World Music Supply | Delay Pedal Face Off

HI, Brian from World Music Supply here again to bring you your usual dose of guitar and gear reviews. For today’s blog, I got the chance to review two of the best delay pedals on the market today, the famous Line 6 DL4, and the up and coming VOX delay lab. Outwardly these two pedals share a lot of similar features, they have four buttons, five knobs, tap tembo buttons, tons of blinking LEDs, an expression pedal input, and more delay modes than you can shake a stick at. However when you plug them in, and really get to know them, you realize these are two wildly different beasts.

The Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler Pedal

The Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler Pedal

The Line 6 DL4 is probably one of the, if not the most used delay pedal on the market delay, I mean its honestly astounding how many famous guitarists carry one, two or even three of these in their rigs. Plugging one into the effects loop of our resident test amp, the Randall RT503H, it is clear why, this guy does just about everything. The tube echo tones were warm, and sensitive, giving me a very “Gilmour” like warmth and body. The tape sounds were appropriately realistic, and warbly, which I was able to control with the Tweak, and Tweez knobs. The Lo-Fi sounds were cool, and very early 80s sounding, with tons of mid range garble and garbage that was degraded, and just delightful to use, if you wanted to sound like your delay was running through a glitched out, or circuit bent pedal, although I’m sure that’s the point of adding a lo-fi setting.

The digital sounds were all crisp and pristine, with tons of delay time on hand. The stereo and ping pong were very spacious and useful, the latter of which was great for doing Brian May esc Brighton Rock style harmonies when you set it just right. The reverse delay was interesting, although a little weird to use. The rhythmic delay had a fun, U2 like feel to it that I honestly could just use for everything if I really felt the need to. Lastly lets not forget the looper function on this bad boy, as I was able to use it as just a simple phrase looper, and play lead over a rhythm part, or I could use it to build up whole songs, and beats by just drumming on the guitar, playing some bass lines with an octave pedal, and within minutes have a decent souding four piece band all from one little stomp box.

The DL4 is famous for a reason, it has seen countless stages for a reason, because it gets the job done and it doesn’t make a fuss about it. I’ve personally owned one of these for years, and I can tell you, they are amazingly road worthy; they are built like a tank. For what it is, the DL4 goes above and beyond the call of duty, and as such the DL4 receives a solid 10 out of 10.

The VOX DelayLab Delay Pedal Processor

The VOX DelayLab Delay Pedal Processor

Next up is the newcomer, the VOX delay lab, which has everything from artist and song presets to strange pitch shifting delay settings. The Delay Lab has a lot of very out there sounds in it, and it honestly feels like a slightly more out there version of the DL4, with filter sweep delays, pitch shift delays, and plenty of other song specific delay tones rather than delays that will be used on many songs, the Delay Lab feels like something you might base riffs and solos around.

Sure all of the “normal” delay sounds are there, with bucket brigade tones that are warm and fat sounding, and as someone who owns a vintage BBD equipped pedal, it is atleast as accurate as the DL4 at recreating the soft and spacious effect of a BBD pedal. The tape echoes are warbly and appropriately vintage feeling, great for everything from Pink Floyd to Elvis. The Tube tones are warm and wide sounding, with added harmonic content to the delay sound, and the digital tones are bright and punchy.

This pedal takes a quick left turn when you start really delving into it, and especially when you add the expression pedal. My favorite by far was the pitch shifter delay, as I was able to make crazy Star Trek noises, with sweeping atonal, almost ring modulator sounds. The second in line on the favorite list has to be the reverse delay, as it was very psychedelic sounding, with an almost sitar like quallity to it. For all of its weirdness, the VOX is still a great run of the mill delay pedal, but if you’re looking for a weird out there, signature type of sound to build yourself around, the VOX just might be it, which is why it receives a well earned 10 out of 10.

 The VOX has a sound all its own, and a much more vintage vibe to it than the DL4, and while they have many of the same style of tones to them, they do each have their own personality and power. The Delay Lab is made to be a center piece, with tones that stand out, but also tones that are very standard on a pedal like this. For all of its power and dexterity, the Delay Lab can be a bit daunting to someone who just wants a “normal” delay pedal. The DL4 is the ultimate standard delay pedal, as it does everything you could ever want one to do, stores three different mains sounds, and if you’re anything like me, this pedal will probably remain on all night, just switching through a preset here or there, or tapping the tap tempo button once in a while, it’s a great pedal, and its clear why its so famous. The trusted friend, with everything you could ever need, or the new one with tons of weird out there sounds that you are just excited to get to try out, it might just pay off to have both on your board.

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World Music Supply | Line 6 POD HD500

Hey guys, it’s Brian here from World Music Supply again, here to bring you your regular does of guitar and gear reviews. In today’s blog I got the chance to review the Line 6 POD HD500 Pedalboard, which is a floor version of Line 6’s POD HD.  POD revolutionized the recording industry a few years back, taking the power of an entire arsenal of guitar amps, cabinets, and pedals and shoved it all in a little red kidney bean. Flash forward to the POD HD, when technology finally got to a point where they could take all the things that made the first POD so great, and make it even better. They did more then map the sound of each amplifier; instead, they actually digitally replicated every aspect of the amplifier, from simple things like cabinet noise to more complex ideas like how a tube amp sags at higher volume.

The Line 6 POD HD500 Pedalboard

The Line 6 POD HD500 Pedalboard

The Line 6 POD HD500 is the top of the line floor unit available right now for Line 6. With the ability to have two separate rigs running in parallel, run a microphone through the foot pedal, and even control almost any other current line 6 products directly from the HD500.  I conducted my test of the HD 500 with a few simple pieces of gear, I tested it with my standard test rig, a Fender Fat Strat, and a Randall RT503H, running straight through a P.A cabinet, as well as a purely Line 6 rig, so I could test the effectiveness of the hyper connectivity of the HD500. Set up was easy, you just plug in, and play. There are tons of presets ready to go, and no matter what you play, there are atleast one or two that will suit your needs, I mean there are even a few really convincing synth presets.

Playing through a few of the standard presets it becomes readily apparent that these models are as close to the real thing as possible, this impression was readily apparent when it transformed the standard tones of the Randall with its gritty rock and roll attitude into a near perfect imitation of a Bassman, changing the settings on the HD500 readily transformed the amp from what it really was, into a great imitation of what I wanted it to be. Whether that be a Marshall, a VOX, or any of the 16 powerful amp models that are inside the HD500, through a standard guitar amp, they all sound as close to the real thing as possible. The actual best way to use this board in conjunction with a standard guitar and amp is to use the pedal board as well…just a normal pedal board.

The I/O Section of the The Line 6 POD HD500 Pedalboard

The I/O Section of the The Line 6 POD HD500 Pedalboard

The number of effects within the HD500 is immense, all of them are either fantastic imitations of famous boxes, like tube screamers, octavers, and the like, or original effects designed by Line 6, usually taken from either their tone core pedals, or created just for the POD HD. Using the HD500 as a pedal board is a fantastic use of both your favorite amps, and of the massive amount of power within the HD500.

A better use of the amplifier models within the HD500, is to run it into a standard P.A. as suddenly, the models sound perfect, the bassman rather than sounding a lot like a bassman, sounds, and more importantly, feels like a bassman. The Marshall, sounds and feels like a Marshall, with the volume control sensitive gain stage, the push and pull of the power tubs and the range of screaming tones, to the softer subtler sounds when you roll back the volume. These models do so much more justice to their namesake when they are run through something transparent like a P.A or mixer.

The Line 6 DT50 50 Watt 2x12 Adaptive Guitar Combo Amplifier

The Line 6 DT50 50 Watt 2×12 Adaptive Guitar Combo Amplifier

last in the test, was to run it with pure Line 6 power. This meant that I was now playing a Variax guitar, and running the pedal board out to a DT50 amplifier. This setup worked far better than the last two, with the cool part about it all being, that the DT50 can be programmed along with the HD500. Suddenly you can press a button and change how the actual digital models in the DT50 respond to the digital models of the HD500, working in unison to replicate the feel and sound of each model. Alongside this however, there is the Variax, which can also be controlled via the HD500, which allows you to control the models within the guitar, so with the push of a button, you can change not only your amplifiers, and your pedals, but also your guitar. You can go from a spanky 1968 Tele tone running through a Fender Bassman, with a simple slapback delay and some room reverb, to with the click of a button, suddenly you really are playing a 1952 Les Paul Gold top through a raging Marshall, to a Guild 12 string in a big cathedral, even a Danelectro Coral sitar playing through a weird 70s style synthesizer effect.

The long and short of it is, Line 6 made the POD, they then made amplifiers which worked like, or in unison with the POD, and now with introduction of the POD HD Live series of floor processors, and their extensive line of Tube and Modeling hybrids you can replace amounts of gear that would fill up anything from the spare room of your house, to the better half of a recording studio, with one or two amps, a floor board, and a guitar or two, and because of that, the heart of this modern arsenal of electronics, the POD HD500 earns itself easily a 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Line 6 Variax JTV-59

Hi guys, it’s Brian from World Music Supply here again, and today I have one heck of a treat for you guys today, because I get to do a hands on review of the Line 6 JTV-59. The JTV is a continuation of the musical dynamo that was the original Variax, this new and improved version improves upon the design in a multitude of ways. The first and most important being, that this features a new dual core processor, which really shines up, and improves the models from the original Variax, adding everything from the addition of body resonance, to the ability to do altered tuning on 12 string guitars. However, this is all “under the hood details” the real “in your face” difference about this guitar, is the fact that this guitar looks nothing like the first range of Variax guitars. This guitar is a classic Single cut, with a wrap around bridge, and two James Tyler humbuckers.

The Line 6 James Taylor JTV59 Variax

The Line 6 James Taylor JTV59 Variax

That’s right, this guitar also functions as well…just a guitar! You can just play though the standard humbuckers and never even have to fiddle with the wealth of electronics that live inside the body, and you wouldn’t be disappointed in the sound at all. The JTV-59 has a very respectable, vintage style voice to it, with clean tones that shimmer and distorted tones that just sing.  However, while having a great sounding guitar is good, most great sounding guitars don’t have a computer sitting in the back of them, most of them don’t have a thousandth the power that a guitar like this has.

because with the flip of a switch, this guitar quickly transforms from a great sounding single cut guitar, with some rather PAF sounding pickups, to an acoustic 12 string, or a Stratocaster, or for that matter, a banjo. Because this is, after all, a Variax. That means that this is a modeling guitar at heart, even if it covers it up well. The tones available to a guitar like this rise exponentially when you use it with almost any of the Line 6 PODs, or almost any of their amplifiers, as you will quickly have the ability to change your pedals, the sound of the amp, and the guitar that you’re playing with the flick of a switch or the push of a button.

The Line 6 Variax JTV-59

The Line 6 Variax JTV-59

The models included onboard the Variax are a regular cavalcade of the most sought after studio guitars and sounds you could ever dream of. Sure, it doesn’t have everything, but it does have everything you could really need in a studio, or live situation. As a normal guitar, you have more than enough tones at your finger tips, as the PAF style humbuckers are a real force to be reckoned with tonally. However, activating the Variax circuit and suddenly having a telecaster would be a god send on a country gig, being able to switch from a dirty LP sound, to a clean spanky tele without having to switch guitars or deal with the not-so-realistic sound of a coil splitter in a live setting, perfection. On a rock gig, during the big ballad-y numbers, being able to switch from a soft acoustic 12 string to a soaring shred solo, without having to deal with one of those acoustics on a stand, now that is something that you just cant live without.

Some of the more out there sounds, like the Resonator guitars, the banjo, or the sitar are surprisingly handy, and you’ll quickly find them worming their way into your playing in no time. They also are surprisingly accurate, having played a good deal of Dobro, and tricone reso’s in my time, these models are surprisingly accurate with all of that steely snap and sparkle that made these guitars so iconic. The banjo is a fun thing to mess with here and there, and the ability to change tunings with the twirl of a knob makes this model so much more accurate.

Speaking of a tunings, this guitar has the ability to change tunings in the blink of an eye, which is amazingly useful once you get the hang of it. As someone who regularly has to carry around a spare guitar just so he can play slide in open G, having the ability to just transform the tuning, without having to actually retune would be amazing. It works a lot better than expected as well, as long as your amplifier is loud enough to mask the “real” note of the string, which doesn’t change, as the guitar actually digitally changes the pitch, rather than mechanically changes it. There is even room to store custom settings and create custom guitars with the Line 6 Workbench software.

The Variax was a game changer when it hit the scene a few years ago, and now the James Tyler versions of these fine instruments are set to do the same, with the combination of killer looks, killer tones, and killer computing, these guitars really are in a league all their own. Having the ability to carry around 26 guitars in one discrete gig bag is a power that just can’t be denied. All of the models are as accurate as the human ear can tell, probably more so thanks to the power of the new processors and hi-tech computing inside the Variax’s internal computer. For its ability to be a litteral Jack of all trades, being the ultimate studio and live guitar, the Line 6 JTV-59 earns an easy 10 out of 10, and if I wasn’t stuck with a 10 out of 10 grading scale, you can bet I would give this a higher score.

World Music Supply | Line 6 Mobile IN and Jammit Combo

Hey everyone, it’s Brian from World Music Supply here again, and I’m here to talk to you guys about a cool new collaboration from our friends over at Line 6, and the company Jammit. In the last few years, we have seen the iPod, iPhone, and iPad grow quite substantially as recording, and musical interface devices. A natural expansion of this was the Line 6 Mobile IN which we have covered previously here on the WMS blog, which allowed you to use your iPod as your entire rig, for practice, or even playing with a band if you were bold enough to show up to practice with just a guitar and an iPod.

The Line 6 Mobile IN

The Line 6 Mobile IN

The next expansion was taken by Jammit, which was released in 2011 and was the first software that allowed you to take master tracks of different songs, and mix out parts, so you can just focus on say the guitar, or the bass part. Meaning you could learn songs twice as fast, because now instead of listening to the harmonic interplay between the guitar and bass, you just hear what the guitar is doing, and none of the cross over of keyboards, bass, or drums, just the part you need to learn. This was a great idea, but it was lacking something, the tone. In comes Line 6, with their Mobile IN attachment, which quickly solved this problem, by recreating the rig required for each song. Meaning you can focus on learning the song, instead of focusing on nailing the tone of each song.

You are also able to slow down the song, which is a great thing for drummers, who for years have had to listen to drum fills and solos at full speed and still attempt to learn them beat for beat, which lets face it, sounds a little daunting. In comes the Jammit, which allows you to slow everything down to an acceptable speed, letting you listen to that solo note for note, and slowly ramping it up to correct speed. This has been a valuable tool that has come bundled with guitar processors for years, and was one of the main selling points of loopers since their inception. The usefulness of this feature can not really be realized until it has been used multiple times on multiple songs, being able to slow a song, and listen to it note by note, without having to deal with pitch fluctuation that tends to happen when you slow a song down through any normal method.

The Line 6 Mobile IN Jammit Combo

The Line 6 Mobile IN Jammit Combo

For what it is, the Jammit and Line 6 Mobile IN combo is an amazing practice tool for both guitarists and bassists, and the Jammit is good for everyone in a normal band, with plenty of songs for dirt cheap, ranging anywhere from .99 to just above 5 dollars. All of the songs have been carefully broken down and setup in a way to make them user friendly and easy to work through. All with guitar tones that change as you move through the song, so in a song like “Closer to the heart” by Rush, you slide from that smooth chorus tone, to Alex Lifesons big distortion tone, all without having to ever once pay attention to anything other than the tabs on your iPads screen. For all it can do, at an amazing price point, the Jammit and Line 6 Mobile IN Combo is an outstanding learning tool for guitarists, bassists, and anyone else who just needs to dissect a song into its relative chunks to be able to really reign in a song, and its for these reasons that I give the Mobile IN Jammit combo a 9 out of 10, because even though, yes over all the package is extremely affordable, you still have to own an iOS device, such as an iPhone, or iPad, which are far less affordable.

The Line 6 Mobile IN and Jammit Combo

The Line 6 Mobile IN and Jammit Combo

World Music Supply | Line 6 Releases Mobile IN™ Portable Audio Interface

iPhone 4, Ipad/iPad2 and iPod Touch owners rejoice! Line 6 introduces its’ new Mobile In Digital Input Adaptor and Mobile POD App. Guitarists can now put legendary POD power and tone in their pocket and carry it with them everywhere they go!

Just connect your Apple device to your guitar via the Mobile In Digital Input Adapter, download the free Mobile POD App and you are set up with world famous POD guitar tone. The free app comes equipped with outstanding models of some of the most sought after tones in rock history, including 64 guitar amps, stompboxes, rack effects and speaker cabinets.

Line 6 Mobile IN™ Portable Audio Interface

Line 6 Mobile IN™ Portable Audio Interface

Incredibly cool graphical displays allow you to dial in, edit and save your favorite sounds. Share your sounds with the world and download tones dialed in by other users. Use your iTunes library as your personal backup band. Stay locked in with the on board tuner. The list of features here is incredible for a pocket sized unit and so are the sounds.

Classic Fender amp models from the 50’s and 60’s shine with dead-on accuracy for out of this world clean and blues tones. British style crunch is available in abundance via modeled Plexi and JTM-45 amps. For more modern flavors of overdrive and distortion the Mobile POD App includes Rectifier and Mark series models as well as Line 6’s own Insane metal tones. Smokin’ cool, yes?

As guitarists, we know how important a speaker cabinet can be to our tone. Line 6 did not neglect this critical ingredient of the recipe. Cabinets from all of the classic combo amp and stack configurations are included, 16 different varieties in all. From the open, airy sound of an AC15 combo to the tight, focused punch of a Vintage 30 loaded 4×12, all are present and accounted for.

As for effects, all of the usual suspects are in the lineup. Typical of all the POD sounds, the verbs and other time based effects sound stellar as do the compressor and tremolo. In addition to using the effects individually, the delay can be paired up with most of the modulation effects making for some nice combinations.

And lets’ not forget the sheer number of sounds that are available here. More than 10,000 presets are accessible from within the POD app, written by artists, Line 6 and other guitarists. And they’re all free!

As if all of the above weren’t enough, Mobile In is compatible with GarageBand and other CoreAudio apps for iPad. More than just a recording notepad, you can lay down “keeper” tracks with a system that fits in the palm of your hand.

Mobile IN™ Docked With Phone

Mobile IN™ Docked With Phone

One other notable feature that I should mention here is that the Mobile In connects to your device via the 30-pin digital connector and not the headphone jack. This keeps your signal sounding rich and full-bodied at all times.

I want to buy one of these things. You are going to want to buy one of these things. Are you familiar with the phrase “the greatest thing since sliced bread”?

Apple, iPhone, iPad, iTunes and GarageBand are trademarks of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Apple is not responsible for the operation of this device or its compliance with safety and regulatory standards.