Re: The Ultimate Question - How do I get a good POD tone?
First: Ignore the posts above mine. Most people have no idea and just troll.
Second: Follow these instructions (I have a pod X3 so your mileage may vary):
First you go and make a guitar tone of the kind of "OK to good", but you prolly have those already.
Now you go to the parametric EQ. Go to the highest frequencies there and cut them down almost to Zero. The range of the Pod is much to high for guitars, all these frequencies do is generate hizz.
Now go to the lowest frequencies and play with them until you get enough foundation in your tone.
Go to your amp preset and re-adjust the amp EQ to suit your new parametric settings, in distorted sounds you might also need to up the gain a bit.
Now go to your reverb (if used) and readjust the settings down quite a bit, to get enough reverb anyways add a digital delay with a very short delay time (220ms or so, depending on your play) and add this slightly to the mix to up your roomy sound again.
Now the sound should be a lot better than what you started but not yet perfect.
For clean or slight crunch tones, now go to the parametric EQ again and adjust the frequencies in the middle range. Now this can take quite long to get where you want...
For distorted tones again up your gain or for really high gain add a boost distortion pedal in front of the amp (most of the time I use the tubescreamer) and really crank it up. Then go to the parametric EQ and adjust the middle frequencies slightly... again this might take some time.
Now this is what I do on the X3 basic setup, I have no idea how this might work on an XT as I do not have one.
Now what you can only do on the X3 and what my best sounds are, are multi amp sounds.
I do the setup above 2 times (Tone1/2 of the same preset) then I tune Tone 1 more to the lower frequencies, for tone 2 I sometimes even choose another amp and tune it more for high frequencies. Then I play both tones together and play around with the output to give it a great stereo setup. This plainly sounds amazing and while I have one dual rec in my basement, I cannot afford to play 2 setup like this on stage... The sound is stunning and some people ask me what stacks I have on stage...
Now will this sound better than a real 2 dual rec setup? No, but it is close enough for most people, mainly other guitarists that are really good (nobody posting crap here) might catch it. I have dual tested this from time to time with my real tube amps and even great musicians only could spot the X3 sounds from the original in about 20-40% of the tests.
Is the AxeFx better? Yes I have one and this is what I actually use on stage now with my main band. But I have to say, this is mainly to please the 20-40% spotters that I really like, most people would not get it if I play the X3 or the Axe.
People really like to trash Line6 (I was one of them) as they had really crappy amp modells and modelling in early products. But they listened to customers, they worked with talented musicians and they do really good now. Of course the image will stay for quite some time and several clueless people or those with "golden ears" might still trash you for playing Line6.
Have fun with your Pod.