Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: amazon.com
Sound — 9
My guitar is a Squier affinity HSS strat. It sounds decent, and plays great. For monitoring, I'm running the left output into an Ibanez practice amp and the right output into a Peavey bass amp, but I plan on getting some nice computer speakers soon to monitor it into, because the way I have it set up, all the sounds from the computer go into the POD. anyways, the noise from the POD is nothing that can't be fixed by it's noise gate, unless maybe you have the Line 6 insane model with the gain over 50% and crappy guitar pickups. I don't really try to get my favorite bands sounds, I try to get my sound, which is kind of all of them mixed together. some of my favorite artists as far as tone-influencing goes though are bulb from periphery (Who uses a POD as a matter of fact), john petrucci, lightning-puppets aged Metallica, SOAD, Megadeth, mastodon, the list goes on forever. It can hit those tones great. I also have some blues/classic rock patches that aim torwards SRV, AC/DC, and led zeppelin kind of stuff. I can hit those nicely too. If your having trouble making a tone for a certain song or artist, you can search for a certain tone online at customtone dot com and download patches that people have put up. The effects on this are great, except the wah which I haven't tried since I don't have a pedal and I don't like parked wah effects, and the pitch-shifter, which is very inresponsive. One thing that's really great is that you can mix and match distortion pedals with amp models. So, do you wanna use a Fuzz Face with a Fender Twin? wanna hook up a rat distortion to a blackface? want to tighten up a rectifier with a tube Screamer? You get the point... another thing you might wanna note, is that you have to adjust the "what are you connected to" setting or else you might sound muddy. It took me a few days to realize that this was what was keeping me from getting better sounds.
Overall Impression — 10
I play metal, and this thing can get great metal tones. I've been playing for a year and a few months. I don't own any other effects or preamps. there isn't anything I regret about buying this, except for possibly saving up and getting the X3. If I lost this thing, I'd work my ass of to get it back. I really love how you can set it up as your computer's soundcard if you use the USB. A few effects are kind of meh, but those are the effects that I never/rarely use. I was going to get a tube amp, but I decided that I wouldn't get many chances to crank the amp, and it was way too heavy for me to carry around to places, so I looked at effects processors, and I'm glad that I took the POD over everything else.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I've never gigged with it, but it seems pretty solid, and I haven't had any problems with it. I probably would take a backup though. If I was gigging I might have the rackmount version.
Ease of Use — 8
If this is your first multi FX, you are probably going to have trouble figuring everything out, and getting a good sound. I had already used several that I borrowed from friends, so I had some experience. I've had it for two weeks, and I've gotten a great sound, even though I still tweak it every day in search for the promised land of tone. I do a lot of the patch editing on the computer with the edit software. It'll take you a bit of frustration to get the POD to work perfectly with the computer, but it'll be worth it. The manual for it is pretty good, much easier to read than the Korg processor I borrowed once. There's stuff you can buy to bring out the best in the POD. One of those is a footswitch for it, and most of the Line 6 footswitches work with the XT, or you could get the model packs online, which give you even more amp and effects models.