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Vox Tonelab SE and Line 6 POD XT Live

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Scott Peterson, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Well, here we go again.

    I took lots of ribbing and raised a few eyebrows last year when I went from Bogner, Matchless, Guytron and Rivera (and many many more) and got all happy with one of them modeling amps. :D

    It was the Vox Valvetronix 212. And I did gig it twice and liked it very much. It was about then when tons of bad reliabilty stories came from all over the net and I got spooked. If I cannot depend 100% on my gear to work, then I just will not gig it. I have always wondered if I did the right thing.

    Well, now I have.

    In my acoustic gig I run my Line 6 Variax Acoustic straight into a DI and split off a line to a JBL G2 EON powered monitor I use as a personal monitor in front of me. I absolutely love the setup/teardown and easy to carry rig. And the sounds are totally pro level and have been stellar. The JBL is 24 lbs. and I have a spiffy JBL padded carrying bag.

    Well, it struck me that I was going to get some of those new Line 6 pedals (Tonelab?) and deciding I wanted three of them. The price for the three I wanted was around $300. And then I saw an ad for the new Line 6 POD XT Live... for $399 shipped. Hmmmm. No brainer IMHO... I'll try it. If nothing else, it'll make a great backup pedalboard into my amp; and I can stop lugging a backup amp to gigs... this thing would work. So I ordered one from American Musical Supply. Cool. Should ship this month (hopefully). I'll wait.

    Well, reading about the XT Live on the web made me notice the Vox Tonelab SE. Basically it is thier version of the XT Live; and it has the same technology (the tube as a dummy load on the output) as the Valvetronix I liked so much.

    An epiphany hit me. Let's look at one of these things using the GC return policy.

    So today I got one of these things and set it up with my EON G2 and off I went.

    The computer editor hooked up via midi made editing a breeze; and I setup a bunch of sounds.

    This thing sounds great. REALLY great. I fully expected to be completely underwhelmed and take it back and come back to my senses.... but alas, the thing won me over. It sounds great. It feels and reacts great. the effects are really good.

    Now I am going to take this to a rehersal and give it a good shakedown this Thursday and see how it shakes out.

    Imagine walking into a gig with your footpedal (in the padded carrying bag - it was included with the pedal); your guitar; and the powered monitor. Split the signal coming out so you can run into FOH and use your 23lb. powered monitor in front of you loud as you want. And *boom* you are setup and ready to go.

    As much as I always have and always will just absolutely LOVE my tube amps, great cabs and wonderful pedalboard with tons of cool boutique pedals.... the whole easy to carry, easy to setup and easy to teardown thing just tantalizes me.

    Even if this all just ends up as a backup pedalboard/failsafe in case of complete amp failure... who could say no?

    Much more to follow in the coming days/weeks. :D
     
  2. loverocker

    loverocker Member

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    Few months ago I saw Pat Travers with the ToneLab SE (plugged into a Marshall JCM800's Return socket for his backline) on a small pub gig. He got really great sounds out of it.

    One caveat - in the chat between songs he did apologise saying something about the footswitch buttons not being totally reliable. Cheap enough to have another as back-up though?
     
  3. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    Scott, between this and the whole Hamer thing, I'm starting to wonder if you've been replaced by a pod person.

    :D

    --chiba
     
  4. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    :D

    Talk to Bluesdoc sometime; he is playing out with just his POD and has been. After Bogners and Two Rocks. He is my role model perhaps. :D:eek:
     
  5. toneseeker

    toneseeker Member

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    Scott,

    When I was just jamming in the evenings at the local taverns in town I used to use an Allen Class Act head that I ran into a homemade isocabinet that contained a vintage 30. In the cabinet was a shure microphone that ran over to my eon G2 powered speaker. It was a gas to use because like you said you can run the volume anywhere you want for stage presence and loop it to the PA for balancing out front. It made life easy.

    toneseeker
     
  6. brent

    brent Member

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    I have the XT Live coming as well, supposedly end of this week, but we'll see.

    I'm intrigued that you can use it as a stand-alone efffects unit, it includes the new Line6 effects pack which has some cool modulators and faux-synth stuff.
    I also love the fact that it has the Variax input, as soon as the dust settles I am picking up the Variax Acoustic, (I'm just waiting a bit to see if they issue a 2nd model and revamp the pricing structure)

    I use the XT for in the home-family sleeping stuff, so I sold the bean and will install this beneath my computer.

    The pricepoint of the Live unit is incredibly attractive, now we'll see if it delivers
     
  7. Heffjbaby

    Heffjbaby Supporting Member

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    About 5 years ago I was sent to purgatory when I joined a band that gigged 4 nights a week. The caveat: everyone had to go direct. No amps, no real drums....you get the picture. At that time I did A/B shootouts with everything available at the time. The winner (for me) then and now was/is the BOSS GT-5. Better than the GT-3, or GT-6. All my gear buddies laughed, as I was the guy who had D*mbles, T*Wrecks, Bogners, Egnaters (the list is endless). I setup the P.A. system and my amps facing me, and tweaked the patches as close as possible. To this day I often get better results recording and live with this pedal vs. a real amp. Than a few months ago I decided to see if the VOX Tonelab would be an improvement. For some reason I could not get it to sound anywhere near as good as the GT-5. I wanted to like the VOX, but I could never get the sounds to be as amp-like as the BOSS. I'm starting to think the one I got at GC was broken? Particularly with overdriven settings, it just couldn't get there with a Strat. I have to agree though that just having my guitar and the little gig-bag for the GT-5 and my mic stand was the bomb for setup and tear down. That being said, I'm really enjoying playing through an amp again - TopHat Ambassador 50 with some killer pedals. In any event I will give the VOX another try, but I encourage you to check out a GT-5. They are plentiful and cheap, and I have not had a single problem after almost 1000 + gigs!
     
  8. hour9

    hour9 Member

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    Scott,

    So are you using this only for stand alone acoustic gigs with the Variax Acoustic, or for full band electric gigs?

    Also, can you individually pick and turn on/off individual effects at will or do you have to pre-program them ahead of time?

    Kyle
     
  9. Ariel Pozzo

    Ariel Pozzo Member

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    I'm using a POD XT Pro version 2.0 live and it works really great. I mainly use it for fly away gigs and tours plugged in the return of whatever rented amp I get. I think Scott is heading towards a simpler, lighter and easily replaceable pro-sounding rig, which i think it's a cool thing to do.
    obviously a great tube amp is the best, but in today's state of things with the airlines and such, it's almost impossible to fly with a tube backline anymore.
    :) :)
     
  10. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    The acoustic setup is for my country band - I play all acoustic on that gig. I just use a small pedalboard that powers the Line 6 splitter box into a Digitech X series delay and then out to the DI (via a Peterson Strobostomp). split for FOH and my powered monitor setup.

    The SE and possibly the XT Live are for shows like Ariel talks about; where I don't want to carry the big rig for my electric guitar setup. I am in a funk covers band and am exploring joining another band right now.

    One thing to note; I am not looking to replace my current tube amp/speaker cab and pedalboard. I am looking for a "quick hit" rig for gigs that call for it. An alternative, but not to replace anything.
     
  11. JPenn

    JPenn Member

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    I just got back to gigging again after a 4 year (work related) break. I picked up a used Flextone III, Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster (killer with a Strat) and a new L6 Shortboard. I've got $580 total in this rig and get some great tones with it. I've said this many times, it's not the be all/end all but it does everything I need it to do. I don't think there's a gig I couldn't do with this rig.
     
  12. hour9

    hour9 Member

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    JPenn,

    How does your Flex III react to the duncan boost?
    I had a Flex III for about a month and got rid of it because it would not react well to pedals at all (among other things).

    Kyle
     
  13. scottro123

    scottro123 Member

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    Anyone tried the Atomic Reactor amp w/one of these? I'd love to hear whether they can add back some of the dynamics that seem to be lacking w/the L6 amps.

    A Variax--XT Live--Atomic Reactor sounds like an incredibly fun toy!
     
  14. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Boy, some timing!!

    Last week I was doing some deep (as deep as it gets) editing with my little Pandora PX4, in an attempt to have something for one of our singers to play guitar through, direct to board, in our rehearsal studio. I'd been using my PODxt. I was really, really impressed with some of the tones I was able to get. So much so, that in a fit of yet more downsizing, I sold my XT/floorboard, and ordered a little Korg AX10G which is essentially the Pandora with a few less features, but channel switching and exp pedal. I figured it would work fine..... I got it yesterday, took a couple of hours to dial in some 'decent' sounds, and brought it to rehearsal last night.

    It was a total bomb. The tones did NOT cut it and it had a LOT of digital hiss/noise. My band members told me to bring the POD back...

    So....... I will return the AX10G and will get whatever will work, now with a blank slate. Theres the xt live, TL SE, and way expensive but with lots of features I probably don't need - the GNX4 (or the cheaper earlier models). I like the idea of the XT Live except I'd have to bend over to redial in patches live vs. touching the 'bean' on my music stand. But I know that Scott knows tone and we understand one another. So........... I'm NOT near anything (except MF) where I can try and swap.

    I've always liked sounds I got putting my POD into a Stewart power amp to one of my cabs, but sometimes I need a little preamp boost before the power amp. Sounds like the EON might be the ticket.

    MMMmmmmmm

    jon
     
  15. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Spent lunch today jamming over some Steely Dan tracks I am working on; and man, this thing is the bomb.

    I will do a full blown review - including the frustrations of it (can't have certain things stacked in a given patch) but this thing sounds and feels good.

    One trick to it I have found is to try all the cabs with the given "amp" model; the Boutique amp with the Tweed 4x10 is a killer clean tone. My vintage rock tone is a Mesa Recto with the gain way down and a "Boutique" (aka Klon model) pedal in front of it with a 4x12 cab loaded with 75's (which in real life I hate) but here... it works great!!

    I completely like and appreciate having the deep editor on the computer. You can change something on the computer screen or on the pedal; and each thing updates in real time as you do it. Makes sorting presets a breeze too.

    Ahhh, fun!


    And Jon, that EON G2 is turning out to be one of the wisest purchases I have ever made - it is small, light and sounds great. Powerful enough to work for me on the acoustic gig at the largest festival and the smallest club. Has not let me down once. And now with this pedal; man - no real stage space taken up and a full blown completely capable gig rig. And I can get this thing pretty loud if needed.
     
  16. brent

    brent Member

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    I can see how the reactor could be pretty cool, I had real good results going:

    Guitar>TIM (on all the time)>podXT>Mesa 20/20>2 1x12 Mesa cabs

    the TIM and the EL-84's really seemed to help with the dynamics
    (the TIM worked this magic in front of a Duoverb also, I hated the amp until I put the TIM in front of it)
     
  17. j_hotch

    j_hotch Member

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    Say, I'm curious:

    Have any of you POD/ToneLab users ever tried running your guitar through your pedals and then into the modeler? To use them just for the amp/cab sims and nothing else?

    I know it seems a waste to not use the effects, but I've always wondered if you could get decent tones that way (and not fret about letting your favorite effects boxes get dusty.)
     
  18. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Yes, if the model is a clean amp it works fine; but that defeats my personal purpose here.

    The Vox TonelabSE thing also works well used simply as a pedalboard into my amp; but that isn't what I am looking to do.

    So many options, it is fun!
     
  19. JPenn

    JPenn Member

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    I'm using the Dual Recto model thru the 4x12 Greenback cab and keep the gain less than half, that seems to be the trick with the L6 amps is keep the gain backed off. It doesn't lose the gain as much as it opens up the tone. The SD pedal I'm using more for the switch on it than the boost. I kick it on when I need my Strat to gain a bridge hum.

    I used a 1st gen Flextone Duo for a lot of years so I'm pretty comfortable with the amps. If I hadn't spent as much time with the Duo I might not be as happy with the Flex III.

    Another thing with the III that I like is the ability to switch around the cabinet models. The default cab for the Rectos is a Mesa 4x12 with 30's. I don't dig it too much, it sounds too metal for what I do. But when switched over to the GB's it gets a nice Marshall-type crunch goin that works for my classic rock/ blues rock band.
     
  20. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I've used a number of lead pedals in front of my xt including the V-stack classic and tweedie, AC booster and COT50. It generally does not work as simply/reliably as into the front of an amp and requires eq tweaking on the pedal and the pod, but sometimes it works really well. Nothing is simple.........:rolleyes:

    jon
     

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