#1
hello, right my setup first of all, guitar > cable > pod x3 live > cable > tv speakers
right, the sound is good and all:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS1hNDVfIkg
thats an example, the pod x3 live as i understand is a dedicated multi fx pedal board, but it also has 100s of amp models, but the other day i tried a marshall amp in a shop, and i was blown away how amazing it sounds, non of the amp models sound as great on the pod x3 live
now the problem in my head is that say i did get an marshall amp for example, its all very limited isnt it?
because you are limited to only a few channels on it, such as crunch, clean, chorus, heavy, and how would you switch in a middle of a song through it? with your finger?
unless you can get a footswitch especially for the marshalls

the convenient thing i love about the pod x3 live, is you can change a whole chain at a press of a footswitch
now if i got a marshall amp and switched off the amp modeler on the pod x3 live, if i wanted to change channel on the amp and settings on the pod x3 live, that means more of a mess with the footswitches

please someone explain to me if this is all the case, the case umm, which i dont even know wat im on about grrr
ummm

and i know that the pod x3 live only MODELS existing things and its not as good as the original as PEOPLE say, so is that the problem? that the emulation of the effects is decreased in quality or something?

hope someone understands me and could help me out with this...
#2
you can do some tricks with a multi fx into the input, fx loop on amp in/out and fx loop on multi fx in/out and using multi fx to control everything.
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#3
all you really need is a clean channel and a overdriven channel.
or just a overdriven channel, which you can then control with your volume knob on your guitar.
all the other effects can just be done with stompboxes or whatever.

a lot of amps have footswitches to switch between clean and overdriven.
#4
are traditional amplifiers required for great tone? no, they arent. these days the world of simulation and modeling is becoming quite nice and you can get some great tones out of modeling rigs. a great amplifier with high quality effects is hard to beat tone wise, but as you mentioned, they can be limited in what they offer. with a modeling board/amp you can radically change tones at the push of a button, which is fantastic for live usage. you could also run an amp and a rack effects combined with a midi switcher for those big mid song changes, but thats expensive and isnt for everyone.

so, no, you dont need a traditional amplifier for great tones, and a traditional amplifier isnt the right setup for everyone. however a good amp really is hard to beat in the way it feels and sounds. it really ends up depending on the player and what they need from their rig.
#5
A traditional amp isn't needed for great tone. You just need a great untraditional setup. PODs aren't the best in that aspect. Amps aren't limited at all. I use a similar setup right now. I have a GT-10 going into a stereo system. I rarely change settings on it unless I'm doing a specific song. I thought I would when I got it, but I just made my perfect patch and that's all I use. I don't even use dedicated clean settings, I just use the volume control on my guitar. People buy amps because they like their tone. You're not really compromising on anything. Most people don't really change channels and use effects often anyway. They let their playing and guitars do the work. You have controls on the guitar for a reason. A pickup change mixed with the knobs can make all the difference in the world.

And some amps (usually higher end) have MIDI where u can use a multi-effects pedal to change channels on the amp.