The Line 6 Relay G55 Digital Wireless Guitar System claims to deliver tour-grade digital wireless performance in a convenient half-rack sized enclosure without compromising your guitar tone. Does it live up to the hype? Is it truly the best wireless guitar system out there? In this in-depth Line 6 Relay G55 review, you’ll find the answer.
If you’ve already used or read about the G30, G50, and G90 Relay Wireless systems, then you may have an idea of what the new G55 is all about. It essentially offers the best of both worlds between the G50 and the G90. You get a versatile half-rack-sized unit which can be rack mounted, placed atop an amp, or used on a pedalboard. And it still offers the maximum 300-foot range of the G90 and the latest 4th generation Line 6 wireless technology. It does have 2 less channels than the G90, 12 instead of 14, but this is a minor compromise considering it’s much cheaper and half the size. For most needs, the G55 wins the G30 vs G50 vs G55 vs G90 battle overall. While most people will benefit from the reduced weight and size of the G55 compared to the G90, relatively few users will need the 2 additional channels that the G90 offers.
Here’s a summary of what’s on the box.
2.4GHz Interference-Free Signal
DCL Digital Channel Lock Advanced Audio Protection
License-Free Operation, Worldwide
Latest 4th Generation Digital Wireless Technology
Cable Tone Simulation with Top-End Roll-Off
One-Step Setup – Pick the same Channel on the Receiver & Transmitter
300-Feet Range with Consistent Signal Integrity
Mix-and-Match with other Relay Transmitters and Mics
Clear Easy-to-Read Visual Status Displays
Tour-Grade Hardware for Maximum Durability
10Hz-20kHz (-2.5dB) Frequency Response
Wide 117dB Dynamic Range with Superior Transient Response
12 Selectable Channels
XLR and ¼” Outputs
The Relay G55 Rack Mount Kit is sold separately. The unit does, however, come with 2 sets of 4 rubber nubs in 2 different heights in case you intend to use it on top of an amp or on a floorboard.
Also, the included mini-XLR to ¼” cable features a straight end that’s perfect for Strat-style input jacks. If you’d prefer a right-angled ¼” cable for Les Paul or SG-style jacks, you’ll need to buy one separately.
You can read more about features on Line 6′s official website here.
Let’s see how this baby performs.
Setting it up is easy. You just plug in the two included antennas to the receiver, connect the power adapter, plug a cable from the receiver output to your amp input, signal processor, or mixer, and turn it on. Then connect the transmitter to your guitar with the included mini-XLR to ¼” guitar cable, put in the two included AA batteries, and again, turn on the power switch. Select the desired channel on both units, and it just works. Easy.
The first thing I noticed was the smooth operation. There was no detectable latency throughout my entire testing period. This was a huge factor for my review. I am happy to report that transmission of my signal was virtually instantaneous. Just amazing.
Some people report that analog systems offer the possibility of true latency-free operation, but such units can be plagued by interference. Line 6 uses the latest advances in digital wireless technology to render latency unnoticeable while offering an interference-free signal with perfect uncompressed tone. Youtube video comparisons don’t do it justice. You have to unplug your cable and try it yourself to believe how clear and pristine your signal sounds.
The Cable Tone simulation is engaged simply by pushing the labeled button on the front of the receiver. It is a very subtle effect. Your ears may not even be able to detect the difference. I prefer to leave it off, but you may engage it if you need to roll-off some highs from your signal.
The range is great. You can walk any reasonable distance away from the unit, and it works fine. You should have no problems in any medium or large-sized club. You should be able to play stadium gigs, too, without a problem. The unit seems to work fine all the way up to the 300-feet limit. This is most impressive.
Battery life is exceptional. The displays on the transmitter and receiver both give you indications of remaining battery life. You won’t get surprised by dying batteries.
Operation overall is smooth and seamless. It just works. It does exactly what it should. There isn’t much point in rambling on about this.
The Line 6 Relay G55 Digital Wireless Guitar System is absolutely amazing. It blows the competition out of the water. I know other guitarists who’ve been swearing by the Line 6 wireless systems for years, and this one tops them all. It could be argued that this is the best wireless system you can buy in this price range, especially considering it’s high-end performance and sound in a reasonably portable unit. I will go ahead and say that as of today, this is the best overall value in a wireless solution for guitar. If you’re ready to go wireless, look no further. The Line 6 Relay G55 is a must-have.
That concludes this Line 6 Relay G55 review. With that being said, I have a few useful tips to help you get the most out of your unit.
Power User Tip 1: Picking the Best Channel
Do this to ensure peak performance every time you use the unit. Turn on the receiver unit without turning on the transmitter. The right column of red lights on the receiver (labeled RF) will give you an indication of interfering signals from other RF sources such as WiFi Routers, etc. The lights will either be off for no interference or 1 to 5 will be lit. You can select each channel (1-12) with the knob to view the levels of RF interference for each channel. Find one with fewer lit lights for the peace of mind of no possible interference or signal drop-out. Then turn on your transmitter and select the same channel. I played on a channel for several hours which consistently had 3 red lights indicating moderate RF interference and still had no problems at all.
Power User Tip 2: Locking the Transmitter
If you’re concerned with accidentally hitting the power switch or muting your guitar during a performance, then lock the transmitter. After turning on the transmitter and ensuring you’re on the right channel, simply push the “Select” and “Value” buttons simultaneously and hold for 2 seconds. The LED screen will show “LOCKED” to indicate that it is. While the unit is locked, all buttons will be inactive, including the power switch. To unlock the unit, just repeat the process for locking the unit as before. Easy.
Power User Tip 3: Accurate Battery Reading
Batteries give extra voltage after rest periods, so you’ll want to give it about 20 minutes of play time to read accurately. Check the batteries when you turn on the transmitter to get a general idea, but check again after you warm up if the batteries are running low and you want to avoid surprises.
Power User Tip 4: Securing the Transmitter
You may want to consider securing the transmitter by sewing it onto your strap. It actually remains very secure on a 2-inch wide strap, but during one very energetic performance I managed to knock it off during a song. Fortunately, the locking mini-XLR cable remained firmly connecting to the transmitter. It dangled securely until I could reattach the unit to my strap between songs. For most guitarists, this won’t even be an issue. The really active performers are the ones who may want to make this consideration.