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Line 6 POD xt Pro Teardown and Cleaning Scratchy Knobs

It's that time of the year for some spring cleaning, and the more rotations I make around the sun, the better it sometimes feels to get rid of the old and not replace it with the new. Among what I've kept around for too long is some music gear that's been taking up space. I just don't play guitar all that much these days, as my outlet has spread among other interests, such as photography and building this website.... shocking, I know!

As part of my quest to make this small home feel bigger, I decided to get rid of my once-cherished Line 6 POD xt Pro guitar effects unit. The only problem - it's been sitting around, collecting dust for too long. It continues to work great... buuuuut it's developed a little scratch, especially in the "output" knob. A can of compressed air usually does the trick, but not this time. Follow along on this legendary, yet somehow surprisingly-concise voyage, in which I'll show you the guts of the POD xt Pro and what it took to make that master volume knob scratch-free.

Line 6 Pod xt Pro rackmount guitar effects unit - photo by KilmerMedia

Tools needed:

- Phillips head screwdriver

- compressed air

- handheld air blower (one that you squeeze, often used to clean camera gear/shown below)

Discharge any potential static buildup by touching something metal nearby. It's simple but can be an important part of the routine, to safeguard your electronics. It's also best to avoid wearing staticky clothes when doing this sort of work, like wool and polyester.

Make sure the unit is unplugged. In fact, just unplugging everything from the Pod xt Pro makes it easier to work on.

back of a Line 6 Pod xt Pro with cables disconnected - photo by KilmerMedia

The top panel is held on by ten screws.

locations of top panel screws on a Line 6 Pod xt Pro are shown - photo by KilmerMedia

Along the back, remove the screw along the left and the right edge, as well as the one along the top edge.

On the top, next to the red faceplate, there are two screws. Go ahead and remove those.

screws being removed from a Line 6 Pod xt Pro guitar FX unit housing - photo by KilmerMedia

Remove the single screw behind each rack ear.

Next, remove the three screws on the top of the red faceplate.

top edge panel screws of a Line 6 Pod xt Pro guitar effects unit are shown - photo by KilmerMedia

From there, the top panel can be removed by sliding it toward the back of the unit.

removing the top panel of a Line 6 Pod xt Pro guitar effects rack unit - photo by KilmerMedia

Using the compressed air, spray around the back of the knob unit/potentiometer while turning the problematic knob from the front. That solution will work for some situations, but it didn't for mine. What did work was the same approach but with vigorous puffs from the handheld air blower.

puffing air on a potentiometer to fixing a scratchy volume knob - photo by KilmerMedia

While making sure to not touch anything inside the case, you can check on your progress by plugging in the AC cable and headphones or by connecting to a guitar amp. The air blower didn't provide a quick fix, but it did provide THE fix. This Pod xt Pro is now scratch-free! While you're at it, it's worth cleaning up any dust bunnies that have accumulated in the case.

Line 6 Pod xt Pro guitar rackmount effects unit with the top housing removed - photo by KilmerMedia

Reassembly is, of course, simply the reverse of the disassembly instructions.

Hopefully this helps with your specific scenario. If not, it's time to check in with the pros at your local music shop.


Written by Justin Kilmer, Grammar Questioned by Janine Kilmer

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