Flextone III XL review by Line 6

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (48 votes)
Line 6: Flextone III XL

Sound — 9
It takes a looong time to navigate around this amp and find 'the' tone you're looking for... This is mainly due to the fact there's so many options, and each control works differently for each amp. But once you get your head around it, it's one hell of a toy. Of course, you'll get your knockers that say "oh, but the tone isn't 100% authentic". Well maybe not, but it's close enough - and if you're a genuine player you won't struggle to convince. If you sound like garbage on this amp then buying the authentic amp will only be an expensive way to disappoint yourself. I mainly use the SLO-100 setting at low gain, although I love the Roland JC setting, the Cornford and few others... Amps I'd never heard of before but have now grown to love. I have no idea if they sound like the genuine article, but it doesn't phase me... Ears don't lie - good tone is good tone. I generally set it clean with an OD or distortion pedal to get the gain up when needed. But the gain can be wound up with other presets, no worries. It'll feedback like a real amp at volume too. It records just as it sounds via the XLR line-outs, and how did I forget to mention the FX by now? The built in FX are absolutely incredible, and you won't find better or more usable options. It's well thought out and they can add an incredible amount of depth and texture for any player.

Overall Impression — 10
I love the amp - the feature set is comprehensive and suited to any gigging or recording project a guitarist might come across. But, if I had the option again I'd just get the 1 x 12 Flextone w/ XLR outs - this one is louder than I'll ever need and I almost need a gym membership to have the strength to drag it around. Like has been mentioned - 32 amps at your disposal requires a helluva lot of tweaking to find the best results, but persistence pays off. It helps to have the optional floorboard. The FX are what makes this amp so good to me though. I love this amp and I'll never sell it. But - it's discontinued now, and probably not something that'll get reissued ever again.

Reliability & Durability — 9
It's the heaviest combo/amp you'll ever drag around, but it's never let me down or had any reliability issues. I'd expect it to last out many, many years in my hands, but I treat things well and don't let things fall into disrepair. Treat it like rubbish and you can expect a lifespan to suit. Construction is no better or worse than any Mesa, Fender or Marshall amp you'll come across. It's solid state, so less to go wrong - no tubes to warm up or keep maintained, just plug it in and it's good to go.

Features — 9
Features? A collection of the best amps available and a bunch of the coolest FX ever built into an amp. I use it for gigs sending a DI direct to the FOH desk, otherwise happy to record DI with it's line-outs, and can turn the master volume down and practise in the lounge room. I've owned it for 5 years and I'll never get rid of it. I've been playing 25+ years and owned a similar amount of guitars in that time. I play everything from Pantera to Brian Setzer, Los Lobos to Danny Gatton, Van Halen to Vampire Weekend... Bluesy surf rockin' rockabilly reggae hillbilly funk jazz metal type stuff. It doesn't matter that you play or what guitar you have in your hands - this amp covers it all. I have Strats, Super-Strats, Teles, a Flying V and an LP - they all work well with this combo. There's not much else I'd want in an amp - the tones are there to be found, the FX are all killer, and it's damn loud and will drown out all comers when the volume is pumped. I'm lucky to put it past 2 or 3 on the master volume for practising. I will say that to get the most out of the amp it's best to have a factory floorboard so you can navigate between a few settings.

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