THIS THREAD IS MEANT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE CONSIDERING AXE-FX AND WONDERING IF LINE6 POD HD IS ENOUGH!
I've been the guy who's been bashing POD HD the most so I felt it was my turn to give it an honest review.
Haven't been here lately so I thought I'd tell you why. I've sold my Axe-Fx Standard for the price of brand new Axe-Fx and I was already planning to save up for an Ultra. Things didn't go as planned and I tried a POD HD500 and it was sure no Axe-Fx but I knew I could make it sound good. I mean... it took me two months to create the first Axe-Fx patch that I really liked.
Now I've had the POD HD500 for a week and the above song was recorded with just one guitar patch. It has no post processing, no tricks, just an AMP BLOCK w/ cab ofcourse. I'm happy with the sound. It's Engl Fireball with Bogner Uberkab SM57 off-axis. Now I know how hard it is to get a perfect tone with the Axe-Fx if you aren't allowed to use EQ blocks. That metal tight low end f.ex. yadda yadda.
Now... I know this is the Fractal Forum and I assume you'll say this sounds bad just because it's Line6 and Axe-Fx is pure awesomeness. Sure, the POD HD500 isn't even close to an Axe-Fx. I'm struggling to get a metal tone that isn't overly bassy and there's only one amp model that can pull it off and it's the Engl. So it leaves me with one usable amp sim for metal. Okay that sucks right? Well... how many amp sims did I use with Axe-Fx? 2-3 but 90% of the time just the Recto New. The POD doesn't have the versatility but did I ever really use it? Those synth-sounding crystals? Hell no. The parallel effect option is what I'm missing though. Also I'm hoping they make the user cab option for POD too.
What about the cleans and crunch tones? Well TB100%H the Fender cleans sound more like the real thing with the POD. The bassman sounds very vintage and the blackface sounds very clean... but you have to use the preamp versions. Crunch... well I haven't really gotten into that yet but I'm assuming it won't be as good as the Axe-Fx. I think all of the amp sims on the POD have way too much gain... I can make a metal tone with a JCM800. If you are interested I can make a clip of that too but I assure you it's not comparable with the Axe-Fx.
Line6 POD HD500: Easy to use, a full rig in one pedal, many effects, CHEAP AS HELL, easy to carry around. Fits into my guitar bag.
TONE: Not many options, will take time tweaking things right, has the tube amp feel.
Axe-Fx: Easy to use after you learn the basics, you'll have to buy a midi pedal, crazy many effects, will end up costing 5-7 times more than an HD500 rig. Will require getting into rack stuff and wiring etc.
TONE: Many options, will take time tweaking things right, has the tube amp feel.
It's a matter of what you need and how much money you've got. If you want crazy versatility and have the money I suggest you get an Axe-Fx. If you are fine with probably just 3-5 amp sims that can be used and also more effects than you can think of then the POD HD might be your thing. It does have the Uberkab (cabinet) which is good for any type of music IMO. (The German cab and Recto2 cab were the only cabs in the Axe-Fx that were up to my standards so the Uberkab is good) And it's a rig in one box unlike the Axe-Fx. (You'll need a midi pedal for the Axe-Fx and all the setup is just crazy IMO) If you have the money, you'll never regret getting the Axe-Fx. If you want things as simple as possible like me then you should consider the HD500 even though you have the money. I have the money to buy an Axe-Fx but I'm not buying although I know how good it is. Maybe some day... you never know.