Oct 21, 2012
That’s right bitches! Line 6 has finally issued the update that lets you, the HD500 owner, have access to not one but THREE new amp models based on the legendary Soldano SLO100. The models you get cover the Overdrive, Crunch and Clean channels (in that order of importance to me, haha).
The Soldano SLO100 is a modern classic that has set the standard for high gain tube amps – delivering a crushing overdrive tone with a distinct midrange voicing unlike any other amp. Not to say that brutal drive is the only thing it can do – it’s been utilized by many distinctly unmetal guitar greats ranging from Eric Clapton to Mark Knopfler to the late Gary Moore. You can trace its genesis back to the Mesa Mark III, while its influence can be seen/heard in the design of the original Mesa Dual Rectifier and the Peavey 5150.
Anyway. There are some new amp models out for the POD HD series. Now, I could just do some clips for you to show you how these sound, and that would be cool – but by freakish good timing, I actually have an ACTUAL Soldano SLO100 with me at the moment!!!! <– the number of exclamation marks denotes my level of excitement.
It’s a really rare opportunity, and considering that I probably won’t ever make enough money in my lifetime to actually BUY an SLO, I’m going to seize the opportunity to try and give you a decent attempt at an A/B comparison between the two!
To try and keep it as equal as possible, I’ve run the new SOLO amp model into my Line 6 DT25 head, and into my Mesa Thiele cab. For comparison, I’ll run the Soldano SLO100 into that same cab, which will be miked up with an Audix i5, kept in the same position – slightly off axis.
Now for the fun stuff!!
Here’s the challenge!!!
The SLO100 is panned to one side, while the POD/DT25 is panned to the other. Which one is which??? You have a listen, and tell me.
I tried to find a few artists who are connected to the SLO100, and of course one of the most famous past users of the amp is none other than Mr Edward Van Halen! He used it on the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (or FUCK, for short – it took me years to realize that) when his long suffering Marshall started to die.
I’m going to go ahead and disregard which era that album is from, since I don’t actually know that much Van Halen. But I’m sure that if I crank up that gain knob, the feel and sound will be close enough if we’re going to get… a little Hot for Teacher…
Wow. That’s actually pretty close. So – what’s your guess?
Some discrepancy in sound can probably be attributed to the fact that for the POD, I had the virtual poweramp “cooking” at max, while on the actual SLO100, I struggled to get the master up past 4 without deafening myself!
However, I thought that the Line 6 model definitely captured that distinctive vibe and midrange voicing of the SLO! Uncanny.
Not convinced? Still Got the Blues for more sounds, perhaps.
Here’s a bit of Ozzy for you. Strangely enough, when I first plugged into the new amp model on the POD, this was what I felt like playing, even though the original is in no way associated with Soldano… so let’s everybody go outside and have a bit of a howl at the full moon…
Let’s not forget some more grindy, brutal sounds. I don’t want our readers of the heavier persuasion to feel… Outshined.
So… what’s your verdict? I want to hear what you think, and why!!
Let’s make it interesting
The person who can get the most correct panning combinations out of the four A/B tracks will win a dozen newly minted Six-String Samurai picks in their choice of standard or Jazz III size!! They’re awesome, I just got them custom made, and they look like this:
Remember – the panning may not be the same between each different track, so listen carefully! I’ll announce the answers in a week in the comments section.
Get your listening caps on, and leave your answers in the comments!
Update – and here are the answers: http://sixstringsamurai.co.nz/2012/10/29/line-6-vs-soldano-the-big-reveal-and-crunch-channel-clips/