me to gig and record conveniently, often times plugging straight to PA with great results. I've also seen a number of professionals using PODHD500X's in their concerts, so it's not surprising that even experts such as Trevor Curwen at Music Radar were convinced, saying: "The modelling is excellent throughout, with authentic-sounding amps and quality effects".
Unfortunately there are a few who are not too happy with with some of the default patches, they caution that the PODHD500X is not a plug-and-play unit. While you can get good tones with a bit of tweaking, you can get even better tones with more experience, so the learning curve can be a bit steep for some. For best results, you ought to research the actual gear that your favorite musicians use, along with their settings and use them as your starting points to creating your own tones. Thankfully, there are user made presets that you can also use as base for your own virtual signal chain.
If you're looking for a tried and tested stage and recording ready multi-effects processor, then the Line 6 PODHD500X is a good option.
While we previously had the POD HD500X on our recommended list, there are now more highly rated options available which you can see in our guide to The Best Multi Effects Pedals.