Line6 PODxt

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by keithb, May 9, 2005.

  1. keithb

    keithb Forum MVP

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    I've had my PODxt for a while now, long enough for the 'honeymoon' to wear off, so I figure it's time to give it a review.

    Background:
    My first 'real' amp was a Line6 Spider 210 combo (the original Spider, not the Spider II). Then I sold the Spider and bought a Mesa F-30 1x12" combo (great cleans, OK distortion). I wanted a modeller for easy recording and late-night practice, especially since the F-30 needed to be cranked up quite a bit to get 'that' sound. I thought the POD 2.0 was a bit pricey, so I bought a Behringer V-Amp Pro. This led to me buying a TransTube power amp and 2x12" Avatar cab to go with the V-Amp. However, the V-Amp wasn't giving me what I wanted, so I sold the whole rig for a PODxt. I also ended up selling the F-30 for a Mesa Nomad, but that's another review.

    Features:
    Every amp model you could hope for, zillions of effects (especially with the model packs) - this thing is the 'industry standard' for a reason. The stomp box effects are a nice addition, and I like being able to put delay/chorus/etc before or after the amp model. The parametric EQ is a godsend.

    Sounds:
    First things first: I'm using the most recent firmware from Line6, currently 2.14. The first firmware, which most PODxts ship with, sounds TERRIBLE compared to newer ones - make sure you update the firmware!

    I find that the medum-gain sounds are quite nice. I have a Mark IIc patch that I use for a lot of rhythm and medium-gain leads that is almost as nice as my Nomad. The cleans are also very nice - a brittle 'solid state' clean sound is easy to get, and a warmer tube clean is in there with a little tweaking. I haven't found the perfect blues sound yet, and it can sometimes be hard to get a high-gain solo sound without sounding too artificial. The best advice I can give is to be very careful with the gain knobs and don't forget to use the parametric EQ.

    Ease of use:
    With the on-unit buttons, some of the editing can be a bit confusing - you really have to know exactly what you want to do. However, the Line6 Edit software makes patch creation a breeze - everything is laid out in an easy to use format. Getting it to talk nicely with my PC was pretty much plug and play.

    Overall:
    I give it a 8/10

    It's great for practice, laying down quick ideas, and for curing some GAS - I can experiment with a collection of amps and effects that I could never afford to buy.

    It doesn't quite feel like a tube amp, but it's damned close. I've been told that putting something like VHT's buffer device in front of a POD does wonders for the feel and the consistency of the tone - if I ever get a chance to try it I'll make sure to review the results.

    I think modellers still have a bit of a way to come, but for recorded tones I doubt most people could tell this from a 'real' amp - and that's what it's all about, right?
     
  2. Hawksmoor

    Hawksmoor Wannabe Shredder

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    I use one as one of my two main sound sources, the other one being a modded ADA MP1.
    The ADA is great for higher gain stuff and basic cleans, but the effects section of the POD XT Pro really shines, so much for so little cash ( I have all the updates).
    Little trick for you: in order to get truly punchy high gain sounds back of the gain and boost the hell out of it with the onboard TS sim. I especially love the 5150 model that way.
     

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