universal audio

Matt Bellamy designs his own signature Manson Guitar Works instruments and took ownership of the company when Hugh Manson retired in 2019.

Photo by Debi Del Grande

Muse returns to self-producing on Will of the People, an album teeming with formidable anthems that navigate themes of fear, politics, dystopia, compliance, corruption, and other topics concerning the world order.

Decked out in black ninja-like uniforms with mosaic mirrored masks obscuring their faces, Muse opens their current shows with the powerful, sing-along chant of “Will of the People,” the anthemic title track off their latest album. From that song’s infectious shuffle until the very end of the concert’s encore, people are jumping out of their seats, and appear to be completely mesmerized.

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Unsurpassed effects, intuitive operation, and a diverse set of speaker emulations elevate this top box to industry standard status.

The three devices reviewed here cover similar territory as Universal Audio's $1,299 OX Amp Top Box. In some cases, the OX influence isn't exactly subtle.

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Superb Universal Audio effects, now available for all, in stompbox size.

Superb spring, plate, and digital reverb tones. Logical interface. Solid construction. Compact size. Good price.

No MIDI. Power supply not included.

$399

Universal Audio Golden Reverberator
uaudio.com

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Universal Audio's new UAFX guitar pedal line is genuinely newsworthy. The company's software emulations of vintage analog gear earn near-unanimous praise from producers and engineers. But until recently, UA software ran only on UA interfaces, such as the Apollo line of interface/preamp/convertors. That changed two years ago, with the release of the $1,299 OX Amp Top Box, a load box and speaker emulator incorporating several fine UA effects. And now UA effects are available in a relatively inexpensive stompbox format, thanks to the Astra Modulation Machine, Starlight Echo Station, and Golden Reverberator. Here, we focus on the reverb pedal.

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