Price paid: $ 399
Purchased from: Daddy's Junky Music in Nashua, NH
Sound — 10
Right now, at home, I run my POD through my Win PC and output through my Marshall MG30DFX. It's okay for just messing around but I never gig with that particular amp. The great thing about this unit is that I can get phenomenal tone with both my '05 Ibanez SZ520 (with the duncun p/u's and Gibson chrome covers [treble is wicked hot]) and my '04 Ibanez AW120ce. I'm not an Ibanez guy, these guitars just sound wicked good compared to many guitars many times their prices. When I gig, I run through a Peavy 12 channel mixer, a Crate power amp, Berringher EQ and two 15" PA moniters. Obviously even as excellent as the POD is, it won't turn my Marshall solid state into a Mesa Triple Rectifier, but the better system you run it through the fuller and better the sound is. The tone that I most favor is the Mark Tremonti tone of Alter Bridge and Creed. I love him, his rig, his guitar (both the PRS sig and his Taylor 614) and his dirty tone. Unfortunatly the ones online don't really cut it so I think I will have to get the Metal model pack.:( The TS808 is great, I put it after a 65 Fender Twin, and it sounds wicked good. I think all the effects are replicated the closest to their originals as possible. I think some of the Flange and Delay effects are kind of complicated, but thats me.
Overall Impression — 10
I play just about everything except Bluegrass and Rap/Hiphop. This unit does it all. And I mean every tone you could want. If it isn't on the stock list it is surely availible on one of the two expansion packs. I have been playing for about 9 months, and cant ever put my guitar down. I play an Ibanez SZ520. The new one with the stock Duncuns. I put a pair of Gibson chrome covers, just to add some eye candy. I also play an Ibanez Acoustic Electric AW120ce with onboard eq. Let me say that these both sound phenomenal through the POD. This unit is everything I wanted and way way more. If someone clipped this I would go out and buy another one followed by the most savage beating of the person Who stole it. I love everthing about this unit especially because it can be edited with both Mac and PC. I had mainly been looking at the Boss GT-6's on ebay but I was convinced by several people to dish out the extra hundred bucks and buy the POD. The only thing I think would be useful is to have all the expansion packs included and have the wah activated by the "tap" pedal and deactivated by stepping off of it similiar to the Morleys, rather than the current setup like the crybaby's and whatnot. Well thats about it. If you don't have one and want a wicked nice pedalboard for a not extremely pricy price, get a POD XT Live!
Reliability & Durability — 10
Can you depend on it? Of course. I was going to get a DigiTech GNX3000 on a Monday, changed my mind on Tuesday, got the POD XT Live on a Wednesday. Got home at 4:30 took it out of the box wrote two presets and gigged with it and my acoustic at 6:00. No backup. If it failed, I would have had to play it unplugged which would have been fine but I need the volume. I have since gigged three times with it with both acoustic and electric guitars for about an hour each time. This thing is wicked durable, the case is metal (not el cheapo crap paper thin metal) but 1/8 maybe thicker steel plate. There is even a guard for the knobs so you don't crush those while working the upper pedals while not looking. One small problem I had with mine is the exp. pedal squeaked a bit, but it just needed some lubricant. The one thing I didn't like about it is that it didn't come with any case so on that first gig, I had to bring it in the box it came in. The next day I got a medium sized Pelican case for it, mounted some wheels on the bottom. So now, I have an excellent floor unit, a bulletproof case and a new stage cart. Which is great because I cut my trips to and from the truck in half. Just pile everything on top. If you want a premium board with just about every amp and effect you could ever want, with a rugged shell, Mac/Win interface, and just plain phenomenal tone, get the Line 6 POD XT Live.
Ease of Use — 9
I have been looking for an effects unit for some time and had my eye on a Boss GT-6 or a ME-5. I never really considered the POD because I thought it was very complicated. That was until I bought one. It is so easy to work with the POD it is a little bit more difficult to do it at the terminal but thats only because of the limited display size. It's excellent for making tweaks here and there real quick. One thing that is great about editing the POD is that all the software is free, it's Mac and Windows compatible (I use Winxp in my studio/office and Mac Tiger on everything else) although the editor for Windows is a little more user friendly. The manual is somewhat detailed but the advanced stuff you Pick up as you go. You do have to know somewhat what kind of amp or effect sounds like but it's explained in the manual sort of.