POD X3 Review

manufacturer: Line 6 date: 01/26/2012 category: Guitar Effects
Line 6: POD X3
The POD X3 will inspire and amaze you with the most complete collection of POD-quality guitar amp, cab, stompbox and studio effect models ever.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.2
 Ease of Use: 8.7
 Overall rating:
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reviews (6) pictures (2) 32 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.3
POD X3 Reviewed by: thickhead, on february 04, 2008
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center Tampa

Ease of Use: Talk about easy-to-use. Plug in, turn on and dial in you sound. Even with 12 knobs, 7 buttons, a knob/button and a directional button (think NES or Playstation), it's very easy to figure out without having to consult the manual for every little thing. Very user friendly. Along with the FBV Shortboard or FBV Express, you can Switch sounds easily with your foot while playing. // 9

Sound: Either thru headphones, studio monitors or a big freakin amp, this unit sounds great. The POD X3 has a large library of guitar sounds. From blues rock, metal, acoustic, you name it, it has it. The best of the best was used as reference when they can up with these sounds. The presets that come with the unit really showcase it's abilities but there's probably a billion combinations you could come up with. It has soooo many amp models, speaker cabinet models, microphone types, mic placement, even bass amp and cab sounds plus some vocals FX. Technically this is a "dual processor" since you can run 2 inputs in, effect them with 2 completely different FX patches and them run them out to 2 amps, or 1 guitar in and 1 vocals in, or a guitar and bass. I use it as a second guitar sound in my Live 2 amp set-up. It gives me that extra something that my first amp sound lacks. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Just bought it so it's lasted for a couple months. I'm going to guard it like Chuck Norris. Anyone comes near it, roundhouse to the face. So far I've used it at 1 party and a bunch of practices. It works great. If I could afford to, I'd buy 2 but then I'd probably use it in a 3 amp set-up so I'd never have an extra for backup. // 8

Overall Impression: I do a lot of recording on my Boss BR-600. The Line 6 POD X3 is a great addition to all the Roland/Boss sounds I already have. It's like I now have all the best equipment. Marshall, Bogner, Fender, Mesa/Boogie, Soldano, Gallen-Krueger, Matchless, Orange, Roland, Ampeg, Shure, Neumann, AKG, Sennheiser, Hiwatt, Hartke, SWR, Big Muff Pi, Tube Screamer, Metal Zone, too many for me to sit here and keep typing. I mainly use Boss and MXR guitar FX but have recently grown to really like the Line 6 sounds. I did not know it was a true dual processor so I was happy to find that out. No matter what the style of music, you can find the guitar sound on the Line 6 POD X3. // 10

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overall: 8.3
POD X3 Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 08, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 300

Purchased from: JG Windows

Ease of Use: At first, it is mind boggling. The instruction manual is huge and pretty pointless. After a couple of hours playing around with it, you can get the hang of it. It has a pretty natural flow to create tones. Tones are pretty easy to create and edit, they can be saved in the POD, on your computer and online makes it very accessible. Throughout the years, there have been upgrades to the firmware every couple of month. Most of the time these are to correct minor bugs (stuff like spelling mistakes). On occasions, they have provided excellent expansion packs (free of course) which include loads more amp models, new pedals etc. Since the Original version, they have added a dedeicated metal pack, an fx pack and a few others. It now has vocoder and talkbox fx (think of the intro to Livin on a Prayer). Overall, the POD X3 is packed with loads of customisation and tweaking, but it is all pretty self explanitory. If you cannot get to grips with editing tones, you can always download any of the thousands of tones available online. // 9

Sound: I use this mainly for electric guitar. I have used a couple of HiFi systems, earphones and headphones, amp cabinets and PA systems. Its sounds great in all of them. Of course it will sound better in a cab compared to a pair of ear phones but what else would you expect? The presets already included mostly suck but I think they are more aimed at showing the potential and capibilities of the POD X3 and less at getting decent sounds. There have been a lot more fx included in the upgrade and I personally find them fine. Not fantastic, but certainly acceptible to use. It is possible to get just about any tone you can think of with a decent ear. The noise gate is fantastic and I have never had a problem removing noise from my tones (which are mostly metal orientated). Some people complain that the distortion or gain sucks and the noise gate is rubbish. From past experiences with other musicians, I think they are trying to acheive huge sustain without knowing this can be done effectivly with one of the Compressor fx. With enough time and patience, I can replicate an artist's tone for a sogn so that it is indistinguishable from the original, this does take hours of painstaking tweaking but very rewarding. It is possible to get similar sounds in 10 mins if you do not have the patience. The most useful feature of all in my opinion is the dual tone feature. This opens up a whole new realm of creating tones. Using the duel tone, it is possible to create a blend of two different tones, or replicate a tone and use different fx (useful for causign the illusion of using two wah/chorus/flanger/delay/distortion pedals). This can be combined with panning the tones left and right to cause the illusion of two guitarist playing the same riff (in perfect sync too!) // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have had it for almost 3 years now and I have had no problem with it. In foresight, if I was gigging with it, I would definatly buy a spare power cable because with is pretty flimsy. On occasions, it has crashed before and no sound comes out. This occurs roughly once every couple of hundred hours of use. Turning it off and on again sorts it out. I see no reason to bring a backup in the event of failing (no more than any other amp at least). If I had the money though, I would buy a 2nd one as a backup since they a reasonably priced, they can store identical tones and in the event faling occurs (could be a power surge, water damage or even theft) there will be a backup. Treat it with respect like I have and it should last for years. Keep standing on the wires and dropping it and I would predict it would last a couple of months. // 6

Overall Impression: I play mainly metal and this well suited for it. I have played roughly 5yrs and almsot 3yrs using the POD X3. I own a Spider IV 150w I like both equally. If it was stolen, I would definatly replace it because it is an invaluable tool for portability and bedroom recording. What I love about it is the common sense approach to the editing process, the dual tone feature and the ability to record via USB directly to your computer (without the tone be runied by the crappy soundcard in the computer). What I hate about it is the that tweaking dual tones through the POD X3 is pretty annoying compared to single tones. Using gearbox (the software on the computer) makes it much quicker and easier editing both tones simultaneously. I am also pretty dissapointed with the bass tones and mic tones. Compared to the guitar tones, they are pretty limited and poor. But hey, it is aimed at guitarists afterall. If I could have any additional capibilities, it would be some decent synth fx and the pitch shift/smart Harmony techniogy in the Spider IV series. // 8

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overall: 9
POD X3 Reviewed by: 15MetalRocker, on july 01, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 366

Purchased from: Thomann

Ease of Use: It is really easy to use, it have a big LCD screen and a lot of intuitive buttons. To edit a patch you only have to consult one time the manual... It is very intuitive. The manual is in English, French, German and Spanish. You can update the Flash memory and the USB Firmware with the "Line6 Monkey" (You can download it from line6.com), and you can edit your patches with the "Gearbox" (You can download it from line6.com too) If you want, you can use it with a FBV floorboard. // 10

Sound: I use it with a little Marshall and with my Ibanez RG1570 but I played with him with big amps and with studio monitors and it sounds awesome. It have 77 guitar amps simulations and 98 guitar effects simulations and 28 bass amps simulations. You can play from metal, rock, hard rock to jazz, blues and Acoustic. It have the "DualTone" option. With it, you can play with 2 amps, with 2 effects (2 delays, 2 reverbs...), with 2 cabs, or play with a guitar patch and a vocal patch at the same time. You can get a lot of presets from line6.com. The amps simulations are awesome, but the effects simulations aren't entirely. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I bought it one year ago and I hadn't any problem. It is really reliable and it is very tough. I use it each day and it is new. I played with it in concerts, parties... and it works perfectly. It is made to play at home or in an estudio, but you can play with it in a concert. // 9

Overall Impression: It is a great option. It have the best amps (Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Fender...) and the best effects (Roland, Ibanez...). You can play any music style and you can play with a guitar, with a bass or with a microphone. If you want great effects simulations, buy the Boss GT-10, but if you want great amps simulations buy the POD X3. // 9

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overall: 9
POD X3 Reviewed by: zizzleplix, on february 16, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: I think this unit is pretty easy to use but only once you get the hang of it. If you are new to the Multi-Effects Category then this might take a little figuring out before you can create some patches to use. There are plenty of Amp, Cabinet, and Effect models to help you experiment with different sounds.The manual is pretty good on explaning some of the more advanced settings(Ex: For recording with different setups) So overall This is easy to use but there is a little bit of a learning curve to it but it should be simple for almost everyone. // 9

Sound: I use this with my Spider 3 Amp (Yes I know it doesn't make sense to use a modeling processor with a modeling amp but I still get good tones out of it) and I keep it on my amps clean model with EQ and everything flat/off. There are plenty of usable tones on the POD X3 plus with the dual tone feature it opens up more possibilities. There are plenty of amp, cabinet, and effect models to help you experiment with your sound. There's amp models ranging from clean (Ex: Fender Deluxe Reverb)to crunch (Ex: Marshall Super lead 100 watt) to HI-gain (Ex: Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier) so it will suit a wide variety of styles. I have plenty of patches on this already so it proves it is usable. My favorite Amp models are Line 6 Big Bottom, Chunk-Chunk, etc. This won't exactly replace your favorite amp and effects setup but it has good sounds out of it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It is too early to tell whether how sturdy this is or not but as long as I had it has held up pretty well and I've experienced no errors so far. I think it will hold up pretty well and not need much maintenence but I will kepp a watchful eye on it just to make sure. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall I like this piece of equipment and I plan to do more in the future with it, this is good "bang for your buck" if you ask me but this is my pure and honest opinion. I'd recommend getting an FBV pedal if you intend to use this live or get the POD X3 Live. It suits my style for what I play (Well practice and learn) which is mostly heavy metal (Ex: Slipknot, Metallica, Iron Maiden, etc). And I recommend this for anyone looking for a good multi effects processor that won't break the bank. I'm not getting and Axe-FX because it its too expensive for me. That is all. // 10

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overall: 7
POD X3 Reviewed by: ProgJazzMath, on february 02, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 399.99

Purchased from: zzounds.com

Ease of Use: The POD X3 is one the best units out there for the price and you can get a vast amount of tone from it. It is a little tricky to find the right tone and with a lot of tweaking you can find something that sounds pretty close to what you want. Some are pickier than others, but if you want a simple glistening clean tone, you got it. If you want a really heavy distortion tone, you got it. It's a bit overwhelming at first if you are new to using a unit such as this, but after a while of toying with it and searching through the almost endless tone settings, you will get the hang of it. The manual was a monster. It's about the size of a paperback novel and it really covers all the ground you would want a manual to and will definitely help you to find that tone you've been looking for. // 7

Sound: My current set up is an Ibanez RG with an EMG 81/85 pick-up configuration plugged into a DigiDesign Mbox 2 Mini audio interface. When the guitar is left idle, you get absolutely no hum or feedback which is a joy. There is also a noisegate setting where you can pretty much cut out any unwanted noises as well. If you are a fan of heavy distortion this will definitely do the trick, but keep in mind this is a digital guitar processor so you do not get that tube-driven guitar feel and sound, but it is about as close to as you can get. For the price you pay for it, there really isn't much better you can get. The tones are fairly consistent, and with a bit of tweaking you can find your sound and SAVE it. No worries after you cut it off, as soon as you cut it back on your previous settings are there. To address one thing: Distortion, because I know many people will wonder about it. The distortion is fairly good, although you really can't get much variation on it. If you want a straightforward metal tone, it's got what you need but for more defined tone such as Periphery or Tesseract tone, this is not going to give you that unfortunately. The clean settings are very good, you have just about any stompbox effect on the market on this thing. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I have only had mine for a month keeping it at the computer for home recordings and it hasn't given me any trouble. I can't imagine taking this with gigs unless you have a footswitch, otherwise it seems pointless. It is a handheld device that I would imagine could give you troubles with it live. If you are someone who wants to use the POD series for gigging, I recommend getting the X3 live, or the HD500. If you do want to use this live, go for it. It will still get the job done. // 8

Overall Impression: For my style, which is that of Periphery and Tesseract, it doesn't suit me well at all. With that said, I could still find great tones for heavy metal and hardcore type stuff. I wish I had have tried this out before purchasing it though, because if I had have known it wasn't for me, I'd have kept saving for the Axe-Fx. I highly recommend trying it out BEFORE buying it just to make sure it gives you what you want. I am super picky, so I'm sure it will work fine for other guitarists. If this were lost or stolen, I would not purchase it again, I would save up for a higher end unit. In comparison to other processing units in the same price range, this takes the cake big time. With that said, go try it out and I hope my review helped someone out. If you want to hear the tone I got out of it, check my page and view the mp3. Cheers and keep shredding. // 6

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overall: 9.5
POD X3 Reviewed by: rak101, on january 26, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 350

Purchased from: Long n McQuade

Ease of Use: Well I've had my POD X3 for about 6 months now and I can finally give it a proper review. It took me this long just to go through enough settings that I can properly construct the tones I'm looking for when I hear a song that I want to play. I mistakingly threw the massive manual aside for the first few months, and I only dug it out a month ago so that I could see what amp/cab names are modelled. The whole time I was using it, I just downloaded the tones I wanted (amazingly simple and fast using Gearbox). Also, getting the dual input/output can be tricky to get a good blend but when you do it a couple of times, you get it. Kind of a steep learning curve to this if you're new to processor units. Only giving it a 8 because it can be overwhelming to get your head around it. // 8

Sound: I play a lot of different stuff. Wolfmother, Rage Against The Machine, Incubus, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, and a TON of Tool. I'm using a 2000 Epi SG equipped with Seymour Duncan Jazz/JB set and using the POD X3 in the "Power Amp IN" in the back of my Line 6 Spider Valve 212. HOLY. FRIG. Make sure to set up the POD X3 in "Power Amp Combo" mode if using thru the back of an amp, or if you plug in the front of the combo, there's a setting for that too. Whatever you do, this thing will sound like poop if you use the pre-amps in the POD and then go through the pre-amp of your combo amp. The double processing makes it sound terrible. There are so many different ways to set it up, you will find a sound you like with some tweaking. Since Tool is my favorite band, and my favorite thing to play with my set-up, I gotta say that the POD delivers. When I'm using my headphones (or sometimes 2 amps!), I'll enable the dual output mode and split my guitar through left and right; each with a different amp/cab heavy distortion (modelled on Adam Jones setup) and each Tone Channel using the noise gate and some other stuff. This sounds AMAZING. It makes the guitar sound absolutely HUGE! With the noise gate on, it cleans the guitar up beautifully - steady chugging, palm mutes, big strums, they are so crisp and clean that you'll feel like a million bucks. Messing with the other modulation effects, you can really tweak the sound you want. I like the Wah selection, and the flange/trem/chorus/reverbs are all great. The reverb can be a bit touchy on the dial though, there seems to be a very small "sweet spot". There is a large selection of stomb boxes as well; I have to recommend the use of the Ibanez Tube Screamer (TS-808), its great. Dial back the Drive for a decent crunch, or turn the Drive up when you want to melt some faces. I'd also like to note that I recently started using this to record some riffs on my computer using the unit's internal sound card and usb interface. It sounds fantastic and you can use any multi-track recording program to make some really nice tracks. Very easy to do. Since the POD X3 has it's own sound card, it takes over so that your computer doesn't need to work as hard, which eliminates any Lag between your guitar and the recorded track. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Well I've used this just about every day for the past 6 months, using it at home in my bedroom with amp, or headphones, or computer. I've also brought it to my group's jam spot every week to jam. It's chassis is all aluminum and is pretty damn tough. The knobs are tough as well. I throw it in my back pack with my FBV express controller and it is great for jamming/live playing. The only issue I have is that there's no bank up/bank down on the FBV so you need to keep the POD close if you need to switch banks. Since it sits by itself, I only tweak it as I go, so no real punishment unless it's power socket related or it falls to the floor or gets bumped in transit. I can't see anything happening to it while gigging/jamming. // 10

Overall Impression: I. LOVE. THIS. THING. Don't even bother with the pre-made sounds. Make your own! You can come up with any type of sound you want (or download some that you would like! Just tweak it after you get it for your particular set-up), this thing will deliver every time! If you don't like it at first, just keep messing with it. You will like it, and it will become a core piece of gear in your arsenal. I always back up my tones on my computer, so if it were lost/stolen I'd buy another and just transfer my tones and keep on playing. I've used Boss GT-6, GT-8, DigiTech RP series, a bunch of different stomp boxes, and this is by far my favorite. Especially since I play through the back of a tubed 212 combo. I know some people don't like Line 6 gear, and I fully understand their reasoning, but this unit and the Spider Valve 212 are a perfect match and the POD X3 will surprise you. It may not blow your socks off right away, but if you know what sound you want, you can get it. When you do find something by accident though, your face will light up like a kid at Christmas. Enjoy! // 10

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