Over the years I’ve played through and experimented with numerous multi effects units, and all of them had left me with a same dull tones and the feeling of hitting a “tonal block”. That is, whereby I felt I was simply recycling sounds – making use of the same old tones over and over, and finding it increasingly hard to develop new ideas and sounds. The Line 6 M13 is, so far, the only unit I have used that offers only what I need – no gimmicks. The fantastically simple interface of this unit what I believe makes it great onstage and in your bedroom.
The unit is well built and feels very sturdy, however as with most equipment; if you are gigging, I’d recommend a pedalboard for protection. The unit is supplied with a transformer (thankfully not one of the ghastly on plug/take up two spaces type!) and an effects manual. The manual goes through the different effects units that each of the models on the M13 have been styled on. Connections on this unit are easy, but also very flexible.
We have a number of routing options with this unit. We can feed it a stereo or mono signal, it will happily output mono signals to a stereo amp setup. There is also the option to connect two expression pedals, which can be used for controlling any factor on any of the effects units (e.g. gain, mix, decay time, pitch etc.). Perhaps my favourite routing option with this device is the ability to use other effects devices. I own a number of pedals I am very fond of, and can easily integrate these into my M13 setup. The FX loop allows you to insert pedals into the M13s signal path. Selection of where this signal path sits within the M13s unit can be varied using the setup menu.
The best thing about the M13? It does not use numbered presets – instead it acts like a virtual pedalboard. You can save upto 12 “pedalboards” in the unit, each scene can save 12 “pedals”, 4 of which can be used at the same time – confused? In simple terms, you can use upto 4 devices at the same time, and switch others in and out as you wish. Its like having 12 different pedalboards, each with 12 pedals on – but only 4 can be used at the same time.
Check out this video by mick3b1g – A fantastic demo of the looper function and the tonal qualities of this unit!
All of the effects units in the M13 have been modelled on real units – as the user guide shows. The quality of these effects is next to none. Anyone who has used the DL4, MM4, DM4, and FM4 will know. The M13 contains all of these effects units, and more (over 100 effects infact!) Particularly outstanding are the delay and reverb models, which model a variety of famous classical sounds, and some lesser known sounds. Overall, the quality is fantastic – but don’t just take my word for it; check out the samples on the Line 6 website at http://line6.com/m13/sounds02.html.
Also worth a look is this video from jasongellis.
Aside from a great selection of effects units, the M13 gives you a fantastic looper pedal – with up to 28 seconds of looping, perfect for creating rhythms and samples for you to jam along with. Also included in the setup is a tuner, which, thanks to the bright displays, is easy to use onstage, and provides dependable, silent tuning.
So, how does the M13 sound? To me, great. I really cannot fault the quality of the sounds – nor the flexibility that it offers. Every time I use this unit I find myself discovering new sounds, creating new tones and most importantly, enjoying playing : JW09
About the author:
Jake, Student, Live Sound Engineer, Runner, Guitarist etc. – Feel free to follow me on twitter @jarjarjakes.
You can purchase the Line 6 M13 Stompbox Modeler Guitar Multi Effects Pedal for $499.99 at Musician’s Friend.
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