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  1. #1
    Hot For Teacher
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    08.19.12 @ 08:35 AM
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    Default Line 6 POD XT (X3) VS Vox Tonelab LE

    Does anyone have any experience with any of these units? I'm thinking about updating from my archaic Digitech RP-1 and am guessing these are the best of the all-in-one direct recording amp/effect units available for a reasonable price.

    I'll probably never hook it up to a cabinet. Kids sleeping at night make it necessary for me to play exclusively through headphones - so I really only care about the units from that perspective and the ease of recording direct to my computer.

    Of course these things always sound digital and can't replicate the sound of a big thumping tube amp, but I have to believe that the technology has improved quite a bit since I bought the old RP-1 back in '93.

    I've been sampling various clips of guitarists using both units on YouTube and various Line6 / Vox forums and have been impressed with the Tonelab. It seems to be a little warmer to my ears.

    But the POD comes equipped with USB, which will come in handy when recording to my IMac. I'm sure the same is possible with the Tonelab, but I don't want to buy any additional gear.

    Anyway, I had myself talked into buying the new POD X3 (it comes with an unreal selection of Amps, Cabs and effects - almost too many) until I started to read the reviews on Musician's Friend and other "review" sites . . . there's a fair amount of hate for the POD products. Now I'm not so sure.

    Of course I'll instantly try to dial up all sorts of EVH sounds on either unit the moment it comes out of the box . . .

    I'd welcome any personal experiences or comments.

    Thanks.

    Geoff

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    That's a tonelab. I don't think I need to say any more...

  3. #3
    Eruption
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    I MUST have one.
    I've been wantin one for a while.
    One of those POD things anyway.
    For a guy like me that cant play for shit. it just might be fun just to drive the wife crazy with squeals all day.
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  4. #4
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    I've gotten very good results running my Pod xt into the power section of my 5150 then into my 4x12. The 5150 xt model is really close to the real thing. You don't get quite the feel of playing a tube amp but through a tube poweramp it is pretty close. It took a lot of tweaking before I fully understood how to get good sounds out of the Pod and it certainly is capable of getting a lot of fizz and digitalness.

    I've also owned a Tonelab LE and ran it the same way but could not for the life of me get it to sound good. They are great units and they really do feel just like a tube amp, more than the Pod. I'm going to pick up another one though because I think I was doing something wrong.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either choice, just be prepared to invest some time tweaking and setting them up. Do you go with a tube poweramp or ss? Don't dismiss ss because they can sound nice too. I just picked up one of those Carvin DCM 150 units and I've already gotten very good results with it running the Pod into it. You may not be happy with your sound right out of the box, so don't just dismiss them as crap if they don't sound good immediately.

  5. #5
    5150
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    12.05.17 @ 03:19 AM
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    I've had a Pod XT Live for a few years now, and I've been very happy with it. The newer X3 didn't offer enough new feature to merit upgrading. For the hell of it I just threw down a few VH riffs using my patches for the first album and Fair Warning/1984 respectively (the both use the Variac Plexi model). Please forgive my extremely sloppy playing, and my inaccurate renditions:

    http://www.stuartneville.com/assets/...halenriffs.mp3

    The guitar is an Ibanez RG2550z with a DiMarzio Tone Zone in the bridge, and this is recorded direct to the PC.
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  6. #6
    Hot For Teacher
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    08.19.12 @ 08:35 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post


    That's a tonelab. I don't think I need to say any more...
    Honestly, that dude's YouTube videos were my first exposure to the Tonelab and what put it on my shopping list. Tough to top that sound. But then again, he's a very gifted player - who knows what the thing will sound like in my hands.

    I really have been leaning towards the Tonelab but it seems like it's easier to record to a computer with the POD because of the USB.

  7. #7
    Hot For Teacher
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charvel2 View Post
    I've had a Pod XT Live for a few years now, and I've been very happy with it. The newer X3 didn't offer enough new feature to merit upgrading. For the hell of it I just threw down a few VH riffs using my patches for the first album and Fair Warning/1984 respectively (the both use the Variac Plexi model). Please forgive my extremely sloppy playing, and my inaccurate renditions:

    http://www.stuartneville.com/assets/...halenriffs.mp3

    The guitar is an Ibanez RG2550z with a DiMarzio Tone Zone in the bridge, and this is recorded direct to the PC.
    Thanks for the samples . . . they sound great.

    Everything I've read indicates that the new X3 isn't worth the extra $100 and some people actually think the XT / XT Live sounds better. You're recording direct to your PC. Is that USB out of the XT Live? Nothing in the middle - just straight out of the POD and into the computer?

  8. #8
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSB517 View Post
    Honestly, that dude's YouTube videos were my first exposure to the Tonelab and what put it on my shopping list. Tough to top that sound. But then again, he's a very gifted player - who knows what the thing will sound like in my hands.

    I really have been leaning towards the Tonelab but it seems like it's easier to record to a computer with the POD because of the USB.
    The Tonelab sounds warmer to my ear too. Both choices are great, but it comes down to why I chose the Vox Valvetronix amp over the Line 6; It just sounds more tubelike to my ear, and it does use a 12ax7 tube to give it that more natural, less synthetic breakup that are evident in some of the POD's models, but overall it's still extemely convincing. I guess it will just come down to weather or not the internal USB port is the big selling factor.
    Both sound so good though, you shouldn't feel like "man... I shoulda bought the other one!" You'll be happy with either. I'm just more partial to the Vox overall.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    Though I've never owned either, I've a fair amount of experience messing with them, teching them and whatnot. The vox gear has always seemed better to me, tone wise as well as user-interface wise. The line 6 stuff is very sterile to my ear but the Vox stuff always seemed a little more, I don't know...natural?

    I echo the sentiments though that you better be ready to tweak...these pieces are very tweak intensive but I think most people will agree, once you dial either one in to what you're looking for and you get familiar with them, you'll be quite happy.

  10. #10
    Hot For Teacher
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLEEPER5150 View Post
    The Tonelab sounds warmer to my ear too. Both choices are great, but it comes down to why I chose the Vox Valvetronix amp over the Line 6; It just sounds more tubelike to my ear, and it does use a 12ax7 tube to give it that more natural, less synthetic breakup that are evident in some of the POD's models, but overall it's still extemely convincing. I guess it will just come down to weather or not the internal USB port is the big selling factor.
    Both sound so good though, you shouldn't feel like "man... I shoulda bought the other one!" You'll be happy with either. I'm just more partial to the Vox overall.
    I hopped over to our local Guitar Center today and talked to the fellow in the effects/strings section about the Pod and the ToneLab. Predictably, he instantly said I should get a Pod. When I pressed him for more information, he just said, "Everybody's buying them, dude. You can't go wrong." I was on my lunch hour and didn't have time to demo either unit, but his answers to my questions were predictable, to say the least. Although he did admit that the POD gear sounds more compressed and less "real" than the ToneLab - which is what it's really all about to me anyway.

    On a related note, a guy in the Guitar Center soundroom tried to convince me that I needed an Apogee Duet to get a line level signal from an Effects unit to my Imac. Now, I haven't done enough research to know for sure - but there has to be an alternative that's less money that STILL sounds good enough and will give me a nice clean recorded stereo signal into GarageBand or Logic. The Duet looks cool and gets great reviews but $500 would land me in divorce court.

    Anyone have any experience with less expensive firewire / USB recording interfaces?

  11. #11
    Good Enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSB517 View Post

    Anyone have any experience with less expensive firewire / USB recording interfaces?
    If at all possible, get an older / used M-Audio USB or firewire a/d audio converter. They are also about $500 new, but older ones like the Duo (what I use) still hold up to anything new as far as pure stereo sound quality goes.

  12. #12
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 12:45 AM
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    My singer and I both used my Pod XT to record our whole CD, nobody even knew it. A couple tone nuts here I think could tell, but BFD. It wasn't a big secret anyway. And we're going to do it again this year when we record again. Got a great sound from it. Now I have run it through my 5150 and wasn't really that pleased with the results, I don't think it has enough balls to compete with just using a tube amp live. But for recording, it's awesome, and served the purpose for us for sure. Much better than having to pay for studio time to mic amps, etc. especially when you're trying to save money on the recording. We wanted to spend the money on studio time to get the drums right.
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  13. #13
    Hot For Teacher
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    My singer and I both used my Pod XT to record our whole CD, nobody even knew it. A couple tone nuts here I think could tell, but BFD. It wasn't a big secret anyway. And we're going to do it again this year when we record again. Got a great sound from it. Now I have run it through my 5150 and wasn't really that pleased with the results, I don't think it has enough balls to compete with just using a tube amp live. But for recording, it's awesome, and served the purpose for us for sure. Much better than having to pay for studio time to mic amps, etc. especially when you're trying to save money on the recording. We wanted to spend the money on studio time to get the drums right.
    That's exactly what I'm looking for - headphones and direct recording. It really seems like you can't go wrong - especially in a studio situation where time is money.

    For a hundred bucks more, the new POD X3 has an assload of additional cabs, amps, effects and whatnot, but it seems like overkill. The XT has all of the basics covered and then some - and the tiny size can't be beat. I just need to sit down with one for a bit and fool around. I'm sure I'll be amazed. Thanks much for the input.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Brett,

    Does the Pod have "Punch"? I have a Digitech that is great for rythmn but my guitar solos have the consistancy of nonfat milk. I've tried tweeking them with my console's EQ but it still lags.

    Should I have a Graphic EQ anyway?

    That Vox looks interesting too.
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  15. #15
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    There's no "punch" on the Pod, we did have to EQ the solos a little to get more bite for them. The one negative is you can't generate feedback with a Pod, which I like to use from time to time. That's the one drawback of it, unless someone knows a way to do it that I don't.
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