Price paid: £ 250
Purchased from: DV 24/7
Sound — 6
I'm plugging my HD300 straight into my laptop using a Jackson DK2M and using Senheisser HD202's (not the greatest pair of headphones I know. On the distorted sounds, this thing does get noisy, but using the noise gate helps clear that up). Once properly tweaked, some of the sounds this unit produces are brilliant (I'm especially pleased with the clean tones). And the heavier models for metals sound very good - lead tones again sound pretty good once tweaked properly. Playing metal, I can get a good tone for Metallica songs to Bullet For My Valentine to Iron Maiden (the Treadplate model is pretty heavy sounding) Onto effects, the actual effects are very articulate and natural sounding, it as a range from simple Chorus's to Pitch Changers and even to a Smart Harmoniser. However, the unit itself has set certain effects in each of the 3 banks - i.e. Delays are only in FX3 and cannot be changed, OD is in FX1 and cannot be moved around nor can you run two of the pedals at the same - imo this is a huge let down - i.e. you can't even run an EQ pedal and OD at the same time, because there in the same bank. Also the wah's are pretty weak and to my ears sound the same.
Overall Impression — 6
Playing majority metal and its various subgenre's. The POD does Excel with some models but some a big let down (the Engl and Marshall JCM model's) - they just sound really weak. Previously I played through POD Farm, and honestly its not the biggest step up in the world (the leads just sound more articulate). I regret not playing with it enough in the store. If stolen, I wouldn't buy it again, I'd just invest in the expansion packs for POD Farm, buy a better pair of headphones/monitors and a nice Wah pedal) and I reckon it'll sound better than the POD HD300. Overall, it's an okay unit not the greatest, and if anyone were looking into buying anything from the POD HD series, go for the 500 - the use of any effect any bank, and graphic EQ and POD farm capability are little features which will satisfy any guitar play.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Gotta say this thing is built like a tank, I've dropped it a couple of times and its damaged my flooring not the unit (units more important). If I were to gig I probably would without a backup.
Ease of Use — 6
Getting a good sound out of this unit is pretty hard work (IMO), the factory preset's aren't the best (bar a few of the really crazy sounding ones). Editing the patches is simple using the POD HD300 Edit software, otherwise editing patches on the unit itself can be a pain (but some will get used to it I think).