Universal Audio is one of those rare companies that excels in both hardware and software, so when it puts both together in a product, you know you have something worth a long look. If you’re a guitar player or want to offer guitar players more choices in your studio, then the company’s new Ox Amp Top Box is indeed something to consider. The interesting thing is that this product actually started as an in-house test bed for the company’s amplifier emulations, but eventually became refined enough to become a stand-alone product in its own right.
The Ox Amp Top Box is basically an analog reactive load attenuator box for tube amplifiers so you can crank the volume to get the sound you want while keeping the SPL level down to something that doesn’t have people heading for the doors. It has selectable 4, 8, and 16-Ohm operation, and a front-panel Headphone out for silent practice with cranked tones. It also features 5 amp attenuation levels that go from no sound output to full level.
So what good is an amp attenuator that’s not attenuating? That’s where the software part comes in. The Ox Amp has a front panel “Rig” control for that allows you to apply UA’s preset mic and speaker cabinet emulations that are contained in DSP in the box to your amp sound. The Room control lets you then add reverb and delay presets to the signal. What should be noted is that this box sits in between your amp and its speaker or speaker cabinet, so adding DSP at this point is quite unique. If you need more control, you can use the Ox Amp app to via wi-fi for editing and saving presets. The Ox Amp Top Box also has balanced TRS line outs controlled from a front panel level control, and S/PDIF digital output for recording.
The Universal Audio Ox Amp Top Box won’t be available until winter of 2017 and will carry a street price of $1299. Go to the UA Ox Amp page to learn more, or check out the video below.