POD HD400 review by Line 6

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (9 votes)
Line 6: POD HD400

Price paid: $ 399.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
I'm running this straight into my Peavey Valve King 100 Head, which is being used with it's matching 412 watt cab. Guitars I commonly use this with are my Ibanez ICT700 Iceman with the stock DiMarzio D' Activators it came with, and a cheap Dean Vendetta 7-String using a Seymour Duncan Custom-Custom Pick up for the bridge. Let me start by saying that while the POD HD400 has sixteen amp models available to use in the editing software, only about five or six them actually sound decent or stand out to me. With a recent update, Line 6 added the "Elektrik" amp model to the HD series, which is my personal favorite for distortion due to it's "warm" sound. The EQ on this POD is fantastic, too. While creating settings may be a pain, if you do it correctly, they can sound pretty great.

Overall Impression — 8
I play primarily progressive metal, hard rock, blues, death metal, and occasionally Jazz. I would say the POD handles a metal sound very well, however, for classic or hard rock, the amp models that would match that tone or distortion aren't very great. If you spend enough time tweaking the cleaner and crunchier models, you can get a great tone for both Blues and Jazz. I have been playing for about seven years, and I can say that this can produce one of the best metal tones I've heard. If I could change anything about it, I would add some less "digital" sounding amp models to it.

Reliability & Durability — 9
It's very sturdy, and weighs more than you would think. The casing is all metal. I've never had any problems with it, live or not. Very dependable.

Ease of Use — 6
The POD HD400 can achieve some Killer tones, if the user learns how to create them. As with other Line 6 POD products, this model uses a tone bank to store thirty-two sets of four tones, which can be easily toggled through. The pedal on the far right can be toggled between a volume pedal and a "wah" pedal. On the POD itself, along with the basic tone adjustment knobs (Drive, Bass, Mid Treble, Channel Volume), there are three "FX" knobs. The default sounds this POD comes with are, to say the least, bad. And while the knobs and buttons on the POD may be fun to play around with, they aren't very efficient in creating a good tone. The best way to get a great sound out of this is to install the "Line 6 Monkey" software to update the drivers, and the "POD HD400 Edit" software to create tones with. Both are free, and can be downloaded from the Line 6 Website. Unfortunately, the POD HD400 editing software can be confusing to anyone who's never played around with it before, and it takes some time and effort to create the tone you want.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Bill Bastian
    I'm running my POD HD 400 into a DT50 amp tied to the DT 412 cabinet. I'm not really "tech-savvy" so messing with the presets and augmenting things through the computer is a little scary; however, when I hit the "FX Only" button I get a pretty great sound. People are saying they don't like the modeled amp sounds on this machine, but one of the reasons I bought the DT50 in the first place was because it is a great amp...all by itself. I bought the HD 400 solely because it was built to go with this amp. As I continue to try to enter the 21st century, I'm sure the POD will gradually make more sense, but until that time, I am very happy with how the POD HD 400 sounds through the DT50.
    It's been OK. Yes the sounds that come with it are mainly awful. It's not a creative choice but it is very useable and with a little work you can achieve some good dynamic tones for recording. It's useable but just quite boring for DI'd recording work. Add a cabinet and I think it'll sparkle.