Price paid: $ 169.99
Purchased from: Musician's Friend
Sound — 6
I am using a Schecter C1 Hellraiser FR, C7 Hellraiser, mic'd Takamine, lots of Boss pedals. I have also figured out how to get the distortion from my Peavey half-stack without forcing too much signal through the UX2 (use the effects loop with an Overdrive pedal to boost the signal slightly). If you set up the noise gate properly, there is virtually no noise. I was also happy with the lack of latency when using ASIO drivers and this device. I built a gaming PC two years ago, so I never really had much of a latency problem to begin with, but I am glad that I don't have to deal with it now. I have not tried many of the effects yet, but from what I can tell, the effects are typical for Line 6. They are very digital, and some people may love them. Personally, I like the warm-tube sound with a slight attack. You really won't be able to get that tube-like swelling sound out of any of the amp models. Overall they sound good, but you certainly won't retire your tube amp. However, if you are crafty, you can use certain effects in recording software to get that "swell" sound. My favorite band, without a doubt, is Opeth. I have duplicated their sound near perfectly with my current rig, but haven't been able to do so yet in POD Farm. I don't think it'll be possible with how digital the sounds are. Overall, I give the sound category a 6/10 rating. 10 would be a rating for any program that can perfectly simulate the sound of a tube amp (transistor vs tube argument here). Overall, the sound is right on par with what I thought it would be- decent for the price. There's also nothing stopping you from using the UX2 with other software such as Amplitube 3.
Overall Impression — 7
Generally, I play melodic/progressive Death Metal and classic rock. There really wasn't too much of a selection for metal in the amp library. There is a $40-$50 add-on for metal amps, but I'm going to hold off or maybe just use Amplitube 3. There seemed to be way too many similar patches aptly named after mainstream music. Where's the gain? I have been playing the guitar for 12 years, and have quite a few guitars, amps, pedals, etc. I had not ventured into recording until this purchase. I think it has been a GREAT learning experience, and therefore I would say it is definitely worth the money for that. I wish I had asked about compatibility issues before buying this product, but that's fixable and ultimately not Line 6's fault. This wouldn't get lost or stolen because it doesn't leave my desk, and I sleep next to a few high-caliber rifles. Nobody is getting in, and even if they did I highly doubt they'd go after the UX2 first... ;) So far I'm still trying to use the UX2 to its potential. I have heard some fantastic results on Youtube and that's really what made me choose this over other interfaces of similar price. I did a lot of research before making this purchase. I did not want to invest much to start- you get what you pay for but ultimately I wanted to use this to learn about recording. It's working so far and for that I'm thankful. I am fond of the two volume level gauges on the front of the UX2- they are great for reference. It would have been nice if there was a Switch on the unit- it gets a bit annoying to have to constantly unplug the unit to go back to my normal audio card settings for games. Not a big deal though. Overall, I'll give the UX2 + POD Farm a 7/10. It works, it's great for beginners to recording, though you will need to be technically savvy to get by some software hurdles.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have read a lot of reviews on this item in which people complain about the plastic enclosure. The UX2 is meant to sit on a desk. With that being said, the only load on it should be its own weight- nothing else. If you toss books or equipment onto it, of course it will break- it's NOT designed for abuse. I would not reduce a rating simply because the end user failed to take care of the item. For what it is, the UX2 is built nicely. I would have designed it with an aluminum case, but Line 6 was being cost-conscientious in their design. The knobs are similar to those found on other Line 6 equipment.
Ease of Use — 5
The Line 6 POD Studio UX2 is very easy to connect to a computer and any other audio equipment. The interface itself is very simple in design. However, the software and integrating that software into other recording programs as a VST plugin can be extremely problematic. I found no documentation for setup in the box- just a stack of registration papers and CDs with the software in them. My UX2 came with POD Farm 1.0 and the auxiliary software (Monkey, etc). I followed the instructions online and within ten minutes I was up and running POD Farm standalone. When I tried integrating the software as a plugin into Cubase, Reaper, and other audio recording programs, I ran into many problems. I saw a few Youtube videos from Line6Support that helped me figure out the problem. I tried running Line 6 Monkey to update my software, but it continued to crash while updating itself (go figure). I manually re-installed Monkey from Line 6's website and it finally ran properly. I then downloaded POD Farm 2.0 and had to manually transfer the VST .dlls to my Steinberg folder. Each program has its own unique way of connecting to the POD UX2, so I can't hold that against Line 6. Needless to say, it was very aggravating but I breathed a sigh of relief once it worked. POD Farm itself is a decent. It is very simple to use and overall I was pleased with it. It can be difficult to get a good tone out of it, but I have figured out a few tricks. I have a Line 6 Spider 4 as a practice amp- DO NOT plug the output of the UX2 into a half-stack or anything without a non-buffered line-in (I tried it with my rack system and it was stupid idea). I connected the 1/4" output from the UX2 to a 1/8" converter to the Line 6 Spider 4's Cd/MP3 input jack. This works great as a monitor, plus I don't have to sacrifice any other audio while working on my projects. Ideally, two tabletop 1/4" input monitors should be used for optimal sounds. Overall, I'll rate ease of use at a 5/10. POD Farm's simple user interface was the only saving grace. Other than that, I'd give it a 2 due to the software issues.