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FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / POD 2 (or 1) vs Johnson J-Station vs Behringer V-Amp

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beebop
Contributing Member
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NC FDPIRF

Safe Journey, Troops.
Feb 17th, 2004 11:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'd like to try one of these for recording, but am not sure which to try first. I've heard sound samples of the POD and J-Station and was more impressed with the POD. Could some of you folks share your thoughts, experiences, etc.?

One question that comes to mind is whether any of these can also do a good job recording bass and/or acoustic/acoustic electric instruments.

Thanks!

GravityJim
Contributing Member

FWA, IN, USA

Feb 17th, 2004 11:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

The best one, without a doubt, hands-down, is the one you like best with your guitar when you play through it.

For me, that is a POD. I am still using a v2.0 POD Pro and Bass POD (no xt yet, although we're looking to see if it's really that big an improvement) for all my guitar recording, and they both work great and sound great... far and away better than any other modeller I've tried (J-Station, SansAmp).

To my ear, the J-Station is "harsher," more distorted in the high end, more likely to induce fatigue. it's amatter of personal taste, but i prefer the ffects models in the POD, too. Lots of guys on the FDP like the J-Station, and I think (if you can still find one) they're probably just swell... but there is no question that, to my ear and the ears of thousands of professionals, the POD *sounds* better.

I haven't used a Behringer, but I hate the company and I would assume it is poorly engineered junk. It will likely feature the cheapest A/D converters on the planet.

I can't comment on bass or acoustic electrics. I use a Bass POD, as I said. I'm told the J-Station has "bass" patches. Acoustic/electric guitars sound like holy hell no matter what you run them through because piezo pickups suck, and that's the truth. :)

beebop
Contributing Member
*

NC FDPIRF

Safe Journey, Troops.
Feb 17th, 2004 11:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks, GravityJim!

I don't actually have an acoustic-electric anything yet, but have been considering a Fender a/e mandolin or something along those lines. Might just stick with micing and try to get better at that (and hope the dog doesn't bark, hehe).

On the sound samples I heard, the Johnson sounded harsher to me, too, but I wasn't sure whether it was the Johnson or the guitar being used, etc.

Any experience with the first version of POD?
I've seen a couple of them on Ebay, but can't tell what the difference is.


GravityJim
Contributing Member

FWA, IN, USA

Feb 17th, 2004 12:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

By "first version," do you mean POD softwre v1.0?

You'd want to upgrade it with a 2.x chip. more functions, better effects, lots of good reasons to upgrade.

beebop
Contributing Member
*

NC FDPIRF

Safe Journey, Troops.
Feb 17th, 2004 12:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks, Jim. I wasn't entirely sure what "first version" meant when I saw it on Ebay, but it's probably just what you described. In any case, they don't appear to be selling for much less than the 2.0 models, so I'll try to find a good deal on the upgraded version. Cool.

stevesmith
Contributing Member
********

Australia

Even deaf people suffer from my music
Feb 17th, 2004 12:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a Pod XT - sounds great (I can't believe a standard strat can sound like a Les Paul, or a PRS, or Brian May's guitar), but on my unit the display is corrupt - returned to factory for repair presently :-(

The stomp boxes alone are worth the price.

bowler

England

Feb 17th, 2004 01:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hi Beebop, I've had a POD version 2 for 12 months and have found it to be great. Some great amps (both clean & dirty) in it. Just got a Flexitone 3XL, which has the Vetta based bits inside it. As the man in the shop said its a POD XT with a power amp, so i can use it for rehearsal (nice & loud in the room) while using its great D.I. sound onto my recorder. I am a big fan of Line 6, and i have not tried any of the others you mentioned.

Chaingun

In Internal Exile

OK, So Hate Me - I Don't Care.
Feb 17th, 2004 02:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

> One question that comes to mind is whether any
> of these can also do a good job recording bass
> and/or acoustic/acoustic electric instruments.

The only one that will do this by design is the J-Station, as far as I know.

As Jim notes, the POD _PRO_ (note the PRO part) is a very good unit (at around $600 for guitar or bass), but I would put the J-Station ahead of the smaller PODs and the small V-Amps because:

1: It has excellent, super-intuitive programming software (J-Edit) that runs from your computer that makes advanced use a breeze. The importance of this can't be overstated.

2: It is a unit with amp & cab models for both bass and guitar.

There are other points in the J-Station's favor, but for recording these stand out, particutarly at the going price of around $100 - if you can find one. The inside story of the J-Station's demise is not a pretty one, but they are such excellent units for their price that the ones out there will be in use for a long time to come.

gmstudio
Contributing Member

There is no emoticon

for what I'm feeling right now.
Feb 17th, 2004 02:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

[1: It has excellent, super-intuitive programming software (J-Edit) that runs from your computer]

Unless you have a Mac.

That being said, I've been using my PODs for many years now and have yet felt the need to edit any of the patches from my computer. I used it at first just to see how it worked, but haven't touched it since then.

If software editing is as important on the J-Station as you imply, then IMO the PODs blows it away by not relying on software to edit patches to taste. I can usually dial something in within a few moments right from the front panel.

Paul

beebop
Contributing Member
*

NC FDPIRF

Safe Journey, Troops.
Feb 17th, 2004 02:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Chaingun & everybody.
Hmm. So a POD 2 is different from a POD Pro? Ahh, that explains the variety of Ebay used prices. No way I can afford $600. Even the used price of $350+ would be a stretch. I can afford $100-150 right now, maybe more if I sell some more stuff on Ebay, but not a whole lot more.

Chaingun

In Internal Exile

OK, So Hate Me - I Don't Care.
Feb 17th, 2004 02:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

On that budget, I'm thinking the J-Station is about the only option.

I'd prefer to have a guitar POD Pro and a bass POD pro rack units too, for their word clocked S/PDIF, if nothing else, but even at the best used prices, that would cost me around US$650-US$700, I think.

No way.

beebop
Contributing Member
*

NC FDPIRF

Safe Journey, Troops.
Feb 17th, 2004 02:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

Paul, which POD are you using??

FWIW, I'm using a lowly Windows 98 PC.

gmstudio
Contributing Member

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Feb 17th, 2004 02:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

Actually, I should admit here that I DO have one of my POD's midi'd up to my computer, but ONLY because the POD knobs work as MIDI controllers for Reaktor/Reason/Live, etc. An unintended bonus from the Line6 folk.

The J-Station may do the same thing, for all I know.

Paul

gmstudio
Contributing Member

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Feb 17th, 2004 02:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have the guitar POD 2.0 and the Bass POD. The red and black "beans." I do not have the XT versions, nor the PRO versions. I would have sprung for the PRO's, but they were just simply too expensive for me at the time. I love the beans, though. I gig exclusively with the Bass POD: I haven't lugged a bass amp to a show in 2 years.

Paul

beebop
Contributing Member
*

NC FDPIRF

Safe Journey, Troops.
Feb 17th, 2004 02:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

Also, if it might make any difference, I usually record to tape. I use the PC for editing and sending to CD, but that's about it, so far.

Chaingun

In Internal Exile

OK, So Hate Me - I Don't Care.
Feb 17th, 2004 02:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

> I can usually dial something in within a few
> moments right from the front panel.

I doubt that you have the level of access from the front panel that you would from a well designed software interface. There are simply too many things to tweak and too few knobs and buttons, too many readouts and adjustments.

You can theoretically do it all from the front by going into "deep editing" mode, but it's very forbidding.

With the upgraded firmware, there are so many amp and cabinet combinations possible alone, that swapping them around for the best sound would be impossible on the unit and know what you were doing.

On a computer screen, it's all right there.

For sophisticated use, I can't see how you could possibly do this on a small effects unit.


(This message was last edited by Chaingun at 03:08 PM, Feb 17th, 2004)

gmstudio
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Feb 17th, 2004 03:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

Like I said above, I used the software that came with the POD when I first got it, but once I started using the thing I realized that the sounds that I *needed* were available to me from the front panel that I didn't *need* to use the software. Are the options easier to tweak in there? That depends. I think hooking the thing up to a computer just to do that is a PIA. You may disagree.

My point is that if you MUST go that deep into the editing mode of the J-Station to get good sounds, I see that as a negative for that particular unit. When I'm working on a track or with a client, I want to turn it on, dial it up, and go. I've been recording with this one group the last few weeks (the accordion kid, as a matter of fact) and the guy just plugs into his POD, twists a few knobs to taste, and nails the tone he needs for each track. If we had to dive into software everytime for that we'd never get anywhere.

If that's what works for you, fine.

People for decades have been able to tweak amps to perfection without hooking them up to a computer, I would expect the same thing out of a decent amp emulator.

Paul

Chaingun

In Internal Exile

OK, So Hate Me - I Don't Care.
Feb 17th, 2004 04:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

> I realized that the sounds that I *needed* were
> available to me from the front panel that I
> didn't *need* to use the software.

Couple of points: What you need and what I need from a modeler are apparently different. I want easy control over the fine-tuning of effects and amp/cab combinations to fit particular instruments in particular songs. I don't think I'd be satisfied with any one-size-fits-all factory preset, certainly not the J-Station's, which I feel are essentially gee-whiz demos to wow people in noisy music-store environments. They lack the subtlety of which the unit is capable and which sophisticated users want for their recording. Because of hearing damage, I can't do a lot of cranked amp stuff in the studio because it's too painful for me. I am compelled to use modelers for more than just trivial stuff, and probably have to make do with my J-Station where you would would put a microphone on a loud amp. This means I have to be more serious about programming the unit's sound that you probably would.

You can build a sound you want for _this_ guitar or bass in _this_ song and you can of course save it immediately to the unit's memory so that it's "user preset #4" or whatever. You can also store it to disk.

I dunno. It sounds to me like you are arguing that less options are better than more options.

> Are the options easier to tweak in there? That
> depends. I think hooking the thing up to a
> computer just to do that is a PIA. You may
> disagree.

It doesn't depend at all, it's hugely easier to tweak. No question about it, and in any case, the unit's already hooked up to the computer. This is a computer-based recording studio. Being hooked up to the computer is what it's there for in the first place.

In less time it took me to write this sentence, I can load J-Edit and have it accessing the unit.

I don't even use the unit's knobs anymore. J-Edit's that much more convenient. When the patch is loaded, I have the extended notation I've made about the application for which it was made, the song and instrument it's for, etc. I can load it and exit or tweak it some more.

I hear people say all the time that modelers sound like crap. The reason they say that is because they don't take the effort to program them for their best sound in a given use. The reason they don't do this is because a sophisticated modeler has too much stuff going on to be readily accessed on a small device with limited readouts and controls.

I know guys who do serious professional recording with J-Stations, and their stuff is incredible. All of them use the J-Edit exclusively to program the units and feel that this is what makes the unit particularly worthwhile.

gmstudio
Contributing Member

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Feb 17th, 2004 04:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Now I know you're just trolling. You can't be serious about half the stuff you just posted, or, more likely, you're just posting to see your name in print and aren't actually reading anything. Either way, I'm bored, so I'll take you point by point:

[Couple of points: What you need and what I need from a modeler are apparently different.]

True. I'm preparing recordings for commercial broadcast. TV, radio and business use. Broadcast quality. Under budget. On time. From concept to on the air in a matter of a day or less sometimes. You, as far as I know, still can't get Cubase to work properly.


[I want easy control over the fine-tuning of effects and amp/cab combinations to fit particular instruments in particular songs.]

As do I. Which I achieve very quickly from the front panel.


[I don't think I'd be satisfied with any one-size-fits-all factory preset, certainly not the J-Station's, which I feel are essentially gee-whiz demos to wow people in noisy music-store environments.]

Same here. Which is why I wiped the factory pre's out of the POD when I first bought it. Well documented on the forum here.

[They lack the subtlety of which the unit is capable and which sophisticated users want for their recording.]

Perhaps true. Troll material, though, with "sophisticated" and all that implies.


[Because of hearing damage, I can't do a lot of cranked amp stuff in the studio because it's too painful for me.]

I think we all can agree that quieter is better in any musical environment.

[I am compelled to use modelers for more than just trivial stuff, and probably have to make do with my J-Station where you would would put a microphone on a loud amp.]

I don't mic amps in my studio because A) it takes too long, and b) I get better sounds quicker from the POD. And if preparing spots for clients to use on the air is "trivial," well, then I'm curious as to what isn't.

[This means I have to be more serious about programming the unit's sound that you probably would.]

Troll alert! Troll alert! You can't POSSIBLY know how serious I am about getting the right tone. Again, I'm preparting stuff for broadcast. I'll admit, I wasn't when I bought the PODs a few years ago, but I am now and I'm sure as heck glad that I have them.

[You can build a sound you want for _this_ guitar or bass in _this_ song and you can of course save it immediately to the unit's memory so that it's "user preset #4" or whatever. You can also store it to disk.]

Er, yeah. You can do the same thing on the PODs. 9B is my bass setting for the Grog Shop here in Cleveland. 9A = Peabody's. 9C = Barking Spider. Set 'em and forget. And I sure as heck ain't bringing a computer along so that I can load them from disk.

[I dunno. It sounds to me like you are arguing that less options are better than more options.]

No, you see it that way because you think that strengthens your argument. My point is that the options on the POD that I need to get the tones I need are available to me w/o having to use the software. If I *had* to use the software to get the sounds I need, then I'd find some other, easier way to get guitar tones recorded. Less is not more. Easier and quicker is more. Particularly at the money-making level.

[It doesn't depend at all, it's hugely easier to tweak. No question about it, and in any case, the unit's already hooked up to the computer. This is a computer-based recording studio. Being hooked up to the computer is what it's there for in the first place.]

Yes, I have a computer based recording studio, and when I'm already running Cubase and Reason and Live and a slew of plugs and stuff, the last thing I need to be doing is running yet ANOTHER piece of software because the front panel of my amp modeller is, in your words, "forbidding." Any piece of gear that falls under that category has no place in my studio. Maybe if you're sitting at home jamming pentatonics over and over in Cool Edit Pro, then, yes, you probably have the computer horses left over to run the J Edit software.

[In less time it took me to write this sentence, I can load J-Edit and have it accessing the unit.]

Well that's all fine and dandy, but not real helpful at a gig, eh? Or real practical in the scenario above where I have a rather complex audio arrangement open with quicktime video synced up already on my computer.

[I hear people say all the time that modelers sound like crap.]

Well you won't hear that from me.

[The reason they say that is because they don't take the effort to program them for their best sound in a given use.]

Agreed. But that's true for synths and effects and mastering and everything else.

[The reason they don't do this is because a sophisticated modeler has too much stuff going on to be readily accessed on a small device with limited readouts and controls.]

Well then it's a good thing that the Line6 folk got it right, eh?

[I know guys who do serious professional recording with J-Stations, and their stuff is incredible. All of them use the J-Edit exclusively to program the units and feel that this is what makes the unit particularly worthwhile.]

See? Exactly my point. They use "J Edit exclusively to program the units." I get the same results without resorting to software. To me, that's a huge asset. The J Station's need of software to sound good is a crutch, IMO, and throws the idea of using it live (a non-intended use in many cases) right out the window.

Again, to each their own. You need the software crutch? Go ahead and use it.

Paul







Chaingun

In Internal Exile

OK, So Hate Me - I Don't Care.
Feb 17th, 2004 04:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

>[1: It has excellent, super-intuitive
> programming software (J-Edit) that runs from
> your computer]

> Unless you have a Mac.

J-Edit 1.20a is available in a Mac version.

v1.20a is also XP-compatible, though it doesn't say so on the page.

J-Edit Downloads

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FDP Forum / Home Recording Forum / POD 2 (or 1) vs Johnson J-Station vs Behringer V-Amp




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