Pod X3 Live review by Line 6

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  • Sound: 4
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 3
  • Reviewer's score: 5.3 Decent
  • Users' score: 8.4 (102 votes)
Line 6: Pod X3 Live
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Price paid: £ 369

Purchased from: Dawsons

Sound — 4
[I use this with a PRS Guitar and an Orange fully valved amp [previous owners of Lost prophets] and I also use a Vox Valvetronix AD100 VT amp from time to time]. Sound is obviously Digital especially when your recording (with using it direct as it recommends), its very hard to hide this in a recording. Tweaking the levels i.e. bass, treble, mid, presence, I found to be somewhat difficult to use... I can't explain how, but I never got the sound I was aiming for at any point with the pedal. Its not noisy at all. In Regards to a live sounds, my problem is that it doesn't give a true bypass. The pedal messes with your tone a little bit regardless of whether you don't want to use it, Which further more messes up with my amp's natural sound. (AND YES I HAVE TURNED OFF ALL THE AMP MODELS, PRE AMPS, EQ's... Everything). However saying that, If you play in a metal band and you and you like a messed up distortion sound its probably a good buy for you as there are a lot of good messed up amp models distortion sounds. The sounds are obviously modeled like the line6 amps. Works for some people... But this digital guitar sound modeler live, imho sounds no where nears as good as analogue/valve live. Effects are pre set/modeled VERY weak, but since the pedal is very versatile it just takes you ANOTHER 30 mins of your time to realize the effects are actually very good! However as mentioned, configuring the effects to exactly how you like is a pain and time consuming. "Many of practices I've spent trying to work this pedal whilst the guys from the band were waiting on me to work the damn thing to get a decent tone. Its frustrating considering the money you spend." Also POD farm makes it very easy to get the sounds of other artist. However what they don't tell you is that you have to pay a subscription for this service. The distortions in my opinion are weak and very good. You don't appear to have that mid crunch sound. Its either full on or nothing. The modulations work perfectly! Its very good for that. The Wah pedal is a bit difficult to work, when compared to a cry baby. OVERALL Everything on it is very good, however without a true bypass creates a massive drawback to the pedal... Would actually recommend this to a beginner. One more thing! I did not find that the amp modelers on this was useful unless I was playing through a stereo hi-fi. After all what's the point of me trying to model my Orange amp to sound like a Marshall? It sounds awful first of all as a replica and doesn't make any sense.

Overall Impression — 5
Overall impression... FROM A GUITARIST OR BASSIST POV (I know it includes Vox but what the heck?) I play a lot of indie/rock/pop sort of music, and find this an awful match for what I play. I have been playing over 10 years and gig on a regular basis. If I wished I asked anything before buying this product there would have been 3 things: 1) Does it have a true bypass? If not, how does that affect my existing setup? 2) how easy is it to configure a GOOD tone? 3) which actually famous artists ACTUALLY use THIS Line 6 Pod X3 Live pedal? (think the answer to this is none, I've personally not found anyone). But either way if I did ask these questions it wouldn't have mattered at the time because there are too many ways to sell this pedal to overcome that objection. You have to own it, to realize what its like. If it was stolen from me, I would be gutted I couldn't of sold it on eBay. To add to this I think that if your a "bedroom guitarist/Bassist" or student or have no job, and wanna make a load of cool sounds and have the time to work at this pedal especially (on top of your mastering your guitar techniques) you could probably make a lot of versatile cool sounds. But it will be all digital... If you practice and gig regularly with a band, you'll either find that its got way too much on the pedal and you'll never use it properly because it consumes a lot of your time OR if your in a dirty metal band its closest to ideal considering the price. From a recording POV... If your after a quick demo that's gonna be above average recording... Its good for that. Metal bands, its very good. Otherwise I would NEVER do a 'full on' recording with this, due to it not having a true bypass, it just confuses things and makes things hard work! MIC and Valve amp all the way!

Reliability & Durability — 9
Very Reliable and made like a brick! I've bashed mine all over the place in frustration, and its still in perfect working order. These are actually really well made!

Ease of Use — 3
This is not easy to use, its takes a lot of fiddling and going back and forth between various screens to find you have almost got the right sound out of it. To master this you would need to spend HOURS with it! From my experience, I have spent hours with it and got no where. It simply did not have or I could not find the tones I were looking for (Also the TUNER is slow compared to other tuners I've used). The manual for it explains everything really well, but its an epic book. Software updates and pod farm make this pedal a lot easier to use, with presets made from other users of the POD X3 family. Likewise, torrent sharing. There are minimal functions on the pedal, which means your using the same "nobs" every time to configure something with you may consider very simple becomes very confusing and frustrating.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    rv_phoenix
    The newly added review, submitted by unregistered on 26th Jan 2012, clearly points to the device's falures. The most embarassing being the fact that it was obviously conceived by guys who have never played a guitar live, on stage, so they cannot figure how hard is it to use it under pressure. Every valve amp gets heated after half an hour or so, and its functioning parameters change, sometimes dramatically. On a conventional pedalboard, you just bow and turn a switch to compensate it, but on this Line 6 it's impossible to do so. So, if it's not useful for gigging, what's the use of paying quite a few bucks on this, instead of buying a few decent and honest pedals, whose sound is so much beter anyway?