It seems like amp and cab modelers have been getting better and more feature-rich by the day since the turn of the decade. The next challenge is to keep that quality and features and bring down the price, which is what the NUX Amp Academy, a $189 fully-featured device, is here to do.
With its eight knobs, three 3-way toggles (plus two in the back panel), and two footswitches, this stompbox looks impressive from the get-go, and a look at its (seemingly interminable) features confirms that impression.
Here’s a short list of the least obvious features:
- 6 built-in amp models through Nux’s TSAC-2K (WHITE-BOX algorithm) Amp Modeling:
– Vintage (Fender Twin Reverb),
– Classic (Fender Vibro King),
– Modern(Mesa Boogie Mark I),
– Brown(Friedman HBE),
– Red(Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier),
– Iridium(Bogner Uberschall).
- Infinite more amp models through the editor software
- 32 Slots for Cab IRs
– 6 IR slots included in the 6 built-in Amp slots
– 12 Choptones app custom IRs
– 16 user slots at 32bit/48kHz uploadable through the software
- A/B amp footswitch + 3-way (A-B-C) “Scene” option
The A/B footswitch lets you switch from clean amp style to crunch amp style immediately, while the SCENE footswitch can toggle SCENE1, SCENE2, SCENE3 sequentially.
- Reverb with 2 Alt knobs (Room, Hall, Plate, Spring and Damp modes, selectable via the app)
- Dirt Box FX Section with a selection of digital effects editable through the app, including Compression, Boost, Overdrive and a 6-band EQ
- USB Audio Interface capability – yes, you can plug it into your computer and record tracks, run Plug-In, and even do live-stream with Amp Academy.
- Headphones Out through regular Output
- Aux In for connecting external music source
- Flexible Routing for Studio or Live situations thanks to FX Loop and DI Output (side panel)
- Drum & Loop function – plays standard drum beats for facilitating songwriting
- Full Midi compatibility, via USB
The back panel, as visible in the picture below, features a DI ground lift and an on/off switch for the Cab IR, plus the USB and FX Loop inputs.
Also, as affordable as this unit is, it still features quality components such as Neutrik jacks, Alpha pots, a NXP RT super powerful DSP (1000MHz), 4 In TI PCM1840 ADC, 4 Out AKM AK4454 DAC, …etc.
The amount of features is pretty overwhelming, but for a device of this kind, the most important factor will always be the tone, and we’ll let you make up your mind about that by listening to the videos below. But if you like how it sounds, it’s really a no-brainer.
We added the Nux Amp Academy to our article about the best amp modeling pedals and cab simulators.
NUX Amp Academy, Builder’s Notes
WORLD-CLASS STOMP-BOX AMP MODELER.
Nowadays the Amp-less approach is quickly becoming a trend for modern musicians—like guitarists who appreciate a variety of pedals and amps, but don’t have the luxury of a roadie crew to lug all of them around.
Amp Academy inherits NUX TSAC-2K (White-box Amp Modeling) algorithm which delivers the sound and feel of world-class tube amplifiers in a super-portable stomp-box enclosure. And, its huge headroom and dynamic range is a pedal friendly platform.
GO DIRECT FOR VARIOUS APPLICATIONS
Add Amp Academy to any pedal chain and connect to a mixer or PA system for excellent tone, control, and flexibility during live performance.
Monitor through the in-house monitoring system or in-ear monitors.
For a dedicated personal on-stage monitor, connect your pedalboard to a powered FRFR speaker.
NOTE: Because the purpose of Amp Academy is to deliver amp and cab tones, it is not recommended to enable Amp Academy “in-front” of a guitar amp. If you use the same pedalboard both with an amp and direct-out situations, simply toggle IR OUT switch to DOWN position to bypass the IR signal when using your board with a guitar amp. (We suggest connecting to a 1/4” OUT to amp’s power amp in / return.) Engage IR signal with DI out to powered FRFR speaker, or PA system.
(NOTE: If you want to engage/disengage IR signal with DI OUT, please HOLD A/B foot switch and power the pedal. IR ON: A/B indicators will flash 3 times. IR OFF: A/B indicators will NOT flash.)
Connect Amp Academy directly to a recording interface for excellent guitar tone, instantly, without the need to set up an amp or microphones. (Toggle IR OUT switches to UP position if you want to use the IR signal for 1/4” out. If you want to engage/disengage IR signal with DI OUT, please HOLD A/B foot switch and power the pedal. IR ON: A/B indicators will flash 3 times. IR OFF: A/B indicators flash will NOT flash.)
At Home (Silent Practice):
Connect headphones or monitors directly to Amp Academy’s 1/8” PHONE OUT to experience immersive classic amp tones in a natural sounding room without an amp.
Amp Academy features 6 legendary amp models like Vintage(Fender Twin Reverb), Classic(Fender Vibro King), Modern(Mesa Boogie Mark I), Brown(Friedman HBE), Red(Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier), and Iridium(Bogner Uberschall). The iconic TSAC-2K (WHITE-BOX algorithm) Amp Modeling offers you realistic amp feeling and fast playability response.
Note: You can choose back amp models on editor software.
*All of the brand and model names mentioned are Trademarks of their respective owners, which are in no way associated or affiliated with NUX Effects and Cherub Technology CO. LTD.
Equipped with ChopTones.com Custom IRs
AmpAcademy editor offers you IR loader with user friendly tweaking like Level / Low Cut / High Cut, it also convert the WAV format automatically.
1024 samples IR resolution with 3rd party IR loader capacity makes it easy to bring your favorite amp sound everywhere.
Note: 6 IR slots (with Amp slots), 12 Choptones custom IRs + 16 user slots 32bit/48kHz (AmpAcademy editor will convert the WAV format automatically.) You can get 10 free factory IRs while downloading edit software.
A/B AMP FOOTSWITCH & SCENE FOOTSWITCH
The A/B foot switch lets you switch from clean amp style to crunch amp style immediately. Besides that, the SCENE footswitch can toggle SCENE1, SCENE2, SCENE3 sequentially. You can save your custom block engagements with 3 scenes, it offers you all the live application needs.
PREMIER COMPONENTS AND RELIABLE HARDWARE
Amp Academy features Neutrik jacks, Alpha pots, NXP RT super powerful DSP (1000MHz), 4 In TI PCM1840 ADC, 4 Out AKM AK4454 DAC, …etc. These promise users great experience and reliable using.
1.2ms ultra-low system latency with 110dB ultra-wide dynamic range, this offers you realistic amp-like playability and pedal friendly platform.
ESSENTIAL EFFECTS AND LOOP FOR 4CM
Noise Reduction: Simple and useful especially for silent practice.
EFX: ROSE COMP, K COMP, KATANA, RC BOOST, AC BOOST, T SCREAM, MORNING DRV, RED DIRT, CRUNCH
ESSENTIAL EFFECTS AND LOOP FOR 4CM
EQ: 6-band EQ for guitars.
S/R: Use the included INSERT Y-cable to connect other effects for 4CM.
RVB: ROOM, HALL, PLATE, SPRING, DAMP
USB AUDIO STREAM
For home studio and silent practice, Amp Academy’s USB audio stream makes it the Swiss Army Knife of interface capability. Connect the USB to your PC, and you can record tracks, run Plug-In, and even do live-stream with Amp Academy.
In Normal mode, you can choose Loopback to play the playbacks from PC to do live stream.
Re-amp: Amp Academy offers 4 tracks for Dry Out and Re-amp recording applications.
DRUM & LOOP
Besides Amp-less application, silent practice is often a must-have for modern musicians. Amp Academy editor offers Drum & Loop function to let you enjoy playing guitar in more places more often.
You can assign the MIDI signal with Amp Academy with editor, and implement MIDI through USB port.