Magazine article Guitar Player

Atomic Ampli-Firebox Tube-Amp Modeling Pedal

Magazine article Guitar Player

Atomic Ampli-Firebox Tube-Amp Modeling Pedal

Article excerpt

EMERGING SOLIDLY FROM ATOMIC'S amp-modeling wheelhouse, the new Ampli-Firebox ($299 direct) aims to deliver the most compact and form-factor-familiar live modeling tool yet. Its success in that realm might just make it a first-call solution for many players in search of a backup amp or all-in-one virtual rig for fly dates, or both. The unit contains the same tech created by Studio Devil for Atomic's more fully featured Amplifire 12, all packed into a rugged 4.5" x 3.5" x 1.5" pedal with eight knobs, three toggle switches, and two footswitches, with both 1/4" and XLR outputs (one 3-way toggle assigns cab simulation to either or both, so you can run a 1/4" cable to your backline amp without sim and an XLR feed to front-of-house with sim), input for standard 9V center-negative power supply (included), and a USB out to connect to Mac or PC, where all the deep-dive setup takes place.

To be clear, the Ampli-Firebox is ready to go right out of the box: plug it into your amp or PA, select from the nine factory-loaded presets, and away you go. To really tap this thing's potential, though, connect that USB cable and download Atomic's Editor software for Mac or Windows, and you access fine-tuned adjustment and pairing of the available 14 amp models (many of the usual suspects, and some interesting alternatives); related cab sims (to which--great bonus--you can add third-party IRs in WAV form); the clean boost or overdrive, fuzz, or distortion model assigned to the Boost footswitch; and the parameters for compressor, EQ, delay, and reverb effects. There's also a handy A/B Mode that converts the Enable button's otherwise on/off function to a channel-switching function, letting you toggle between two amps and their related parameters and effects. Between that and the Boost button, that's four on-the-fly voices on stage.

I tested the Ampli-Firebox with a variety of guitars, mostly into a pair of Mackie HR824 studio monitors via an audio interface, but I also checked it into a standard tube guitar amp and cab, and a powered PA cab. …

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