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Advice before buying POD GO please....


tonykwas
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Firstly thank you for your two penneth...pretty sure there are 100's of you out there with a lot more experience with this than I have...

 

I already own a Vox Valvetronix SE multi effects after having seen Guthrie Govan demo it at a show (suspect now that what I heard was 85% Guthrie and 15% Vox (none intended Vox...). Also own a Helix HX Stomp...neither of these units have had more than a hour or so use since new!

 

Minded to sell both and get the Pod Go, but I want to be able to rely upon high quality pre arranged patches and artist tones...(Thin Lizzy, Gary Moore, David Gilmour, Shadows etc) (yeah, I'm old!!!) I can see dozens of very good options for these for every Helix option (Including many for the Stomp) but seems to be way less for the POD GO...is this just because the Pod Go is so much newer or is this a fact of life the the processing isn't quite full Helix?

 

I can find amp simulation bundles for the Go, but can't seem to find artist patches?

 

thanks for your help - regards, Tony.

 

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Hi Tony - first off, I strongly recommend you DO NOT sell your TLSE.  I have both a TLSE and TLLE and prior to Covid have been gigging ny TLSE for a few years now.  These may be 'old tech' on paper but in my view they were way ahead of their time and are still great units, with a valve-like feel & response that still sounds & feels good.  From a gigging perspective, these are built like tanks, are very reliable, and come with a top quality heavy duty gig worthy switchable PSU with a mid cable transformer so you have no ugly/awkward 'wallwart'.  The two expression pedals, A/B switching, control button, and real knobs layout make this a real gig machine that can still hold its own even today.  These remain highly respected, and it's getting harder to find good examples because folk in the know just hold on to them - just as I'm doing.  Problem is, my den is small with very limited floor space, and the TLSE is pretty akin to the full Helix from an overall size & weight perspective - and as I'm getting older I'm trying to cut down the weight & size of my gear.

 

I bought Pod Go, because I wanted something up to date, that was lightweight, compact, and I could gig with.  Because of Covid I've not been able to put it through its paces yet in a live band situation, so the jury is still out from that perspective. 

 

Big pluses I like in the Pod Go as compared to the TLSE  are:

  • small footprint
  • very lightweight
  • Up to date modelling quality with huge selection of top quality 'Helix' amp, cab & effect models
  • Excellent Line 6 customer support
  • IR capability  
  • Nice colour display
  • Global wah that kicks in for any patch without using up one of your 'user' blocks
  • EQ module (TLSE has no EQ option)
  • Snap shots - great concept, but see below re limitation
  • Ability to add an additional expression pedal or 2 momentary switches
  • Single USB cable to connect to computer (with TLSE you need a good quality USB to double MIDI lead)
  • Sounds way better with (good quality) headphones than TLSE
  • Proper FX insert that can be positioned anywhere in the FX chain - TLSE only has a fixed insert position, which is limiting and means you can't use 4-cable method in TLSE.

 

Things that I least like about Pod Go as compared to TLSE:

 

  • Build appears solid enough to gig, but the base is plastic - whereas TLSE is all metal construction. Time will tell re its durability. My TLSE came out in 2004 (over 16 years ago) and is still going strong - it remains to be seen whether Pod Go will have the same durability. 
  • Dynamic allocation of DSP processing power that means certain options are not available. I've kind of got used to it now, but as TLSE has static DSP, although it has a lot less options, it is easier to use overall. 'Up to' 4 user FX blocks in Pod Go is restrictive - not insurmountable, but restrictive. If you select amp/FX models that use a high DSP percentage, you might be down to only 3.  You can work around this by compromising/choosing less DSP hungry models but the complexity of Pod Go as compared to TLSE means there is a 'mind-set' adjustment period - so Pod Go is not as immediately 'plug and play' as TLSE.  I sometimes find that if I've added a reverb, delay, distortion & modulation, my 4 blocks are used up and I can't add eg a compressor - even if I've selected lower DSP models for each, and I have DSP 'room' there is no '5th block' available.   But then the TLSE options are limited to only one option in reverb, delay, modulation, pedal sections - so Pod Go is more flexible. 
  • In TLSE you can bank up/down in any mode with a single switch.  In Pod Go, when in 6-stomp view, you can't patch up/down and even if you add  the 2 extra external footswitches, these can't be set to patch-up/down.  So this means you are tap-dancing a bit to switch between modes.  You also have to press two switches together to go into snapshots.  As it happens, although I don't like have to hit two pedals at the same time, this actually works  well in Pod Go. However, TLSE is full single switch operation for all functions. 
  • Flimsy, cheap PSU  with short thin cable that IMO is not gig-worthy
  • Twitchy software - there have been two firmware updates since launch purely to fix bugs.  It's now much more stable but there is still some quirky behaviour.  Line 6 has still not brought out any bona-fide upgrades.  I've never had any firmware issues with TLSE or TLLE - I realise that Pod Go is way more sophisticated, but I still need to be 100% confident in Pod Go's reliability at a gig, and I'm not convinced it's 'there' yet. 
  • The real knobs in TLSE and overall design make it simpler to operate and easier to use/tweak live
  • No XLR out sockets (there are stereo TSR outs that are effectively the same & you can buy a simple adapter to connect a standard XLR cable to your board, but it's an extra thing to buy and carry) 
  • Although snap shots are a great idea and useful, you can't name these so unless you have a terrific memory or write these down, there is no way to know what each snapshot does.  Ditto, if you allocate more than a single parameter to a footswitch, it shows 'multiple' in the stomp mode window but you can't name it to tell you what it does.  And although its nice to be able to add 2 extra foot-switches, these do not appear in the stomp window and you can't name them to see what these do in each patch.  From a gigging perspective, these limitations means that these 'features' are not as helpful as they should be.
  • The Pod Go Edit software is very good visually but there are some things it doesn't do that the TLSE software does:
    • You can use TLSE software offline - with Pod Go Edit, Pod Go must be connected
    • TLSE backups create a full copy of every patch that can be individually accessed, copied/pasted, edited. In Pod Go Edit it's an all or nothing backup that is a nuisance, and there's no easy way to quickly back up a full set of individual editable patches.  
    • You can't delete a patch in Pod Go Edit - you have to paste over it. You can in the TLSE software (minor, but just 'niggly')

So, although from different era's, both Pod Go and TLSE have pro's & con's.  Tonally, Pod Go modelling is of course superior and has all the mod cons - but it's not 'plug n play' and needs a lot more tweaking & requires a stiffer 'learning curve' than TLSE.  The modelling in TLSE though is still surprisingly good but with its weakest link probably being its cab models - if there was a way to easily use IR's with it, it would really make a big difference. Even so, it can still hold its own & still sounds great and is easy to use in a live band mix.  With Pod Go, the factory presets are generally pretty 'meh' and are not a good indicator of its capabilities - but to be fair, that applied with TLSE too.  

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Hey Tony,

 

POD Go is available in my country since June 2020, Helix since Oct 2015 and Helix LT sinc April 2017.

So I am not astonished that there are much more presets available for Helix than for POD Go.

 

POD Go is based on the Helix sounds, too. L6 states on their hompage:

„Professional-quality amp, cab, and effect models drawn from the celebrated HX family of effects processors ensure best-in-class tone.

Third-party speaker cab impulse responses (IRs) can also be loaded, providing nearly unlimited additional options when crafting tones.

 

For me POD Go is „reduced to the max“ especially for band players like me. Easy to use and gig worthy.

Sound was one big reason for me to buy one amongst other things of course.

 

I don’t know exactly what you are expecting but let me make an example for Gary Moore.

I saw a YT video by Jason Sadites where he dialed in a Gary Moore sound with Helix.

He used a JTM 45 with Greenbacks and a Minotaur distortion adjusting the EQ to his personal rig.

POD Go offers all the components, too. So you should succeed in dialing in a suitable sound with POD Go, too.

 

I have to admit that I have never bought custom presets neither eg from famous Glenn Delaune.

I have my personal rig with its own frequency spectrum. In addition 6 pick up selections on my guitar. 

I therefore dial in sounds by myself trying to match the sound target as good as possible regarding the restrictions of my rig.

 

My buying decicion was not dependent on the number of artist presets offered in custom tone.

To my opinion this is not a qualified argument for or against any musical product.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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Well the pod go is relatively new to the market, so you just can't expect to have a lot of custom presets already available. however, "famous artist's" presets really rely on commercial deals, so it totally depends on line 6 marketing. But I'd say that we won't see them much for the pod go because it's not their top level machine (is not an helix) and it's more intended to the gigging/practicing amateur musician.

Anyway you already can find lots of videos from people that get famous tones out of the pod go (like John Mayer, Van Halen, Gilmour, and lots more). So just check them out.

 

Above all, my first advice would be to learn to use the machine, learn the sounds, understand how you favourite artist got their tone (in terms of guitar, amps, pedals...) then you could easily build your own artist style preset. That also would be much more fun and rewarding...

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Firstly thanks to you all for your input - especially Voxman 55...

 

You've convinced me to hang onto the TLSE and just lose the HX stomp to fund a POD GO...When I saw Guthrie demo the Tonelab he was using a Paisley Tele...a guitar I've always pigeon holed as a one trick pony but he pulled out of that thing were incredible.

 

I agree with a lot of what you've said and they fetch so very little (due to not being current flavour of the month these days) so to all of you thanks for your help - Pod Go it will be funded by the loss of the HX Stomp.

 

Cheers, regards, Tony

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Tony, just a thought but the HX stomp is more powerful than Pod Go. If you were buying fresh and needed a single unit for gigging where you'd need the footswitches, Pod Go is very much designed for that.

 

But before you sell Hx Stomp to buy Pod Go there is another option to look into.  Why not just get a midi floor pedal to use with your Hx Stomp... this will give you floor switch options and it's easy to add an expression pedal too.  This combo would give you huge floor control flexibility whilst retaining your processing power with Helix features that Pod Go doesn't have. You won't need to spend a fortune either and there's loads of info available 're which type of midi pedal is best for Hx Stomp ( you'll need one that connects via usb lead as Hx stomp has no midi sockets). 

 

A Harley Benton MP-100 MIDI Foot Controller is £111 from Thomann, and a decent expression pedal can be found for £50 or less... you'd probably lose around that type of money when selling your stomp!  If I'd already owned a Stomp, that's the route I'd have gone. 

 

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