Published 3 months ago on June 22, 2023

By Guitar Interactive Magazine

IK Multimedia Tonex Pedal
MSRP: (UK) £399 / (US) $399

Take the groundbreaking guitar modeling might of the IK Multimedia TONEX ecosystem out of the studio and onto the stage with the TONEX Pedal! In a nutshell, this pedal is a portable, computer-free way to access your TONEX Tone Model library, with a whopping 150 preset slots to store your favourite amplifiers, cabinets, pedals, and full-size rig models. IK Multimedia also grants you access to 1,000 of their Premium Tone Models (accessible via the included TONEX MAX software and the TONEX app), containing near-indistinguishable replications of some of the world's rarest and most sought-after gear. Still, that's only the beginning...Sam Bell tells us more.

In this review, we're going to take a look at this brand new amp modelling pedal from ik multimedia, The Tonex. If you're familiar with IK's guitar amp software, Amplitube, the Tonex allows us to get all those amps and cab Sims on your pedalboard! There are tons of great features within this pedal, so let's dive in. Don't forget to check out the video section of this review to hear some of the presets in action.

First of all, this pedal allows us to get great amp and cab simulations on our pedal board to go to front of house (PA system or Computer DAW) or we could use this with a power amp and cab if we bypass the cabs on the pedal itself. There are many ways this could be used. The pedal itself gives us the option to cycle through banks of presets, which we can edit part of on the pedal itself, and we can go in-depth with the Free Tonex Librarian software, which is included with the pedal. You also get Amplitube 5 as well for your computer. Not only do you have access to some amazing re-creations of amps, you can also capture your own amp and drive pedal sounds using the software. More about that later.

Within the pedal itself, we have a built-in Noise Gate, Compressor, EQ and Reverb. We can tailor our tone with a three-band EQ for each amp, which has a very amp-like feel. The pedal includes ¼ inch jack input, ¼ inch jack stereo output, extension footswitch inn and USB connectivity. It's all powered by a 9V adapter, which is included.

The Tonex uses its own AI technology which seems to be a buzzword these days, but these amp models feel amazing to play through and to listen to. Listening back to these sounds whilst playing through studio monitors makes me feel like I'm in a high-end recording studio, hearing a high-quality miced-up sound of the real thing, all with no latency. On top of this, IK has their own Virtual CAB algorithm within the pedal and the software, which allows you to get seriously detailed control over virtual mic placement, which can really shape a sound and make it work in different situations.

The amp sounds are amazing, but if you've got a nice rig and your able to record it, you can capture that rig with the Tonex and have it on your board in no time. The Tonex Librarian software allows you to capture your tones carefully with a step-by-step tutorial in the software itself. It's fairly straight forward, however for those who have not do this before, it might feel a bit tedious. But the option is there. You don't have to capture your own tones; however, using Tone Net, IK Multimedia has set it up so that Tonex users can share their captures and presets. So, you could have someone's JCM800 miced up with a ribbon mic going through a Neave desk on your pedal in no time flat!

With amp modelling constantly evolving and AI changing the game of most things in the world right now, it could be overwhelming. Brands like Kemper rule the market for amp capturing, but now more and more people are able to do it, and do it more compact and affordable. The Tonex comes in at around £400 RRP, which for what it is, is very impressive. The only potential letdown is that it doesn't have balanced XLR outs, and they could have used an FX loop as well, however for the quality of the sounds, ease of use and the playability, the Tonex fits right on your pedal board or within your gig bag whilst delivering world-class tone. Check one out today!

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