Line 6 POD X3 Live
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Line 6 POD X3 Live
Audiofanzine FR 11/04/2008

Line 6 POD X3 Live : Audiofanzine FR's user review

4

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(Originally written by props/translated from Audiofanzine FR)

See ads, other reviews, user's manual etc.
More than comprehensive connections!!!
The wah pedal looks pretty nice but squeaks a lot in spite of regular lubrication. The switches also need to be lubricated from time to time. I would have preferred alternate switch stages to avoid recalling a preset and an effect at the same time!
On the software side, upgrading the firmware via the Line 6 site works pretty smoothly, but the USB connection to a PC is a bit unstable. It might be my PC though... anyway I use the unit mainly in standalone mode.

UTILIZATION

- Is it easy to make settings?
Yes and no! Once you understand the principle behind it, it becomes easy. But the possibilities are so many that it's not easy to master the system even after several months of use.

- Is it easy to edit sounds or effects?
Generally speaking, yes. The plethora of parameters is a delight if you want to fine-tune your own sounds. But some interesting parameters aren't easily accessible (tweak, FX loop, etc.). I would like to have the possibility to combine effects directly on the main display.

Is the user's manual clear and comprehensive?
I don't read manuals I prefer to learn by doing and being curious. I refer to the user's manual only if I can't seem to get anywhere. But that didn't happen until after several weeks so it's a good sign!

SOUND QUALITY

It's pretty difficult to give a general statement regarding the sound quality because of the large variety of effects. You'll find excellent sounds, good sounds and average sounds, but you'll also find some totally worthless sounds (synth sounds most of all). I personally didn't spend a long time with the factory presets, I started to program my own effects very early.
Generally speaking, I get very good, cutting sounds for metal. With the dual EQ, the stomp boxes, the compressor and the noise gate you have a comprehensive tool set to create very fat sounds!!! With the dual-tone function I get mind-blowing nu metal simulations in the typical Deftones "Be quite and drive" style!! I've also created lots of warm and dynamic blues/rock sounds which I like a lot!! But you'll have to test, experiment, and dive into it... I also programmed bizarre sounds. It's a delight with the dual-tone function!!!

Regarding modulation effects, I love the side chorus which produces a wide sound without altering the source signal, and I also like some flanging algorithms. I do miss some good phasing effects, the one and only phaser is really poor. Most reverb effects are nice. The wah effects are mostly good but some of them sound too shrill. I like the delays with lots of voices and a nice vintage character.

I use it mainly at home with my LᥠRoxane (two Seymour Duncan pickups) and my amplified M-Audio monitors. Unlike other Line 6 effects, this unit doesn't alter the source signal. That's definitely a good point because my guitar has a very warm sound and it would be a pity to waste it. I also use it with my amp which has no FX loop, but that's another story. The sound is totally crushed... it's a consequence of the modeling technology! I hardly ever use the mic preamp so I don't have an opinion about it (and I wouldn't have anything to compare it to anyway).

OVERALL OPINION

I've been using it for 4-5 months, mainly at home because I prefer to plug directly into my amp when I play with a band! In this case, I don't want to tweak sounds for hours, I just want to plug my guitar and play! So it's a toy for home use, sound trips and experimenting... One day I will take it to a band rehearsal if I have the matching amp (my Vox has no FX loop).
This unit is a beast for programming freaks. It provides lots of possibilities and very good sounds. It also has some useless sounds which I won't ever use except maybe for an experimental music trip...
The overall sound quality is very good, although emulations aren't always perfect. But I don't need perfect emulations of a vintage gear or an artist's sound. Thanks to the real-time controls and the dual-tone function, its expressiveness is the unit's main strength. To wrap it up, it's a nice and awfully versatile toy with a reasonable price tag.