NU-X providing quality to the masses

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine


NU-X providing quality to the masses

Words by Peter Hodgson

We’ve long since passed the threshold of only the big kids having the budget for high-powered, super-flexible rigs.

One of the trends to emerge in the musical instrument industry over recent years is the democratisation of great-quality digital gear at an affordable price. NU-X has been at the forefront of this charge, providing musicians with great gear, some of it super-affordable, and some costing a little more – a sign that the company is focused not on hitting price points but on making the right product. The 2024 Winter NAMM show saw the unveiling of a number of new NU-X products from the affordable to the spendier, fancier stuff. Let’s take a look. 

Read all the latest features, lists and columns here.

One of the fancier items to be announced in January was the B-8 Professional Wireless System. There are plenty of wireless transmitter/receiver sets out there populating the lower range of the budget catering primarily to home and jam use but the B-8 is staking its claim for pedalboard space on the pro stage. The system comprises a receiver in pedal form with a whole bunch of additional features beyond just ‘It’s a receiver’, while the transmitter has a small form factor and it recharges by simply popping it onto the pedal unit itself. The system runs on the 2.4 GHz interference-free broadcasting frequency and offers 24-bit 48 kHz high-quality audio transmitting with latency as low as 2.5ms and at a range of up to 50 metres. The receiver also functions as a booster and a digital tuner with Chromatic, Guitar Standard, Guitar Compensated and Bass tuning modes, and there’s a built-in Cabletone feature to mimic the natural impedance and recognisable playing feel of a physical cable. The screen is bright and colourful for a clear readout for stage use and there are flexible routing options including an effects loop and a DI out. The recommended retail in Australia is $649.

NU-X also offers something especially handy for those of us who like to do our own tech work, or anyone who likes to get a little deeper into the workings of their signal chain and the health of their gear: the NMT-1 Multi Tester. This unit features a patch cable tester, DC cable tester, pedal current and voltage meter, and tuner functions. Test your solderless patch cables to make sure you have a solid connection. Check the current draw of your pedals so you know exactly what your power supply requirements are. Tune your stuff. Although not really designed to be a pedal, it’s about the size of one and will replace multiple items on any tech station, and you can charge it via USB to take to gigs and diagnose issues in a hurry.

But many guitarists know NU-X for their affordable range of effects pedals, and there’s plenty new there for 2024. The Mini Core Series MKII Flow Tune tuner pedal with colour screen is available in pink or sky blue casing, and are joined in the series by the HOOK Drum & Loop Effects pedal, a mini looper with auto tempo detection and eleven rhythm styles with independent drum volume level. And the Metal Core Deluxe MKII distortion and preamp pedal can be used as a stompbox or an amp substitute complete with impulse responses, with selectable amp models based on the Friedman BE-100, MESA Dual Rectifier and Diesel VH-4, all for $135 recommended retail. 

Meanwhile the Mod Core line of stereo pedals includes the Mod Core Deluxe MKII Modulation, Time Core and Verb Core (modulation, delay and reverb, obvs), each with plenty of different effect types and an RRP of only $179.95. The line also includes the Loop Core stereo looper with great visual feedback via a multi-colour display for $229.95. 

Amp-wise there’s the Mighty Lite BT MKII portable desktop modelling amplifier with Bluetooth and IR capabilities for $199.95, the Mighty  8BT MKII 8 watt amp (also with Bluetooth, IR and effects) for $299.95, and the mighty NME-5 Trident guitar processor, a fully-kitted digital tone station with dedicated control knobs above the footswitches for old-school interaction with its top-shelf digital amp models and effects. It’s packed with 27 amp models, four mics, loads of effects and, as NU-X says, “We modelled everything, even the patch cables.” It’s a competitive $799 RRP. 

Drummers and percussionists are also treated to a new more pro-oriented unit, the DP-2000 Percussion Pad, which features eight velocity-sensitive strike pads and is loaded with high-quality acoustic drum samples as well as folk percussion and electronic sound samples. It’s also expandable with your own drum samples, and it includes inputs for external triggers. You can even add a hi-hat pedal and external kick pedal to turn the DP-2000 into a mini e-drum kit. 

The DP-2000 is designed for ease of use in the heat of battle, with plenty of thought put into the user interface so you don’t need to break your creative flow onstage. This extends to the visual feedback of the trigger pads, which are equipped with LEDs that change brightness based on the dynamics of your playing and the duration of each sample. NU-X says this helps you create a light show to enhance your stage presence in darkened environments, but it’s also handy for compensating for less-than-ideal stage monitoring conditions: even if you can’t hear yourself properly, you can still use the reactive lights as a guide for the velocity of your playing. 

NU-X has also announced a new stage keyboard offering, the NEK-100. Powered from an internal rechargeable battery or an included 12V adaptor, it’s packed with sounds, styles, effects and accompaniment options plus an additional Live Music mode with 20 flavours of music and various effects. Again the user interface is designed to be stage-friendly, with quick access to all functions including options to transpose, set up splits or layers, touch response, pitch bend and Bluetooth. 

The Live Music mode is especially interesting for self-accompaniment or practice, with each of the 20 inbuilt song types consisting of four tracks with three phrase options each. And there’s no shortage of available sounds, with over 500 including organ, electric piano, orchestral and layered sounds. The full-sized keys are half-weighted with five touch response curves, and the unit can be connected to a recording setup via USB-C MIDI to function as a controller keyboard for your DAW. There’s another USB-C port for using the included Bluetooth adapter for audio and MIDI, and there are connections for a sustain pedal, Aux In, headphones and a line out. There are also two built-in speakers that NU-X claims pack quite a punch for such a portable unit. 

For local enquiries on NU-X, contact Pro Music Australia.

Phone: 1300 880 278 or email [email protected]  or see website