Review: Line 6 HX Stomp XL

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Review: Line 6 HX Stomp XL

Words by Mixdown Staff

Yamaha Music Australia | Expect to pay: $1,399

Key Features: What’s better than the Line 6 HX Stomp? A HX Stomp with a couple more switches, that’s what!

The Line 6 HX Stomp XL is everything we loved from the HX Stomp with five extra switches for extra effects and modelling. You have a total of eight switches to toggle between presets, banks, a tuner and tap tempo effects, as well as a backlit screen that shines bright in every situation.

You can run the HX Stomp as an entire rig or as a pedal board, and both options sounding as good as you’d need whether you’re recording, writing or performing. There’s inputs, outputs, sends, returns and MIDI for you to route just about any sound you want in or out of the unit.

The Line 6 HX Stomp XL features hundreds of amplifiers, cabinets and effects to choose from. Line 6 have modelled the components and their behaviour, as well as 16 adjustable microphone models available when choosing your cabinet sound.

The HX Stomp XL features stereo outputs that work for balanced and unbalanced outs. There’s a 1/4” headphone output beside the MIDI input and output which allows for silent practise, and USB port to connect your HX Stomp to a computer for editing. The unit features stereo send and return that doubles as an auxiliary input, and an expression pedal input that can also be used to expand the footswitches by up to two switches.

Below the 2.4” (6cm) color LCD are three knobs, that have variable uses depending on what you’re tweaking, and when. The Action button beside the screen allows you to select and move sounds for ease of access once you’ve created a few tones of your own, or downloaded other users’ presets from the CustomTone Marketplace.

Mixdown Says: For those who haven’t used amp modellers before, you’ve got access to an entire ‘rig’ that starts with pedals, moves into an amplifier and then to a cabinet. Where the HX Stomp really excels is the cabinet simulation that uses impulse responses. Impulse responses are a re-usable audio file that emulates a space.

These are often used to profile spaces with reverbs, or to profile cabinets when emulating speakers. Because of how the cabinet filters the sound coming through the cabinet, theoretically a signal processed through the same filter should sound like it’s being played through that cabinet.

The HX Stomp XL has 16 microphone models that are all adjustable in direction, proximity and angle at the ‘speaker cone’. These options can be complicated at first, but with a little experimentation and know-how, the HX Stomp XL eclipses much of its competition in the amp modelling world. Other products may offer similar amplifier profiles, but Line 6 excel in pushing those sounds out of the speaker cones.

Overall: The HX Stomp is a much more accessible pedal than the flagship Helix, and the XL makes it more user friendly, especially in a live space. A larger unit makes space for more routing options, and the HX Stomp XL has them in spades.

There’s a big bright LED to make changes either on the fly on stage or in the comfort of a studio, or you can download and upload profiles and edit them on a computer via the USB port.

All in all, and through and through, the Line 6 HX Stomp XL is a phenomenal upgrade from an already stellar product.

Check out all the specs and find out more details via Line 6.