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Each effect family has a corresponding color: green for delays, orange for reverbs, pink for filters, blue for modulation, and off-white for distortion, compression and volume. The LED display background turns this color when an effect family is selected, so I could instantly tell which type of effect was in play. Pushing down the first control knob selected the family, and turning it selected the effect. Once selected, the other five knobs controlled the parameters. But Line 6 goes further, once an effect is programmed to a foot switch, a light just above the switch glows in the appropriate family color—dimly when in bypass, and brightly when selected. This way, I never stepped on a fuzz when I meant to call up a chorus.
The M13 was obviously designed by players, not pencil pushers. It is relatively intuitive, but downloading the advanced manual is recommended, as the device can operate on a number of levels from simple to complex, depending on your needs.
I have a few things on my wish list for the next generation. Having “Volume” as an effect that can be run by an expression pedal, and programmed into different places in the chain for each Scene is fine, but it would also be great to have a global volume option that didn’t require relinquishing one of your four effects slots to control it. The workaround I used involved placing a volume pedal in the effects loop, then programming the loop between effects slots 2 and 3. That way, I could globally place all my ambient effects (reverbs and delays) in 3 and 4—post volume control. Speaking of the effects loop, though it too can be programmed to be at different points in different Scenes, you can’t program it to turn on and off. This means that any effects in the loop must be turned on and off independently.
The Final Mojo
These are small points however when weighed against the wealth of great-sounding effects, routing flexibility, easy tweaking, and looping possibilities of the M13. If you are looking for a way to meld stompbox convenience and multi-effects control, check the Stompbox Modeler out post-haste.
you want an all-in-one pedalboard with extreme versatility and amazing looping powers.
you hate modeling.
MSRP $699.99 Street $499.99 - Line 6 - line6.com