StompIO review by IK Multimedia

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.5 (17 votes)
IK Multimedia: StompIO
2

Sound — 9
Sound is the main selling point for the StompIO, and it all revolves around the seemingly endless amount of customized options. Whether you want to design your own rigs via the X-Gear software package or tweak your post effects, the StompIO pretty much is your playground. The company has been marketing the product toward the touring musician Who wants top of the line effects with ease. I haven't played any huge venues lately, but I can tell you that it sounded great in small to medium-sized areas. The main issue will be making sure that your computer has the power to load up all of the software. If you have a computer that is more than a few years old, there could be problems, so make sure your computer is capable of handling the massive software files. Considering that there is so much information that has to be uploaded to your computer, it's pretty amazing that there is really no delay or technical glitches that get in the way when you actually start playing -- that was actually one of the best surprises.

Overall Impression — 9
In terms of sound, experimentation, and customizing, there are very few products like the StompIO on the market today. The average gear junkie should have a field day with all of the options, and the USB controller can also be used as a recording interface or integrated with ProTools. The price tag will scare off some people, but then again, there are numerous guitars out there with a much higher asking price. It's accessible enough for even the novice guitarist, but the musicians Who are wanting the best of the best are the ones Who will truly enjoy the multiple options available to create the perfect sound. Other Features: Includes 5 software packages: AmpliTube 2, Ampeg SVX, AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix, AmpliTube Metal*, AmpliTube X-GEAR. 150 superior sounding models, 74 effects. 51 stomps, 26 amps, 33 cabinets, 11 mics and 23 rack effects on 2 rigs. Control your rig on stage. Use it in studio with any DAW. High-end audio interface. Completely expandable. Includes extra bonus disk of 4 software and sounds. AmpliTube Metal available as a download only for previously registered AmpliTube 2 users. USB 2.0 compatible. Class A discrete input preamp. 24 bit A/D and D/A conversion. High performance analog circuitry. Ultra-low audio latency (2ms ASIO buffer size). Instrument input. Direct OUT. Unbalanced STEREO OUT. +4dBu Balanced Output, +20dBu max Output level. Digital S/PDIF OUT. Headphones OUT. 44.1 or 48 kHz operation. >107 dBA SNR A/D. 110 dBA SNR D/A (Bal Outputs).

Reliability & Durability — 9
The StompIO certainly is more petite that a massive rig, and that in itself will be a godsend for touring musicians. In comparison to the average stomp box, of course, it definitely has a more substantial size. It's relatively lightweight, however, and it certainly won't cause a huge issue in transport. If you tend to get rough with your equipment on the road, take heart in knowing that the StompIO does have a pretty sturdy metal construction and a cable safety handle.

Ease of Use — 8
If you're considering building a mini-dream studio in your bedroom or creating a seamless stage show, there's a new Tool out on the market that should give you a leg up on your effects options. IK Multimedia's StompIO is indeed a monster of a stomp box, with over 4,000 presents and 5 extensive effects software packages at your disposal. It has a few similarities to Line 6's POD, but on the same token, the StompIO has thousands more possible effects options that can be customized specifically to your taste. The USB foot controller revolves around the 5 AmpliTube software options, including the AmpliTube 2, the Ampeg SVX, AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix, AmpliTube Metal, and AmpliTube X-Gear. The bad news is that it's somewhat costly for just casually picking it up at your local retail store (retailers have it for about $899 right now), but when you compare it to the price of the actual software you're getting (about $1200 worth), it's a pretty impressive price. Although you connect the product through your computer system, you don't have to keep your eyes on the monitor or keep reaching for your mouse the whole time. There is an LCD display on the StompIO itself, and one of the biggest plusses is the fact that the display is incredibly easy to read and use. Even if you're pushing 6'5, you should still easily get a good read off of the LCD every time you select a different effect. And as far as switching in between effects (be it a Vintage British style, a symphonic metal masterpiece, or a wah solo), the various switches/buttons on the StompIO are easily controlled with a quick touch of your foot. The primary issue with the StompIO is getting started. This is not something you'll be able to fully grasp within the first hour and may lead to a few frustrations here and there. Will that matter to someone Who is wanting the top of the line, multi-faceted gear? Probably not. It took me at least a day to get used to all of the preset functions on the StompIO, but there was a huge sense of accomplishment when I finally did grasp it all. You'll have to put some time and energy to get everything fully understood, but there is an extensive manual for all of your troubleshooting needs. And even if you don't understand it all, you can still immediately plug in and at least sample the astounding amount of effects options.

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    cammy 42
    I own an axe fx and the stomp io-1 and regularly use the stomp to play live gigs with and I play a mixture of bass and guitar in my sets and I've often had people commenting on the good guitar or bass sound that im getting. The amplitube interface is great and easy to use as is the stomp and the converters are high end quality, and I've got my 15.4 inch laptop lying beside the stomp on the floor inside a case that I built for it to give it protection. Never had one problem with drop outs when playing live with this and if it was lost or stolen would buy another one. Oh and I even use it to change the keyboard players settings in some songs.
    Patcher
    It seems more as though it were written to inform rather than necessarily to review the features of the product. There's a lot more "it can do this" kind of phrasing than "this is what I think of how it sounds when it does this". Not that I minded reading it, but it's not really a review...
    DarthElvis
    Lets see, $40,000 + for the real gear this thing models, or pay what these guys are asking for acceptable accuracy which no-one can tell the difference unless they're told. Sounds like a deal to me.
    DanoMusicLover
    I think this is a great piece of kit! I've always considered myself a 'true vintage' player and have always shunned digital for analogue but these guys at IK Media have really took the evolutionary step forward here and I feel have closed the once very big gap between Digital and Analogue. I love to play Hendrix,Floyd,SRV,Zep,Blues etc, I have a 1972 Marshall head and cab, Fender amps,Vox Clyde McCoy Wah,Univibe, Ts808 Tubescreamer, Roger Mayer Fx pedals, all of which costs vastly more than the StompIO, and in comparison the StompIO offers far, far more amps,cabs,effects than I could EVER afford in the 'real world' (unless I'm planning on winning the lottery!),not to mention the way you can custom link stomps together and control their parameters at the same time with the expression pedal creating sounds that are impossible to create in the 'Real World'.So $899 I think is a pretty amazingly cheap price tag!
    hellraiserharry
    basically i dont want anything that u cud connect to ur computer either !!!the blassted companies tend to charge extra for features!! like line 6 when u got to pay extra for the model packs!!! i bought that pedal for metal and i know everyone gets a OK tone but i seriously want the unstable high gain sound!! and it lacks this!What especially scares me is they say Includes 5 software packages: AmpliTube 2, Ampeg SVX, AmpliTube Jimi Hendrix, AmpliTube Metal*, AmpliTube X-GEAR. but somehow im guessing i would have to pay here as well for a software feature!!!
    hellraiserharry
    I would definately not buy this that price is way out of my budget!!!These processors are getting more and more ridiculous in prices
    kolle
    I actually bought this thing a week ago in local Guitar Center. What to say? The concept is great but Im still not sure if implementation is at the acceptable level. I have both Dell Vista and PowerBook laptops. PC is with 3 GB ram, Mac with 2 GB. I still havent recorded one song where I didnt have some type of problem. When is works it sounds awesome but in the middle of recording it will start producing some weird sound, noise etc. Probably some software issues. I tried to fix it but still havent find the right setup to avoid it. Maybe there is something I dont know yet but will give it a chance for a few more days.
    alaub1491
    Looks neat. I'd love to try it out before i bought one though. Its too risky to buy that and then find it not exactly what you wanted.
    Fallenblood
    Shredy_Mc_shred wrote: imcompetent at what ?? you seem to be more a user of words than a cognitant of laungage
    ..says somebody called "Shredy McShred".
    Shredy_Mc_shred
    Shred Head wrote: To CommanderCool6, J.MitMetallica and Shredy_Mc_shred, the writer of this article, Dyuha, is a UG admin and will in no way compromise his position trough advertising, you people are foolish and incompetent
    imcompetent at what ?? you seem to be more a user of words than a cognitant of laungage
    dedicated_2
    Holy Jebus!! the price is incredibly high. and i agree wit Yarzo. i'd buy the real stuff.
    cammy 42
    I also use a customised casio mg510 midi guitar in my rig so I can change my presets from the guitar without even touching the stomp and I can set up a control message change via the midi control potentiometer fitted to the guitar to control amp gain settings or whatever I like really.
    PoisonedV
    Doesn't matter if hes an admin, Shred Head, still seesm like shameless advertising
    Shred Head
    To CommanderCool6, J.MitMetallica and Shredy_Mc_shred, the writer of this article, Dyuha, is a UG admin and will in no way compromise his position trough advertising, you people are foolish and incompetent
    yarzo
    Although Amplitube stuff is pretty good, I'd take a real amp and effects any day
    Shredy_Mc_shred
    "In terms of sound, experimentation, and customizing, there are very few products like the StompIO on the market today." This guy clearly sounds like someone working for the people that make the StompIO.
    J.MitMetallica
    Yup, that's exactly what I was thinking. Thank you Mr. Iwerkfor Ikmultimedia, good product promotion.
    Nexus2
    It must be a great sound when you use it, but it is too expensive for me. howewer, i found new guitar and i want buy it and after that i request this effect. with good sound master and players it will be "winner" of all charts, because nice sound is everything
    videorov
    I own one and its sounds great and is built like a tank. Metal not plastic case to last for a long time. IK runs special for all the new sounds that come out too. Its alot cheaper then the AxeFX unit and sounds just as good.