When Line6 released the AMPLIFi recently, its main selling point (and point of differentiation when placed next to the manufacturer’s existing amplifiers) was that it was as much a home stereo as it was a guitar amp. I thought it was a smart design, albeit for particular situations. I don’t think you’ll ever see stacks of AMPLFiers (god, whenever I type that I feel like some sort of screaming, post-apocalyptic lizard man) at a concert, but for musicians who just want to jam some guitar to their favorite songs, and live in a dorm/small apartment/etc, the 5 separate dedicated music and guitar speakers are a head slap of “well that makes a shit ton of sense.”
Oddly enough, Line6’s new AMPLIFi FX100 removes that 5-speaker array from the equation. It looks very similar to the company’s existing POD HD floorboard, just with most of the controls removed. And just like with the original AMPLIFi, once I got past my initial “what the hell” moment, I realized that it makes sense and is pretty forward facing. Line6 is just following the home-theater world, where more devices just let you control them with your phone’s touch screen. Your phone and its high-res capacitive touch screen will always better interface than any company could build in to a floorboard like this, if a reasonable price point is the goal.
Again, this is ideal specifically for casual at-home jamming. Take note of the very comfortable man on his extra cushioned couch in Line6’s promotional photo. That’s the market for this AMPLIFi line. At a gig I’d be terrified of my bluetooth connection unsyncing or my phone’s battery dying. But at home? It’s all good man. This dude probably just sparked up a doobie or mixed himself a mojito. He ain’t worrying about jack.
You can learn more about the AMPLIFi FX100 at Line6’s website.