Line 6 have been at the forefront of digital amp modelling since their inception in 1996. Their innovative products have revolutionised the guitar industry, with the POD line and Spider amps achieving great success from the early 00s to present.
Their recently released Helix units have been highly-praised for offering convincing real-amp and effects pedal recreations.
The company also produce the Variax series of electric guitars, as well as effects processors/pedals, pro audio gear and wireless systems.
History of Line 6
Founded in the mid-90s, Line 6 released their first amplifier, the ‘Flextone’, succeeded shortly after by the AxSys. The circuitry from that amp later served as the foundation for the early POD “bean” units, which were subsequently improved to become the XT and HD floor units in later years. The purpose of their products was to take solid-state technology one step further, by offering realistic emulations of valve amplifiers for a fraction of the price – an ethos they’ve closely adhered to.
They later introduced the Spider line of amplifiers, which have gone through several iterations and undergone numerous updates over time. Now on the 5th generation, these highly-affordable amps were originally intended to give beginners great tone and versatility, and indeed still do.
More recently, their flagship Helix amp/multi-effects units have taken all their years of research and technology into account. Offering incredibly realistic amp and effect simulations, the Helix range has taken the guitar world by storm, with many high-profile names such as Pete Thorn, Billy Bush (Garbage) and Dustin Kensrue (Thrice) using them in the studio and on tour.
Line 6 has a diverse product range, and along with the Helix they produce other all-inclusive floor units, such as the more-affordable Firehawk and POD HD500 models. The M-series multi-effects pedals are also popular, with their groundbreaking DL4 Multi-Delay pedal still in production after more than 15 years!
Apart from the Spider amp range they also produce AMPLIFi, a Bluetooth-friendly amp line that allows mobile connectivity and deep parameter editing. Their amp range also boasts the more high-end DT25 amplifiers. Designed with Bogner, these tube-driven amps bring Line 6’s modelling innovation together with pure tube rawness!
Collaborating with legendary guitar luthier James Tyler, Line 6’s Variax line of guitars combine renowned craftsmanship and guitar designs with their modelling technology. Like their amps that emulate famous examples, the Variax guitars feature modelling technology to sound like other well-known instruments, making them possibly the most versatile guitars available on the market.
Their pro audio line features the powerful StageSource Active PA speakers, as well as their ultra-portable Sonic Port mobile recording interfaces.
Line 6 FAQs
Does Yamaha own Line 6?
Yes, Line 6 has been a subsidiary of Yamaha since 2013.
Who uses Line 6 products?
Line 6's list of artists includes Billy Sheehan, Scott Holiday (Rival Sons), Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie, The Cure), Tosin Abasi (Animals as Leaders), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Richie Kotzen, Josh Smith, Devin Townsend, Vernon Reid (Living Colour), and more.
What is the Line 6 Helix?
The Line 6 Helix is an amp modeller and multi-fx unit. With 62 amps, 37 cabs, 16 mics and 104 different effects built into the full-size model, the Helix can be used as an entire rig at home, in the studio, or on the stage (when connected to the venue's PA).
What's the difference between Helix models?
The Helix is the full-size model but there are other variations. The Helix Rack is the rackmount version, while the Helix LT is the slimmed-down and streamlined version of the floorboard. The HX Stomp is the smallest in the series, giving you the same modelling technology as the full-size versions in a compact unit. The HX Effects offers the Helix's impressive effects in a dedicated multi-effects unit.
How does the Line 6 Helix work?
The Line 6 Helix uses digital signal processing (DSP) to model amp, cab, mic, and effects sounds. HX Modeling uses powerful dual-DSP processing to create detailed and true-to-life models. Amps, cabs, and effects can be tweaked and arranged in a virtual signal chain which opens up a huge number of options for shaping your sound.