FBV Shortboard Review

manufacturer: Line 6 date: 03/19/2007 category: Guitar Effects
Line 6: FBV Shortboard
With a backlit display that shows where you are, and rugged steel stomp switches and pedal to give you complete control of where you're going.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Ease of Use: 8.7
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reviews (3) 16 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
FBV Shortboard Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 06, 2005
7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 210

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: Ok, first off let's get one thing straight. The FBV and FBV Shortboard are not effects pedals so to speak. In reality the board is a custom MIDI control specifically made for Line6 amps or Pods. The FBV Short Board is targeted to the Spider 2 and Flextone III crowd while the full sized FBV is a better fit for the Pod XT and the Veta users. The board itself doesn't have any effects 'inside' it but instead has canned MIDI control codes tied to specific buttons marked to match functions the amps or Pod have. The manual is only a page long but covers everything you would need as every button is so clearly marked. I mean really; how hard is it to figure out what a button marked "Reverb" is meant to do? Ok, now that we have that out of the way lets talk about the board. I have a FlexTone III XL and the ShortBoard and it is best way to hook up to this amp. The amp itself has 36 channels of preset but only four channel buttons on it. With the board you can switch between all 36 channels with ease. There is an oversized backlit LCD display which serves a few functions such as showing the name of the current patch, showing the patches of a newly selected bank before a channel is chosen and also for the on board chromatic tuner. It is big enough and bright enough to be read from a lot farther off than I am tall so that is just fine. Virtually every button has a corresponding on/off indicator with the exception of the Tap Tempo button which 'strobes to the beat' and the channel up/down buttons which, of course, are not toggle state buttons so that makes perfect sense. The ShortBoard only has one pedal which serves as either a volume or Wah. The use of the pedal is either programmed into the current patch (you can do this yourself with Line6 Edit when you make a custom patch) or by pushing the pedal all the way forward and engaging a switch at the end of the pedals travel. If I had one complaint this would be it. You have to be at full volume to get to Wah and then you lose volume control. The way around this is either use your guitars volume knobs or better yet, hook up a second expression pedal into the Pedal jack on the back of the board. When you do this the on board pedal becomes a dedicated Wah and the attached pedal works the volume. Problem solved and for a lot less $$$ than the FBV. All in all the board could not be easier to use. The hardest thing I found to do is to edit a patch name with the board itself but I am even more hard pressed to figure out just why I would do this when I can name the patch in Line6 Edit when I create/edit it. One last comment, if you have an issue with your tone when using this pedal then you had better check your amp/pod because the problem ain't in the board, period! // 10

Sound: Well, again this is not really an effect pedal so none of these item appply but as I am using my Flex III which I simply love every tone out of AND because the volume and Wah are controlled by the board I will have to say it's great! // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing is solid as a rock. The switches are quality and the pedal is not going to break any time soon. I suspect the first things to go will be either the RJ45 connector that connects to the amp (get tangled in the cord once to often and it'll be damn) or the LCD. I would not suggest women wearing spike heels stomp in that general area or it will be all over. Seriously, I suspect this thing could be dropped from a balcony before a gig without any troubles though I am not suggesting you try this. I am sure I will be using this for years to come. // 8

Overall Impression: Basically everything you can do with this pedal can be accomplished with a programmable MIDI controller. So there is a cheaper approach than buying the FBV. Nonetheless if someone were to walk off with my board I would be scrimping to replace it before I upgraded any of my other stuff. Between its ease of use and utterly solid feel I much prefer it over say a Behringer FCB1010 even though the latter, which has two pedals, would do the job at less cash. // 10

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overall: 7.5
FBV Shortboard Reviewed by: LiquidChaos, on december 21, 2004
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: There was no manual for the shortboard when I got it so I had to figure out most of the effects myself, but it was pretty easy. If you buy the Spider II half stack it has a manual that shows you how to use it. The shortboard is for use with any Line 6 Spider II amp, I think the Flextone series too. It's got 36 preset channels that you can customize as well as a volume/wah pedal and a tuner. Everything is simple to use, and you can pretty much synthisize any sound you need for playing a show. Switching between banks can be a hassle because each bank has 4 effects (9 total banks) and you have to switch between banks to find the effect you want but if you know where every effect is saved it's not too hard. // 8

Sound: I use the shortboard with a Line 6 Spider II 212, and my guitar is a custom Hamer. The clean channels sound excellent and you can use the shortboard to turn on and off distortion, (stomp) modulation (echoes, tremolo, etc) delay and reverb. The heavy distortion sounds are great, and it has a ton of preset sounds that are let's just say unique. But they're all fully customizable so you can change them to whatever sounds you want. The pedal is a volume pedal normally, it's a little touchy but it gets the job done. There's a toe switch that turns on the wah function that the pedal doubles as. The wah is OK, not the greatest. I would invest in a dedicated wah pedal instead. Some effects it sounds great on, like the mild distortion, but for the clear channels and heavy distortion it doesn't provide the full range of wah that most musicians are looking for. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've had it for about 6 months and it would still be fully functional (if a music stand hadn't been knocked over onto it during a show). It made a ding in the plastic surrounding the display screen, and a few days later the backlight for the display went out. Line 6 will fix it for you if you buy the warrenty, but it still works. Just not quite as aestheticly pleasing. // 6

Overall Impression: I play a lot of metal/harder rock stuff, and it's got the sounds I need. I think it's kind of a big splurge, but I like it a lot now that I've had it for a while. I'm not sure that I'd replace it if it gets stolen or something but it's fun to play around with. // 8

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overall: 9.5
FBV Shortboard Reviewed by: GRAND MASTER, on march 19, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 269

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: This is controller for the the Line 6 amps. I use it with a spider 3 75 watt amp. There is no manual, well if you consider a piece of paper the size of a postcard with brillant instructions like chorus button click on this to get the chorus sound. But frankly once you figure it out, you are good to go. The one thing I wish they did was to put how to calibrate the pedal. I had to go to the forum to get the information. If you don't calibrate it, you will not be able to get to all the effects. // 8

Sound: Fender strat mexican, Gibson Epiphone sg, spider 3 75 watt amp. There is no extra noise when you are not playing. This is not an effect pedal, it just helps you to get to the amps effects. Plugging it in is quite easy, it has a cable that looks like a telephone plug that goes into your amp. It locks into the pedal and amp, which is nice because you don't have to worry about it unplugging by accident. The cable can be bought at any computer store. It has a built in wah/volume. Which you can change on the fly by just pushing down. If you want both options at the same time, you have to buy another volume pedal and plug it into the pedal board. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have played about 15 shows with this and it hasn't disappointed. It is built nicely and sturdy. The buttons are tough and look and feel like they will last forever. The wah/volume appears to be sturdy. The cable is built nicely and looks like it could withstand the test of time. If I could compare this to another pedal's toughness that it is more like a Boss than a Zoom or DigiTech. // 10

Overall Impression: This is a must buy! You will not be disappointed. If this was stolen, I would cry then purchase another one. I didn't care for the manual but the amount of people Who help on the forum more than make up for it. I would highly suggest this pedal for your Line 6 amp. // 10

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