OX Amp Top Box
OX Amp Top Box
The just right one I need just right now!
Now I can crank up my tube amplifier without annoying neighbors!
So many amp simulations out there, but nothing can replace real guitar sounds from hardly pushed tube amplifiers.
And also, I can record my guitar tracks like I'm in high-end record studio with various guitar cabinets and mics!
Makes you a better player
Soundwise there is nothing anyone could teach the guys from Universal Audio. After 25 years of professional playing and using all the stuff that is available (including the Kemper profiler) in both studio and live environments I think UA raised the bar again. For me personally the winner is the combination of features. I see people comparing stuff and listening very close to what sounds best, but that is subjective. The combination of finding the sweet spot of an amplifier, switching (fantastic sounding) mics and cabs in a blink combined with top notch converters. That is what's helping the actual player and that is what it's all about. Real tube compression is one of the most important things when talking about sound and the actual 'feel' of an amp. That is something a profiler doe NOT own. Period. 5 stars for me. Brilliant product.
Das Ende der Amp-Mikrofonierung...?
OX ist eine Reactive Load Box, die zum Röhrenamp verschiedene Boxen simulieren kann und diese dann perfekt mikrofoniert ausgibt. Man muss kein Cabinet anschließen und kann so den Amp für Aufnahmen sehr schön am "Sweet Spot" fahren, oder man schließt eine Box an und passt diese durch Drosselung an die Location an. Die Klangqualität ist spitze im Vergleich zu ähnlichen Loadboxen, die ich getestet habe.
Universal Audio sind mit ihrer Studiohardware und Plugins qualitativ ziemlich gut aufgestellt und entsprechend ist der Raumklang und die Mikrofonsimulation großartig gelungen. Die Kiste ist sehr einfach zu bedienen (wenige Knöpfe, Einstellungen über die App) und ist aus meiner Sicht die perfekte Ergänzung zum Lieblingsamp, sowohl live als auch beim Recording. Sieht auch schick aus. Der Mischer kriegt ein symmetrisches Stereosignal, aufnehmen kann man perfekt per Digitalausgang. Das Ganze ohne Nebengeräusche und mit 3 Mikros oder DI gemischt, wie man es haben will. Es gibt 17 Cabinets und 6 Mikros, die kann man in 3 Kanälen (2x direkt, 1x Raumklang) anordnen. 2 Mics sind trocken ohne jegliche Rauminformation, daher sollte man in den meisten Situationen etwas Raum dazugeben. Bei Aufnahmen lässt sich dies auch später nur sehr schwierig nachbilden. Hier geht es auch eher um Raumreflexionen als um Reverb. Wichtig ist zu erwähnen, dass der Raum, die Cabinets und alte Mics von UA verwendet wurden und dies den Klang bestimmt. Wer also gern im eigenen Badezimmer aufnimmt, muss stark mit dem EQ und Raumhall tweaken oder sich auf den anderen Raumklang einlassen. Und man sollte den Klang im Vergleich zu einem mirkrofonierten Amp im Mischerraum sehen! Direkt vor nem Fullstack ist der Spieleindruck natürlich anders.
Es gibt praxistaugliche Presets als Ausgangsbasis, die z.T. wirklich authentisch Albumsounds nachbilden (es ist verblüffend, wie man mit dem Aufnahmeraum den Ampcharakter verändern kann!). Schon der "Speaker Drive"-Regler ist magisch!!
Cabs und Mikrofonierung lassen sich sehr akribisch verstellen und bei Bedarf kann man noch EQ, nen 1176, Delay oder ne Hallplatte drauflegen. All das geht natürlich auch nach der Aufnahme, die Plugins sind nahezu identisch mit den UAD2 (bietet sich z.B. bei der Hallplatte an). Bin total begeistert und werde wohl nie wieder ein Mikro vor meine Box stellen. Beim Gig kann man super der Amp aufreißen, die Box dann auf ne gute Monitoring-Lautstärke drosseln und den mikrofonierten Ausgang an den Mischer geben. Den Raumklang (3. Mikro) kann man dann mit dem Regler vorne nach Bedarf / Location anpassen.
Nachteile: Zurzeit kein Celestion Vintage 30 zur Auswahl (gehe davon aus, dass er später in Updates zur Verfügung gestellt werden wird, da sehr beliebt, es gibt aber auch gute Alternativen). App nur für OS-X und iPad, man arbeitet wohl an anderen Formaten. Die App ist allerdings wirklich spitze gemacht und sehr bedienerfreundlich. Ich bin sehr gespannt, wie sich die Plattform entwickeln wird - mit 3 USB-Ports und Fussschalteranschluss kann hardwareseitig auch noch was kommen. Dementsprechend ziehe ich keinen Stern ab.
Teuer ist der OX, aber man sollte dies in Relation setzen: mind. 3 gute (R-121) Mikros, Preamps dazu, perfekter Aufnahmeraum, perfekte auslöschungsfreie Mikrofonpositionen, Amp aufgedreht. Bei OX ist das jederzeit, auch live, so einzusetzen und rekonstruierbar.
Schön ist, dass die Kiste einfach super zu einem guten Röhrenamp passt und ihn dann flexibel und bei Bedarf ohne Box einsetzbar macht, ohne dass man auf Kemper & Co. zurückgreifen muss. Vor allem macht das Spielen auch über Kopfhörer total Spaß, man hört extrem viele Details vom Amp und durch die sinnvolle Bedienung ist man nicht nur am Knöpfe drehen. OX löst glaube ich für viele Leute eine Menge Probleme. Die Klangqualität lässt keine Wünsche offen - unglaublich.
All you will ever need
I played before with a Shure reactive Load and custom IRs and a computer to get a well sounding result. Now you only need your amp and the box, that's all. Se possibilities are endless if you are able to combine the cabinets with the micros and varying the micro position and using the room hall. Playing directly from the amp into your headphone or monitoring boxes. It's so easy. And in the feature there will be more. Well done!
And IRs aren't the future, the future starts here!
Obsolete on arrival
Oh, sure, it sounds good. So do other load boxes, including less expensive, more flexible and upgrade able options. UAD is marketing this overpriced pig like crazy because their plugin business is out of cool gear to model. This device is headed for the black hole in the closet along with Gibson’s FirebirdX. Technology too costly and too late for what it hopes to do. The fatal flaw of the Ox is it’s closed design, not allowing the use of other IR’s. You will get sick of the included choices and lament not having access to new great tones. Expensive door stop.
It sounds incredible, but I do a lot of genres. No V30s at launch was disappointing. I’ve had it awhile now and the lack of cab updates has skipped past disappointing to lazy. Get your act together UA.
It really is that good
I was definitely skeptical of this product--for 2 reasons really. The first was that I couldn't find any demos showing off the Ox's ability to handle really high gain metal and hard rock tones. The 2nd reason was that the Ox doesn't come with any v30 speaker options.
I can say firsthand that this box handles high gain tones better than any load/IR combination that I have tried to date. As far as the v30s, I'm not too heartbroken, as the modern Marshall 4x12 options work wonderfully for heavy sounds.
I was on the fence so I figured that I would just order it from Sweetwater and return it if it was nothing special. Well, I can't return it, because I am already in love with this thing. It's worth the money. I ran my Bogner Uberschall through it on day one and I was blown away.
I still want UAD to add v30 options, but I'm certainly good for now.
Unboxed it a few hours and I'm sitting in my control room with a Deluxe and running the 1x12 Deluxe speaker sim. Going between the amp in the room and the line out coming through my JBL monitors and it's 99% the exact same sound - a better job at mic'ing a cab then I've done over the last 30 years. I was skeptical and waited for some "non marketing" reviews before I spent the cash but for once the marketing hype was for real. Hate to be a fan-boy but the sound is the real deal. Won't add to my live rig until there's a flight case for it but for the studio it's a no-brainer.
I Can Use My Tube Amps Again!
I am a touring guitarist and I switched to using a Kemper some years back to have an efficient touring/recording rig. While I still love my Kemper for live use, it is as of late usually in transit in the band trailer, so I wanted to have another option for home recording.
I am using it in conjunction with a UAD Apollo Quad, and I had an issue with some digital noise when I first plugged it in. It turns out I had a sample rate mismatch with the Apollo being at 48k and the OX running at 44.1k. If I have one complaint so far it is that it is limited to 44.1k as far as I know.
Tone? Pretty blown away. I am using my old 80s 50 Watt Marshall JMP which I rarely use because of the volume issues. I am currently working on a really heavy death-ish metal project and have been experimenting with different ways of achieving a really crushing tone (Note: The UAD Engl Savage model is pretty awesome, too). The front end gain is courtesy of Fender's new Full Moon Distortion. I got an early model of the pedal because I created some music for Fender that goes with these insane animations that will be released soon to promote the pedal line. A great pedal as well.
Anyway, I dialed up what I thought was a pretty killer tone, and then started messing with the presets. That's when s&*t got real! It was amazing that even with the same settings on my pedal and amp, the factory presets made things so radically different. You have a choice of mics, cabinets, room, EQ, 1176 Compressor, a delay/mod unit, and a plate reverb. All of the effects are up to UAD high sonic standards.
Anyway, I am spending some more time with it tonight and just wanted to give my initial impressions. Thanks, UAD for making me love tube amps again!
Simply put, the OX is incredible! As an attenuator, it’s the best I’ve experienced and the speaker and mic sims are so real, so lush it’s hard to go back to the real thing considering the benefits of silent recording. Looking forward to digging deeper with the iOS App and for UA to add more cabs. Bravo!
I want to buy vintage 30's...
Even with complaints it gets a 5!
First off, I've tried a lot of different amp sims and fx units/software over the years, and currently have the Axe FX II Ultra which is great in its own way, but I've always felt the sounds weren't quite real enough or present like recording a live amp. That has all changed with the OX. Using the output of your real amp and running it through their cabinet/mic/fx models is definitely the best I've ever heard. It will be amazing to try different amp heads on this as I slowly collect them! My only complaints: 1) They should have implemented the USB ports to hook directly to computer although the wi-fi does work fairly well. 2) If they did implement the USB, the unit could have MIDI in to sync the delay unit to your daw which makes things a lot easier 3) The quality of the processing is amazing but more would be nice. 4) Since you can't save your 'Rigs' or 'Presets' to your computer, a better filing system would be great. These are things that can all be worked around and hopefully with additional firmware/updates in the future, these things will be addressed. The bottom line is the unit sounds amazing so take the plunge!
Sounds great, but really miss a 4*12 with Vintage 30’s..
Un nouveau mo de vraiment
Ce n'est pas un n-ieme buzz sur le nouvel objet de MAO qui finit par décevoir.
Les Ir en leurs temps étaient une révolution, l'OX passe au mode supérieur, très supérieur meme / dynamique , profondeur, amplitude jamais entendu en sim à ce jour (ai vupassé chez moi au cours des 10 dernières année :torpedo(s), axe(s), kemper, rivera rockcrusher etc etc
I have been a frustrated "purist" for so, so long. I have great amps and guitars. I'm outfitted with an Apollo 8p, some great mics, and a Mac Pro. I'm a good musician and songwriter, and I'm technically savvy. All the ingredients for killer recordings, right?
Despite my every effort, I've never been able to get guitar tones to tape (disk) that represent (and enhance) the tones of my amazing amps. It's been maddening! I've tried isolation cabinets, normal attenuators, even tried going all digital using amp modeling stuff that so many people have tried to convince me are as good as the real thing. There's always been something missing. However, with real mics and speakers, I haven't been able to get it to sound like what I know people have achieved many times over.
Maybe it's some weakness in my skills as an engineer, or that I tend to get frustrated and need to get moving before the musical energy is sucked out of me. So many times I've gotten stuck going down the rabbit hole of thinking the tone isn't right, and it just drains my inspiration. With modeling software, again, I've heard so many people get great tones, but even with the lowest latency (latency is the bane of my existence), it just doesn't feel quite right and doesn't respond to my playing the way I'm used to.
I've got a long history playing live and recording situations (in real studios, with professional engineers). On my own, I've never been able to recreate the bliss that is the right amp through the right gear
I had all but surrendered to the cold reality that I was never going to be able to achieve what I know is possible on my own...
Never wanting to give up, and loving my other UA gear, I thought I'd give the OX a try. As I type this I am still vibrating with excitement. I plugged my guitar straight into my favorite Marshall, which I then plugged in into the OX, and plugged a good pair of headphones into the jack on the front...
From the first chord, I knew this was it. This is what has eluded me for so long. It feels REAL. My amp is my amp! And it's like I'm playing it through the best mics, pres, into the best board, in the best sounding room, with the best engineer, and I'm in Abbey Road!
I have to go to work now, and I am thinking of calling in sick. I can't believe this is happening! I want to go back a re-record so many tracks! And, I'm so inspired to create new ones!!!
The OX is absolutely outstanding. It's a fantastic attenuator, yes, but the sound quality out of the box is simply stunning. I never thought anything could rival mics in a room, but this truly does it. Makes me second-guess my abilities as an engineer. It's also ridiculously simple to use. Seriously, seconds after plugging everything in, you are off and running. This is an absolute home-run. I can't tell you how skeptical I was until I heard it and played through it. It won me over instantly. Just an outstanding unit.
Overall it's really great!
So I got mine in January among the very 1st ones shipped and have had time to get to know better. I'm using 1.0.1 software now.
The stepped attenuator function is outstanding (used it with vintage brown face 6G2 Princeton, 60's Vox AC10 Twin and an AC15, a Savage Rohr (2x 10) and a Studious Selye). The 6 preset cabs (some with effects such as reverb and delay) sound nice via headphone jack for practice or thru my Apollo via SPDIF.
Now that I've gotten to spend a good amount of time with the OX software - I've created many of my own cab/mic presets since some all of the included ones were directly in my wheelhouse. Overall this produces very usable guitar tones using your amps. My own sonic preferences lean toward cleaner Vox and Fender sounds - and there are no shortage of usable sounds in here once you start tweaking. I've mostly used the digital out into my Apollo devices to record keeper tracks on demos.
Two minor complaints - one far is poor quality of the SPDIF Toslink input/door - Despite exercising genuine caution on my part when plugging/unplugging the cable, the "shudder" or door broke off on the very 1st insertion and now the Toslink cable connection is no longer as secure/tight as it should be. It's a pain to have to get this repaired on a brand new unit. This is minor but kind of annoying. I've decided to live with it.
The 2nd complaint is the stereo only output. It would be nicer to be able to separately send to your interface all three output sources (Mic 1, Mic2, and Room). Its fine to blend the mics and pan L and R, but it would be nicer to have the flexibility.
Overall this is an outstanding box with lots of uses for guitarists and a unique tool in my studio!!
I have received the OX Box today hooked it up and the first chord blew me away. I use the Two Notes Live and it sounded great but now? The OX sounds more alive, the highs are crisp, the effects... amazing. I couldn't be happier. The perfect match for my Bogner XTC and Mark V. The price is ok if you consider how much work they did spend in development. The hardware is 1st class nothing looks and feels cheap. Great work UAD.
Perfect for our Business
The Ox Box is such a great piece of gear for us here at McPherson Stompboxes New Zealand. We build effects pedals + repair musician's backline gear and the Ox is proving to be very useful.
First off, now we can get great (and accurate) recordings of our pedals for online content. The Ox is definitely the best sounding way to get our Artisan effects pedals heard. Over the last 10 years we have tried a lot of different options and many do sound great but the Ox does sound the most convincing (vs standing in the room) + it is also the most convenient.
Secondly, when musicians want to try out our pedals they can now jam happily with headphones on through a cranked amp, while I'm am free continue working in the workshop. They really get to hear what our units sound and feel like at stage volume, their reactions are always enjoyable to watch.
Before the Ox cranking amps in the workshop would have caused problems with nearby residents....they should lighten up, it's just Rock & Roll!
Lastly, we do loads of Tube amp repair work and being able to test an amp through a great reactive load means, that not only can we tell that the amp is sounding how it should but also that it feels like it should.
No doubt I will find more uses for this great piece of gear, at the moment it gets used everyday!
All round great product, I've opened it up and the build quality is also very good, nice work Universal Audio, you should be proud of this one, it really does fill a big need!
OX Amp Top Box
Great product that works with my Mac and Logic without any problems. The software that is provided with the product works very well and lets you save you rig configurations for use as you like to your computer. The only problem I had with the unit is it does not have a 2 ohm setting for use with my Fender Bassman, but there is a work around with a Weber Harness Cable, BMH Bassman Attenuator Harness from www.tedweber.com. I had contacted technical support from Fender and Universal Audio to see if this amp top box would work with the Fender Bassman and it appeared that it could. With the Weber Harness Cable, it works great. It would be nice if there was a 2 ohm setting on the Amp Top Box to work easier on amps with 2 ohms output. Great Product!!!!!!!