Price paid: $ 199
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 8
I play this with my M-100FM that has a Tone Zone(B) and a Breed Neck (N) The Studio UX2 STOCK (With POD Farm 2) has decent tones if you're looking to play/record genres that aren't metal or hard rock, while there is an amp model that does high gain stuff on the stock UX2 it sounds too fuzzy and sloppy. The FX are good, the only downside is it's hard to turn them off and on in the middle of playing cause you have to use your mouse to turn it off. Distortion pedals are good, but I quite like the analog delay in this, very spacey. FX Shop comes as a free upgrade with the UX2 which adds more effects. The UX2 is a good basis to figure out what certain effects do if you have no clue what they're suppose to do, most of the effects do their job pretty well. I just think the phasers and flangers sound a bit ridiculous in my opinion. The cleans are good though, if you're looking to not use any of the FX pedals or amp models you can just use your own effects and plug into the UX2 and it should be fine, I get some nice jazzy tones or some nice slightly over driven tones. Mild distortion sounds alright with the UX2 and has amp models that can handle that. To elaborate on the metal amp models, the stock model which models some sort of Marshall amp is really bad. Too fuzzy. Too digitized. However, after a couple of days with experimenting with Overdrives and amp combination i did find a decent metal tone, one that gets the job done. In the end I bought the add-on Metal Shop pack from the Line 6 store ($49.99), this adds in a ton of metal amps. The particular tone I was looking for was there. The Mesa Boogie amp distortion is named Cali Diamond Plate. Anyway, once I got the metal shop, metal tones were now awesome. Sorting through the different models, there new amp models I can use now which have significantly tighter distortion. It's an 8 because the metal shop doesn't come stock (I highly recommend it though), but the add-ons make this worthwhile for the metal player.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall, this is an improvement from my last setup (distortion wise) which consisted of a Laney LG12 and a Keeley modified Boss DS-1. I've been playing the guitar for 3 years and like to play some jazz as well as do some metal, I just wanted this to emulate the Dream Theater tone which I think with the Metal Shop add-on, is sufficient. I live in a college dorm and it was either this or the Peavey Vypyr, but I got this over the possible recording possibilities. Earlier in the review I mentioned about how you have to use your mouse to turn off effects if you're in the middle of playing, there are footswitch connections in the back for MIDI foot switches, you just have to configure them. But in the mean time I'll resort to mouse clicking, I just wish it had some keyboard functions for turning certain things on or something. Anyway, in the end I love this thing now. It's quiet for the dorm room, compact and has nice tones.
Reliability & Durability — 6
Seems pretty reliable, just needs a fast computer. I have a ASUS U45JC laptop which has an i3 running at 2.4GHz with 4GB of RAM, with this setup it does cut out sometimes if I have a lot of stuff running in the background. For the actual UX2 itself, it's a plastic case, while nothing bad has happened to it so far, it looks like it can take some beating but I wouldn't let it drop to the floor or anything, It's a 7 because this UX2 seems to work off the CPU of your computer (as opposed to just processing it within the UX2) so just make sure you have a good one, if you do then it should work flawlessly. It's a plastic case so I wouldn't expect much durability from it, just take care of it and it should be good.
Ease of Use — 10
The Line 6 Studio UX2 (With POD Farm 2) stock has a lot of different possible tones right out of the box. But if you're looking for metal tones expect to spent a lot of time tweaking your tone UNLESS you get the additional Metal Shop add-on from Line 6 which adds a bunch of new amp models designed for metal. There is a basic manual for this, didn't really need to use it though I figured the installation process out without it. After the initial installation this was pretty straightforward, just plug into the USB port, then I just plug my guitar into the UX2 and it works through the headphone input fine.