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POD XT Live Sound Quality vs. POD X3 Live?
by bluebluetones on 2011-12-20 06:47:00

Hey everyone,

I had the fortune of having both a POD X3 Live and an XT Live once before in my life, and at that time I chose to keep the X3 live.  The reason why was because of the amount of amplifiers it had, and at the time when I compared the two I figured the X3 sounded better.  I was careful to dial in exact amp settings in both units and I found the X3 sounded better.  There is a lot of writing on the net about an "improved processor" in the X3, so I figured that supported my tweaking tests.

Flash forward to now...I had sold my X3 when I needed money, and had picked up a XT Live later as a replacement.  I just bought the extra model packs recently, which has renewed my interest in it again.   I have been enjoying it, but I always had that nagging feeling about  missing some sonic clarity when compared to the X3.  So, I rented a second-hand X3 from my local Long and McQuade in thinking I might want to trade the XTL in for the X3.

I could hear no difference between the two models this time.  I am confused!?   Once again, I was careful to dial in the exact amp models and settings on both units and then went back and forth between them.  I started to wonder if there actually was a difference between the two processors?

It mentions here that the XT uses a 24-bit processor, just like the X3:

Also,in the Accolades section on the Line 6 site, it mentions a quote:

"...the PodXT leaves the original Pod in a trail of digital dust in terms of its sound, editing capabilities, and interface. The PodXT is a complete top-to-bottom redesign that takes advantage of 32-bit floating-point processing and offers a host of useful new features."

Jon Chappell, Electronic Musician, October 2003

I now understand that both the X3 and the XTL uses 32-bit floating-point processing.  They both seem to have the same specs. 

So is this idea of the X3 having a finer quality of sound really just a myth?  The obvious improvements on the X3L are the dual-tone function, improved in/outs, bass modeling, mic modelling, etc,... 

But, when it comes to the guitar amp models, I can't hear a difference...both the X3 and the XT appear to me to use the same modeling quality and fidelity.

Does anyone have any other information that I may be missing?

Re: POD XT Live Sound Quality vs. POD X3 Live?
by Line6Tony on 2011-12-22 12:57:41

Ultimately your ears are the judge. The X3 let you do more, but the resolution, model-wise, remains the same on both. That changed with the HD line.

Re: POD XT Live Sound Quality vs. POD X3 Live?
by bluebluetones on 2012-01-24 13:22:29

Thanks for the reply, Tony,

I initially thought you were correct, as well as myself in my initial posting.

I then sold my XT Live and picked up a superb X3 (with all those lovely amps) and all was well...   ...or so I thought.

I then found that whenever I was playing the X3 it sounded too trebly.  The amps were quite bright in comparison to the XT Live.  Could it be that the sonic improvements on the X3 might come across too harsh?  I was constantly fiddling with the treble and presence knobs, and suddenly ending up with the amp models sounding muffled.  I just kept fiddling with the knobs and hardly playing.

I thought I was losing my mind, but I found myself in a music store trading in the X3 for yet another XT live.  Now everything sounds nice again. 

Anyways, some food for thought.  I think I prefer the lower-fidelity of the XT Live as compared to the brighter sound of the X3.  Perhaps the XT simply compliments my amp better?  Love the Line 6 gear!

The information above may not be current, and you should direct questions to the current forum or review the manual.