Line 6 is a company that has always brought technology to the world of guitar. With last year’s AMPLiFi, they brought a consumer digital amp that leveraged a mobile app for control. Now they’re bringing this technology, as well as fruits of their purchase by Yamaha, to the professional market with the FireHawk FX Multi-Effects unit, New Variax Standard Modeling Guitar, and further enhanced G70 and G75 Wireless Systems. Let’s take a look.
The Firehawk FX definitely takes some of its cues from lessons learned with AMPLiFi, but adds in Line 6’s extensive library of over 200 amps and effects from its POD family. That includes over 50 HD amp models. The Firehawk FX is housed in a heavy-duty metal chassis built for touring. It includes an expression pedal, five footswitch controls for virtual pedals with colored LED rings for easy ID, and access to banks of presets. It also includes inputs and your guitar, a second expression pedal, an effects loop for adding your own pedals, and a VDI port for adding a Line 6 Variax Modeling Guitar. On the output, you have mono/stereo XLR and 1/4″ out, USB, and a headphone jack.
What makes this different than the POD HD line before is the Firehawk FX Remote mobile app for iOS and Android. The app, like AMPLiFi, allows you to edit presets and control the amp using your Android/iOS Phone or Tablet. You can easily modify presets right down to the signal chains using an easy touch interface. It also gives the amp easy access to Line 6’s cloud library. The Firehawk looks to be a perfect blend of POD’s power with AMPLiFI’S ease of use and mobile connectivity.
The Line 6 Firehawk FX will MSRP for $629.99 with actual street prices to be determined by the dealers. It ships in the first quarter of 2015.
Line 6 has also released a member of its Variax digital modeling guitar, the Variax Standard. The Variax standard is the first collaborative effort between Line 6 and now parent company Yamaha. The Variax combines Yamaha’s decades of experience building their popular Pacifica line and other solid body guitars with Line 6’s Variax HD system. Variax HD allows the guitar to simulate the sounds of popular electric and acoustic models as well as alternate tunings all at the flick of a knob. You can also mix these model’s with the Variax Standards own custom magnetic single coil pickups. The guitar itself features a double cutaway body alder body, 22-fret maple neck with rosewood fretboard (sorry, no maple FB option), and a tremolo system. You have three finish options: black, white, and a Tobacco Sunburst.
The Variax Standard has a MSRP of $1,119.99 and will also ship first quarter of 2015
Relay G70 and G75 Wireless Units
The Relay G70 and G75 expand on Line 6’s Digital Wireless technology. Both units can now support multiple transmitters with a single receiver. No more having to switch out the wireless transmitter when you switch guitars. The transmitter features a locking 1/4″ cable for direct connection to your instrument. The G70 and G75 support Preset Scenes which allow you to tailor your signal to the instrument and input. You can be set up for electrics with active pickups or electrics with passive pickups going to an amp or acoustics, mandolins, or other fretted instruments. You can then easily switch between those presets. The new relay will give you more than 8 hours of battery life and 70 hours of standby on a single battery. The G70 is designed as a pedalboard-friendly unit, while the G75 is designed to sit on top of an amp. It also has an optional external footswitch.
Both the Relay G70 and G75 MSRP for $699. Additional G70 Transmitters are $279.99 each. They will ship in March.