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Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by hollis1003 on 2012-05-11 05:47:55


Hey everyone.  I know I'm risking pissing a lot of people off but I'm going to rant a little here and hopefully get a discussion going.

First things, first.  I have been using Line 6 products since the original POD.  I have had 3 different Flextone amps, the HD147, and now the DT-50 HD.  I have also had almost every version (firmware) of the POD except the X3.  they have made great products that sound professional and have not let me down.

I also want to say that my POD HD 500 is a great product and I do think Line 6 took a great step forward with it.

But here's my issue.  Line 6 are getting left in the dust by Fractal (and other companies).  The advancements that Fractal has made are HUGE in the last two years.  If I kept my head in the sand I would never have known this. 

There are at least 80 amp models in the Axe-Fx (probably more) compared to 22 in the POD HD.  The new Tone Match feature in the Axe FX is revolutionary.  Also, the Axe FX is updated almost every month.  They are up to a version 6.0.  I know it's a more expensive product, that's not my point.  Fractal is much more open and extremely better with customer support/service/solutions.

I'm not bashing Line 6 products, I'm saying they should be much further along in terms of their software and product developement.

I think Line 6 is thinking too much like a big company (think Roland/Boss, Zoom, Vox) and have lost some of the unique qualities that made them a great company.

Line 6, I think you need to rethink your strageties. 

  • You need to first answer many of the questions your loyal users have posted that we have never got answered and should be. (I'll put a sample below)
  • You need to change your "policy" of not discussing future products, software releases, etc.
  • If a product or update is not going to hit a deadline you need to 1) put more people on the issue to fix it and 2) be honest with your customers at let us know what's going on
  • You have a fairly high end amp in the DT series and you paired it with a relatively inexpensive FX/Pre-amp unit (POD HD) - The POD HD should have much more DSP power and many more amp models
  • Sell amp model packs again, many people would be happy with old amps from the X3 if they could be imported into the HD.  I don't see a scenario where you hire 2-4 people to develop the models and not make money from them.

I'm sure many other people will chime in and offer their solutions.  I just think that as a company, you could be doing much better.  When I hear "we'll give that feedback to our developers" it reminds me of the movie "Office Space".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SoWNMNKNeM

Please do not make this about what the next POD version should have.  I'm hoping people will help with ideas to make Line 6 a competitive company again.

Here are a short list of many of the unanswered questions that have been asked on the forums that I know of.  Please have some of your engineers read these instead of customer service.

  1. When using the DT series direct out with speaker emulation, what is the speaker being emulated and what microphone is being emulated?
  2. Does the DT have separate power amp modeling that is engaged when the amp is in Low Volume Mode (meaning if you are usin L6 link with a Pre-amp the DT will add the power amp modeling)?

Why can't these questions be answered?  There is nothing here that is proprietary and it's not about future releases.  These questions have been out there for quite a while with no answers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Line 6, I respect what you do but you really need to re-focus on being a company that will keep a competitive edge.  You can still be cool and make a lot of money.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by jholmgren on 2012-05-11 20:39:43

I don't think you'll piss many people off, but it seems like your addressing two different aspects of the company; them answering questions regarding product development in a timely manner, and the choices made on what types/costs of processors they use to pair with the DT series amps. This makes it difficult to weigh in on whether or not to agree with your post.

Is Line 6 a competitive company? My opinion is that they're VERY competetive. I think the Fractal unit sounds fantastic, but to be honest I believe the HD500/DT25 combination sounds better than the Fractal with any tube amp or FRFR solution I've tried (and I've tried several). I also tried the HD500 with several FRFR units out there and to be honest it never worked for me either. I've been a "tube amp and pedal board" type of guy for at least the last ten years, but I still have tried every combination of modeller out there during that time frame, hoping for something I like just as well. The HD500/DT25 is the closest thing I've come to replacing the normal tube rigs I own. You can get that combination of gear (using the DT25 combo) for less than $1,300 on sale, and the Fractal with foot controller costs roughly  $3,350 (and that's before any sort of speaker/amp solution). This means that Line6 only costs about 33% of the price of Fractal with the same capability. I'd also lay odds that Line6 sells about 5 times as many units as Fractal.

If you do the math, it makes it clear that Line6 is making a very strategic (and in my opinion very logical) choice in how they market their products. I'm not saying you're wrong in your opinions. Im just saying it's an "apples to oranges" conversation that can never be resolved because it's comparing two entirely diffently company business models.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by litesnsirens on 2012-05-11 22:54:31

Well for me it might be nice to have an extra 60 models that I'm not gonna use.  Don't get me wrong, it's not that I'm saying I never want Line 6 to offer more amp models, it's just the more I get to know the HD500 the more I'm realizing it's less about the amp model I start out with and more about the sound I end up with.  I'm thinking less about what's in the unit and more about what I can coax out of it.  And with that in mind I can't imagine that I would be happy to pay 6 times as much for what would be a marginal difference at best.

I agree with a lot of the points made by jholmgren.  Where I differ is that I am a convert to the FRFR system.  I've spent most of my guitar playing years (39) as a diehard "tube amp with a few stomp pedals" kind of player.  But never one that would shy away from at least trying out some new technology.  But for me, modelling fell short prior to my trying out the HD500.  I tried the early POD offerings and wasn't impressed, I was equally underwhelmed by the Roland COSM offerings.  So I kept lugging my tube amps around.

When I first got the HD500 it was a two purpose unit, I could use it as a modeller for smaller rehearsal settings and an effects only unit to use with the Boogie Mark V I was playing through at the time.  I tried all kinds of configurations with the Mark V and eventually came to admit to myself that the HD500 sounded better through my Bose L1 system which led to my selling the Mark V and buying a second Bose.  I can say with all honesty I am getting better tone with this set up than with any set up I have owned previously.  If you want to argue and challenge that statement feel free I am among the most surprised that I could possibly make such a statement.

So coming from someone who got his tones with various pedals through a single amp, having 22 amp models to choose from is a luxury.  Add to that 100 plus effects models, mixing and matching cabinets and mic models, that's a lot of tools for shaping tone.  So I'm like a kid in a candy store and feel like I am merely scratching the surface of what is possible.  Let's face it I've only had this set up going for a year to a year and a half.  Hardly enough time to really exhaust all the tonal possibilities that this setup has to offer.

Essentially I don't disagree with anything that's been said here, there are a lot of different styles and methods of going about the quest of tone.  We all have our ways and I would always be one to say "do what works for you".  But to suggest that a business model that is putting this kind of power into the hands of guitar players at the price they are doing it is not competitive just doesn't compute for me.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by HarryN on 2012-05-12 02:22:51

Good post from the OP.

What conerns me about the future of L6 is the company doesn't seem to understand how people might like to use the gear.

Using the POD HD500 as FX only in a loop or in the 4CM is a real pain. It takes quite a while to work out the right setup, tweaking levels and having to add an EQ in the case of the 4CM. It shouldn't be this way.

There should be simple menu options to switch the mode of the device. An option for FX only, an option for 4CM. Right now L6 could add this in firmware but I doubt the company will. But going forward L6 really needs to get a grip on how modelling floorboards like the HD500 are actually used by musicians.

The HD500 does sound great. I don't have the need many have for a gazillion amp models, but I would prefer more effort goes into usability.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by Akeron on 2012-05-12 03:06:50

If I were them I would focus on better documentation. Many important aspects of the unit are described in a cryptical way, causing endless debates, or are completely undocumented. Some are only documented on the manuals of the previous units, like the M13's effects. Another aspect is doing good demos. This unit is able to produce very good sounds but the official demos don't do this justice. Not everybody got so much spare time to search the web for good POD HD sounds. That's why I've created a thread with a compilation of good sounds, but I'm sure for every link I've found there are 10 other good ones as well, lost in some obscure corner of the web. That's why we have the forums filled with many threads that do guessworks, because there's no clear official explanation for some topics. That's why there are so many threads with the same questions.

An official wiki site with clear official explanations and\or interesting parts from forums threads  would be a good idea.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by hollis1003 on 2012-05-12 08:45:26

Thank you all for responding.  This is what I wanted, a relevant conversation.

I think Line 6 is a competitive company but I think they run the risk of losing that competitive edge. 

There are two distinct parts to this.  One is making a product that everyone can use very easily, almost a plug and play type thing.

The other is making a product with almost unlimited capabilities.  Akeron is right that they need much better documentation.  The fact that Meambobo had to create such a great document is a testament to that.  The signal chain is what needs to be simplified the most.  There should be no debate about it, it should be documented very clearly.

I just think that there are many die hard Line 6 users that would pay a little bit more for things like model packs or a bigger better POD HD 1000.  The POD HD has not gotten the kinds of updates that most of us have been begging for (better EQ, using two cabs with one amp or two mics on one cab) that seem to us like very easy upgrades.

Anyway, I hope this debate continues and that Line 6 goes back to being creative and inovative.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by litesnsirens on 2012-05-12 10:08:21

Again, good points.  Although, and not to be argumentative, I think that the more flexible a unit is the less simple it is to use.  You've somewhat stated something similar above, I'm just not sure I'm clear on whether you are acknowledging what I am saying or stating that you think they should try to achieve both. They tried to achieve both the best they could by offering HD300 and HD400. 

But, to be clear that isn't to say that improvements can't be made.  And you've pointed out some good suggestions regarding EQ and multiple cab and/or mic flexibility that I don't think many users would disagree with.

Personally, regarding the signal chain, I think a system settings page with some hardwired signal path options would be a great idea.  It would probably best to be patch assignable as with some of the other parameters on the unit.  What I'm talking about is that now, if you want to keep two distinct signal paths from input 1 and input 2 you have to be mindful of whether you are putting mono effects in the chain etc.  and because the display really only shows one line until you hit the mixer block it's hard to tell visually if you are achieving a distinct and separate signal chain or not.  What if there was a page that gave options to hardwire input one to output L and input 2 to output R and you could see two signal path lines before the mixer and two after?   And any stereo effects you put in the chain will simply act as mono for that patch.  Or you could choose an option to use the distinct paths with a "sum at output" setting so that if you want to run the above scenario but just come out of output left you could do it simply without making sure the mixer block is last in the chain and panning both sides hard left.  Of course it's easy to live with the second alternative it's just another option to make things easy. And another would be "sum at mixer" So that if there are effects that you want to run both sides through before the output you can do that as well.  There may be some other signal chain possibilities that I am not thinking of but I think that guys that want to run the mags on their JTV through an amp model and the acoustic models through a completely different virtual setup could do it easily.  Of course it's possible now to do all of the above but it's tricky and complicated and never quite visually repesented.  Having the hardwired option would also be great for guys that want to set up one side to use effects on a mic and the other side to use for their guitar.

Getting back to the original point, I doubt the Fractal is any easier to use it's just that Line 6 is offering the opportunity to do it for a fraction of the cost.  I think it would be really difficult for a player who is used to traditional tube amp set ups to jump into modelling at $2000 to $3000.  So Line 6 definitely has a niche.  They offer guys a chance to grab an effects floor board at $500 and dabble in amp modelling to see if it's something for them.  Kind of like what happened with me, I mean up until this unit I was so far away from the prospect of modelling that I didn't even know what an Axe FX was.  And now that I know what it is,  I'm so content with my current setup that I have no interest in the Axe FX.  No interest in a separate rack unit + Floor Board.  All in one suits me fine. 

Would I go for an HD1000?  Depends what it's offering.  FS1 FS2 FS3 FS4 FS5 on top and A B C D E on the bottom (or dare I say up to FS6 and F). This along with the ablility to not only choose FS1 to FS8 mode or in this new case up to FS10 or FS12, but an option to make all the footswtiches select presets. So of course this would require 12 FX blocks and twice as much DSP.  The signal chain options I suggested above along with some of the other features that have been requested and mentioned in this thread.  And of course an ON/OFF switch and just a regular AC cable like you use in a regular amp.  Even if they offered this and no new amp models I would go for it.  But of course a few more amp models would be welcome and some serious configurations to use with the acoustic models on the JTV and it would be a no brainer.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by chimp_spanner on 2012-05-12 19:07:56

I don't think that Line 6 are getting "left in the dust" as such. They're making a very different product to the Axe FX, and consider the fact that their product range is larger. Of course it could be that that's what is holding back POD development. Fractal can concentrate purely on the Axe FX. Line 6 have software, hardware peripherals, interfaces, keyboards, guitars, amps, cabinets, wireless systems and now even PA's. I don't know what kind of resources they have commited to the POD but I think it's safe to assume it's a little on the stretched side judging by the long wait between the last two firmware updates.

That said, I'm reasonably happy with where the HD Pro is at right now. I'm getting some great sounds from it. There are some things I still turn to my X3 for, and I'm part of a large number of people who would love to see the return of some of the old X series models. But there's still enough for me to be getting on with here.

As for DSP power, I know it's a point of contention here on the boards. To be honest, the brute power of the Axe FX actually never appealed to me. I like simple/realistic tones, with as small a number of things to tweak as possible (should I need to make adjustments live and on the fly). That said, I have hit the DSP limit sooner than I'd like in some cases, often with little more than two amps and 3 FX modules. Separate amp and cabinet modules would probably go a long way to avoiding this in the majority of cases, but otherwise I think we'll need to wait for the HD1000 before we see any great change to the current DSP situation. Or a hardware mod, which I would gladly pay for.

I guess if I'm disappointed about anything, it's that a lot of the lessons that were learnt with the X3 seemed to have been totally forgotten when developing the HD. I get that the modelling technology is totally different, but why scrap features like separate output modes across 1/4" and XLR? Or using only the cabinet section with no amp? Why not improve the compressor and EQ to bring it more in line with what we had on the Vetta II? Each successive version of the POD should, ideally, carry over all of the innovations and features of the version before it (where possible). But it's almost like they started from scratch with a totally new development team or something.

So yeah I guess that's my only real beef with the HD at the moment; that we're probably in for a long ol' wait to get back some of the things we had years ago with an older model, or to see some of the improvements we were all asking for and never got.

All of this said, I'm very patient, and I have faith that L6 will deliver. I could get myself a second HD Pro and still have spent less than I would on a single Axe FX II. Plus I wouldn't have to wait several months. So I do appreciate that it's swings and roundabouts.

I think like a lot of people here, if I ever have criticism of Line 6 it's because I'd really like to see them continue to be a key player in the modeller scene. I owe the quality of all the work I've released so far to PODs, so I have a great deal of loyalty to the brand. If I could give any kind of advice (and if anyone was even listening) I'd just say keep the users in the loop. Get some meaningful discussion going with the people that USE it, and keep the development process as open and transparent as possible. Give us all something to get excited about!



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by Karl_Houseknecht on 2012-05-12 19:45:50

chimp_spanner wrote:

I don't think that Line 6 are getting "left in the dust" as such. They're making a very different product to the Axe FX, and consider the fact that their product range is larger.

Fractal can concentrate purely on the Axe FX. Line 6 have software, hardware peripherals, interfaces, keyboards, guitars, amps, cabinets, wireless systems and now even PA's.

Yeah, I think these points were missed in the original post.  Fractal is a small company, especially compared to Line6.  Fractal doesn't sell anywhere near the volume of units that Line6 does in any given product range.  Line6 surpassed even Fender in amp sales.  But as you say, Line6 also has a huge product range and supports and sells multiple variants within each category.  In the POD HD line alone, there are 5 different units with different code bases. 

Fractal currently sells and supports a single modeling product with a single code base:  Axe-Fx 2.   That's it.  It also costs 5 times what a POD HD does.  For that money, you darn well better be getting regular firmware updates with new features.  You're paying for R&D and ongoing support.  It's not like that comes free because the Axe is a great product (and it is).  It comes because you paid for it.  In spades.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by meambobbo on 2012-05-13 11:11:05

first off, i think this is a good conversation to have.  i think some of the suits should take notice.  there is a widening disconnect between pieces of line 6 and some nasty bureaucracy that is preventing effective communication with their customers.  it's also preventing a decent development pace.  ultimately i do feel there is too much of a central planner mentality which is hindering each division from reaching its full potential.

for instance, the support team said we'd get an official answer from line 6 on how % translates into HZ for the EQ effects.  we never got an official answer.  luckily we have good community support.  but it's really sad.  we shouldn't have to rely on translations - it should be part of the software to begin with.  and it should have been patched when pointed out.  instead, it's obviously not a priority AT ALL.  This should be a 1 to 2 day project.

equally, your questions should be quickly and OFFICIALLY answered.  there is a HUGE gap between development, testing, support, and documentation.

as far as the amp count goes, keep in mind that I believe Fractal is modeling entire circuits, similar to ReValver.  They don't need to necessarily create new algorithms for every new amp modeled, they just need to open up the given real amp, create a circuit diagram and re-create it in their software.  Seems this can be done far quicker than Line 6, who has to write optimized code for each amp to keep their DSP at real-time.

But of course you are correct, Line 6 has changed focus from guitar and bass amp modeling to trying to provide complete audio solutions - recording interfaces, guitars, amps, mixers, PA systems/monitors, wireless units, etc.  they're a big company now, and progress has ground to a near-halt.  it's taking years for this product to mature.  i have virtually given up hoping that anywhere near half of my wishlist items are implemented.

in fact, i've near given up on line 6 development altogether.  i think the smartest thing they could do outside of completely breaking down whatever bureaucratic or poor management barriers they've placed on development would be to create a devkit and let community members create custom firmware.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by birro on 2012-05-14 06:56:02

Great conversation here! I'm in!

Well... as Hollis1003 I've been a Line6 user from ages ago. I started with a POD XT Live which scared the **** out of me. It was amazing! Then I upgraded to a X3 Live... fantastic upgrade! But then... Line6 became bigger and bigger... and now we have the HD series. Believe me, as Hollis1003, I'm not interested of talking bad things or making people get angry. But look at the quality of the HD series:

- The AC Power seems VERY fragile for using in a gig. It's ok for using at home, but it doesn't gives me confidence;

- The LCD display of the XTL and the X3L were never a issue. At the X3L I've read at the forum some issues about the lights, ok with that. But I've read some more issues on the HD500 about the LCD display stop working. Not lights problem, they just stopped working;

- Hardware issues: it seems that the HD series, specially the HD500 doesn't have only firmware problems. The XTL and the X3L were VERY reliable. I never thought they'd ever stop working. But look at the forum... how many HD units have stopped working, or have restarting issues, and some others? There are still some old reliable XTL and X3L units alive and rocking! I think that the HD series are too "young" to have so many problems.

These were some examples related to the topic of this conversation: "The future of ... POD HD line". How long will it last? How much will they develop it? How reliable it is or it should be?

I wouldn't like to compare Line6 to other brands. I don't compare guitars. Gibson is Gibson, Fender is Fender. They're just different. Amps? The same. Each one has it's dynamics, characteristics, reliability and price ($$$). Can you compare a Fender Stratocaster to a Gibson Flying V? Can you compare a Fender Twin Reverb to a Mesa Boogie Rectifier? No. They're completely different. Their purposes, their tastes, everything.

I think that Line6 have been conquesting lots of users. LOTS of users! They're growing up, there are new gear, now they have guitars, mics, speakers... and wait! It's fabulous to see the brand I like growing up! But they should keep the quality in their basis (amp simulation/FX) and then introduce new stuff keeping the quality in their pillars. I completely agree that they should give us a more emphatic help, be more present in the questions. Yes, there are the Line6Experts at the forum that can help. But they should have some people from the inside (Line6 employees - techinical and instructed personnel) spending 1 hour  or 2h daily at the forums. And also, as Line6's getting bigger, for example, offer more foreign support. I see some questions being answered by Line6 in spanish, which is great! But besides english and spanish, which is the third language most used by Line6 customers? And the fourth? So... the marketing is great. The sales too. And that's it? Where's the reliability, after sales, customer support? People from the "X" series became Line6's fans! So please don't let this drop and work on it.

Finally, yes, it'd be great to have some announcements, some projections, information about new gear, development in a gear to stay at the market for 5 years at least (how many years did the XT series stayed there? And then the X3 stayed a little less. For how long will the HD series stay up?). The software version 6.0 of the other brand is a very good point to see that a product CAN be developed to it's maximum and stay up the market for ages.

I think Line6 never gave up on development... but their focus should be in the present, not in the future. Fix all the HD issues and develop it to the maximum of it's hardware. Inform the users what's coming next. As the version 1.43 was released, Line6 did GREAT informing they were working on the 2.0 version, but the anticipation was only to fix the worst problem of that loud sound issue when plugged to the USB. So... it would bring us some confidence to know what does Line6 recognizes as the present issues on the HD series and what are they working on.

Really FINALLY (the end... lol), about the number of avaliable amps. For me, "more doesn't mean much" (or something like this, I don't know how to translate this phrase). But I firmly believe that I prefer having 3 different amps but GREAT amps, than 823 regular amps. So 22 amps, for me, is more than enough. I prefer having some GREAT clean options, some GREAT bluesy options, other GREAT rock 'n roll options and at least 2 heavy metal GOOD options. And that's it! I'm not looking into quantity. I have a Line6 due to the quality of it's sound. And then... if some users prefer to have dozens of added amps, the sugestion of model packs would satisfy them. But for me? Give me 10 great amps, 10 really HD++ amps... and I'm done.

This post was IMHO, please don't misjudge my comments due to the language (I'm brazilian, sometimes it's hard to translate all my thoughts) and don't even think I'm criticizing the gear I like so much. It's only some constructive ideas from a very distant customer that spend lots of import taxes and waited several long years for aduana regulations to have 3 units that I don't regret... and as soon as the next generation comes up, I really believe that I'll be doing the same thing to get mine a.s.a.p.

Cheers!



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by hollis1003 on 2012-05-14 11:06:41

Cool thoughts, everyone.  I appreciate all your input.

Meambobo, you really expanded on what I was trying to say and clarified some things very well.

I've never given up on Line 6 either.  My DT-50 and POD HD 500 is probably the most versatile, best sounding, and easy to set up rig I've ever had.  When I go to practice or play out  the set up process is rediculously easy and quick.  It took me a long time to get to that point with tweaking settings but I'm there.

Line 6, please keep being inovative.  I'm not saying that 22 amps is too much or not enough.  I just think that you could easily offer some other options via model packs that would be a great kick in the a$$ and keep the POD HD line viable for another couple years.  It sounds that good!

The Tone Match in Axe-FX II is just an extreme step forward and highly inovative.  Keep the creative juices flowing and come up with something better.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by litesnsirens on 2012-05-14 16:28:47

One other thought that has been expressed in other threads, it would be cool to know if the HD500 (or 400 or 300) have enough DSP to hold other amp models.  If so, great then I guess they can offer what they want without constraint. IF NOT, then a spin off idea on the model pack scenario in which you can choose what individual models you want to load into the HD500.  So let's say the limit is 30 and Line 6 eventually has 50 amp models to choose from.  The user picks his favourite 30 and loads them in.  Hopefully it doesn't have to get that complicated, but it would be nice to be able to do that anyway just so you only have to scroll through the amp models you might actually use.  Like for my I'm playing through FRFR, I really don't need the pre versions of the amp models. Although if you're looking for a good clean sound I find that the Fender Twin model pre model doesn't break up as fast when you turn up the gain as the full model does.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by hollis1003 on 2012-05-14 19:11:50

My solution to that is to take out the looper or allow the option.  It must take up a lot of DSP real estate.  That would give you at least another FX slot and some more DSP



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by litesnsirens on 2012-05-14 21:00:49

Hmm, I really only use the looper for goofing around so I guess I would be OK to lose it.  But I think there are probably guys on here that can't do without it. I've seen some cool and creative things done with the looper.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by Zombieslayer5P on 2012-05-14 22:10:17

Well, I wouldn't say completely scrap the looper, but instead of making it a permanent fixture in the signal chain, make it an FX block so you can either have it in there or not, and keep it's controlls the same somehow so that it will operate the same as usual.  Either that or have a DEP so that you can (per patch) either have the looper inthere, or scrap it for an extra fx block.  Just my 2 cents. 



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by varmint on 2012-05-15 07:49:16

+1 on keeping the looper as an option, instead of permanently in the signal chain. I never use the looper, but I might at some point.

My experience with Line 6 products started with the XT Live, which I proceeded to load up with all the model packs. After a few years, it was apparent that I have way more amp models then I need, and stuck with a small number I really liked.

Moving forward into the Pod HD desktop, the lesser number of amp models is not really a problem. They sound better to my ears than the XTL models, and it encourages me to get the best sound out of what's available. The hardware interface of the HD is much easier for me to use than the XTL, and I can change things on the fly that much faster. I don't load up the effects chain either, so DSP limits haven't affected me yet.

HD Model packs would be an interesting addition, but I don't think I would be so eager to jump on them this time around. One of my favorite bass amps, the Flip Top, has been added with the last update, so I'm pretty happy with that since I play bass through my HD as well.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by gunpointmetal on 2012-05-15 10:12:45

I like BMW's and Porsches because they have more features and I get more personal service when an issue arises...but, I'd rather only pay for a KIA, so I hope that Kia will includeall of features I want and provide the same level of servce even though I'm paying less then 20% of the price.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by litesnsirens on 2012-05-15 11:38:50

What does that have to do with playing guitar? 



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by FrayedKnot on 2012-05-15 12:08:36

Line 6 a very large company that makes a wide array of products available to the average consumer in their market segment.  Fractal (your example) is very a small company that produces a couple very high-end products targeting the extreme upper-end consumer in their market segment.  The two business models are completely different.  The fact that the two companies serve such a different portion of the market segment is the reason both will continue to do well.  Could Line6 produce something that rivals (or surpasses) Fractal's and others?  Absolutely.  Would it be afordable by any Line6 consumer or average musician?  Absolutely NOT.   I'm happy with Line6 continuing to make really great products that I can afford (for the most part ), and let the others make the super high-end products that I will never be able to attain.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by meambobbo on 2012-05-15 15:08:29

the looper might have its own digital chip handling it, which would explain why you can only place it at the very front or very end of the chain.  then the only DSP it takes up that would otherwise be available is routing the looper at the front or back of the digital signal.

even if fully implemented on the main DSP chips, I don't see the looper taking up much DSP.

i'm all for the option of turning it off/on, but i don't think we should expect any real DSP gains.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by gunpointmetal on 2012-05-16 10:54:02

I love all the threads where someone basically says "I want to pay $500 for something that competes directly with something that costs $2000+, and I don't find that to be at all unreasonable.". . . . .then fifty people say "Aye!" . . . . the internet is fun



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by meambobbo on 2012-05-16 12:56:04

it's easy to say one is 4x as expensive and thus should be 4x more awesome, but that's not the reality of the situation.  each unit has fixed costs and variable costs.  development is mostly a fixed cost.  it doesn't matter if they produce 4 million units or 20 units, the development costs are relatively the same either way.

moreover, the variable costs can vary dramatically depending on where and how the products are produced.  I believe the axe-fx is made in the US, so it has higher labor costs.  It probably has less high-level capital dedicated towards manufacturing them, and thus Fractal cannot produce them in near the quantity of the Pod HD.  So a lot of the cost involved in the Fractal isn't necessarily higher component costs, which relate directly to consumer quality, but higher manufacturing costs and smaller quantities produced.

Finally there is absolute return - even if Line 6 has a lower profit margin and a lower price point, if it sells that many more units, it can still make a larger absolute profit than Fractal.  Given that the development costs are fixed and a lot of the price difference has nothing to do with the overall horsepower of the units, Line 6 should easily be able to compete quality-wise with Fractal, provided they put in the development time and money.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by TheRealZap on 2012-05-16 13:01:00

woah MBA flashback.... hahah stop making sense... you'll scare the natives!



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by meambobbo on 2012-05-16 13:03:17

and the market is replete with examples of products at huge price differentials directly competing with each other.  it's not internet fantasizing, although I admit people can often get carried away or overbearing.  I'm not saying that the Pod HD should be as good or better than the Axe-FX or Axe-II, but I would consider it a competitor, and I believe it is econmically justified to have just as much development effort as the Fractal products.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by phil_m on 2012-05-16 13:31:46

I agree Fractal is a competitor in the sense that a person in the market for a modeler most likely won't buy both the HD500 or HD Pro and the Axe-FX. But I don't think they're necessarily the company that Line 6 is most worried about when designing and marketing their products. I think they're much more worried about Boss, Korg, Digitech, Fender, etc. - the stuff you actually see when you walk into a Guitar Center.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by gunpointmetal on 2012-05-16 14:21:37

All of the economic logic in the world doesn't change the fact that 95% of the time. . . . . . you get what you pay for.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by meambobbo on 2012-05-16 19:43:41

Dude you're missing the point. This thread never was about axe fx vs pod hd in terms of product quality. We are addressing some emerging weaknesses of line 6. My economics were simply to suggest the price point differential between the two units has NO bearing on the issues being addressed here.

I agree that something cheap will likely have lackluster support etc. but I don't think line 6 products are cheap, price-wise. Compared to axe fx, yes. But everything else, no. We should definitely expect a similar level of support as the other guys and it's mind boggling that customers can't get official answers to seemingly simple questions.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by gunpointmetal on 2012-05-17 10:41:44

on the issue of customer service I agree and disagree...the fact that people can't get questions answered here on the forum sucks, but in dealing directly with the company or even through Guitar Center, who I don't even like to shop with, its been super easy and relatively quick. That some questions seemingly get ignored is a big bag mark for customer service, especially when it seems like the things that are being ignored are being ignored because there isn't a good answer for anyone. I understand where it comes from....but it still kinda seems like apples to oranges, or maybe apples to Graples? Line 6 devices are "cheap" comparatively, go back to the car analogy: $16,000 isn't "cheap", but its a cheap car. $500 may not be an insignificant amount of money, but its "cheap" for such an extensive device. I want to see more features and better support too, but I realise that the company deals with probably 100x the amount of people of a boutique company and I won't get much better customer service than I do from Dell, which has way more users, many of whom pay for the service, and still can't get quick responses from CSAs.



Re: Future of Line 6 and POD HD line
by hurghanico on 2012-05-17 10:53:48

In my opinion the future of Line6 is very promising ..

I had the XTL with all model packs and I was quite happy.. but now I'm even more happy with the HD..

I'm pretty sure that all the models packs were already present into the XTL and that their purchase was in reality the purchase of the license required to unlock them and make them visible and usable..

So, probably, they had already been programmed and implemented earlier, according to the power and resources of the machine ..

If this is true, and I think so, it was a clever way to sell more easily a product that otherwise would have cost more if it had been full-featured from the first purchase..

Not a bad marketing strategy!..

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Now I do not know about the HD500, but I am inclined to believe that everything could possibly have had more, if any, is already present in the machine and still hidden, to be unveiled later.. who knows?..

Knowing the resources available in a machine, it is easier to program and implement everything within its possibilities in advance, leaving a few free resources for possible small adjustments..

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The advertising of this new product are based in part on the fact that it has been much preferred Quality-over-quantity, and this is the main reason that pushed me and other people to buy it ..

If there were new model packs for the HD500, this thing would be in contradiction with the philosophy (Q-o-q) of this product .. which among other things, regard to its resources I think is already pushed close to the maximum possible ..

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At the end, for the price I paid (?), I think I've had a lot in terms of Quality ..I feel I have done a good bargain....especially since I bought it used in more than perfect condition from one who was not able to understand what he had between his hands, good for me, Slurp!....he he he!!..  however I really think the HD is worth all the money it costs new..

A much greater quantity of the same Quality would cost proportionately much more in terms of hardware and everything else ..

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However I do not feel the need to have 100 amp models, a lot less but of excellent Quality are more than enough for me..

Rather than being added many other models, I would prefer to be further improved the quality of models already included, which are already really good ..

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Now with my HD500 I spend much more time playing with some really enjoyable sounds, and I lose no more time with endless tweaking....and this means a lot to me, for the Quality of my time!

And I really hope that the Line6 will continue on this "Quality" road in the future!

PS: Axe-Fx??..it's a very good piece of gear, but is more or less same Quality of a HD500 but multiplied by 4 in terms of quantity, and costs more or less in proportion.. a bit more!

There is no free lunch!

However, competition is a good thing because it encourages everyone to do better and better in terms of Quality ..




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