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User reviews on Portable Guitar Amp Simulator products

Not horrible...Not awesome... (Line 6 - POD XT)

By Mattfig, 22/06/2012
OK, the PODxt is a comprehensive beast....Below is the TON of info about it...Since it models so many amps, cabs, mics, etc. it has a lot of specs...It doesn't such about the Line 6 Edit software but that is the GREATEST PODxt feature known...There are also "model packs" with new effects, amps, and cabs....Downloadable content is always growing and that's kinda cool....This is kidney version and is non rack able,,,,

POD® xt Features
+4dBu / -10dBV 1/4 Inch Outputs
24-bit A/D and D/A Converters
MIDI In, Out/Thru
RJ-45 Foot Controller Connector
USB Connector for Digital I/O
Headphone Output
Guitar Input
Precision Chromatic Tuning
Audio Mute
Bypass
Hands-free Operation (with optional FBV-series foot controllers)
PODxt Amp Models based on*:
Line 6® Clean
Line 6® JTS-45
Line 6® Class A
Line 6® Mood
Line 6® Spinal Puppet
Line 6® Chemical X
Line 6® Insane
Line 6® Piezacoustic 2
Line 6® Agro
Line 6® Lunatic
Line 6® Treadplate
Line 6® Variax® Acoustic
Budda 2001 Twinmaster
Fender® 1953 Deluxe Reverb®
Fender® 1958 Bassman®
Fender® 1961 Champ®
Fender® 1964 Deluxe Reverb®
Fender® 1965 Twin Reverb®
Gretsch® 1960 6156
Hiwatt® 1973 Custom 100
Marshall® 1966 JTM-45
Marshall® 1968 Super Lead
Marshall® 1968 Jump Channel
Marshall® 1968 Variac Plexi
Marshall® 1987 JCM 800
Marshall® 1996 JMP-1
Matchless 1996 Chieftain
Matchless 1993 DC-30
Mesa/Boogie® 2001 Dual Rectifier®
Mesa/Boogie® Mark IIc+
Roland® Jazz Chorus 120
Soldano 1993 SLO-100
Supro 1960's S6616
Vox® 1961 AC-15
Vox® 1967 AC-30TB
Tube Preamp
Marshall® 1974X (18W Reissue)
Marshall® JCM 2000 w/ Germ Pedal
Orange AD30TC
Vox® Fawn Non-Top Boost AC30
Dumble® Clean (from POD® 2.0)
Soldano SP88 (from POD® 2.0)
PODxt Cabinet Models based on*:
6x9 Supro S6616
1x8 1961 Fender® Tweed Champ®
1x10 Gibson®
1x10 Gretsch® 6156
1x12 Line 6®
1x12 1953 Fender® Tweed Deluxe Reverb®
1x12 1964 Fender® Blackface Deluxe Reverb®
1x12 1960 Vox® AC-15
1X15 1962 Supro Thunderbolt
2x2 Fender® Mini Twin Reverb®
2x12 Line 6®
2x12 1965 Fender® Blackface Twin Reverb®
2x12 1995 Matchless Chieftain
2x12 Roland® JC-120
2x12 1967 Vox® AC-30
2X12 1967 Silvertone® Twin Twelve
4x10 Line 6®
4x10 1959 Fender® Bassman®
4x12 Line 6®s
4x12 1967 Marshall® Basketweave with Greenbacks
4x12 1968 Marshall® Basketweave with Greenbacks
4x12 1978 Marshall® with stock 70s
4x12 1996 Marshall® with Vintage 30s
4x12 Mesa/Boogie®
PODxt Microphone Models based on*:
Shure® SM-57 On Axis
Shure® SM-57 Off Axis
Sennheiser® MD-421
Neumann® U-67
PODxt Effect Models based on*:
LA-2A® Compressor
Noise Gate
Fuzz Face
Big Muff Pi®
Tubescreamer®
ProCo Rat
Octavia
CS-1 Comp/Sustainer
Dynacomp
Vetta™ Comp
Auto Swell
Mutron III
Line 6® Sine Chorus
CE-1 Chorus Ensemble
Line 6® Flanger
A/DA Flanger
MXR® Phase 90
Uni-Vibe
Opto Tremolo model from the 1965 Fender® Deluxe Reverb®
Vox® V847 Wah
Custom Vox® V847 Wah
Bias Tremolo model from 1960 Vox® AC-15
Colorsound Wah-Fuzz
Maestro® Boomerang Wah
Leslie® 145
Jen Electronics Cry Baby Super Wah
Vibratone
RMC Real McCoy 1 Wah
Auto-pan
Arbiter® Cry Baby Wah
Boss® DM-2
Sub Octaves Synth Effect
Deluxe Memory Man
Digitech Whammy Pitch Effect
EP-1 Tube Echoplex
Maestro® Bass Brassmaster
Roland® RE-101 Space Echo
Sans Amp Tube Driver
Sweep Echo
Volume (Pre- or Post-Amp Routing options)
Line 6® Digital Delay
Post-EQ
Line 6® Stereo Delay
Vetta Wah
Large Plate Reverb
Ping Pong Delay
Vintage Plate Reverb
Reverse Delay
Slap Plate Reverb
Fender® Deluxe Spring Reverb
Cavernous Reverb
Fender® Twin Spring Reverb
Chamber Reverb
King Spring Reverb
Rich Chamber Reverb
Small Room Reverb
Large Hall Reverb
Tiled Room Reverb
Brite Room Reverb
Dark Hall Reverb
Medium Hall Reverb


UTILIZATION

OK, here's the best part...The Line 6 software is amazing...There is Line 6 Monkey which updates all of your Line 6 gear and software...There is an amazing tone bank online that is super searchable and very very very useful....Here's an example, you are in a late night session and want to keep noise down....You go to the tone bank and type in the name of an artist or song and immediately play that patch....Carlos Santana alone yields a hundred results...Song specific searches are great too- "Back in Black" yields a hundred plus results as well...If you play covers, this might be a tool you can use...

The config is easy as pie...The manual is exquisite! All patches and effects listed on a nice laminated sheet....All setups included with a walk-thru...Tech support is free and useful....

SOUND QUALITY

OK, all my guitars sound a little funny with this thing....It's strong point is versatility while it's weak point is sound...It's digital and, while not bad, it lacks that tube driven oomph....I use it occasionally as an added part but never as the main tracks....It can play a support role well but is not the quarterback...

The models are pretty good but again the sound is so digital it's hard to get a great sound...Having said that the models and such are good...FX are good too...

I do all editing on the software and LOVE that...

I just don't like the thin digital tone....These things have their place and serve as a cheap backup to your main amp at a gig....

The FBV floorboard is useful too....

OVERALL OPINION

I love the editing and ease of use...

The value for what you get is very high...

The sounds are plentiful but not the greatest....

I have owned other digital modelers and this is the most comprehensive...Although they all sound digital....

It's a good product though- especially for beginners....
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Great for gigs (Line 6 - POD 2)

By Irv Kurzbard, 26/02/2017
I have used my pod since 2007 for many gigs. We are a blues, classic rock band. I found the pod much easier and reliable to lug around with a medium solid state amp. No maintenance, utterly reliable and great sounds. Primarily set on a clean bassman or tweed, clean with very little distortion and reverb. The amp is set neutral and merely amplifies the pod. I am old school and was used to tube amps and pedals, but this setup is so much simpler, compact, tough and sounds fab. I have critically listened and played tube amps versus my rig. I agree that a tube amp is better. However, the pod is quite a good alternative and once setup to your liking can emulate with some of the best. Fellow musicians praise it. So do audience members. Used for about $100 coupled with a good solid state amp like a Peavey or Roland=watch out!
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Three Amps with Clean, Crunch & Heavy + 3 Mic Settings (Palmer - Pocket Amp mk2)

By MGR/Brian Johnston, 27/08/2018
SOUND:
It may be small, but Palmer’s Pocket Amp MK 2 produces some very decent tones, as demonstrated in the YouTube demo below:



With dynamics of a tube amp (although it may not be 100% authentic), the MK 2 produces some rich harmonics and note detail, but what first jumps out is the quality of the dirt or distortion, particularly with the Modern British and USA models (both of which provide tones from clean to hard-rock and metal). I’m jumping a bit ahead, and so be aware that there are three amp models besides the two just mentioned, the third being a Vintage (Tweed-style) amp. If you’re looking for a clean amp simulator, this one definitely is of good quality and accepts dirt pedals rather well (the others like dirt pedals if you don’t go too crazy on the MK 2’s Gain). I don’t find this version of the Vintage Tweed as jangly or trebly as an actual Tweed, which is good to my ears (apologies to Tweed lovers), but it is bright and clear without sounding harsh. On that note, I found the Treble pot to sound a bit harsh once you push it around 3-o’clock or more (although I rarely found need to get the treble up that high).
The sound of each amp can vary considerably, depending on all the possible settings (which is true of any amp). There’s a Gain knob, which really packs a nice grainy punch to any of the amps, but with each amp you can select a Mode: Clean, Crunch and Heavy. Not only that, you can produce a tighter clearer sound with the Classic Mic, or get more mid-range and treble with the Centre Mic, or perhaps something less harsh and with more mids with the Off Axis Mic. The demo video goes into each of these aspects. Also, the MK 2 does have a Ground Lift if you happen to notice some hissing or noise when working with grounded pedals.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:
The MK 2 is very affordable at about $129 USD, and that price gives you three amplifiers (and three channels each) with three different mic setups that can be run to a clean amp, a PA/Mixer or your computer. It can be used as a distortion box, as an amp simulator or a DI box when bypassed. As well, Palmer’s Pocket Amp MK 2 can be used as a private practicing device ready for headphones. There’s a lot of punch in this little package.
A decent sound with a significant range of tones, there’s a lot of experimentation as you adjust the Gain and select among different Modes and Mics. Although it may be argued that the MK 2 not ‘tube-like’ (why compare it to a $1000+ amp?), the MK 2 does produce some very usable tones in recording and play. The Vintage has a very pleasant and clear quality, whereas the British and USA modern models both have a superb distortion that is gritty and cuts through the mix. The Pocket Amp MK 2 also takes pedals rather well. I’ve played with pre-amps and amp simulators that are better in some respects, but often at double or triple the price – then again, the MK 2 has more options than many other pre-amps so that you can achieve a lot more sounds. All in all, a worthy purchase and a device the average gear-head will make use of repeatedly.

EASE OF USE:
Initially there may seem to be a lot of switches and knobs on the MK2, but once you know what Amp you want to use, the rest falls in place rather easily and you don’t have to tweak too much. The Vintage selection is pretty straight forward and you’re going to get a rather clean amp, although it does break up nicely if you crank the Gain and go into Heavy Mode. The British style amp has more high-mids and highs, (a grainy distortion) whereas the USA style amp has more low-mids and fewer highs (more bottom end). Of course you can alter this by tweaking the Treble and Bass, but those are the general characteristics when choosing the correct amp for your sound. The Mode selection is pretty straight forward if you think of it as a three-channel amp… clean, crunch and high-gain (although Palmer calls it ‘heavy’ on the MK 2, and likely because the crunch can sound pretty high-gain in some instances). Choosing a Mic also is straight forward as the Classic gives you a clearer sound with some nice mids, whereas the Centre Mic (aka SM57) produces more high-mids and treble and the Off Axis reduces some of that harshness for a smoother outcome. In that regard, when selecting an Off Axis Mic, you may need to turn up your treble if you find it has too much low-mids, or perhaps more bass if selecting the Classic or Centre mics. Obviously experimentation is paramount as it also depends on your guitar and its pickups, other pedals you’re using, etc.

Also worth mentioning is the Aux In, which allows you to hook up a CD or MP3 if you want to jam with some music, and the XLR Output allows you to go direct to a PA or Mixer (you will need to turn the MK 2’s levels down and adjust volume accordingly). Of course, you can use the ¼-inch jack output as you normally would and go into an amp or direct to your computer for recording.

RELIABILITY & DURABILITY:
Encased in a die cast aluminum chassis, the MK 2 is of moderate weight, but plenty tough. The plastic knobs produce a very smooth and high-quality turn and the selector switches (Amp, Mode, Mic and Grd) all have solid clicks when moved into place. The footswitch seems ‘slight’ in its construction, although the ‘click’ is obvious when engaging and disengaging. The guitar’s input is in the front of the unit, off slightly to the left of the footswitch, and so if used on stage I would opt for a 45-degree cable end to keep any wiring as close to the chassis as possible and to keep a foot from stomping on it. The other inputs and outputs (power, aux in, XLR out and ¼-inch out) are located in the back and far from harm. The cable placement makes the MK 2 pedal board friendly, as well as its smallish size. The headphone jack is located in the top front right-hand corner, which is not an issue as headphones would not be used in a band setting and damage to the headphone chord or the input jack is unlikely as a result. The MK 2 can operate on a 9v battery, accessible from an easy to open door on the bottom, or via a standard 9v power supply (30mA).
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