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Flextone Iii+ Still Awesome

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#1 Texxxxx



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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:03 AM

I hadn't put in any time with my Flextone III+ for a while.   I usually just use it with my RC-50 looper for some backing tracks to fool around with and the occasional theater gig.  My main amps that I use are one of my vintage Fenders.  I have a '66 Super Reverb, '73 Pro Reverb, '66 Vibrolux Reverb, '73 Deluxe Reverb, '68 Princeton Reverb, '69 Champ and a P2P 6G16 Twin Reverb.  I use them with a pedal board and the Pro and Deluxe have had selective blackfacing.


Anyway, I have always thought the Flextone III was an awesome amp.  So awesome that I own four Flextone III+'s, two of the Flextone III 1x12 extension cabinets and three of the FBV Shortboards.  I didn't want to be without one; lifetime supply.  I spent a couple hours each on Saturday and Sunday going through the amp models in manual mode.  I have had the same presets set for years and hadn't really *played* with the amp for a long time.


Man, the amp models sounded GREAT!  I A/B'd the clean models with my Pro (the Fender that just happened to be set up) and the biggest difference was that the Pro was much more dynamically touch sensitive.  Tone-wise, however, it was darn close.  The Flextone III tweed and gain models shined and the amount of tonal variance still impresses me.


I went through the whole HD series.  I ended up owning one HD400, three HD500's and two HD Pro's.  I had so many because of problems that warranty covered.  I never really liked them (on and off love affair) and always thought my Flextone III's sounded better.  The Flextone III never had the dreaded 'Fizz' of the HD series.  Yes, I read meambobo's excellent guide and saw how the Fizz could be reduced in a number of ways, EQ's, signal routing, etc...  Too much of a hassle; I don't own an HD, anymore.


I stopped using my Flextone III's live years ago for Rock shows, because it seemed my Fenders just had more presence and cut through the mix better.  The Flextone III's sure sound awesome in the bedroom, though, and I still use them for Theater Orchestra Pit gigs.  Best amp ever for that situation!  Theaters always want you to be quiet and you can make the Flextone III thick and crunchy and quiet all at the same time.  JCM 800 whisper...


I am definitely going try them live, again, and work at tweaking the tones a bit more.


This is just a thumbs up for, IMO, the best modeling amp ever built that gives *real* amps a run for their money!

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#2 FlexCapacitor


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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:26 PM

I agree. My advice to anyone who gets their hands on a Flextone III, is to do exactly as you said... spend some time in manual mode just playing through each amp sound and building from there. While the presets are handy for bouncing around in 'demo' mode, the fact is most of the presets aren't very inspiring or dialed in. I have owned the Flextone III XL for many years but it did take many months of tweaking before I really began finding the depth of this often misunderstood amp. I would even go so far as to say misunderstood and underestimated, even by the developers, or so some of the presets would lead me to believe. I use the amp live, but also for recording (which I do almost exclusively direct) and people still to this day comment on how incredible the amp sounds. 

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#3 angelectrico


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Posted 14 January 2016 - 05:47 PM

Hi guys, I´ve been playing live with a Flexton III 1x12 for 6 years now, but like a month ago it was stolen, and I miss the sound so much, people always was amazed on how good it sounded, even friends that are valve purist were really surprised and loved my tone. So giving the good mouth flavor that Line 6 left on my mouth, I went for another Line 6 product, a POD HD500x but I didn´t like it at all, I don´t know why, to many scooped mid-high frecuencies that sounded awful playing live, and I ended up selling it. So I want some advice, I´m thinking to buy a Firehawk Fx that has the same the old models too, the non-HD ones, or even going for a POD X3 because as much as I loved the Flextone sound, I missed some effects like Pitch Bender, Smart harmony, and others, so this new products have a bigger list of effects, and it´s suposed to be the same sound.


So what do you think? Should I go for a used Flextone and just keep things exactly as they where before, and maybe add a Whammhy pedal in front of the amp? Or do you think that I could achieve the same sound if I go for a Firehawk FX using the regular amp models, or a POD X3 with the FVB Shortboard MKII?


I ask this because I've tried the PODFarm PC software, and I feel that some of the amps sound the same, but some others I feel like they sound diferent, like the Marshall stuff, it sounds extremely bright (but not in a good way) like really fizzy, digital, plastic, like a toy, and they doesn't sound like that in the Flextone, even if they aren't really accurate to the real amps, they sound warmer, and fatter, more usable.


So that's why I'm a little affraid that a Firehawk, or a POD X3, even that they are suposed to have the same amp models, could sound different. Sometimes I feel that the Flextone has a magic on it's own that makes it really special and good sounding, but still has less effects and options than the newer stuff.


So, any recomedations?

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#4 FlexToneHD


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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:35 AM



I feel your pain. I just got th same amp you lost and i am amazed by it. I too am one of those dyed in the wool tube to the death guys and yet I keep plugging into the Felextone III 1x12 combo instead of the Marshall JCM900!


My only regret is that it wasn't the 150 watt 2x12 because if the 1x12 that i have sounds this good then the 2x12 must be like the voice of God!


I am reaching out here to people to get as much information and tips on this amp as well as to see if anyone has an original pilots handbook they would not mind parting with.


Again, my sympathies for your loss and I hope you are able to replace it quickly.


Best regards,



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#5 jerrywcrafts


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Posted 27 November 2016 - 11:30 AM

Sorry for your loss. I have a Flextone III XL 2X12 and just love it. One problem though, when playing all of a sudden the volume drops down. I have to touch the button on the stomp box and it returns. Sometimes this happens rarely or it can turn into a battle of it constantly doping out and me hitting the button. I tried disconnecting the stomp box and the same thing still happens. Ive reinstalled the firmware. if anyone has a possible fix please let me know. 

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#6 BillBee



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Posted 28 November 2016 - 11:41 AM

Hey Jerry, you can try pulling out the chassis and reseating all the ribbon connectors. Those can work loose after a number of years and making sure they are seated, it can work wonders. :)


Other that that and a can of DeOxit to hit all the connections with and checking cables and batteries (if you use active pu's) it could be a time to shoot a support ticket into to L6.

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Smell the glove.

#7 robbiepenny


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Posted 24 January 2017 - 02:29 PM

I just a bought a minty closet classic flextone III 2x12.

I have ALWAYS been a tube snob and lol'd at line 6 users in the past.


Man, I was wrong. This has old technology, but it stills sounds amazing. I'll never go back. I hope nothing ever happens to it. 


Contrarily, I have heard some folks play through the hd floorboards... and they did NOT sound good at all (to me).

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