Universal Audio OX Reactive Amp Attenuator with Speaker Modeling
Universal Audio has always been a leader in high-quality analog hardware for recording, but over the last couple years, they have been making great strides in digital technology and integration of software and hardware. The new Universal Audio OX is the perfect combination of analog and digital, and is a must-have for every guitar player, studio owner, and live music venue.
OX is a premium reactive load box, which allows you to crank your tube amp up to its ideal sweet spot but keep it at a reasonable playback level. Integrated with state of the art software, and Universal Audio’s breakthrough dynamic speaker modeling, you are able to model a variety of classic speaker cabinets, classic dynamic, ribbon and condenser microphones, reverbs and delays, room tones, EQ, and compression. It’s the world’s finest boutique speaker attenuator and guitar amp recording solution.
Get the ultimate tone out of your tube amp - anywhere, and at any volume. You can pair your amp to the world's best reactive load, with boutique UA analog quality built for years of home and studio use. Instantly audition dozens of the album-quality mic and guitar cabinet setups with front panel "Rig" control. Get authentic "edge of destruction" tones complete with speaker breakup and cone cry, thanks to UA Dynamic Speaker Modeling
A Beautiful Software App
Most guitar products do digital awkwardly. They’re ugly and hard to understand. The OX software app, on the other hand, offers slick, intuitive control over all of OX’s RIG settings via Wi-Fi — letting you tweak, store and recall hundreds of presets from your iPad, Mac, or Windows 10 computer. You can then save your six favorite tones onto OX’s front-panel RIG knob for instant recall in the studio or at a gig.
OX Firmware v1.2
Free firmware update from UA includes:
- Five new speaker cabinet models
- External footswitch control of OX’s built-in effects
- 25+ new Rigs based on tones from legendary artists and albums
Solid State Amplifiers
OX can be used with solid state amplifiers (amps without vacuum tubes). However, when connecting OX to solid state amps, extra caution is advised so as not to exceed OX’s maximum input power rating of 150 Watts RMS or less.
An amp’s output power rating is sometimes labeled near the amp’s speaker output jack, or contact the amp manufacturer for the power output specification.
Caution: Many solid state amps exceed 150W output power and those that do can permanently damage OX. Damage that occurs from exceeding OX’s 150W input power rating is not covered under warranty.
- Premium, no-compromise analog reactive load box for tube guitar amps
- Five finely-tuned guitar amp attenuation levels from off, to whisper quiet, to full band volume
- Front-panel “Rig” control for instant, album-quality mic and speaker cabinet emulations
- UA Dynamic Speaker Modeling emulates speaker breakup and cone cry
- World-class Universal Audio EQ, compression, delay, and reverb effects built-in
- Selectable 4, 8, and 16-Ohm operation
- Front-panel Headphone out for silent practice with cranked tones
- Balanced TRS line outs, and S/PDIF digital outputs for stereo recording
- Pair with OX mobile or desktop app over Wi-Fi for editing and saving presets
When I first heard about the OX I was skeptical. I run a recording studio that has an ISO room for recording loud amps, vocal, etc. I’ve owned the kemper which i used for scratch tracking and writing but never liked how it worked with pedals so I eventually sold it. I love my tube amps and mic them for recording but I wanted something that I could use for writing quickly.
After watching a ton of videos I pulled the trigger and I’m glad I did. I can use my amps with my pedals the way I like and it sounds really good. For records I’ll still mic amps but for writing the OX is great.
Excellent sound quality and easy operation with Apps integration.
Amazing peice of gear. I am a home studio user, and while it obviously isn’t for everyone considering the price point, I can see how the OX would be of great use in any kind of studio. I knew it would sound good as I own a number of UA products, but I am blown away by the quality of the OX.
I have been using te OX for two months and I really like that it bridges the analog world with the digital. It is Extremely familiar and intuitive for guitarists. The software cabinets and effects add a modern dimension to my guitar amps and their sounds.
Unbelievably useful in the studio. Squeezes every ounce out of your favorite tube amp! And the connection to UA plugins and cabinet modeling is very cool. Love it!
My review of the new UAD OX Verses the Two Notes Torpedo Studio/Live/Cab/Captor
Disclosure - I have been using the Two Notes Studio for a year+. And just received the OX yesterday and unboxed & played for 2 hrs. Enough for a basic review for sure. Note I am a guitar player recording in my home studio and not getting paid to do this review. Just wanted to share my experiences after learning plenty on the UAD forum from others.
Two Notes was kind of the only game in town unless you wanted to cobble together your own Smart reactive load (i.e. SUHR) and then add your own IRs (Celestion, Red Wirez, Ownhammer, etc).
Setup - TN Studio Balanced analogue outs into UAD Apollo 8p and listened thru Yamaha HS8 FRFR monitors and headphones.
-Two Notes is an open platform, i.e. use your Impulse Responses ( IR's) or the Wall Of Sound IRs. Some of which are quite good.
-I get to blast my amp(s) and feel the amp while keeping my destroying my hearing.
-Neighbors and family can't hear me blasting amps at midnight.
-Two Notes Studio is just too finicky for me. I can't get consistent results. Respectfully, some people disagree with my experience. They say "any good sound requires a lot of tweaking." Agreed but...
-After spending time to tweak a good cabinet sound, changing to a different cabinet requires you to start all over again. Frustrating.
-The 2 most important controls Input and Output volume are totally inconsistent and results become finicky.
-While Two Notes's generic effects are okay but not the same high quality as UAD models for the recording chain. i.e. mic-pres, mic , reverb, compressors, delay.
-Two Notes is small company and their support is lacking.
UAD / OX
Summary: -Just received it yesterday. I unboxed and played for 2 hrs...enough to do a basic review. By the way, the box is as cool as any Apple product packing ...perhaps better.
In summary its simply a great amp add-on. It just works out of the box and sounds clean and/or gristly while capturing the live feel of my amp & guitar. Feels 99% as responsive as playing thru an amp on the edge of breakup I could hear the Cone Cry on higher bend notes. Unbelievable that UA captured that.
Setup - Alessandro 15 watt Vox Clone and Fender 1960 Tweed Deluxe, OX Analogue Balanced out into UAD Apollo 8p and listened thru Yamaha HS8 FRFR monitors and headphones. I didnt play thru the amps own speaker purposefully to try it at reasonable volume at night at home.
-It just works easily. Steps are so basic. 1) Connect Amp out into OX with correct Ohm matched. Plug in headphones or Line out to monitors via Apollo 8p, Turn on Ox, Turn on Amp, Play Guitar.
-The Default Cabinets are Great Sounding: 1) Marshall green back, 2) Tweed alnico, 3) Vox 2x12, 4) Tweed 4x10 Bassman, 5) Blackface Champ/Princeton and 6) 2 x12 Divided by 13. Not sure what the last cab is.
-The 2 Fender Tweeds, Champ and Vox models are just fantastic. Sparkly and clean and will light on fire when the volume turned up and extra "gristle" is needed. The Marshall cab is good but I am not a Marshall player. Rig 6 ( 2x12 cab) is good too and has a bit of plate reverb and delay.
-UAD says there are 17 cabinets in total using the Ipad or desktop app. But the app wasnt available yet.
-The UAD platform is rock solid and captures the soul of the best studio gear.... Some of which i didnt know existed until I became a UAD user a few yrs ago.
-Leverages the great sounding modeled gear as a foundation for its recording chain that includes mic-pre, mic , pristine plate reverb, compressors (1176) , LA2, Fairchild, Tape saturation, blah, blah, blah
-The number of cabinets are 6 by default but a total of 17 says UA. UA will need to add (or sell) a few more classic cabinets/mic models. My vote is for Fender Dual Showman, 15 inch tweed Jenson, Fuchs ODS, BuzzyFeiten, Two Rock. Or partner with Celestion to mike up the best of.
-The cabinet models are less flexible compared to the more open Two Notes platform where you can use 3rd party impulse responses. Some people have invested time /money in impulse responses and not sure yet if this is possible w/ the OX.
-Its not rack mountable. So must be placed on top of something i.e. Rack, amp head, etc.
-A bit pricey. Although its priced similar to the other complete solutions - i.e. Two Notes Studio of Live.
Note: The App to control is not available yet. UA said dealers shipped the OX a week early to time with Namm 2018.
Summary Comparison -
The UA OX will likely disrupt the market for Two Notes' higher end products (Studio and Live) priced at in the same range.... $1000- $1700. That said, the Two notes inexpensive Captor line is affordable but stripped down version for live & studio work.
But overall, the Two Notes Studio is too finicky. Its hard to get consistent results perhaps due to having too many options. It takes too much time to dial in a great sound. The settings change drastically with every cabinet change . But since its an open platform you can add your own Impulse Responses (IRs) . That said, the OX may be able to be used with IRs by disabling the speaker setting. I will followup and check if this is possible since there are cabinet models in the Fuchs amp. Anyway, I prefer to have the mikes placed by an expert (i.e. UAD) and just give me the whole model so i can start playing & recording. Support...Two Notes is smaller company than UAD, their support is lacking.
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