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.