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My review - PODxt Live/DSL


SkyhighRocks

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I noticed there are alot of podxt and xtl questions time and again about live use so I thought I would share my experience from my last gig.

 

My setup for the night was a G-Flex 212 cab with a Marshall DSL100 used for power only and a podxt live plugged into it's return loop.

 

The output mode on the xtl was set at front stack (I meant to have it set to poweramp stack but forgot to switch it back). Even with this mode, the amp sounded pretty good. Switching to poweramp stack really gives the sound beef and balls. :p

 

I basically used 2 banks of sounds...depending on what I needed. Each bank had a clean patch. That was no amp (bypassed) with a little chorus and reverb added...and with the ability to turn on the delay stomp if I needed it. The expression pedal was set for volume...0-100%.

 

In one bank, I had patches set up for a JCM800, Diezel Herbert and Engl Powerball. Each definitely had a distinct sound. The 800 was the more crisp sound...the Herbert was more bassy and the Engl was more of a combo of the 2. The 800 really sizzles and was used most. Effects on all amps were some chorus, reverb, delay with the stomp when I needed it and the amp stomp was used for compression...I had the volume set higher and used it as a solo boost. The pedal was used as a way to lessen the drive of each amp and also could kick on the wah.

 

The other bank has patches for a VH4, 5150II a JCM800 again.

The VH4 patch isn't as big sounding as the Herbert but seems to have a little more drive to it...more distortion. The 5150 patch is really crisp and takes the screamer stomp well. One thing I don't like about it is that it's very trebly...even when turning down the treble. It's very usable though and all the amp models cut through the mix very well. The effects were the same as mentioned above but on the 2nd 800 patch, instead of chorus, I used the mod stomp to add in a tremelo effect for the solo in "Always".

 

One tiny problem I had was stepping on the tap tempo/tuner stomp when I was using the expression pedal...causing the tuner to turn on and all sound bypassed. That happened early in the set and I was able to stay away from that problem again.

 

I had a/b'd the xtl's sound with that of my DSL's preamp last week and found it to be pretty even...neither blew the other away. I decided on using the xtl as a preamp because it gave me more options and versatility...as well as being able to use the wah function. Also, being run with the DSL as the main power source, it had the feel of a tube amp...moreso than when I owned a flextone II head. For the time being, it's going to serve as my main rig/amp...until I can actually afford a real Herbert. ;)

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Nice review. A few questions if you don't mind.

1. I assume you were running the xt into the FX return of the DSL to bypass the preamp section?

2. Describe how you felt the xt cut through the mix. My (admittedly limited) past experience with a modeller for live use was that it did not cut through the mix very well.

3. What method did you settle on for switching fx on and off? Did you have the effect pre-programmed on that particular patch and turn the effect off by changing the patch, or did you select the patch and leave that on while switching the effect on and off (in and out)? Why did you select the particular method that you used?

Thanks!

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Originally posted by Mesaholic

Nice review. A few questions if you don't mind.


1. I assume you were running the xt into the FX return of the DSL to bypass the preamp section?


2. Describe how you felt the xt cut through the mix. My (admittedly limited) past experience with a modeller for live use was that it did not cut through the mix very well.


3. What method did you settle on for switching fx on and off? Did you have the effect pre-programmed on that particular patch and turn the effect off by changing the patch, or did you select the patch and leave that on while switching the effect on and off (in and out)? Why did you select the particular method that you used?


Thanks!

 

 

I didn't start this post but I have some info on using modelers live. I use a Korg AX1000 and run it straight into the front end of a Mig 60. Basically, I would have the master on almost dimed and used the volume knob as the master. This pretty much let me use the amp as a power amp. For the effects I would either have a few patches set up to get the sounds I needed or I would run the Korg in Individual mode which basically allowed me to use the board just like a bunch of stomp boxes.

 

I found that it cut through very well and it sounded great. Hope that helps.

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Originally posted by eyeball987



I didn't start this post but I have some info on using modelers live. I use a Korg AX1000 and run it straight into the front end of a Mig 60. Basically, I would have the master on almost dimed and used the volume knob as the master. This pretty much let me use the amp as a power amp. For the effects I would either have a few patches set up to get the sounds I needed or I would run the Korg in Individual mode which basically allowed me to use the board just like a bunch of stomp boxes.


I found that it cut through very well and it sounded great. Hope that helps.

 

 

Yes, it does, thanks! I tried a Pod 2.3 a few times at rehearsal and it seemed to get swallowed by the drums for some reason.

 

How do you decide between using it with the patches set or in Individual mode? Is the determining factor that you need a whole different gain structure (like clean/with chorus to crunch/no chorus is a patch change and clean/with chorus to clean/no chorus is individual mode) or are there other/different considerations?

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Originally posted by Mesaholic

Nice review. A few questions if you don't mind.


1. I assume you were running the xt into the FX return of the DSL to bypass the preamp section?


2. Describe how you felt the xt cut through the mix. My (admittedly limited) past experience with a modeller for live use was that it did not cut through the mix very well.


3. What method did you settle on for switching fx on and off? Did you have the effect pre-programmed on that particular patch and turn the effect off by changing the patch, or did you select the patch and leave that on while switching the effect on and off (in and out)? Why did you select the particular method that you used?


Thanks!

 

 

1. Yes, I bypassed the DSL preamp.

 

2. When I used to own the flextone II head, it was really thin sounding when used loud and also seemed to drown in the mix. I think by using tubes as power and also the fact that the technology is so much more advanced now, it cuts through much better. The tubes seem to warm it up a bit. I also kept alot of the mids really low.

 

3. for the fx...when I tweaked the patches I always set them with all the fx I'll need turned on. Then when I resave them, I make sure the stomps for fx that won't be on all the time are turned off. They're basically just set as stomp boxes. and since I'm not a huge fx guy, having one stomp for modulations and another for delays works well for me.

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Originally posted by JPOM

thenks for the review!

those Diezel,ENGL and PV amp sims. are from the metal pack?

I assume you baypassed the cab sim. too, right?

 

 

yep, the metal packs are pretty good for the most part. I didn't bypass the cab sims. It just didn't sound as good as with them on. I think I used the sim for 4x12 gt-75's...which is basically what's in my main gig cab. A couple of the patches may have different sims though...can't remember exactly.

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Originally posted by grooveHT

Hey SkyHigh,

Thanks for the review... think it'd be possible to post some of the patches? I'm always game to try out some good XT patches...

 

 

I'll try to upload the patches to my webhost when I get a chance. SgtThump helped me out big time with patches and then I tweaked from his.

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when i would plug My POD XT into my DSL50 effects return, I would get this funky "fizzle" sound as a note would decay. It also killed playing dynamics.

Is the XT live better that the bean? I loved the XT hooked up to my PC, but whenever i hooked it up to an amp, it just sucked dynamics and life.

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Originally posted by Craggan

when i would plug My POD XT into my DSL50 effects return, I would get this funky "fizzle" sound as a note would decay. It also killed playing dynamics.


Is the XT live better that the bean? I loved the XT hooked up to my PC, but whenever i hooked it up to an amp, it just sucked dynamics and life.

 

 

I'm not sure but I'm not getting that fizzle sound...it sounds like a tube amp to me. Are you using seperate patches in the amp than what you're using on your pc?

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Originally posted by Mesaholic



Yes, it does, thanks! I tried a Pod 2.3 a few times at rehearsal and it seemed to get swallowed by the drums for some reason.


How do you decide between using it with the patches set or in Individual mode? Is the determining factor that you need a whole different gain structure (like clean/with chorus to crunch/no chorus is a patch change and clean/with chorus to clean/no chorus is individual mode) or are there other/different considerations?

 

 

You pretty much hit it with your description. Usually though, I use one gain sound on a tune and use the guitars volume knob to adjust drive but if there are quick and accurate changes to be made then I use the patches instead of indiviual mode.

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Originally posted by eyeball987



You pretty much hit it with your description. Usually though, I use one gain sound on a tune and use the guitars volume knob to adjust drive but if there are quick and accurate changes to be made then I use the patches instead of indiviual mode.

 

 

Bueno. Thanks.

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well. My Birthday is on the 18th, so I bought the XT Live for myself ;).

The Fizzle is still there. It exists when a note is at the end of its decay. Not as much as a remember with my XT .. but it is there.

The XT live, is MUCH MORE happier with me and my rig then my XT was. I connected it to my DSL effects loop receive, adjusted volume, and played around. Cool stuff. It still sucks dynamics, you cant play with a notes volume with string/pick attack .. its all either there, or its low in volume. No stroking and coaxing the string like some Tube amps, ..mainly my SRRI.

BUT .. Bypassing the amps and cab sims, it did not suck much tone at all from my rig. DSL50 and mesa boogie 2x12. The wah sounds great, The tube screamer and Rat sound great, .. Fuzz and delays. Pretty happy with it as a standalone effects unit. Previously, I had on the floor.

OCD, BD-2 SD1, Guv'nor I, DD-20, TS-9, Barber LTD, Dunlop Univibe, Vox 848 and Crybaby Classic. Not all there all the time, but would change out the overdrives alot.

One cool thing on the XT live is the Boost-EQ *name* .. it ats 30db gain, and some EQ. It did what I try to do with alot of the Overdrives I have. The Boss Metal ZONE mt-2 actually sounds good on it. They copied it, but it does not sound cheesy at all. .. lots of other cool things as an effects unit, running AMP/CAB Bypass .. retained my amps character about 98%.

Running thru power amp using thr DSL as a poweramp only. Worked well, did not really mess with it, but I did download the Meta, and CLassic amp pack 99$ .. they should really only charge 19.99 per peack. in my opinion.

First thing I did was check out the diezal, Engl stuff .. so so .. Need to tweak I guess. But the biggest NO NO was its copy of the JCM 2000. For the life of me, it sounded horrid. Scooped, boomy, muffled, .. I could pull my cable, and go straight into my 2000, and a/b them. Line 6 is not even close. .. its like they has a amp with bad tubes to emulate, or did it last minute. Alot of the Marshall stuff was woofy, boomy, and did not sound anything like my Marshalls.

anyways .. as a Effects unit, it works. Ill pack up my some 9,000 pedals and try to use this unit. Its nice that its Bypass did not suck tone away Like I feared. It sucked a little, but nothing to piss ya off ..

peace. I only have a few posts here, but for some reason my old sign in email was banned *prolly some spunky spam genereted* .. So I am not new to the forums. Been around for 4 years or so.

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I've tried that setup live once (XTLive + DSL), but no matter how much tweaking I did, it always sounded like a low-pass filter was applied (I tried all the output options, cab off, cab on, etc). It could be as bright as I wanted, but there was always this "blanket over the speaker" thing. It's really in the ultra-high frequencies, kinda like switching from a condenser mic to a dynamic mic.

Well that little difference was enough to make my tone burried in the mix no matter how hard the mids were boosted.

I'd love to be satisfied with that setup, it would just rule since I play in a cover band + I own the damn thing anyway.

But no, doesn't work for me. It's like jumping from a 6-spd BMW to an automatic Buick. Even if the DSL is not always perfect, it's always better. And I really don't know how one could not hear the difference, maybe I'm just overly picky about my live tone.
I used Line6 exclusively for 3 years before switching to the DSL and I loved a lot of things about it, and I truly miss having a real clean channel (green = rhytm and red = lead for me) with chorus and a touch of delay. But overdrive is where it's at for me.

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Originally posted by Craggan

But the biggest NO NO was its copy of the JCM 2000. For the life of me, it sounded horrid. Scooped, boomy, muffled, .. I could pull my cable, and go straight into my 2000, and a/b them. Line 6 is not even close. .. its like they has a amp with bad tubes to emulate, or did it last minute. Alot of the Marshall stuff was woofy, boomy, and did not sound anything like my Marshalls.



Of the 72 or so models that a fully loaded XT has the JCM2000, is pretty much universally regarded as the poorest one. Seriously. Go search the Line 6 forum there's been numerous threads to the effect of "WTF happened on that model?". Hopefully, the Spinal Puppet, Rectos, 5150, Lunatic, Uber, and JCM800 will be enough to keep you interested, since they are completely bad ass. :)

The reason you are likely getting fizz and Sky High is not is that Sky High is leaving the cab sim enabled. That'll roll off a ton of highs. To be honest, I'm surprised Sky High's setup isn't too muddy with the cab emulation going into a real cab (although that T75 cab is probably the pod's brightest/fizziest most straight preamp soundingest cab model). Every time I've tried cabsim->cab, it's completely sucked.

If I were using an XT as my main live unit with a tube power section and traditional guitar cab, I'd probably try no cab emualtion and adjust the POST EQ specifically for my cab to roll off high end or create a notch filter (or both. :) ) to deal with any perceived 'fizzieness'. Should be doable.... definitely, to the point where it shouldn't be problematic in a mix.

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Originally posted by Elric


Of the 72 or so models that a fully loaded XT has the JCM2000, is pretty much universally regarded as the poorest one.


...


To be honest, I'm surprised Sky High's setup isn't too muddy with the cab emulation going into a real cab (although that T75 cab is probably the pod's brightest/fizziest most straight preamp soundingest cab model). Every time I've tried cabsim->cab, it's completely sucked.

 

 

The JCM2000 is based on a TSL60 on the red channel with mid-shift and deep switched engaged. By far the ugliest tone you can get out of one (and even then, my go-guitarist as a TSL60 and there's no way we can make it sound as bad).

Personnally, I'm all over the Line6 Purge (at least for direct recording). It's a great tone that makes the link between a Marshall and a Mesa.

 

As for cab sim: with the XT Live, when your output is set as amp (whether it's combo or cab, preamp or power amp), the cab sim is adjusted to work with a real cab.

Thing is: it doesn't know what cab you're using so it's probably voiced for a Line6 4X12 (I guess so cause I remember that using Line6 4X12 sounded pretty much the same as leaving cab sim off).

The result is that you have to be "open-minded" about your cab selection and try them all (long process). I remember that for my lead tone, the Wizard 2X12 (well the one after the 4X12s) gave the best tone! While the best clean tone was with cab sim off.

 

And when you starting experimenting with cabs, you realize that they can completely change an amp model's character, thus you basically have to try all amp/cab combination to get the best out of it. Never did, way too long!

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Originally posted by Hardtailed



Personnally, I'm all over the Line6 Purge (at least for direct recording). It's a great tone that makes the link between a Marshall and a Mesa.



Yeah, one of my current most favoritest patches is a Purge model patch with a Tube Screamer model in front. Sweet model.


As for cab sim: with the XT Live, when your output is set as amp (whether it's combo or cab, preamp or power amp), the cab sim is adjusted to work with a real cab.


Cool... I did not know this (pretty rare that I learn something new about the PODs since I follow them pretty closely). I have the bean and have not tried the POD that way in a long while. I wonder if my firmware has that feature too or if it's XTL only...

I know what you mean about cab sims, if you're open minded about them when authoring patches you can really broaden the already almost-too-broad palette of sounds in the XT. :) And then there're the mics. ;)

My favorite cab for metal pacthes for the old POD2 unit was the Fender Twin cab because it had less "blanket" over the speakers.

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Cool... I did not know this (pretty rare that I learn something new about the PODs since I follow them pretty closely). I have the bean and have not tried the POD that way in a long while. I wonder if my firmware has that feature too or if it's XTL only...

 

 

The latest firmware version of the bean XT (not original bean) has the same output options as the XTL.

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