My DI Quest, Through Line 6

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Being and Bass, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Being and Bass

    Being and Bass

    Apr 9, 2017
    My ongoing fight with my rig is that I am looking for a decent option for a stereo DI with cabsim, as well as ideally a looper and a mute. Anything else would be a bonus on top of this as I choose my pedals based on specific sounds and so I don't need the multi-effects or anything like that.

    For a while I had resigned myself (at best) to an Omnicabsim and (at worse) a Zoom B3 to accomplish this, and just adapt to not having everything I wanted. The solutions were out of my price range or simply overkill.

    I recently discovered that the Line 6 POD HD500x can do everything I need (and doesn't cost as much as a Helix, which would be nice but I am a minister, not a Jeff Bezos). While I would have to buy the expanded bass cabsims (or find ones to add myself) it has: stereo DI out, with cabinet simulation; built-in looper and mute/tuner; EQ; internal effects loop (which returns stereo, which so many others miss).

    The multi-effects is not at the top of my list, which is good because it sounds like even the Zoom B3n gets the bass effects better. But for my needs, which would use the effects as secondary, is this going to be too much pedal for my needs, or simply fail, or did I actually find a decent solution!?
  2. Alien8


    Jan 29, 2014
    I have always loved Line6. Since owning a Flextone II XL there has not been a single time when I do not have a Line6 piece somewhere - currently my UX8 recording interface.

    The UX8 has all of the cab sims you mention, and they are good. Sure, not as flexible as the OCSDlx given that there are presets that have only a bit of adjustment. That said, they are still very good, and adding EQ after them makes them VERY tweakable. You spend time on the PC programming them, but the sounds you can get are great. I guess you could trade programming time for pedalboard arranging etc.

    Ignore the extra effects if the box does everything else you want and go for it. They make good stuff.

    Edit: I should add, I'm running g a stereo DI rig with pedals. I have the OCSDlx and love it. The algos on the Line6 can match its performance, you just need to spend a little more time with the EQ section you add after it. Or hey, maybe you won't find you even need to do that. The flexibility is amazing.
    Being and Bass likes this.
  3. Being and Bass

    Being and Bass

    Apr 9, 2017
    Unfortunately I am looking for something portable, as a unit on its own and on my board. I am going to school for six weeks and am looking for a good multi-purpose DI that I can use with one or two other pedals (Superego and a drive) for recording and live performing.

    Originally, I was looking at a Zoom B3, and may still do that if I cannot find a Line 6 for a good price or with trades. I guess my only real concerns are about the quality of the expanded cabsims on the HD500x while I know they are decent on the Zoom B3 and the EQ on the HD500x (I've heard the midrange is strange for bass). I won't have a chance to try it, but might make an offer today.

    As a travel/performance pedal that I can then mount on my board I hope it works, the B3 is calling but doesn't seem like it can handle the workload.
  4. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    I've tried the B3, the PODxt Live and have been using the HD500x for a year and a half now, very happy with the HD500x.

    The B3 seemed ideal, but in reality, it was limited when you used it as a modeler rather than an effects unit. You can only have 3 effects on at once, if one is the amp sim, that leaves 2, add a compressor, only 1 slot left to play with. Bought a PODxt Live to give me some flexibility with effects. It needed the Bass Expansion Pack adding to it, but that was well worth doing. Comparing the B3 & the XT, they sounded very similar to my ears, the XT had the edge over the effects slots, and being able to change patches on the fly. B3 was sold. A few months into PODxt Live ownership showed up a few issues with it. The search started to find some sort of replacement... Kept coming back to the HD500/HD500x. Bought one, compared it to the XT Live, sold the XT Live, bought the HD Bass pack.

    Yes, the HD Bass pack is well worth the extra money ($29.99 IIRC). The standard unit has 2 bass amps on it, the B15N & the Bassman. I've also found that the HiWatt model sounds quite good with bass as well. The HD Bass pack only adds 2 extra amp sims (GK & SVT), but one of these has 2 variations (SVT Bright/SVT Normal), it also adds 2 cab models (8x10 & 4x10). It may not sound too impressive, but they really do sound good!

    I'd love to try a Helix / Helix LT, but they cost a lot of money, and I can't justify the expense. The upside of the Helix / Helix LT being available, is that there are quite a few HD500x's available second hand that have been seriously well looked after, and come with extras (original box plus carry bag/case etc.).
  5. Scottkarch


    Sep 11, 2012
    You can find the X3 Live cheaper than the HD500 and it has stereo XLR outs and all the bass amps and cabs built into it.
    I picked one up for use with a Variax Bass and I think it's pretty cool. The Zoom B9 1.ut can be found inexpensively and has stereo XLR line outs as well. It has amp and cab sims in it as well.
    X3Live.gif 0x
  6. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    Thing is, the X3 uses the PODxt models, so you don't get the increased definition of the HD models. The HD500x also has the stereo XLR's, an effects loop, a Variax connector and a connector for a Line6 amp.
  7. Being and Bass

    Being and Bass

    Apr 9, 2017
    I ended up going with a Le Bass and sacrificing the stereo outs for the rock-solid tone. It will work for my immediate needs and I will just run my stereo effects mono.
  8. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    Have you tried it out yet, or just ordered it? I found the cab sim too dark for my tastes, as have many others.

    The new Darkglass Ultra series have cab sims on board these days too.

    The TC Spectradrive is a good contender, headphone amp has aux in unlike the Two Notes and Darkglass competition, plus you get 4 band EQ and cab sim, overdrive, and the best sounding bass compressor I’ve ever used.
  9. Being and Bass

    Being and Bass

    Apr 9, 2017
    Yep, bought, received, and loved. Part of the reason I went for the Le Bass was the darkness of the built-in cabsim. I don't use it a LOT beyond practice and basic recording as anything else I will mic up a cab or use software. But it is, for sure, not for everyone, I just lucked out where I would end up customizing a cabsim to get closer to the doominess of the Le Bass.

    The Darkglass was a serious contender but the lack of an effects loop killed it for me, as I run a LOT in between the dirt and DI. The Spectradrive had the same problem, but I didn't find I liked the drive as much, so it won't find use as the stand-alone distortion like the Alpha-Omega.

    Also, the Le Bass seems very friendly to being overdriven like an amp, so I plunked my ODs right in front of it and have found a whole new world of possibilities. The Le Bass + Hot Wax combo has kept me very busy.
  10. scubaduba

    scubaduba Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2003
    Shift-Line Olympic MKIII would be another option.