Pocket POD Review

manufacturer: Line 6 date: 04/01/2011 category: Guitar Effects
Line 6: Pocket POD
Pocket POD exhibits all the celebrated features and pro tone that makes POD a standard in recording studios everywhere.
 Sound: 8.1
 Overall Impression: 7.6
 Reliability & Durability: 6
 Ease of Use: 6.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (8) 33 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7
Pocket POD Reviewed by: Soumitra, on december 13, 2007
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 130

Purchased from: Amazon.com

Ease of Use: Line 6 assumed that every user will have access to the internet and a printer, so the real manual with the all details is not included (and neither is a power adapter, which as I realised is a necessity with this battery hungry beast). What we find inside is a small booklet which just skims over the surface while explaining features. There is no list of the patches included so you are left to browse through them one by one! How silly is that Line 6? There are 300 patches for chrissake and they aren't even all under the same category. You are navigating left and right and down and up and it's such a mess after some time to remember where which one was. Why couldn't they just include a small sheet with a tree like view to know the layout of patches? Well, the detailed manual I found on the net but the list of patches (with the effect settings) is still a mystery. So guess, on user friendliness for a new user, the POD is a big thumbs down! I wonder how many users will actually return this thing because of poor navigation. Huge loss for Line6 there! // 6

Sound: Tested it through an AKG K55 headphones and a dB technologies powered speaker (FRFR). I noticed that the levels (through the headphones) were too low and the patches were sounding weak. So I turned it up full (doesnt't seem to have enough headroom there. Unless you are connecting it to an amp you are going to max the volume knob way to fast and still be left wanting more) and the POD came to life! Full marks here to Line6 here. A good amp changes it's character as you turn it up, getting more growl and more bite and also better dynamics. The moment I maxed the volume I was immersed in a smorgasboard of tones. Some very good distortions there which sound better when coupled with the built in modulations. haven't explored the clean tones much (like I told you. There are 300 of them patches to listen and understand) but at first glance it sounds that it is amp modeling the POD will excel at (which is the exact reason I bought this thing. I am planning to loop it with my GT8 since amp sims on that are not that good). Tweaking isnt very extensive unless you plug it in to a comp and access the hidden features via the software (Vyzex). That really multiplies the Pocket POD by a factor of 10. Upto 4/5 parameters per effect and each one is extremely responsive. Minus the software you may get disappointed with the POD and be tempted to return it. My advice: don't! If you compare it with other modellers in the price range (like the Zoom, DigiTech RP series), I think it just blows them away. I have already come up with some neat sounding riffs and bars which might end up in some self-compositions. And all this without needing to get out of the bed! // 9

Reliability & Durability: The build quality is a little disappointing as are the knobs and the 4-way switch. They shift around in their place and feel cheap. Dunno how long they will last. Also the color being shown around everywhere on the net is different from the real thing, and that comes as another surprise. The body is not the rich red color that you see here but is, instead, a cheap plastic maroonish-red. So first impressions definitely aren't good. Battery consumption is very fast and I exhausted the supplied batteries in about 3-4 hours. So if you are planning to take it for a long Drive keep some extra catridges handy. I think I'll be using a power adaptor which the manual specifies as the Line 6 DC-1. A quick search on musiciansfriend.com revealed the power ratings of the adapter (which to my surpruse is totally missing in all the manuals that Line 6 provides, whether offline or online). // 5

Overall Impression: Full marks to the tone. Respect it's capability as a practise tool and you wont be disappointed. Though judging it's quality of sound I am sure that it will fit in well in a gig as well. Quality of construction and manual/support information seems to be a bit lacking but guess I can Live with it. My guess is that Line6 focused on getting the product out first and will be adding support on an ongoing basis. But as of now. I think that the pocket POD totally does justice to it's price and the legendary POD tones. // 8

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overall: 9
Pocket POD Reviewed by: metal jello, on december 14, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center!

Ease of Use: Good sound is very easy to get out of this great product. Controls are a little confusing t first, but in about an hour, you'll be blowing through patch screen like it's nothing. It doesn't come with a very detailed manual, but there are downloadable product manuals on the internet. My unit hasn't been upgraded, but in my opinion, don't even bother with the upgrades. Not worth it. Just fool about with it, and all of it will make since. It's not too difficult. // 9

Sound: I use this for my Gibson Explorer and a cheap Ibanez bass amp. I use the bass amp to get better response from my lows. It's very noisy, that is, unless you use the noise suppresser, but use it sparingly. If you use it too much, it ruins your sustain. All of the effects are good, especially the delay, I have a channel that I dedicated to heavy distortion and a fast delay the goes forever, just quickly hit a harmonic, and you have yourself a Machine gun. You can get anybody's tone. Metallica, AC/DC, Buckethead, Chicago; heck even Divo! // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's made of cheaper plastic. I haven't dropped it yet, but I'm not sure just how strong it is. Pretty reliable though. Just be careful with it. Don't try and juggle them over a concrete floor! not a good idea. I would take a backup amp with me to a gig, but everyone should probably have a good backup. Nobody should be without this amp. It does what it's supposed to, it's a headphone amp from the future. This thing is meant to travel, just be a little careful. // 8

Overall Impression: I play metal, hard rock, classic rock, blues, classical, and kinda expiremental rock. This thing can do all of those and then some. Kepp in mind, this thing is for bassists too. Guess what else. It's for singers also! I've been playing for 2 and a half years and I also own a Crate VTX65 amp. I wish I would have waited and got the POD 3 or whatever it's called. It's the new POD that can play two guitars at once. If it was stolen or lost I would get another in a heartbeat. Keep in mind, this is meant to be a headphone/travel amp. That's what it does and it does it better than any other headphone/travel amp I've ever seen. I just wish it had better sustain, that's the only bad thing about this product. // 9

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overall: 2.8
Pocket POD Reviewed by: pag_slash_2, on february 19, 2008
0 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 109.8

Purchased from: Dvguitars.co.uk

Ease of Use: This Pocket POD operates with 4 knobs which each have two functions, which makes things extremely problematic. For example, you try to crank up the channel volume, and instead you end up sounding like you are playing in a cave, with reverb right up as soon as you nudge the control with alt button on. It also has a menu which takes quite a while to select different sounds which renders this useless for anything other than playing about with. The manual that came with the POD was pretty clear. The whole thing shold be simple to use, but unfortunatly not. It's not too hard to get tones from your computer to your POD. // 3

Sound: I am using this through an Orange Crush amp (suprisingly good for a SS amp) and an OK LP clone. The sounds you get through the guitar straight through to the amp aren't bad. The sounds are very natural and clear. Plug in the POD and all the natural tone is sucked up and replaced with a horrible cold digital sound, especially as the sounds are more overdriven. Sounds on clean aren't that bad, but aren't good either. The effects are pretty useless, just change things from bad to worse. // 4

Reliability & Durability: When I first took this out of the box, it felt as durable as a paper aeroplane and looked like it had been made by 3 year olds. Wait a minute, made in China? In that case it WAS made by three year olds. The whole POD screams false advertising. Forget the pictures you see of it on the Line 6 website, there is no glossy red finish. It's a nasty MDF red. Think Berhinger. When I tryed to put the batterys in, I heared something break. that's not good I thought. It was only a sign of what was to come. // 1

Overall Impression: I play music pretty much ranging from the Rolling Stones to Metallica. It doesn't really fit either, or anything in between. When I wanted to buy this thing, any bad comments sfell on death ears. I was 100% sure it was going to be good. I implore you to take my advice and not make the same mistake as me. If you like listening to polyphonic ringtones or the electric guitar sound on a cheapo keyboard, then, by all means buy this POD. If not, steer clear and stick with your current set up. If this was lost/stolen I wouldn't mind. I love that it gives impression that it's going to be good. I hate when you realise it just isn't. // 3

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overall: 7
Pocket POD Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 22, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 65

Purchased from: Turnkey (R.I.P.!)

Ease of Use: Basically, this little 'kidney bean' is a plug in and play beastie. I haven't used the belt clip to attach it to my belt... But it's quite handy to clip it to the handle on the top of your amp, to stop it sliding off! Line 6 selection and editing processes scared me a bit, before I got to grips with this, but for the size (and the money! ) it's fairly easy to get to grips with. I quite like Line 6's 'smart control' knobs (I have a Spider HD75 head as well) and setting up your own patches and editing is pretty straightforward, once you've had a bit of a fiddle about. I've only tried to edit/add patches via the USB connection once and I must admit, I didn't have much success. But to be honest, it has more than enough patches on it for me anyway, and I only tend to use the ones I've created myself... ! // 7

Sound: The reason I love Line 6 is the tone. Their amp models, to me, are second to none! Especially the Rectifier models. I play mostly metal and rock and the Killswitch Engage/Foo Fighters sounds you can get from this thing are awesome! The effects are great and I like the fact that you can blend them, bypass, change, edit, etc. And mix exactly what you like to get some truly unique tones. Live, I'd used this through a 120W head and 4x12 250W cab, and it certainly sounded powerful! It was a little tinny, and I've now got my Spider HD75 head, which is totally awesome! The Pocket POD is now my practise and recording equipment for home and it sounds great through my 60W amp, with plenty of beef, tone and power. It's not noisy either - I don't know if there's a built in noice gate? My HD75 is the same - stop playing and there's no hiss! Awesome! Overall though, the sound is first class! // 8

Reliability & Durability: The casing seems a little flimsy and it is only made of plastic, but at the end of the day, any enthusiastic and proud musician takes care of his gear. It could have done with a small padded gig bag to protect it, but I've found something suitable to carry it about in. I've used it Live for some time and, prior to me getting my HD75, it actually cut out in the penultimate song of the set! I couldn't get the sound back and it kept making funny noises when plugged into the amp... I never found out what caused it, but suspect I may have had a lead problem too. Anyway, it's now a home-use-only piece of kit and it's been fine for everything I need it for (I've even used it for some vocal effect on a recording! ). Generally I'd say it is a good piece of Live kit, but I think it's geared more towards home and recording use. Personally I'd say at least take one stomp-box with you as a backup. Also it eats batteries, so make sure you run it on a power supply! Shame one isn't included, but I believe you can get a pack for it with headphones, power supply, etc (see the Thomann website). // 5

Overall Impression: I'd not really read much about this before getting it and I took a bit of a risk by buying it only on the shop assistant's recommendation. But I knew of Line 6's sounds and had demoed a couple of their amps before, so I knew I'd get something decent. It was only when I checked the box in the store that I realised you got preset patches from the likes of Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, POD (aptly!) and a host of emo, pop and rock bands I've not heard of! The KsE patches swung it for me and I've used theirs as a basis for editing my own patches. Some of the tones and models are a little suspect (like the 'brit' amp, which I assume is supposed to model a Marshall? ), but on the whole they're nearly all useable and you can edit every one and create your own, so there's almost nothing you can't do with it! I'd say there's nothing really to complain about and for the money, I'm suitably impressed! Well done Line 6! Like I said, I love their products and I'd happily stick with these guys for life (unless I can afford a real Rectifier!). The days of solid-state tinnyness are gone for us amateur and poor musicians! This piece of kit should be suitable for any style of music, and certainly for the metal and rock that I play it is superb! Get yourself a power supply or a set of rechargeable AAA batteries and you can't go wrong! // 8

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overall: 7.3
Pocket POD Reviewed by: UHATEIT, on august 26, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 80

Purchased from: EBAY

Ease of Use: Getting good sound out of it is really easy if you use the preset tones. I am yet to try and mess with the silver knobs on the front as the preset tones are setup nicely and don't need to be messed with. Editing things is definately a pain as you have to use a software program. I got used to it after a while but it took me time to download and even go on a forum to find out how to do/work certain things so the ease of use could be better. There is a manual but its tiny and just explains the basics, if you do some internet searching there are better manuals from the Line 6 site you can print up. As for upgraded firmware, I am not sure if mine is upgraded but I have no play/use issues. // 5

Sound: I use this with an Epiphone SG G310 and a Line 6 Spider III 15 watt amp and the sound is great for me. I bought the Line 6 spider 3 amp because I wanted tones but finished the capacity of that and wanted more so I got this POD, so I basically never use the amp tones at all because I plug in the Pocket POD and get all the preset and dialed in tones without having to tweek around the amp everytime so that makes chanign tones easy and a breeze! The effects I haven't used on the silver knobs, but the ones when you are editing on the software make a HUGE difference and you can get some pretty cool effects on the pocketpod editor program (vyzex). I can get the sounds I want easily from the custometones.com website which is compatible with the unit. I can search by song name and artist and I was able to get great tones for my favorite bands like Metallica, Dragonforce, Slayer, Green Day, and Blink-182. All the tone qualities are great, tho the problem I have is the uploading site customtones.com When you buy this unit it has preset tones and you can only change out 124 tone boxes in the user presets section (has to be done with the vyzex software) and on the customtones website there are for some really stupid reason many many many of the EXACT SAME TONE and have been uploaded multiple times for some reason which makes absoltely no sense. Then you can go through the hassle of downloading them and then trying to upload them and play them and the sounds don't work at all. It's like someone uploaded a completely blank tone and it doesn't play anything. So picking and choosing through the tones to find which ones work from the customtones.com website to add to your Pocket POD can oftentimes be hit and miss. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I feel I can depend on it, the unit is great, but the software can be confusing and the tone website for downloading can be a real hit and miss situation for good tones and ones that don't work at all. I would certainly use this at a gig as you can Switch to a new preset tone very fast and that would be awesome for being at a gig! An issue is durability. It's portable, but the problem is the plastic feet are slippery and it can slide across the table and fall onto the floor making a loud plastic crash sound. So I question whether this can hold up well if dropped at all. What Line 6 NEEDS to to is add testired feet to the bottom for those using it on a slippery table, but for hiooking it to your belt/pants this works well. // 7

Overall Impression: This matches well with my style, all it takes is to go and download the tones you want and you're set! I wanted this product for a while and did Tons Of Research on forums, reading product reviews and facts about tone selection and quality of the product and ease of use to make sure this was something I could use easilly and not need to put too much effort into. I agree this item works wekk and does what it is supposed to, tho the software is the only problem and its ease of use for the software is a bit confusing (there is a whole forum for those with questions and problems run by those Who work for Line 6) But once you get used to it, it's not that bad. What I love are the ease of tones at the palm of your hand, once you get what you want in there the selection is amazing! I hate the fact the battery life is bad so I had to get the ac adapter, and I wish the screen were larger to show more info and perhaps a list view instead of only being able to see 1 tone at a time so you don't know what tones are coming up ahead unless you memorize them. There is nothing that compares to this product in this price range. It does amazing things for a cheap price and you will love the product! I could not afford $300+ for the larger (non portable) pods, so this is small and portable and does tons of things for a great price. // 8

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overall: 7.8
Pocket POD Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 28, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 55

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: 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. // 7

Sound: 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. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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overall: 8.3
Pocket POD Reviewed by: sirderns, on january 07, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 84.99

Purchased from: The drum and guitar center

Ease of Use: The Pocket POD is a brilliant little tool, it can easily create some nice tones as it has apparently 300+ tones and I'll get more into those later on. The selection of tones is made really easy with the directional pad and changing them is quite easy using the knobs. The manual is quite good, if a little basic, and gets you up and ready to make and use the tones quickly. It is in English, French, German and I think it the last one is spanish. It has a clip on the back to attach to a belt or guitar strap but I wouldn't really recommend it as it's quite hard to use at an angle. In order to create and edit the premade tones you can download a program called "Vyzex Pocket Pod" Which is very valuable to use as it means you can edit the tones with more Precision and it's easier. This is great for a free program. To connect the Pocket POD to the program all you need to use is a USB lead which comes with the pocket pod. The good thing is that by changing it on the computer it automatically changes it on the pod. So you can be playing, and say you've found a good tone but you want some more reverb, you can plug it into Vyzex, add reverb and continue playing. On the top of the Pocket POD are a CD/MP3 input, an Amp output, a Direct output or headphone jack, a 9 volt power supply jack (which I would recommend using) and a Guitar lead input. // 8

Sound: I am using this with some affordable bits of gear. A Vox VT30 and an Epiphone Les Paul Special II. Some effects can be good when playing but a sharp squealing noise builds up and up. I think everyone finds there favorite tones out of anything and I've certainly found mine which are brilliant. There are tones for different songs and bands such as Sweet Child of mine, Welcome to the jungle, Walk this way, Back in black, Black magic woman and many more. All the effects seem quite good, though not as good as a pedal or stomp box dedicated to them. But the Pocket POD was made for tones and the effects add a lot to the tones which sound fantastically good. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've only had it for about 3 days so I'm not sure on it's durability but I do know the battery life on it isn't great. It needs 4 AAA batteries and lasts for about 5 hours so I do recommend buying a power supply but make sure to get the right one! There has been quite a lot of confusion in the past on why some Power supplies which have 9v work and don't work for this. It's because this needs a negative something or other and not a positive one but overall, you'll be safe buying the Line 6 9v power supply as that definitely works. I wouldn't use one for gigging unless you only need 1 tone as there is no pedal control so you have to use the directional pad to change tones and unless you set the tones up on Vyzex to be one after another then it could take minutes. The casing and knobs are made of plastic and appear to be quite stable as long as you don't throw them out of any windows. // 7

Overall Impression: I've been playing for about 2 years now and this is the first sort of "Tone machine" (I couldn't think of any other word to describe it.) And I find it brilliant. I play all sorts of music as I like all genres really and this caters for basically all of them. I think if it were stolen I would consider buying another one or I might move on and get something with a bit more oomph that costs a bit more money, as I bought this to be a cheap-ish starter in the tone-creating/recording world and it does what I was hoping for it to do. I wish it had a few more effects. It really is made and used for the tones that it's able to create and because of that and the relatively cheap price, I give this a 9. // 9

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overall: 7.5
Pocket POD Reviewed by: PoisonousApe, on april 01, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 69

Purchased from: County Music (Canterbury)

Ease of Use: I've had this for a couple of years now. There are lots of presets, I think it would be fair to say that, while it will accomodate any musical style the emphasis is very much on ROCK tones. Battery life can be pretty dire, the manual warns that reverb can eat batteries and its more than right. Using a mains adapter makes this a little less portable but its a very necessary investment. Patches can be edited quite easily although the shift function means you have nothing like WYSIWYG looking at the Pocket POD, plus if your shifted and base functions are different you get a sudden leap when you rotate the dial. There are a lot of hidden parameters, from amp presence to cabs to FX and reverb tweaks, that can't be adjusted without a PC, which makes it essential to get the most out of the Pocket POD. There are hidden switches which can make a huge difference to the sound of a patch if they are on or off. Once you've gone online and downloaded the manual this is only adequate. It tells you how to use it, but nothing about the preset patches, the only waty to find out about these is with the Vyzex editor - another free download. This unit has been upgraded to version 1.01, but I couldn't tell any difference after the upgrade. The built in tuner is marvellous, much easier to use than a lot of other modelling fxs and amplifiers. I have found it accurate enough to use for setting intonation at a pinch. Rating reflects the need to use a PC to get the best out of this. // 7

Sound: I use and have used a variety of single coil and humbucker fitted guitars through this. I normally run it into headphones for practice, It runs well straight to a PA setup, and sounds good through the FX in of my mid 80s Peavey Backstage Plus. Inevitably the HiGain amp models are noisy, as is running into a PC, that seems to be the USB lead picking up noise. On its own, the Pocket POD is not too noisy otherwise, whatever the guitar. Generally the effects are good, its a shame there's no Phaser model, although the moderate Flanger model can come up ith an OK approximation with a bit of fiddling around. Reverb is good and the Spring reverb can get that Fender sound pretty easily. You really need to hook up to a PC to get the best out of what the effects can offer, changing pre-delay and feedback to get "the sound" you are looking for depending on the effect. The amp distortion seems more accurate on the higher gain amp models it lacks a little of the creamy power amp distorion tone that you would expect from amp models for the 60s amps particularly. Don't forget the distortion, drive, bright and EQ toggles that can only be adjusted using a PC, these can make a huge difference to the tone. Overall there is a large palette of tones available whatever you style and the actual sound is good. If there were one criticism of the Pocket POD's sound, I should say that it is overly bright irrespective of model and that the distortion modelling of some of the amps is a little generic. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This really is not a gigging tool - its far too tricky to get from patch to patch and its far too small to be stable unless its clipped to you belt or lashed to an amp with gaffer tape. For a practice tool its excellent, and stands up to small knocks from over vigourous movements well. The biggest problem is the D-pad takes a lot of wear and needs to be used carefully to register a "down" by now. The rating reflects this as a practise tool. // 7

Overall Impression: I play mostly blues and classic rock, and there are enough presets and amp models to present me with a wide tonal palette within those genres. I've been playing for 30 years and owned and used a plethora of gear in that time I wish that something like the Pocket POD had been available when I was starting out, it would have made a huge difference to my learning and practising. I should certainly replace this if it were stolen or lost, it is invaluable to me. When I bought this, the choice was between this, some small modelling amps or a full size POD, for the price and features there was no competition. Wish list: a Phaser model and the ability to control all the paramters without pluggig into a PC. // 8

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