Ik Multimedia TONEX Review
The IK Multimedia TONEX is the pedal that broke the market in 2023. It is currently the most rumored and talked about guitar pedal of the moment, and it promises to create a revolution in guitar amp simulation and profiling.
The reason why it created such an impact in the market has been due to the high fidelity and the responsive dynamics of the profiled amps, the very small dimensions, and the very cheap costs compared to its competitors.
The TONEX seems to place itself in the market like the direct evolution of the Kemper profiler, as it provides to the user the ability to profile their own amps easily and to carry them around in a box.
What is revolutionary is that now it is possible to bring them around in a solid, small, and compact pedal.
Let’s talk about the TONEX features and let’s see why this product is currently unique and revolutionary.
Inside The TONEX
The TONEX is built as a common guitar effects pedal and everything is contained in a robust chassis, very comfortable and easy to carry. It can fit practically any pedal board and it is lightweight.
The controls are essential and simple: three-button switches that allow changing patches and banks. An essential screen and a series of knobs that easily remember the controls of a common guitar amplifier, with basses, mid, trebles, and volume. The same controls can also allow access to presence, depth, reverb, and compressor.
The other two knobs control access to the different amp models and preset.
The back panel includes inputs and outputs, USB access (we will see afterward its purpose), headphones output, midi in and out, and power supply access.
How does the TONEX work?
The TONEX offers more than 150 tone models with exact tonal replicas of guitar amplifiers, pedals, cabinets, and even full-size rigs. Plus, while IK provides 1,000 premium tone models right out of the gate, you can also download unlimited free user models for a truly endless assortment of tones. Another additional and important feature is the ability to create original tone models of our own amplifiers, cabinets, and rigs, to bring them around with us.
The revolution with the past consists of the fact that TONEX uses software technology to capture the sound of our rig. So, this implies that since there are virtually no limits to the calculation power that computers can achieve, and as a result, the tone capture will be more accurate than any other machine that uses external hardware to profile.
We can capture our tones directly through our computer, and bring them around with us in a very small pedal.
Another important feature of TONEX is the access to an entire ecosystem of sounds and rigs made both by IK and the users. We will have access to additional 1000 free downloadable models for the users.
From the rarest vintage sounds like old Fender, Marshall and Dumble amps to modern amps like Mesa Boogie, Bogner, and Soldano. Exclusive technology VIR™ multi-IR cabinets and custom IR Loader allow the user to have access to plenty of different cabinet models and capture the sound of the user’s own cabinet model to be exactly replicated live or in any other situation.
It’s impressive to notice how easy the process is, and how still it feels like tweaking real amp knobs.
The feeling of the real amp is practically like the real deal, and the entire sound does not feel “processed” or too “digital”.
The process is very straightforward and not so complicated, especially if we don’t have too much time to dedicate to learning the long and laborious modeling process. The VIR™ technology allows the user to capture every little nuance of the cabinet modeled, plus the TONEX is entirely compatible with custom IRs. This means that we can easily upload and use our custom IRs to perfectly build our custom tones, and combine them with our favorite amps.
The collection of amplifiers is enormous and in constant update, so this means that we will have constant access to a growing community and a dynamic environment, where profiles get constantly better.
Since the hardware interface on the pedal is quite essential, everything is managed through the software, both available for Windows and Mac. Thanks to this technology, we can control each parameter of the TONEX, and we can also manage to control the pedal through iPhone and iPad through the dedicated app.
The TONEX also includes effects like a noise gate, a parametric EQ, a compressor, and 5 stereo reverbs derived from the AmpliTube X-SPACE pedal.
How does the TONEX sound?
Honestly speaking, I am quite impressed.
The TONEX sound quality is way above my expectations. All the dynamics and the feel of playing a real amp is there.
I tried on purpose as first, the crunches sounds like some vintage Marshall and Fender, and I have been blown away by the tonal response.
Not to mention, IK Multimedia managed to capture the very iconic Dumble, which is quite impossible to find around and the result is more than good: all our sounds inspired by Robben Ford or John Mayer can be there… At a fraction of the real cost.
The simulations of high-gain sounds are absolutely devastating, and basically, everything can be captured and instantly replicated.
The TONEX is probably at the moment the state-of-the-art of tone evolution for amp emulations, and it places itself a bit above the Quad Cortex or the Kemper.
Not to mention, the cost is practically accessible to everyone, and basically, it costs way less than half of its competitors, with a way superior sound quality.
I only can talk well about the TONEX. IK Multimedia did a great job, and I am sure that we are just at the beginning, and this technology will evolve with the next upgrades.
Looking forward to the future and congrats to IK for this game-changer product!
My name is Ignazio Di Salvo, well, Iggy for all my friends as my name is difficult to pronounce for non Italian speakers.
I am an Italian Guitarist, Singer, Composer, and Music Educator living in Belgium.
I am passionate about music production and writing, I publish two articles every new week about music and music production-related topics.