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Line 6 Powercab 212 Plus review

The digital amp giant has the perfect companion to your amp modeler...

(Image: © Line 6)

Our Verdict

A truly state-of-the-art and incredibly versatile speaker cabinet that enhances your favorite modeler’s preset tones and so much more, all while delivering the sound and feel of a classic guitar cabinet.

For

  • Choice of Flat (FRFR) or Speaker Modeling modes.
  • Choice of 12 onboard Speaker Models.
  • Stereo width setting, which allows you to increase or decrease the cab's stereo field

Against

  • Fairly hefty price point.

What do you get the amp modeler that has everything? Why, a companion stereo guitar cabinet with onboard speaker modeling, of course! Line 6 has upped the powered speaker cabinet ante by offering the Line 6 Powercab 212 Plus, a 500-watt active stereo guitar speaker system that’s tailor-made for guitarists who rely on professional amp modelers and, more specifically, Line 6 Helix users.

The challenge for guitarists who use modelers has always been reproducing their preset tones live without coloration when running through traditional amplifiers, PAs and speaker systems. Here, the Powercab 212 Plus is not only transparent when it’s set in Flat mode, but delivers a full-range, flat response (FRFR) that preserves the tonal integrity of your sound.

You can mix and match different combinations to create your own mixed speaker preset

Its custom coaxial speakers with lightweight neodymium magnets and high-frequency compression drivers dish out the same dynamics and gutsy response of guitar speakers.

Powercab has wood construction with rear ports, foldout kickstands for angled placement, and is lightweight (47 pounds). It has all the essential connections and connectivity, a bright LCD display, illuminated volume and select knobs, and home and save buttons for on-the-fly tweaking.

Line 6 Powercab 212

(Image credit: Line 6)

One of its highlights is Speaker Modeling, which isn’t the same as cabinet modeling or impulse responses (IRs), but something entirely new in a guitar cab. By simply bypassing the cab model in your modeler’s preset, and switching to Speaker Modeling mode on the Powercab, you can access 12 onboard vintage and modern speaker models for more authentic response. 

You can even mix and match different combinations to create your own mixed speaker preset. Third-party IRs can also be saved and loaded into any of the Powercab’s 128 presets.

A standout feature is the Powercab’s Stereo Width setting, which allows you to increase or decrease the cabinet’s stereo field. At its maximum, it presents an ultra-wide stereo experience that makes ping-pong delays and spacious reverbs sound endlessly vast. And if panning is part of your ensemble, the overall effect at full-tilt stereo is quite hypnotic.

You also can set up Powercab in a dual-mono configuration to audition two separate amps (from your modeler) on either side of the Powercab, and add Speaker Modeling to each amp - like a Vox AC30 with a Greenback on one side and a Fender Deluxe with a Blue Bell on the other.

Features

  • Choice of Flat (FRFR) or Speaker Modeling modes
  • Choice of 12 onboard Speaker Models
  • Impulse response (IR) loading
  • Stereo Width control for extended stereo field
  • 500-watt stereo amplifier (2 x 250 watts) delivers up to 131dB SPL
  • Lightweight 12" neodymium coaxial speakers with high-frequency compression drivers and robust 2" voice coils
  • 70Hz-20kHz neutral frequency response in Flat mode
  • 128 Presets configurable for Flat, Speaker Modeling, or IR mode
  • MIDI In/Out, AES/EBU I/O, L6 LINK, USB audio interface

For more information, head to Line 6.