· by Steve · Read in about 3 min · (438 Words)

I had a nice surprise from my wife this Christmas, a spangly red kidney-shaped surprise in fact - a POD 2.0. I’d been recommended one of these some time ago, but had put it on my ‘future purchases’ list since I didn’t think I was really good enough to justify buying myself one yet. I wasn’t expecting anyone to buy it for me, so it was a pleasant surprise to unwrap it. Of course getting it as a gift allows the whole purchase justification process to be nicely bypassed 😀

I’ve only had a relatively quick play with it so far, but my goodness does this little box sound good. Heck, it even makes my playing sound better than I think it really is. I honestly didn’t expect it to make so much difference, but just plugging this inline between my guitar and amp instantly starts kicking out considerably better sound than I got before, even just cycling through the 36 preset modes. You can of course just plug headphones directly into the POD, or hook it up to a PC for recording purposes (it’s primary purpose for many people), but I like using it with the regular amp too since it seems to give a noticeably improved and more varied set of results.

Feature-wise, it’s fairly overwhelming compared to what I’ve been used to so far. As a comparison, my fairly decent practice amp supports 4 main amp models, with 6 effects, 2 of which can be active at once - plus the usual drive & tone adjustments. The POD meanwhile has 32 amp/cabinet models, 16 effects, plus loads of tweaks on top of each. I’ve hardly scratched the surface on this yet but the range seems great, and I’ve already found sounds that I hadn’t been able to get out of my regular amp.

This is going to be fun I’m sure, and anything that makes me sound better is a bonus for both me and those within earshot :). Unfortunately I managed to strain my back playing with it yesterday judging by how painful it is today (sods law - why does everything I like doing knacker my back I wonder?). I obviously need to find somewhere higher up to put it instead of bending down to tinker with it all the time. I don’t think I need a pedal / stomp box just yet, I’m definitely not good enough to play live 😀I’ll leave that to my cousin, who just told me on IM as I was typing this that coincidentally he was just given a floor-based POD for live playing. Show off 😉