Before Universal Audio embarked on its effects pedal renaissance back in 2021, one of the brand’s most notable offerings was the OX Amp Top Box – an award-winning reactive load box that offered mic, room and cab emulations.
Well, for its 14th pedal offering, the Californian company has taken those emulations and repackaged them into a pedalboard-friendly format: the OX Stomp Dynamic Speaker Emulator.
Not to be confused with the HX Stomp, the OX Stomp caters specifically to those who wanted the OX Amp Top Box’s emulation tones, but who deemed the reactive load box feature surplus to requirements. As such, the OX Stomp looks to deliver a far more in-depth and intuitive approach to channeling and tweaking the aforementioned cab, mic and room emulations.
But that’s not all. According to Universal Audio, the OX Stomp is head and shoulders above all its competitors, with the brand boldly claiming its latest pedal can produce “the most authentic sounding speaker, cab, mic, and room tones ever emulated in a stompbox”.
How does it hope to achieve this? Well, in practice, the OX Stomp gives players the chance to play through 22 cab models and six microphones, all of which can be browsed and sculpted via the UAFX Control app.
In the app, RIG presets can be assembled, with the OX Stomp itself carrying a six-point RIG control knob for navigating a bank of uploaded rigs. To make things easier, there are 100 pre-made RIGs that are said to be “perfect for any amp emulator”.
The RIG control sits between two dedicated Mic knobs, which each have their own Dynamic, Condenser or Ribbon toggle switch. Three final parameters for Room, Speaker Drive and Output – as well as A/B footswitches – complete the topography.
Another neat addition is the fact that the OX Stomp offers a handful of effects to add further nuance to the RIGs, including a UA 1176 compressor, plate reverb, EQ and stereo delay.
All these tones are driven by the brand’s Dynamic Speaker Modeling and Dynamic Room Modeling, which are used in an effort to authentically reproduce “speaker breakup, drive, and cone cry”, and “the authentic experience of pushing air while recording your cranked amp in a world-class tracking room”.
On paper, it looks to be an impressive piece of kit, but UA’s ambitions for its new stompbox don’t stop there: not only can it be used to further color a guitar amp, it’s said to be “the perfect companion for any amp modeler”, be it a pedal amp or full-blown multi-effects a la the Neural DSP Quad Cortex.
Has UA done enough to make good on its claims? Well, we won’t know for sure until we’ve given it a go, but for those on the hunt for a dedicated cab, mic and room emulator with an expanded feature set, it certainly looks the part.
Sure, there are pedals out there that offer both cab and amp models all in one – Strymon’s Iridium is a classic example – for those looking for a more all-round playing experience, but the OX Stomp isn’t trying to be one of those pedals. Instead, it’s set its sights on a very specific purpose (as requested by players, no less) and so it looks to have met the brief with aplomb.
The OX Stomp is available now for $399 – a third of the price of the original Ox Amp Top Box.
Head over to Universal Audio to find out more.