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Line 6 Lowdown first impressions.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassash, Apr 4, 2006.


  1. bassash

    bassash

    Mar 23, 2006
    Well there was a thread much earlier discussing the Lowdown and I can confirm to everyone it's a great amplifier. I have the 12" cone model, it's 150W and it's proving to be very powerful. The sounds is great, with a good low and the highs have a nice punchyness to them.

    Concerns were that it's quite heavy - I'm sure the other models (the 15" combos) are heavy, but mine is carryable (not that I'd like to trek it long distances) but it'll do. I suppose it is big enough though that I wouldn't consider taking it by myself on a train (unless you're a beefy bloke).

    The effects are really cool - it took a while to get used to all the different EQ's in combination with the different models and effects but I think I'm beginning to understand them now. I particularly like the Synth effect, since each EQ change entirely morphs the sound of the Synth, meaning that it's extremely versatile.

    Other plusses? The inbuilt tuner is awesomely useful and the tiltback design will be great when I'm gigging. Also the fact that you can save 4 presets of any combination of sounds is great and with the footswitch it multiplies out to 36. Also, having a compressor will be cool for changing between slap and fingerstyle - the volume at a gig can be different enough that people can't hear you slap as well.

    Complaints? Well none so far - maybe the weight slightly and the fact that you need to buy a seperate footswitch if you want to change between the different models easily on stage. And also the envelope filter is really, really nice, but I think a foot operated Wah would sound better (since the sound can go underwater unless you turn up the treble and upper-mid considerably). However, if you buy the footswitch, the 'Volume Pedal' acts as a Wah as well. Lastly the 'brit' and 'R+B' models aren't that special, but I haven't really fully played around with them yet.

    So, any other opinions on them?

    PS: The Line 6 site explains everything else that the thing does that I haven't bothered to cover :p.
     
  2. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I spent a little time with one the other day. It was OK, but didn't blow me away. I didn't like the effects much. The modeling was OK I guess.

    To me, a combo amp needs to be portable. This one is heavy. I'd rather take my Bergie HT112 and Eden 550 to a gig than this.
     
  3. Pruitt

    Pruitt

    Jun 30, 2005
    Danbury, CT
    Thanks for the review, Bassash! I'm considering buying one of these and your report was helpful!! ;)

    Have Fun!! :bassist:
     
  4. seamonkey

    seamonkey

    Aug 6, 2004
    Great information!
    I'd be curious if you think the lack of a tweeter in the 12 is an issue? I suppose you could plug one into the extension jack and see if you hear a difference.
     
  5. savit260

    savit260

    Mar 6, 2006
    Boston
    How does it stack up agianst the Roland Bass Cube 100? They seem to be in the same price range, and built for the same purpose. Any one tried out both?
     
  6. poptart

    poptart Commercial User

    Sep 13, 2005
    UK
    Owner: Bass Direct
    Good review - am toying with either Roland Cube 100 or Lowdown 150. Need to check out the Lowdown myself I think. Thanks;)
     
  7. bassash

    bassash

    Mar 23, 2006
    Since the highs and high mid-range are nice and clear, the lack of tweeter doesn't seem to be an issue. However, I haven't obviously compared the 150 to the 175 so it's hard to really know how much difference the tweeter makes!
     
  8. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I would choose the Roland Cube 100 over the Line 6 Lowdown.
     
  9. whodom

    whodom

    Mar 3, 2006
    Salters, SC
    bassash:

    Nice review. I've been pretty interested in these too.

    A couple of questions for you:

    What was the out-the-door price? I've seen the price on the 150/12" as $499, but one place this was listed as "list" and another it was listed as "street price".

    Do you plan on gigging with it? I'd be very interested to know how it does in a real world situation.

    Thanks!
     
  10. savit260

    savit260

    Mar 6, 2006
    Boston
    Would you choose the Roland based on size/portablility or on sound? If you had to choose one on sound alone, would the Roland still be your choise? I'm cross shopping both these amps, and haven't seen a Line 6 in stores yet. Just looking for a little input.

    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  11. bassash

    bassash

    Mar 23, 2006
    Right the 'out-the-door' price happened to be off the internet, but I'm afraid I'm no use to you as I bought it in England. It cost me £305 in the end, with postage, which was the cheapest I could find it, which would be $534.76. I saved about $50 dollars off the RRP though.
    And the second question - I do indeed plan gigging with it. The 150W will absolutely be enough for many of the smaller venues, it can be really loud, and it doesn't distort :D. And it caters for larger venues. I'm excited I can emulate the tone I make on the amp directly into the PA with the POD-style direct out thingy, I'll feel more in control than when the technicians sort me out through a DI.

    As for the Roland Cube - I didn't choose it partly because I had a slightly bigger budget, partly because it's 50W less, and also because it's not as sexy :p. However, I haven't heard it so I wouldn't really know.
     
  12. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Mike,

    Here's the Roland hype:
    Roland Cube-100 Bass amplifier Features: 100-watt with 12" coaxial 2-way speaker; 8 COSM amp models and 5 digital effects: chorus/flanger/T-wah, independent delay/reverb
    4-band EQ, compressor, and Shape switch; Balanced output (with pre/post switch) and Line out; Recording/phones output for private practice and recording applications; Pad switch for accepting a wider range of output levels from any type of bass; External speaker jack output allows connection to external speaker cabinet for more powerful sound

    Here's the Line 6 hype:
    1x12 – 150watts w/ convenient Tilt Back monitor design
    5 Incredible Bass Amp Models: Clean, R&B, Rock, Brit and Grind; 5 Essential Bass Effects: Synth, Compressor, Envelope Filter, Octaver, and Chorus; Deep Switch With Special Tone Shaping for Supreme Fatness; XLR Direct Out With Exclusive Bass POD® Modeling; 4 Programmable Channel Memories
    Headphone Out; Jam along CD/MP3 1/8" input; Built-In Chromatic Tuner; Foot Switch Jack for FBV Express™ or FBV Shortboard™

    To me, the Roland sounded better. I find the effects offered on the Roland more useful to me. I thought the Synth on the Line 6 sucked and the t-wah and envelop filter on both were not great - but I don't use them.

    For me, the Roland is just a better fit - if I wanted a combo. I've been close to buying one, but my Eden/Bergie does what I need.
     
  13. savit260

    savit260

    Mar 6, 2006
    Boston
    Thanks Steve, much appriciated. I was real impressed with the Roland for its size vs. sound. I've been chomping at the bit to try the Line6 but haven't been able to get my hands on one yet. Good to hear an opinion from someone who's played both.
    Thanks agin,
    Mike
     
  14. Mikefish07

    Mikefish07

    Apr 6, 2003
    Thanks Bassash for the review, I've been waiting to try one since they were announced. Can you confirm the weight? Is it 50lbs? Is it loud enough to do a gig? Thanks.
     
  15. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    If you want more power and Roland's CUBE sound and design take a look at the D-BASS series. They have it in 115/tweeter 300 watts and 210/tweeter 400 watts and even make a powered 115Xtension cab that is set up to act either full-range or as a subwoofer.

    One thing that'd great about the Roland stuff is it seems to get the most out of the wattage and sound very flat because the power section is "smart" - it tailors the speaker excursion and contour according to demands. Very good stuff - even before you listen to Roland's great modeling.
     
  16. SBassman

    SBassman

    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    MF lists this amp in stock now.
     
  17. How does the LD150 add up to a SWR Workingman's 12? (not the most recent 'upgraded' model, but the ones right before it)

    I have a W.Man's 12 & it is nice, but - the added tonal controls on the Line 6 might be more up my alley... if anyone gets a chance to compare them, please let me know. I can't wait to test drive one of these amps.
     
  18. poptart

    poptart Commercial User

    Sep 13, 2005
    UK
    Owner: Bass Direct
    I just tried the LD 175 and wasn't impressed I am sorry to say. All the sounds where a bit artificial to my ears. It seems to offer a lot and would be great for anyone looking for an "all in on box" as with a line 6 pedal it offers all the sounds under the sun.

    However I could not get a punchy dry clean sound and IMO it sounded a bit wooly. Funnily enough after twenty minutes on the Lowdown I plugged my Roscoe into a Hartke Kickback 100 w 15" combo and got a great punchy clean tone with the controls on flat with no fiddling at all, just goes to show.;)
     
  19. whodom

    whodom

    Mar 3, 2006
    Salters, SC
    Well, I took the plunge and invested in an LD 175. Poptart, I basically agree with most of your comments, but I was looking for a fairly big shift in my amp tone, so the LD suited me.

    Henry, my previous combo amp was a first-generation SWR WM 15 (~11 years old) that I had purchased new. To my ears, the SWR was almost too clean and bright no matter how I EQ'ed it. The LD 175 is definitely slanted towards the other end of the sonic spectrum.

    The EQ seems very different from the SWR, and as the owner's manual states, the amp model selected affects the way the tone controls act. In general the tone controls seem much less sensitive than those on the SWR. I think it's possible to get a "punchy clean dry sound", but you probably have to use the "Eden" model, with absolutely no overdrive and judicious adjustment of the tone controls. Most of the amp models are definitely towards the "woolier" end of the spectrum, and the 4 pre-programmed pre-sets with the exception of the synth bass seem to emphasize those qualities.

    I'm not sure when I'm going to use this at a gig (my main rig is a GK 700RB + Genz Benx 410XB), but I'm very curious to see how it works out live. Meanwhile, it's fun to fool around with in the den, which is the main reason I bought it.
     
  20. Hyde

    Hyde

    Mar 30, 2006
    I played a LD 300 yesterday, and wasn't too impressed, especially after I plugged into the Ampeg B100R next to it.
     

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