POD HD500 and POD Farm Conjectures

Pod Farm Distribution?

I noticed on the Sweetwater page that the POD Farm Plug in is no longer available from their site (you can still buy a dowloadable version from the line 6 site though).  Amazon has a seller that sells the basic version for $39 and the platinum version for $149.  With the platinum version you get 60 more guitar amps, 70 more effects and more bass amps and cabs.  There’s a full list of the models here.

These versions all require dedicated line 6 hardware – the ilok version allows you to use your own a/d converter but runs $99 for Pod Farm and $299 for the platinum version. I’ve never been a fan of USB audio with macs – so this was the better (and unfortunately more expensive) option for me.

Line 6 doesn’t release information about upcoming products in general (the recent HD ad campaign is a notable exception) – but it makes me wonder if the fact that Sweetwater isn’t carrying it anymore means that they’re going to be releasing the new HD models in a pod farm format.

The HD 500 is an interesting idea – that seems to combine the hardware ins and outs of the POD X3 with a beefed up processor, fx selection and dedicated looping (48 seconds on the 500 – 24 on the others – full specs here). (Also, the 500 is the only one the 3 HD pods to support dual rigs – so if this is an important feature for you in the hardware or software version) you will have to pony up for the full version).  The idea of 16 really pristine amp models is appealing in a lot of ways – if it’s the right 16 amps.  A recent gear wire video demo, shows some sounds being played with a Variax with mixed results.  It’s hard to tell how the audio is being recorded (or what tones on the Variax are being used) but it doesn’t sound anywhere near as good as the quality on the line 6 site.   The promotional videos from Line 6 indicate that addressing the feel of playing a tube amp is a big component of the experience – so the demos might now be all about tone – but it will be interesting to see.  I like the way the park model sounds when the volume is backed off in terms of breakup – but I’d have to experience the tone in person to know what was happening there.

In, Eugene Chadborune’s Brilliant music business book, “I hate the man who runs this bar”, he talks about the double edged sword of new technology in that people are SO willing to jump onto the newest thing – that they often discard perfectly good technology.  Along those lines –  this means that POD X3 will probably be available pretty inexpensively – both in the bean and floorboard version – and that comes with a LOT of features and has a USB out – which could be helpful to you if you’re trying to get a flexible rig on the cheap.

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