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PODxt Bass


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I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, the Line 6 "Kidney Bean" amp modeler for bass.


Anyway, I play bass in my church and occasionaly for my band, yet I have no amp. What I have been doing is going directly through the PA with my J-bass. My plan is to plug into the POD before the PA, and also use it for recording direct into a 4-track.


My question is, will the POD make the bass sound like it is going through a regular amp when plugged into the PA and the 4-track? Also, the only alternative I've seen is the Behringer V-amp. Are there any others?

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I am using a SansAmp Bass Driver DI and really like it. While it isn't actually a "modeler" like the Pod or others, it does give a great bass tone into the PA. Never tried recording.


I chose this as I don't really want/need all the effects. I also don't really want/need ALL those amp/cab options. I am trying to sound like me.


It's also only $169 new from Bass NW. Might be something to think about.

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korg makes the ampworks and the pandora; digitech makes the BP200; i have an old johnson j-station, which is ok, especially if you buy NOS for $99; boss makes the GT-6B; roland makes the V-Bass, which also models basses and synths; tech21nyc makes the sansamp, of which there are about 10 you could use for bass; behringer is evil, but they do make the v-amp.


all of these are designed to give the bass a great sound for going direct. everything but the sansamp is a digital modeling device which will make your bass sound like it's plugged into a real amplifier. it's pretty cool stuff and very eye-opening the first time you hear it. i've heard the podxt and korg ampworks are really nice. a few people on here also use the BP200 (and its predecessor, the BP-8) and the GT-6B.


i have a johnson j-station, which i don't like much for bass, but i've found a few decent sounds using the SWR IOD preamp model with the peavey 1516 cabinet model. i'd rather go direct or mic my rig, though.



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I'm changing my answer...a little.


Keep the amp, just in case. However, after playing in church using only a DI with an older Pod, I am thinking about getting the new XT version. Right now I bring a Boss TU-2 tuner, a PreSonus Blue Max compressor and a SansAmp BDDI to all my gigs. Looks to me like all those things are covered with the Pod. It looks like it has a better EQ than the old one which will help with the needs of my upright, an dthe effects number and order look to be improved as well.

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I'm just about to start doing the same thing...playing bass in church with no rig going straight into a PA. I initially started looking at bass guitar amp modeler/multiFX/etc, but on some one's suggestion, I tried the MXR M80 and Tech21 Sansamp Bass Driver/DI. Both of these are analog pedals that are 1) direct boxes, 2) bass preamps, 3) tube simulators, and 4) bass-friendly EQ's. (I also wanted to try the Radial Tonebone Bassbone, but couldn't find one locally.) I compared the M80 and the Sansamp side by side, and liked the M80 better (like the tone better, the seperate distortion channel better, it was quieter AND cheaper...$120). I compared both to a Korg Toneworks Bass amp modeler, and although I could see some considerable usefulness to the amp modeling devices, I get all I need (at least for now) out of the M80. It makes my bass sound like it's playing through the tube preamp/EQ's/etc in my SWR rig. In fact, I think the M80 in particular sounds more like a tube preamp than some tube preamps do. Go figure. I'm still blown away by what this little analog box does to my tone. (Along with that, it can run off battery, power adapter, or phantom power from the board, has a 1/4" output, XLR output, and a 2nd 1/4" output for a tuner or other device that you'd want isolated from the original signal).


The thing that really struck me was 1) the tube emulation sound (a "color" pushbutton on the M80, fat and warm lows, mids/highs with lots of presence) and 2) the fact that it didn't appear to degrade my original bass guitar signal AT ALL (unlike every digital multiFX box that I've ever touched).


Go to a local store and try out either the MXR M80 or the Sansamp BDDI (or both)...you'll be very pleasantly surprised! If you still like the digital amp modelers better after trying one of these, then at least you'll know that you've made an educated choice.


All that said, I wouldn't mind having a Bass PODxt just to play around with (but hard to justify that use for $300).




Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006


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Boiled down to its rawest essence, amp modeling acts like a bunch of prewritten EQ curves that'll filter the incoming signal differently. Just like different speaker cabs (and heads) do. This is not that different than "rolling yer own" on a decently powerful multifex/preamp - save that if you don't have a good ear or patience you can use someone ELSE'S idea of what a good SVT 810 or whatever sounds like.


The purpose of putting amp modeling in the hands of the consumer for the most part is to allow them to imitate various rigs without actually having to understand them or develop their "hear this and emulate it" chops ; } ...That said, it CAN be a powerful tool for anyone live or in the studio that wants to use more than a couple basic tonalities a night/session. Some of the programming is very good and shows evidence of scientific analysis and great ear.


The Roland V-Bass goes a lot deeper. Not only is it giving some models of cabs and heads and classic EFFECTS, it also has models of basses - the technology of which is considerably more involved, and uncannily powerful.


It HELPS, but is not essential, to have the flattest rig possible in rack preamp (really don't even need this item since modeling also provides it), power amp (heads cut a lot of corners to meeet the price and wieght point), and speaker cab(s). Less than flat will still show some of the details of each change you might model, but it's kind of like looking through DIRTY glass in the worse cases, or just OLD glass that has sagged with decades and decades of gravity (you've surely seen this in really old churches and homes) in the better cases.


Great cabs for this might be any non-cheap PA/SR (usually not that Musician's Friend-level stuff, thank you!), any Acme, the non-whizzy Euphonic Audios, any Accugroove.


Tolerable but sure to hide some of the impact: Epifani or Bergantino. Maybe a few others, but as you slide into conventional two-way designs with real standard speakers inside, you are losing the flat ideal and low frequency extension that is valuable. Nontheless, you will be able to take advantage of the effects and some of the head/cab modeling will show through if not always seem like what it is meant to be.


Forget the old school stuff entirely (especially typical 410 and non-tweeeter designs) if you really want to take even a smidgeon of advantage of the sonic qualities and the power.


Modeling tooltoys are also a good way to go straight into a PA, provided you have made all the presets you will use have appropriate volume levels and have balanced any use of effects wet/dry, and really have your tonal understanding together. The effects quality and the algorithms in moderate and higher priced modeling untis these days is very high, in at least the case of the V-Bass and the Digitech unit you might find that you paid too much for all those analog pedals. Or not: it depends on your tweaking too; some people are remarkably gifted at not leveraging what is there ; }


Hope this has clarified the topic in general, and hope to hear of more people who learn to use it to greater advantage.

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In my experience it helps to have your own cab - even something like an Acme B1 mounted on a mic stand! This aids you in disaster control should you have band members who wildy fluctuate their tones and volumes. You need to be able to hear what your signal is ending up like really - and not what some questionable monitor or monitor mix sounds like.


Hearing this is an aid, even if it won't entirely eradicate problems. It gives you a clue when to alter your picking fingers' technique, or change EQ at the bass, etc.


It is not good to be TOTALLY at the mercy of a sound man for your onstage sound unless that person is totally great and understands the mixes the way you do.

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I was thinking about a powered PA/monitor speaker for my Pod. Something on the line of those Mackies or EV's that work either as FOH on sticks or on the floor as a monitor.


I've heard the Mackies and they sound pretty nice. 300 watts into the 12" driver and 100 watts into the tweeter. I believe they have a crossover as well as time allignment.


For unsupported gigs (PA that is) I could use it as my stage amp. For gigs where I want "more me" I can run a line from my Pod to it and aim it at me as a monitor.


Since the Pod is modeling, I really don't need a head or "bass" cab, right?

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