Purchased from: George's Music
Sound — 8
Marshall's are better! Yes, it's not a tube amp and technology still can't beat the vacuum tube, but overall I'm impressed with the sound. And like I said it's extremely versatile. I use a Fender Deluxe American Fat Strat with it and I play many different styles and the Flextone handles them all very well. It can be heavy, melodic, bluesy, funky, whatever.
Overall Impression — 9
I was pissed that I had to shell out an additional $269.99 for the floorboard since the old one doesn't work with it. Still, I don't think you can build a better complete amp set up with effects for the cost, $1037 I think with tax. This obviously isn't my dream rig but like I said, for the cost, you can't beat it. If this amp were stolen I'd probably cry like an emo and cut myself because I really can't afford another one right now.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I haven't had this amp for long but my Flextone I lasted me quite a few years. Seven years, I think. I've practiced, gigged with it, spilled beer on it and it still works, it just loses it's memory settings sometimes so I can't count on it any more. Seven years is a pretty good run for anything digital and I hope to get the same out of my Flextone III. I plan on taking better care of this one.
Features — 9
I'm going to assume you know the basics on this, solid state modeling amp, 4 channels. I'm using the FBV shortboard with it. This should be a perfect 10 since this amp is extremely versatile but there are a number of things that annoy me about it. Line 6 managed to fix a few of the problems I had with the older Flextones like having more control over the effects, and more amp models. My main gripe is that getting to those controls is a huge pain in the ass. As ridiculous as it may sound, it just needs more buttons. For example, each amp model has two modes, a yellow light mode and an alternate red light mode. The red light mode is essentially a different amp. The problem is that in order to save space the red light amps aren't labeled. Most of them are pretty easy to figure out. The yellow light for "J-800" is a Marshall JCM800 and the red light is a Marshall JCM2000. Others aren't so easy. I have to remember that Brit Silver is the red light model for Plexi Lead 100, not Plexi Lead 45. I hate having to refer to the manual and I'll be damned if I can memorize them all. I suppose the sound is more important than the name of the amp models but it still makes it difficult to find the sound you're looking for sometimes. That and the cabinet models aren't labeled. They're arranged from small to large around the amp knob but that doesn't really help since there's more to the sound of a cabinet than the size. Another annoying feature is what they call "Amp Defaults". These are settings that are automatically loaded when you Switch amp models to "expedite your trip to tone nirvana." This annoys the shit out of me. Isn't that what having different channels is for? What if I have an EQ setting I like and I finally get the effects tweaked just right but just want to try it with a different the amp model? Thanks to the Amp Defaults feature all of these settings are lost as soon as I change models. I think the reason for this feature is that they want people trying their amps out to immediately find good settings in the guitar store without doing a lot of work. It's completely impractical if you actually own one. Supposedly, all of this could be fixed if I download the software and connect the amp to my computer. You're supposed to be able to control all of the settings through MIDI. I haven't tried this yet so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on it and assume it works very nicely. It's still kind of shitty that you need a computer to be able to control the thing. They did get some things right. Being able to change banks without actually changing the channel until you hit the channel button is really nice and something I wouldn't have dreamed of with the Flextone I. This means that you can go from say Bank 9 channel A to Bank 2 channel B without your sound actually changing until you want it to. You'd still have to press a lot of switches but it can be done without the audience hearing it. Another thing I like is the wah pedal. It sounds liquidy and smooth in any amp model with any EQ setting. That and you can save a channel so that the wah is already on when you Switch to it. It's kind of hard to press the Switch and get it activated but I think I just need to get used to it. Having the floorboard on carpet doesn't help either. Oh and XLR outputs are a pretty cool feature but I haven't tried them yet.