Price paid: £ 55
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 8
Using it with a range of very inexpensive guitars, I find the POD tends to nullify the properties of whatever is going into it. A Strat no longer sounds like a Strat. A Les no longer sounds like a Les. You might call this bad, but it's the whole point. If I was gonna play the Sweet Child O' Mine preset with a Strat and it didn't sound like a Les I'd want my damned money back. There's plenty of amps built in. Quite a few sound very similar (or even the same) though the differences come out of the woodwork when the Drive is punched up. My favourite is Line 6 Insane. It's awesome. The effects are pretty decent too. My only complaints are that you can't mix and match them much (there's a delay variant of each, that's it) and there's no auto-wah. The timing of each effect can be altered with the Tap button. That's fairly good, although I would have liked manual setup using the screen so I can get the msec exact. And the tap rate should save with the preset. Overall, it's good with a wide range of sounds. I can't think of anything other than heavy heavy heavy metal that it can't do that well. The effects sound decent. People review this as if they're only getting a single effect for 55. You're not. You're getting a box of several mutually exclusive effects and a delay on the side. The noise gate is useful for very cheap guitars. It can make a slight sucking sound if you whack it all the way up, but hey, just don't do that. I think the first thing the POD does with the incoming line is run some kind of digital auto-equaliser on it, because wah-wah pedals are nullified if placed before.
Overall Impression — 8
If you buy a POD, you've got to remember; it's a cheap way for beginner guitarists to get a wide range of effects and amplifiers to they can find their sound and develop it. If you're just going to do one thing with it you might as well just buy the specific amp or effects pedal designed to that because it WILL do it better.
Reliability & Durability — 8
People complain that it feels cheap. Yes, maybe, when compared to a massive metal pedal. That's because it's meant to be worn on your belt. Clip your wah-wah to your belt, try it. Oh, wait, it's just dragged your trousers to the floor. Sorry. It's like comparing a tank to a Scenic. If this thing needs one more change to make it more dependable, it's power supply. AAA batteries last about an hour. Why not AA? The case has enough empty space for it. You can plug in power but don't expect it to stay in as you jump around.
Ease of Use — 7
The device is brilliant once you learn to use it. It can be difficult to navigate the menus as you can't see their layout, only one item at a time. It is best to imagine it as a pile of boxes; press up/down to change which box you're looking at, press right to go into a box and press left to leave the box you're in. It could do with a bigger d-pad though. And quick preset buttons. You just couldn't use this Live because you'd be jabbing the titchy little d-pad going through menus and setting the timer interval (which isn't saved with presets? ) Don't bother with the PC half. It's nice but useless.