Step On This! TTK Checks Out the Line 6 POD HD300 and the Boss ME-70

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Step On This!

TTK Checks Out the Line 6 POD HD300 and the Boss ME-70

Marc Johnson for TheToneKing.com

Writing about multi-effects processors is like politics; you’re bound to piss somebody off. First, there’s those who consider themselves ‘purists’ who grind their teeth whenever they see you have a pedal that produces more than one type of sound and spit in your face if you even mention “amp-modeling.” Then, there are the guys out there who’ll box you BloodSport-style over what brands produce the purest sounding Marshall JCM 800. Well, at The Tone King, we’re not out to hurt nobody. So, in true TTK fashion, we’re just going to give you the low down on two of the biggest names in amp-modeling out there and let you take it from there. 

Line 6 POD HD300:

Ambitious workers that they are, Line 6 spent over three years developing tools that would capture, analyze, and translate amplifier data. This allowed them to capture up 10 times more amplifier DNA than previous modeling. In other words, there’s more Fender Twin in your Fender Twin. They called this “HD Modeling Technology.” Still not done with their quest, they hunted down 16 of the best specimens of some of the greatest amps from a Hiwatt Custom 100 to an ENGL Fireball 100, cleaned them up, and cranked them up. 

Trolling through the gear forums, you will quickly find that Line 6’s HD Modeling Technology is quickly becoming the defining characteristic of the POD HD Series. Probably the most intriguing feature may be that the entire gambit of sounds that the amp produces through its preamp section is contained within the model. That is, you can drive the preamp and get more overdrive, or you can back off and let the amp’s cleans come through. All of which reacts more like a real tube amp. The HD 300 also give you the option to change cabinets and microphones, giving you a broad horizon of tones.

While the amp-modeling is the star of the show, the HD 300 also boasts 80 plus individual controllable effects. All of them are the M-class effects that are contained in the M6 and M13 Stompbox Modelers. And with 128 presets, it’s ready to rock out of the box.

Finally, there is one component that I don’t think gets enough press and that’s the easy interface for computer-based applications. That’s not to say it hasn’t been done before, but Line 6 seems to be leading the charge in this area. With a USB port and downloadable software, you’re capable of direct recording and editing with ease.

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Boss ME-70

Line 6

Since their first pedal debuted before I was even a glimmer in my father’s eye, Boss has been a mainstay of rock guitar for a long time. Remember when I mentioned the guys who’ll quickly beat you into a pulp for bad-mouthing their favorite brands? Well, this is one of those brands that will inevitably pop up. Even now, you’ll still see a Boss delay in nearly every rocker’s pedalboard.

So it’s no surprise that one the most popular multi-effect processors out there is a boss model. The ME-70 boasts Boss/Roland’s own COSM technology. Composite Object Sound Modeling emulates different environments in order to reproduce tones after they have moved through different mediating objects, all of which significantly alter the original tone. Simply put, as sound travels, it bumps, moves around, or moves through a bunch of stuff. When it does that, it changes what the sound sounds like. Imagine when you get angry at your rig because it doesn’t sound as good at the club as it does when it’s in your basement. COSM technology takes these variable and mediating objects into consideration in modeling, virtually reconstructing them as part of the emulation process.

In addition to COSM technology, the ME-70 has 46 different effects and 36 different presets. And this seems to be the fav of the fanboys. While they seem to think the modeling is “good” they exclaim about the quality of the individual effects overall. Many of the old Boss favorites are here and sound just as good as they ever did.

So, which one should I buy?

If you know The Tone King by now, you should know not to ask that question because the answer will always be the same. “It depends.” Are you interested in old-school Boss pedal tones? When you think of delay, do you nastalgia for that old blue and white DD3? The ME-70 acts like a pedalboard filled with stompboxes. Well, you can figure it out from there.

But…

With amp modeling, the Line 6 POD HD300 has more choices than the Boss, 16 compared with 7.  Besides, the ME-70 models are stagnant. The HD300 gives you more versatility with the amp models. Also, if you’re planning to do any direct recording or editing with a computer interface, you best go with the Line 6 because the Boss doesn’t even have a USB output. While the COSM technology works well, the time that Line 6 put into their HD technology seems to have paid off.

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Filed Under: ReviewsPedals

About the Author: Marc published his first novel Becoming in 2010. It’s a kick-ass book with monsters and dreams and stuff, and you should buy it. Since then, he’s written thousands of articles for TheToneKing.com, many of which have been picked up for circulation by manufacturers and other news outlets. His next book, Drugs and Pancakes, should be available early 2014 if his alcoholic editor can find time to work on it in-between destroying his liver and screaming about punctuation. He graduated from Roosevelt University with honors, which means that he’s not as dumb as he looks. He’s been playing guitar for over 25 years, which is almost twice as long as most of his students have been alive.

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