Line 6’s POD HD500 used to be their pride and joy, but their flagship multi-FX pedal has now been superseded by a newer version, boasting improved DSP power and the expected set of well-modeled amplifiers and effects. But is the POD HD500X promising more than it can offer? Does it really take things much further than the older model? Ultimately, is it worth the sizable investment?
If you aren’t a seasoned multi-effects pedal user, some of the goliath, feature-heavy devices complete with vast arrays of footswitches and dials may seem a little off-putting. The manuals are dense and not always clearly written, and navigating your way through the menus to dial in your desired effects parameters, amp models and settings can seem more trouble than it’s worth. Plus, for those looking for a specific artist’s sound but without a detailed knowledge of how to go about creating those sounds, the results aren’t always particularly inspiring. For these types of players – not to mention people just looking for something fun and easy to use – Line 6 has the Amplifi FX100.
Sometimes no pedal is the right pedal.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Wally Looper is its tiny size. It easily fits in the palm of your hand at 74mm x 44mm x 44mm. If you’ve already got a crowded pedalboard and just want a simple, straight-forward looper to assist with a little rhythm guitar, then this might be the perfect looper for you. The Wally Looper follows in the footsteps of TC Electronic’s Ditto and Ditto X2 loopers, which brought simplicity back to looper pedals.
Loopers all have their unique selling-points. The JamMan Delay offers an integrated looping and delay platform, the Boss RC-505 has a whopping five simultaneous tracks and the TC Electronic Ditto takes it right down to basics. The Pigtronix Infinity might not take anything to these extremes, but it’s designed as a looper for the live musician, with MIDI input and two stereo loops that you can setup for two musicians, be it a pair of guitarists, a guitar-bass combo or even a guitarist and keyboard player. This might be enough to grab the attention of live players looking for a dependable looper, but are there better options out there, or does the Infinity offer something truly unique and worthwhile?
Boss is one of the biggest names in the looping world, and that isn’t going to change any time soon. The RC-300 is the replacement for the RC-50, and it’s similarly beastly. Measuring over 21 inches wide and 9 inches front-to-back, the new looper’s big selling point is the fact it can support three separate stereo loops at any time. Throw in Boss’ usual dedication to sound quality and sturdy manufacturing, and there’s a chance the RC-300 could become the go-to pedal for serious loopers. If you’re just getting into looping, it’s probably better to consider something smaller, but if you’re a loop-dependent performer or write a lot of music using loops then it might just be worth the sizable investment.
Boss is a pretty big name in the world of looper pedals. The RC-20XL was the mid-sized looper of choice for many guitarists, offering the ideal compromise between size and capability and ease of use. But the RC-30 hopes to improve on the older model, taking the reigns as Boss’ go-to mid-size looper. It’s in stiff competition, though, because along with Boss’ own older, dependable model, the JamMan Stereo is also worthy of consideration as a mid-sized unit. We’ve put the RC-30 to the test to see if it can really stand out among the crowd.