Being a full-time musician I have owned a bunch of gear throughout the years. Always in hopes that the most current purchase will be the end all. It seems as though it never is...
2004 was the year I decided to spend what I have to in order to have the best possible products relative to my situation... I'm active in 3 bands.... one a loud funk band, one a loud jazz-fusion group and the other a Tribal world beat with dancers situation,
So consequently... I've been through a '65 reissue Twin, a Mesa Boogie Lone Star, Roland JC-120 and a Vox Valvetronics Amp... All worked okay ... but here's my experience.
The Vox was never able to achieve the clarity of any of the other amps. For some reason, I guess most British amps breakup way too early for my musical style.... I prefer pristine clean (not almost clean) as the basis of my sound and the Valvetronics lacked a model for the JC-120 (which is my favorite clean sound). Plus, it's blackface models just could not stay clean at high volumes. Even with the built in boosting effects...
Not to mention that the Vox distortions did not sound good unless you maxed out the gain... and the overdrives always had too much of an edge for my taste.
I will admit however, that their Dumble models were the excellent exception. As they ended up being the only one's I used. However I still had to use an outside booster pedal to make them usable.
Oh, and in addendum ... the Vox wah-wah barely cut it... (the PODxt Live's Wah is perfectly funky..)
The '65 twin was very loud and had that wonderful Fender shimmer, but unfortunately broke up way too early... (maybe the normal twin stays clean longer...) Defeated my need to play funky rhythms loud and clear ... or take clean fusion-jazz solos without any breakup...
The Mesa Lone Star had a wonderful clean tone that seemed to even improve with volume... however, it's distortion was always just too hard sounding for me no matter how I EQ'd it... that's a lot of doe to spend for just a good tube clean sound. Yet, it does handle pedals well, but I need a lot of them for the funk school of playing.
So before I got the PAS and PODxt Live combination, the JC-120 with pedals was my functioning utility amp ... it's natural Stereo Chorus is the very best of any and it handles tube sounding pedals well, However, I still had to Max it out and sometimes that's just not enough to cut through a pumping band with a strongly present bass and pounding percussionists.
However, that was all before I found out about the 180 degree sound dispersion qualities of the PAS and the diverse possibilities of the PODxt Live... this new Line 6 product has blown away all my expectations.
I've never liked any Line 6 products before this one. Now I cannot stop giving it critical acclaim. It's cleans are wonderful and it's distortions-overdrives are everything one would except. The Vox doesn't even come close even though it has a 12AX7 in it. Don't be fooled by the tube feel facade ... the PODXL feels much better to my touch.
Maybe it's the combination of the 7 foot Pole and the black floorboard... but with the newly found sensation of both of these product's now performing with me on a regular basis...all my other gear is up for sale.
Ciao, JosephThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Joseph,
Bose ( and Line-6) have made a BOAT load of used equipment show up on the market lately ! <g>
Also, I keep telling people to play their new XT live thru headphones... and when they find they can't get those accurate tones/sounds from their PA or AMP - I tell them to get the Bose, gaint vertical Headphone device <g>
|Research & Development|
Thank you for writing to us. I think the universe of guitar players will be very interested to hear your thoughts.
I'm curious about where and when you learned about the Cylindrical Radiator speaker, and how you first heard it, and what you did to convince yourself that you should purchase.
If you're willing to share this with us, it would be very much appreciated.
My curiosity was sent into motion one day by the add displayed at Harmony Central. After researching various Internet reviews and your website until PAS details reeked through my pores. So when I went to Guitar Center in San Jose where they only had two floor models left, I simply picked one up, plus a PODxt Live, out of pure trust and faith.
Since I perform almost every night of the week, I've already encountered the arm-crossed purists with the initial "where the hell is your amp, dude?" But once everyone hears it in practice, the quality of comments have only been stellar!
Even the audience, club managers and bartenders were curious...This message has been edited. Last edited by: Joseph,
So, I was in exactly the same boat. I had a few amps I used for different situations - a MesaBoogie MkIV, an old Fender Princeton Reverb, and a friend's Marshall half-stack. I had about 6 pedals I used with each but was really getting sick and tired of all of the setup required. Plus, lugging that Boogie was going to put me in the Chiropractor's office!
I made the jump right before Christmas - got a PAS and a PodXTLive - I love it now! I can get pretty much whatever tone I'm looking for except a good acoustic one for my Martin M-38 (still working on that though - got a Yamaha Magicstomp acoustic for that) and Im in Heaven. Easy setup, easy teardown, tremendous flexibility and, oh yeah, the PAS sounds pretty darn good!
Still have a few pedals to put on eBay but I'm pretty much done with buying any gear for a while...
As a starting point for acoustic guitar with the XT Live, be sure that the footswitch for 'Amp' is switched off. Even if you have 'No Amp' seleceted for a model, I found that it makes a world of difference when I bypass the whole Amp circuit this way. (Prior to discovering this, I couldn't get an uncolored acoustic sound to start with.)
Let me know if this is unclear and I'll try to explain it better...
[edited for clarity, I hope...]This message has been edited. Last edited by: Chuck-at-Bose,
|Research & Development|
Tonight two different guitarists who read my posts on this website, showed up at my gig in downtown Monterey with the Neil Banks Funk Band
... That was very cool!
One from San Jose and the other from Santa Cruz. The fellow from Santa Cruz brought two other curious musicians in his band with him.... One of them had been to my gigs before and were familair with my sound and playing.
The guitarists were interested in purchasing the PODXL and Bose combination. I brought 'em both on stage during our breaks, and quietly demonstrated the great tones I was getting with the Line 6 going through the Bose. From the looks on their face and their response, I must say they seemed as though they were blown away: "Wow, you can sound like that and don't have to been cranking..."
When we started up again, they walked around the room and checked out the sound. Giving me the "thumbs up" sign... How fun!
Ciao, the Joseph
After much experimentation, I've found that the PODXL Output Mode, Bose PS-1 setting definitely adds a slightly darker coloring of one's initial guitar tone. I guess you might call it the "Bose" signature speaker sound in way.
This could qualify as a subtle fattening of tone when compared to the Studio Direct Mode setting which gives you an unaffected sound you can then manipulate with A.I.R, cab, etc...
I my particular case, I've found the PS-1 output mode to be the preferable of the two choices (so far...) And therefore glad I don't have to mess with virtual mic placement or cab choice.
Ciao, the Joseph
PODXL has a specific output mode for the BOSE PS-1? My POD 2.3 crapped out on me at practice. Not able to do anything yet to try and figure it out, maybe tonight. Wondering about the PODXT Live. Is that what you have? Or rather is PODXL and PODXT one and the same? I may need to purchase new POD, so hence the questions. Thanks in advance. PS did new upgrades last night to PAS! Went well! Loved new vocal presets!
Jan... Yes, I have the all in one black floor Line 6 unit called the PODXL. And yes, it does have a specific Output Mode especially for running through the Bose PS-1. It works very well.
In fact, I just got back from using the PODXL for a paid studio session today where I changed the Output Mode to Studio Direct so I could just run directly through the board. Thus I can lay down lead guitar tracks without wearing head phones or even having to be in a stuffy recording booth.
I was just sitting in front of the big window next to the engineer with the producer vocally coaching me on what kind of fills to add and when... Just playing along with the monitors jumping from patch to patch with the PODXL at my feet... As of lately, this has become my new routine when hired for studio gigs.
Nothing like taking pressure out a studio session by removing head phones, laying back and just going with the flow. It's makes studio work very much like hanging out. You can connect personally with the folk who hire you like never before.
So before I packed up my gear, I simply changed the Output Mode setting back to Bose PS-1 in preperation for a series of nonstop live gigs through this weekend until Monday night, starting Thursday early eve,
The PODXL has become such a major part of my rig set-up now. I thought it wise to buy another one as a backup.
Ciao, the Joseph
I'm 99% sure that Joseph means a PODxt Live. I'm pretty well versed on the LINE 6 product line and they don't make a "PODXL" that I know of. And from the sounds of how Joseph describes it, it sounds like a PODxt Live.
I hope that helps,
Yes, yes, yes, Steve...'tis the PODXT Live. What was I thinking (typing)?
Thanks for the correction...
Between you and Steve, I may just take the plunge and get an XT Live. I'm not big on effects. It's about all I can do to keep my fingers going where I want, let alone dancing with pedals.
and this got me going down an odd train of thought.
All the best and uh... thanks I think.
You should try it ... I think you're going to like it.
ST... go for it my man!
You'll only need two sockets: one for the Bose and one for the PODxt Live (nothing/nada else)
... talk about cutting back on time even just a little more...
And I'm sure your personal world of creating music will open up immensely with the addition of all the new tonal shaping possibilities.
New sounds and colors naturally direct you to phrase differently. (Wellin my case, I've found this to be true...) And not only does it make long gigs fun, but more interesting to your listeners. Believe me they notice...
Also, tweaking tones is quite creative,
entertaining and rewarding... ya can really get a kick out of coming up with musical sculptures of composite sound frequencies. Your own personally expressive variations upon a guitar's tonality. Now that's Way Cool!
Ciao, the Joseph
ST - I've played entire gigs where I've only used 2 or 3 settings on my XTL. Some people have written here that their reason for not getting one is "becuase I wouldn't use 99% of what's in there". I look at it like this - if you program ONE good sound that you are happy with, it's no different than buying a new amp for $399. The bonus is, if you decide to get adventerous, there is a stockpile of excellent sounding effects (I still make the Homer Simpson drool sound every time I hear the XTL's lush chorus through the PAS), and a huge array of different amp tones sitting and waiting for when and if you need them.
I've literally been through hundreds of amps and stomp boxes over the past 35 years, and I can honestly say that the PodXT Live / PAS combination is one of the best I've had.
You've probably heard more than enough to convince you one way or the other, but I just have to add my 2 cents. With not too much effort at all, I've been able to get the Pod XT Live to reproduce my Boogie MkIII and my 70s Champ to a tee! The biggest difference is that now I'm not the only one to hear it that way - everyone does! The kicker is that I also get all these other amp tones that I've always wanted! After 30 years of gigging, I'm honestly not bringing a tube amp to gigs anymore!
Another kicker is that it works equally well for my acoustic guitars! I usually disable the amp models and can still use a bit of clean boost for solos, compression, eq, reverb, delay, modulated effects, etc., as desired...
Give this thing a whirl, man! You'll be so glad that you did!
Looks like I may soon be doing a search for perfect gig bag for it. I remember seeing one and having this gut level - oh oh - how am I going to pack that response.
Thanks to all for that delicious temptation. The last hurdle before I dive into musical melee:
Years ago I managed to curb my rampant gear acquisition syndrome by developing the mantra,
"No matter what you buy, it's still you playing"
Our Bose Systems allow us to see more clearly the sculpture (sculpted sound if you like) within the block of granite. I wonder how I make this piece of gear fit the metaphor.
I'd better go play some music before the thinking gets in the way.
edit - spellingThis message has been edited. Last edited by: ST,
ST - I agree that much of a player's "identity" is in his/her fingers, soul and brain. But if the gear didn't matter, you could be playing a couple of $100 Epiphones instead of having that nice PRS collection of yours. The gear that you play through definitely affects how you feel, how you play, and how you sound to the audience.
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