Line 6, founded in 1996 and based in Agoura Hills, California, is a manufacturer of digital modeling electric guitars, amplifiers and effects processors. In the mid-1990's, Line 6 set out to meet the needs of today's guitarist by harnessing technology to turn a wide range of great tone into a reality for every guitarist. Line 6 amassed a noteworthy collection of sought-after vintage amps and effects, and started meticulously measuring and analyzing every tonal aspect of the tubes and their associated circuitry. Since an electric guitar produces an electrical signal, each element of the circuitry that alters the tone of the guitar is in fact processing that signal. By creating software models in DSP (Digital Signal Processing) of how the guitar signal is processed by these circuits, Line 6 had the ability to connect up and control these virtual circuits in any way. If a different type of tube was needed or tone controls should work in a different way, new software was loaded instead of having to wire additional circuits and tubes.
The company underwent a rapid expansion in the early 2000s due to the success of their POD branded product, which imitates the sound of various classic and modern guitar amplifiers, effects pedals, amplifier cabinets and some microphones, with a good deal of accuracy. The PODxt Live product is a recent development, and extends the features of the original POD with more simulations and effects in a pedalboard package.
Line 6 currently has several other product lines in production:
Their current flagship amplifier is the Vetta II, which can model two amplifiers at once, plus multiple effects and effects chains, both pre and post amplification. The unit is software upgradable, so as new amplifier and effects models become available they can be added to the device. The Vetta I can be upgraded to a Vetta II with a software upgrade and the addition of a hardware interface. This interface provides a digital signal path for the Line 6 Variax brand of guitars. The interface takes the form of a standard RJ45 connector, which provides not only the signal path, but power to the Variax as well.
Line 6 has an active user community, and provides software that allows users to easily download and share patches or device settings. This software covers all of Line 6's existing flagship products.