PODxt: worth having?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by gojirin, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. gojirin


    Oct 11, 2004
    I am debating getting a PODxt.
    My problem is I don't have anywhere to try one and am afraid that it will turn out to be like the Ampworks - to be nice, it was not worth the money.
    Does the POD do what the literature claims it does?
    A search shows that it is not really for live situations, but how well does it work for home/studio?

    I know it's a subjective call, but thanks for your thoughts...

    Cheers, Jon
  2. I've not experienced a bass pod yet BUT I have heard the guitar ones. That quote is accurate---they are not for live situations.
  3. Um...I disagree. The Podxt WITH the floorboard controller is totally suitable for live situations and sounds terrific. Definitely models the amps and cabs with amazing accuracy. The xt is an upgrade from the 2.0 in that you can download new patches, etc. from the Line 6 website. Obviously, the Pod excels as a direct recording device, but in a live situation going into the board, it's virtually the same thing. Sure, you can run into an amp onstage but most times the amp is for monitoring yourself. Our guitarist uses on exclusively and it's amazing how with just a few adjustments, he can get anywhere from blues to funk to clean.....awesome. There's a learning curve but stick with it. To each his own....I know guys that cringe at ANYTHING solid-state.
  4. gojirin


    Oct 11, 2004
    I like the guitar model. I would like to get one for my gtr playing daughter(yeah it's for her..).

    My concern is that the bass model doesn't live up to expectations.
  5. jpo259


    Feb 2, 2005
    Corona, CA
    Hi!! I'm new to this forum, but not new to using PODS!! I have been using a Bass POD Pro XT now for 1.5 years. All live. I love it! I really, really do! Now, I have owned a kidney bean Bass POD since 2000, and am at ease with what it can and can't do. Compared to the old POD, the new XT is so, so, SO much better!

    I had always wanted to try out the rack-mounted POD for live use. I have seen a few bassists using them over the last 3 years. One being Ross Valory from Journey. He had two of them in his rack about a year ago. Anyway, I auditioned for, and got, the bass postion in a rock opera being developed in LA. The music is based on 70's hard rock and prog. rock. Just my cup of tea!! The writer, who is a prog.rock fan through and through, wants me to sound like Entwhistle here, Squire there, Wetton here, Rutherford there, etc etc!! So............

    The POD immediatley came to mind when I thought about how I could best emulate all these different great tones within these assumed parameters: 1.5 hour Act, 15 minute intermission, 1.25 hour second act. The music flows and there is little to no time to switch out basses. So, the tone had to come from the amp. So, I started assembling gear specifically for this rock opera that would allow me to have access to a wide variety of tones and effects, and a clean, clear, strong signal.

    I started by getting a Demeter HBP-1 preamp. THIS...for the cleanest, clearest tone that I assumed would work for the majority of the opera. Next, the new Bass POD Pro XT for all the color!! I got two Aguilar GS-212 cabs and a QSC PLX-3402 to power them, IF a stage rig is even needed. These cabs and amp will suffice. Niceley. So, The POD. With the POD and a Demeter in the rack, I need a way to merge their signals and split the incoming basss signal to one or the other.

    What I do is take the out from my Sennheiser wireless into a Morely A/B box. The 'A' out goes to the Demeter, the 'B' out goes to the POD. Now, since I use the power amp in stereo, sending the same signal to both cabs, only one input is needed. So, I take the three outputs from the TWO preamps (Model and DI XLR from POD, 1/4" TRS from Demeter) and send them to a small Behringer mini mixer. There, I can fine-tune the signals so that the output to the amp and house is balanced and not clipping. And, having immediate acces to the channel volumes for the two POD signals allows me to adjust the Model-DI signal ratio as I see fit in real time.

    Now, the POD..........It has become just what I had always wanted out of it. There is a process needed to get the tones and effect combinations that suit, and it took some time. But now, I have 12 presets in memory, bank 1 A-D thru bank 4 A-D. This allows me to call them up via the FBV Shortboard with ease. Each of these twelve presets give me a very wide variety of tones and effects that are accesable immediatley live. The process at arriving at these presets went something like this:

    New POD. Plug in headphones, open the USERS MANUAL, read and play, listening to the factory presets. Next, I spent time listening to EVERY amp model and cab model in almost every combination I could think of. AND, I listened to every amp model without cab models. Then, I listened to every effect and synth model, and checked ot their parameters. This was time-consumming, to say the least. All the while, I took notes of what sounded good to me.

    Next, I hooked up the POD to my amp and cabs, and played the different presets I had chosen through the cabinets. Big eye-opener. I started using the POD every weekend in bar gigs I do with old friends. THAT is where I started to really fine-tune what the POD could do. Comments from the other musicians and from people listening all made their mark. The POD XT allows you to not only set the front-face para-EQ settings, each preset has an assignable graphic EQ. THIS can make all the difference between a so-so sound and a GREAT sound!!

    Having used digital effects since 1990, going into the POD and tweaking EQ, effect parameters, etc, etc was no big deal. Some people seem daunted by that aspect of it. Anyway, it is pretty much mandatory that you learn what every page of each preset is for and what it can do. By tweaking the effect parameters and assignments, the EQ, the output level, etc before hand, then, in my experience, any problems with the tone I am hearing live can be fixed with minor tweaking of the front-face tone controls. And that is where I am at with it now!! 12 presets, all consecutive, that I like ready to go, and another 4 just after them that are OK, too! I plan on getting this down to 8 max. by the time this rock opera ramps up to full production.

    With the built-in tuner which mutes the system when engaged, to the PLETHORA of effects, this thing is the cats' meow for tone variety in real time!!! Anyway, for my last hurrah here...............over the last 8-9 months, when gigging with my complete rack, I have had ample opportunity to compare the POD to the Demeter through Aguilar cabs. Some nights, I will be jammin' away on some tune, diggin' the tone, thinking I had switched the A/B box to A (Demeter), only to look back and see it's on B!!! POD!!! 'nuff said!!!
  6. Sako


    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC

    For someone desparately trying to decide on a multi-effect unit, that was one great post. Thanks for the info.
  7. jpo259


    Feb 2, 2005
    Corona, CA

    My pleasure!! If there is something more you would like to know about the POD Pro XT, PM or email me. I'd be glad to help!!!
  8. gojirin


    Oct 11, 2004
    That is what I Hoping for, JPO.
    Thanks much for your detailed reply.

    Heck, I can't type anywhere that long...

    Welcome to the forum!
  9. invisiman


    Feb 22, 2004
    PODs and products like those are great for modelling, but pure crap for effects, IME.
  10. jpo259


    Feb 2, 2005
    Corona, CA

    Something I noticed A LONG time ago was, the more stuff (stomp boxes) I put between my bass and my amp, the crappier the bass tone got. I'm talking about the basic, all effects off tone. Same with older wirelesss', too. So, I got myself a digital effect unit and ran it through the effect loop of my old SWR, and my basic bass tone stayed constant!! Whooo Hooo! And the effects, when used, were crystal clear. In my opinion, the effects in the POD XT are very, very good DIGITAL effects. And they most definately work for me. And the crowds I play for don't know if I am using a Big Muff or the POD's digitized version..........................
  11. jpo259


    Feb 2, 2005
    Corona, CA

    You're welcome!! And, cool forum!

    Now, I have been using a little ol' bean POD since 2000, mostly for recording, and I still use it live sometimes. The new POD XT was made to specifically address the issues with the older POD models. And I think the thing ROCKS!!! Line 6 has always reccomended that, if you are going to use it live, use it straight to the house and/or as a preamp with a quality poweramp and cabs. Well, I've been using the Bass POD Pro XT for a while now, and I don't see many people at all either here or at HCBF with any more experience then me with it. And I love it!!

    It does exactly what I wanted it to do: Provides a wide, wide range of bass tones and effects that are all easy to access live, with the FBV Shortboard. I am not picky about creating my one 'sound'. The 'me' tone. And I am playing in one cover band and involved in a rock opera where the music is all derived form 70's hard and prog. rock. I have the opportunity, almost requirement, to be able to emulate the tone and playing styles of all the stuff I do in these two bands. The POD makes it easy to get the tones. My fingers/pick/thumb do the rest!! As I stated above, in the last post, I can't stand anything mussing up my basic bass signal. I hate it! UNTILL... I want to muss it up!! And so, for me, the POD is a digital effects unit and bass preamp, and it works as both, well. And.............I still have a Demeter preamp in my rack, still not quite willing to go POD 100%!! But, the more I use it, the more I want to use it!!
  12. gojirin


    Oct 11, 2004
    The reason I got the ampworks was to have something fun to fool around with. I wasn't expecting much, but it delivered even less.

    From what you've said, jpo, the POD is worthwhile. I've read reviews taking various of the effects to task, but that I think I can deal with that. I just hate to be burned again. $300 is alot towards a fretless - the next frontier...

    Again, thanks for the info.

    By the way, I found that the ampworks does do better through a loop.
  13. jpo259


    Feb 2, 2005
    Corona, CA

    You can also run the Bass POD Pro XT through an effects loop, too. I just love the 'presence' I get out of this thing going straight into a high powered amp into quality speakers. In the last 4 months, I have had the opportunity to play some reasonably large venues with good sound sytems and house sound guys. Before each gig, I showed them my rig and explained the A/B switiching and the Behringer mixer as a direct box. They alll liked it. Now, I take a 6" Monster patch cord out of one Main Out. of the Behringer and put it into a Roll Matchbox DI. From there, an XLR goes to the house and can be attenuated to deliver a good, solid signal without clipping. So.................

    When I switch my A/B box to the POD, the house is getting straight POD. EVERY sound guy at these gigs liked the POD!!! Oh, and I did have problems with a few of the presets and effects. I got great feedback from the sound guys, and the problems were fixed. THAT is the kind of thing you need to really dial in the killer tones with the POD. Again, get it, listen to it. READ the owners manual. Hook up your system and see how it sounds. Adjust your favorites. Play out with it. Seek comments from bandmates and sound guys. All this will help you maximize the POD for your requirements.

    One note about effects. Now, I like distortion for bass. Not all the time, but some songs and parts of songs. It's fun!! There are some effects in the POD that just SLAY!!!! And, with around 6 distortion effect models, I can have 6 vastly different distortion effects at the ready. And they sound EVIL through a powerful, loud amp!! One preset, called 'Seattle Coffee', has an AWESOME distortion with it!! When I kick that preset on, I have to hold my strings or it starts to squeel and feedback!!!!! And it is VISCIUOS distortion!! Crowds LOVE it!! And that is all that matters!!!! Oh, I use another distortion effect that is more mild specifically for the Pearl Jam tune 'Yellow Ledbetter'. I play one of my fretless' and use the Sansamp modeled Bass Overdrive model for that tune. People LOVE it!!! And that is all that matters.

    Oh.....ONE MORE!! In a band I was playing with last year, they did 'NIB' from Black Sabbath. Now the POD XT has a preset called NIB. KILLER autowah/distortion preset!! When I used it, the guys in the band said that the bass would loose it's low freq. ooomph when I kicked it in. Easy fix. Go into the graphic EQ and hook that mutha up!! Now, when I kick that thing on, it SLAYS!!!! And, people love it!! I play a half-assed version of the bass solo Geezer does before NIB on the recording using the above-mentioned Seattle Coffee and rockin' the Wah Wah pedal!! People LOVE IT!! And that's all that matters................. :D
  14. EEbass04


    Dec 28, 2001
    Lee's Summit:MO
    I really am not fond of PODs at all. I see them being used for direct recording as in the purposes of scratch tracks and for reference. But for real recordings or live purposes, I see no use for them.

    My old band recorded our entire cd with PODs. I couldn't talk our guitarist out of it. I told him it sounded crappy and that it really wasn't as good he thought it sounded. I told him that we need a tube amp and a cab. He didn't get what I was talking about until after he bought a 5150. :rolleyes:

    I'm guessing the same would go for bass. Especially if you use anything with tubes for power/pre. Digital still doesn't do it for me.
  15. TaySte_2000


    Jun 23, 2001
    Manchester, UK
    Endorsing Artist: Mojohand, Subdecay, Overwater, Matamp
    WOW jpo259 your reviews are making me want a PODxt

    I recently used a Guitar Pod Pro to record an album, it was set to the bassman setting it doesn't sound amazing on its own as bass tones go but it sits perfectly in the mix, might help that I was using a wal on this but you know :D

    I'd say for people who are willing to cart around a full tube rig no the pod's aren't for you but for those who use solid state amps or even the hybrids then yes try one you might be surprised, the only reason I haven't picked one up is because I'm not trying to sound like I have 20 20-40 year old amps I like the sound of me through ashdown but if I was doing covers or really need drastically different tones between songs I'd pick one of these up.

    I'll be getting one if I start doing more sessions and stuff, maybe a varibass as well, but I think a pod into sonthing like an ai focus slave amp and then into an accugroove whappo grande would sound amazing.

    Thanks for the info jpo259
  16. jpo259


    Feb 2, 2005
    Corona, CA

    My pleasure, sharing info and experiences'. I got the POD specifically to have a large pallette of tones and effects for this rock opera I am involved in. Now, it really has been fun, not really mandatory, but fun, using it in the cover band I am in. The band leader loves the fact that I cop the tone and feel of all these songs that we do. He always says, "Now, if we could just get the guitar player to do that, too!" So, for all that, emulating your favorite tunes, etc. the POD is cool. I still use my Demeter quite a bit, though. THAT is one kick-ass preamp!!! Here's a pic. of my rack with both preamps:

    Attached Files:

    • Rack.jpg
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  17. gojirin


    Oct 11, 2004
    May just have to pony up and get one. The fun factor may outweigh any problems. A good compromise might be to wait and pick up the xt used.

    Thanks to all for your considered opinions.

  18. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    I've been using the original Bass POD through a PA (or a JBL Eon G2 15 Powered PA speaker when I'm own) for the last several years. I have the guitar POD 2.0 and PODxt. The xt has a much better user interface and computer linkage. I have not upgraded the Bass POD because I use so few of it's capabilities. I never use effects other than a bit of compression. The tones I use (basically the "flip top" and the "Silverface" models tweaked to where I like them) work well for me, but I'm sure I do better getting a preamp that is designed for one kind of tone. The POD is designed for the type of wide ranging cover situation described above.

    I have never understood the "good for recording - no good live" conventional wisdom. If you can get a good tone to a recording device why can't you get it to the front of the house? It's like the POD is no good live, but if I record it and then a DJ plays it through a PA then it works :rolleyes:

    The key IMO is the amp has to be flat, so if you don't trust the sound guy, you have to provide your own "PA." I have never had any luck putting any of the pods into guitar amps. And since I have enough PA equipment, I stoped trying pretty early on. Anyway, a PA power amp into a fairly flat cabinet is a pretty common bass rig.
  19. +1

    Thanx for posting a pic too - looks sweet!

    Would you ever think of getting rid of the pre-amp and just going the podXt on its own?
  20. jpo259


    Feb 2, 2005
    Corona, CA

    Get rid of my DEMETER???????? Hell, no!!!! But.....................

    ........I take my rack apart and use the pre's alone all the time. Just last night, I used just the rack-mount POD, going to the house and also to my little Peavey Minx 110 as my personal monitor. Worked FINE!!! I used it with my little Behringer mixer, using both outputs on the POD and having two mains so that I could send the same signal to the house and to my little 'monitor' amp. Worked like a charm!! As much as I LOVE feeling and hearing my bass via my 1100W per channel amp into any of my cabs, this setup really, really worked well last night for the club we played. AND............the guitar player stayed relatively reasonable with his volume!

    The POD did exactly what I expected it to do last night. The rest of the band liked it, and the crowd could care less....they LOVED the band!! Had some issues with booming lows twice with two different presets. Easy fix. Othewise, the thing worked as advertised (by me!!!)