Why did I buy it?
I got this just after it came out because of all the positive press. I had never had a multi-fx unit before so this was my first dabble. I bought the floor board at the same time so that I could use it live.
How does it sound?
The shear breadth of sounds is impressive, and it does a lot pretty well. The preset sounds and downloadable ones are passable, however I only really used sounds I had programmed myself. As each bank has four channels I found it worked well for live use to assign a different amp to each bank and then program in four different variations for each amp with channel A always being my solo sound, B my crunch, C a crunch with some type of modulation and D clean. The amps I liked best were the “modern high gain”, “brit class A”, “Line 6 drive” and “tweed blues”. I didn’t really use the mode where the footswitch acted like stomp boxes allowing additional reverb/EQ/delay etc. to be turned on or off. One thing I found valuable was have a multitude of modulation effects to experiment with that I had never had access to before. The wah is disappointing and the tuner bloody useless!
The POD2 sounded great going directly into a recording set-up however I had lots of problems trying to get it to sound good at stage volumes. One of the big problems I have with multi-fx units is that there are so many settings that you only really have time to adjust them at low volumes (ie in your bedroom) which means the killer sound you dial in never quite sounds so killer when you take it to your gig and use it at higher volumes (it’s a psycho-acoustics thing). I originally used the POD going into my Laney clean channel, then tried it through the effects loop, then tried it through the Laney + my Marshall 4×10 speaker cab and then direct into the PA (turning on or off the speaker emulation as required). I wasn’t happy with the live sound produced by any of these combinations.
Keep of sell?
I sold this to a mate who although not a guitarist was doing lots of home recording and wanted options for guitar sounds. He actually went on to buy a Line6 variaxe to go with this and has been relatively happy with the recording sounds until recently (when he asked to borrow my Mesa V-twin!). I think if I did lots of recording I would have kept this, however the benefit of having lots of sounds in one small box never quite overcame the dissatisfaction I had when using it live.