guitar Line 6 POD POD X3 (Live) Tips and Tricks

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.

87 replies on “Tips and Tricks: Four cable method”

I wonder how do I connect POD xt live with 4 cables. I can’t find FX send/return connector on POD xt live. Would you show me that drawing?

I’m sorry, the POD XT Live does not have the FX send/return. This method works with POD X3 Live and POD XT Pro. It was a typo about the XT Live.

Do you have any suggestions as too how to get a good sound through a tube amp, I am using a B-52 AT 100
and the pod X3
Should I have went for the x3 live or can I get something that sounds good through the x3 bean?

Try the different “live modes” for sure. Try with and without cab sims (set to “no cab” for the cab selection). That’s the best I can say. Then tweak and tweak again!

I’ve tried your wiring using a X3 Live and a Flextone II XL (I prefer the amp modeling of the Flextone II or POD 2, which I think gives more dynamic to the sound).
My wiring is :
guitar (actually variax) in X2L in
X3L send output to flextone II guitar input
FLextone send output to X3L return loop input
X3L Live Out L and R to Flextone return loop using a Y cable (to keep stereo)
With this wiring, I take profit of the wah, stomp, mod and delay stages of the XEL and amp modeling of the Flextone.
THe problem is : when I stop playing notes, there is an horrible white noise out of the FLextone . I suppose it may be the fact that with this rig I have 2 or 3 analod/digital conversions .Do you think it is the real cause of my problem ? Any idea to resolve that (While I’m writing this, an idea came to me : using the flextone noise gate to remove the noise…)?

I tried to use POD XT as a multi FX only but the sound was too coloured by the pod even with no effect on and preamp bypassed . Is the pod X3 familly more neutral ? I could buy the X3 pro but only if doesn’t change my sound….



Did you try the gate on the Flextone, did it solve the problem?

The X3 is not a “true bypass” effect. If you didn’t like the sound of XT when bypassed you most likely will not be any more happy with X3. Best bet is to try to find one to test in person with your ears.

Hello, Im from argentina. I wanted to know if I can select the clean or distortion Channels from my real amp (mesa boogie triple rectifier) with the Pod x3 live, I want to have the sound of the real amp with the stompboxes/delays/mod/ from the pod x3 live. At the back of my mesa boogie I have 5 connectors (1/4-inch) to select the Channel 1,2,3,solo,fx loop. I will only use two of the channels from the real amp and I need to be avaible to select them with the pod x3 live.
sorry about my english

Thanks for the info on this, I have tried it, and I get a lot of hum using the effect loop, but it does work, but as soon as I turn off the effect loop, the hum is gone. I currently am using the x3 live for orchestra/pit music for theater, and running it into a cd/line input on a small practice amp. that seems to give the very best sound quality, however this makes the volume control on the amp useless. I have also tried plugging into my 100w fender twin, and I still get an unwanted hiss/hum when turned up to play at a club gigging level, the twin doesn’t have the cd/line input.

Do you have any advice on what type of amp to use the X3 live with, without the hum, but still loud enough to play medium sized clubs with?

hey man, i have the pod x3 live. and i have some problems. i use the marshall hdfx 100 watt half stack, and i cant get good tones and sounds out of this. i conect the x3 live to the effex loop. but i cant find a way to get really loud without affecting my sound or getting a muddy tone. do you have any suggestions or answers?

First, getting loud will always affect your tone. We hear differently at loud volumes than at quiet volumes.

Second, have you tried playing with the “live modes” of X3? Make sure to try running in all four of the live modes. Also try turning off the cab model.


I’ve tried the 4-cable method with a Peavey Rockmaster preamp but have some problems. It seems like the clean sound from the POD breaking trough and affects my sound from the Rockmaster. What settings in the FX-loop do you recommend and are there any other setting I have to try, like any special output mode etc.

Thanks for a great site!



hi there i have just got the pod x3 board and i have a line 6 spider 150wattt amp and just wonded if i can conect the x3 to the amp and how thanx.linsay

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