Being a full-time musician I have owned a bunch of gear throughout the years. Always in hopes that the most current purchase will be the end all. It seems as though it never is...

2004 was the year I decided to spend what I have to in order to have the best possible products relative to my situation... I'm active in 3 bands.... one a loud funk band, one a loud jazz-fusion group and the other a Tribal world beat with dancers situation,

So consequently... I've been through a '65 reissue Twin, a Mesa Boogie Lone Star, Roland JC-120 and a Vox Valvetronics Amp... All worked okay ... but here's my experience.

The Vox was never able to achieve the clarity of any of the other amps. For some reason, I guess most British amps breakup way too early for my musical style.... I prefer pristine clean (not almost clean) as the basis of my sound and the Valvetronics lacked a model for the JC-120 (which is my favorite clean sound). Plus, it's blackface models just could not stay clean at high volumes. Even with the built in boosting effects...

Not to mention that the Vox distortions did not sound good unless you maxed out the gain... and the overdrives always had too much of an edge for my taste.

I will admit however, that their Dumble models were the excellent exception. As they ended up being the only one's I used. However I still had to use an outside booster pedal to make them usable.

Oh, and in addendum ... the Vox wah-wah barely cut it... (the PODxt Live's Wah is perfectly funky..)

The '65 twin was very loud and had that wonderful Fender shimmer, but unfortunately broke up way too early... (maybe the normal twin stays clean longer...) Defeated my need to play funky rhythms loud and clear ... or take clean fusion-jazz solos without any breakup...

The Mesa Lone Star had a wonderful clean tone that seemed to even improve with volume... however, it's distortion was always just too hard sounding for me no matter how I EQ'd it... that's a lot of doe to spend for just a good tube clean sound. Yet, it does handle pedals well, but I need a lot of them for the funk school of playing.

So before I got the PAS and PODxt Live combination, the JC-120 with pedals was my functioning utility amp ... it's natural Stereo Chorus is the very best of any and it handles tube sounding pedals well, However, I still had to Max it out and sometimes that's just not enough to cut through a pumping band with a strongly present bass and pounding percussionists.

However, that was all before I found out about the 180 degree sound dispersion qualities of the PAS and the diverse possibilities of the PODxt Live... this new Line 6 product has blown away all my expectations.

I've never liked any Line 6 products before this one. Now I cannot stop giving it critical acclaim. It's cleans are wonderful and it's distortions-overdrives are everything one would except. The Vox doesn't even come close even though it has a 12AX7 in it. Don't be fooled by the tube feel facade ... the PODXL feels much better to my touch.

Maybe it's the combination of the 7 foot Pole and the black floorboard... but with the newly found sensation of both of these product's now performing with me on a regular basis...all my other gear is up for sale.

Ciao, Joseph

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Bose ( and Line-6) have made a BOAT load of used equipment show up on the market lately ! <g>

Also, I keep telling people to play their new XT live thru headphones... and when they find they can't get those accurate tones/sounds from their PA or AMP - I tell them to get the Bose, gaint vertical Headphone device <g>
Hi Joseph,

Thank you for writing to us. I think the universe of guitar players will be very interested to hear your thoughts.

I'm curious about where and when you learned about the Cylindrical Radiator speaker, and how you first heard it, and what you did to convince yourself that you should purchase.

If you're willing to share this with us, it would be very much appreciated.
Thanks Ken.

My curiosity was sent into motion one day by the add displayed at Harmony Central. After researching various Internet reviews and your website until PAS details reeked through my pores. So when I went to Guitar Center in San Jose where they only had two floor models left, I simply picked one up, plus a PODxt Live, out of pure trust and faith.

Since I perform almost every night of the week, I've already encountered the arm-crossed purists with the initial "where the hell is your amp, dude?" But once everyone hears it in practice, the quality of comments have only been stellar!

Even the audience, club managers and bartenders were curious...
So, I was in exactly the same boat. I had a few amps I used for different situations - a MesaBoogie MkIV, an old Fender Princeton Reverb, and a friend's Marshall half-stack. I had about 6 pedals I used with each but was really getting sick and tired of all of the setup required. Plus, lugging that Boogie was going to put me in the Chiropractor's office!

I made the jump right before Christmas - got a PAS and a PodXTLive - I love it now! I can get pretty much whatever tone I'm looking for except a good acoustic one for my Martin M-38 (still working on that though - got a Yamaha Magicstomp acoustic for that) and Im in Heaven. Easy setup, easy teardown, tremendous flexibility and, oh yeah, the PAS sounds pretty darn good!

Still have a few pedals to put on eBay but I'm pretty much done with buying any gear for a while...
Dave,

As a starting point for acoustic guitar with the XT Live, be sure that the footswitch for 'Amp' is switched off. Even if you have 'No Amp' seleceted for a model, I found that it makes a world of difference when I bypass the whole Amp circuit this way. (Prior to discovering this, I couldn't get an uncolored acoustic sound to start with.)

Let me know if this is unclear and I'll try to explain it better...

[edited for clarity, I hope...]
Tonight two different guitarists who read my posts on this website, showed up at my gig in downtown Monterey with the Neil Banks Funk Band
... That was very cool!

One from San Jose and the other from Santa Cruz. The fellow from Santa Cruz brought two other curious musicians in his band with him.... One of them had been to my gigs before and were familair with my sound and playing.

The guitarists were interested in purchasing the PODXL and Bose combination. I brought 'em both on stage during our breaks, and quietly demonstrated the great tones I was getting with the Line 6 going through the Bose. From the looks on their face and their response, I must say they seemed as though they were blown away: "Wow, you can sound like that and don't have to been cranking..."

When we started up again, they walked around the room and checked out the sound. Giving me the "thumbs up" sign... How fun!

Ciao, the Joseph
After much experimentation, I've found that the PODXL Output Mode, Bose PS-1 setting definitely adds a slightly darker coloring of one's initial guitar tone. I guess you might call it the "Bose" signature speaker sound in way.

This could qualify as a subtle fattening of tone when compared to the Studio Direct Mode setting which gives you an unaffected sound you can then manipulate with A.I.R, cab, etc...

I my particular case, I've found the PS-1 output mode to be the preferable of the two choices (so far...) And therefore glad I don't have to mess with virtual mic placement or cab choice.

Ciao, the Joseph
Joseph,
PODXL has a specific output mode for the BOSE PS-1? My POD 2.3 crapped out on me at practice. Not able to do anything yet to try and figure it out, maybe tonight. Wondering about the PODXT Live. Is that what you have? Or rather is PODXL and PODXT one and the same? I may need to purchase new POD, so hence the questions. Thanks in advance. PS did new upgrades last night to PAS! Went well! Loved new vocal presets!

Jan
Jan... Yes, I have the all in one black floor Line 6 unit called the PODXL. And yes, it does have a specific Output Mode especially for running through the Bose PS-1. It works very well.

In fact, I just got back from using the PODXL for a paid studio session today where I changed the Output Mode to Studio Direct so I could just run directly through the board. Thus I can lay down lead guitar tracks without wearing head phones or even having to be in a stuffy recording booth.

I was just sitting in front of the big window next to the engineer with the producer vocally coaching me on what kind of fills to add and when... Just playing along with the monitors jumping from patch to patch with the PODXL at my feet... As of lately, this has become my new routine when hired for studio gigs.

Nothing like taking pressure out a studio session by removing head phones, laying back and just going with the flow. It's makes studio work very much like hanging out. You can connect personally with the folk who hire you like never before.

So before I packed up my gear, I simply changed the Output Mode setting back to Bose PS-1 in preperation for a series of nonstop live gigs through this weekend until Monday night, starting Thursday early eve,

The PODXL has become such a major part of my rig set-up now. I thought it wise to buy another one as a backup.

Ciao, the Joseph
Hey Joseph,

Between you and Steve, I may just take the plunge and get an XT Live. I'm not big on effects. It's about all I can do to keep my fingers going where I want, let alone dancing with pedals.

You said,
quote:
I thought it wise to buy another one as a backup.

and this got me going down an odd train of thought.

All the best and uh... thanks I think.
ST... go for it my man!

You'll only need two sockets: one for the Bose and one for the PODxt Live (nothing/nada else)
... talk about cutting back on time even just a little more...

And I'm sure your personal world of creating music will open up immensely with the addition of all the new tonal shaping possibilities.

New sounds and colors naturally direct you to phrase differently. (Wellin my case, I've found this to be true...) And not only does it make long gigs fun, but more interesting to your listeners. Believe me they notice...

Also, tweaking tones is quite creative,
entertaining and rewarding... ya can really get a kick out of coming up with musical sculptures of composite sound frequencies. Your own personally expressive variations upon a guitar's tonality. Now that's Way Cool!

Ciao, the Joseph
ST - I've played entire gigs where I've only used 2 or 3 settings on my XTL. Some people have written here that their reason for not getting one is "becuase I wouldn't use 99% of what's in there". I look at it like this - if you program ONE good sound that you are happy with, it's no different than buying a new amp for $399. The bonus is, if you decide to get adventerous, there is a stockpile of excellent sounding effects (I still make the Homer Simpson drool sound every time I hear the XTL's lush chorus through the PAS), and a huge array of different amp tones sitting and waiting for when and if you need them.

I've literally been through hundreds of amps and stomp boxes over the past 35 years, and I can honestly say that the PodXT Live / PAS combination is one of the best I've had.
ST,

You've probably heard more than enough to convince you one way or the other, but I just have to add my 2 cents. With not too much effort at all, I've been able to get the Pod XT Live to reproduce my Boogie MkIII and my 70s Champ to a tee! The biggest difference is that now I'm not the only one to hear it that way - everyone does! The kicker is that I also get all these other amp tones that I've always wanted! After 30 years of gigging, I'm honestly not bringing a tube amp to gigs anymore!

Another kicker is that it works equally well for my acoustic guitars! I usually disable the amp models and can still use a bit of clean boost for solos, compression, eq, reverb, delay, modulated effects, etc., as desired...

Give this thing a whirl, man! You'll be so glad that you did!
Looks like I may soon be doing a search for perfect gig bag for it. I remember seeing one and having this gut level - oh oh - how am I going to pack that response.

Thanks to all for that delicious temptation. The last hurdle before I dive into musical melee:

Years ago I managed to curb my rampant gear acquisition syndrome by developing the mantra,

"No matter what you buy, it's still you playing"

Our Bose Systems allow us to see more clearly the sculpture (sculpted sound if you like) within the block of granite. I wonder how I make this piece of gear fit the metaphor.

I'd better go play some music before the thinking gets in the way.

edit - spelling
ST - I agree that much of a player's "identity" is in his/her fingers, soul and brain. But if the gear didn't matter, you could be playing a couple of $100 Epiphones instead of having that nice PRS collection of yours. The gear that you play through definitely affects how you feel, how you play, and how you sound to the audience.
wfs,

You got it - The sounds and most features are the same. The analog ins/outs are unbalanced on the XT Live (balanced on the XT). The XT Live has an extra feature called the Variax connection. From the Line 6 Pod XT Live site:
quote:
Variax - Connect a Line 6 Variax guitar here and experience a whole new world of possibility and sound-control power. In addition to a direct digital audio connection between the guitar and PODXT Live, you can even have the Variax change guitars, pickups, and tone control settings each time you choose a new channel from your PODXT Live ’s footswitches.


I connect my Variaxes that way and can still connect my other guitars via the 1/4" input. I just turn the volume all the way down on the guitar that I'm not using - Works like a charm!

The XT Live also ships with free 'FX Junkie' model pack installed - lots of additional classic stomp box models, etc...
quote:
Originally posted by Chuck-at-Bose:
I connect my Variaxes that way and can still connect my other guitars via the 1/4" input. I just turn the volume all the way down on the guitar that I'm not using - Works like a charm!


When I explain it the wife I'll blame you for the Variax/XTL in my future. That would be an awesome feature for my theatre work. Nevermind all the bases a Variax would cover in the 1st place.
just one final question on the pod xt/live. sorry. in the past i have noticed that alot of all in one pedals destry the sound of the guitar itself. meaning no matter what guitar i put through em a strat or a les, it all sounded like the effects. maybe fatter with a bigger pickup, but the distinctive sounds of the strat and other guitars was lost.
i know this is different technology a bit, and its been awhile since i plugged into any all in one pedals. so just curious if when running through the pod if one still heres the distinctive sound of the guitar.
off the subject of the pod a bit. i have experimented with this litle 10 watt amp i have and miking it. they dont make it anymore , its csalled a maxi m ouse by lectrosonics. not tube but a sreamin little amp, especially if a stomp box is put in front of it. i have tried micing it and faceing it(the amp) towards me like a monitor ( its angle is perfect). what this allows is not much sound of the amp goes out towards the house, and if one wants feedback, it is realtvely easy to get it from the amp being that it is facing me. then that comes right through the pas. so it reacts a bit faster. the amp is run on lead acid cell batteries. you play and recharge. they go for a long time even if the amp is cranked. then one just recharges. i'll post a pic if someone wants if they tell me how. thanls all again.
Tone = hands!

I love the way Tony-at-Bose plays guitar. I love the tone he gets out of a Pro Jr. and his Tele. Now, I've sat with Tony's exact setup and guess what, it sounds like Steve, not Tony when I play the gear. For better or worse, tone is mostly in the hands.

Knowing this has not slowed my GAS (gear aquisition sysndrome) though. I think in a prior life I was a hunter because I love the chase of researching for gear then stalking it the bringing it home for the kill.

I do have a rule now that if one comes in, one goes out (I've broken it a few times I must admit). Luckily, it's a cheap(er) thrill these days with eBay on my side.

Steve
i agree steve, but thats not really the issue i was discussing in respect to the all in one pedals. even ther same person playing the same lick with his own touch will have a different tone if using a strat or a les paul. my problem with previous pedals (all in one) is that the actual tone of the guitars gets masked a bit by the effects pedal. where it doesnt sem to happen when using different guitars using just maybe a single stomp box. i think the last peadal i had with all kinds of settings and things was a big digitech. no mater what guitar i put through it with the exeption of clean, everything just sounded like the digitech pedal. it didnt show the subtleties of the different types of pickups. be it a single coil or humbucking. witht he exception that the humbucking was a stronger signal.
i appreciate all the feedback, guess i'll just have to get one of these things and give it a whirl.
quote:
Originally posted by wfs:
i agree steve, but thats not really the issue i was discussing in respect to the all in one pedals. even ther same person playing the same lick with his own touch will have a different tone if using a strat or a les paul. my problem with previous pedals (all in one) is that the actual tone of the guitars gets masked a bit by the effects pedal. where it doesnt sem to happen when using different guitars using just maybe a single stomp box. i think the last peadal i had with all kinds of settings and things was a big digitech. no mater what guitar i put through it with the exeption of clean, everything just sounded like the digitech pedal. it didnt show the subtleties of the different types of pickups. be it a single coil or humbucking. witht he exception that the humbucking was a stronger signal.
i appreciate all the feedback, guess i'll just have to get one of these things and give it a whirl.


'Sorry to butt-in however, I hear what you are saying about the sound of the pedal box instead of the sound of the guitar.

That was my problem with the original POD devices years ago. IMO - the XT version seems much better about that and I can easily tell what pickup is selected even with heavy distortion applied. I use several different guitars through the POD XT and it does a very good job compared to older stuff I've used.

I wouldn't call it perfect but certainly worth a "test drive" in case you're needing something different.
wfs - ASAT is right on the money. I HATED the original pod. I LOVE the XT Live. I'm primarily a Strat player, and I get my clucky in between sounds just as clearly as I did with my Matchless. When I switch to my SG for slide, it sounds like a Gibson.

I think the mistake you're making is in thinking of it as an "effects" pedal. You said "no matter what guitar i put through em a strat or a les, it all sounded like the effects". Think of it as your AMP - shut all the effects off. You can come back and add effects later - those are just little spices - the meat and potatoes is your AMP TONE...and the XT delivers in spades.
quote:
Originally posted by gittar-jonz:
the meat and potatoes is your AMP TONE...


That's right I remember you using a DC-30 too? That and a couple of old simple/dry 50's volume/tone amps taught me this very improtant lesson. Start with an inspiring amp tone and work it out from there. The POD offers so many choices that it's hard to see it from that direction in the beginning of the journey.

Some of us old farts have been lucky to play the real stuff so we KNOW where the mojo-bone lives and it's pretty darn close coming from an XT.

Coupled with a PAS on live gigs, you should get an even LARGER rush of inspiration due to the tall, wide, clear, clyindrical wave the PAS generates.
thanks guys, thats what i was hopin for, that the amps themselves replicate well. keping in mind that its all modeling, one simply makes the choice if itsd close enough, or whether they want to lug the amps around for the real thing. but from all the help here, i think i will certainly give it a try out. though i may opt for the simpler podxt. probably has all i need, and dont really plan on getting a variax. plus i already have a midi pedal etc. also the way i perform i would i think prefer the controls to be at hand level. im not a real rocker, but would like to use electric guitar on some instrumental things ive written. so will see what i think when i try it out. im kinda thinkoin the podxt is probably worth the price of just all the effects in it if they are somewhat close to the real pedals, which i imagine they are.
glad you underrstood what i was talkin about on the pickups etc. one just hates it if that nice split pickup sinatiure tone of the start doesnt maske it through the pedal. i think its all certainly worth a 30 or 45 day free trial and see what it does...thanks all...
gittar-jonz,

Speaking of PRS guitars - I just got a catalog from Sweetwater Music that shows a $40,000 (list) PRS "Double Dragon" doubleneck electric guitar for sale.

Gee, I wonder how many $75 gigs a person would have to play to pay for THAT thing? They say "Call For Price" but I'd think I'd be calling for oxygen!

Besides, my Variax 700 has 25 "necks" instead of only two!
Guitarget - The sad thing is, the G.A.S. addict in me sees that and say "Man, I'd love to own that" - Even though I know it's just wood and electronics, worth a couple hundred dollars in raw materials.

Luckily, the fact that I can't afford such luxuries keeps me in control of my disease - but I often wonder if money were no object, if I could still maintain some common sense... I have a feeling that I'd own a museum's worth of vintage instruments.

How are you settling in on that Variax? I'm pretty sure that's my next purchase - although I think I'll get a 300 or 500 just to make sure I like the electronics before I spring for the "good wood'.
ASAT - I've still got a jones for those little 50's single ended tube amps. I spend way too many hours on ebay scouting for them. I absolutely love 'em. 1 preamp tube, 1 rectifier tube, 1 output tube, 1 speaker and 1 knob. And full of tone - even the "cheap" Airline, Alamo, Sano, Oahu - any of the "Valco" amps - they're all full of mojo. I particularly like the old Kalamzoo Model 1 and the old Gibson Skylarks (remember I'm a Matchless / EL-84 guy)

All my friends and aquantences have been asked to call me if they see ANY small old amp with tubes at a yard sale or flea market.
Had a little surprise a few minutes ago on the Variax 700. First of all, this guitar stays in tune all the way up and down the fretboard. I was surprised by that, but I was even more surprised when I just put a capo on the second fret and the guitar was thrown so far out of tune it was unplayable. I tried readjusting the Kyser quick change capo on the fret; back and forth, etc - but all six strings stayed quite sharp. Take the capo off, the guitar is in perfect tune again.

So.....am I in the Twilight Zone? Using the wrong capo?

Other than that, I cannot be more thrilled with the choices I now have for guitar tone. I figure the Variax workbench will come with some kind of digital capo so I won't have to worry about it. They have it now for the Variax Acoustic - it's only a matter of time.
That's strange - don't they have a big "C" shaped neck? My Jeff Beck strat has a neck like a Gatorade bottle, and the thing just won't capo - it's never REALLY in tune when the capo's on - and I've tried several different capos.

On the bright side, I was told last week by a music store manager that Line 6 will soon be offering a software update for the Electric Variax's that has the virtual capo AND open tuning options...NOW they have my attention! No more hauling around open tuned slide guitars, acoustics and lap steels - Let's hope it's true.
Don't hold your breath for Workbench software.
It's been delayed about 6 times ... and they have a 'help wanted' out for programers <g>

I love my 700 Acoustic btw.

...and I do think Workbench will be soon...just not sure about April.

I use the virtual capo to play bass... yes, a full octive DOWN . Not the best tone but in the mix with the rest of the band it's ok.

I also use capo 1 so I can avoid playing in E-flat and A-flat <g>
quote:
Originally posted by Guitarget:
Had a little surprise a few minutes ago on the Variax 700. First of all, this guitar stays in tune all the way up and down the fretboard. I was surprised by that, but I was even more surprised when I just put a capo on the second fret and the guitar was thrown so far out of tune it was unplayable. I tried readjusting the Kyser quick change capo on the fret; back and forth, etc - but all six strings stayed quite sharp. Take the capo off, the guitar is in perfect tune again.

So.....am I in the Twilight Zone? Using the wrong capo?

Other than that, I cannot be more thrilled with the choices I now have for guitar tone. I figure the Variax workbench will come with some kind of digital capo so I won't have to worry about it. They have it now for the Variax Acoustic - it's only a matter of time.


In some circles I'm known as the "capo king" so lemme see if I can help?

Do you put the capo in the middle of the frets? With fairly big/tall frets that will pull your entire pitch sharp. The best place for a capo is just behind the fret so that there's no room for the strings to be pulled sharp.

It feels a little in the way to have the capo so close to your extended 1st fret position but once you get over that, tuning should never be a problem.

The Shubb capo is small enough that it doesn't interfere with your fingering as much as those large Kyser's when placed directly behind the fret.

Now, I am wondering why somebody would even use a capo with a Variax because I've heard they can transpose with a switch?

Anyway, the reason I'm called the "capo king" is because I use various length Shubb capos to alter my tunings to simulate open tunings. For a quick example, put your Kyser or Shubb on the 2nd fret but leave the low E string uncovered. Play a D form chord and tell me that doesn't have a drop D sound?

To get really adventurous, shorten a cap so that it only covers 4 strings and put it on the 2nd fret leaving the A & E open. Flat-pick the tar out of a fiddle tune and you'll see what I mean...
Did a complete gig last night with the PODxt Live set on the Studio Direct Mode... I had it there intentionally since I was in the studio yesterday afternoon, just before my evening gig...

Truth is, I forgot to change the Output Mode back to the Bose setting ... and viola' ... it worked out really well much to my surprise. During the first set I immediately realized I was hearing the virtual sound of mics and cabinets that are normally not part of my tonal tweaks...

I think I would describe it as a brighter Output Mode in comparison to the Bose Mode... Obviously, you get the cab sound and mic placement colors that you don't get when just using the Bose Mode ... and they really do change the nature of your initial settings,

So I don't know...? It worked just as good, only with even a few more options then the also wonderful sounding, but truly a little darker Bose Setting ...

So, confused, I'm torn now between which Output Mode to use?....:-(

Ciao, the Joseph
quote:
Originally posted by Joseph:
So, confused, I'm torn now between which Output Mode to use?....:-(

Ciao, the Joseph


'Know how you feel, I tried the POD Bose output mode a couple of times but found I liked the added EQ and remote of the XLR inputs along with the full cab/mic modelling so it's been full range A.I.R. for me lately. 'Might change again but for now, that's where my XT tones works best.

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