Most non-musicians are likely unaware that the past fifty years of guitar amplifier technology has had a more significant impact on the history of rock music than the electric guitar itself. Each individual amp and effect design was created to distort and color the guitar signal in a different way, contributing significantly to why the guitar sounds of the Beatles were so different from Jimi Hendrix or Pink Floyd. Both the subtle and overt differences between the many types (and even specific serial numbers) of amps and effects, became cherished tonal signatures that were sought after for the particular sonic mood that they might inspire.
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 amps, effects 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.
After years of research and playing, Line 6 launched a patented technology in 1996, with the world's first digital modeling guitar amplifier, the AxSys 212. This product provided users with models of dozens of classic guitar amplifiers, as well as a complete arsenal of stomp boxes and effects. The AxSys quickly took off and led to the further development of Line 6's technology into a comprehensive line of guitar amps within all price ranges. Only a year later, Line 6 launched the next guitarist tone revolution: POD. This kidney bean-shaped desktop device went beyond just the modeling of many classic amplifiers, it was created to solve another critical problem that had plagued guitar players: recording great guitar tone.