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Line 6 POD X3 Live Review

I am impressed and awed by the sound quality and flexibility of the POD X3 Live!

I have to admit that I was a little bit skeptical about modeling. I mean, how could digital anything sound as good as plugging into a Marshall, Vox, Fender (insert your favorite here), amp. Plus, this claim about modeled mic preamps. As a studio engineer, I know the different heads, cabinets, mics, and preamps I like to use to precisely achieve the sound I’m after. I’ve tried digital effect processors for guitar in the past, and have never really been wowed by them. Well take all my years of pre-judged experience and place it in nearest trash can. I am going on record a saying, “I am simply impressed and awed by the sound quality and flexibility of the POD X3 Live.”

So let’s get under the hood. This baby is packed full of DSP power to create thousands of combinations of amplifier, cabinet, mic placement, stomp boxes, and studio effects. Let’s get this over with now, there’s a lot to choose from. I gleaned this from the Line 6 web site: “Massive model set for guitar, bass and vocals, 78 guitar amp models, 24 guitar cab models, 98 stompbox and studio effects, 28 bass amp models, 22 bass cab models, 6 vocal preamp models, A.I.R. II cab/mic modeling with 4 mic options each.” And they all sound great.

In use, this was great. You have two discrete channels available to combine (or use independently), giving you awesome stereo imaging. The POD X3 Live also is a great A/D converter for guitar (24-bit 96kHz). The USB will work with any DAW except Pro Tools, but never fear, there’s even a S/PDIF out to accommodate all the PT users. If that weren’t enough, Line 6 graciously lets owner’s of the X3 Live, download a free version of POD Platinum software. Essentially it’s the X3 Live, so go crazy recording with the plug-in and simply download those patches right into your X3 for your next gig. Oh, if you’re longing for more sounds, Line 6 has a large user base that posts sounds in the community forum. Last I checked there were over 56,000 tones to download, free. When you’re not recording or gigging, you can plug in a mic, guitar, or bass into one channel and your guitar or bass into the other so you can practice by yourself or jam with a buddy. And if you’re an apartment dweller, no problem – this unit has a headphone output. Studio, live, practice… WOW!

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