Price paid: $ 151.99
Purchased from: Max-it Pawn
Sound — 9
This is what I really liked about the HD Series - I think the sounds are quite a bit better, they didn't just repackage the same sounds again like the did with the X3 Line. I play through an LTD EC200QM and a Washburn Dime36 G16. I really like the Mesa and Engl models. The depth to the sound of the HD Series sounds much more full and authentic to me than previous pods. I think it feels better to play than the previous pods too. I don't play with the clean or lower gain stuff too much really, but when I do I definitely appreciate how much those sounds have evolved as well. The effects are also from their new generation of stomp models on the M13 and those also sound better to me than they have on the past pods. Especially things like Whammy and pitch based effects like harmonizers. Remember the "Bender"? Horrible excuse for a Whammy! They made good on those ones this time. I don't use much for effects typically as I'm a fairly straight forward player but their old Whammy model always bummed me out.
Overall Impression — 9
I love my metal new and old and honestly with the original firmware I was skeptical if I would keep this pedal. Firmware version 2.01 has added more amps and made some tweaks the existing models. I definitely noticed a difference on the Mesa model right away and it was definitely for the better. The firmware update entirely changed my opinion of the pedal. For what I do this is really all I need, I don't need the extra options the higher models have and its even without those its a big step above my previous pods. I'm quite happy with it.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I don't really gig right now as I am currently just a one man band recording in an apartment, so my dependence is on modeling tech in this sort of setting. It doesn't leave the studio room too much except for the occasional jam session with a buddy or two but it seems to be built pretty solid. I am still a bit skeptical of giving Line 6 high marks for reliability after an experience with my X3 Live a few years ago, but they seem to have learned. The problem was the USB direct recording would drop out all the time but I don't have that issue with this pedal. I still rely on my M-Audio fast track pro for day to day use but I had to at least check it out. USB seems solid this generation.
Ease of Use — 9
This is more a review for people on the fence about upgrading to the HD Series from previous pods. I'm not gonna list everything they featured, others have done that already. The following is my impression of the HD Line versus previous pod lines. It's pretty easy to get a good sound out of it. I dialed in two metal tones in 15 minutes that I am still using to this day. I do feel like I wasted a lot of time chasing tones with my previous pods instead of actually playing. But some of that time did come in handy for learning how Line 6 generally sets up their user interfaces I guess. It is a bit different on the HD's but not hard to figure out if you've used their multi's before. I've used a lot of multi's (not just Line 6's either) and I find it easy to work with anyway. Firmware version is 2.01 and the manual should be able to help you out if you get stuck.