Note: This piece first appeared in Australian Guitar #134. Subscribe to our print edition here!
Line 6’s wireless series offers something for everyone, and the G10S is one of the simplest and most foolproof wireless systems yet. Words 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 The Dillinger Escape Plan, or you’re just tired of tripping 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. And even then it was prone to radio interference and 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 the Relay G10 and G10S represent the more affordable, stripped-down variants in the current range. While the Relay G10 is the absolute simplest wireless you’ll ever meet and is great for smaller stages and going cable-free around the house, the G10S adds a few features to make it more stage-friendly.
CUT THE CORD
The G10S system consists of two parts: the receiver plus the G10T transmitter. The transmitter plugs directly into your guitar’s output jack rather than needing to attach to your guitar strap via a cable, and it plugs straight into the G10S base station to charge. No battery hassle. The G10S can be mounted to your pedalboard and it provides 24-bit audio quality, free of dropouts and interference, across up to 130 feet in your line of sight. The unit has RF and battery status indicators, and there’s a quarter-inch main output to send a signal to your amp or pedalboard, plus an XLR DI output for connecting the system directly to a PA system.
The latter is probably unnecessary for guitar players, but the system is equally usable for bass; there are plenty of bass players who will enjoy being able to use the G10S as their DI, getting their sound directly from their bass (especially if it has active electronics). The transmitter has eight hours of battery life when fully charged, and it’s also compatible with the built-in wireless receivers in the range of Line 6 Spider V 60, 120, 240, and 240HC modelling guitar amplifiers.
As with earlier incarnations of Relay technology, Line 6 knows that some players prefer the slightly smoother tone caused by the capacitance that builds up in long cable runs, so it comes equipped with a cable tone feature which lets you select between ‘virtual’ cable lengths of ten feet, 30 feet, or ‘off’. A little experimentation with this feature and you’ll probably find that ten feet sounds the most familiar while 30 feet can take some of the edge off really bright single coils, and ‘off’ is great for acoustic guitars, bass, active pickups, or just getting more of a hyper-real sound for super tight modern guitar tones, be they clean or djenty.
TAKE A LONG LINE
The dynamics and fidelity of the G10S are very familiar and cable-like. Your picking strength can go from a whisper to a roar and the amp will respond just like it would with a cord. This is super important and has long been one of the things that kept some players from using wireless systems; the attack time and dynamics just weren’t there.
But Line 6 has been making wirelesses for a while now and has really nailed that magical interaction, and you’ll find that this is true across the range from their most entry-level to pro-grade wireless gear. None of us wants to sacrifice our tone for the sake of being able to wander over to the bar mid-guitar solo (well, maybe some of us are okay with that), and this system is so damn naturalistic in tone that you’ll forget you’re not playing with a cable.
By the way, Line 6 is not liable for any accidents you may have in trying to jump over the nonexistent cord that you’re used to trying to avoid.
THE BOTTOM LINE
There are other units in the relay family, from the G30 and its buddies, including the G70 pedalboard version and G90 rack-mountable version. For many players, the G70 is probably the star of the bunch because it also adds a tuner, a boost and various other tricks – but the G10S nails it in terms of practicality and ease of use.
• Rechargeable transmitter
• Quarter-inch and DI outputs
• Cable tone feature
• Sturdy build
• Reliable connectivity
• Simple to use
• Long battery life
• Try before you buy in case the transmitter doesn’t fit your guitar
Ph: (03) 9693 5111