Price paid: £ 180
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 9
I'm using this at gigs because I have quite a complex set up and I was getting fed up of needing a long cable in the way. Because I sing as well I don't tend to be running around the stage all the time, but it's just great to be able to jump on or off stage, walk across to the drummer or whatever without worrying that my cable is going to get snarled up on mic stands or pedals or whatever. It is just very freeing and helps you relax. It's also pretty great to go into the audience area at soundchecks and hear what you sound like when playing. There seems to be a lot of arguments from tone purists about how "pure" the tone on wireless is. Frankly I think they're talking total garbage if anyone other than a highly trained audio engineer says they can honestly tell the difference on a loud stage with other musicians playing too. Yeah, if you're recording I'm sure there is a better dynamic response from an expensive cable but live I really, really can't tell the difference - especially when everyone is playing. Maybe I just have bad ears, but I've not come across anyone who has complained about the tone. That said I am playing through a lot of pedals and fx so in terms of absolute tonal purity - I'm not the guy you'd turn to. If you are all about your 1950 relic guitar into a pure boutique tube amp, then yeah, maybe wireless will mark your tone down - but I doubt much of your audience would know tbh. The tone can be controlled with the "cable length emulator" which let's you dial in anything from zero to 30ft cables. This gives a progressively darker and warmer tone. Given I'm playing through a lot of pedals and rack mounts and am doing a lot of electronic stuff I tend to just leave it at zero for the most pristine and sparkling sound to Drive all that. But I've tried longer cable tone a couple of times on more "pure" guitar bits and it sounds good. The transmitter is supposed to be line of sight for best use and limited to about 200 foot distance but I've used it further than that (in the car Park at one venue) and through concrete walls. It's better than my computers boosted wifi - so no problems there.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall it's a great system. It's a bit too expensive but then most Line 6 stuff is a tad overpriced. Like most Line 6 stuff though it is neat, compact, well-made for what it is, and just feels simpler to use than most of it's competitors. The G50 system is perfect for a small to mid-sized band who want to break free of cables but don't need to have multiple fail-safe stadium set-ups. I love that it's compact and you don't need to fix any aerials to the transmitter. I love the locking cable set up which feels a lot more secure when you're jumping about. I love the LED display for signal and battery life and input which is just very helpful. I love how easy it is to set up and Pick a channel, so everyone in the band can use one if needed. I love the sound quality. I love the tuner output on the receiver which is really handy. I really don't like the cable you get with the system which is just cheap garbage compared to the rest of the system and you could expect better given the price tag. I've compared this to various cables and some other UHF systems in the same sort of price ranges. Overall - better than the UHF, as good as a cable for live work unless you are an absolute tone purist. It is an exaggeration to say that it's 'better' than cable sound - there is a fractional latency on it which is closer to a 100ft cable, but I doubt you'd ever notice. Basically don't record with it - but then why would you?
Reliability & Durability — 8
The G30 lower model is made of plastic and is quite honestly garbage. As the other reviews mention, don't confuse this G50 for that. It's all metal and far better than any of even the higher end UHF packs I've used previously. There's no bendy little whip antennas, just a heavy duty compact wifi aerial. The receiver is all metal casing and is as tough as a compact fx pedal. The inputs and outputs are solid. On the G30 the transmitter uses a 1/4 inch 'jack to jack' connector - but the G50 set up has the mini-XLR which is supposedly better quality and is also a locking connector which feels a lot more secure. The one downside is the cable you get with this system right out of the box is pretty useless. Even if it is described as Line 6's "deluxe" model - it really isn't. Luckily you will find loads of people making noiseless, high quality cables as replacements (or if you're good at that sort of thing, make your own). I got a bunch of right angle and straight connectors for different guitars with non-pop Neutriks on and the improvement over the stock cable is noticeable - mostly in how secure it feels when you're moving around. I'm pretty sure if someone has a problem with the G50 - it's mostly going to be down to using the stock cable. For the price you'd think Line 6 would cough up for a higher-end piece but hey - there's always something. I've never had the system fail on me since buying it. Still I tend to always have a bunch of cables with me for various backups. Luckily it's a simple switch out if it did go down. I'd mostly keep spare batteries on hand as the likeliest fault will be running low at the gig.
Ease of Use — 10
This is the mid-range wireless guitar system from Line 6. The lower end is the G30 and the higher end is the G90 - although the only real difference between this and the G90 is the rackmount and aerial transmitter distance. I've used UHF wireless products before and always ditched them pretty quickly because the sound is pretty poor unless you have a fortune to spend and have no interference around. This is pretty simple to use compared to frequency scanning traditional set-ups. You have a receiver which is only slightly larger than a Boss pedal and can be fitted to a pedal board or sit on your amp etc and a transmitter which you connect with a mini xlr to jack cable. There are 12 wireless channels, so you simply match up your transmitter and receiver and away you go. The manual like most Line 6 things is a pretty basic "pilots handbook" run through, but it's not a complex piece of kit. There are options to set the channels on the transmitter, an on and off switch and a mute. The receiver has a signal level monitor with LED's and quite a handy battery level indicator again with 3 green LED's which switches to a single red when your transmitter is close to death. I've heard some people say various rechargeable batteries spook this system and it will show full power right up until it suddenly goes red, but I've used various normal and rechargeables and it seems to work for me.