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. 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.