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Line 6 POD X3 review

pic pic

Features 10/10

POD X3 has pretty much everything. It says on its box "The most advanced POD ever" and it seems to be still true despite the fact that it's no longer made. POD HD, its successor, doesn't offer as many tones and any reasonable re-amping options.

Key features:

  • Guitar input
  • XLR microphone input with trim control
  • Headphone output (1/4" jack stereo)
  • Line outputs (2 x 1/4" jack)
  • Dual tone capability (2 instruments at once)
  • POD Farm plug-in for re-amping
  • Built-in chromatic tuner
  • Pedal input
  • Digital output (S/PDIF)
  • USB port
  • ASIO/Core Audio drivers support
  • GearBox/Line 6 Edit applications that control X3 via PC
  • External power supply (9V 2000mA AC)

Tones:

  • 78 guitar amps with 24 cabs
  • 28 bass amps with 22 cabs
  • 98 stompboxes & effects
  • 6 mic preamp models
  • Up to 9 simultaneous effects plus amp & cab per signal chain
  • 32-bit processing
  • 24-bit A/D & D/A converters

Possibilities:

  • Practice at home with headphones or multimedia speakers, there's no need for a guitar amp
  • Play rehearsals, gigs plugging X3 into an amp, PA or house mixer
  • Record guitar, bass & vocals
  • Re-amp your recorded tracks easily with the included POD Farm plug-in
  • Connect optional foot controllers to switch between presets and use an expression pedal to control effects

Sound quality 9.3/10

It sounds more dynamic and natural than its predecessor at first, but there are certain unpleasant digital processing artifacts that POD XT does not produce. I could say that it's better sounding but I would rather say it just sounds different. To sum it up - more detail and dynamics, but also a bit more digital in sound. It works flawlessly as an audio interface. The plug-in sounds a bit different, the X3 that I have is authorized to use the newest POD Farm 2 which seems to sound better that the device itself.

There's a little issue with the headphone out - I'm not 100% certain that this happens with every X3, but in mine there's a constant hiss in headphones and it doesn't depend on tone settings. It's not very loud so it seems to be a matter of poor quality. Line outs are dead quiet.

Processing time & round trip latency

POD X3 needs 1.47ms to process guitar signal and it makes it a really great tool for recording and re-amping as it allows sending dry input to your DAW, and it beats every single audio interface there is. Driver latency is out of concern as long as you use X3 tones for monitoring your signal. If you wanted to play through plug-ins, latency would be around 17ms.

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Line 6 POD X3 driver settings

Ease of use 9.5/10

Bigger display makes X3 more convenient to use than previous PODs. Besides that it's rather intuitive. What I don't like about it is that the tuner works only with the guitar input because it's very easy to connect another guitar through a di-box to the mic input.

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Line 6 GearBox application controlling POD X3

Price 8/10

POD X3 are no longer made, but they go for around $300 used and it's a fair price. It did cost a lot more when they produced it.

Advantages

pic Features
pic Software
pic Sound quality
pic Ease of use

Drawbacks

picHiss in headphone output

Line 6 POD X3 on wwww.line6.com

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