TonePort UX2 Review

manufacturer: Line 6 date: 03/24/2009 category: Guitar Effects
Line 6: TonePort UX2
This is the first line of USB recording and modeling interfaces, bringing world-class Line 6 guitar, bass, and vocal tone to the world of desktop recording. TonePort UX2 hardware interfaces are USB-powered and come with Line 6 GearBox modeling software, which provides a must-have collection of 16 guitar and 5 bass amp/cab models, 24 stompbox and studio effects (up to 10 at once), and 6 models of high-end studio microphone preamps.
 Sound: 7.8
 Overall Impression: 7.6
 Reliability & Durability: 7
 Ease of Use: 6.8
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reviews (5) 22 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
TonePort UX2 Reviewed by: Demeanor, on september 13, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 252

Purchased from: Feedback Musicstore Rotterdam

Ease of Use: This thing is awesome! Just take it out, install the Gearbox software (Amp Modelling) plug it in, and you're ready to use your PC as a home studio. Updating firmware is easy as hell. Open the Line 6 Monkey (software included with the TonePort UX-2 as well as any other PC related product by Line 6) it checks your setup, tells you if you need to update. Dowload the stuff and done. Getting good sounds is easy, it has (almost) all the effects modelled in gearbox you could want. And if that's not enough, just open the Tone Library in Gearbox, and find your favourite artists tone, from Dire Straits to Pantera. // 8

Sound: The sound is simply amazing, given that you have a good set of speakers. Of course, nothing can sound like a real full blown tube amp but a tube amp itself. But you probably didn't buy the UX-2 to use it as a tube amp. The effects are great as well as the modeled amps, they sound true to real life. The only thing that got me a little off, was that the Wah Wah pedal was controlled with the mouse. It sounds "less realistic" as when you would have your foot on a pedal. But given that I don't have a pedal (which the UX-2 does support by the way) it's my own fault. And if you don't want to use the modelled amps and effects, just plug your amp and stomp boxes into the UX-2 and your ready to roll. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Because of it's ASIO sound card and driver support, the sound never dwindles and you have practically zero latency (meaning that it is there, but we puny humans can't hear the difference) without having to buy an exspensive 200 bucks sound card. Now logically, you need to watch out what sounds you squeeze from it, if you are planning to reproduce them in a Live show. And this is a little pinch on the reliability, at least for me, because you get carried away making all these awesome sounds which you can't reproduce. // 8

Overall Impression: This thing is plainly awesome. Especially considering the GearBox program also comes in VST's, so if you use CuBase for example, you still get the GearBox's great tone. The only thing I wish they did, was to make a TonePort which also has enough mic ports to record a drumset with. Now nothing beats a real full blown studio, but for beginning artists/bands this is the perfect way to start recording your songs (guitar, bass, vocals and even has MIDI support for your keyboard). And one other thing, if you don't have any recording software on your PC (like Cubase) you'll find that the Ableton Live Line 6 Edition is a bummer. Now I thought I'd get RiffWorks 2 for free with the TonePort, but it appeared to be a demo. So I recommend to buy Riffworks 2 with it from Line 6 for 90, it is awesome to record simple songs, and riffs. But overall, this device is a must have for people Who record their music on their PC's. // 9

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overall: 8.8
TonePort UX2 Reviewed by: PlagueX1, on november 12, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 140

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: There is a slight learning curve on this. I just got this today and it took me a few hours to figure things out. I use this with Windows Vista, and the drivers and such are fairly unstable currently with this, could just be my computer although. Editing all of the settings is easy. It's fairly straight forward to edit everything, change amp models and speaker models. // 8

Sound: I use this with a Schecter Hellraiser and it sounds very good with it. It's easy to get a heavy sound. Of course it doesn't sound like a tube amp, but then again it's not a tube amp is it? The effects that are built in the software are very good, especially the chorus. The only effect that I don't like very much is the Wah, but I'm not a person that enjoys using wah that much, so I could just be being bias. The distortion that's possible with this is very good. I got a pretty heavy sound that's comparable to Metallica or Pantera. To achieve this I just put on an amp model that has fairly good distortion to begin with and used the tube Screamer distortion effect to boost it. It gets noisy at times, but this is easily countered with noise reduction. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I only got this today so I can't really judge how reliable this is. But, from what I see it seems fairly reliable and durable. It is made of fairly hard plastic and it seems like it would be able to with stand quite a bit, not that I recommend making it withstand anything. // 8

Overall Impression: I mainly play Metal, but I also have been known to play bluesy and neoclassical types of music. I've been playing for 1 1/2 years and I own a Schecter C-1 Hellraiser, Jackson DXMG, and a Vox Valvetronix amp. I bought this mainly for recording things online and this is very much suited for that and much more. After you learn how to hook it and use everything it's great. I'm pretty pleased with this so far. // 10

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overall: 8.8
TonePort UX2 Reviewed by: Metallicaloveu, on december 04, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 135

Purchased from: Amazon

Ease of Use: I was pondering buying this piece of kit for a few months and now I do not regret it in the slightest. It's everything I could want from it. You can setup and plug in within an hour (including updates and figuring out how to use it), and if you were born in the 20th century you will probably not need to instruction manual. However if you do get stuck at all the online manual is very informative. // 9

Sound: The UX2 plugs straight into your USB port of your laptop/desktop where you can use Gearbox to select your desired amps and effects. There are some presets which do sound slightly muddy but with a bit of tweaking this can be cleared up. If you feel you are looking for a specific sound, Line 6's online online database is very extensive. Just type in the name of the guitarist you want and a tone will be provided for a free download. I'm not to fond of the classic distortion effect, but using a different amp and upping the gain fulfills this gap. I bought this for home recordings and they are great. The latency is (as promised) as close to zero as your ear can Pick up, and the quality is beyond what I had expected. // 9

Reliability & Durability: When I first picked up the UX2 I thought instantly that it felt too light for what it does. I put it down to the fact it has so many inputs/outputs and dials on that the box needed to be the size it is. I would definitely use this for gigging especially with the footswitch functionality it provides. // 8

Overall Impression: I play mostly hard rock but also diverge into jazz and blues. The UX2 provides for all. However I am also a bass player and feel that even though it has advertised to supply for Guitars, Bass and vocals the focus is mainly on the guitars and not the bass or vocals. // 9

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overall: 3
TonePort UX2 Reviewed by: allchavsrgay, on may 07, 2007
0 of 18 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 237.9

Purchased from:

Ease of Use: There are plenty of sounds on the software but not many of them are very good to use. I have used EMG's on it and every distortion came out really to distorted (even the crunch). I also used a strat witch sound wasn't to bad. It would be allot more useful if you could play through your amp instead of plugging it into the box. If I was to use the sound on this I would use clean and if I wanted distortion I would plug a pedal in as the sounds where not amazing. // 2

Sound: The sound was hard to turn down the volume on bits if you where getting to much feedback as same as the last time you could only edit it in certain places. The effects on the sound where not to reliable none of the settings had the right sound for many things. The mane sound problems where to much distortion not enough or there would be a really annoying echo. I was recording metal and hardcore mainly I found it really hard to get the right sound for these styles I also tried recording some f--k/rock like the red hot chilli peppers on this I found that there was to much echo was coming out and even on the clean channel it had buzz. // 4

Reliability & Durability: I really could not depend on this for being reliable when I am in the mood for recording music I get really stressed out with all the problems on it I have not managed to record a hole song yet. It seems pretty durable I have not had any problems with it braking witch seems to be my problem with electronics. // 4

Overall Impression: My overall impression was not impressed at all. I should of checked with people what they fought about it before I ordered it. One problem that it doesn't really state much is it doesn't record drums you have to make up drum riffs as if it's guitar pro and the cymbals all sound terrible. If this was to brake I really wouldn't even think about getting a new one. // 2

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overall: 7.5
TonePort UX2 Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 24, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 139.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: The POD Studio UX2 (formerly TonePort) is a hell of a device. The new, rebranded version comes with POD Farm and the POD Farm VST/RTAS/AU plugin for recording software (it also still comes with GearBox, but I like POD Farm better). Install the programs from the included disks or use the Line 6 Monkey software to find all updates for your device. There are no instructions included with the unit, and I was a little confused about how to hook it up, not being familiar at all with recording equipment. Once I had it figured out, though, I could set it and forget it. For those interested in buying one of these, be aware that it does not turn your computer into an amp simulator. It allows you to plug your guitar/bass/mic in and use the included software to play through your computer, but you will need to hook up headphones or an external monitor directly to the UX2 in order to hear yourself as you play. (I just plugged my external PC speakers into the headphone jack using a 1/4" adapter.) It was also a little difficult to figure out how to use the UX2 in recording software. That's to be expected, though; Line 6 can't possibly provide instructions for using their product with every conceivable software configuration. I didn't want to use their included recording software (a stripped-down version of Ableton Live) as I already use Reaper, but I was not able to get the POD Farm plugin to work in Reaper. It works fine in Garage Band and Ableton, so my guess is it's a problem with Reaper. But just plugging in and jamming with POD Farm or GearBox couldn't be easier once you have it setup and installed properly. // 7

Sound: I'm using the UX2 with an Intel iMac and plugging in my Ernie Ball Music Man JP6. The POD Farm software has some great-sounding amp sims, cabs, and effects, and you can download more models from Line 6 (an FX bundle is included with the UX2). Everything depends on your personal taste, but I'd be surprised if you couldn't find settings you liked the sound of; there's just so much variety. I downloaded the Metal Shop and Collector Classics amp model packs at a special bundle price, and those gave me even more options. I'm incredibly happy with the high-gain models in particular: The Bogner Uberschall and Peavey 50 sims are great for the style of music I like to play. But the Treadplate Dual (included with the product) is perfectly fine for high-gain tones as well. These sounds are all included on the other Line 6 PODs, though not every sound is available out of the box. For a bit of extra money, you can add all the sounds from any other POD, but I'm not so sure it's worth it. The thing already comes with way more options than I'll ever need. There is zero latency when jamming with POD Farm in standalone mode, and running the plugin in recording software results in just a touch of latency, though it is bearable (and you can tweak the buffer size to reduce it even further). Some models are a little noisy, but it's nothing the built-in noise gate can't handle. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This is meant for home recording, and for that, it seems plenty durable. I'm basically using it instead of a practice amp, but I like the option of being able to record with it. Since it just sit's on my desk, it doesn't need to be incredibly sturdy, but it seems solid nonetheless. I wouldn't gig with it, though; get a POD for that. // 7

Overall Impression: I've been playing around 17 years, and I like to play everything from classic rock to metal. I've been able to get all the sounds I want from this, and for jamming at home it's great. I haven't messed with recording software in depth, but a few test tracks come out nice with the POD Farm plugin. It's also nice to be able to play into the software and hear yourself and all the POD Farm effects, but still record a dry signal so you can tweak the settings after laying a track down. I might have gone with the UX1 instead, if I had know that I can do pretty much the same things with it. The UX2 has a VU meter and phantom power, plus more inputs for guitars and mics, but I'm not sure if I'll ever use it for anything but playing/recording my guitar. Oh well, it's nice to have the option at least. There's really nothing I don't like about it so far. It does exactly what I bought it to do. I'm sure it's not up to snuff with most other pro audio gear, but what do you expect for under $200? If you're like me and just want a nice, flexible alternative to a practice amp, and some recording options that actually sound good, this is the way to go, though you might want to opt for a UX1 or a GX, depending on your needs. The software is the same for all of them. // 8

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