In the case of the Line 6 POD, I'm sure other owners of this product have at least a few complaints.
Starting with my article on The Pro's and Con's of Guitar Multi Effects Pedals, you'll find that there are a few general complaints about multi effects pedals in general. But what about the line 6 pod, which is supposed to be "far superior" than any other pedal on the market (minus their new HD models).
I'm glad to share at least a few of the things I think could be improved on the pod (that "soon-to-be-owners" would not hear on a general review.
Monkey is the software that line 6 makes you use in order to update your line 6 POD, or to delete or load patches onto it.
Guess where your frustration with this program starts?
Right from installation! How fun!
After installing this program, you will find that you need to do one of those "Windows update your hardware drivers" updates. Of course the update will often get stalled, with the only fix being to re-install your line 6 monkey program.
But after some tedious hours of work on that, don't worry, it will work…
…until you try and use the program again. In which case the program will stop working properly, and you'll be forced to reinstall (And yes, that means going through the "Windows driver updates" process all over again, which could in turn lead to a 4th reinstall of your program).
And expect to do this fun process every time you don't update your line 6 POD for more than a week.
And to be completely realistic, you probably will at most update it about once a month.
Meaning every time you need to do updates on your POD, expect to spend an hour re-installing monkey.
This sounds great! Are you as excited as I am about this amazing process?
Gearbox actually isn't the worst program you've ever used. You'll find that it's pretty nifty for creating new tones, and being able to change them very quickly to contour for a tone that you want.
You can even take many of the Line 6 presets and load them straight onto your POD (eliminating the need to create your own) and then just tweak them to your liking.
Unfortunately the idea of "not getting your pants confused off of you" is an idea that is way beyond the liking of Line 6.
But no worries, the rest of it's all good...
There is a pretty nifty feature where you can download and update your patches online. This way you can find tones that others have created, in order to emulate famous guitarists sounds.
At this point you must be thinking to yourself, "Why am I trying to emulate these other guitarists sounds when I could be creating my own, new sounds?"
Just a thought though. There is a major advantage of using this though, because it gives you some really good ideas as to what effects you can use to create awesome effects.
You probably didn't know that putting a heavy rotary + horn effect on your distortion will give you a decent Rammstein guitar effect, did you?
Neither did I until I downloaded a Rammstein tone, and saw where that "something special" came from.
But when we speak about emulation, we of course remember that this unit is always going to create something with an inferior sound than the real thing.
So the software on the unit could use some work, but they make up for it with their hardware, right?
You'll find that sometimes while hitting those tiny, tiny button that they simply won't select the patch you want.
I actually encountered a point where my line 6 POD would simply open up the "edit patch" screen (keep in mind that this is fairly detrimental when you are in a live setting, which kind of goes against the whole "live" thing).
It's definitely annoying when you have to hit the button a few times to get it right. And it's not necessarily that the unit buttons don't work.
It's that if you don't hit the straight down, they won't work. So if you hit them from an angle, then you need to make sure you put a ton of force into it so the button doesn't get caught on the way down.
Which is fine and dandy, and I'm sure Line 6 could blame the user for "not hitting it straight down", but seriously…the XT Live didn't have this problem. Why are we creating problems that never used to be there?
The Wah-Wah pedal on this works great. Back off!
I found that actually being able to get a grasp on using the hybrid tones in any usable way had such a steep learning curve that I doubt even the creators of line 6 could do it well.
I remember looking at some of their "Tutorial" video's on it. But they were very difficult to follow.
In fact, the lack of education on this unit that is available is simply astounding. I mean, I seriously think their whole purpose in making it was to make you feel like a moron.
You go out and buy the line 6 POD, try tinkering around with it, but you never feel like you've really been able to push it to it's potential. And it's simply because there is no material to show you how it really works.
It's all guesswork. You just have to guess at which way it might work well.
Which is pretty sad if you think about it. I remember looking through the massive manual that came with it.
I would compare it with a video game manual: completely useless on how to actually play the game effectively.
It simply says "This thing works, and here are some general things it does and a few instructions on how to do those".
It's like reading a commercial car magazine and expecting to know how to fix cars now.
It simply doesn’t help that much.
Oh yeah, some sort of summary. Well, this POD caused a lot of frustration for me. Though I did really enjoy playing with the toys and vast amount of effects it offered, it simply did not prove to be very special for using as a central tone item.
Mind you, if it was combined with a really fantastic tube amplifier, and you avoided the modeling (and you took the risk that it might break on you at any time), then it could be used for some fantastic applications.
It's a fun toy, but I'll never buy another Line 6 product again.
On the other side, I've never had a stompbox fail on me. They are self contained units usually (the single pedals), that are able to be reliable because they only serve a limited function.
Once you start adding in computers to your equipment, things can start to get sticky, so keep that in mind for reliability.
Always consider your application. Someone learning the guitar and just getting familiar with the guitar might really love a POD, while the serious musician will likely find it frustrating after the first month or two.
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.