#1
As the title states, I am interested in your opinions on what the best method of amplification would be for use with a Line 6 POD X3 Live.

Currently I run my guitar through the X3 and into the auxiliary port in the back of a Roland Micro Cube but with its tiny 4" speaker, it's quite impossible to get anything even remotely resembling a quality and full-bodied tone. I've also tried the X3 into my Peavey Classic 30 but I don't know how to make the amp models sound accurate without an excessive amount of tweaking on both the pedal and the amp.

I have heard good things about both the Reactor by Atomic (tube-driven) and Tech 21's "power engine" series (solid-state). I've also read that a PA system is an effective amplifier when used with the amp-modeling preamps on the POD. These are the options that I have found but I'm open to new ideas, I just want something that will provide amplification without excessively "coloring" the tone of the X3's amp models.

I don't need something something loud enough to melt faces, just enough to comfortably play over a drummer without becoming distorted. Also, I've never used a PA system so if that's your recommendation, please include some suggestions as far as brands, models, wattage, number of speakers, speaker size, etc.

Thanks for the help!!!
#2
couldn't you use the POD as a preamp, run it through rackmount power-amp and then into a PA? You could have a monitor send the sound back instead of an amp.


I'm not sure, I'm no expert on live sound (or anything really). I think it can be done that way though.


Something like this:

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Rocktron-Velocity-300-150W-Rack-Power-Amp?sku=584205

and the other end of the spectrum:

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Engl-E84050-Tube-2x50W-Stereo-Poweramp?sku=481529


nearly every reputable guitar-electronics brand makes them, I believe.
Last edited by Tedward at Jun 15, 2010,
#3
To be perfectly honest, I know absolutely nothing about power amps. Are they necessary? If so, a PA might not be the way to go for me. By the time you've bought the PA system AND the power amp, that's quite a bit of money...

Still taking suggestions
#4
A poweramp is basically the back half of any traditional guitar amp. A solid state one (I can imagine) would basically just amplify your POD rather than colour it with it's own tone like a regular amp.

If you're in a band, you guys could all chip in for a decent used PA system for cheapz?


Are you really that attached to the POD though? I mean, I'm sure you could just buy a regular amp to play shows and stuff with and use individual or mult-effects
#5
I still consider myself to be a beginner, shows are not a consideration.

I am definitely attached to the POD though. For $500, I have access to nearly every kind of sound I could ever want. I appreciate the fact that the sound quality of the amp models and effects are not as good as the real thing but that's okay for me since, at this point, I play strictly for my own enjoyment.
#6
i'd go with the reactors, you can either buy their poweramp and their cab, or get the wedge which is a tiltback floor monitor, but with power tubes and such, at 50watts, a tube driven floor wedge is gonna have some nice power. and it will give ya a little tube warmth aswell as not color the PODx3. thats what i'd do at least.
#7
A powered wedge would probably be the easiest. They are also the sort of thing that will one day come in handy for other things, good to have one floating around. Even a decent SS one would keep you happy.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#8
I am in the exact same predicament as you TS. I've been planning on picking up one or two of these active PA speakers.

Speakers like these power themselves so you don't need to run through an additional amp and color the sound. This makes it easy since you just plug the pod's line out right into the speaker itself. Or, if you pick up a cheap mixer with multiple inputs, you could have all the band members plug their instrument into the mixer which goes to the speakers.

So, that sounds like a pretty good idea to me, but I'm not 100% sure myself, so I'd love to know what everyone else thinks as well.
#9
Although I've never used those particular monitors, it's hard to go wrong with Mackie. I've never seen a crap Mackie anything.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#10
Ya, I talked with a guy at a PA store and he really recommended them. At the time there was a deal for two of them and a 8 input mixer for 1200 + tax, too bad I didn't have the money then...

Anyhow, I'm looking at these Atomic Reactor cabs, link here for people that want to see em. They're pretty nice, but 50 watts doesn't seem like much.

What would the difference be between these powered cabs and the powered PA speakers I'm looking at?

Edit: At the bottom of the page I linked to, Atomic says this about the Reactors:
Going direct into a PA system is better, but leaves you missing the feel of an amp on the floor or "in your face."
I guess that answers my question, they do exactly the same thing but the Reactors really get "in your face".
Last edited by 6StringSlaughtr at Jun 15, 2010,
#11
50W is heaps. Those Reactors are two 6L6s, how could you go wrong? I've gigged for many years with a 60W amp running two 6L6s and I've never wished I had more volume - ever.
They are a lot more expensive than the Mackie but they are a 6L6 tube amp. If I had the money I'd get the Atomic Reactors but it would be an indulgence.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#12
Hmm, they're more expensive than the Mackie's, but I was planning on getting two, so one Reactor would actually be cheaper for me...I could still run other instruments through it at the same time with a mixer right? Also, the wedge would be awesome for practice, but for playing live I should get the regular cab right?

btw you rock
#13
Well, when you have a straight cab like a combo you angle them back a bit, Vox AC30s had a stand that flicked out.
So do you lean the straight one back or jac the back of the wedge up a bit? Six of one, half dozen of the other. However ..... If you ultimately want to run directly from Pod > PA then you will want the wedge just for your own monitoring. I'd get the wedge.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#14
I'm a multi fx guy too. I love the versatility. I tweak my sounds, save the settings, and cart my gear to gig or practice with ultimate ease.

Most venues for a gig, even tiny dives, have their own mixer/PA. And tiny dives usually have tiny stages that quickly get eaten up with half stacks and large combo amps.

Although I've never used those particular monitors, it's hard to go wrong with Mackie. I've never seen a crap Mackie anything.


I have a Mackie 1400w PA. For a long time I had a channel that was unexpectedly dropping out until I pulled it open and found a loose ribbon cable with a bad connection. All the same, it's a quality unit. But heavy as a ship anchor...

My band uses a Behringer 1202 fx mixer for practice. That's like $120. We run that into a Pyle Pro PTA 1000 amp ($110 or so off Amazon), and then out to a pair of Seismic Audio 10" wedge floor monitors (also about $100 off Amazon).

We leave all that stuff set up in the garage where we practice. I only have to bring MFX pedal and guitar.

I like the Pyle amp because it is cheap, very lightweight, and sounds great.

I used to play through a 75w head and a 2x12 cab. That was too much power for what I needed, and too bulky. If I had to do it over again, I would go strictly MFX into a PA/speaker combo. When I practice by myself I just use headphones anyways.

One of the benefits of having the amp, tho, is being able to use it as a monitor near you. When our band practices, we have to pan my guitar to the monitor near me, and the other guitarist is panned to the speaker on his side.

But you can't deny that a big amp/stack with a cool designer label is sooo metal...
#15
Wow, I really appreciate all the input! I'm leaning towards a pair of powered speakers, does anyone have any recommendations?
#17
I'm not totally sure, so correct me if I'm wrong, but if you purchase powered/active speakers you don't need to run your signal through an amp first, correct? Unless you want it to alter your tone.

With powered speakers you can go: Guitar > FX Pedal > Powered Speaker
With passive speakers you'd go: Guitar > FX Pedal > Amplifier > Passive Speaker
#18
Powered speakers work well but most of them aren't designed to be "stackable" so a pair takes up some floor space or you have to use stands.

I own a pair Tech 21 PE60 Power Engines (1x12) and I have gigged with these running in stereo from a Line 6 Pod xtLive as well as using a single to go along with the matching Tech 21 TM60 combo. I had to run them almost wide open to hang with a louder Rock trio with a hard-hitting drummer. You can also slave one Power Engine from the other and get a bit more output level and dispersion in mono.

To get the best stage set-up I added the 14" Fender tilt-back legs and paired them up with a Musician's Friend amp stand (which was just right):



I have stacked them vertically for small stages with limited real estate and also tilted them back and placed them side-by-side (space permitting).

If you are going to be playing hard rock in a four piece with a heavy-hitting drummer I think you will wish you had more power. 60 watts of solid-state power just isn't the same as a typical 50 watt tube amp. Running a single power engine is great for lower-volume gigs and practice. Running 2 Power Engines gets you into low-to-mid range gig territory.

If you use a couple of 150-200watt solid state powered PA speakers you'll have plenty of power but you are stuck with that form factor (and the horn can tend to get honky-sounding unless you get your EQ dialed-in right).

Personally, I like the way the the TM60 sounds and it has a great onboard EQ section.

Just my experience...

FWIW

Steve
#19
Quote by pacair
Powered speakers work well but most of them aren't designed to be "stackable" so a pair takes up some floor space or you have to use stands.

I own a pair Tech 21 PE60 Power Engines (1x12) and I have gigged with these running in stereo from a Line 6 Pod xtLive as well as using a single to go along with the matching Tech 21 TM60 combo. I had to run them almost wide open to hang with a louder Rock trio with a hard-hitting drummer. You can also slave one Power Engine from the other and get a bit more output level and dispersion in mono.

To get the best stage set-up I added the 14" Fender tilt-back legs and paired them up with a Musician's Friend amp stand (which was just right):



I have stacked them vertically for small stages with limited real estate and also tilted them back and placed them side-by-side (space permitting).

If you are going to be playing hard rock in a four piece with a heavy-hitting drummer I think you will wish you had more power. 60 watts of solid-state power just isn't the same as a typical 50 watt tube amp. Running a single power engine is great for lower-volume gigs and practice. Running 2 Power Engines gets you into low-to-mid range gig territory.

If you use a couple of 150-200watt solid state powered PA speakers you'll have plenty of power but you are stuck with that form factor (and the horn can tend to get honky-sounding unless you get your EQ dialed-in right).

Personally, I like the way the the TM60 sounds and it has a great onboard EQ section.

Just my experience...

FWIW

Steve


Steve's the man.