I’ve experimented for years with only guitar -> cable -> amp. I mixed up guitars, pickups and amps believing volume and the TMB would get me there. Sure, a screaming amp has tremendous degrees of fun but there’s still that wall I never got past. Now I get it. Those sweet luscious sounds come from more than just the amp. I never realized how a little compression, reverb, delay and simple EQ can wake up an amp – and how deep the sound is impregnated into rock & Roll.
Having spent the past couple days with the OX, I’d venture to say this feels like training wheels on a Harley. Most of the presets are marvelous. In as much, the unit also functions as an autonomous driver. It’s fun to change preset and have another wonderous sound – in that way, it keeps you in the fast lane.
I’m still a blind dog, searching for a bone. Now that I’ve discovered some, my fervor has drastically increased. Thus far, I’ve stuck with the factory presets – most are glorious. Soon I’ll begin altering settings in order to learn how to control them. Who knows, I may even invest in pedals. Who knew?
I have to mention the Boss WAZA. On Saturday I was visited by two well stocked musicians who graciously provided me my first look at the WAZA. Being complete nubes, DBlues and I, didn’t have the understanding to put it through all its paces. Boss put a lot of thought and features in the WAZA. It has an input for pedalboard and midi capability allowing for augmentation and/or switching of WAZA presets, amp channels/effects plus an effects loop in either parallel or series; the OX doesn’t. The feature that I’m most impressed with is that the WAZA will output its effects to a speaker cab; the OX doesn’t. For the OX, it’s only front of house (FOH) or headphones - no effects make it to the cab. The WAZA is also an amp so, if you’re inclined, you can boost the output level of smaller amps to the speaker cab and keep up with a heavy fisted drummer.
Where do I go? There’s still a LOT to learn on the OX. It makes the amps sound better than ever - like they should. I’m still considering either a Fryette PS-100 or WAZA. The primary difference being SS (WAZA) vs tube (Fryette) re-amping. Honestly, in this case, I’m leaning toward the WAZA, assuming the SS re-amping may be more neutral. It’ll depend on which has better effects and re-amping.
I know the OX is here to stay!