Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Review: Line 6 X2 Digital Wireless XDS95

I've gigged with the Line 6 X2 Digital Wireless several times now, and I'd like to present a full review of its performance: It's good!

It sounds great. I honestly can't hear any difference between it and a cable. This thing is digital, so it is sending just numbers across the airwaves, not an analog music signal. There is no squelch and no static. I clip the transmitter to my belt, plug in my bullet mic, and the sound that comes out of my amp is exactly as you would expect with a direct cable.

What it lacks compared to more expensive competitors is operating range. It is listed as having a range of 150 feet. I've heard from other users that the range is more like 100 feet. I've personally never wandered far enough away from the stage to lose signal, and I know I've hit that 100 foot range with no problems. More expensive wireless units have a stated range of 300 feet. I don't know why you'd ever want to play while 100 yards away from the stage.

The XDS95 consists of a receiver the size and shape of an effects pedal, so it fits nicely on your pedal board. I power it with a One Spot adapter so there is no hassling with batteries.

The transmitter is about the size and shape of a deck of cards, and requires a 9-volt alkaline battery. Line 6 claims a battery life of about 11 hours. I've gotten two gigs on a new battery (about 9 hours) with no problems.

There are no antennas on either unit. They seem sturdy and well made. There are 5 selectable frequencies on each unit, so you can have 5 of these on your stage with no interference from each other. The guitar player in Roadhouse Joe uses an identical X2 and he loves it, although his battery life has been a little shorter than mine for whatever reason.

The Line 6 X2 Digital Wireless XDS95 is available from Guitar Center online or behind the accessories counter in their stores. I bought mine at the GC on Colorado Blvd. in Denver. They are marked at $199.99, but they will deal.

Walking around the club while playing is thought of by some as high cheese. Maybe so, but it is still fun. The biggest benefit of the wireless is not stepping on my cable and unplugging myself 2 or 3 times during a show. This X2 unit works very well for not a lot of money. That earns it the Blues Harp Amps Blog seal of approval.


Garry said...

I don't walk around much with my wireless, either. But a huge advantage of it is that you can walk around the club during sound check and actually hear what you sound like in the room, in a way you'll never hear it from onstage. Wireless is great.

Rick Davis said...

Garry, absolutely. With the wireless I can walk out and hear how I sound in the FOH mix. Nobody else in the band can play harp and test my levels while I listen, so the wireless is worth it's price just for that.

Also, if feedback is an issue I have more freedom to move anywhere on the stage (or in the venue) to find a "safe" spot.

I first tried wireless about 4 years ago. I bought the El Cheapo Digital Reference wireless from GC and returned it the next day. It was really crappy and turned me off on the whole wireless thing.

But the Line 6 X2 wireless is just like a cable. Only it is a REALLY long cable and you never step on it...

dennis said...

Hi Rick. I know they are discontinued now but I saw a B stock (repacked) on line for 149. Before I bite the "bullet" is their anything better out there And are you still as satisfied. Thanks. p.s. Too bad about all the schoolyard behavior over on Adam's forum. My best. dennis

Rick Davis said...

Hey Dennis-

I'm still happy with the X2 Wireless unit after using it for more than a year. I kind of stopped looking at other wireless units, so I don't know what else I could recommend.

To bad they discontinued it. For low price and excellent performance you just can't beat it.

I haven't been back to MBH. Too many bozos, and I'm way to busy to put up with that foolishment...

dennis said...

Thanks my friend. My best. d

Anonymous said...

Is the cable length sufficient on the transmitter? Do you clip it on your belt or put it in your pocket?