Price paid: A$ 495
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 9
at home I plug my POD into the effects return of my Peavey studio pro, bypassing the amps preamp and using the POD as the preamp. Live, I plug the POD into an amp onstage to have some stage noise, then I run 2 XLR leads out of the emulated balanced line outs of the POD, straight into the stage box for the PA. The emulated line outs simulate the sound of a miced guitar cabinet, therefor you don't need to mic the guitar amp on stage. This setup sounds great, many people tell me that it wont sound as good as a miced amp running through the PA, and even if this is true, the POD makes up for it in convenience. The POD, like most amps, does get noisy at high gain but the built in noise gate fixes that problem, my only gripe is that the noise gate can not be adjusted, it is either on or off. The effects sound amazing. The stereo chorus effects shimmer and the delay effects are solid, but again, editing the effects parameters is a little clunky. The combination effects are cool, I use the delay+chorus regularly. I wish the unit had auto-wah and phaser effects but this is only a small gripe as I hardly ever use these effects. The amp models sound great for the most part. The Line 6 amp models are terrible but the solando high gain and the Fender models stand out the most. The rest are pretty cool too, there are a huge variety of amps to choose from. I can get a similar sound to some artists I like which is close enough for me because I prefer to create my own signature sounds.
Overall Impression — 9
I play in a metal band and the POD just keeps on impressing me and those who hear it, I do not use a lot of distortion (the Drive dial is at about 4) because I believe too much gain makes you sloppy, I like to hear every note clearly, so I aimed for a very transparent distortion sound. I also play jazz, funk, rock and a lot of prog metal by myself and the POD can do it all. I have been playing for nearly 5 years and I have developed a good ear for tone and I think this unit stands its ground against many tube amps. I own a few Ibanez guitars with passive and active pickups and a custom J&D 7 string with active pickups, these all sound amazing through the POD. If it were stolen I would buy another one or something similar (POD XT, POD X3, GT 10) I love the versatility of the POD, it can do pretty much any sound you want, my favorite feature is the amp models. I can go from a heavy Mesa Boogie rectifier sound, to a Vox crunch sound, to a Fender clean at the push of a button. This unit is comparable with many multi effect processors from companies like Boss, Zoom and other Line 6 products. I chose this one because a number of pro artists use the POD and achieved great sounds from it. Overall this is an amazing unit for anyone looking for a wide variety of sounds, and effects. A midi floorboard is essential for Live use if you are changing patches often.
Reliability & Durability — 9
this unit feels tough, the front plate is metal and feels very sturdy. I have to gig without a backup because I can't afford a backup amp but I have no worries about this unit failing. It was treated very rough when is was posted to me and the transformer broke off the circuit board. This is not a problem with the unit, it was a problem with the way it was handled during shipping. My dad fixed the transformer up and it works fine so it was alright in the end.
Ease of Use — 8
This is the Original rack mount POD Pro. Single digit display, a row of control knobs along the bottom, input and headphone jacks, amp and effect selector knobs on either side of the unit and a large number of inputs and outputs on the back. This unit has 36 storage banks, the stock presets are alright but once you start tweaking it is very easy to create your own sound. You can get a wide variety of sounds from this unit, for example the other day I stumbled on a cool AC DC type rhythm sound by modeling a Fender Twin with a boost. Controlling the POD is a little clunky, to access the second functions of the knobs you need to hold down the TAP key. The rear panel can be intimidating at first but if you read the manual (which is long but highly detailed) then it shouldn't be a problem. The firmware is not upgradable because this is an older POD without usb. The unit can also be programmed from your PC via midi using the Line 6 edit software.