Line 6 DM4......Should I?.....

randomhero

Member
Messages
398
I have a chance to pull the trigger on this pedal, with that being said I own a few of the pedals this unit models. I know that there are probably other posts on this message board about this pedal but does anyone own one and what are their thoughts on this pedal? For me to buy this it would be a not try before buy as the music shops in my city do not have one for me to demo. I know some people hate a lot of Line 6 stuff and truthfully this will be my first Line 6 product. I had a friend of mine tell that the Line 6 DM4 is a really sweet pedal that is getting really hard to find as it has been discontinued. I would really appreciate any feedback from you guys on this one!!
 

jonthomas83

Member
Messages
1,591
I loved my DM4, it was great. There's better alternatives out there nowadays but if you want one, go for it. It can still get some pretty sweet tones. I'd probably say tat an M5 is probably a more durable alternative these days...has all the same algo's plus more.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,655
I have one. The footswitches all failed.

I bought mine 15+years ago, so not sure if the footswitches were ever re-designed. I also have the MM4, and those footswitches did not fail! I replaced one in the DM4 once and it was clear from online discussions and the way it was designed, the DM4 style was different from the MM4 (and DL4) and though reparable, was doomed to fail again because of the design. I don't know if it was totally a design issue or a manufacturing tolerance issue, but after mine died the 2nd time, I gave up on it.

However, I did use it for a very long time, 4 nights a week. It held up well until the switches finally went and was otherwise built like a tank.

I now have the M13 (whose footswitches are also questionable) and the drive sounds in the M13 are the same as the DM4. I also own a Pod XT Live (great switches on that one!) but the drive models sounded totally different, even though ostensibly the same models. I bought the XT Live to replace the DM4 and MM4 as a "one unit solution" as I thought the sounds would be the same.

I really LOVED the sounds in the DM4 and was so upset when I got the XT Live. Thank god the M13 brought back those DM4 sounds (and more!).

What I liked about the "4" series was that once you stored a preset, bumping a knob would change the sound but moving away and back to the preset would restore what you saved. This was hugely important in a gigging band in case a cable, or drunk patron dragged across a knob.

I used the Tube Screamer for a light edge of breakup sound, the Boost/Comp for a clean "sparkle" with slight compression, the Tube Driver as my main rhtyhm crunch, and I can't remember what I used for the few "metal" covers we did, but it was probably the Rat Pedal- I take that back, I know it was because now I remember it would get square wave-y - almost to a fuzz once the drive got to a certain point.

During that period, I played through a Super Reverb.

I continually got compliments on my tone (many people though it was *just* the amp, if that tells you anything).

But I'm also a major tweaker and I spent hours dialling sounds in. But I did like that, if I set a drive level at home, then got to the gig and found out it wasn't quite as saturated as I needed it, I could tweak the knob then just long press the footswitch and save it right there. And again, once saved, you could always recall if a knob got bumped.

What attracted me first to the DM series was the way the footswitches worked - I needed to be able to change from #1 to #4 in one button push - so I liked that pressing #4 would defeat #1 if it was on. I could "toggle" between Off, 1, 2, 3, 4 that way.

They're still on Amazon at $250.00.

Honestly though, for the price, if you only need "one up" at a time, I'd consider the M5 for half the price. Even the M9 at $400 is a better value IMHO (despite the footswitches).

Either of those have more drive models, as well as everything from the MM4 and DL4, as well as the purple one and some other models (reverbs).

The footswitches on the more recent DM4s *may* be re-designed and may now be better than the M series - but it all boils down to if you need more effects only 1 at at time, or only 1 type effect, with access to 4.

BTW, there are people out there who will mod the footswitches on either, and there's a mod for the DM4 that allows you to store 8 presets and toggle between 2 banks of 4 - but for the prices of the mods, you might as well buy something twice as expensive.

FWIW, I've been a fan of Line 6 since really, when they started. It's kind of a Love-Hate relationship though because every time I buy one of their products it's perfect for 95% of what I want it to do, then there's 5% that's more effing annoying than anything else on the planet - kind of a "who in their right mind would have not made this USB editable" and things like that.

The sound is certainly extremely useable - but it's very sensitive to tweaking, so it can be tricky to dial in at first.

Finally, remember that this (and the M series) are True Bypass *PEDAL* modellers, NOT amp modellers. These model drive pedals and that's it (though the M series models other pedals and rack mounts as well).
 

randomhero

Member
Messages
398
I have one. The footswitches all failed.

I bought mine 15+years ago, so not sure if the footswitches were ever re-designed. I also have the MM4, and those footswitches did not fail! I replaced one in the DM4 once and it was clear from online discussions and the way it was designed, the DM4 style was different from the MM4 (and DL4) and though reparable, was doomed to fail again because of the design. I don't know if it was totally a design issue or a manufacturing tolerance issue, but after mine died the 2nd time, I gave up on it.

However, I did use it for a very long time, 4 nights a week. It held up well until the switches finally went and was otherwise built like a tank.

I now have the M13 (whose footswitches are also questionable) and the drive sounds in the M13 are the same as the DM4. I also own a Pod XT Live (great switches on that one!) but the drive models sounded totally different, even though ostensibly the same models. I bought the XT Live to replace the DM4 and MM4 as a "one unit solution" as I thought the sounds would be the same.

I really LOVED the sounds in the DM4 and was so upset when I got the XT Live. Thank god the M13 brought back those DM4 sounds (and more!).

What I liked about the "4" series was that once you stored a preset, bumping a knob would change the sound but moving away and back to the preset would restore what you saved. This was hugely important in a gigging band in case a cable, or drunk patron dragged across a knob.

I used the Tube Screamer for a light edge of breakup sound, the Boost/Comp for a clean "sparkle" with slight compression, the Tube Driver as my main rhtyhm crunch, and I can't remember what I used for the few "metal" covers we did, but it was probably the Rat Pedal- I take that back, I know it was because now I remember it would get square wave-y - almost to a fuzz once the drive got to a certain point.

During that period, I played through a Super Reverb.

I continually got compliments on my tone (many people though it was *just* the amp, if that tells you anything).

But I'm also a major tweaker and I spent hours dialling sounds in. But I did like that, if I set a drive level at home, then got to the gig and found out it wasn't quite as saturated as I needed it, I could tweak the knob then just long press the footswitch and save it right there. And again, once saved, you could always recall if a knob got bumped.

What attracted me first to the DM series was the way the footswitches worked - I needed to be able to change from #1 to #4 in one button push - so I liked that pressing #4 would defeat #1 if it was on. I could "toggle" between Off, 1, 2, 3, 4 that way.

They're still on Amazon at $250.00.

Honestly though, for the price, if you only need "one up" at a time, I'd consider the M5 for half the price. Even the M9 at $400 is a better value IMHO (despite the footswitches).

Either of those have more drive models, as well as everything from the MM4 and DL4, as well as the purple one and some other models (reverbs).

The footswitches on the more recent DM4s *may* be re-designed and may now be better than the M series - but it all boils down to if you need more effects only 1 at at time, or only 1 type effect, with access to 4.

BTW, there are people out there who will mod the footswitches on either, and there's a mod for the DM4 that allows you to store 8 presets and toggle between 2 banks of 4 - but for the prices of the mods, you might as well buy something twice as expensive.

FWIW, I've been a fan of Line 6 since really, when they started. It's kind of a Love-Hate relationship though because every time I buy one of their products it's perfect for 95% of what I want it to do, then there's 5% that's more effing annoying than anything else on the planet - kind of a "who in their right mind would have not made this USB editable" and things like that.

The sound is certainly extremely useable - but it's very sensitive to tweaking, so it can be tricky to dial in at first.

Finally, remember that this (and the M series) are True Bypass *PEDAL* modellers, NOT amp modellers. These model drive pedals and that's it (though the M series models other pedals and rack mounts as well).
Thank you for your feedback!! You really answered everything I wanted to know!! As for the footswitches I got a guy that could fix that potential problem with an upgrade. Once again Thanks a bunch!!
 

voorhiessa

Senior Member
Messages
6,500
If you don't want it, let me know. I've had one 4 times, and currently miss it. A few thoughts:

--seems everyone who used or uses one tends to gravitate towards the boost comp, tube driver, and classic distortion models. For good reason, they sound great.

--but, they don't clean up well with the volume pedal.

--and they don't stack well with each other (in the case of a m9/13)

--or external pedals...lol.

--noise gate is great and simple to use

--as mentioned, it kind of serves as a dirt looper, in that activating one kills the other = less tap dancing. I hate turning off one pedal and turning on another fast.


I got my last one for $50-60. I wouldn't pay more than that for one. If you don't get it, let me know.
 

Gibs210

Member
Messages
8,375
I'd wait a few more weeks and get a source audio dirt box (kingmaker, la lady, aftershock) all three can share engines (effect types) from each other when using the app, and there's over 40 (and counting) different distortions and much smaller and cheaper than a dm4
 

slave

Member
Messages
830
James Hetfield of Metallica used a DM4 for years, not sure if he still does.
And regardless of what you think of him or his music, the guy can get some ripping tones.
If you're thinking of buying one just be mindful you might need to replace the footswitches at some point (is really easy to do)

I would personally stay away from the big old Line6 pedals, unless we're talking the DL4 (love that thing)
I prefer to go for individual drives so I can stack them etc., whereas the DM4 is one effect at a time.
 

randomhero

Member
Messages
398
Well I ended up buying it on a whim...$40 and it came with the power supply (Wall Wart!) I compared the tube driver model to my Chandler tube driver and I gotta say its pretty close. The tube screamer model is pretty nice as you can get a lot more gain and adjust the mid control. I will play with it more and see what kind of tones I can get out of it. If I don't like it I can always flip it. I will keep an eye on the switches, besides those concerns the housing is built like a tank! Never owned a pedal that runs on C batteries before!! nice to have the power supply. Another quick observation I noticed is that the Heavy metal model is based on the Boss Metal Zone (which I have always hated!! lol) actually sounds better than the real one!! lol As for James Hetfeild using one of these I did not know that. I like Metallica but only the first 4 albums, Metallica's Load and Reload cd's make pretty good beer coasters though! lol
 

Godspeed64

Member
Messages
4,244
I'd probably say tat an M5 is probably a more durable alternative these days...has all the same algo's plus more.
I'm sorry but that's simply untrue. There are design defects with this unit, but the M9 and 13 are fine.

Imagine three M5s on stage by three different bandmates constantly failing.... It's like a lottery on whose will power up lol
 

Kluch

Member
Messages
3,937
What I liked about the "4" series was that once you stored a preset, bumping a knob would change the sound but moving away and back to the preset would restore what you saved. This was hugely important in a gigging band in case a cable, or drunk patron dragged across a knob.
This is what I loved about my m13 (and why I'm still tempted somedays to buy a cheap one back). the drives worked perfect that way. No double tapping to change drive settings. Just one switch and u get another totally different sound.
 

GMGM

Member
Messages
1,342
I guess it depends on the price. I was a fan of the DM4, but it just doesn't make sense with the smaller and less expensive M5 readily available.

But price isn't the only factor. The DM4 puts a few presets right at your feet. It's easier to make changes mid song than the M5.
 

jgyn

Member
Messages
5,531
Forty dollars? That's a little more than the price of the AC adapter! Anyway I have one and like it, but haven't used it in awhile.
 




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