Line 6 AMPLIFi 150 Guitar Amplifier Review
When most people think of the leader in guitar amplifier and effects modeling before the digital software and VST age, the go to brand is Line 6. Their POD line of products have been used by everyone from the bedroom guitarist all the way up to major recording artists like Metallica, U2, and Nine Inch Nails. Line 6 continues this tradition with the introduction of their latest line of AMPLIFi products. The lower case “i” is significant because the guitar amplifiers in the line, a 75 watt and 150 watt models, connect to your iOS device via Bluetooth for tone manipulation as well as the ability to share the tones you create with a community of AMPLIFi users. We had Joe from Line 6 stop by to demo the functions and tones of the AMPLIFi 150 which you can watch above. Below is a more in depth look at what the AMPLIFi 150 has to offer.
Both the AMPLIFi 150 and 75 watt models have a 5 speaker array built inside with an 8 and 12 inch loudspeaker respectively. The speakers were made by a British company called Celestion which has been making speakers since the 1920s. The 5 speaker array allow the AMPLIFi to be full range which makes it a great sounding amplifier as well as a system for playing music. The outer shell of the AMPLIFi is made of a hard and durable plastic. You have knobs for basic tone control including bass, mid, treble, and FX controls. On the back you have a headphone output, an auxiliary input, a FBV pedal input and a USB output. You can use the headphone output as direct line to a mixer, but you will probably want to mic the amp because of the full range speaker dynamics built inside. As of writing this, the USB port has no functionality but Line 6 states that it will have purpose in the future so keep an eye out for that.
The real power of the AMPLIFi amplifier is when it’s paired with your iOS device and using the AMPLIFi Remote App. It’s free to download from the App Store and allows you to create tones by mixing and matching different amplifier and pedal models. You can then save those presets to 1 of 4 slots on the hardware and engage them without your iPad. Once your presets are saved, you can share them with the AMPLIFi community of users. Even more innovative is the ability to generate the tones from your favorite artists by simply selecting a song from your iTunes library within the app. Instead of spending all of your time hunting down that perfect Metallica tone, you can load the Metallica song you want, and the Tone Match Engine will pick the best tone for the song. It’s pretty accurate and Joe from Line 6 in the video above demos a couple tones to show how that works.
I know that there are dissenters in the guitar world who scoffingly wave off much of what Line 6 has to offer. I can sympathize with some of their elitist tendencies. After spending years with guitar players of all walks of life, I find they can be pretty particular about their tone. Instead of owning a product that gives them the endless ability to customize all kinds of different tones like the AMPLIFi, they would rather buy every amp and guitar effects pedal to make those distinct tones without modeling. This might be a commendable endeavor, but the fact is that not everyone is in a position where that makes any practical or financial sense. This is where Line 6 comes in with their modeling technology, which is pretty fantastic all on its own. While some might view this as a more entry level amplifier system or maybe geared more towards the occasional guitarist, it actually can provide incredible creativity for a more seasoned guitarist as well. This might not replace your vintage tube amplifier, but it’s a nice solution for recordings, gigs, rehearsals, or just having fun with your friends in the garage.
Users who decide to get an AMPLIFi will be really impressed with the volume this amp can put out in addition to the intuitive iOS application that you run alongside it. There are so many different amplifier, cabinet, and pedal combinations in the app that you will never get bored finding just the right tone for whatever you want to play. It’s also a great amp to keep in the living room so when friends come over you can use it as a music player. If you are just getting started on guitar, then this is a great amp to begin experimenting with all kinds of different tones and what they do. If you are a veteran, you might find the advantages of the AMPLIFi 150 when it supplies you with all of your favorite tones and takes the fuss out of tone matching for a particular tune.
TranscriptHi my name is Joe with Line 6 and today we are here at UniqueSquared and we are going to talk to you about the Amplifi line of products beginning with the Amplifi 150. The Amplifi comes in two different flavors: 75 watts and 150 watts. They both give you true stereophonic audio in full frequency range. So it works well as a playback device in your living room or as a guitar amp on stage and in rehearsal. It has front panel controls that allow you to tweak tones once they’ve been downloaded into the hardware. It’s the first guitar cab on the market that allows a user to Bluetooth stream their audio from their playlist to the amp and also take advantage of tone matching capabilities via the Amplifi Remote App. It’s a free 20 MB download that you get off the App Store and essentially what it does is it allows you to access all the music on your i-device. Whatever you have uploaded into it via iTunes. Any iOS 7 compatible device can take advantage of Amplifi Remote. So let’s take a look at exactly how this works. So you go into your music library and you choose a track. In this case ACDC track, Back in Black. So as you can tell it’s Bluetooth streaming the audio, it makes the tone recommendation and you’re ready to rock. So let’s try a different song here. I go back into the music library. Choose a different artist. Let’s try The Eagles Life in the Fast Lane. So it makes the tone recommendation and you’re ready to rock. One more demo. Let’s go back into the music library. Choose a different song. Let’s go to something that sounds a bit more higher gain. Now as you can see here there’s other tones so it usually makes the recommendation of the most highly rated tone. But you can also favorite the tone or experiment with any of the other tones that users in the community have designed. You get to rate them. You can even save them to the My Tones folder and use them as your own. On the front panel controls you see the basic controls for Drive, Bass, Mid, Treble, FX, and Reverb. They allow you to tweak the sounds once they’ve been stored in the hardware. These knobs don’t work when the iPad application is up so just make sure that you’ve stored them to the hardware and you’ll be able to use them. Here’s the Bluetooth pairing button that I showed you where I talked about earlier. And of course you have the volume knob. The volume knob serves a dual purpose. If it’s red LEDs it controls the overall mix but when you press down on it you are able to control the volume of the guitar in relationship to the streaming music. Here you also have a Tone button that if you press you can go from one preset to the next. The amp does come preloaded with four presets from the factory but of course you can program your own tones via the Amplifi Remote App like I showed you before. Here you have the Tap Tempo button for control of your time based effects but if you hold it down for two seconds, the amp goes into tuning mode as you can see right there. On the back of the amplifier you have a few sets of inputs. You have your headphone outputs. An auxiliary input so you can connect any external mixer or playback device that you want. You have the FBV Pedal input for the Shortboard or Express so that you are able to switch between tones that are programmed in the hardware. Then you have a USB output for future use. For more information on the Amplifi line of products, check out Line6.com. You are watching UniqueSquared.com.