Line 6 Re­lay G70 Wire­less

LINE 6’S WIRE­LESS TECH­NOL­OGY CON­TIN­UES TO EVOLVE, AND THEY’RE COM­ING FOR YOUR TUNER, BOOST PEDAL, ABY BOX AND DI.

Australian Guitar - - Contents - BY PETER HODG­SON

Whether you want to do the cool Steve Vai ‘spin the gui­tar around your neck’ move, run from one side of the stage to the other like you’re in Def Lep­pard, ride around on your singer’s neck like Ben Wein­man of The Dillinger Es­cape Plan (RIP), or if you’re just tired of trip­pin’ over stuff, a wire­less can be a cru­cial piece of kit.

For the long­est time, good wire­less tech­nol­ogy was go­ing to cost you... A lot. Even then, it was prone to ra­dio in­ter­fer­ence, drop-outs and weird com­pand­ing arte­facts. It took un­til the mat­u­ra­tion of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy for wire­less to truly be­come both re­li­able and af­ford­able. Line 6’s Re­lay se­ries was the first truly demo­cratic wire­less range, and it’s now been over­hauled with new mod­els and fur­ther-im­proved tech­nol­ogy with the in­tro­duc­tion of the G70 and G75.

The two units em­ploy the same ba­sic tech­nol­ogy and fea­tures, but the former’s re­ceiver is con­fig­ured to be placed on a ped­al­board, while the lat­ter is more of a ‘sit it on your amp’ de­vice. This re­view is for the ped­al­board-mounted ver­sion.

The re­ceiver has four cal­i­brated in­ter­nal an­ten­nas to cap­ture high-res­o­lu­tion pure dig­i­tal ra­dio sig­nals, which are pro­cessed with triple RF fil­ter­ing to bring you a fully op­ti­mised sig­nal. And as with ear­lier in­car­na­tions of Re­lay tech­nol­ogy, Line 6 knows that some play­ers pre­fer the slightly smoother tone caused by the ca­pac­i­tance in­her­ent in long ca­ble runs, so you can dial in dif­fer­ent ‘vir­tual ca­ble’ lengths from zero/no-ef­fect right on up to, “You’d be crazy us­ing a ca­ble that long in the real world.”

READY TO TRANS­MIT, CAP­TAIN

The trans­mit­ter is more sturdy than the one supplied with my Re­lay G30 from years ago, and it has a ring that screws over the jack to keep the ca­ble from com­ing out. Line 6 also sup­plies a lit­tle bag of dif­fer­ently coloured rings that you can screw on to your trans­mit­ter to quickly iden­tify which pack goes with which gui­tar.

The unit runs on two AA bat­ter­ies, and you’ll al­ways know how much bat­tery time you have left be­cause the dis­play on the trans­mit­ter gives you a read­ing right down to the minute – and, if you some­how end up stuck with dead bat­ter­ies mid-gig, you can plug into an aux in­put on the re­ceiver to get through the show with­out hav­ing to un­plug the re­ceiver from your board and do a bunch of re­con­fig­ur­ing.

(UN-)WIRED FOR SOUND

The G70 (and G75) is more than just a wire­less: it’s a wire­less re­ceiver, an ABY se­lec­tor, a tuner, a clean boost and a di­rect box all in one. It has two selectable out­puts so you can rout your sig­nal to dif­fer­ent amps at the stomp of a switch, or, if you hold the switch down for a sec­ond, the unit turns into a silent chro­matic tuner, which is very handy.

You can pro­gram dif­fer­ent pro­files for dif­fer­ent gui­tars, too. Need a lit­tle more gain to make a quiet Tele match the out­put of the Les Paul you use for the rest of the set? You can dial it in to the deci­bel. If you want to have a sep­a­rate tuner ac­tive at all times, there’s a ded­i­cated tuner out­put for that as well. If you’ve got mul­ti­ple trans­mit­ters, you can con­fig­ure the Re­lay so that your Les Paul will go to your Mar­shall, your Bass VI will go to

your Or­ange and your acous­tic will all go to the front of house.

The dy­nam­ics and fi­delity of the G70 are as­tound­ing. Your pick­ing strength can go from a whis­per to a roar in no time, and the amp will re­spond just like it would with a cord. The Ca­ble Tone set­tings are a great ad­di­tion for tone sculpt­ing, and the trans­mit­ter grips much more se­curely to both your strap and the plug than the G30’s trans­mit­ter.

I did no­tice some drop-outs dur­ing test­ing at times when I was lazy and let some of my cords drape over my ped­al­board and over the re­ceiver, but as soon as I straightened those fel­lows out, the sig­nal re­turned to per­fect con­sis­tency. The tuner is very bright, ac­cu­rate and easy to read, and I love be­ing able to free up some ped­al­board space by hav­ing both a tuner and a wire­less in the one unit – not to men­tion all the other built-in tricks the Re­lay can do. I’ve ac­tu­ally taken to us­ing the twin out­puts to send one sig­nal to my Mar­shall record­ing rig and an­other di­rectly into my DAW for re-amp­ing, which opens up a lot of op­tions. You could do a sim­i­lar thing on­stage, par­tic­u­larly if you like to record your sets but don’t want to be at the mercy of bad stage mic­ing.

And that’s re­ally what sets the Re­lay G70/G75 apart the most from the wire­lesses that came be­fore it: it’s not just that they sim­ply work bet­ter, it’s that they have the abil­ity to en­hance what you’re able to do on­stage, whether that means back­flips and som­er­saults or clever sig­nal rout­ing and in­put gain-match­ing.

THE BOT­TOM LINE

There are other units in the Re­lay fam­ily – you can still buy the G30 and its bud­dies, in­clud­ing the G90 rack-mount­able ver­seion. But the G70 re­ally feels like the per­fect syn­the­sis of form and func­tion, tak­ing the place of so many other ped­als while also do­ing its main job re­ally, re­ally well. You don’t need to be a show-off to re­ally ben­e­fit from what it can do.

RRP: $849.99

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