The new era of the Line 6 POD is here: say hello to the POD Express Guitar and Bass

Line 6 Pod Express
(Image credit: Line 6)

Line 6's original kidney bean Pod would deserve a place in any guitar gear hall of fame; it heralded amp modelling hardware being brought to the masses, shaking up the market and leading the company to the powerful position it now has with its Helix products. But the POD is not done – and the new POD Express and Bass are following the Pod Go to make sure its future as your portable friend is assured.

Straight off the bat, it's clear the Pod Express blueprint is not about menu screens – there isn't one. Five rotary controls and two footswitches feel old school but accessible, and the impression is Line 6 wants you to be able to dial in your sounds quickly.  

Both Pod Express units offer 9-volt power or from 3 AAA batteries (included) so street performers take note. The $179 / £190  prices we're seeing at Sweetwater and Thomann also present quite a pretty sweet spot for players looking for a portable tone base. Sweewater is even offering bundles on the Bass and Guitar Pod Express with an expression pedal and 9V power supply.

Line 6 Pod Express

(Image credit: Line 6)


Both Pod Express models include seven amps, seven cabs, and 17 effects. A looper is included in the latter roster. A tuner, tap tempo, noise gate, headphone output and USB C for recording further enhance the potential as an all-in-one solution for players. And stereo outputs could be a welcome addition for live use too. 

Two footswitches can be added, along with an aforementioned expression pedal, to select the Pod Express presets and turning effects on and off. 

Line 6 Pod Express

(Image credit: Line 6)

The Pod Express Bass amp models featured ar Grit, Vintage, Punch, Modern, Round, Deep and Studio, while effects are divided between the smaller rotary controls. The Distortion section includes Boost, Overdrivem Disort and Fuzz. The Synth section has Octave, Growl, String and Mutant.

Over on the Compression side of the Bass controls are Optical, LA, Deluxe and Limiter and the Modulation and Delay settings share a rotary selector with Chorus, Flanger, Phaser and tape Delay. All five control knobs pull double duty with the amp selector also altering channel volume with the other four managing Gain, Bass, Mid and Treble.

Gear history

Line 6 Pod

(Image credit: Future)

In praise of the Line 6 Pod

Over on the Pod Express Guitar there's no compression section so Reverb and Delay get their own designated control knobs with more models. Delay offers Analog, Digital, Tape and Pong. Reverb boats Spring, Hall, Plate and Space. 

Over in the Modulation section there's Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Tremolo, with the Distortion category featuring Boost, Overdrive, Distortion and Fuzz.

With the emphasis on physical controls we're seeing here – as well as the recent Chroma Console from Hologram Electronics – there could be a resurgence coming in alternatives to the LCD screens offered elsewhere in the multi-effects pedal and amp modeller market. Of course, variety and accessibility in the guitar market is never a bad thing.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.