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POD HD Pro to Axe FX Ultra - A worthwhile upgrade?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by mirflee, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. mirflee

    mirflee SSL Studios

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    Hi all,

    I consider myself to be a fairly good guitar player and have always been a gear nerd. I love to tweak every possible thing I can to get the best of what I have. I also play in a band and right after recording our album come the end of the year, we're looking to tour a fair bit.

    Anyway, I've had the POD 500 then the HD PRO for a quite a while now. For the 50% of the time when we're not rehearsing or gigging, I'll be in my little cave, messing with the settings to get to my personal 'holy grail' in terms of tone. I've used the PRO before in a couple of shows/practices and so far, I'm feeling pretty sure that I've hit a dead end with it.

    So much that I lost the motivation to pick up the guitar again because of hitting that same wall over and over again, which is really a shame to know that a single piece of gear could do that.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not new or a real expert at this but I can safely say that, I've read/researched/tested/tweaked as far as I could with this piece of gear. (guides, experiments with user patches, different combinations of amps, guitars, room, you name it)

    These things below are always consistent and if I go as far as surgical EQ's, it doesn't sound like a guitar tone anymore.

    1. That trademark Line 6 'fizz'

    No matter how I change settings, it's always going to be there. That harsh top end. And if I do somehow remove it, the tone gets 'lost' and it shows during rehearsals as well as in a mix.

    2. Picking dynamics

    Although Line 6 claim that they really had dynamics in the HD improved, I somehow feel, it's still somewhat too far off. Personally, picking feels a bit robotic at times and somewhat too compressed.

    3. Latency!

    I've always wondered if it's me or the HD but there seemed to be a slight latency each time I struck a chord or note which is uncomfortable to say the least. So, I've decided it's time I look at Fractal's Axe-FX particularly the Axe-FX Ultra.

    How does both compare in terms of tonal quality as well as UI when compared to the HD Pro?

    I'm sure you'll be wondering why I'm not looking at the FX II instead. I don't really have a budget for that as of now. I'm just looking to see if I'd go up or sideways with an Ultra too. Also, seeing as the Ultra has a good re-sale value, I could upgrade to an FX II in the near future.

    So, what do you think? (Pardon my long post!)
     
  2. nezvers

    nezvers Beast

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    Some time back I thought to get HD 400, but I had a try with friends HD 500 and I couldn't get tone that I was REALLY impressed. Come to conclusion I love my Podfarm metal shop amps better and dialing way grater tone ins seconds with it's version of Dual rectifier or Engl powerball for solos.
     
  3. crillemannen

    crillemannen Member

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    After hearing both Andy and Colin praise and use the Kemper on their big name releases i would not go for an Axe Fx...
     
  4. Ericlingus

    Ericlingus Prettiest Hair Around

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    just get a kemper instead. Especially since you would only be getting the ultra anyways.
     
  5. mirflee

    mirflee SSL Studios

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    Isn't Kemper an amp profiler in a way I'd have to have a working rig to profile before I can use it?
     
  6. Ericlingus

    Ericlingus Prettiest Hair Around

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    no because you can use other peoples profiles on the web like Lasse's or Ola's or the many many more on the web. There is a kemper rig exchange on the web. There is even a site that sells them. The unit itself comes with profiles as well so you don't need a pre existing rig to use it.
     
  7. chdrummer

    chdrummer Member

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    Axe FX sounds tons better than the HD Pro. I could never get a workable tone out of the Pod. Axe FX has tons of amps and gets frequent updates that add more amps/features.
     
  8. Splat88

    Splat88 Member

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    No comparison between a POD HD and an AxeFx. I own an HD500 and a Kemper, and I've tinkered with an AxeFx quite a bit. You'll spend hours getting a questionably passable main distorted tone with the HD500. That being said, I absolutely love it for cleans, effects, and everything other than your main left and right panned distorted guitars.
     

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