The Line 6 HX Stomp is my most-used piece of gear.
It’s an amp modeler, multi-effects unit, interface, and so much more.
In this Line 6 HX Stomp review, I’m going to give you first hand insight into what this incredible pedal is capable of doing, as well as its limitations.
I’ll explain how it functions with third party IR’s, review its amps and cabs, as well as help you learn how to use it live or in the studio.
At a Glance…
- Utilizes the same HX Modeling as Helix
- More than 300 effects and models from Helix, M-Series, and legacy Line 6 products
- Up to 6 simultaneous amp, cab, and effect blocks (including a looper and IR loading)
What we like: It’s basically a miniature Line 6 Helix
What we don’t like: Only three footswitches
- Uses same HX Modeling found in Helix
- Over 300 effects and models
- USB connectivity for use as recording interface
- Stereo and MIDI In/Out
- Programmable light-up footswitches
Our Verdict: The Line 6 HX Stomp is a powerful, compact modeler that can serve as anything from a single effects pedal to a full rig. Though it has its limitations due to its size, it sounds as good as the Line 6 Helix at a fraction of the price and is a great entry-point for high-end modelers.
Who is the Line 6 HX Stomp Best Suited To?
While the HX Stomp is versatile enough to please guitarist (or bassists) of every style in some way, there are two kinds of players that I think will get the most out of this piece of gear: hobbyists and working class musicians.
Someone who plays guitar for fun will enjoy the HX Stomp for all the effects/models that come in it. No need to spend hundreds upon thousands of dollars to get every amp or pedal out there. Just buy this, plug in a set of headphones, and practice or record via USB without waking your neighbors.
Working class musicians will benefit for those same reasons, but will also appreciate the routing capability of the pedal. The HX Stomp can serve working musicians as a backup rig or even as the central hub to a small, travel pedalboard like the one I have below.
It also sounds good enough to be used in a professional setting, whether that be the stage or the studio.
Features and Benefits
Where to even begin…?
Build of the Line 6 HX Stomp
Measuring at just 6.7 x 4.8 x 2.5 inches, the HX Stomp is the smallest in the HX hardware family. It can easily be integrated into the smallest of pedalboards.
It has 72 different amp models, 194 effects of all types, 37 speaker cabinet models, and 16 microphones to pair. It also has a tuner and looper. You can use up to 8 of these as blocks (as of firmware 3.0 and DSP Permitting) at one time and program “snapshots” to turn multiple effects on/off at once.
In addition to stereo ¼” and MIDI In/Out, the Stomp also has a stereo effects loop so you can integrate your favorite pedals into your signal path. There is a TRS input, which allows you to use an expression pedal or a dual switcher to expand up to five switches total.
Finally, the Line 6 HX Stomp is a multichannel 24-bit/96kHz USB audio interface, meaning you can record your playing directly to your computer.
Controls of the Line 6 HX Stomp
Even though the HX Stomp is packed to the brim with features and sounds, it is designed to be easy and convenient to navigate as possible so that you can make changes on the fly. This is done using capacitive footswitches combined with a 320 x 240-pixel color LCD.
The LCD Screen is where you visualize your guitar signal path. It is easy enough to read and navigate if need, but I would recommend doing as much of your editing and patch creating through the HX Edit software on your computer. It is much easier to see everything, and the workflow is smoother.
The three capacitive footswitches light up with custom colors and can be assigned any effect, as well as Snapshots for added versatility. The right-hand footswitch is set as a Tuner and Tap-Tempo function by default, but it can also be set as a third bypass switch.
To learn more about how to work the HX Stomp, check out Line 6’s YouTube tutorial videos.
Line 6 HX Stomp Sound
With over 300 effects/amp models to choose from, the HX Stomp is one of the most versatile and customizable pedals ever. But does it sound good?
The Stomp is low noise, high range, and made with top notch components so that it can work in any rig.
In fact, Line 6 makes a point in their user manual that the sound quality of the HX Stomp is heavily dependent on what you plug it into, just as any other piece of gear without built in speakers would be. It will sound different plugged into plastic PA speakers than it will through a cabinet like the Power Cab Plus.
With proper setup, the HX Stomp is designed to be indistinguishable from the real amps and pedals it emulates.
For the most part, I think this is true. I have to point out that a common complaint is the speaker cabinet models. They are good enough for live use, but many prefer to use third-party IR’s and the HX Stomp is capable of using them.
- Effect Type: Amp modeler/multi-effects
- Signal: Digital
- Power Requirements: 9V DC 3A
- Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.8 x 2.5”
- Features: MIDI in/out, stereo effects loop, USB interface, Tap Tempo, Amp/cab modeling, every type of effect
Limitations of the Line 6 Helix
While a pedal with as many amps and pedals can give you seemingly infinite sound possibilities, its limitations boil down to its size – most notably its three footswitches.
If you’re trying to use the HX Stomp as a stand-alone rig with amp models and pedals, three footswitches can feel pretty limiting, especially if one is dedicate to your tuner/tap tempo. There are work-arounds, including using snapshots or attaching a Dual Switcher pedal.
This limitation is even the reason Line 6 created the HX Stomp XL, which adds extra switches onboard. If you only plan to use the HX Stomp for its effects, I would recommend you go for the Line 6 HX Effects instead, as it has all the same effects, more switches, and costs less.
Another limitation is the power supply and power supply requirement. The HX Stomp requires just under 1 amp of power and the included power supply is inconveniently shaped/sized to say the least.
If you plan on mounting the Stomp to a board, I would recommend using a power supply like the CIOKS DC7, which has enough power to run the stomp when hooked up properly.
To learn how to do this, watch this video.
Popular Questions About the Line 6 HX Stomp
Overall, the reviews of the presets are mixed .As I mentioned before, the sound quality of the HX Stomp is highly dependent upon what you plug it into. The presets may require some editing to match your guitar and speaker setup. It is well worth diving in and creating your own presets from scratch.
Yes! The HX Stomp has very specific power requirements and the included wall wart gives you exactly what you need. See above “Limitations” section for other powering options.
The new Line 6 PodGo uses the same HX models as the HX Stomp. The HX Stomp is smaller and features more cabinet models with great signal routing capability, and is better suited for integrating into an already existing board. The PodGo is designed to be an all-in-one pedalboard/rig. It is cheaper, has more switches, and includes a built-in expression pedal.
You can connect the stomp to Headphones or a FRFR/PA speaker using the built in speaker simulations. You can also connect it to something like the Line 6 Power Cab. You cannot connect the Stomp to a traditional speaker cabinet unless you run it in front of an amp first.
In my opinion, the amp models are phenomenal. When connected to a power cab or a great impulse response, the Stomp can even feel like a real tube amp.
The Only Amp/Rig You Need?
The Line 6 HX Stomp is a Helix modeler distilled into an unbelievably small footprint. It sounds realistic compared to the tube amps and pedals it emulates, and is small enough to integrate into just about any rig.
If you’re looking for a simple rig to end your gear obsession and you can overcome its few limitations, the Line 6 HX Stomp is a powerhouse piece of gear.
- Line 6 Powercab 112 Plus Review (An Owners Experience)
- Line 6 HX Stomp Review (Find Out Why I Own It & Love It!)
- Bass Amp vs Guitar Amp (Everything You Need to Know)
- Guitar Amp Noise Troubleshooting (Fixing Buzz, Hiss & Hum)
- How Does A Guitar Amp Work? (Everything You Need to Know)
Davis Wilton Bader is a professional guitarist/writer based out of St. Louis, MO. He plays in the bands Lumet and The Outskirts.