• Line 6 POD X3 review

    Updated the patches and added settings for easy setup on other Line 6 processors.

    I recently got my hands on a POD X3 – Line 6s latest power station. Years ago my main setup included a Boss GT-3 and I’ve tried about every digital unit there is but none of them seems to cover it all. Nor does the POD X3 but we’ve become very good friends! Here’s a little review.

    The X3 continues in the same tradition as the previous PODs only with more of everything. Newly added features includes a jaw breaking collection of stompboxes and amp sims, vocal and bass pre-amps with XLR output for microphone, dual tone setup and USB 2.0 output. The display is also bigger with all the stomboxes lined up for better access. Check out the Line 6 site for more details.

    I record all my guitars for Airbag demos at home and the POD X3 serves as both a sound interface for vocals/acoustics and electric guitars. It’s easy to use with Garageband, Logic and other recording software.

    I spent a lot of time at first figuring out how to tweak this thing. It’s easy to get tempted and use only the familiar amps and stomboxes but to quote a little 900 years old green man – you have to unlearn what you have learned. I found the best results with just the best sounding amps and started from there, balancing the input/out volumes and added effects, regardless of what David or I with Airbag, would have chosen in a live situation.

    The PODs offers a range of classic amps and stompboxes and for us Gilmour fans it’s especially interesting to see that they’ve included classics like Hiwatt DR103, Fuzz Face (NKT275), RAT, Dynacomp, Chandler Tube Driver, Big Muff, Binson echo to name but a few. Unfortunately the majority of these effects sucks big time. The Big Muff is useless and I can’t figure out how to use the Binson nor the UniVibe. They’re just too strange. The Dynacomp and Chandler Tube Driver sounds very nice though, although perhaps not quite like the originals. I mostly use high gain amps for overdrives and distortion and add pedals for boost.

    One cool feature is the Rotating Speaker simulator. It doesn’t really sound like a Leslie, but it adds a nice modulation to distortions that kind of resembles David’s tones on his first solo album and The Wall live shows.

    The Hiwatt DR103 sim sounds OK but I prefer using a Line 6 tube preamp sim for cleans. Digital sims will always have a problem with recreating the dynamic tone from tube amps. The organic tone and response from cranked tubes are impossible to recreate because it depends on so many factors, – pickups, stompboxes, speakers, the room etc. Digital sims will always sound the same day in/day out but you’ll have the recognisable character of each unit.

    The X3 also features a dual tone option that allows you to combine two entirely different setups or guitar and vocals at the same time. I haven’t really explored this enough to tell if it works or not but I imagine it would sound cool on a stereo rig.

    Since I’m mostly using the POD X3 for my Airbag sounds, I haven’t spent much time trying to replicate David’s tones but there’s a couple of patches that I use as a basis for most of my tones. These are fairly clean but you can add chorus or reverb if you think it’s needed. I prefer adding reverb and delay in the mix.

    Please note! These patches are based on my Fender Stratocaster with CS69 pickups. They might need some tweaking to match your pickups and headphones/monitors. You may also need to adjust the master input/outputs on your POD match.

    Clean Gilmourish (sound example)
    This is the basis setup for all my cleans, whether I want it completely clean or with phaser, chorus or whatever.

    Line 6 POD X3 settings
    Line 6 Tube preamp: bass 40%, mid 40%, treble 60%, pres 80%, drive 30%
    4×10 1958 Tweed B-Man with 57 mic on axis
    FX Boost + EQ: gain 76%, bass/treble/mid/midfreq 50%
    Line 6 compressor: Threshold -18 dB, gain 4 dB
    EQ: lo gn -12.8, lm gn flat, hm gn flat, hi gn -12.8, lo fq 50, lm fq 1.30, hm fq 5, hi fq 9.3
    Analog chorus: speed 1.10HZ, mix 30%, depth 40%, bass/treble 50%, post config
    Digital delay: time 440ms, mix 30%, bass/treble 50%, fdbk 39%, post config


    Tube Gilmourish (sound example)
    Perhaps a bit too heavy for this clip but you can easily tweak it for more or less gain. Again, this is a basis for all my overdrives, either solo or rhythm. Adding just a hint of the Fender Vibratone smooths out the tone nicely.

    Line 6 POD X3 settings
    1973 Hiway 100: bass 60%, mid 40%, treble 45%, pres 80%, drive 60%
    4×10 1958 Tweed B-Man with 421 Dynamic mic
    Gate: threshold – 55, decay 20%
    Tube Drive: drive 80%, gain 100%, treble 30%, bass 80%
    Line 6 compressor: Threshold -21 dB, gain 7 dB
    EQ: lo gn -12.8, lm gn flat, hm gn +3.4, hi gn -12.8, lo fq 50, lm fq 1.20, hm fq 4.8, hi fq 9.3
    Rotary Drum: mix 50%, tone 50%, slow, post config
    Digital delay: time 370ms, mix 30%, bass/treble/fdbk 50%, post config


    Muff Gilmourish (sound example)
    This is a lead tone that I mainly use with Airbag but it works nicely for David’s 80’s and 90’s tones. The Fender Vibratone sim sounds more like an Electric Mistress than a Leslie but it adds a nice modulation to the tone. I’ve used a high gain amp and the Fuzz Face for this tone as it seems to work better than the classic Hiwatt + Big Muff combo.

    Line 6 POD X3 settings
    Line 6 Agro: bass 35%, mid 40%, treble 50%, pres 80%, drive 20%
    4×10 1958 Tweed B-Man with 67 condenser mic
    Gate: threshold – 65, decay 20%
    Facial Fuzz: drive 60%, gain 60%, tone 50%
    Line 6 compressor: Threshold -11 dB, gain 3 dB
    EQ: lo gn -12.8, lm gn +2.0, hm gn flat, hi gn -10.2, lo fq 50, lm fq 1.25, hm fq 4.7, hi fq 9.3
    Rotary Drum: mix 50%, tone 50%, slow, post config
    Digital delay: time 500ms, mix 30%, bass/treble 50%, fdbk 39%, post config


    Run Gilmourish (sound example)
    This is just a basic setup for Run Like Hell based on David’s PULSE tone.

    Line 6 POD X3 settings
    1973 Hiway 100: bass 29%, mid 40%, treble 100%, pres 85%, drive 70%
    4×12 67 Green 20’s with 57 mic on axis
    FX Boost + EQ: gain 76%, bass/treble/mid/midfreq 50%
    Sine chorus: speed 0.78hz, mix/depth/bass/treble 50%, post config
    EQ: lo gn -12.8, lm gn flat, hm gn flat, hi gn -12.8, lo fq 50, lm fq 1.30, hm fq 4.7, hi fq 9.3
    Digital delay: time 380ms, mix 40%, bass 50%, treble 80%, fdbk 66%, post config


    – Very easy to use once you get the hang of it. An included software allows you to organise and back up the patches on your computer.
    – No latency and surprisingly little noise. NOTE! Be careful with the noise gate. Remember that high gain effects will be noisy so don’t try to kill your tone completely.
    – Complete soundcard for vocals/acoustics with XLR and desk recording via mono/stereo phono or USB2.

    – Too many useless effects and amps (not really a problem but I would have wanted a bigger variety of overdrives and more modern sounding modulation effects).
    – Compressors, overdrives and distortions are located on the same bank, which means that if you want to combine either, you need to use a high gain amp and add a stompbox. There is a second compressor feature but this is placed after the gain effects, which makes it useless in most cases.

    All in all I enjoy the POD X3 very much. Whether or not you like the effects or not comes down to taste but the overall sound quality is simply impressive and it’s very easy to get great tones that stands out and cuts through in a mix. It’s important to realize that it’s impossible to find one unit that will cover everything you want or need. After all, that’s why most of us spend years on finding the perfect combination of guitars, amps and stomboxes. You have to make some sort of compromise and which unit you should choose depends on what tones you prefer and how you intend to use it. In my opinion, when it comes to serious recording or playing at home, Line 6 is superior but for stage use I’d go for the more user friendly Boss GT series.

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84 Responsesso far.

  1. madcelts says:

    Hi Bjorn —

    I am wondering if (since this was posted) you have tried an HD500X for trying out David’s Dark Side of the Moon era tones. It would be way easier for me to have an HD500X than to buy pedals and stuff (I have little kids, and cannot really crank an amp right now), but when I hear the units demo-ed it rarely sounds as good as a mic’d amp and stomp boxes.

    Any insight would be deeply appreciated. Thanks! Karl

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Karl. I have a POD X3 in my studio but I’ve never played the HD500. You can set up tones that are somewhat similar but these units will always be limiting compared to having a real amp and pedals. It all comes down to what tones you want and sometimes a digital sim is what you need but you will be much more able to tweak the tones on analog gear.

  2. Hunter says:

    I have the POD hd500. You can cover just about all of David’s tones with this unit; however the uni-vibe is not that great. Do you suggest a certain setting, combination of effects with it or some other effect in the line 6 pod unit that could easily replace it for songs such as breathe and any color you like?

    [I don’t use the POD that much for Floyd stuff so I really don’t have much more than what’s been featured in the article. – Bjorn]

  3. musicnewbie says:

    The Pod X3 is one great processor unit. It is decent and the price is reasonable enough compare to what it can give to us. You can create a variety of amp sounds, and this review is simply way to good, and I am impressed.

  4. Mike Myers says:

    I really love your patches. Thank you so much for the nice work :)

  5. Steven Woolgar says:

    I have been using your patches, not just because they sound like Gilmour sounds, but also because they are nice patches. I use it to evoke Mr Gilmour’s sound on recordings. Just today I received my PODHD500. I will be remaking those patches on it and I hope it sounds even better. Thanks for your efforts and your website.

    [Thanks Steven! – Bjorn]

  6. Andrew Piercy says:

    Hi Bjorn, I went back to this interesting article after experimenting with my Line 6 Pocket Pod. It’s a great little unit for private practise (obviously less sophisticated than the XT) but I wondered how it would perform in a pedal chain? Well, LOTS of the patches are far too noisy and you can get strange phasing effects with some, but I found that the ‘Tube Preamp’ patch works really behind an OD808 and Little BMP in my still-evolving pedal board. I guess it’s acting a bit like a Tube Driver in the chain? The other thing is you can introduce a bit of chorus, flange or rotary effect in addition to separate pedals for echo and phasing. There may be other patches that work and of course if you have the Vyzex software you can create your own patches (limited to 10 I think). Anyhow, if anyone out there has a PP give it a try in your pedal board.

    Cheers Andy.

    [I’m not sure I’d use the POD as a standalone unit in a pedal board. It’s much more efficient to use a POD XT Live for that. However, the X3 works OK with most pedals but being digital it do mess up the signal on some overdrives and fuzz pedals like the Tube Driver and Big Muff. – Bjorn]

  7. andy butler says:

    i had the old line 6 pod xt i found it ok on a cheap transistor amp but when using a nice tube amp it killed the tone dead so it had to go.

  8. Sargeslide says:

    Thanks for the patches! I actually use them all to gig live with my X3 Live! Yes a little tweaking was needed, but not much, great job, love the site!

    [Cheers Sarge! – Bjorn]

  9. Joe says:

    Well I’ve got my Pod XT this weekend and played my new Epi LP through it with P-90 (Neck) and PAFstyle (Bridge); and its the best tone I’ve ever had.

    I’ve tried all these presets and surprisingly they do sound just as sweet as they do for you; I did have to brighten them up a little in places because of the pickup difference but only slightly.

    I can confirm that the flangers are a bit over the top for gilmour’s style but I have used them occassionally on quite subtle settings; like when I made a “Wall Gilmourish” preset from your big muff setting (which sounds much better than the ‘Fuzz Pi’) and it does work for the sort of sound on the Hey You riff; but they couldve made a mistress model for those who want a more conservative kind of flanger

    I did get the FX junkie add-on (which is included with x3) pretty sharpish as the tube driver sounded pretty nice and I wasn’t dissapointed, I was using the Screamer but the driver has a nicer crisp to it and I am also aware that the p-90 and TD are a combo that gilmour uses quite a lot, as you well know – by the way, what’s the delay time for This Heaven?
    I also found that the FX junkie came with something which seemed to be a slight improvement on the U-vibe which seemed to just sound like a kind of tremolo; just no depth at all: but the setting called “Lumpy Phase” is a bit better I’m not sure if they released it because the U-Vibe was so weak or what.

    As you said, though, the Phase 90 is something of a triumph, I’d probably prefer it if I just had a rate knob but it does sound like shine on with the right settings; not as rich as an analog but its pretty damn good considering its a digital model.

    [Yeah, there are some really nice effects on the POD and although I really don’t use it that much for my Floyd tones I intend to use it for the next Airbag album. My favourites is the Tube Driver, the analog delay and the phaser. The analog chorus is also OK. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  10. Joe says:

    thats very interesting to hear. so do you use the rotary sound instead of the flangers for the ’77-’83 sounds (i know you said you dont do that much gilmour stuff but just in general)?


    [Yes, they seem to work better. – Bjorn]

  11. Joe says:

    I see I didnt notice that there wasnt another control for master volume.
    Anyway I’ve really been stuck into this artcle as I want to get one after getting my new guitar (Epi LP Standard w/ P-90 on neck instead of HB [i wanted a goldtop but they discontinued it]) I was wondering whether you do or ever have owned a les paul as some pretty sweet solo’s have been played on his goldtop
    I’d also be interested to know how you found the flangers on the Pod; which was the best for sounding anything close to an electric mistress? also what about the phase 90, does it sound thin and flangey like many digital phasers or is it ok?

    [I have a Les Paul with Classic 57 pickups and a SG, also with humbuckers. Mostly use them in studio sessions. Don’t like the flangers that much… hard to dial in properly. The phaser has the classic 4-stage tone. – Bjorn]

  12. Joe says:

    what does the drive knob do on the hiwatt then? i didnt think that the actual hiwatt dr103 had any kind of drive knob

    [The Hiwatts don’t have a drive control but none of the Line 6 effects should be considered as clones either rather “based on” the original. If you connect the POD via USB to your computer, the gain will act as a master, since the master knob on the POD won’t work. – Bjorn]

  13. k lam says:

    your Clean Gilmourish can’t be used as valid file for pod x3. pls kindly check. thks!

    [I’ve noticed that Safari only opens a text file but if works with IE and Firefox. Please use the written values if the file doesn’t work. – Bjorn]

  14. Whalen says:

    I’ve never much cared for digital modulators but your review has me wondering whether or not to nab this used pod 2.0 that’s stocked rather cheaply at the local shop. It would be nice to have something to jam on with headphones without having to drag the whole rig out.

    – Whalen

    [With a good portion of patience you can get some really cool sounds with the POD. As I said in the review you really need to think outside the normal routine and just go with the pedals and amp sims that sounds OK rather than go straight for the Hiwatt and Muff… which sounds crap. I use the POD when wring music for Airbag and it’s very inspiring to just plug and play without all the hassle with micing a cab. – Bjorn]

  15. Wil says:

    Bjorn you must try a M13 !!!

    [Yeah. Seems to have a lot of effects for live use. – Bjorn]

  16. Mario says:

    “Sorry… forgot to add answer to Brad’s question,he asked if he can use your X3 patches with his XT Live, I am afraid they are incompatible.”

    Open the patches with Gear Box , no Line6 edit !!!

  17. Alejandro says:

    Hi Bjorn.
    Congratulations for your amazing work on the web.

    I own a Pod Xt Live and always use it with Line6 Edit (with its Clip alarm), and Cubase to see the whole input volume meter (of course Pod´s acting as main Cubase soundcard).
    Once I read, on my old Pod 2.0 manual that, to get the best simulation of each amp model it´s recomended to set Chan Vol at 100%.I guess they still recomend it.
    This is a bit mess because each amp sim has a different gain, so when you put some Drive, you have to turn Chan Vol down most of times. Sometimes I think that maybe I didn´t understand what they meant with this advise.
    Anyway, It´s true that this knob affects the tone you´re triying to get, so I spend hours trying to get the loudest Chan Vol value without clipping, to keep as much as posible the best simulation(difficult when your using compresor).
    Another option is that maybe I shoulded work with lower level on Chan Vol and then set the little output level knob (between the Aux Imput & the left output jack) higher. Of course, I´m trying to get different patches with similar levels. I read your previous review of Pod Xt and GT series when you explain how to set this little output level knob when you plug into an Amp or Line in.
    So now, I´m wondering at which level do you work with your Pod.
    I got your patches and notice that, apart from RunGilmourish (don`t know why is low, compare with the others), they all come with Chan Vol at 100%. I know you said that we “may also need to adjust the master input/outputs on our POD match” but, have you been playing your patches with Chan Vol at 100%? Because I get a little bit of Clip alarm (not much) on Line6 Edit & GearBox (playing a ´57 reissue Strat). Or maybe is that we still have a little bit of range of imput volume between when you get the Clip alarm & before it´s starting to sound real clipping noises. That´s why you don´t mind the clip. (Or you don´t get the Clip with your guitar,I don´t know)
    As you can see, this thing of a perfect level worries me since I first bought my old Pod 2.0 and I still don´t have a “formula” that I can use with all patches.

    So, here is my question:
    Could you please, tell us some advises about how to deal with this master input/outputs? (I guess they are Chan Vol (Tone Vol on X3) & Master Vol).
    On Pod XT we have 3 Volume knobs: Chan Vol, Master Vol and “the little output level konb”
    I hope you can understand what I meant, my english isn´t too good and I find this things hard to explain.

    PS: I´ve read the manuals several times and still need answers.I hope dealing so deep with POD and his users, is not a pain in the ass for you.
    Waiting for your answer and your experience (always in a positive way, I wonder for hours in your website).

    Thanks again from south Spain (Cape Trafalgar).

    [Hi! Sorry for my late reply on this. I’m no expert on the POD and I haven’t spent hours trying to figure out all the secrets. The patches I posted was created while I was testing the unit and I haven’t been plying with it much since. Anyway, I think you need to adjust the level settings on my patches if you’re using different pickups than me. I get no clipping but it’s just there on the edge. I think that every patch needs its own setup and with all the amp sims etc with different volume it’s hard to find a unity gain for all the patches. You can also post your question on the Line 6 forum and see if someone can help you there. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  18. flashbak says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    You need to get your hands on a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx unit. You’ll be in amp/effects heaven! :)


    [Thanks for the tip! – Bjorn]

  19. Alan says:

    wow thats pretty slow but I bet the patience will pay off once you get it.

  20. Alan says:

    Hey Bjorn, I just got the vintage ’76 Mistress and im waiting for it to ship… how is the hartman clone???

    [Never got it… – Bjorn]

  21. Darran says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Thanks for adding the manual setup info for the patches. I have had go at setting them up and got some good results with little tweaking. I am suprised at how close the XT and X3 are!

    I hadn’t spent much time with the tube pre-amp but found it give a great warm tone. May spend more time with this. I ahd previously based most patche around Hiwatt and Fenber models.

    I was also impressed with the choice of cab model, I will consider different cabs in the future as I normally leave at default.

    A track I haven’t spent much time learning, Run Like Hell, but I tried the settings and was stunned by the tone, blows away the Line 6 default patch!!! Will have a few hours this weekend learning to play the track!!!

    Great work as always Bjorn!!!

    Loving your work!!!


    [Cheers Darran! – Bjorn]

  22. Greg says:

    Bjorn, I really like your tones. I like Darran use a Pod XT Live and have used your settings with a little tweak to my taste. You once got Anders to send me some XT patches which I messed with and enjoyed as well. I seem to find it easier for me to find a tone I find pleasing and tweaking it to my liking or use modulation or effect settings from one patch with another tone I like.

    I notice you use the “Anti fizz” trick as do I. I normally use the compressor @-10 with a 4 db boost for solos (Using the Amp pedal set to switch it on/off) but that prevents me using it for the base tone. I’m thinking of getting a clean boost for this purpose in the future.

    Because of its ease of archiving patches, there are several places besides Line6 to find tones as well as websites and forums dedicated to Multi Effects with handy set up tips etc, one being thestompbox.net (No affiliation)

    Adding future tones or perhaps setting up a tone “Gallery” as you have a gear gallery would be a treat. Considering your ear, adding any of your future patches would be greatly appreciated.

    Darran, if there is a way you could send me the patches from studiox19 or send me contact information to puffyg@hotmail, just add the com I would be in your debt.

    I still greatly appreciate your site and check it daily for tasty morsels.

    [Thanks Greg! – Bjorn]

  23. Paquette says:

    Just bought a POD X3 Live.. I love it! However Bjorn you were right, the Muff really sucks!! I think the best sim I heard of this pedal is the one in Guitar Rig 3. But anyway this device really kicks ass just had it for few hours now so there’s a lot more to learn from it. Will try to share my patches when I have some.


  24. Darran says:

    Hey Bjorn thanks for adding your settings manually, I really appreciate it.

    I will try these with my XT Live and see what I get after tweaking to suit my set-up, more later…


    [Let me know how they turn out. – Bjorn]

  25. Hugo says:

    Sorry. Yes what pedal do you use for any colour you like for that rotary dominant effect? IF you are not using any more the RT20 I mean… cheers!!

    [The thing was that I bought the RT20 for my Airbag sounds. Never intended to use it for Floyd but I never used it anyway so I took it off the board. I’ve always used the Electric Mistress on Any Colour. If you set the rate knob at about 2:00 you’ll get a wonderful rotary effect. – Bjorn]

  26. Paquette says:

    Hey guys, I’m about to buy a POD X3 Live and I was hoping someone tried the Pitch Bender with the pedal… how does it sound? Is it possible to do something like Marooned with it?


  27. Hugo says:

    I want one only to mix it in parallel with my nova delay in the loop of my amp (just 30%). What do you use for songs like breathe or any colour you like ?? cheers!!

    [What do you mean? Which pedals? Which POD effects? Delay settings? – Bjorn]

  28. Hugo says:

    Hi Bjorn.. you change your pedalboard, exclude de RT20 eh? any reasons in particular? cheers!!

    [Not really. It’s a cool pedal but I never used it so I figured I’d make room for something else :) – Bjorn]

  29. Pete says:

    Hi Bjorn. Great info on the POD. I am just about to throw out the POD XT that I have bean struggling to control live now for five years or so for a Line 6 M13 stomp box modeler. Have you seen them on the Line 6 site? They have a Coloursound boost sound as well as lots of Gilmour goodies and at last… True bypass! I only use the POD XT for the beautiful phaser and early Floyd amp sounds now and over the whole time it has spent onstage with me I have never found the sweet spot between it and my WEM valve combos or the new DG103 Hiwatt signature headand cab. It has output volume issues and I’m tired of it. The M13 looks like a mini Pete Cornish or Bradshaw pedal and has been conceived to work with and not take over your front end amp. I will however wait to see what they do with the price and case situation before buying it in the New Year. Check it out. It could be the ultimate “One stomp shop” for all of us in Gilmour world . Thanks again for the review; you have laid many ghosts for many people I’m sure. PS No WEM cab yet. Something about having trouble re-creating the cloth. Keep you posted.

    [I’ve never tried the M13 but it looks very interesting. I would love to have those sounds on the POD :) – Bjorn]

  30. Brad says:

    Awesome Bjorn! Thanks for writing out the settings. That’s a huge help for those of us that can’t download them into our PODs. I am in the process of purchasing individual effects and eventually eliminating my POD XT all together. Right now I have a dyna-comp, and a RAT that goes into my POD XT and I use the POD for delay and modulation. Works pretty good until I can dig up some $$$ for additional effects.

    Thanks again!,

  31. Kim says:

    what about a small page on gilmourish to collect and share all these patches? :)

    [Thanks for the suggestion! – Bjorn]

  32. Walla says:

    Very interesting, 10x.

  33. D says:

    yeah good call, i was using line6 edit… i installed gearbox and away we go!!

    ;-) thanks aurora

  34. Aurora says:

    Thanks for the patches. I have the PODxt and it took the patches just fine. I made sure I had all the software updates and installed them via the Gearbox/Guitarport software. The Muff didn’t need to be altered at all, but the Tube and Clean needed a little work to match up the effects. Keep’em coming. You have obviously figured out how to make these in the FLoyd style better than most of us.

    [I’ll try to post more but I mainly use it for other stuff than Floyd. – Bjorn]

  35. D says:

    hi bjorn, i’ve sent you an email at your ‘post at gilmourish.com’ email address, hope it arrives safe and sound. dan

    [I’ll check it out. – Bjorn]

  36. D says:

    awesome, look forward to seein’ them. ;-)

  37. D says:

    Hi Bjorn, do you have these tones as XT as I’m having trouble opening them on my XTPro

    [Nope… sorry. I’ll write down the values soon. – Bjorn]

  38. Andrew says:

    I’m surprised that you record all of your guitars with Airbag on a POD. I love your tones with your band, not to mention you make some really great music. On the Steal My Soul solo, what would you use to get that tone live? I really dig that, and that’s kind of the tone that I’m after. The main Gilmour tone that I like is the one he gets with the G-2, but I can’t really afford that. What would you suggest?

    [I got the POD only a couple of months ago so I haven’t used it on any of our recordings yet. Now I’m recording demos with it and I will probably use it mainly for rhythms on future albums. I used Garageband on most of the Safetree EP tracks but the Steal My Soul solo was recorded with my Strat and a BYOC Large Beaver clone, which I also use live. Please see this article for Sounds That I Hear guitars and this one for Safetree guitars. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  39. Doug says:

    Thanks for the cool review! I would also love to see notes on your settings, since my Live XT won’t take the patches.

  40. Alan says:

    Hey Bjorn, Did you get your Mistress clone yet? Because im really looking forward to hearing it.

    [Still waiting. – Bjorn]

  41. Craig says:

    Just a heads up to POD XT users – I have one and Bjorn’s patches work wonderfully. The volume levels are all very different, but that’s an easy fix. If they don’t work, make sure you have the Line 6 GearMonkey downloaded and install the latest software updates. Since we don’t have a patch sharing site, I was wondering if Randall Yeager and Thomas Adams would mind emailing me their favorites at craigdallen@gmail.com?

    Thanks Bjorn and all who post here.

  42. Leandro says:

    Bjorn, sorry for the off-topic, I’m thinking on using a looper to turn the fuzz and delay pedals on and off at the same time….my doubt is that I dont know if using a Boss LS-2 to loop could ruin the tone of the fuzz face.


    [It probably would. Try getting a looper with true bypass. – Bjorn]

  43. ray says:

    gosh sometimes i wonder if multi fx is the way to go

    at home, my analog pedals are great along with the ceriatone champ, but outside at the jam studios with solid states its just a nightmare to play.. and lugging around a tube amp is just a major pain (yes, literally, this thing has 12″ in em)

    wonder if anybody out there experiences this prob, bout not being able to replicate that sound you have at home.. and what you guys did to solve it

    [Usually it’s the other way around I think. People have small solid states at home and powerful tube stacks at the rehearsal studio. Depends very much on the amp. The Champ has a warm vintage tone and if you, say, use the same pedal board on a modern Marshall valve state it won’t sound the same. There’s no such thing as universal settings or even pedals. Some pedals may sound wonderful with one amp and horrible with another. I think you just have to use some time trying different setups and see if you can either tweak the amp or the pedals or both for a better tone. – Bjorn]

  44. Randall Yeager says:

    Yeah, I’ll send you some of my favorites. One thing that took me a long time to figure out was the EQ, especially using two different setups. For a long time everything sounded like shit. I had to spend several hours tweaking the EQ on each channel before any effect, particularly the Muff, sounded good. And without the EQ, everything sounds a little flat.

    By the way, I sorted out my pickup deal on my black strat. I ended up using the neck and middle pickups from an Eric Johnson signature strat and a Duncan SSL-5 in the bridge. I can get perfect Gilmour tones; plus, stuff a little more heavier when I need to.

    The neck and middle pups have all that nice vintage “quack” we all love. They are handwound (scatter-wound) in the Fender Custom Shop. Anyone wanting to try these can find them on the stratosphere on eBay. The SSL-5 sounds a little ‘tight’ in the bridge. It has a very focused sounded, especially on the mids, without having a Texas sound. It has nice bass response and the treble is great for a bridge pup, not really thin and weak like most Strat pups.

    However, the SSL-5 sounds awesome when added to the neck Eric Johnson pup. I never play the SSL-5 on its own; I use a converted S-1 switch for my neck pickup on/off. I also added a TBX pot to control the bridge tone and another TBX to control the neck, the middle is straight through.

    If I had to use the SSL-5 on its own, I could like it, but probably replace it. It’s just doesn’t resonate enough for me by itself. But like I said, added with the neck pickup, it absolutely sings. The Eric Johnson pickups are really nice. The neck pickup uses Alnico 3 magnets, and the middle uses Alnico 5; the Duncan also has Alnico 5. Like you, I enjoy the CS ’69, the Fat 50’s aren’t bad either, but these handwound pups just have that sweet vintage tone with a slightly hotter output. A perfect match for the hotter SSL-5. With these pups and my X3 in hand (w/tube preamp), there isn’t a sound on Live In Gdansk I can’t nail perfectly! I love the sound of his clean tone on Shine On and the dirty tones of Echoes. Not to mention, I can also have some really high gain settings for my heavier stuff, something I missed with the CS ’69s.

    [Thanks for the info! – Bjorn]

  45. Juan Luis Batalla says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    Nice review, I loved it! But I was going to say something else… Oh yes:

    “I have the answer for all your struggling for equipment”.

    I have found a Spanish company which makes 100% Handmade all-tube amps. The best sounding amps ever. Better than Hiwatts I’m afraid…

    They build amps for Carl Martin. Thay have some nice heads, including what looks like a Hiwatt DR103 Replica, but you can switch it to 50 or 25 watts!

    I think you should try them, and tell us your opinion!

    P.D.: Sorry, it’s in Spanish

    [Thanks for the tip! I also recommend Ceriatone amps. – Bjorn]

  46. willem says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Thanks for the article. Does anyone have the experience, like me, that the patches are not working?


  47. Randall Yeager says:

    I’m not sure what difficulty you’re having, but I absolutely love the Binson and Uni Vibe sims. I use them on nearly all my clean tones to some degree. Sometimes, I prefer the stereo delay to the Binson, but the Binson has that nice low-fi sound you want sometimes, and you can adjust the heads. I think they did a really nice job modeling that.

    The Uni Vibe compares to any other unit I’ve used. I’ve used a Fulltone Deja Vibe and Dunlop Uni Vibe, and this thing sounds just as good, or better, than either of them; the Dunlop is an absolute piece of shit. Definitely easier to adjust than nearly anything on the market. I like that with any effect you can dial in the bpm and note value precisely, something I wish every effects unit did.

    I have to disagree with you on the Big Muff. I have gotten some really killer tones with the Muff, but it does react to other things in the chain. I kinda like the Fuzz Face more, but the Muff can be creamy and smooth, not as abrasive as the Fuzz Face. However, like you, I mostly use the amps for the gain and use something like the Chandler or Fuzz Face to boost, or I save a preset right next to it with more gain from the amp model.

    If you can state your problem with the Binson, or Uni Vibe, maybe I can help you out. Also check out the X3 forum Line 6 has on their website, those users are helpful and Line 6’s tech support monitors all questions, so they often solve problems that fellow users can’t.

    [Do you have any settings or setups to suggest? – Bjorn]

  48. Hugo says:

    Hi Bjorn. I think that it might be possible to get a good tone of the pod and solve the problem of the stack overdrive/distortion.

    If you stack your muff and TubeDriver and run that to the POD in with an Hiwatt Emulation it may work. Have you tried it?

    I tried that with the GearBox of a friend and works good but you have to be carefull wit the input levels… just a tought anyway. Cheers

    [I tried it only briefly. It’s hard not getting too much noise… – Bjorn]

  49. Bob Adams says:

    Hi :-)

    Just a heads up… I try to load the patches you posted on my POD X3 Bean and it says the patches are incompatible.

    [I think they’re only compatible with X3 models. Check out the Line 6 site for troubleshooting. – Bjorn]

  50. jude says:

    Hello All

    I’ve never been a fan of the processors, but they do some great stuff. I had the Pod XT Live for a long time, but i got tired of it, and it eventually blew up because i used a wrong adapter for it(pretty dumb huh). I only use two, sometimes three pedals now and I’m good to go.

    here’s a cool fact. the edge from u2 actually used some PODs for a while on a recent tour for some speaker simulation.

  51. rhoelsch says:


    You’ve been saying that one main way to get Gilmour’s tone is to start by getting a tube amp with a bit of the right overdrive and cranking it up… well, since I don’t have a tube amp, and I can’t really play very loud at my house, does the POD “recreate” that cranked tube sound, or is it really only achievable with a real amp? I’m thinking this may the most cost-effective way to getting closer to his tone, because you’re looking at $300 for an XT, versus me buying a new amp, OD, delay, maybe a chorus, at the least…

    I’m also a big fan of his PULSE sound, and have the EMG DG-20 set installed in my strat. They really bring unique character to his tone, and I can always tell when he’s using them… do you ever have regrets getting rid of yours?

    Lastly, what do you find is the essential component for the sustain he achieves? Compression? Boosted overdrive? I just can’t seem to get it, or if I get close, my gain really makes the sound way too dirty.


    [To get THE tone you’ll need a tube amp and you will need to play loud. However, you can get very close with a lot of different options. Digital processors can’t replicate the dynamic sound of a tube amp. It can simulate it but you will never be able to achieve the same tones you’ll get from real tubes. Its not so much the sound it self but the way the tubes will react with your pickups, the speakers, the pedals, the room or venue etc… I think the POD and most processors are better suited for David’s 80s and 90’s tones and if you combine it with the EMGs I think you’ll end up with a great tone (I’ve never owned the EMGs myself). Check out the Buyer’s Gear Guide : Budget article for more tips.
    David gets his sustain mostly from playing loud. The power of his tube amps combined with a Tube Driver or a Big Muff is his secret weapon :) Check out more in this article. – Bjorn]

  52. Hugo says:

    Good Review Bjorn Thnks for that.

    I’m still have doubts about buying the pod or the UX series of interfaces or another from M-Audio. The basic difference is that in the POD all the process and simulation is made by the unit and with the others is the computer.

    How good would you say that the POD x3 is as an audio interface?


    [I’m far from any expert on studio components but the X3 seems to be quite good. Well balanced signal. Hardly any latency… if any… and no noise as far as I can hear. At least for recording guitars it’s a great little unit and as I write in the review you can record vocals with it too although I think you’d be better off with something designed for vocals for a professional recording. In any case I would run the POD through a tube pre amp or compressor for the best sound. – Bjorn]

  53. charaf says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Just a suggestion, a patch section if added would be nice and useful to download pod tones and even Garagebands settings. Also a tutorial section can help to improve and share playing techniques. We can also talk about competition using backtracks to rate best performances. All that in a gilmourish style of course.

    [Thanks for the tip. I don’t think you can share Garageband patches without using the whole project and that weighs a ton. – Bjorn]

  54. Eclipse612 says:

    To Thomas Adams: did you get the echoes squeals with your x3 live? If so, could you share your settings with us “not-band-members”? I tried to follow Bjorn’s article but of course those settings work with original stompoboxes and delays, plus I can’t get a “reverse connection” to the wah through my x3 live. All I got was an absurd amount of feedback that grew and grew and I had to turn off the pod if I didn’t want my headphones (and ears) to explode. It actually was blowing away my hearing even with POD volume at 0. :-) Any help is appreciated, thanks!

  55. Eclipse612 says:

    Great review…I agree with you that the Muff simulation strangely sucks. I upgraded from pod xt to pod x3 and, while generally impressed and happy about the boy, I couldn’t believe how they killed the Muff, which was very good on the xt.

    By the way, if you happen to create other “gilmourish” patches, please share them! It would be glad to learn from your great Gilmour sounds!

    Thanks in advance!

    [The Muff sim sounds very much like the new Electro Harmonix reissue. I think the trick with the Muffs is that you really need to get the dynamics from the pickups and amp to make it work. A digital sim trying to simulate that larger than life tone doesn’t work. – Bjorn]

  56. Thomas Adams of MIRAGE says:

    Hey Bjorn. I don’t think that you reviewed the one that makes the most sense to our Gilmour fans. The POD X3 LIVE is the one that i have. Once you read through the manual that thing has a TON of power! I can get some of the greatest singing Gilmour-ish sounding tones out of the HIWATT amp models. You just have to go in and pick the right mic and cab for the amp and cab that you are using. Also I have found that the BINSON is extremely useful and very authentic sounding. You can choose your stomp-boxes and actually stomp on them! Since the one that I’m speaking of is a floor-board. It has an effects loop with assignable level control so you can use your Muff if you like. The volume pedal on it is key because it can be assigned to be pre or post effects so in a nutshell. I still use my vintage pedals and my tube amps-IN STEREO and I love a touch of the Leslie model. I feel strongly that this piece was vastly underrated and the guys who are happy with multiple big noisy stomp-boxes can have them. I can eat my cake and have it too!! Love the website- I actually got the squeals from the echoes article recently and my band members are like “How’d you figure that out?? I’m NOT TELLING- Thomas Adams of MIRAGE

    [I think they’re two completely different units. Obviously you can’t use the X3 on stage without a controlboard. It’s a studio unit and the effects are the same, so you should be able to get great Gilmour tones with both. I agree that the X3 live is better suited for a live situation but I don’t think you can compare using a digital multi effect processor with the tone you get from vintage stompboxes. It’s a matter of taste I guess. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  57. Vril says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    It’s great to see the website grow ever interestingly and I cannot keep from applauding your efforts one more time. I was wondering if the time had come to integrate a ‘Search’ feature? :). .I’m not an expert on website management.. just throwing an idea at you.


    [Thanks! Glad you enjoy my site :) A search feature is definitely needed… – Bjorn]

  58. bernhard says:

    hey bjorn,

    thanks for the review. you pretty much confirm my experiences with the previous model, the xt, in my case the xt pro and various other boxes like the dm4, dl4, fm4, …

    I haven’t tried an x3 so far, and not yet was there a reason for me to change over to one, but the parallel chains function is a very good thing that I sometimes miss in my xt pro.

    my experience with the effects is, as you state, some are very cool, others are utterly uselss. the biggest nuisance on the xt pro, and also the mm4, has been the uni vibe sim, it had been a little more usable on the mm4, on the xt pro it’s utter crap imo. abosolutely impossible to make use of it. funnily enough I found the leslie sims in general also rather poor, but it’s true if you set it to slow and put it only a wee little bit into the mix, you get a very nicely coloured sound.

    I have been using the dm4 for quite some years now on my band-board. I pretty much agree with you again here. the big muff sounds a little awkward, as does the octave fuzz btw. tube driver, micro amp, screamer, rat sim, even the fuzz face, all very very cool imo.

    as I aid, I’d love to try an x3 and see how the processing changed or improved. despite all shortcomings (modulated digital delays -> very poor) I think line6 have done a terrific job with their philosophy of modelling and simulating. and very true, sometimes you need an awful lot of time to tweaking those beasts, but it’s very well possible to get great results and make your very own sounds….


  59. jim says:

    have used pods for tracks when doing a live takes in studio .
    good for not having bleed into other instruments mics
    but the pod really has no soul.

  60. Brad says:


    Thanks for answering my question about the compatibility of the patches between the X3 and my XT Live. There are some O.K. patches out there, but they are definitely just a starting point depending on the rest of your rig.

    If you do have the time to write down, or print out your settings on the patches that would be great as I pretty much the same guitar and pickups as you. Thanks again for another great addition to this site.


    [I will. – Bjorn]

  61. Hey, Line 6 just released their Pod Farm. It’s a free add-on / upgrade. It’s a new interface that allows you to run 2 chains of amps / effects / etc. at once! VERY cool. Playing with it right now.

  62. Thanks for the review and info.

    I myself use a Line 6 TonePort for the majority of my recording / recorded effects. I will also use my pedals into the TonePort. I enjoy it. It has a user friendly interface, etc.

    Anyways, if you get time, check out some of my tunes (I desperately need to add drums. . .)



  63. Paul says:

    With all the technology available to us with this unit, is it asking to much for a true bypass???. I own a couple of nice strats, a PRS Custom 24 which is plugged in to a nice pedal board which is all connected with EA Cable, this then goes to a Mesa Boogie F50.
    If i plug this unit in with out a bypass it will effect the over all sound of this choice equipment, which after long working hours i am fortunate enough to own…i want my boogie to sound like a boogie!!…not a Marshall this or that.
    I used a GT6 for a while when they came out and it was with out doubt the biggest waste of money i have ever suffered.
    Line 6 make great products so why cant i have a bypass???

    [Keep in mind that you don’t have to use the amp sims when you’re combining a processor with your main rig. Simply turn them off, use the effects and let your amp do the job. None of these units have true bypass as far as I know, and although they will affect your tone like a Boss pedal or most other buffered pedals you should be able to get a near transparent signal by carefully matching the input/output levels withe the straight signal from your guitar. Another option is to just use true bypass pedal… :) – Bjorn]

  64. sascha says:

    [Yeah, that’s the “problem” with these things… you can sit and just tweak for hours :) – Bjorn]

    Hi Björn,

    that’s why I am using Big Blue ( VOX Tonelab SE). Neither the Pod nor the XT is easier to use as Big Blue. And you can get some really nice sound from it too.

    But thanks a lot for another great review Björn.


    [Well, I meant that in a positive way. There’s so many options and cool tones that you loose yourself completely :) – Bjorn]

  65. Ben Craven says:

    Hi Bjorn
    Fantastic sounds you’ve got from the X3! I have an XT Live, but I’ve found the temptation to keep tweaking is just too much and distracts me from actually playing.. I’m finally coming to a nice compromise for recording at the moment with pedals and a V-Amp Pro as a clean amp sim.
    cheers, Ben.

    [Yeah, that’s the “problem” with these things… you can sit and just tweak for hours :) – Bjorn]

  66. Darran says:

    Sorry… forgot to add answer to Brad’s question,he asked if he can use your X3 patches with his XT Live, I am afraid they are incompatible.

    Out of interest Bjorn would you consider posting your settings used to generate these patches so we can try and manually set them up on other Pod devices as they do sound amazing and I would love to have a play around with them in my set-up?



    [Give me a couple of days and I’ll write them down. – Bjorn]

  67. Darran says:

    Great work as ever Bjorn.

    I really appreciate the time you took to look at digital processors. I see you as a purist and they often scorn these products so great that you are open minder to modern technologies.

    I run a Pod XT live in to a valve powered cabinet (Atomic Reactor) which is designed to “un-digitise” the sound. It works sweet after a long time learning to tweak the Pod XT Live. This is the biggest key to success, as mentioned above, it takes time to get in tune with the units sweet spots but worth it when you find them to suit your set-up and desired sound.

    I appreciate that it will never approach the genuine sounds of a true pedal/valve amp set-up but as a tool to learn about the principles and sounds available I find it amazing. In fact I believe my tones are way better than my playing by a long way, maybe give up and try out as a sound engineer or guitar tech!!!

    I agree with your comment on the inflexiility of use of effects in the chain. I have added an external boss compressor to the input to allow use of comp & distortion effects simultaniously. This gives a very good result. I am considering following this on with external muff effect when budget permits to further increase options. I can then use the tube driver model also. Would you recommend a particular muff type for this application?

    I am neither good enough or have inclination to play live and find these products a real home solution providing an incredible array of options in a reasonably priced package.

    As mentioned above there are some very good patches available on the line 6 site, I have posted some myself both modified from previously downloaded ones and some of my own from scratch, but one word of advice to all, these are tweaked to other players pickups and amps and need many hours of further tweaking to sound good on your own set-up.

    Another you-tube contributor using POD with great results is http://uk.youtube.com/user/studiox19 he gets some amazing tones out of his set-up (also using atomic amp) He was kind enough to share some patches with me and they sound awesome!!!

    As posted above, many of your regular readers use these set-ups, I would be interested to hear if you would consider adding a page to this great portal to host our DG patches to share amongst your community? This would strengthen this sites position as the best DG site on the web!!!! (Flattery always goes a long way!!!)

    Appologies for long post and keep up the great work Bjorn…

    Kindest Regards from North East England to you and the rest of your growing community,


    [Thanks Darran! Well, I don’t see my self as a purist really. Perhaps when it comes to my Floyd setup but I also play guitar with Airbag – only original material – and I use anything that can give me a great tone. I don’t think I’d use a digital processor in my live rig, although I have before but I definitely see my self using this one more and more for studio recording. These days, when you can record an album in your living room it’s a real pain and a time consuming effort to mic a guitar… There are some tones one never can simulate, but for rhythms and non-signature tones I’ll definitely be using the POD.
    Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll check out the options regarding a patch download service. – Bjorn]

  68. Paul says:

    Does the pod have a by-pass???, would love to have one in the chain…as long as its on when i want???

    [No true bypass. I’m not sure if any of these processors have that. – Bjorn]

  69. Brad says:

    Do any of you know if I could use the ‘Tones’ that Bjorn was kind enough to include in this article with my POD XT Live? I downloaded them, but when I try and open them with my Line6 software, I get an error that they are corrupt, or an unsupported file format.


  70. ray says:

    beg to differ with the ‘best youtube cover’ comment.. great playing and useful that he has a tab for us to learn from, but i think the playing just lacks the spirit of the song.. nothing too great about the tone either.. expected it to be a lil more ‘cutting’ since its direct in

    that said, im wondering what solutions are there for me to record.. would love to mic up my bf champ but i’m going to be recording with my bandmates in a hotel room so i can’t really turn it up much..

    should i just go with a Guitar Rig software solution? do i need a DI box or interface inbetween even when the recording pc is loaded with a good soundcard?

  71. Randall Yeager says:

    I would recommend a nice external tube preamp to anyone that’s serious about tone and wants to own this, or anything else digital. I prefer a stereo tube preamp that is placed after the X3, but I have tried a single channel placed before it. Both made a difference, but driving the tube preamp with the X3 seems to sound a lot better to me. An Aphex Aural Exciter/Optical Big Bottom is a nice touch as well!

  72. rhoelsch says:

    Bjorn, I was wondering if you’ve heard GuitarDude84’s rendition of the the 2nd Comf. Numb solo off YouTube. He uses a XT right into his PC and his tone (and playing) are just stellar… some say it’s the best on the web(!)… uses a Les Paul, but still sounds terrific. I believe he said his patch is “Gilmour Lead” from the Line 6 site… convinced me this might be the way to go for me instead of hunting down stompboxes… also, in my research ran across some darn accurate patches by googling “Gavin1978” and “kc_pod” pod patches…
    these are the only ones that I’d consider pretty darn good that you may get some use out of… Cheers!

    [Thanks for the tip! I’ll check it out. See my clip of Comf Numb… with stompboxes :) Cheers! – Bjorn]

  73. Great review Bjorn.

    I’d love to see one for the Boss GT-8. Have you ever used one?

    [I’ve tried it but never used one enough to make a review. I once had a GT3 in my rig for delays and EQs… great unit but eventually I wanted to go with only stompboxes. – Bjorn]

  74. Mike says:

    Great review, thanks!

    I always wondered what you think of software emulations like “Guitar Rig”. Have you tried it? And in case you have, what do think of it?

    [I’ve tried it briefly but I thought the distortions sounded a bit too digital… Many cool effects though. – Bjorn]

  75. charaf says:

    Thanks for this interesting review. I own a Pod xt live and I agree with you, I always found tube driver and line 6 tube pre amp sounding very good, I can even get very nice another brick and shine on intro warm tones. The POD X3 can be especially used for its dual channel to get the second channel slightly modulated with a rotary simulation for a good comfortably numb tone.

    Keep up the good work!

  76. Micha says:

    I own the BOSS-GT Pro (19″ unit). From what I read from Björn’s review, I am glad to be familiar with the GT-Pro by now, rather than looking for other modeller solutions. They all have their top features, their strengths and their weak sides. But so far I believe, the GT-Pro is still the ruler of it all; I cannot understand, why it was more or less un-recongnized from ther market and the buyers and quickly disappered from the screen. I guess ,the GT-8 was too strong due to the fact, that nearly every guitarist wants a all-in-one fllorboard solution, or like the POD, small, handy (ugly) beans to carry in one hand…;)
    Still, the GT-Pro seems to be superior over all modells, I heard or read about. I even go further: the less you took really much time, plenty of time, to get famliar down to the deepest details of your unit, the less you are able to finally judge or review it. Still I find combinations of amps, tweaks, effect-settings, etc. which gave me amazing results in view of my Floyd/Gilmour tones I need for my Floyd-Tribute. First I thought, that it was nearly impossible, to get strong, clean signals out of the GT-Pro. By hard study of the functions, and again and again careful adjustment to the best non-clipping balance of all internal input/outputs/global EQ, analog-input, etc, I have very good clean sounds. From the crunch, overdrive, distortion point of view, at least 20 of 30 effects are useless, but the other 10 are great tools to create every sound you need. Chours and delay are superb; they always have been from BOSS.

    Conclusion: if you are using a modelling-amp as your only main equipment like me, the GT-Pro is still my “hot advise”. The POD seems more to be a solution for practising at home or do some demo-recording.


    [Thanks for the input. I don’t really agree with you… I think Boss works better for live use and the GT boards especially has a couple of features that the Line 6 units doesn’t have – you can use the compression, EQ and expression more freely. It’s a matter of taste but in my ears Line 6 is superior comparing the overall soundquality on the amp sims and noise level. Clean tones will always sound dull on these digital units and although you manage to get something decent I recommend using a tube compressor when you’re recording. – Bjorn]

  77. Filippo says:

    Very enjoyable review and sounds, Bjorn!

    I had a Line6 Pod XT and most of the things you said in your review are nearly the same reasons that made me sell it after 5-6 months. I never liked so much any kind of digital processor but, honestly, I must say that you could get some really nice sounds out of it despite of the large amount of amp sims/effects only a few of them were really useable and good for creating a realistic tone (that’s one common point with the new version I see).

    Still, the interface was one of the major issues that heavily limited its use (I can see that now the it has changed and seems more user-friendly than before).
    In the end I completely agree with you that this little piece of gear is very useful in certain situations as home recording and night-time playing (but you must have some time to spend tweaking and setting every parameter to make it sound not too much “digitalized”) but it certainly loses all the way in front of our beloved tube friends :-)

    [Well yeah.. I wouldn’t use this on stage. Our rhythm guitarist has a XT Live board and although he’s managed to get cool tones from it I feel that using only a digital processor is very limiting soundwise. I have yet to hear a digital unit that can recreate amp tones like Line 6 though and the way I see it, unless you’re trying to recreate 20-30 of David’s sounds then all you need is a handful of patches to be able to record almost anything. – Bjorn]

  78. Randall Yeager says:

    Oh, by the way, the dual tone is absolutely the best part of this unit. I used to run my signal through two ’65 Fender Twin Reverbs (one left, one right); I know use two 3-way PA Speakers, no amps. I don’t really pan them that much, maybe 5% each way. I usually layer a softer tone to reinforce the primary tone, basically lower output and less emphasis on effects… sometimes… I do love some serious delays you can only get with two Binsons. I get my stereoness from the effects more than the individual amps. I run two guitar tones, but yes, you can layer one vocal & one guitar, two guitars, guitar & bass, two basses, etc. The bass amps are really nice too.

    The X3 Live would solve your con #2. You can place any effect wherever you want in the chain. If you ever encounter any issue like yours, you can also assign other footpedals on the board to achieve what you need.

    Absolutely, the dual tone makes it sound so good. The Vetta I that I had sorta did this, but not nearly as good. On the X3, I have not been able to create any single tone that compares to the lushness, and fullness of what you get with the dual tone function.

    [Thanks for the input. – Bjorn]

  79. Randall Yeager says:

    I have the Pod X3 Live. I like the availability of being able to add an extra expression pedal, always nice when companies do stuff like that. I also like having both stereo XLR and 1/4 outs. And with all the presets, four banks at a time is more than enough per song, plus you have access to other controls within the presets. Live use is a breeze. The expanded footcontroller that is available with the X3 Bean is really sweet; I used that one with the Vetta a few years ago. Two pedals built-in is nice, I wish the X3 Live had that feature stock. Also a tube preamp, like the Vox unit, would be a nice touch.

    The Aux input is a nice feature for the X3, because I can run my slide guitar in the Aux, and be able to use it simultaneously with my regular guitar, using the same patch models and effects. No need use an A/B box! I love having my slide handy, and using the same preset and effects at the same time is just too sweet!

    Overall, I like the tones. I love the addition of the Diezel amps. I really have a love/hate relationship with Line 6. The past nine years or so using their equipment leaves me with mixed emotions. For the price, value, sound, and programmability, you can’t go wrong with the X3. I recommend the Live, but both have a few features the other doesn’t. However, you can still pretty much do what you need with both, but the Live is just nice to be able to use live. If I could do it again, I’d think about buying the Bean and going with the FBV controller separate. That way I could keep the Bean off the floor and access it while playing if need be, or at least keep a beer from being spilled on it.

    I’ve seen that they have a Pro version now. I need to check it out and see if there are any new sounds. Line 6 is pretty good about upgrades. Where’s my Whammy Pedal?! Seriously, that’s one effect I truly miss. Add that, a tube preamp, focus on a narrower batch of effects/amps/cabs for quality purposes, and you’ve got a real serious unit. But this thing sounds sweet as hell in the meantime.

    [Our rhythm guitarist has a XT Live that he’s very happy with. As I said I’m missing some effects and I’m looking forward to more updates from Line 6. I would never trade this for stomboxes… it doesn’t have the soul and tone… but it’s great for studio work when you don’t want to mic your cabinet or simply don’t have a huge rig at home. – Bjorn]

  80. Nate says:

    Cool review Bjorn! Makes me want one…like all of your reviews haha. I always kinda wonder if having one of these multi-effects is worth having instead of a bunch of stompboxes for someone who doesn’t play out. It’s a tough call, but the sounds you got out of it seem to make it look like a pretty good option :)

    [Hmm… I’m so used to stompboxes that I would never trade but it depends on how much you play really. These units will give you a lot of options and a great tone for an affordable price but it’s definitely possible to design a smaller rig suitable for playing at home too. As you can see from my YouTube clips I’m using a small transistor combo and a smaller collection of pedals. Works fine and my neighbours doesn’t complain :) Check out the Designing the Rig and Buyer’s Gear Guides articles for more tips. – Bjorn]

  81. Great Review, Bjorn! Indeed it’s a nice simulator, but very expensive here in Brazil, that’s why i use the V-Amp 2, it’s cheaper and nice also.

    I heard the Muff simulation, and yes, it’s bad, not even compared to the original, but the Fuzz it’s very nice, i mean, i have a Sim of the Germanium Fuzz here on the V-Amp 2, but the POD it’s better.

    But got that overdrive kinda like, warm sound here also.

    I would like to know if you ever tried the V-Amp, to get your opinon! \o/

    Cheers, Gabriel!

    [Thanks Gabriel! I’ve haven’t tried the V-amp… – Bjorn]

  82. domi says:

    sounds interesting. i got a boss gt6, but i really dont like the distortions. they sound too digital for me, its something for metal-heads. but i has got a quite good compressor, flagger, chorus, delay & hall. in my oppinion, such digital sims do only sound nice for non-distortion effects.

    [I think the Boss GTs has better modulation and delay effects while the Line 6 are better on amp sims and gain pedals. – Bjorn]

  83. Marcello Sperandeo says:

    Great article man! Thanks

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