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Line 6 POD HD Effects Pedals First Look

By Edited Nov 19, 2016 0 0
Line 6 POD HD 500 (30875)

Pros

Great sounds

Affordable

Pretty easy to use

Good quality

Added bonus of PC software to edit

Cons

Should come with the advanced manual

Software should also come with pedal

May take up a lot of your time (so much fun, haha)

Full Review

Over the years the way in which music is played and recorded has changed and evolved. The basic elements are still there, get a group of musicians together and make music. Sure there are new styles and technologies emerging, but it all stems from the same desire. To make music. 10 years ago the thought of recording and releasing an album from a bedroom or home would have seemed a bit unrealistic and expensive. Today though it is quite the opposite. A lot of musicians are choosing to self record and self release due to the availability of high powered computers, recording equipment and the Internet. You can reach millions of people from your home just by recording and putting your music out there in virtual space. Which brings me to this product. Effects Pedals, and Multi Effects Pedals have been around for a number of years. More recently though the technology of Digital Effects has improved a lot. Now in 2010 Line 6 have released a range of HD Digital effects pedals. The entry level POD HD 300 - rrp $329 , the middle range POD HD 400 - rrp $399, and the top level POD HD 500 - rrp $499 (all in US dollars).

These new pedals all feature 16 HD amp models, which sound great live or for recording. They also come with the following specs :

Pod HD 300 -

80+ effect models
Up to 4 simultaneous effects
128 user presets
24-second on-board looper
with dedicated controls
Unbalanced 1/4"
Main outs (L+R)
1/4" stereo headphone out
Balanced XLR outs (L+R)
L6 Link jack
MP3 / CD in
Built-in tuner
Tap tempo
MIDI via USB
Expression pedal
Software editor/librarian
Metal chassis, pedal and footswitches

Pod HD 400 -

90+ effect models
Up to 4 simultaneous effects
128 user presets
24-second on-board looper
with dedicated controls
Unbalanced 1/4"
Main outs (L+R)
1/4" stereo headphone out
Balanced XLR outs (L+R)
L6 Link jack
Stereo FX return
MP3 / CD in
Built-in tuner
Tap tempo
MIDI via USB
Expression pedal
Aux expression pedal jack
Software editor/librarian
Metal chassis, pedal and footswitches

Pod HD 500 -

100+ Effect Models
Up to 8 Simultaneous Effects
512 Preset Locations
48-second Looper
1/4" Guitar Input
1/4" Aux Input
XLR Input + Microphone Preamp
Variax Digital Input (VDI)
MP3 / CD Input
Unbalanced 1/4" Outputs
Balanced XLR Outputs
1/4" Stereo Headphone Output
S/PDIF Output
1/4" Stereo FX Send/Return
5-Pin MIDI Input + Output/Thru
Expression Pedal
Aux Expression Pedal Jack
Chromatic Tuner
Tap Tempo
Assignable MIDI Footswitch Controls
USB
L6 Link
Software Editor/Librarian
Metal Chassis, Pedal and Footswitches

I just got the Pod HD 500, and as they all feature the same HD amp models I am sure any of the series would give you the sounds you want. When you get the pedal it comes in a cardboard box and is packed in secure foam inside. It is also wrapped in plastic. In the box is the power adapter, getting started guide, usb cable, allen key, and warranty cards. The build quality is excellent, it is a sturdy and solid pedal, with a well thought out design. I have tested the pedal live, and as a recording device and it really does deliver in both areas. The amps sound very real and responsive as you are playing. It is amazing to have all these different amp sounds a the touch of a button. The sounds are really quite good. People have been posting clips on youtube, if you search for Line 6 POD HD you will find many examples. The quality of the test recordings are great. These pedals would certainly be capable of creating a variety of tones in different styles to record an album at home.

Using the pedal is a little tricky at first (the Pod HD 500 I have does have some extra buttons and an lcd screen, so that is what I will talk about) but with a quick read of the getting started guide and some patience you can pick it up relatively quickly. There is a switch for choosing whether you are sending the sounds to an Amplifier or Recording direct to a computer, etc. There are many presets ready to go out of the box, and they sound great. With a little tweaking you can certainly find the tone you are after. While learning what everything does and how to do it, you will need a more advanced guide than the one that comes with the pedal. You can easily find the manuals at the Line 6 website - http://line6.com/support/manuals/

Aside from the presets that come ready to go, you can also easily create and store your own sounds. This is great for live gigs, as you could basically create a set list for your concert and have every sound you want ready to go. The other great thing about this is having consistency between your recorded and live sounds. You can record your songs, and use the same tones and effects when you play live. One of the things I most like though is that Line 6 have also released software that works to edit the pedal. For mine, it's called POD HD 500 edit. This software allows you to edit your setup on screen (PC) and then transfer it to your usb connected device or vice versa. This is excellent for experimenting and getting your sounds just how you like them with an easy to use program. The software is available for free to all POD HD owners, and can be found here - http://line6.com/software/

In Closing

Overall it is a great series of pedals, with a lot of potential. I'm still learning something new about mine each day. From the beginner through to the expert musician, there are certainly enough options on these pedals to get you the sound you want. If you are looking for a reasonably priced, good quality multi effects pedal for home, recording and live work, then you should definitely check these out!

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