Pod, GT-8, Tonelab, Eleven - best cheap "utility" modeler?


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i've had a few modellers and modeling amps in my day (pod x3, vintage amp room, guitar rig 4, vox valvetronix stuff, etc.) but currently i'm using a traditional rig for most of my playing and vintage amp room for quick doodling in cubase. i've been thinking about throwing a few bones at an "out-of-date" modeller primarily for studio use, but also as a portable backup rig, and just a fun piece of gear for getting alternative sounds and unique effects that I dont get out of my traditional rig. something i could occasionally use for songwriting and some recording, but cover a lot of other bases with as well.

these are my "impressions" of the market niche of the different modelers... * next to the ones i haven't gotten to actually play yet. please fill me in/correct me or add different modelers in the price range that i should be looking for on craigslist!

pod xt/x3
- lots of cool sounds. easy to use
- a lot of the amp models sound cheesy by todays standards but i've had stuff i recorded on a pod actually end up on tracks.
- extensive effects, but not a lot of routing flexiblity
- also has bass rig functionality
- no looper

*pod hd
- fewer amp models, but better sounds
- huge suite of effects
- not quite as usable on bass
- slightly more expensive than the last gen of line6 products

tonelab (se?)
- not super tweakable, but the amps are great bread and butter sounds
- somewhat limited effects
- quick and easy to use

*boss gt8
- extensive effects and editing capabilities with unique sounds
- perhaps difficult to tweak? is there a PC editor now?
- amp models pretty outdated
- seems like a decent processor for acoustic guitar as well

eleven rack
- clearly the best sounding amp models
- very lean on effects in comparison
- would need a separate floorboard to make it a viable backup rig
- i use cubase exclusively so i'm not sure how big a pain in the ass it will be



If you don't care about form factor, buy 11r, best sound for the money, not a lot of fx option but less is more, I still have mine after I got the Kemper


Take a look at some of the latest gen zoom stuff maybe as well. The effects sound great, the selection is large, and they're really affordable.

For the pod hd, there's a bass pack available now as well that adds an svt and a G&K amp. Vintage and metal packs bump up the number of all models overall on the guitar side as well.


RP 355, 500 or 1000..
They are every bit as capable you listed. Within 3 minutes you can have quality sounds right out of the box without any major hassles or deep editing.



Drop the Pod HD from the list. Who has time to fix broken amp models?

Add Zoom to the list. G3, G5, or MS-100BT. Not the best amp models, but some great tones are avaliable. Multiple instances of effects. MS-100BT, with an iOS device has a Sweet Honey, OCD, and Crunch Box Deluxee models. Can do Holdsworth clean and lead tones.

Lastly, use your ears to decide with is best for you.


You didn't mention what genre you're playing but the X3 easily stands up against the Axe, Kemper, Bias, etc. even today for high gain or metal tones. You need to know how to work with it in post though.


You mentioned one of the modelers wasn't really useful for BASS (I take it you play Bass). If that is correct, I would say 11R is best for you. I play Bass and love mine.


I have the Digitech RP1000 and a Zoom MS100-BT. The Digitech sounds better and has better switching options for live setting. The MS100-BT sounds really good for something in that form factor, and can be used as just effects, a single effect, or multi-effect. I have it setup so I can use use it either way, I just have to set the preset order for my use.

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