Flextone III XL Review

manufacturer: Line 6 date: 04/12/2012 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Line 6: Flextone III XL
Flextone III is powerful enough to exceed the expectations of the onstage performer, while delivering the same refined tone and effects for recording or rehearsing at any desired volume. Line 6 has created the Flextone III to deliver faithful reproductions of famous vintage and modern brand name amplifiers. Furthermore, it achieves the "sweet spot" of the amplifiers it models with no degradation of tone at low or high volumes.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9.1
 Reliability & Durability: 8.9
 Features: 9.1
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (8) pictures (2) 29 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
Flextone III XL Reviewed by: riseagainst821, on january 19, 2007
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 699

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This amp is great, not perfect, but great. I believe it was made in 2006. The amp is quite versatile, actually I can't think of any amp that is more versatile than this. Especially at the price range. I play just about everything, and you can get even more out of the amp. It has 16 different models, each of those with two altenate versions resulting in 32 different amp models. It also has 16 different cabs that can be switched with each amp model. It come with 6 delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, u-vibe, rotary, and reverb. It has everything I wish it would ever have. It is a solid state with countless possibilites. It has 150 watts, plenty of power for what I do. // 9

Sound: I use a LTD EC-1000 deluxe with Seymour Duncan JB/59's. It fits all my styles including early metal and hard rock (Black Sabbath, ACDC, etc.), punk (Rise Agaisnt) and some blues/jazz work. The amp on distortion by itself is noisy, but using the added in noise gate, it effectively stops the extra hum. Even though it is a solid state amp, it soulds incredibly good. The cleans sound clean, even at high volume. The distortion can be brutal, especially on the J-800 amp model. Or it can be mild, or anything in between. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I just got it a few months back. I have no idea if it could last. I am assuming so b/c I have had no issues with it yet. It is kinda heavy, but that's the price you pay for buying a loud amp. It has been used Live 3 times, and has worked gine. I would definatly buy the foot pedal (shortboard with it). // 9

Overall Impression: This amp is a great match for almost any style of music. I have been playing on this for about 5 months and it sounds great. It does take some time to tweak, but once you find it, it is a great feeling. I would definatly suggest buying the FBV Shortboard with it. The board allows you to save 36 settings and have control over the amp with your feet. Great amp for the price, definatly go buy one. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Flextone III XL Reviewed by: guitar_229844, on july 09, 2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 699

Purchased from: guitar center

Features: The Line 6 flextone III is a great gigging amp. It has 32 different amps programmed into it to give you all the sounds you need. On top of that it has 3 band eq and a presence knob. It also has 12 effects and a noise gate. When you turn it up it doesn't get muddy. It has the same sound as when you have a lower volume. It has four programmable slots for storing your sound, and you have an individual volume level for each amp by pressing the knob downward to save it. It has all the outs midi xlr stereo. It doesn't have tube quality tone but it is still a great sounding amp. So If your willing to sacrifice a little tone for a lot of versatility this is your amp. It is by far best amp for the money. // 10

Sound: I have used this amp with both single coil and humbucker pickups but mostly with my Epiphone Les Paul Ultra. It is perfect for me because I play everything from rock, jazz, blues, and classic rock. All you have to do to get the sound you want is to turn a few knobs. Every sound you want is in there. The jazz clean doesn't distort at high volumes which is great. If you like the spider III distortion it has all those sounds in there. So the distortion can be anywhere from hillbilly rock to Slipknot. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I never bring a backup with me. This amp it is very reliable. I've never had any problems with it. Although, it is very heavy so you might need to use casters to carry it around. It is built like a tank because I have hit it against the wall a few times on accident and it actually broke a little part of the wall. There was a mark on the amp, but when I cleaned it off all there was nothing left. Not even a scratch. If that's not durable enough for you maybe you need to get a hard case. // 10

Overall Impression: I play every style of music so this is a blessing to me because it is so versatile. I have been playing for 3 years, and all I had before was a Peavey studio pro 112 and that made too much noise in the background. I have no regrets with buying this amp it is worth more than what I payed. If it was taken I would go out and buy another one because it is a great amp. I love that you can get all the features on your computer and go deeper into the tweaking to create your own sound. My favorite feature of this amp is the jazz with a little distortion which is so wet and smooth it is a great sound for mellow rock. I was also looking at a Fender deville 212 because of the tone. It is a great amp also, but I don't have money for effects. So the one awesome sound I could get out of it wouldn't be enough. So my choice was clear. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Flextone III XL Reviewed by: ravenhaller, on february 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Flextone III XL Reviewed by: ryanmay, on september 06, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: This amp features 16 different amps in it. Or as Line6 puts it, "ground-breaking" amps. Each one of these amps you can select one of two sounds (usually clean and dirt) so in total it has 32 different sounds (without the effects). The different sounds are fantastic and there is a great variety which you can have fun for weeks with. with these different sounds you also have 6 delay effects and 6 other effects including chorus, flange, tremelo, etc. with each of this you can adjust the thickness of them and the delay works with a tap tempo. It also has a compressor. This amp will allow you to save 4 chosen settings which you can change between with a footswitch. This is very handy as I can change between thinking I am the edge to thinking I am prince. In addition when you turn it on it lights up and the lights flicker in a circle motion! // 10

Sound: Great sounding! This is great for smallish-medium gigs. a good quality whole sound, with nice bass. It can go bloody loud! there is so much variety in the sounds and effects that keep me busy for ages. It stretches from insane distortion to jazz clean. So this amp can be for anyone of any style. It's created for finding new sounds that you never thought you would have liked too. // 10

Reliability & Durability: So far I have found nothing at all wrong with the amp. It's a solid piece of kit which should last a long time. I would take it to a gig without backup as it is quite dependable and also very loud. It is also a bit too heavy to take it along to a gig with backup. // 8

Overall Impression: This amp would be great for finding your own sound, as the huge amount of variety of sounds is great. It's also great if you play a wide range of different music. When I bought this amp I managed to get a great deal on it, so I am more thrilled that I got it. However it is definetley worth it's original price anyway. If you were thinking of buying this amp you need to consider the weight, it's quite heavy, and could maybe be a bit anoying to carry around to gigs, however if you were looking at an amp this size, it's pretty hard to find a lighter amp. The Flextone 3 I feel is also better than the spider range of amps by line6 as there are more sounds and better quality sounds. I tried a couple of Vox amps before I bought this and decided they were not for me, but I would say it's about what you think sounds best for you. However, all in all, it's a fantastic amp. // 9

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overall: 9
Flextone III XL Reviewed by: Osiris77, on august 23, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Samash

Features: This is an awesome amp it's extremely versatile good for any stlye of music you could say it's a jack of all trades. The amp has 4 channels and there is a footswitch available for $200 more definately a worthy investment. This amp can get very loud it's got 150 solid state watts. It retains most of the sound quality when you crank it but it's not a tube amp so it's not perfect. Really the only thing you could do to improve this amp is to make it a tube amp. // 9

Sound: It has a great sound it does the amp models very well and like I said before it's good for any musical style from metal to jazz. The amp can get noisy but it has a noise gate Switch which eliminates that problem. Now obviously if you where to go out and buy the actually amps it models they would sound better. But the amp does a great job and you can't do better for the price. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Well I've had this amp for over 2 years. I've had countless band practices and gigs and this thing hasn't let me down yet. I have never had one probelm with it it's been banged around droped and still in perfect working order. It takes a licking and still keeps ticking. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall this is great it's got a good wide range of tones, it's durable and has all the features you would ever want. For under a grand look no further than a Flextone III. The only other amps I would buy would be a Line 6 Vetta series or Peavey JSX but those amps cost more than twice of what the Flextone costs. // 9

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overall: 9
Flextone III XL Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 14, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: George's Music

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 6.5
Flextone III XL Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 17, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 200

Purchased from: Second Hand

Features: 150watt modeling is loud no doubt there, it has a FX loop, speaker outputs and direct XLR out (which never used) and a headphone jack. This amp comes with a lot of features, too many if you ask me. It has 32 amp models and 32 cab models, you can combine every amp model with every cab model. So if you do the math... 1024 different possibilities. That's a lot, the only major downside is that 95% of them sound like cr*p. Then you have some effects like tremolo, reverb, phaser, flanger, delay etc. Nice? Yes and no, example; you only have on knob for each effect so if you use a tremolo, the further you turn the knob how faster it goes AND turns up the mix at the same time. So if you'd want a slow tremolo with the mix at 10 you're scr*wed. I bought mine with the FBV Express footboard, this I liked. The only downside is that there is a very small delay when you switch between channels, not noticeable when going from full gain to clean but I used it from full gain with no reverb to full gain with reverb, so it was noticeable then. So I give this a 7 because some people think a billion features is a good thing but I think most of them sound bad so. // 7

Sound: Here the amp fails the most for me. At low volumes it all sounds great but even at 50% of the master volume it all gets muddy (clean and in overdrive). It's 150 watt and meant to be loud, but I never played it that loud because it sounds really bad. It also is a bit noisy but it has a built in noise suppressor that works well. You can get clean tones and high gain, crunch is very hard to get. The only really nice thing it does good is the stereo, really nice for delays etc. // 6

Reliability & Durability: When you compare it with a spider it is built very well, the only major downside is that it is still software so ready to fail at any moment! I had some issues with the gain, while playing it suddenly drops from like 8 gain to 4 without touching any of the knobs. I would not use the amp for gigging, like a said it can fail ya and at loud volumes it doesn't perform very well. // 6

Overall Impression: I play the guitar for over 4 years now. I play mainly rock and post metal so from full gain to cleans with lots of reverb. For practicing alone at home this amp works well but who would want 150 watts for that? People claim that the Flextone is better than the spider series, well this is true but not by that much. It is built like a tank but the software still fails from time to time. I sold this amp because I needed the cash and in the end I didn't liked it that much. Btw I did NOT compare any of the sound to a tube amp because I know that is not fair! // 7

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overall: 9.8
Flextone III XL Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 12, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 425

Purchased from: used

Features: There are so many features with this amp that it is hard to describe. I would state that with the Flextone 3, I can sound like most ANY of the well known and popular amps. A friend told me that I couldn`t get the tone and overall sound of his Triple Rect Mesa Boogie. I had hime walk outside so he could not see which amp I was using. He couldn't guess because he couldn't tell the difference. The same goes for the Fender Twin, or Super Reverbs, along with other Marshall, Orange and Vox amps. This amp is the definition of versatility. // 10

Sound: I use this amp with a Gibson Les Paul, Paul Reed Smith type guitar and an American Stratocaster. Fat tone out of the humbuckers and single coils. Admit that with the Strat I find it takes me a bit longer to fine tune the amp when using distorted tones but eventually I figured it out. Sounds awesome. I play along with artists like SRV with the Strat to get a match of tones. I get those matches. // 10

Reliability & Durability: My only issue with the amp is the choice of speakers that Line 6 decided to use. Honestly the speakers just can not handle the power when playing a good solid fat clean tone. I am changing my speakers. Now for the shredders out there these speakers will be perfect but I like alot of headroom and these speakers just start breaking up, "Distorting" to quickly. // 9

Overall Impression: Any genre or any style within any genre of music can be played through this amp. Don't be like I have been, "Tube amp or no amp" because in this case you are wrong. This is my favorite amp that I have ever owned to date and I have owned the best amps on the market including Fender Twins and Super Reverbs, Mesa Boogie Mark 2 B, Mesa Boogie Heartbreaker, Marshalls, Crates, Peaveys, etc, etc, and I have used many others. In my 20+ years of performing, this amp tops them all. There are alot of people who buy these amps and sale them because they were not happy with it but I just about guarantee you that they simply didn't know how to use it. No matter if its gospel, country, funk, rock, blues, metal, etc, etc, this amp will get the job done. Frankly, I honestly believe that someday this amp will be considered a classic. The only thing that will stop that from happening is the users lack of abilities to set the amps up. Maybe you will catch me on stage someday with mine and you will hear what this amp is capable of doing. // 10

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