I know how ya feel. I used to gig quite a lot, and then took several years off playing to allow some neck, back and wrist injuries time to heal. Spent most of my energy during those interim years being part of the audience, and doing a fair amount of live band recording. Had a blast, major fun.
Getting (slowly) back into playing music, with a healthy dose of revised technique and semi-regular visits to a chiropractor.
I recently sprung for a JTV59 and a DT25, have had the HD500 since 2010.
I had similar frustration levels with the AMPLIFi release. The marketing stuff gets to me even when I don't want it to, so like a tone junkie, moth to the flame, it made me want one. Until it was actually released. Then it made me want a second DT25...
I have high hopes for the future of this company. The power of Yamaha behind them may drive their product development - and their follow through - to newer, better levels.
There are always going to be glitches, and issues and problems and inconsistencies. It would be nice if the majority of those items were ironed out PRIOR to selling people equipment. Though, that's apparently not always possible, whether its gear, software, or any other thing.
I like the parts of the 'dream rig' that I use, and I ignore the parts I can't make sound right.
I have ProTools11 + and Eleven Rack on the way from SweetWater, it should arrive Monday. I am psyched to get moved into my new house, and maybe by the end of March will actually have time to sit down with everything and do some recording, tone comparison, re-amping, and all kinds of cool stuff.
From people who gig regularly's point of view, I can see what you are talking about. There is a big difference between hauling gear to and from gigs, and rehearsal rooms, vs just having it set up in a studio environment. Tubes will fail, things will get loose, and repairs will be needed. It would be awesome if L6 created a product line aimed at that type of rigor
Stage Worthy vs just Studio Worthy.
I guess I am glad the AMPLIFi isn't up my alley, that money went to the ProTools purchase. So I can record some awesome music, compose, write, and experiement with new sounds and new musical ideas. Learn new songs, and enjoy being a musician again, even if it's only in my own time, or in casual jams with friends.
When I gigged alot, lollipop happened! That would be a great shirt, BTW. I mean, I have a crystal clear recording of our guitarists Mesa Boogie MKIV frying a tube mid song; while we had him mic'd up loud and clear through the main mix. What a horrible sound.... It was awesome that it WASN'T ME making that noise, I tell ya. But we swapped the rhy guitarist to a direct DI, gave his amp to the lead player who just tanked his Mesa Boogie, and on the show went five minutes later.
I think there is a fine line between expecting reasonable performance from gear, vs "hoping it works right each time". In this case, I side with those who would like more consistency from Line 6, in terms of how, when, why and what - the causes of problems, the source of solutions.
You shouldn't need an on-call gear tech, but most of the actual pros have just that. Amp tech, guitar tech, etc. It would be nice if the things that work at home work at the gig, though that's not always the case.
Things like AMPFLIFi are - to me - a bit of a distraction. It's like they need to distinguish between "pro" gear, "studio" gear, "gigging" gear, "touring" gear, and then fun gadgets like AMPLiFi.
AMpLiFi is awesome, what a cool idea! But, it's full of glitches right out the gate, and compared to the DT series or even the HD, it's not particularly equivalent. I am reading people being frustrated trying to dial in tones, or even interface with the gear without using the third party IOS / Android stuff.
And I get where they are going. CLOUD based everything these days. Ever since the Supreme Court refused to hear that Cablevision lawsuit, the floodgates opened. I see ads for cell phone now offering cloud storage. I see the Comcast X1 and soon to be X2 DVR platform. They will soon have DVR services, where you record the shows and watch them on ANY device, in home or out. Record the Grammy's or Oscars on the DVR service, and watch them on the train to work on your iPad the next day.
AMPLIFI is that mode of thought. Your tones are not stored on the device, they are saved in the CLOUD.
How that translates to working / gigging / professional musicians, is something that remains to be seen. The AMPLIFI would be stellar if it had "X,Y,Z" was the mode of critique that consumed my thought process.
But even the $2,000+ StageScape mixers and L2/L3 speaker systems have their fair share of problems with crashing, etc. Perhaps a more thourough testing period should be included, as preclusion to sales to the general public. Maybe a less trigger happy Marketing Team, concerned with sales and figures, being balanced by more stringent application of testing, revision and quality control.
I for one would definitely rather wait to buy something that is done right the FIRST time, over waiting with baited breath for the "somewhere down the road" firmware update that may or may not solve particular issues. God Bless China, but perhaps we need some product fabrication a little closer to home.
A good example of this 'half-baked' approach is the AMPLIFi app and the unused USB port, and the "to be released later" MANUAL. Who does that? Not gigging musicians. Not professionals. People who want to SELL and meet DEADLINES. That's who. Big missed opportunity just to make it in time for NAMM 2014. But this isn't endemic to Line6 alone.
Back in my younger days, I played a game on the Apple called "Ultima IV". Recently, a "freemium" / "pay to play" type version of this game was launched. It only works on the newer IOS devices, despite OVERWHELMING demand for Android and PC versions. It's STILL not available on Android or WIndows, well over a year into the release of 'Ultima Forever'. They nickel and dime you for little add ons here there and everywhere. The game still crashes for people, it's a trainwreck.
I realize Line6 at some point - with the release of the X3 series, dumped that idea. They used to sell all those little expansions packs for the XT and whatnot. Now, they just sell you the gear, then you wait for firmware updates, which are FREE, to finally correct initial release problems.
Makes me think "reverse mortgage".
Now, only time will tell. I don't linger long on the negative these days. Anything that gets me exploring music I see as positive, even if it's not 100% perfect. Music affirms Life, and if you want to save your Life from the demons that will come along, embrace music. It will get you through the worst life has to toss at you. Winston Churchill said:
"It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion’s heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.”
"If You are Going Through Hell; Keep Going."