Price paid: $ 66
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 7
I bought this POD XT for home practice. I live in an apartment, so I try to be kind to my neighbors. All I have for amps are tube heads and 4x12 cabs. I did buy a 1x12 Peavey Windsor studio for home use, but the sound was less than good especially with low volume. The POD XT actually gives me pretty good amp models and FX. I use a set of AKG K44 studio headphones for silent practicing. I don't think it is overly noisy on most of the amp models, but there are a few that produce more hiss. This is easily fixed by engaging the built in noise gate. I like the fact that I can chose a variety of cabinet sims with the ability to chose speaker type, size, mic and mic placement. I'm not a huge FX guy, but there seem to be decent variety of FX available and they are very tweekable.
Overall Impression — 8
I am really happy with the sounds and amount of FX. Yes I know there much better FX and modeling products out there now and the POD XT is a few generations old, but for home practice or the guitarist that is on a tight budget, the POD XT is a solid choice (and run $50-$80 used). You can get the POD 2.0 still ($199 new) but the POD XT has much better modeling, FX and cab sims. I have been playing guitar for 19 yrs and I think the POD XT is still a good inexpensive tool for musicians. If something happened to it I would probably get the new POD HD500 to replace it. But if money was an object then I would happily buy another second hand POD XT or X3. I really have limited knowledge of FX processors, but I have owned Line 6 products before and I also had a Line 6 FBV short-board doing nothing. I bought the POD XT because of its ability to use the FBV and because I wanted a silent practice tool.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I figure they must be made decent. I bought mine used and I have no idea what the previous owner did with it. It seems pretty reliable. I did not buy this to gig with, only for practice. I can see it being just fine gigging if you have the FBV short-board controller. I have thought about using it if I play a small gig that I want to use my 1x12 combo. I would just run the POD into the FX loop return and use the Tube power-section to help get rid of the processed sound that it has on some of the amp models.
Ease of Use — 7
This is the First POD from Line 6 that I have ever used. I have had several Line 6 products in the past, so the learning curve was not that bad for me. There are not as many amps, cabs or FX on the XT as the X3 or HD series. I do think most of the amps sound pretty decent for the age of this POD software. Patches are pretty easy to set-up and edit. There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the deep editing of the FX. You can literally spend weeks just experimenting with different amps, cabs and FX. It did come with a manual, which is a very large but informative guide on how to operate every function.