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Boss Tube Expander vs Shur IRRL vs Ox Box vs St Rock React

cap217

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,332
I am going to jump in and get a box for recording and to just tame the power of the amp in the room at times. It is mostly for recording though. The St rock caught my attention and the functionality of it seems really good, plus spdif for recording. But I heard the boss is the best one out right now. Then the other 2 are kind of staples and have been for a while.

Input? Advice? I want to buy once and never worry about it again.
 

CJReaper

Member
Messages
2,189
Does it need to have an IR loader built in or do you just need a load box with the ability to attenuate? I seriously considered the Boss TAE but some people have had issues with the load blowing fuses in their amps and Dave Friedman says it's not ideal (paraphrasing) so that's something to consider. I wound up going with a Fryette PS-100 and couldn't be happier (I use the IRs in my DAW so I didn't need a IR loader).
 

myaudiodna

Member
Messages
2,609
  • I didn't like the Boss at all. It had a significant impact on the tone of my amp and just didn't feel very good.
  • I haven't used the St Rock, so I'm not sure about that one.
  • The UA OX is a good reactive load with good built in IRs and effects and a not so good attenuator. Lots of people love it, but I didn't find the extra features to be worth the price over other solutions.
  • The Suhr is the best sounding and feeling reactive load out right now IMO. If you need the IRs built in, get the RLIR, otherwise get the regular RL.
If I were buying today, it would be a toss up between the OX and a Suhr RL depending on which features were needed. I'd take a chance on the St Rock before buying a Boss TAE.
 

cap217

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,332
IR would be nice to have.

The boss feedback from Friedman is interesting. I watched a tone talk where he said the boss was amazing and didnt mess with the tone. Thats why its on the list for me but also why I am asking here.

UA seems to be the best of the bunch but there is a vote for the shur so maybe that one...
 

CJReaper

Member
Messages
2,189
IR would be nice to have.

The boss feedback from Friedman is interesting. I watched a tone talk where he said the boss was amazing and didnt mess with the tone. Thats why its on the list for me but also why I am asking here.

UA seems to be the best of the bunch but there is a vote for the shur so maybe that one...
Yeah I remember the episode where he said that, but then a couple of months later he was expressing concern over the load. There are a couple of threads on here with people talking about the issues they had with it as well. The UA has way too many restrictions IMO, I'd go with the Shur if you just need a load box with IRs, that seems to be the favorite among most people who have had experience with all the units mentioned.
 

cap217

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,332
Yeah I remember the episode where he said that, but then a couple of months later he was expressing concern over the load. There are a couple of threads on here with people talking about the issues they had with it as well. The UA has way too many restrictions IMO, I'd go with the Shur if you just need a load box with IRs, that seems to be the favorite among most people who have had experience with all the units mentioned.

What do you mean too many restrictions? Spdif our seems cool and the ua interface on the computer too.
 

rodd

Member
Messages
12
What do you mean too many restrictions? Spdif our seems cool and the ua interface on the computer too.
Ox "is what it is", meaning you can't load IRs or anything external into it. You also can't connect to it any other way than wireless (wifi), which some people have had trouble with. The attenuator has 6 settings, not infinitely adjustable, so you have to live with that if you want to reduce the output of your amp. The IR/effects do not come through the attenuated signal, only through the digital/analog outputs.

Having said those things, I have one and absolutely love it. I understand people's desire to tweak things but for me it's perfect and I don't need or want to do that. There are lots of "rigs" (combinations of cab, mics, and effects) that come pre-loaded, and you can customize those and save them for future use. There is no way to export them, however, so if you had to do a reset you would lose them. Again, not an issue for me, and there's really just a handful of rigs that I use most often. There's something to be said for being able to sit down, turn on the amp and ox, play and have it sound great. The built-in effects and compression (1176) are fantastic and I can get some amazing tones out of it. The ability to keep the signal digital via s/pdif is great, although recently I have been running it through the UAFX pedals via analog, which also sounds great. It is incredible for recording since I don't have a real studio or proper room treatment.

It is unfortunate that Ox is somewhat of a compromise on the areas mentioned, but it delivers where it matters most: the sound and ease of use.
 

cap217

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,332
Ox "is what it is", meaning you can't load IRs or anything external into it. You also can't connect to it any other way than wireless (wifi), which some people have had trouble with. The attenuator has 6 settings, not infinitely adjustable, so you have to live with that if you want to reduce the output of your amp. The IR/effects do not come through the attenuated signal, only through the digital/analog outputs.

Having said those things, I have one and absolutely love it. I understand people's desire to tweak things but for me it's perfect and I don't need or want to do that. There are lots of "rigs" (combinations of cab, mics, and effects) that come pre-loaded, and you can customize those and save them for future use. There is no way to export them, however, so if you had to do a reset you would lose them. Again, not an issue for me, and there's really just a handful of rigs that I use most often. There's something to be said for being able to sit down, turn on the amp and ox, play and have it sound great. The built-in effects and compression (1176) are fantastic and I can get some amazing tones out of it. The ability to keep the signal digital via s/pdif is great, although recently I have been running it through the UAFX pedals via analog, which also sounds great. It is incredible for recording since I don't have a real studio or proper room treatment.

It is unfortunate that Ox is somewhat of a compromise on the areas mentioned, but it delivers where it matters most: the sound and ease of use.


Thanks for the response. Down to shur and ua

Questions.

UA Ox

  1. Wifi? Is that to connect the ox to the computer or ipad to then load IR and effects into the slots? Or is the wifi for something else? It has USB so Im confused what wifi only means.
  2. Are the effects only in the software and need to be loaded into the ox? If you dont have a setting with the IR and effects then you go play a gig, you cant change or add anything without the software, right?
  3. You say and I hear BUILT IN EFFECTS but you cant access them without software...
  4. Room knob. Is this reverb or is this a room mic? If its a room mic, do you assign that mic in each preset slot?
  5. Are the effects stereo? I see line out 1 and 2 but it says MONO. Can you stereo out?
Shur
  1. I can see the advantage here with the ease of use, plug and play, no software needed and no fx.
 
Last edited:

Chad11491

Member
Messages
277
I had the OX and returned it for a TAE. When the load is tweaked right it sounds exactly the same as straight into the cab. I have no complaints and I’ve been running it since release with 2 50w amps and 1 100w amp with no issues. I haven’t tried the Suhr or Fryette units so can’t speak to that.
 

cap217

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,332
I had the OX and returned it for a TAE. When the load is tweaked right it sounds exactly the same as straight into the cab. I have no complaints and I’ve been running it since release with 2 50w amps and 1 100w amp with no issues. I haven’t tried the Suhr or Fryette units so can’t speak to that.


What didnt you like about the ox?
 

rodd

Member
Messages
12
Thanks for the response. Down to shur and ua

Questions.

UA Ox

  1. Wifi? Is that to connect the ox to the computer or ipad to then load IR and effects into the slots? Or is the wifi for something else? It has USB so Im confused what wifi only means.
  2. Are the effects only in the software and need to be loaded into the ox? If you dont have a setting with the IR and effects then you go play a gig, you cant change or add anything without the software, right?
  3. You say and I hear BUILT IN EFFECTS but you cant access them without software...
  4. Room knob. Is this reverb or is this a room mic? If its a room mic, do you assign that mic in each preset slot?
  5. Are the effects stereo? I see line out 1 and 2 but it says MONO. Can you stereo out?
Shur
  1. I can see the advantage here with the ease of use, plug and play, no software needed and no fx.
  2. Can you change the preloaded IR or add or tweak? Of are they what they are?
1. Wifi is used to connect Ox to the app, whether it is on the iPad (not iPhone; only iPad) or computer. USB is not functional except for firmware updates.
2. You cannot change the effect settings without the app, but you CAN save those settings as a preset that is available via the rig knob on the front. So in theory, you could set up the rigs you need for a gig and save them to the 6 presets and just use the knob to change them. You can then use the output from Ox into your FOH system, and use the attenuated signal for on stage if you need/want it, but again the attenuated signal is dry. I ave my favorites as presets and that works for 99% of what I play. There are practically infinite possibilities using the built-in cabs, mics, and effects though, if you want to mess with it. The quality of the emulations is incredible, as with other UA stuff.
3. You have to use the app to adjust the built-in effects or change the 6 preset rigs to something else.
4. The Room knob adjusts the level of the room mics in the app, so you can adjust the level of room ambience in the wet signal. You can decide whether you want room mics or not, and how much, using the app and then save that as a preset. You can also choose different room mics.
5. The effects ARE stereo, as well as the room mics. You can also pan the amp mics left and right, so you get full stereo out of Ox if you connect to both L/R analog or use the S/PDIF (optical or RCA). Btw, the optical is S/PDIF only, not ADAT, and the digital output is 44.1kHz 24-bit only. Some people don't like that it's "only" 44.1kHz, but it is 24-bit. The usual complaints with CD-quality 44.1kHz is that it is 16-bit, there are no issues with 24-bit 44.1kHz for guitar signals IMHO. You can use the TRS, RCA S/PDIF, and optical S/PDIF outputs at the same time if you like, but it's the same signal.

You might have a look at the manual, as usual with UA it's really good at describing how it works.


Ox does have a lot more options than the Suhr, but you'll probably settle into a few settings that sound good and save those as presets. But it's nice to have other options "in the box" if you need them, versus trying to find other IRs and plugin effects. But if you're just looking for an RL with no bells and whistles there are cheaper options than Ox. I can't comment on how the others compare in terms of sound because I haven't tried them, but there are plenty of comparisons on YT.
 

NicholasGuitars

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
44
I dumped the OX for a Fryette PS2 and a CAB-M. not only was it cheaper..the attenuated sound is much nicer (to my ears) and have a bunch more options for IR's with the CAB-M.
 

PaisleyWookie

Member
Messages
9,821
IR would be nice to have.

The boss feedback from Friedman is interesting. I watched a tone talk where he said the boss was amazing and didnt mess with the tone. Thats why its on the list for me but also why I am asking here.

UA seems to be the best of the bunch but there is a vote for the shur so maybe that one...

The one where Dave said it was amazing pre-dated where he mentioned the fuse blowing. More information coming in, it sounds like.
 

Chad11491

Member
Messages
277
What didnt you like about the ox?
I didn’t like the way the load felt. It didn’t feel right to me. But I’m mainly using 50-100w modded Marshall’s. I thought the attenuator made the amp sound terrible no matter what setting and i didn’t like the clicked stages. I liked that the boss let me “add” an effects loop to my plexi style amps, it worked with windows when the ox didn’t at the time, and it just felt like way less value than the TAE to me. Everyone’s different though and I know a lot of people love the OX. It just wasn’t for me.
 

ripgtr

Member
Messages
11,096
I have a power station, one of the original ones, and a Suhr IR. Very different boxes.
Note: I am a combo guy, mostly Fender or Fender type.

The Suhr, I can use the internal IRs or external ones. I use it for recording all the time. I've been going to this studio and doing the first rhythm track with the band, in the room and use the Suhr - no speaker. Sounds fine. Use mics on speaker for overdubs. At home, I use it for recording when I can't turn the amp up. Works really well, I think external IRs sound better, I have a bunch , and of course, lots of different sounding ones.

The PS1, when I use it as a load and use IRs with the line out does not sound as good. As much as I have tried - lots of switches and knobs - was never all that happy with it. However, there are a couple things it excels at.
1. Attenuation - WAY better than any I have used because it is actually a reamper. Live, great for bringing an amp level down and it sounds REALLY close to the sound, just less.
2. Reamping - record the line out. Then, when I can get a few minutes of "loud time", out of daw/interface to line in and speaker, mic it. So, you can do endless takes, and when you have it right, takes a couple minutes to record at full volume the final take. Since it is line in/out, I haven't had any issues with level/impedance like normal reamping.
3. PS has a loop, which is handy for non loop amps.
4. PS is a really good tube power amp, which I use it for a lot.

Some overlap but very different tools for me.
 

cap217

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,332
I have a power station, one of the original ones, and a Suhr IR. Very different boxes.
Note: I am a combo guy, mostly Fender or Fender type.

The Suhr, I can use the internal IRs or external ones. I use it for recording all the time. I've been going to this studio and doing the first rhythm track with the band, in the room and use the Suhr - no speaker. Sounds fine. Use mics on speaker for overdubs. At home, I use it for recording when I can't turn the amp up. Works really well, I think external IRs sound better, I have a bunch , and of course, lots of different sounding ones.

The PS1, when I use it as a load and use IRs with the line out does not sound as good. As much as I have tried - lots of switches and knobs - was never all that happy with it. However, there are a couple things it excels at.
1. Attenuation - WAY better than any I have used because it is actually a reamper. Live, great for bringing an amp level down and it sounds REALLY close to the sound, just less.
2. Reamping - record the line out. Then, when I can get a few minutes of "loud time", out of daw/interface to line in and speaker, mic it. So, you can do endless takes, and when you have it right, takes a couple minutes to record at full volume the final take. Since it is line in/out, I haven't had any issues with level/impedance like normal reamping.
3. PS has a loop, which is handy for non loop amps.
4. PS is a really good tube power amp, which I use it for a lot.

Some overlap but very different tools for me.

When you reamp how do you do it? You say record line out to the daw. Line out has the preamp sound but no power amp? Or does it have some power amp from the amp? This is assuming you are going speaker out on the amp and not line or effect loop send.

Then out of your daw/interface to line in of the PS1? And now you are only getting power amp?

Im trying to understand why the PS1 power amp is preferred over the real amps power amp.
 

harleytech

Member
Messages
181
I have the Boss TAE and I love it !! Made my tone jump out and sound great !!
But we all have different amps and foot pedals , So what's good for one may be not so good for another...
YMMV...
 

ripgtr

Member
Messages
11,096
When you reamp how do you do it?
The PS goes between the amp and the speaker. So you get all of it, pre and power amp, just not the speaker. Record that, send it back to the PS later with a speaker hooked up and record that.

Guitar goes into amp.
PS goes between amp and speaker - disconnect speaker (be aware of speaker load, there is info about how to do this, and it varies with the new/older ones) or just turn it way down.
Line out goes to line in on interface, to daw to record (I monitored through daw and an ir. You could also just have the speaker hooked up and turn it way down, since that is what the PS does).
Once recorded, from daw to line out of interface to line in of PS.
With speaker hooked to PS, put a mic in front of speaker, turn the ps on and turn up to how loud you want it.

Since you are no going into the front of the amp later, the amp isn't on when using the mic later. You also are going line out to line in, not into the front of the amp and don't have to worry amp impedance and loading and all that.

I've done it a couple times with really good results. These days, I either record with a mic or use the Suhr IR but it is an option.
 




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