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-   -   Review of Line 6 Guitar Port (http://metaltabs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20175)

John Holland 2005-04-16 14:19

Review of Line 6 Guitar Port
 
In case you've ever wondered what that Guitar Port thing actually is, and what it does, now you'll know. Admit it, product reviews are fun and you like to read them.

Recently I spent 97$ on a Line 6 Guitar Port. I have to say it was the best 97$ on guitar equipment I have spent, ever. What I wanted was simply a practice amplifier I could run through my computer, and practice with one set of headphones ( we've all tried the ear buds into the large digital headphones setup, and we hated it ) into the wee hours of the morning. Bottom line : if you're looking to spend 100$ on a practice amplifier, and you have a computer, then forget the 15 watt and get this.

Installation was very easy. Absolutely fool-proof. Let the cd install itself, plug in the Guitar Port ( a small red module with a black chicken head knob as a master volume ) through the USB port, and it does the rest by itself.


As heavy metal guitarists, the first amplifier models we are going to peruse are certainly the high-gain models upon opening the program. Of the 16 models, I'll review just a few. So first, the said models :

Line 6 Insane - It was very hard to get a good sound out of this. It should be titled, "Slightly Annoyed", or "Mildly Aggravated", as opposed to "Insane". The epitome of scooped out fuzzy bad solid-state.

1993 SLO Head - The Mesa model. This is my favorite amplifier on the program, by far, and obviously the most meticulously engineered of the four "metal" amps. Of course, the gain is full throttle, and perfectly replicates the grind of thrash and death metal. Naturally mid-heavy, you can dial in more bass via the digital EQ in the effects section. Has the most "character" of the four high gain amps.

Line 6 Treadplate - I love how three of the four "metal" amps are Line 6's. This model came in as a close second behind the SLO Head, albeit more bassy and less middy.

Spinal Puppet - An ok-sounding model, somewhere in between the Line 6 Treadplate and the Line 6 Insane. Easy to coax a mid-heavy Slayer-esque sound out of. But the knobs are skulls and they light up the higher you turn them, which is "BR0-0ootALL" I suppose.

Jazz Clean - I'm not sure what this is based off of exactly, but I do know that selecting this model means instant Howard Roberts. Sounds great.

Line 6 Piezocoustic 2 - The acoustic model. I showed this to my dad, a bass player of 35+ years, and his response was "no way". It does'nt sound totally acoustic, but its what your electric guitar would sound like were it an acoustic, i.e. the piezocoustic hybrid. My favorite clean setting. By varying the EQ you can basically project the sound of a smaller bodied acoustic or a dreadnought.


This is Line6 technology at its most practical, and obviously what it was meant for. Through two Altec Lansing speakers and a sub woofer, the GuitarPort articulates itself much better than a POD run through a set of guitar speakers ( in my opinion ). And through a set of Sony digital headphones, the GuitarPort sounds the way we wished our combos would sound through the headphone input : exactly the way it sounds amplified. Playing along with cds and mp3's, your guitar cuts through very well, and you can run external media players of any sort while having the Line 6 on.


Effects : Beneath your selectable amplifier head you have Cabinets, Volume pedal, Wah pedal, Mods ( chorus, planger, phaser, etc. ), Reverbs ( four different kinds, a convincable spring reverb ), Delays, Distortion pedals ( And there is absolutely no point in having these, my only criticism of this product ), and of course everything you could think of cramming into this product. Tuner, Metronome/drum machine, compressor, noise gate, hum reducer ( being plugged into a computer, at first you have terrible hiss from your pickups --- it records the hiss, and then cuts it out. With the noise gate its a fucking miracle --- no hiss at all. ).

With the cabinets, you have 24 different cabs, everything from a 1x6 to 2x12 to 4x12 to 1x15. They all sound great. You also have one of four microphones to choose from, from a Shure 57 to a condensor, and you can choose where in the room this microphone would be next to the "cabinet" ( you use your mouse to position it within a 3d "room" ).

The RiffTracker software is simple but nothing to sneer at. Very functional : a drum machine is on tap with endlessly variable tempos and signatures, and recording is painfully easy : punch record, punch stop, save. Its not Pro-Tools, but what its best for is simply saving riffs or ideas you've written, instead of having to go through the tedious process of tabbing them out.

For 8 dollars a month you can subscribe to an online GuitarPort community, which is basically all the monthly lessons you'd see in the back of a GuitarOne or GuitarWorld magazine, except in a "Power Tab" sort of format. A feature I have yet to use, as I don't really care to learn "As The Wind Cries Mary".

All in all, what I wanted was simply something that would sound ok through computer speakers and headphones. Given Line 6's horrible reputation for making otherwise "cheesy" sounding modeling amplifiers, this exceeded my expectations in every way possible. And now I sound like a sales representative for Line 6, unfortunately :p

philkilla 2005-04-16 14:22

I think you got these backwards:


1993 SLO Head - The Mesa model. This is my favorite amplifier on the program, by far, and obviously the most meticulously engineered of the four "metal" amps. Of course, the gain is full throttle, and perfectly replicates the grind of thrash and death metal. Naturally mid-heavy, you can dial in more bass via the digital EQ in the effects section. Has the most "character" of the four high gain amps.

Line 6 Treadplate - I love how three of the four "metal" amps are Line 6's. This model came in as a close second behind the SLO Head, albeit more bassy and less middy.


The 1993 SLO is suppost to be a Soldano.

The Line 6 Treadplate is supposed to be a Mesa Dual or Triple Rec.

John Holland 2005-04-16 14:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by philkilla666

The 1993 SLO is suppost to be a Soldano.

The Line 6 Treadplate is supposed to be a Mesa Dual or Triple Rec.


I knew I made a mistake somewhere. Thanks for the correction.

philkilla 2005-04-16 14:44

no problemo, think you could check out my post on EMG's?? I need some help!!

John Holland 2005-04-16 14:47

Quote:
Originally Posted by philkilla666
no problemo, think you could check out my post on EMG's?? I need some help!!


Certainly. I'll be there in a moment.

xdislexicx 2005-04-16 15:00

nice review...

i've heard they can be very neat and handy little units.

John Holland 2005-04-16 15:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by xdislexicx
nice review...


Thanks. I could write a few more pages of review, but I wrote what I felt summed up the unit in as few words as possible. Given how much I did write, speaks volumes of the product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xdislexicx
i've heard they can be very neat and handy little units.



"Neat and handy" would be an understatement ... I'm never going to buy another practice amplifier ever, ever again. I feel like I should have paid more, much more for it.

HelpMeHelpYou 2005-04-17 22:28

Great review. Much more informative than the video on the line 6 website. I have been contemplating getting one of these for some time now but you just sealed the deal for me.

John Holland 2005-04-18 07:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by HelpMeHelpYou
Great review. Much more informative than the video on the line 6 website. I have been contemplating getting one of these for some time now but you just sealed the deal for me.


I purchased mine from E-bay. Apparently there's some person who keeps abour four or so GuitarPorts on E-bay at any given time, and its 97.00 total, shipping included.

HermanRi! 2005-04-18 08:30

hey john
could you post some samples of the distortion on that thing?
i may actually buy one, they sound perfect for what i need.

if you can do samples, do it with the emg guitar, coz i have em aswell :p

hope you can do it

cheers
user01

EDIT:
do you get riff tracker? and if so, do you have to subscribe or pay for it seperately?

John Holland 2005-04-18 08:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by User01
hey john
could you post some samples of the distortion on that thing?
i may actually buy one, they sound perfect for what i need.

if you can do samples, do it with the emg guitar, coz i have em aswell :p

hope you can do it

cheers
user01

EDIT:
do you get riff tracker? and if so, do you have to subscribe or pay for it seperately?


You have to pay for it seperately. I used the demo, but you can't save files with the demo.

the distortion : It sounds better than anything from the Spider series, I can tell you that right now. Better than anything from the AVT series too. Its what good solid-state is supposed to be. But if you already own an ENGL or a 5150 don't expect the GuitarPort to replace it.

Today I plugged it into my dad's Avatar 4x10 bass cabinet and it sounded very good. The leads are really thick.


Does anyone know of another program I could get ( i.e. obtain from Soulseek ) that I could use to record the GuitarPort with? I've read that you don't need Line6's Rifftracker to do it. I have Cubase and Emagic and still have'nt figured out how to record with it.

HermanRi! 2005-04-18 11:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Holland
You have to pay for it seperately. I used the demo, but you can't save files with the demo.

the distortion : It sounds better than anything from the Spider series, I can tell you that right now. Better than anything from the AVT series too.

Today I plugged it into my dad's Avatar 4x10 bass cabinet and it sounded very good. The leads are really thick.


Does anyone know of another program I could get ( i.e. obtain from Soulseek ) that I could use to record the GuitarPort with? I've read that you don't need Line6's Rifftracker to do it. I have Cubase and Emagic and still have'nt figured out how to record with it.


if i buy it i can copy it for you ;)

John Holland 2005-04-18 11:16

Quote:
Originally Posted by User01
if i buy it i can copy it for you ;)


Remember : I'm one of the few members who has been nice to you and has'nt chastised you for liking Slipknot :D .

It costs one hundred dollars extra, so two hundred total for the GuitarPort plus the rifftracker. If you were to burn rifftracker to a cd I'd definitely pay shipping for it, and then from now on when CC gets on to you I'll have your back ;)

HermanRi! 2005-04-18 12:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Holland
Remember : I'm one of the few members who has been nice to you and has'nt chastised you for liking Slipknot :D .

It costs one hundred dollars extra, so two hundred total for the GuitarPort plus the rifftracker. If you were to burn rifftracker to a cd I'd definitely pay shipping for it, and then from now on when CC gets on to you I'll have your back ;)


yea, you've always been one of the cool guys

but IF i do get it, it wont be for at least a month (when i get paid)
but when i get it, i will try and get the download version (i think there is one), so if i get it i can just email it to a gmail account or sumthin

bottom line:
if i get it, i will def get you a copy ;)

John Holland 2005-04-18 12:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by User01
yea, you've always been one of the cool guys

but IF i do get it, it wont be for at least a month (when i get paid)
but when i get it, i will try and get the download version (i think there is one), so if i get it i can just email it to a gmail account or sumthin

bottom line:
if i get it, i will def get you a copy ;)


If its a month, then I might get it before you do. If so, then I guess I'll mail you a copy then. I've already searched SoulSeek high and low and I have'nt been able to find anything.

BLS 2005-04-18 13:13

Im sure their's a torrent of that craptackular program.

John Holland 2005-04-18 13:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLS
Im sure their's a torrent of that craptackular program.


I really know little about filesharing. Could you enlighten me as to what exactly what program I should download to obtain this craptacular program?

BLS 2005-04-18 13:51

http://www.bittorrent.com/

read up, then find a torrent site.. I usually just type in google " rifftracker torrent" or "torrent site" ect..

John Holland 2005-04-18 14:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLS
http://www.bittorrent.com/

read up, then find a torrent site.. I usually just type in google " rifftracker torrent" or "torrent site" ect..


Thanks, I'll see what I can do.

Damn, I can't find anything.

HermanRi! 2005-04-18 17:40

im thinking about getting the line 6 pod xt with the metal shop add on now :D

check out the addons:

Peavey 5150II
Bogner '02 Uberschall
Diezel '03 VH4 Lead
ENGL '02 Powerball
JCM-900
JCM-2000
Triple Rectifier
Cornford MK50

thats pretty fucking amazing, and probably the best im gonna get without investing in a good tube amp. i cant spend too much money on guitar shit. :(

this will have to do for now

the good thing is i can take it anywhere with ease and not compromise quality
sweet, i think im def gonna get that

what dya guys think? better than the roland cube 30 for practice use?

i think i know the answer :p


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