POD XT disappointment...
After reading a bunch of reviews on harmony central praising the POD XT. I decided to one myself hoping to get a good recording unit and a decent tube amp modeler. This is my 3rd week into using the POD xt. (all updates, all model packs) I've been playing for around 5 years and I've owned SS amps only (poor college student here). Here's an HONEST opinion/review of the POD XT.
Clean - the clean recording sounds pretty good for the most part. Noiseless, and versatile range of tones there. I was pretty happy with that. I'm sure a real tube would make it sound richer but I was content.
High Gain/Distortion - Through an amp it sounded "ok" at best, then again my amp is not that great anyway. The recording on the other hand was horrible. Flat, very very grainy, and just...disappointing. I was almost scared to record my own playing with the POD XT after a while. It sounded worse than just putting a PC mic up to my amp cone. Just....disappointed.
Amp models - For clean tones it was fine...but there were maybe 4 amp models usable out of the 72 there was for gain/DS lead tones. Even the ones that I'd use, the JCM800/900, sounded lackluster by itself. Turning the drive knob all the way up gave me goosebumps. TOO grainy and flat. Even the GT-5 which I don't own anymore sounded more natural.
I tried the following setups:
JEM7V -> RK boss DS-1 ultra -> rocktron chameleon -> pod xt
the concept with this one is use the BOSS DS-1 as primary distortion, the chameleon as a lesser distorted tone and also modulation like chorus, reverb...etc., and POD XT as the amp modeler.
JEM7V -> pod xt
with this one the POD xt does everything.
At first I thought it was just my lack of experience in tweaking efx, so I went to customtones.com to grabbed some of custom tones other people made. I wasn't satisfied with the sound of any one of them. For some reason they all sounded very unnatural to my ears.
I love the interface and software. It's very easy to edit and the knobs are great. It's just the sound that's really letting me down. I've been spending more time trying to find a decent lead tone out of this thing than actually playing. I'm beginning to lose patience.
I'm close to putting this in the classified, or evilbay unless I can find some light in this. I really really tried to like this. If anyone that plays their JEMs through the POD xt and has tips on getting it to sound right in a recording please comment.