If you were wondering whether to get the older version PODxt Live or the newer POD X3 Live, hopefully my review will give you crucial information you can use to make a more informed decision.
After some careful debating, online research, and consideration I took the plunge and bought a PODxt Live. This is my review of how I bought it, what I think of it, and how I think it compares to the POD X3 Live (which is the newer more expensive version.
Line 6 has revolutionized “modeling pedals” and the ways guitarists get tones and sounds. They make many different produts, the most famous of which is the kidney bean shaped “POD” that many of us either love or hate. That has evolved into many different versions, including a rack mounted POD, and the floor version for the live stage – which are the original “Podxt Live” and the newer “Pod X3 Live”.
Here’s both versions:
Pod XT Live and Pod X3 Live Comparison
Here are the main differences between the two units that I’ve observed:
- XT is $399 retail, X3 is $499 retail
- XT has 36 guitar amps, X3 has 76
- XT has 84 stompbox and studio effects, X3 has 98
- XT has no vocal preamps (or vocal input), X3 has 6
- XT is USB 1.1, X3 is USB 2.0 (faster) conneciton
- XT can do one tone at once, X3 can blend 2 patches together
- XT has a smaller LCD display, X3’s is nearly double the size
- XT has traditional out, X3 has S/PDIF and XLR out in addition to 1/4″ jacks
When I first decided to get the “Live” Pod I was going to get the X3 Live since it was the newest version. And if money is no object – you should as well. But I wanted to get a “gently used” one on eBay so I poured over auctions for a day and snagged up a Buy it Now auction for $265 for what I thought was the X3. Later that day I realized I hadn’t paid attention and I’d bought an POD “XT” Live. I was angry at first, but realized most of the X3’s were selling from $380-$450, so price wise I feel I had gotten a good deal. What I didn’t know was feature wise whether or not I should re-sell it and get an updated X3 or not.
What I didn’t know about Line 6 and Pod’s…
I think Line 6 has got some great products, but what they also have is a cash cow. With and “POD” product there is always “more” to buy. With my Podxt Live, the Line 6 Monkey software ( to update it ) is free, and Line 6 Edit Software ( to edit the patches using a computer ) is free as well. But Line 6 has “add-ons” that are kind of essential that cost money.
My Podxt Live came with 36 guitar amps and the X3 has 76. There are 2 amp packs you can buy “Metalshop” and “Collector Classics” and each is $49.95. Metalshop gives you 18 additional amps, and this pack I did purchase – and it was worth it for the Bogner and JCM-900 amp models alone. The collector classics packs has 18 additional amps as well. This means that there are 4 amps in the X3 you can’t get any other way, but you can upgrade your XT with these 2 packs and get nearly all the amps in an X3 – it’ll just run you $99 to get them. I don’t have the Collector Classics pack – I don’t know if I’ll ever have a need to get it.
Gearbox is an application that gives you an additial way to edit and store your tones, but also it has a “plugin” that allows you use your PODxt Live (or other POD’s) for digital recording on your computer. So, if you have Pro-Tools, Steinberg, Cubase, Cakewalk, or other recording software, you won’t be able to record using your POD and it’s tones without this Gearbox plugin – which is $99.
So depending on what you need to use your POD for, you might need to spend some extra $$ right out of the box!
Buy the POD XT or POD X3 Live?
Now that I own a PODxt Live, I am VERY happy with it and it gives me some of the most awesome tones! I use it for metal, pop, country, blues, and modern rock sounds. I have read reviews of the X3 live that say the footswitch buttons (on some early units) are either faulty or break easily. There have also been many reports of issues with the Variax and microphone inputs. Many units have had to be replaced, but many say that the newer versions are updated without these issues. I have heard of none of these issues with the Pod XT.
If you are trying to make a decision on which to buy – I would say that it pretty much depends on the money (how much you are willing to spend) and whether or not you care about the digital outputs. The two-tone blending of the X3 would be nice, but is not a “must-have” for probably 95% of guitarist out there. I think what I’ll do is probably use the XT for another 6 months or more, and then buy an X3 – and keep the XT as my backup.
In any event – you can use the links above for new retail versions of the POD XT Live and POD X3 Live, or follow these links to get a bargain on a gently used one on eBay in live auctions right now…
USD 76.00 (7 Bids) | Buy It Now
USD 61.00 (11 Bids) | Buy It Now
USD / 26.00 (11 Bids) | Buy It Now
USD / 50.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD / 150.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD / 91.00 (8 Bids) | Buy It Now
USD 240.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD / 74.80 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 15.70 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 275.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD / 125.00 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 8.50 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD / 139.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 164.50 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD / 77.36 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 23.25 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 49.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 68.99 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 5.97 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now
USD 2.95 (0 Bid) | Buy It Now