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June 2017 Giveaway

Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler Pedal Reviews

4.5 stars based on 27 customer reviews
Questions about the Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler Pedal?

Questions about the Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler Pedal?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Scott Augustyniak

    Being an owner of the M13, I can attest to the fact that the Line 6 M5 is a great way to get all the same benefits with a smaller footprint. The M5 is a "Swiss Army knife" for your current pedal chain, allowing you to save multiple stompbox settings without reaching down to adjust pedals between songs. If you use and need a lot of effects, this is a great piece to add to your chain!

  • Daniel Fisher

    This is one of those pedals who's price makes you think, "Why would I want to spend $199.99 on a single pedal?" This is because we're used to pedals this small being good at one, maybe two, things. It might also do some other things marginally well. But the Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler is an authentic museum of every great effect ever modeled by Line 6. It *IS* the DL4 Delay Modeler, the DM4 Distortion Modeler, the FM4 Filter Modeler, MM4 Modulation Modeler, Echo Park, Verbzilla, LiquaFlange, Space Chorus, Otto Filter, etc., etc., etc... And all the controls have their own knob; and you can read all the parameters at once! Plus, it's stupid easy to make any parameter move any amount, in any direction, just by moving a foot controller. Set a Min and Max for every parameter and when you move your pedal all of the assigned parameters will each move in their own amount and direction. You can then create incredibly complex sound changes with a simple sweep of your pedal. Pro-quality, stereo Ins/Outs means you can use this *anywhere* in you guitar, synth, vocal, or amp chain. External MIDI control allows you to change presets, switch FX on/off, simulate the expression pedal, and even sync the effect's clock with your sequencer or MIDI controller. Plus, it's got a tuner, a noise gate, and a choice of true hardwire bypass or the ability to have the effects trail off. The M5 is simply THE magic ingredient that will take your current sound over the top... that just happens to fit in your gig bag!

  • from USA April 12, 2017


    I've used and owned many multi-function pedals and this one has to get a best-value-for-the-dollar rating. We all know Line 6 was there at the very forefront of modeling technology and it is insanely clear with the quality of the models onboard the M5. The M5 is very robust... you could probably drive over it with a truck but I don't recommend this.

    Don't expect that all of the effects are usable for you but the number and quality of the reverbs and distortions alone are well worth the price of admission. The model of the Chandler Tube Drive is very convincing... so much so that it makes me want to buy one. I don't play like EJ but I sure can make a reasonable facsimile of his sound in about one minute! ... need I say more.

    The screen is a bit small for my old tired eyes but you can tweak the contrast in the settings menu and it is usable. Additionally, I wish Line 6 had added a headphone jack but they opted for MIDI in/out... perhaps the MIDI option was more popular back in the day when the product was released.

    If I run into a small inheritance, I will purchase more Line 6 gear in future... it seems rather pricey but I guess the end user will always pick up the R&D tab.

  • from Brooklyn, NY March 23, 2017Music Background:
    Church Choir

    Awesome all in one

    Great pedal at the end of my chain before the looper and after the delay and reverb, nothing better then using a tremolo on a wet signal, man does it stand out. I love all the modulation settings.

  • from West Covina, CA March 20, 2017Music Background:
    Alternative/Hard Rock


    This pedal has everything you need from overdrive and distortion to reverb and delay and everything in between. Add an expression pedal and you can really have control over what you decide to dial in.

  • from September 14, 2016Music Background:
    Live Sound Tech/ Instrument Player

    This Is AMAZING!!!!!

    I love this pedal! Everything comes in this box! It took me only 5 to 10 minutes to set it up and figure out how to save presets. The instructions were very helpful. Mixing and getting the tone you want is very easy to do. Most of the distortions are fine but I use this mostly for the other time based effects. This just blows me away!

  • from Georgia September 1, 2015Music Background:
    Rock, Jam Band, Improv

    Amazing Sound Quality

    I just received my new Line 6 M5 pedal yesterday. I ran through all of the patches and I'm simply amazed at the quality and amount of effects for the price. There are only a few patches that would probably never see any use. The majority will see a lot of use. I needed a swiss army do-all pedal for mods and filters. I am going guitar>fuzz face mini joe bonamassa>crybaby mini>tube screamer mini>front of amp, then in the effects loop I have line 6 m5>tc flashback mini>ditto looper. All going in and out of an Orange CR60C combo. This setup provides endless fun and insane tones. Could not be happier with the M5. Buy one, you will not regret it!

  • from May 15, 2015

    open door

    For the price this thing is pure gold. With the expression pedal there is just so much sound to be made. I just wanted a second delay and tuner, but got so so much more.

  • from NC March 14, 2015Music Background:
    Weekend warrior

    Favorite pedal

    Ok so not every effect of the 100 plus effects are very usable in a typical band setting but the tuner works great, delays and reverbs are great and this eliminated the need for all those pedals you might only use for one song I'm talking flanger phaser trem all that type of stuff. In fact other than the synths, dirt, and pitch stuff which is average everything else sounds great. I also found out a neat little trick with the m5. You don't even need a pedal board you can put it on top of your amp or inside your rack and control it with a tech 21 midi mouse and avoid having to carry a pedal board or spend money on isolated pedal power supplies.

  • from Fenton MI March 7, 2015Music Background:
    45 year Hobbiest


    You get all these effects in one box for this price? If you were to buy one of these effects and pay for a decent pedal, you would spend close too this much or more. Great sounding effects, built like a tank,you can't miss. It's true you can only use one effect at a time, just add other pedals to the chain if you need too. I didn't go wrong on this one and either will you.

  • from tampa,fl June 5, 2014Music Background:
    musician 30 yrs


    these sounds have been out forever.each are on separate $ 250 line 6 units since late 90's.
    of which i never bother to try.
    i did try the red kidney pod , but it had limited adjustment.
    have a few pedals this model has in it.all of which actually sound better or as good as what i own , no joke.
    if you can find 2 useful effects in this unit , it pays for it's self.
    and you don't have to use them as they were ment ( ie , the tron , i use lightly on over driven tones,,,crazy thickness). the blue comp with treble on , try that with your marshall crunch channel ,w/ a strat , speak hendrix. tape delay is smooth.all reverbs are nice.like i said , i own alot of what is on here , but it is what i do not own that makes this so worth the $$$. tho you can not use more than one pedal at a time , there are several that have multi-effect running through them ( like - jet fuzz , reverb w/ new age backing and delays with trails...etc )just played it for 12 hours first 4 days i owned it . lot of entertainment for $130. recorded with it using vocals , tape delay, ,guitar ( blue comp,screamer,)bass w/ vet comp,,,all went perfect the 1st go.

  • from Torrance, CA, USA September 19, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist, Guitar Player

    The M5 is the modeler I've always wished for

    When I was a beginning player, I fell in love with multi-effects pedals, ones that allowed me to make all kinds of crazy sounds. But as my playing has improved, I've been looking for a more dedicated type of multi-pedal, and the M5 is exactly what I wanted. It has tons of effects: distortions, modulation, reverbs, delays, etc... About everything you could want but the big difference is that you use only one model at a time. And the models are real cool; some great ones, some not so great, some poor ones. But the good ones are very very good. My favorite of all is the Color Drive, a model of ColorSounds Overdriver (a $400 pedal), a great overdrive. I also like the model of the Chandler Tube Driver. Some of the other models I really like are: the Arbiter Fuzz Face, MXR Flanger, MXR Micro Amp, 63 Spring Reverb and the Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble. I don't use delays but my friend loves that the delays have a full 2 seconds of delay. When I bought the pedal, I figured if I found 5 pedals that I used regularly it would be a good buy (about $25 a pedal) but I got at least a dozen that I use, making this an excellent buy. Also, the quality of the models are much better than earlier generations of modelling effects. Though I've complained about Line 6 in the past, they have a real winner in the M5.

  • from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Britain October 24, 2011Music Background:
    Semi Pro Musician

    Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler is simply superb

    I have used various stompboxes and multi effect units over the years. Many of them put me off after the fad wore out as they degraded the sound quality of my guitars and amps.

    Best one i used previously was Boss ME8, but I had to do a lot of messing around such as removing fizzy unusable overdrives from presets and load them into user patches so I could put it through amp's effects loop with no at once control on stage. Eventually I went back to only using the pure sound of guitars and amps.

    And then I discovered Line 6 M5. I liked the sounds and how they kept the integrity of my guitar and amps sounds. I checked the big M13 found it is great and versatile (can be wired through front and effects loop of amp at the same time) if you are a club band guitarist but too large for my use. Checked M9 found it is good if you go either in front of the amp or through effects loop but can not do both at the same time for appropriate effects.

    I finally settled with buying two M5 units same price as M9 and yes I can only have 2 effects at once but great usable flexibility. I put one with expression pedal attached through the front of the amp for ODs, MODs and other appropriate effects, and put the other M5 unit through the effects loop of the amp for Delays and Reverbs. WHAT A GREAT COMBO AND SOUND, Or I can put the two M5s into my Boss stereo Loop Station when I need to. Thank you Line 6 for assisting me find my own tone. Well done.

  • from Columbus, OH July 24, 2011Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Educator, Musicians

    Lots of power in a little box...

    This replaced 5 pedals on my pedal board. It's less noisy, more flexible, founds great, I don't have to worry about knobs getting bumped, and my pedal board weighs about half of what it was! Best bang for your buck I've seen.

  • from Florida January 6, 2016Music Background:
    Church Musician, Hobbyist

    Hard to beat

    For $129 you will not find a more versatile, better sounding unit than this. I already own an M13 and love it, but I wanted an M5 for a smaller pedalboard. This thing is so fantastic that I plan on getting a second one in the future.

  • from Arlington, TX September 10, 2015

    Line 6 M5

    I use this pedal at the end of my board for delay and reverb (when I'm playing P&W at church) and occasionally as a boost/comp/fuzz/whatever in the studio. This definitely makes you wonder why you would want to spend $200-300 on individual pedals. The only complaint would be the oddball on/off and tap switches, the get the job done, but seem a little cheap at times. Aside from that, great modeler! Some of the drives are surprisingly realistic, and, for this price, you can't go wrong!

  • from Goshen, IN May 23, 2015Music Background:
    Drummer, Mixing/Mastering Engineer, Guitarist/Songwriter

    A real Swiss Army Knife effects pedal

    I bought the first Line 6 M13 a few months after they hit the market, and loved it. Recently though, I've been wanting to commit to a handful of pedals - but there are a couple things the M series pedals do so well that I just can't get away from it! The perfect solution for me was to grab an M5 - so many of the same great features, just in a smaller footprint, and it can even be powered by the same supply as my other 9v pedals! The only negative I have, is that you have to hold both buttons to change "scenes", that's a wee bit of a challenge at certain moments.

  • from R.I. September 17, 2014Music Background:
    HOBbyist- and then some more.

    line 6 m5 stompbox

    At first i thought it was ok,-- and then when i seen how you could tweak the effects, WOW. What a difference. for the price how can you go wrong. I use it for rock and blues,- 60's and 70's. it works out good with the tweaking, (clean) and dirty. I would recommend this m-5 to anybody. It fit my budget and I went for it. I am not sorry one bit. thanks Tyler B. Thanks to you I bought the M-5, and saved on a lot of extra pedals BUY it and see for your self. I use it through my Tascam DP-32 for more effects . ROY

  • from January 27, 2013

    Line 6 M5 Stompbox Modeler

    As a lucky owner of a Pod HD500 i was a little restricted by it's
    DSP limits so i bought two of these, and since they have midi i don't
    have to do a stepdance everytime i change a preset on my Pod,
    but most important is the sound of the effects, they blend in with the guitartone in a very pleasant way and make the sound rich and full, very very good!!!

  • from Southern California July 6, 2012

    A good jack-of-all-trades pedal

    It's well-worth the price for its delays and modulations, all of which are easily adjustable and sound great. The small exposed knobs may make it less-than-roadworthy for some live players, but, as another reviewer wrote, this pedal's flexibility makes it like a Swiss army knife effect box in the studio. Bonus: its tuner is quite useful and easy to implement.

  • from Normal, IL February 29, 2012Music Background:
    semi-Pro musician

    One pedal to rule them all

    This is a very well designed pedal, one thing I really like is that if the power goes of the pedal defaults to pass your signal thru (it would let you finish the tune if the bass player blunders onto it's power supply). This pedal has all the sounds I wanted from the Line 6 DL-4 and the other pedals in the series. The sound is good and it does a great job of emulating the Echoplex and Space Echo including the UFO sounds. I would recommend to anyone looking to fill their arsenal with some Line6 sounds. It only does on FX at a time but it does them well.

  • from July 21, 2016

    Great swiss army knife pedal

    The M5 is a perfect demonstration of the phrase, "jack of all trades, master of none." While there are much better individual effects available, the strength of the M5 is in its ability to do a respectable job at covering a large amount of ground in a reasonably compact format.

    I purchased the M5 to cover modulation effects and a few other special tasks on a small pedalboard system that I use as a B rig. It achieves this function well enough. I do notice some tone loss with the M5 A/D conversion. I recommend setting the global configuration for true bypass as opposed to DSP bypass which leaves the A/D active even when effects are off. If using delays, this means you'll lose trails when disengaging the effect, but I feel that is preferable to having tone compromised at all times - especially since I only use the M5 effects a small fraction of the time. Banking through effects could be a little more convenient, but it is passable.

    Though I prefer analog delays, the M5 delays are useful given the tap tempo is something not found on the analog versions I am currently using. I was initially disappointed as many of the M5 delays resulted in a very noticeable loss of low to low-mid frequency content. However for several models, Line 6 has included a DRY THRU option that preserves the dry tone much more accurately.

    I would say the distortions and overdrives are completely unusable though this is not my intended application for the M5, so they are of no concern to me.

    Build quality seems acceptable. We'll see how it holds up after a year of abuse, but I get the impression that it will last if taken care of. The enclosure is metal and switches look decent. The display is easy enough to read indoors though I've not tried it on an outdoor gig in the sunlight yet. If using a Voodoo Labs supply, you'll probably want to use a current doubler. Supply current requirement 500mA and though it might function at less, don't expect it to do so reliably.

    For the price of an individual pedal, it's going to be tough to beat. My expectations were realistic, and I'm impressed.

  • from July 13, 2016

    A great deal

    If you like Line 6 effects, this is a great deal. Even if you just use it for a delay pedal, how many delay pedals with a tap tempo switch let alone presets is this cheap? I The switches are great. Pedal is rock solid and dependable. Depending on how you use it, this can be used to cover a lot of things you don't want to dedicate an entire pedal to, even a built in tuner.
    The negative: It can only be used in one location at one time. Thus while you can use it for anything you want, from drives, modulations, pitch, synth, delays, if you have it on your pedalboard, it's not like you can move it to the ideal placement amongst your other effect pedals between songs. I think it excels just after your overdrives. Then you could use still use it as an extra overdrive, modulation, or even a delay and reverb as that would be a good placement. I use it exclusively for autoswell, as it is better than my slow gear clone for that. The display is hard to see, making changing presets a little bit of a challenge between songs. However, if there's one Line 6 effect that you love this is a great way to integrate it to your pedal board. I moved on from a Pod HD a few years back, and I like that I can still integrate some of the effects and if I even need a certain effect for a song, I can dial it in and use it for that purpose at a gig.

  • from Chicago, IL February 22, 2016Music Background:
    Insane Hobbyist

    Impressive Build and Sound Quality

    First of all, I purchased this device sight and sound unseen. I was amazed at the high quality construction, the enclosure is a beast and the two foot switches are very high quality.

    The six control knobs are relatively tiny and not quite as beefy, thankfully a steel chrome bar is provided to protect them from the toe of your shoe/boot. The display is fine, and the mechanism they use to run through the five sets of effects (Delay, Modulation, Distortion, Filter, and Reverb) is quick and intuitive. The color coding is a nice touch. With that said, you probably won't be using the knobs or display live...best to create a few presets for live performance.

    Regarding sound, the Delays, Modulation, and Reverb all sound very good to great. The Delay with Modulation is killer, the sheer amount of variety offered in each section (Delays, Mods, Verbs) is incredible.

    The distortions for the most part are good, though a few are a bit thin sounding. The tube driver, Screamer, Line 6 Drive, and Line 6 Distortion are my favorties.

    The Filter section, well, I am not a fan of most filter effects; I just don't have a use for them. A few might be useful for effects in the background of a multi-track recording, etc.

    The ability to store and recall presets is a great feature. Of course, you are limited to one effect at a time. Given the smallish display and control knobs, presets are the way to go for live performance. Also, the MIDI feature, which I have not used, is incredible for live performers.

    I bought into the Digitech iStomp system, and they work and sound well and have a small foot print. The M5 is much larger, but the M5 is a better system in my opinion as the effects are built in, no need to download them from another device, and I like having a visual display of the knob settings and what the knobs actually do!

    The only real negative...I would need four or five of these M5s to completely happy. One for distortion, two for modulation, one for reverb, and one for delays. Oh well!

  • from Missouri August 11, 2015Music Background:
    45 year player


    I have a M9 on another pedalboard. I have decided to put together another smaller board and this M5 will allow me to have all of the modulation effects and the other effects (such as Particle Verb) that I only occasionally use in a much smaller package. I don't care for the overdrive effects though.

  • from Nashville December 23, 2011Music Background:
    20 yrs. giutarted

    Line 6 M5

    Totally worth the money. lots of useful effects. i was in the market for an analog delay. this was just a little bit more than the single stomp boxes i was looking at. All the delays on this unit are great. as well as the phasers, and reverbs. I don,t use the drives much but they are good. i give it a 4 outa 5 for useability. you have to use your hands all the time to operate this box. no big deal as it is really for customizing single sounds.
    The unit is more solid than i thought it would be. all i run now is an Ibanez weeping daemon wah, MXR compressor. and line 6 M5 in the effects loop.
    endless possibilities.

  • from NJ, USA April 27, 2011Music Background:
    Worship Leader

    Far Superior, than expected

    I purchased this item to replace a faulty line 6 dl4. I figured I could mainly use it to replace the delay unit, since I was already accustomed to all the delay patches it carried. I am impressed with its functionality and ease of use. You can save 24 presets, as opposed to the 3-4 other stompbox modelers offer. Any changes you make to the presets are automatically saved, like if you were tweaking an individual pedal. This M5 also offers better delay to specific note values, something that was always troublesome with the older dl4. It offers the dotted 8th delay! This is a great addition to any player looking to add some creativity to their tone. Functional and enjoyable, the m5 is a powerful pedal.

  • from Northern California March 8, 2012Music Background:
    Semi-pro nusician

    A Great-Sounding Pedal For One Preset Per Song

    The M5 pedal offers a truckload of effects in a compact floor unit. The effects are virtually identical to Line 6's individual specialized pedals such as the renowned DL4 delay pedal. The sound is clean, noise is low, and the pedal is very well made. The pedal also features a couple of presets such as the spacey Particleverb that are not included in the individual units.

    You do give up versatility and control by cramming so much into one unit, however. The display is relatively small and hard to identify which preset you are using when standing over it. The effects are color coded by effect type (delay, distortion, filter, reverb) but you can easily miss the preset you were shooting for if you are in a hurry.

    Also, it takes various combinations of the two switches to load and move through presets. Again, if you are in a hurry or trying to switch effects in the middle of a song you could run into problems.

    If you need to hop around presets quickly or are a bit clumsy with your feet, you'd be better off with the individual pedals where you have more immediate control. The M5, however, is incredible for having one high-quality effect loaded for a song and is easy enough to change to a different effect between songs.

  • from May 29, 2017

    Read Internet reviews befire purchasing

    Guess I got a lemon... my excitement built as I unpackaged the unit and plugged it in and preparation to play... imagine my disappointment as the LCD just blinked on and off and unit would not work. I messed with it and got it to come on for a brief jam session. I was blown away by the sounds I could get out of this jack of all trades unit! Imagine my disappointment as I unplugged it then plugged it back in only to find the blinking LCD again! At this point I did some research online and found out there were quite a few people having the same symptoms if not right out of the box, later on. I will be returning my unit for a refund as I'm not sure if it's worth getting a replacement at this time if it's just going to crap out on me at some point.

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