Tips and Tricks: Four cable method

The so called four cable method (4CM) allows you to use POD X3 Live (or Digitech GSP1101) as a full featured effects only processor with your existing amplifier. Required gear to use this technique includes:

  • an amplifier with effects loop
  • a POD X3 Live (or Digitech GSP1101)
  • four 1/4″ guitar cables
  • a guitar ;)

Four cable method connections

Start by connecting your guitar, amplifier, and POD using the four guitar cables (see diagram):

  • Cable 1: guitar to POD
  • Cable 2: POD fx send to amplifier guitar input
  • Cable 3: amplifier fx send to POD fx return
  • Cable 4: POD output to amplifier fx return

Four cable method

Four cable method advantages

  • Use your amplifier’s existing preamp tone and power amp characteristics.
  • Use POD’s effects
  • POD’s stomp effect comes before your amplifier, just like a normal stompbox.
  • POD’s other effects (modulation, delay, reverb) can be placed before or after your amplifier’s preamp
  • Place the volume pedal before or after your amplifier
  • You can switch POD’s fx loop off to bypass your amplifier’s preamp and use POD’s internal modeling through your amp’s power stage
  • This can all be switched with a single footswitch
DigiTech GSP1101 Guitar Effects Modeling System DigiTech GSP1101 price check
Digitech’s marketing for this unit says it was designed to “adapt and fit within your system, letting you get the most out of your setup without taking over.” What they really mean is it can be hooked up this way for effects only operation.
Line 6 POD X3 LIVE Guitar Multi-Effect Pedal Line 6 POD X3 LIVE price check
POD X3 Live works great in this configuration if you want an integrated, stompbox style effects switching system.
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94 Responses to “Tips and Tricks: Four cable method”

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  1. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!