• Amazon: Line 6 POD X3 Live
• Pros: A cleverly designed dual-channel unit geared towards guitarist/vocalists.
• Cons: A few more blank patches would have been handy.
• Overall: Coming from one of the greats in digital modeling, the X3 builds on everything that Line 6 has done in the past.
The Pod X3 Live is the on-the-floor version of Line 6’s popular X3 kidney-shaped model and is clearly targeted, as the name suggests, towards the gigging musician. Certainly, for all practical purposes, the X3 Live has been designed with live performances in mind. All the technology is protected by a sturdy metal box that comes fitted with Line 6’s innovative steel handlebars, making it easy to pick up and move around. What you can’t see from the neat exterior is that the X3 is one of the first of a new breed of on-the-floor multiFX that comes with dual routing options, i.e., you can send a microphone through one signal change while sending a guitar through another – obviously a very handy function for the gigging guitarist/vocalist.
Intuitive and Fully Featured
The interface is fairly intuitive and easily switched between preset and manual modes. It’s useful having both the drive and EQ upfront in a neat array for on-the-fly tweaking, as you may want to do, depending on your live setting and amp configuration. Like most Line 6 multiFX, there’s a button for switching between amp use and direct use, depending on where your output signal is being sent.
The expression pedal is well built, well-proportioned and very versatile. Of course, it has its uses as a typical Wah/Volume pedal, but it can also be configured to alter a range of other parameters, such as depth of compression and distortion levels.
When it comes to manipulating tones and presets, getting your head round the basics is simple enough, but like any high-end FX unit, things get a little more complicated when it comes to deep editing. This is because many of the dials have dual-functions depending on how they are pressed, pushed, pulled or otherwise manipulated. Fortunately, the glowing orange display keeps you fully informed of your current settings.
In terms of versatility, the X3 delivers big time. Line 6’s amp and cab remodeling system is one of the best there is and it’s all here in this single unit. There’s very little you can’t do with the X3, from playing around with cabs and mics to downloading boutique add-on pedals to add even more variety to your sound. As for the sound itself, the audio quality is nothing short of exceptional.
Hard to Go Wrong
The Pod X3 Live sees Line 6 at the top of their game. This machine takes the best of all of Line 6’s innovations and crams them into an ingeniously designed on-the-floor unit for the live environment. Throw in the dual channel routing option and you’ve got an absolute monstrous piece of equipment that will excel at everything you throw at it. Superb!