When it comes to features and portability for the money, the Line 6 HX Stomp amp and multi-effects pedal modeller is simply one of the very best options for a guitarist. But for some players, the three footswitches on the original unit isn't enough. Well the new HX Stomp XL is bringing another five to the winning formula for a total of eight.
The Line 6 HX Stomp XL uses the same SHARC DSP chip found in the rest of the Helix family of amp and effects processors and the new unit can run up to eight processing blocks simultaneously. The expanded assignable footswitches can open up new possibilities too.
How you use the HX Stomp XL is up to you; as a guitar or bass pedalboard with MIDI capabilities, full rig or a multichannel 24-bit/96kHz USB audio interface for recording, it can excel. You certainly won't be short on inspiration with more than 300 amps, cabs, and effects.
Build your own chains, or head to the 128 factory presets for guitar and bass for instant ideas. You have the choice of true bypass and DSP bypass with trails, stereo effects loop to integrate external pedals and devices.
There's support for the 4-cable method, a jack for two external footswitches to expand the HX Stomp XL even further. You can choose to use an expression pedal and load third-party Impulse responses support.
The sense of flexibility with Helix extends to how you interact with editing too – the free HX Edit app lets you create, save and load your presets, and customise nearly all pedal parameters without touching the pedal if you choose.
So where's the rub? The SRP for the HX Stomp XL is £817, and when you consider the street price of the original HX Stomp is around £430 it's a significantly bigger investment. But for some players it could be just the Helix they've been waiting for.
More info at Line 6