LINE 6 POD - 20 Years Later, Did it age well?

TheX

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I had this, and it rocked for its time.

 

NotScott

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I had an XT for several years before an AmpliFire replaced it. A couple players around here used them with some speakers on a stick for their solo gigs. I only used it as a late-night jam/practice tool though. Through headphones, it did the gained up Marshall/Rectifier thing and the processed to death 80s thing OK and it was fun playing with the mic selections, placements and cabinet choices, but it was never anything that I would use for anything else. The clean and slightly driven Fender and Vox models were just downright ugly sounding.
 

TheX

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I was an early Amplifire adopter. Threads are still here somewhere. I think I've owned pretty much every modeler at one time or another.
 

motowntom

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Own a pod pro, I think it's like 12-15 years old, use it on sessions all the time, great unit. I bought two more recently in mint condition for just over $100.00 ea. so as to have spares. Wouldn't do a session without one. Don't/can't gig right now, so it's about all I use.
Cheers
 

cybermgk

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Other than the name, the Pod's biggest issue, imho, was it's mediocre or worse CAB sims.
 

LeftyF2003

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I borrowed one for a couple of weeks but didn't bond with it. The high gain models were quite good, but I wanted it to do a black face Fender as a pedal platform, and it just didn't sound realistic to me. I did own a VOX AD 120 head for a time, but as good as it sounded at home the output was a bit anemic for live shows. They've gone leaps and bounds since then and things like the Axe FX are incredible, but I'm still an old school tube amp guy...
 

JMP

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I had a Pod XT for a few years. Got it used for $80. I just couldn’t get my head around the interface enough to take advantage of all the functionality.
 

Liam

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Never really got it at the time, and the video reminds me why. It's kind of variations of "wasp stuck in a jam jar", and OK, the cab sims give a huge variation in size and tonal makeup of the jam jar, but it all lacked subtlety and feel.

When the presenter says "it gave real tube amp tone", I can still remember that back in the year 2000 I had a couple of 60s Vox AC30s, a Hiwatt DR103, Marshall JMP50 and JMP100, and two righteous sounding 4x12 cabs. Then for smaller gigs I had a '73ish Deluxe Reverb, and if it was a really small one, a Princeton Reverb. All of those got played somewhere either side of edge of breakup, mainly with a highly modified Ibanez TS-10, a stock RAT 2, a Russian Big Muff Pi, and a stock Color Sound Supa Tone Bender to drive them to varying levels of amp and speaker torture. Line 6 products, along with lots of other multi amp multi fx gadgets in any form, just felt really poor in comparison. I couldn't have practised with them, let alone stood in front of an audience and played through them. (I had a mate that did, Line 6 combo, and wished I could have just bought him a SF Twin Reverb; it would have sounded so much better, and he would have played better).

I think it's fair to say they gave "real tube amp tone" unless you had ever been anywhere near a real tube amp. For me, modelling technology came alive in 2016-17, when Kemper and Fractal got truly competitive in trying to recreate the feel of tube amps. I dipped a toe in the water around 2007, but the sims still sounded silly in comparison. Even around 2010 I tried a few of the latest modelling solutions (admittedly nothing really high end) and there was nothing going to part me from real amps.

Did the Pod age well? Not so much, couldn't love it at the time. Is it important for what it inspired? Too right it is. If Line 6 had never tried, would we have all the remarkable amp models and cab IRs some of us depend on nowadays? I can't knock them for trying to do something different, because even though I couldn't love it at the time, it inspired a bit of a revolution.

Liam
 

Led747

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Liam said it very well. The POD was an excellent tool for beginners and budget minded people to try out different styles and sounds before sinking in and spending the big dollars on a nice tube amp that wasn't a good fit, and to see what effects did what.
Did it age well? Not at all, and that is a VERY good think. It opened the door for massive improvements. As someone who owned a used kidney bean POD, and now a Helix, the improvement is remarkable. The preamps were passable, but cab simulation technololgy and signal routing options are not lightyears ahead.

And because of the exploration and flexibility I had with that hardware, it clued me into what sounds I liked better, and drove me to buying the real tube amp deals, and I couldn't be more pleased.
 

dc007

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I used one for a while when our church team tried the silent stage thing. I didn't mind it but did not love it either
 

fleahead

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I had a POD when they came out, and I liked it. And for a long time a Roland GP-8. And I've used SS amps with pedals.... and a few tube amps over the years. For me personally, I got all the tones I ever needed as I later on went to a POD XT Live and used that for a long time.

But when I went to profiling/modeling the Mooer GE250 did the trick for me in spades. But as I do some remixing of some tunes that I recorded a few years back with the POD XT Live, I am still very impressed with what I got.
 

dspelman

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There have been a number of YouBoob vids in this vein (including one with Anderton's Captain and Tenille), so I dug out a couple of my XTs. Not bad at all. I could get away with it.

I also tried it with my Two-Notes C.A.B., which offers cabinet IRs, a lovely set of tube power amp sims (EL34s, etc.) and a really good reverb setup, and it definitely stepped up.
 

cybermgk

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Never really got it at the time, and the video reminds me why. It's kind of variations of "wasp stuck in a jam jar", and OK, the cab sims give a huge variation in size and tonal makeup of the jam jar, but it all lacked subtlety and feel.

When the presenter says "it gave real tube amp tone", I can still remember that back in the year 2000 I had a couple of 60s Vox AC30s, a Hiwatt DR103, Marshall JMP50 and JMP100, and two righteous sounding 4x12 cabs. Then for smaller gigs I had a '73ish Deluxe Reverb, and if it was a really small one, a Princeton Reverb. All of those got played somewhere either side of edge of breakup, mainly with a highly modified Ibanez TS-10, a stock RAT 2, a Russian Big Muff Pi, and a stock Color Sound Supa Tone Bender to drive them to varying levels of amp and speaker torture. Line 6 products, along with lots of other multi amp multi fx gadgets in any form, just felt really poor in comparison. I couldn't have practised with them, let alone stood in front of an audience and played through them. (I had a mate that did, Line 6 combo, and wished I could have just bought him a SF Twin Reverb; it would have sounded so much better, and he would have played better).

I think it's fair to say they gave "real tube amp tone" unless you had ever been anywhere near a real tube amp. For me, modelling technology came alive in 2016-17, when Kemper and Fractal got truly competitive in trying to recreate the feel of tube amps. I dipped a toe in the water around 2007, but the sims still sounded silly in comparison. Even around 2010 I tried a few of the latest modelling solutions (admittedly nothing really high end) and there was nothing going to part me from real amps.

Did the Pod age well? Not so much, couldn't love it at the time. Is it important for what it inspired? Too right it is. If Line 6 had never tried, would we have all the remarkable amp models and cab IRs some of us depend on nowadays? I can't knock them for trying to do something different, because even though I couldn't love it at the time, it inspired a bit of a revolution.

Liam
I'd agree. I tried modellers around circa 2010-2011. This was Line 6 Spyder and Peavey Vyyper days. Even the amp sim plugins of that time, were tried. I tried some of those original Fender Hybrids, the SUper Champ XD. I also tried the Blackstar ID:TVP which came out a little later (2013, 14?), which came damn close to the Tube Amps tone, and more importantly feel. Even it, had some slight artifact issues, and feel deficiencies (though it was real close). But ultimately left them, alone, for tube amps and pedals.

And, yep, then came 2015 ish, when Kemper and the Axe was finally becoming perfected. I made the switch in 2016, first with the Kemper, then the Axe FX, and have not looked back. As you say, the tech finally came into it's own. And yep, imho even the lower end stuff today surpasses the high end stuff prior to 2015 time. I made the switch because, what I was hearing and seeing said, all the issues I had had, were fixed. Well that and our own (now not present) @frankv.
 

Liam

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Well that and our own (now not present) @frankv.
It was when Frank was getting (and giving back :rofl:) quite a bit of stick that I realised something was going on. When I switched onto the Axe FX II early in 2016, quite a few that know me were taken aback. I was so wedded to Marshall, Fender and Vox classics for so long, and I had failed to find any genuine alternative to my 2 favourite Marshall JMP heads and Fender silver face combos that most people I have played with must have assumed that was it for life. One of the Fenders had been a regular gigging amp for me since 1984, and the Marshall thing had started in the early 90s. I flirted with other amps, but always fell back on the same 3 or 4.

I could go on to write a medium to long essay about why disruptive technology never comes from within the mainstream of a particular industrial sector, but rather than that, let me just say that I think Cliff and team at Fractal, and of course Christoph and team at Kemper are absolute visionaries. Fractal just happens to float my boat in a good way, because I was messing with SPICE models for work in the early 2000s. I knew if anyone put in the work to make that happen in real time, and with an understanding of which details genuinely made a difference, they would be leading a revolution.

The bit I got from Frank's posts was the understanding that this was getting good enough to feel right, and that meant it was only a matter of time before sound, tone, and feel would become good representations of existing amps, and even creations of amps that had never existed before. That was followed pretty quickly by an IR revolution/revelation that often came from 3rd parties, and somehow Fractal have picked up from there, and this year refined power amp modelling to a remarkable level of detail, I am guessing enabled by the processing power of the latest models.

I have to salute @frankv for inspiring me to wonder, "What if this guy is actually right?", and for dragging me into IR experimentation when it was coming of age. I am gutted he isn't getting to share opinions on the latest firmware versions, he would have got such a kick out of it (and probably would have been massively cantankerous with it ;) ). If you are out there in the ether Frank, thank you! It has been a trip that I would quite possibly still been waiting for but for your passion.

Liam

[Also, with any of the IRs that you "lent" me Frank, if I liked them enough to do more than just audition them, I bought full versions from the vendor. I'm guessing you knew I would...]
 
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cybermgk

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It was when Frank was getting (and giving back :rofl:) quite a bit of stick that I realised something was going on. When I switched onto the Axe FX II early in 2016, quite a few that know me were taken aback. I was so wedded to Marshall, Fender and Vox classics for so long, and I had failed to find any genuine alternative to my 2 favourite Marshall JMP heads and Fender silver face combos that most people I have played with must have assumed that was it for life. One of the Fenders had been a regular gigging amp for me since 1984, and the Marshall thing had started in the early 90s. I flirted with other amps, but always fell back on the same 3 or 4.

I could go on to write a medium to long essay about why disruptive technology never comes from within the mainstream of a particular industrial sector, but rather than that, let me just say that I think Cliff and team at Fractal, and of course Christoph and team at Kemper are absolute visionaries. Fractal just happens to float my boat in a good way, because I was messing with SPICE models for work in the early 2000s. I knew if anyone put in the work to make that happen in real time, and with an understanding of which details genuinely made a difference, they would be leading a revolution.

The bit I got from Frank's posts was the understanding that this was getting good enough to feel right, and that meant it was only a matter of time before sound, tone, and feel would become good representations of existing amps, and even creations of amps that had never existed before. That was followed pretty quickly by an IR revolution/revelation that often came from 3rd parties, and somehow Fractal have pickup from there, and this year refined power amp modelling to a remarkable level of detail, I am guessing enabled by the processing power of the latest models.

I have to salute @frankv for inspiring me to wonder, "What if this guy is actually right?", and for dragging me into IR experimentation when it was coming of age. I am gutted he isn't getting to share opinions on the latest firmware versions, he would have got such a kick out of it (and probably would have been massively cantankerous with it ;) ). If you are out there in the ether Frank, thank you! It has been a trip that I would quite possibly still been waiting for but for your passion.

Liam

[Also, with any of the IRs that you "lent" me Frank, if I liked them enough to do more than just audition them, I bought full versions from the vendor. I'm guessing you knew I would...]
So well written, I will simply say Ditto. The only real difference was me searching for that low volume and studio tone, instead of Gig/live tone, so different tube path.

And ditto to @frankv
 

LeftyF2003

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For me, modelling amps are a great choice for fly rigs where you're stuck with whatever is available for backline amps, but for local shows where you can bring your own, I'll take my Deluxe or my Ceriatone HRM any day...
 

paradice

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I still quite like my POD XT, bought in 2006 it was used every day until I got a Kemper (which I no longer have and am back to the POD...)
been left on all day and all night sometimes and still works great, doesn't sound as good as the Kemper but it's not like it puts me off playing

also...I've demo'd an axe fx, line 6 helix and kemper toaster in my flat and the built in interface on the POD is still the best and simplest solution for my setup, where all I want to record is guitar, obv if I wanted to mic things up etc I'd need a proper interface/mixer but for just recording guitar it's great
 


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