The last addition to the POD product line has been the Pocket POD Express, a great new model that can be a perfect partner for guitar players that need quick access to some tones wherever they are, for example at rehearsal or practicing at home. The device looks just like a POD member, that classic red finish with chromed controls is very characteristic and I’m sure all of us recognize it really fast.
Although you can think that being called Pocket POD Express it should be the smallest member in the family, that’s not true, it’s probably the most simple and quick-use device but, on the other hand, you don’t have user or factory presets, you have a limited number of available effects, fewer amps also,
You may ask yourself if you want a device like this, well it depends on what are you using it for: practice, amateur home recording, rehearsals, those are good places for the Pocket POD Express if you want something more professional you’ll need to go higher in the rank. This device does not include an LCD display, as many devices do, but I don’t think in this case is necessary at all (you don’t have presets or a long list of effects or amps to choose from) and, in the other hand, will make your batteries last longer. Now let’s do a deep view inside its features.
As we said before the device is not small but it’s still compact enough to carry it around easily inside you guitar bag and its weight is very low (that low weight has a little problem when you connect a cable with big jack the device spins toward the cable, but it only happens if you have the Pocket POD Express on a table). The size and shape of the knobs can be a little strange at the beginning, even a little more difficult to use that standard knobs, but they make the device slimmer, much easy to put it in a bag, and you avoid unwanted avoid slams into the device. It comes with a clip that you can use to hang the device in your guitar strap and having it always at hand.
This device comes with five different amp sounds: clean, twang, crunch, rock and metal, that are switched with the amp control rotating the knob, this same knob allows you to adjust the amp’s gain using each amp level range. The amps sound really good, especially clean, twang (like a boosted clean sound) and metal (modern type), for being such a small device and you can easily switch between them.
The Line 6 Pocket Pod Express comes with six different effects, in two groups where only one per group can be active so you get up to two simultaneous effects. On the left group, there are chorus, tremolo and flange effects and on the right group there are delay and spring and hall reverbs. Except for the delay in which time is controlled by the tap tempo button, all the effects are controlled by the effect group knob as we describe it on the controls section below. The reverbs and the delay sound really good and they are a good addition to the device’s tone, while the other effects group all sound ok but they are “additional” effects, you don’t need them to play but you can add them for a special touch.
The controls of this device look very strange in the first time because they are very low, compared to other small devices, and there’s only four of them to control the amp emulation, the gain, the desired effects, you can have two at the same time and their levels, and the overall volume. How this can be done? Very easily, and very smart in my opinion, three of the controls (the overall volume control is a classic knob) allow you to choose between the available amps or effects depending on the position of the knob, but also the position of the knob sets up the gain or the level of the amp/effect. There is the tap tempo button too, that also turns on the tuner. All you need to quickly have a good tone.
The Line 6 Pocket Pod Express comes with the necessary connections, not less not more, to play wherever you are and for that reasons includes a 1/4″ guitar input and an auxiliary 1/8″ input to play along your CD or MP3 device, also 1/4″ amp and 1/8″ headphones (great so you don’t need an adapter) outputs are included in this device. There is also a 9V DC adapter in case you don’t want to depend on batteries.
This device really worths the $100 that it cost because it will give you quick access to some different sounds just to practice at home or to play rehearsals, definitively very simple and useful especially for beginners. A great gift for Christmas.