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Line 6 Pod (Version 2.0)

Since Line 6 first introduced the Pod in Dec. 1998, guitarists and recording engineers alike have embraced the red, kidney-shaped direct box for its ability to record great guitar sounds without the hassle of mike placement, guitar amps or speaker cabinets. Now Line 6 has released version 2.0 with significant upgrades and improvements (an upgrade kit is available for original Pod owners).

What is it that sets Pod apart from other effect boxes? Amp modeling. Line 6 uses digital-modeling technology to recreate some of the world’s best-sounding tube amplifiers in stereo along with 16 digital effects that can be used as a direct-recording device or a front-end effects box when plugged into an amp.

Version 2.0 contains 32 customizable amp models (four more than the original Pod) and 15 speaker cabinets that you can mix and match. Although Line 6 doesn’t include specific amp names, the well-written manual clearly defines what each amp model is based on.

Line 6 has done a remarkable job with the amp modeling and the Pod’s tone controls are programmed to work just like the original amplifiers. Something called A.I.R. technology emulates the interaction between mike placement and the speaker cabinet when recording direct; it can be switched off when used with an amp.

The Pod has 36 factory presets, and personalizing them is easy, though in order to save a custom patch you must overwrite one of the factory presets. The 10 rotary knobs are self-explanatory, and the 16 digital effects are easy to tweak and a tap button allows the user to set delay times. Be sure to read the manual, however, as there are some hidden features that require using the tap button to access some of the parameters. A chromatic tuner is built in as well.

The Pod is fully MIDI capable and comes bundled with Emagic SoundDiver software that allows you to edit parameters and store settings on your computer. Via its Web site,, you can download tones directly to your Pod from the company’s tone transfer library, although you must have a MIDI interface connected to your computer.

For live performance, Line 6 sells a floorboard controller that features a volume pedal and a Vox-style wah. At a street price of about $350, the Pod is a welcome addition to any guitarist’s arsenal.

Originally Published