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Line 6 M9 Featured

Line6 M9 multi effect pedal with looper. This unit is designed to be simple and to replace many of your single effects pedals. It replicates four different modeler pedals from Line6. The DL-4 (delay), DM-4 (distortion), FM-4 (filters), MM-4 (modulations).

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Line6 M9 featured

Ease Of Use One day, I went out looking for a multi effects without a preamp (Which is mighty hard to find), even though id much rather build a pedal board, sadly I'm not made out of money (I also cant justify spending about £100 on a power supply). Anyway I found these little beauty. I snatched her up for £300 ($460) and I took her home.

Out of the box, this thing has great presets, that demonstrate the effect very well, and to simple add your own flavour, you just tweak the dials which re-label themselves according to the effect. Although to setup the scenes it takes a little more getting use to.

You can also plug it in via a midi cable to update it (The midi cable not provided, which is part of a long list of things not provided) It would be nice if you could mess about with the effects and store your presets on the computer but line 6 don't offer that. Also, the lights above the buttons to engage the effects and various functions are bright and colourful so in live situations it makes it easy to distinguish which buttons are which.

Sound The sounds are really good and versatile. It also has a lot of weird effects that are insanely wacky and plenty of helpful effects such as gates, compressors and graphic Equalisers. Also the distortions are pretty good too, which is quite amazing really since most multi effects I've tried have distortions that sound like your trying to listen to a radio from the 1920s.

Its also quite safe to say that this thing has just about every effect,

Reliability Here's where we have problems. The unit itself is sound, perfectly good in a nice metal housing however, the power supply has a really fragile wire, so much so, within three months the wire had wiggled free and short circuited the transformer in the power supply and died. when I finally bought a new power supply, after three months being mollycoddled by myself the wire STILL came loose again and now I'm scared its only a matter of time before it goes again.

Customer Support Well when I my power supply first did itself in, I contacted line 6 who told me the power supple is NOT COVERED by the warranty and if I wanted to buy a new power supply, I had to get in contact with the store I bought it from and the wanted £30 for a new one! So instead made a new power supply from some bits of an old TV and the m9 worked perfectly with it! Although I ended up buying a new official line 6 one since my home-made power supply and lets just say that taking a Tupperware box with a transformer and a bunch of wires out makes people ask some serious questions.

SO I had to buy a new one.

Furthermore, the M9 has Wah, Whammy and many more effects in it but you can only use them with a expression pedal which is NOT supplied with the M9, and if you want one it costs £40! and you need two to fully utilise it! And the line 6 pedals are plastic rubbish that are not smooth either. THEN YOU EVEN HAVE TO BUY A PATCH LEAD TO CONNECT IT TO THE UNIT. Its little things like that which ruined it for me.

Liked about it Great sounding with seriously great effects (Even filter and Synth effects!)
Not too difficult to use, the coloured lights make it easy to understand (Like Yellow for distortion, purple for filter, blue for modulations .etc)
The effects automatically save by themselves so you don't have to keep pressing a save button like other multi-effects
True Bypass
The bright coloured lights make it great to use on stage! (Regardless of how many fireworks, strobe lights or pyrotechnics, you will ALWAYS be able to see the box!)
A separate master volume
A really good, precise tuner

Didn't like The Power supply is insanely fragile and WILL break
The expression pedals not included and you have to pay extortionate amounts for a line 6 ones, and from the other brands they still seem overpriced.
No proper computer integration.(Which we have gotten used to with line 6)
There is no case available for this unit. Yes they marketed this unit to slip in the front of your guitar case but for professionals who use hard cases which have no room. And I don't feel comfortable placing the unit in the back of my amp, so I ended up getting a pedal board anyway..

So, to some up, this unit would be best for a bedroom player (With a lot of cash to throw about) but you could use it professionally but you have to be damn careful but that's rarely an option gigging...

If you want my personal opinion if your a musician wanting to buy effects with £300 or $460 or a hand full of whatever paper your country uses, go for the pedal boards and build it to how you think you'll use it, and yes that even means spending a nice amount money on a boring brick that supplies power to your pedals.
A 3 for the sound and user friendliness. dragged back by the stupid little details otherwise it would have scored much higher.

Yours trying to fix a damn power supply,
Big The Cat

Overall satisfaction:

By Big The Cat
Jan 08, 2011
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Line 6 M9 - pint sized power house featured

Ease Of Use The M series of multi effect pedal is probably the most simple to use multi effect pedal on the market. Turn a knob - change the sound...and, the M remembers your settings. They only change when you change them. It's not much different than your stand alone analog stomp boxes. Just plug in the power supply and hook up your cables just as you would any stomp box. The M9 has a right and left input and right and left output so there are some configuration options. I've always been intimidated by most digital gear and I've never gotten good sounds from any of it because of having to scroll menus and such but the M9 is just like it says on the box "bonehead simple." If I can get great tones from it then you can too...and I do.

Sound The sound of the M9 surprised me. Why? Because I've been using an M13 for almost a year and when I plugged in the M9 the sound quality was noticeably different. It's better. I haven't been able to figure out exactly why that is though. I'm reasoning it's because it's smaller and there is less circuitry and thus the M9 gets better current flow or something like that. What exactly am I talking about? The all controversial distortion models of course. Many people complain that the dirt on the M13 sounds grainy or digital or less organic than regular stand alone stomp boxes. I have to agree to some extent. The first software versions up until 2.0 did sound a bit off. However, this was only during at home playing. At gigs the distortions worked superbly and seemed to cut through the mix much better than their stand alone counter parts.

Now with the 2.01 revision both the M13 and M9 sound superb in the dirt section with the edge going to the M9. It just plain sounds better.

I've been using both units at gigs. Consistently there and at home the M9 has the upper hand in the sound quality department. The delays and modulations even appear to sound better. Yes I've lost some hearing over the years but it's still in tact enough to tell that there is a slight difference in sound quality.

Where the M units shine is in the field playing with people. At home in a quiet environment they do sound different than a stand alone analog stomp box but in a live setting you can't tell the difference. Still, at home the M9 can be extremely satisfying in sound quality. Just be reasonable and don't expect it to sound just like your expensive boutique stomp box. It doesn't have to. All of the sounds are tweakable enough to get you close to your dream boxes yet will have their own character and probably cut through a band mix even better.

There is so much to cover with the M9 that one of the best things you can do is to try one out at length for yourself. It's nearly impossible to cover everything in a review because there are just so many things the M9 can do. It's actually a bit boggling all the combinations you can get with this one pedal.

It should also be noted that it will sound different with different amplifiers. Most stand alone boutique boxes are no different. I actually prefer the M pedals with darker amps such as Peavey Deltas and Classics just to give you a reference.

Reliability The M units are almost bomb proof. They sport a heavy metal case and sturdy foot buttons that will certainly stand the test of time. These are units that can be upgraded when more software revisions come out so constant improvement is the theme. Try getting that with your Boss stomp boxes. The M series is meant to last.

I did have an issue where one of the encoder buttons got damaged and quit functioning. I sent it back to Line6 and they fixed it quickly and everything works just as it should.

Customer Support If there is any company that could set the standard for customer support I believe it would be Line6. I have had nothing but fast courteous help from live persons and the way they constantly update the firmware for their products should be applauded. They don't have to be this good to us end users but they are.

Liked about it I like quite a few things about the M9. Bare in mind that my reference point is from using an M13 for almost a year. First of all the M9 is just the right size. It's not too big, can fit on your pedal board and not hog real estate and it's not so small that the button spacing is cramped.

Second, it sounds great! I mentioned before that I think it has a better overall sound quality than the M13 in the dirt, delay and modulation functions. I'm not sure why but it just does. I like that I have access to 6 different pedals (3 at once) in each scene which is more than enough to get a satisfying sound from. It's real easy to bring to a gig because of its size and it's not so fragile that it's always going to worry you that it might get hurt. Throw it in a gig bag and forget about it'until you get to the gig of course. And the best part, as Line6 keeps refining this unit they keep allowing us to get firmware updates for free! In the last update (2.01) they gave us around $2,500 worth of free pedals which includes wahs, EQs, reverb, pitch shift and phase. Who else does that? The M9 also allows for 2 separate control pedals to be used to control any parameters on any effects in real time. This makes the unit super versatile.

I also liked that Line6 incorporated scene latching with the M9. This allows switching instantly between one combination of effects and another.

Didn't like There are a couple of things that I didn't like about the M9. It kept me from working in the flow that I had gotten accustomed to with the M13, its bigger brother. One issue is the Looper. It works great just like the M13's looper but it takes one second of holding a button to bring it up and one second to put it in the background. This made spontaneous looping less than fun. Also, when in loop mode you only get the sound that you entered the loop mode with. With the M13 you can be in loop mode and still have access to 6 different pedals. I also didn't like having to use two feet to press two buttons simultaneously in order to get to the scene select page. When I'm playing on stage it's difficult to balance on my heels in order to do this. On the M13 all it takes is one quick button push to access all the scenes. Another issue is that in order to use the wahs and pitch glide (Whammy) you have to press a separate button to turn them on and off. There is no switch activation from the control pedal. This can make using these features a bit clunky.

Is any of this a deal breaker? Probably not but if speed and gigability is of most importance to you then consider the M13. If you want a great sounding portable unit that will keep you in a creative mode for years to come then the M9 could just be your solution.

Overall satisfaction:

By Spudman
Feb 26, 2010
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