Line 6 is a musical instrument and audio equipment manufacturer. Their product lines include electric and acoustic guitars, basses, guitar and bass amplifiers, effects units, USB audio interfaces and guitar/bass wireless systems. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Calabasas, California.
Since December 2013, it has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Yamaha Corporation.
Marcus Ryle and Michel Doidic (two former Oberheim designers) co-founded Fast-Forward Designs, where they helped develop several notable pro audio products such as the Alesis ADAT, Quadraverbs and QuadraSynth, and Digidesign SampleCell. As digital signal processing became more and more powerful and affordable during the 1980s, they began developing DSP-based products for guitarists. As Ryle tells the story, the name “Line 6” came about because the phone system at Fast-Forward Designs only had 5 lines. Because the new guitar-related products were developed in secrecy, the receptionist used “Line 6” as a code word of sorts, and paging them for a call on Line 6 meant to stop any guitar or amp-related sounds so that they wouldn’t be overheard by other Fast-Forward clients or callers.