A Vox in a box that thrills.
Vibrant, thrilling AC30 tones that effectively hybridize any good tube amp. Smart, easy interface.
No footswitch for vibrato.
If you asked the average player to sum up a vintage Vox amplifier in a word, I’m guessing they’d say “chimey.” I never really understood the chimey thing. I mean, yeah, there’s chime in the complex tone composite that makes an AC30 an AC30. But for me, Vox amps of the 1960s, above all, sound exciting, thrilling, and potent. Chimey? That’s for dinner bells.
I know that Universal Audio did a good job of capturing the spirit of an AC30 in the UAFX Ruby ’63 amp emulation, because excitement is the first thing I felt. The Ruby ’63 is lively, explosive, reactive, clear, and, yeah, even pretty chimey. And I was very impressed at how it imparted those qualities to decidedly non-Vox-y black-panel Fender amps, and vintage Fender cabinet emulations in UA’s OX Amp emulator. You know how a lot of pedals claiming to be an amp-in-a-box tend to be vaguely similar in terms of EQ and gain structure, but miss the details? The Ruby ’63 is not that. It’s an exhaustively executed emulation that takes you several miles further down the road to true amp-ness. And it sounds and feels awfully close to the real thing.
Universal Audio spends a lot of time studying interfaces of every kind—from those on ancient guitar amplifiers and outboard studio gear to the digital interfaces that make up their tracking and emulation software. The experience shows in the Ruby ’63. What stands out on the Ruby’s interface is economy. This pedal covers a lot of possibilities while barely deviating from the AC30’s control template. Of the six knobs on the Ruby ’63, four are the equivalent of controls on an AC30. Another two, the vibrato speed and depth, are available as secondary functions. UA adds a few goodies to enhance Ruby’s vocabulary. The brilliant control is paired with a Echoplex EP-3 preamp emulation. The normal channel setting is mated to a Rangemaster emulation, and the vibrato channel is mated to a clean boost. All of these boosters can be enabled or removed entirely via the boost knob. But I dare any reader to refrain from adding a touch of each respective boost when in the respective channel. They are, for the most part, the source of electric, ecstatic stuff.
The Ruby’s ability to process pedal tones in an amp-like way is one of its most impressive features.
One tone enhancement feature that isn’t an option on the average AC30 is the 3-way speaker toggle, which offers the option of moving between virtual Celestion silver, blue, and green speaker models—or no speaker coloration at all. The choices coax a lot of extra range out of the amp models, including some really beautiful high-mid activation from the silver mode.
Preset options aren’t abundant on the Ruby. You can only store one. But in my estimation, that’s plenty. I had much more fun using the single preset as a hot, boosted version of my base tone, and then blasting the pedal with a period-authentic fuzz, which, by the way, the Ruby reads and reacts to just like your amp would. The Ruby’s ability to process pedal tones in an amp-like way is one of its most impressive features.
Another impressive facet of the Ruby’s makeup is its modest but smart and effective connectivity options. Mono and stereo outs can be routed to amps, interfaces, or PA. You can bypass a real amp’s preamp in amplifiers that have an effects loop. Or you can also use a 4-cable method for switching between the Ruby with your real amp’s preamp section bypassed and your amp and preamp with Ruby bypassed.
Chelsea Boots Kickin’ With Brit Brawn
One of the beautiful things about the Ruby is how completely it can recolor your amp. Generally speaking, you need a pretty clean amp to achieve the most accurate picture of the Ruby emulation. But even if you want to kick the volume on your amp up into light gain zones, Ruby’s many EQ-shaping tools make the pedal adaptable and capable of retaining its Vox-iness. And even with a black-panel Fender cranked to the point of discernible distortion and compression, the Ruby’s boost, treble, and speaker options can all be used to summon characteristic AC30 sounds to the mix. You can also add focus with the room control by bringing the amp tone right up in your face or adding space, ambience, and a little extra bass ballast from the soft room reflections.
Most efforts to transform an amp by putting a model of another amp in front prove futile. The Ruby ’63 didn’t magically transform my black-panel Fenders to AC30s. But they did make my amps into amazing hybrids that were bristling with unmistakable and thrilling AC30 attributes. I don’t have any newer amps with effects loops, but I’d love to hear how the Ruby ’63 works without a preamp section in the way. At 400 bucks, the Ruby ’63 is expensive, but it seemed transformative enough to feel like another amp entirely. If Ruby can work the same magic for your amp, that 400 bucks could well be a bargain.
Inspired by the legendary 2 x 12-inch combo amplifier that powered the British invasion, Universal Audio’s Ruby ’63 Top Boost amp pedal is loaded with jangle and bite! This pedal is an end-to-end emulation of one of the most iconic British amps of the ‘60s, sporting Brilliant, Normal, and Vibrato channels that deliver everything from chimey cleans to all-out crunch. Guitarists at Sweetwater are amazed at how closely the Ruby ’63 recreates the sound of a tube amp recorded in a live room, and this life-like quality comes courtesy of UA’s incredible mic, cab, and Dynamic Room Modeling technology. What's more, each pedal in the UAFX series allows you to bypass your amplifier's preamp when the pedal is engaged via the special "4-cable" mode, supercharging your amp with two additional channels.
- OX Me Again: Revisiting Universal Audio's Amp Top Box ›
- Universal Audio Starlight Echo Station Review - Premier Guitar ›
- Universal Audio UAFX Golden Reverberator Review - Premier Guitar ›
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.
The new finish, according to Lava Music, is “inspired by the beauty of the golden hour,” a shining time just before sunset and after sunrise when photographers covet to capture stunning pictures.
With bright and warm golden hues, the new finish adds a brilliant metallic glow to the surface of Lava ME 3, complementing its AirSonic 2 carbon fiber unibody which features L3 Preamp with FreeBoost 2.0, delivers industry-leading sounds by breakthrough acoustic technologies, and houses a multi-touch display powered by Lava-developed HILAVA system.
Speaking of the HILAVA system, Lava Music also added four new effects: Nebula, Desert Rose, Cassette, and Edge of Breakup. As unique as their names sound, they are very much different from what we normally know about effects. Programmed into the HILAVA system, each of the four is powered by the company’s latest ArctanDrive algorithm and incorporates effects like Pitch Shift, Delay, and Reverb. And every one of those incorporated sub-effects comes with various parameters that players can adjust to design unique, overdriven sounds by just tapping on the multi-touch display. That said, those effects enable users to play with overdriven tone on an acoustic-electric guitar without even plugging in any external gear.
LAVA ME 3 | Now in Golden Hour | LAVA MUSIC
Lava Me 3 in Golden Hour is now available starting from $999 on LAVA MUSIC, Amazon, and local guitar dealerships near you.
For more information, please visit store.lavamusic.com.