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Line 6 Studio 110 -- Initial Impressions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by cmhgreg, Dec 22, 2006.

  1. cmhgreg


    Oct 26, 2004
    Columbus, OH
    I posted most of this in a different thread, but thought I would give it a thread of it's own:

    I just picked up a Line 6 Studio 110. Basic specs (copied from Line 6 site):

    * 4 Incredible Bass Amp Models: Clean, R&B, Rock, and Grind
    * Synth Bass
    * Full-time Opto Compressor
    * XLR Direct Out With Line 6’s exclusive A.I.R.™ processing
    * Pre Amp Out
    * 4 Programmable Model Memories
    * Headphone Out
    * Jam Along CD/MP3 1/8” Input
    * 10” Speaker
    * 75 Watts
    * Dimensions: 24lbs, 12"L x 12"W x 12"H

    The specs above don't list it, but there is a a "secret" Amp Model -- Brit -- you can access by powering on the unit and holding down a couple of buttons (which is revealed in the owner's manual). Also, some good sound clips of all the Amp Models are available at the Line 6 site.

    I'll post a more detailed report later, but so far I love the 110. My band rehearses in what a lot of people would call a walk-in closet. I just couldn't take the SWR WM12 there anymore. While the WM 12 sounded good and would fit in the back seat of my car (barely), it really was too big for where we practice and it wasn't exactly light either. I ended up working out a straight up swap of the WM12 for the 110 at GC. I think it was a fair trade.

    I took the 110 to practice Tuesday night and it passed with flying colors. On the other hand, we don't have a drummer right now so take that with a decent grain of salt. I'll wait to do a more detailed report until I can play with drums. However, I was asked to turn down at one point Tuesday night (which, given the size of the two guitarists' amps and the PA speakers we use, made me chuckle). But so far, I love the tone(s). It really shines in the low mids -- very tight, refined and punchy. While I can dial in a surprising amount of lows that will shake the walls, I wish it had a smidge more warmth, but 1) that might be asking a bit much from a 1 sq. ft. cube (how much air can it really move?) and 2) I haven't spent any time playing with the EQ much so maybe it's in there somewhere. But don't get me wrong. The tone it produces is impressive.

    The features it includes are just gravy as far as I'm concerned. Very tasty gravy. I'm no expert on amp modeling, nor do I want to be. All that matters to me is what it sounds like when I play it. And so far I like how it sounds a lot in Clean, Rock, Brit, Grind and R & B modes. I don't have a lot of need for the Synth/Envelope stuff, but it is fun to mess around with. I can't tell you how good these models are, all I can tell you is the thing sounds good no matter what I put the settings on. 75 watts is a lot for an amp this size; about double what I was able to find in anything else carried by GC and SA. The compressor is nice. I like that it has an effected DI as well as a preamp out. There is a -10 db pad switch for the input which could prove to be handy. I wish it had a built in tuner -- with your bass and this midget monster, it's the only other thing you will need.

    My initial impression is that for $250, they are going to sell a lot of these. The feeling I have two days after buying this thing can only be described as a sense of liberation. Before now, loading up my gear in the car and hauling it to practice or an impromptu jam was truly a pain in the rear. Tuesday night it was ridiculously simple, painless and fast. And I sounded good (without really having a chance to dial in "my sound" yet). And to be honest, I am not all that worried about how it will stand up to the kind of drumming I'll be playing with.

    If good sound in a very portable package is what you are after, this box should be on your short list. Also, if you are looking for a small, versatile recording amp for your studio that is also highly portable, then this should be on your very short list.
    nicechuckh likes this.
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Bassplayer magazine had an issue with this amp's bigger siblings, namely a lack of clarity and inability to produce a more "hi-fi" tone. Does the 110 suffer the same problem?

    I'm interested in an inexpensive practice combo of this type, but I'd like something that does clean as well as it does gritty.
  3. zadillo


    Nov 20, 2006
    Baltimore, MD
    Very cool. I am currently in the market for a new practice amp (I have just started studying bass, been learning for about 3 months so far), and I really want to upgrade from what I currently have (a Fender Rumble 15, which just sounds very bland to me).

    I'm curious, did you also look at/consider the LowDown 150 (the next largest model)? It's definitely bigger and heavier (62 pounds), but it has some onboard effects and the tuner you mentioned.

    Also, by any chance could you share the "secret" method for accessing the Brit model? It is kind of interesting that they didn't just list it officially like the other LowDown models. I'd mainly like to know because I'd like to try it out in the store tomorrow.

    Also, do you think a Bass PODxt might work well with the LowDowns? I know there'd be some redundancy, but I just got a Bass PODxt as a gift, and I'm curious how it might work in conjunction with the LowDown.
  4. cmhgreg


    Oct 26, 2004
    Columbus, OH
    I can't really answer that without reading the entire review. However, I have no problem with clarity or articulation in the 110 so far. Perhaps their issue with the other Low Downs was related to the speakers used in those combos -- just a guess.
  5. cmhgreg


    Oct 26, 2004
    Columbus, OH

    1. I did not consider any other of the Low Down Models. I already had a big practice combo (the SWR WM12) and I was looking for something a lot smaller.

    2. The secret "Brit" model is accessed by pushing the Clean and R&B buttons while powering on the amp. The Clean and R&B buttons will flash back and forth to indicate that the Clean model has been changed to the Brit model. To return to the Clean model, press and hold the Clean and R&B buttons as you turn on the power again.

    3. I have never used a Bass POD so I'm afraid I can't answer that. But I don't see why you couldn't use one.
  6. Gintaras


    Dec 11, 2004
    Kent Island, Md.
    I am going to stop by guitar center this week with my bass and try one. I want to see if it sounds better than my workingman 10 w/ a deltalite. I have always been fascinated by combo's and always on the lookout. Also looking forward to trying the 50 watt Markbass MicroMark which weighs 9.26 lbs when it finally arrives in the states.
  7. cmhgreg


    Oct 26, 2004
    Columbus, OH
    I am somewhat familiar with the WM combo series having owned a 12 and having played through the 10 a few times. My sense is you will find that WM is a more professional, quality combo that has a cleaner, more uncolored sound than the 110, but that the 110 is more versatile in terms of the tones it can produce. I'm not sure it's a fair comparison given the price difference, but I think you will find that the 110 holds its own.
  8. eude


    Apr 13, 2006
    Nice one cmhgreg,
    I've got a big ol' pre-gibson Trace Elliot combo and, for now, it's just too big, too heavy and too loud!
    I was really interested in the Lowdown 110 but haven't had a chance to try one out yet. Your wee review is music to my ears though, might have to see if I can get one ordered in to try.

  9. cmhgreg


    Oct 26, 2004
    Columbus, OH
    I'm still diggin' mine, although I have become aware (through fellow TBer Zadillo) of a small defect. The headphone out produces a very loud hiss. Zadillo reports that Line 6 has acknowledged the problem and says it will be repaired under warranty. I am not certain whether it is a problem with all Studio 110's or not. I am not using the headphone out, so it isn't really a problem for me, but if that is a feature you think you might use you might want to try one out before you buy. Otherwise, I am extremely happy with mine. It is perfect for my practice sessions with an acoustic group I am playing with (no drummer) and for when I practice at home. One of the best gear purchases I have made.
  10. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have always liked the old SWR WM10. I wish I still had mine.
  11. I saw this amp at MF, and was thinking of getting one sound unheard. I figured how bad could it be for $250? I'd mainly be interested in the R&B sound.

    I have an SWR LA110 right now, which doesn't sound that bad, but a warmer tone and a little more power couldn't hurt.

    Here's Line 6's demo audio for the lowdown amps.

    If you don't select a sound fast enough, the bass player in the video gets annoyed and starts talking to you. :D

    I wish they had done all the demos with the same bass so we'd have more of a standard by which to judge the amp's sounds.

    Nice review, cmhgreg.

    Mike ;)

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