Anyone who is a fan of UA's guitar hardware expected it would arrive eventually, but the UA pedal version of its OX Amp Top Box is still an event in an era where pedal amps are gaining serious momentum for home hobbyists, recordists and stage dwellers. And OX Stomp is a significant release because it has the potential to take good amp modelling and make it great within a pedalboard.
The attenuation and load box functions of the OX Box are dropped here and the line level only OX Stomp's focus is on speaker, mic and room emulation at the end of your signal chain, with the added scope of studio 1176 compression, plate reverb and delay that might save you a pedal or two to make space for it too. Theoretically, it also boosts the potential for your pedalboard as a recording rig with multiple emulated mic, speaker and room setups.
The UAFX Control app takes vital role here in dialling in the type and deeper parameters for all these emulations, with Room, Speaker and two Mic levels then available alongside five selectable Rig preset slots on the unit itself. We'll dig into how this all works in our review coming soon.
Out of the box you'll have access to 22 speaker cabs, six vintage mics with UA's proven rep for stunning plate reverb, alongside stereo delay (dual, crossover and ping-pong) and UA 1176 compression. You can make choosing combinations easier with the '100 curated Rigs' UA provides via the app. We've been especially impressed with UA's approach to these kinds of app presets with its Del Verb pedal so we're looking forward to investigating these Rigs.
Players will also have control over speaker breakup, drive and cone cry that made the OX Box such a compelling studio tool. The OX Stomp has buffered bypass with analog dry through too.
"When we released the original OX Amp Top Box, we were thrilled to see the demand from guitarists who appreciated the sonic authenticity of our modeling," says Tore Mogensen, Senior UA Product Manager. "At the same time, some guitarists didn't need the reactive load box feature of OX — they just wanted the cabinet, mic and room emulations. OX Stomp hits that nail on the head and lets them take their tone to the next level."
But for all the potential benefits here, the OX Stomp drops the ball on one feature for me already; there's no headphone output. It's something I lamented with the otherwise excellent Dream '65, Ruby '63 and Woodrow '55 amp emulator pedals, and would have made this a great opportunity for home players to enjoy their pedalboards with UA's end-of-chain processing for quiet practice sessions. XLR out for mixing desks is also absent.
Despite this, the 14th pedal release for the company has the potential to be UA's most universally appealing piece of guitar hardware yet for pedalboards.
The OX Stomp Dynamic Speaker Emulator is $399 and requires a 400mA isolated power supply (sold separately).