#1
Sorry for my many questions - but I am about to drop about (up to) $4k for some gear and I just want it to be right.

I am trying to comprehend the best set up for a live rig for a cover band of rock/hard rock/metal....so lots of different sounds.

I was talking to a guy at GC who explained that multi-effect units like a POD for example do not come across well in a live situation and that it would be better to have a great sounding amp first with a few individual pedals - and even though your amp sound doesn't mimic each artist, its more important to have a great overall tone for each song than a mediocre replica tone. This makes sense to me, but I want to explore my options further with you people.......

I recently learned about the 4 cable method for hooking up a multi fx unit in order to use the stomp-box effects rather than the amp modeling features. I like this idea in that it still allows me to have many different pre-sets to easily switch to during a song to change my sound but still use the high quality amps great sound. I believe I can even switch the amp channels from OD to clean using the multi fx pedalboard.
DO I UNDERSTAND ALL OF THIS CORRECTLY?

The above seems great - but I know another option is to have a great amp and add individual pedals. Maybe I don't understand, but by not being able to have presets, doesn't this limit your tone options or at least make it difficult to get a variety of tones easily within a song or from song to song?

A line 6 M13 is an option but I don't like that you can't have presets.

Another option is a Line 6 Vetta I (upgraded to II) or a vetta II. These have great reviews and can be used for playing live BUT they are obsolete so I am not confident in the amp holding up and once it breaks it's done.

If anyone has advice to steer me in the right direction, I would appreciate it.
#2
**** the GC guy, Pod (Hd500, 500x, pro, pro X) is great live.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDTWZP_ktZc

When using the 4CM, you have to add an effects loop on the Pod to get the amps tone, otherwise it will bypass the preamp and you would be running the poweramp and using the Pod to model a preamp. I don't know about switch between clean and distortion (on the amp) with a multi effects though, I haven't delved into that. I just run the pod into a powerball II as a power amp and model the Engl with the pod, and then switch to a clean patch using a different amp model.
Gear:
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Ibanez Rg2570Z (Bareknuckle Juggernaughts)
Schecter KM-6
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Engl Powerball II
Orange PPC412
Line 6 Pod HD500X
Last edited by amonamarthmetal at Aug 29, 2015,
#3
Quote by amonamarthmetal
**** the GC guy, Pod (Hd500, 500x, pro, pro X) is great live.


When using the 4CM, you have to add an effects loop on the Pod to get the amps tone, otherwise it will bypass the preamp and you would be running the poweramp and using the Pod to model a preamp. I don't know about switch between clean and distortion with a multi effects though, I haven't delved into that.



I gotta tell ya - so many different opinions is driving me crazy trying to decide. Thanks for the vid - it helps to see that these can be AND ARE being used live.

Thanks for the post - I just found a youtube vid of someone using a boss gt-100 for the 4cm so maybe that pedal is set up differently.
Last edited by wazntme at Aug 29, 2015,
#4
Quote by wazntme
I was talking to a guy at GC who explained that multi-effect units like a POD for example do not come across well in a live situation
Quote by wazntme
and that it would be better to have a great sounding amp first with a few individual pedals - and even though your amp sound doesn't mimic each artist, its more important to have a great overall tone for each song than a mediocre replica tone.
I think it's pretty easy to mimic tones as long as your amp isn't garbage, and the user is clever. And most audiences won't notice the difference.
Quote by wazntme
I believe I can even switch the amp channels from OD to clean using the multi fx pedalboard.
DO I UNDERSTAND ALL OF THIS CORRECTLY?
Each multi effects unit can do certain things, and amp channel switching isn't universally on all units. I'm not sure if the Line 6 POD HD500 can do that. I know the Line 6 Helix can, and those units are why that guy at GC doesn't know what he's talking about. Unless you need a guitar amp's volume, then the multis can't help you there without it's own amplification.

As far as multis vs. stompboxes, I'm in the boat where overdrive, distortion, and other forms of dirt should be from the amp and individual stompboxes. I'd also suggest that using amp modeling with a physical amp isn't too fun, but possible. Modeling seems to really shine in a direct input system.

As far as reverb, delay, pitch, etc. Multis are great. I use a Zoom G3 in my effects loop for all those effects. A POD could be used in the same way, also with the 4 cable method.
Last edited by Will Lane at Aug 29, 2015,
#5
I can't comment about using it live, but the 4cm has given me excellent results. I actually use it with 5 cables, the last one switching the amp channel.

For channel switching, it depends on your amp and multieffect. Many multieffect can change the channel via midi, but you need an amp with a midi input (and I believe it also has to be the same type).

With the boss gt-10/100, you can also change channels with a regular mono-jack, but it will only work with a 2 channel amp.
#6
Quote by Will Lane
I think it's pretty easy to mimic tones as long as your amp isn't garbage, and the user is clever. And most audiences won't notice the difference.Each multi effects unit can do certain things, and amp channel switching isn't universally on all units. I'm not sure if the Line 6 POD HD500 can do that. I know the Line 6 Helix can, and those units are why that guy at GC doesn't know what he's talking about. Unless you need a guitar amp's volume, then the multis can't help you there without it's own amplification.

As far as multis vs. stompboxes, I'm in the boat where overdrive, distortion, and other forms of dirt should be from the amp and individual stompboxes. I'd also suggest that using amp modeling with a physical amp isn't too fun, but possible. Modeling seems to really shine in a direct input system.

As far as reverb, delay, pitch, etc. Multis are great. I use a Zoom G3 in my effects loop for all those effects. A POD could be used in the same way, also with the 4 cable method.


OK thanks. good to know.
#7
I use my POD500 in 4CM with my old JSX and with my Tubemeister 36 and I was happy with the results on both. With the JSX it didn't have channel switching capabilities so I would use the JSX for my distortion and then I would set up presets that bypassed it's preamp and use the POD for my cleans. This way I could use it for simulated channel switching and eliminate the tap dance.

With the Tubemeister I now have midi control, so not only can I use my POD to change channels on my amp and bring up effects presets to boot but I can still also bypass the Tubemeister's preamp and use the POD's modellers. I really like the flexibility that I get with this setup and it has served me well.

Granted I'm generally not what you would call a "meat and potatoes" sound player I really like the ability to be able to push the envelope sound wise so this type of setup could be considered overkill.
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Last edited by KillRoy Ver 3.0 at Aug 29, 2015,
#8
$4K? Axe FX and floor control.

Or wait a month and Helix + a kick-ass guitar or 2.

I've gigged for years w/multi effects and a flagship all-tube half-stack--most of the time I just plugged in the multi effects direct to the house PA and left the half-stack at home. Had one venue in Hollywood not even let me use the real amp. The difference was barely perceptible tone-wise, but often direct worked a lot better than amped.

The biggest drawback to the 2 systems I mentioned above compared to real pedals is you lose the ability to tweak as much stuff on the fly since you won't have simultaneous real-time access to all the controls like you would with the real pedals. But what you gain from setting up pactches so you press one button between songs instead of tweaking a million knobs more than makes up for that. Another drawback is there might not be a model available for a pedal you want to use.

I don't know about how well it works with the AXE FX, but with the Helix you can augment it with real pedals as you wish. And if you really can't stand even Helix-quality amp modeling, you can still have enough $ left over to get some pretty awesome tube amps.
#9
Quote by KillRoy Ver 3.0
I use my POD500 in 4CM with my old JSX and with my Tubemeister 36 and I was happy with the results on both. With the JSX it didn't have channel switching capabilities so I would use the JSX for my distortion and then I would set up presets that bypassed it's preamp and use the POD for my cleans. This way I could use it for simulated channel switching and eliminate the tap dance.

With the Tubemeister I now have midi control, so not only can I use my POD to change channels on my amp and bring up effects presets to boot but I can still also bypass the Tubemeister's preamp and use the POD's modellers. I really like the flexibility that I get with this setup and it has served me well.

Granted I'm generally not what you would call a "meat and potatoes" sound player I really like the ability to be able to push the envelope sound wise so this type of setup could be considered overkill.


Sounds like a great set-up. Are you using this as a live set-up?
#10
Quote by SpeedSterHR
$4K? Axe FX and floor control.

Or wait a month and Helix + a kick-ass guitar or 2.

I've gigged for years w/multi effects and a flagship all-tube half-stack--most of the time I just plugged in the multi effects direct to the house PA and left the half-stack at home. Had one venue in Hollywood not even let me use the real amp. The difference was barely perceptible tone-wise, but often direct worked a lot better than amped.

The biggest drawback to the 2 systems I mentioned above compared to real pedals is you lose the ability to tweak as much stuff on the fly since you won't have simultaneous real-time access to all the controls like you would with the real pedals. But what you gain from setting up pactches so you press one button between songs instead of tweaking a million knobs more than makes up for that. Another drawback is there might not be a model available for a pedal you want to use.

I don't know about how well it works with the AXE FX, but with the Helix you can augment it with real pedals as you wish. And if you really can't stand even Helix-quality amp modeling, you can still have enough $ left over to get some pretty awesome tube amps.


Yeah I like the thought of the axe fx II but the guy at GC said it's not really for live situations but I see that you went direct into the PA.
#11
you need to stop talking to GC employees .

there isn't a simple answer to your ? it's all about what you need and what you are comfortable dealing with. for instance i play hard rock / old metal (think 70s and early 80s) as well as blues rock for the most part. my main amp (peavey ultra) has 3 channels so that by itself covers a fair amount of ground. personally i like to keep things simple so i usually only use 4 pedals (not including tuner and channel changer) overdrive, wha, delay and phaser. again personally i don't sweat making sure the tones i use to cover songs are dead on but rather close enough to work. this is one approach

other players want to duplicate songs more closely or cover material that requiers a bunch of different sounds. multi-fx are usually ideal for this. ideally you would have a midi setup controling everything so you can just change (premade) patches to get the tones you want for each song (may be more than 1 patch in a song). Axe-FX does this really well and many pro players use them live (so ignore what moron at gc said.) the trick here is to figure out how simple or complex you want to go (and price of course).
#12
Quote by monwobobbo
you need to stop talking to GC employees .

there isn't a simple answer to your ? it's all about what you need and what you are comfortable dealing with. for instance i play hard rock / old metal (think 70s and early 80s) as well as blues rock for the most part. my main amp (peavey ultra) has 3 channels so that by itself covers a fair amount of ground. personally i like to keep things simple so i usually only use 4 pedals (not including tuner and channel changer) overdrive, wha, delay and phaser. again personally i don't sweat making sure the tones i use to cover songs are dead on but rather close enough to work. this is one approach

other players want to duplicate songs more closely or cover material that requiers a bunch of different sounds. multi-fx are usually ideal for this. ideally you would have a midi setup controling everything so you can just change (premade) patches to get the tones you want for each song (may be more than 1 patch in a song). Axe-FX does this really well and many pro players use them live (so ignore what moron at gc said.) the trick here is to figure out how simple or complex you want to go (and price of course).


Thanks - I appreciate your explanation. I have a better understanding now that BOTH methods work - it helps me to hear from several people that they or someone they know uses these multi fx modelers in live situations. I like the idea of tweaking...and tweaking...and tweaking. I definately want to hit the stores and play a good guitar direct into a great amp too. Once I do I will either like it or think I would rather have the multi fx.
#13
Quote by wazntme
Thanks - I appreciate your explanation. I have a better understanding now that BOTH methods work - it helps me to hear from several people that they or someone they know uses these multi fx modelers in live situations. I like the idea of tweaking...and tweaking...and tweaking. I definately want to hit the stores and play a good guitar direct into a great amp too. Once I do I will either like it or think I would rather have the multi fx.


well you don't have to limit yourself to one or the other. as mentioned overdrives really should be a pedal as they just plain sound way better than a digital recreation. delays and other time based fx often sound great from a good mfx unit. wha's also tend to be way better when it's a real pedal up front of the amp.
#14
Axe FX not for live use? LOL! That's why you get a foot controller for it. A significant percentage of big touring acts are using them now--some just for effects, others just for amp sims, and lots for both.

The biggest reason music store salespeople bash Axe FX is Fractal only sells direct, so unless they have a used one for sale, it's hard for GC or almost any salespeople to get in on the action. The next reason is it cuts down on demand for amps and effects pedals. It's a double-whammy.

I doubt it will be easy to find Line 6 Helix once it hits the street--it's hard enough to find a POD HD 500X in a store--so most salespeople will probably bash those too, except the few who have hem in stock.

BTW, my MFX sound awful thru the instrument inputs on my practice amps (5w Vox and 30w Marshall MG), but they sound great through both amps' aux inputs--so you don't need anything too fancy to use your MFX for practice at home or rehearsal--you don't need to set up a PA or anything. Any practice amp with an aux or "iPod/MP3/CD" input will have a full-range speaker, and then you're not using the crappy guitar amp circuits. Or you can use studio monitors or a powered wedge monitor. Or headphones.

Oh yeah, you can tweak all you want with the MFX--and save the results--you just can't tweak all the parameters at the same time or with multiple effects simultaneously like you could with a physical pedal board. If you only need to do that with a few effects then you can add a Zoom MS-50 or 2, or even a G3 to your signal chain--those will allow 3-on the fly adjustments at a time for each effect on their displays. I'll commonly run medium to big MFX and augment it with one of several MS-50s I have.
Last edited by SpeedSterHR at Aug 29, 2015,
#15
Quote by SpeedSterHR
Axe FX not for live use? LOL! That's why you get a foot controller for it. A significant percentage of big touring acts are using them now--some just for effects, others just for amp sims, and lots for both.

The biggest reason music store salespeople bash Axe FX is Fractal only sells direct, so unless they have a used one for sale, it's hard for GC or almost any salespeople to get in on the action. The next reason is it cuts down on demand for amps and effects pedals. It's a double-whammy.

I doubt it will be easy to find Line 6 Helix once it hits the street--it's hard enough to find a POD HD 500X in a store--so most salespeople will probably bash those too, except the few who have hem in stock.

BTW, my MFX sound awful thru the instrument inputs on my practice amps (5w Vox and 30w Marshall MG), but they sound great through both amps' aux inputs--so you don't need anything too fancy to use your MFX for practice at home or rehearsal--you don't need to set up a PA or anything. Any practice amp with an aux or "iPod/MP3/CD" input will have a full-range speaker, and then you're not using the crappy guitar amp circuits. Or you can use studio monitors or a powered wedge monitor. Or headphones.

Oh yeah, you can tweak all you want with the MFX--and save the results--you just can't tweak all the parameters at the same time or with multiple effects simultaneously like you could with a physical pedal board. If you only need to do that with a few effects then you can add a Zoom MS-50 or 2, or even a G3 to your signal chain--those will allow 3-on the fly adjustments at a time for each effect on their displays. I'll commonly run medium to big MFX and augment it with one of several MS-50s I have.


That salesman stuff makes perfect sense! I will look into that mfx
#16
Quote by wazntme
Sounds like a great set-up. Are you using this as a live set-up?


Yep, I just make little cheat notes on my setlist to make sure I am in the right preset bank for each song.
Satan. Grant this man the gift of revenge against his foes at the Food Network.
#17
I use a GT-100 with my RM100. The RM100 is MIDI switchable so that's how I switch the three channels. You could do the same thing with a Pod. As well, you can 4CM it too.
Gilchrist custom
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Telecasters
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Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#18
i would get a strymon mobius, strymon timeline, an OD pedal or two. maybe a wah.

i really think that you are thinking too deep about it. i have played covers and open mic's with just an amp and a few pedals. for example, what i am currently running is an orange dual terror, a fulltone fulldrive 2, a fulltone clyde, some modulation effect (chorus or vibe) and a malekko 616. i can nail quite a bit of tones with just that. they aren't artists tones' but they are just as good... but slightly different.
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#19
Yes, you can (and a ton of people do) use multi-FX live.

Assuming you forget about amp/cab modeling, there are several reasons why a multiFX works really well for covers.

1. You usually have a lot more FX to choose from.
2. You can have a single pedal dialed way up at one point in a song and dialed way back in the same song and all you have to do is stomp.
3. You can make changes to half a dozen different "pedals" at the same time with a single stomp
4. You can have an entire setlist of changes ready to go in your user presets. That includes things like volume.

Everyone's played a cover at an open mic with an amp and a few pedals. If you're working with someone who wants things a bit more spot-on, that's probably not going to do. I work with a Pod and a Variax guitar, for example. The Pod will store the guitar model and an alternate tuning (if you're doing one) as well as an amp, a cabinet and any FX in a single stomp. So if you want to do Keef and Brown Sugar, you can run the Tele model and Open G on the Variax through a Fender Twin combo with a tube screamer dialed back, and you've got it. If the next song is a capo'd 12-string with some reverb and chorus (I dunno, Hotel California?) switching to a six string humbucker lead, you can do the whole thing with a single stomp on the Pod. Next song is a Boston thing with an acoustic 12-string lead-in switching to an LP through a Marshall. A single stomp.

You can always use a good amp, a couple of pedals and your favorite guitar and try to fit everything into whatever you've got. But when you can just as easily make the big changes, why not?
#20
Dude seriously if you've got a budget that big get a decent tube amp for your raw tone, and an axe fx or similar high end multi effect for effects and maybe some amp sims when needed. When people talk about multi effect units being not pro sounding, or not good for big loud live performance, they're talking about the lower end line 6 and digitech stuff.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
#21
Quote by Cathbard
I use a GT-100 with my RM100. The RM100 is MIDI switchable so that's how I switch the three channels. You could do the same thing with a Pod. As well, you can 4CM it too.


Thanks for the post. I used to have a randall combo ages ago that I loved.
#22
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i would get a strymon mobius, strymon timeline, an OD pedal or two. maybe a wah.

i really think that you are thinking too deep about it. i have played covers and open mic's with just an amp and a few pedals. for example, what i am currently running is an orange dual terror, a fulltone fulldrive 2, a fulltone clyde, some modulation effect (chorus or vibe) and a malekko 616. i can nail quite a bit of tones with just that. they aren't artists tones' but they are just as good... but slightly different.


Thanks for the post. I have a better understanding that both options would work fine for me.
#23
Thanks for the post. I am seriously considering the axe fx II or the Helix. I've only heard one opinion of running through a frfr vs regular power amp (marshall, etc) - any experience/thoughts?
Re; the variax: I have heard in some videos the acoustic to be amazing and spot on and other videos sound like absolute crap - can you tell me the secret to getting it spot on? And if i understand correctly, you can save the guitar model and tuning settings in the patch on the pod and use the pod to switch rather than having to use the dial on the guitar? if i understand correctly, that is awesome
#24
Quote by the_bi99man
Dude seriously if you've got a budget that big get a decent tube amp for your raw tone, and an axe fx or similar high end multi effect for effects and maybe some amp sims when needed. When people talk about multi effect units being not pro sounding, or not good for big loud live performance, they're talking about the lower end line 6 and digitech stuff.


Thanks -it makes sense that people were referring to the lower end models - which seem great in their own right and I know now that people use them live - but yeah I am seriously leaning towards the axe fx II or the helix. that limits my budget for the amp and guitar but I think if I scour the used market I can make it work.
#25
If its mostly cover songs, a multi fx would be a lot more manageable to get wildly different sounds at the stomp of a footswitch. Your budget is quite large enough to afford one of the big two expensive amp modelers out there along with a footcontroller & a CLR unit(Presently the most popular frfr reference speaker thing). Or depending on needs & kind of venues you might be able to get by with a POD HD or Amplifire + torpedo C.A.B or EPSi lodigy for external IRs going direct with a PE60 for monitoring.

It takes a while to get the lower end modelers to sound good, while something like a kemper or axe fxii may need less time tweaking to good sound. With a real amp its much easier to arrive at a good sound you need but not as versatile in tones to switch with a simple footswitch, although 4CM helps there but unless your mfx is in rack form tucked back along with the amp you will have 4 cables + 1 guitar cable +1 or 2 cables for switching channels. You can tidy that up into a big fat snake though or get the pedalsnake assembly.

So many options to go with these days
#26
Quote by steven_ferns84
If its mostly cover songs, a multi fx would be a lot more manageable to get wildly different sounds at the stomp of a footswitch. Your budget is quite large enough to afford one of the big two expensive amp modelers out there along with a footcontroller & a CLR unit(Presently the most popular frfr reference speaker thing). Or depending on needs & kind of venues you might be able to get by with a POD HD or Amplifire + torpedo C.A.B or EPSi lodigy for external IRs going direct with a PE60 for monitoring.

It takes a while to get the lower end modelers to sound good, while something like a kemper or axe fxii may need less time tweaking to good sound. With a real amp its much easier to arrive at a good sound you need but not as versatile in tones to switch with a simple footswitch, although 4CM helps there but unless your mfx is in rack form tucked back along with the amp you will have 4 cables + 1 guitar cable +1 or 2 cables for switching channels. You can tidy that up into a big fat snake though or get the pedalsnake assembly.

So many options to go with these days


Thanks for the post - all good info.
#28
Quote by wazntme
Thanks -it makes sense that people were referring to the lower end models - which seem great in their own right and I know now that people use them live - but yeah I am seriously leaning towards the axe fx II or the helix. that limits my budget for the amp and guitar but I think if I scour the used market I can make it work.


Yeah dude. The axe fx is amazing, and perfect for pro level live performance. Tons of professionals, in multi-platinum selling, world-famous, international touring bands are using them every night. That gc employee who told you otherwise is clueless (as gc employees usually are, about everything).
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
#29
Quote by wazntme
Thanks for the post. I used to have a randall combo ages ago that I loved.
Unlike most Randalls, the RM100 is a MIA tube amp. The power amp will take most Octal power tubes, each tube exceedingly easy to bias. You don't even need buy matched sets.
There is a common preamp tube followed by two on each module. So it isn't actually modelling other amps - they replicate the circuit in tubes.
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
#30
Quote by wazntme
Thanks for the post. I am seriously considering the axe fx II or the Helix. I've only heard one opinion of running through a frfr vs regular power amp (marshall, etc) - any experience/thoughts?
Re; the variax: I have heard in some videos the acoustic to be amazing and spot on and other videos sound like absolute crap - can you tell me the secret to getting it spot on? And if i understand correctly, you can save the guitar model and tuning settings in the patch on the pod and use the pod to switch rather than having to use the dial on the guitar? if i understand correctly, that is awesome


The acoustic models in the Variax are meant to sound like a miked acoustic (which will almost always be run out through a PA or other full range speaker system). I think a miked acoustic sounds like "absolute crap" run through a guitar amp. And that goes for the acoustic models on the Variax as well. They ARE tweakable (as are the other models, honestly), so you shouldn't have to settle. But when run through the same speaker system that you'd use for a miked acoustic, they sound very good. It's very likely that those videos where you've heard the acoustic to be amazing and spot on have had their sound recorded directly.

And yes, you can save the guitar model and the alternate tuning (the other dial on the guitar) along with any POD settings in the same patch (user preset) on the Pod and switch to it.

No one. NO one suggests that running an Axe-FX II through an ordinary guitar amp is the preferred use for it. The same, frankly, goes for the Pod HD and, one would expect, for the Helix.

I use modelers (including an Axe-FX Ultra and several pods) mostly through FRFR systems. If you're running these into an ordinary guitar amp, you're effectively eliminating the amps/cabs portion of these devices and using them as compact pedal chains.

One caution; I realize that owners of Axe-FX II and Kemper and the like will claim that they're the only way to go and that everything else is inferior. In my experience, 95% of guitarists can't hear the difference between the high-end spread and the cheaper Pod HD and that number probably goes up when the guitarist is playing with other musicians. That's not to say it's not good gear, but the differences between a Two Rock or a Dumble and a good tube-based production amp will also escape 95% of guitar players.

And finally, I'd take whatever's being tossed around about the Helix with a dab of salt for now; they're due out next month, and most of the internet wisdom on these involves second, third, fourth-hand information. If you're considering a purchase (I am), you might want to wait until you can work with one first hand.