Bought a POD X3

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Axe-Man, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

    Aug 23, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    First of all...apologies in advance for this long post.

    I was tossing up over an X3 and a SCXD but bought the X3.

    Both have good sounds and whilst the SCXD has great Fender tones that would naturally exceed the POD, the X3 has a whole swag of extra stuff (more amps, recording, sharing of tones, headphone option) to balance it out.

    Also there were no SCXDs in Aus (not even an ETA for 2010 after emailing Fender!) and the X3 was $350 off. So it made it an easy choice. Saying this I may still grab a SC sometime next year.

    Additionally I already had 2 400watt 15" active cabs so the POD was ultimately more flexible and way louder if I ever need to gig it.

    First of all, I've got to say that the X3 sounds really good.

    Not yeah it's ok kinda good but really sounds great.

    Even my wife who normally doesn't really like loud guitar said, it sounds better than all of your other stuff...hmm even my Vox NT?? Yikes!

    I tested the X3 a while ago and just wasn't impressed in the store. Thinking that maybe there were other better units out there I then tested all of the competition in the consumer space apart from the 11 rack and Axe-Fx. Funnily, I came full circle, finding the POD just had more 'balance'.

    Ironically, whilst I wasn't happy initially, I spent time testing the competition, listening to sound clips, reading reviews and forum posts and just thought...even though I wasn't happy with it previously I'm going to just buy it (as I still liked my POD 1 – I mean it’s got to be better than that!) and give it another go now I knew more. Glad I did!

    Possibly as owners say, the Tonelab has better crunch but the POD is really decent here (I dialed in really nice GnR and ACDC tones today) and I could barely tell any difference between the two. Plus the PODs metal tones kill the Tonelab IMHO.

    Also the RP. Whilst it's the main competitor to the X3, I personally didn't really like the high gain tones and found them both similar for clean/crunch sounds.

    I've used a POD 1.0 since it first came out in ‘98 so I'd like to think I am not a complete noob!

    So the first thing I did with ALL of the test subjects was strip off all the junk...EQ, effects, compression...etc etc... and just get straight to the core tones.

    IMHO the POD just had better amp/cab modeling and without any crutches sounds really good.

    I realise that compared to my tube amps, the X3 doesn't have any dynamics but it does pass the light picking/heavy picking breakup test...albeit with FAR less than flying colours. It's 'adequate' but not like an amp IMO.

    Once you trowel on compression and a stomp over a clean amp model, you IMHO loose alot of dynamics anyway so this isn't a deal breaker for alot of my playing.

    Compressed metal tones are fine IMO – they sound really nice and savage through the PA.

    The reality of all this is I'm happy with the purchase and I can only imagine how good the Axe is...and how I'm going to enjoy the POD X5 when Axe level tech makes it to the masses.

    It sounds GREAT through a PA. I guess alot like a mic'd amp but without the setup.

    I also didn't realise how powerful the DSP of consumer modelers was!

    Axe FX: 3 GFLOPs of Tiger Sharc DSP
    POD X3: 1.6 - 2.4 GFLOPS of Sharc DSP (depending upon clock speed).

    Whilst it isn't an Ax-Fx, it shows the PODs not a toy and whilst they do get caned for not sounding just like an amp, I personally think alot of this angst just isn't warranted.

    Some amp models are better than others but there’s a huge pallet of sounds to explore and I imagine I'll easily get a couple of dozen great amp tones from it (which is EASILY worth the price of admission in my book). It's also a tweakers paradise as well...for good or bad. Great for me anyway.

    I sat down today for 3 hours (it just 'went') and dialed in 15 amp sounds and they are mostly, really impressive.

    Through headphones they sound really good. Through the PA with some volume and pushing some air, it sounds great.

    I imagine many of the problems people get is running a modeler through a guitar cab.

    Too much colouration and the expectation of turning your Vox into a Dual Rec or your 'shreddermister 6000' into a sparkly Fender just seems like gleefully awaiting a world of disappointment.

    What do other POD, RP, Tonelab owners think about the current level of modelers 'sound'?

    I'm just talking 'tones' here. Not feel, dynamics etc as I know there is ground to make up here in the consumer space, but the bottom line sound it produces.

    Are others happy with their cheap pieces of amp wonder tech?

    I feel that amp modeling really has a place alongside tube amps and whilst tube amps are getting cheaper (low paid OS workers doing the heavy lifting - same deal with the modelers) and more portable (like the current batch of low watt heads etc), none offer the simplicity of headphone practice, multitudes of sounds, simple recording and the shear dB potential of live FRFR tube power amp/direct PA playing...for cheapo amp money.

    I am of course not completely delusional...a cranked tube amp (which I just can't enjoy very often - maybe every few weeks for 30 min) sounds wonderful and whilst they usually only produce a limited pallet of tones...they still rule the roost sound/dynamics wise.
  2. re-animator

    re-animator Senior Member

    Aug 3, 2007
    New York/San Diego
    love the sound of the pod generally.

    if you know what you want to play, its great for recording... more than just scratch tracks. and its so damn simple.

    dynamics are crap, but its not really something i use to just jam around with. when you're recording you can set up patches for clean, mid gain, crunch, high gain, solo, etc. but you won't be controlling it with your volume knob and playing.

    my main quibble with the pod is that it totally masks the tone of the guitar... even switching pickups doesn't make a huge diff.
  3. jhall

    jhall Member

    Dec 13, 2009
    This is through a TonePort UX2 (same algorythms as the X3):"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350">
    So yeah it does right by me too. I have GR-4 pro control edition. And a bunch of the consumer level modelling stuff and find it all to be really good to great. It really is amatter of letting go of your predudices and geetting down to understanding how to use them. Once you clear these hurdles they are a **** TON esier to deal with than pushing air around the room.
  4. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

    Aug 23, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Well, a couple of days later and I'm still enjoying the X3.

    Does a nice Fender effort IMO.

    I find running an M13 into it for drives, comp etc simple to use/setup and it sounds really good.

    Any other XT or X3 owners out there?
  5. touji

    touji Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    I've been rocking the X3L for maybe half a year now. Since coming to TGP, I've sort of stopped caring about whether I had boutique effects or not, and the X3 has totally helped me with it too. Less hassle, has enough effects for me, and its perfect for my dorm room. Don't see myself getting any pedals anytime soon.
  6. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Mineola, NY
    I've had the X3L for a while now. It replaced my Boss GT10. The Boss is waaaay more powerful, but the X3L just sounds better and is easier to use right out of the box. With the Boss I was doing all sorts of stuff to get sounds I liked. With the X3L it's just the amp, some reverb and delay (for the 80's guitar hero moments).
  7. forgivenman

    forgivenman Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    Just rediscovered my X3 and am loving. Used it through a PA last night for band practice and it sounded huge with the dual amp setting. I forgot how nice these are.
  8. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

    Aug 23, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've found alot of sites with people recording via the POD and producing some killer tones which they usually offer for free download.

    Metal seems predominant but I've found a host of clean, blues and nicely broken up crunch sounds.

    I've picked up some top notch patches (made better with a little tweaking) encompassing everything from full on metal to GnRoses, Metallica, ACDC, Satriani, Gary Moore, SRV etc

    Then there are the great amp 'sounds' like old plexi's, Fenders etc etc of which many sound great.

    I've already got too many usable tones setup for one X3...I'll need a couple of different 'setups' I can load in when needed so I can use them all!

    For the money (espec considering it was via a great special) I couldn't be happier.
  9. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

    Jan 26, 2006
    Sorry Lance - Global Warming Enthusiast!
    I have no problems with the POD stuff. I rather like it.

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