With the release earlier this year of the AMPLIFi guitar amps, Line 6 revolutionized the way music and consumer electronics interface. Their multi-speaker design, Bluetooth connectivity and intelligent iOS companion app, AMPLIFi Remote, seamlessly blended the ways we play, learn and listen to music into one great-sounding, versatile package. There were few products at the Winter NAMM show that had nearly as much buzz around them, and sales have been off the charts. So it should come as no surprise that Line 6 is now taking the AMPLIFi concept to a multi-effects pedal, the AMPLIFi FX100. Also boasting Bluetooth connectivity and integration with the AMPLIFi Remote app, it’s a reinvention of the multi-effects unit that makes the path to great tone easier than ever.
• By incorporating with your iOS device using its Bluetooth connection, the AMPLIFi FX100 puts you on the fast track to the perfect sound, whether you’re writing, jamming or practicing.
• Flexible ¼” connections let you output to your amp, PA system, headphones or even your home stereo system.
• Control knobs on the unit itself control tone, drive, volume and effects, as well as four footswitches for loading and saving patches.
• A tap tempo switch lets you set the delay time and other modulation parameters on select effects, and there’s a responsive expression pedal for controlling volume and wah.
• Even with all this onboard control, the AMPLIFi FX100 really shines when used in conjunction with the AMPLIFi Remote app on your iOS device. Want to jam along to songs in your music library? No problem. All you have to do is pull up a song from your collection in the app, and it will automatically search the cloud for appropriate patches. Just select the one you want and it’s loaded via Bluetooth onto the AMPLIFi FX100.
AMPLIFi Remote App for iPad
• The audio from your iOS device also streams via Bluetooth, eliminating the need for additional cables and connections. It’s fast, seamless and makes practicing and jamming to your favorite songs a breeze, complete with the guitar tone of the original. It really couldn’t be easier or more intuitive.
• Searching by song or artist is another quick way to access legendary tones and instantly load them onto your AMPLIFi FX100. You can use them as a starting point for your own patches or incorporate them into your own songs. One of the primary benefits to this cloud-based tone library is the ability for you and your fellow musicians to upload your own creations and rate those of other users. The more you rate tones, the more AMPLIFi Remote learns your tonal taste and delivers personalized results.
• You can also add specific tones to your favorites list for easy access, which is helpful if you need something outside of your normal style.
• The AMPLIFi FX100 also has over 200 amps and effects, so if you want to create your own rig from scratch, you have some pretty amazing options at your disposal to do so.
Functionally it's hard to find anything limiting with the AMPLIFi FX100. It performs as it's supposed to and delivers the ease of use it promises. But as with any crowdsourced material, it's up to the community and users to ensure the quality of the content. So you may load up a patch expecting one thing, and hear something that differs. However, even when this happens I found that the tone I was originall after was easily attainable with a few tweaks of my own, so even if it's not spot on, it's a great starting point.
Multi-effects units have traditionally been aimed at players who need access to a lot of tones in one place. However, the process of creating, editing, storing and accessing those tones has been one that involves a USB cable, mouse and computer-based editor, or in some unfortunate instances, trying to manipulate menus on a miniscule screen with controls that are as far from intuitive as they can be. Addressing this, Line 6 has continued their legacy of innovation with the AMPLIFi FX100, giving players the freedom to create without the obstacles of the past. The popularity and ease-of-use of iOS devices makes them the perfect partner for musicians, and with the FX100, guitarists finally have the ideal mix between our mobile devices and our music gear. Whether you use it as a practice tool, a studio partner or a live-performance rig, the AMPLIFi FX100 will introduce you to a new level of ease and creativity when it comes to making music.
Ara Ajizian, Harmony Central's Editorial Director, has been playing bass and guitar as well as singing since he was 18, and soon that love of music combined with a passion for writing; launching what's now a decade-long career immersed in the gear world. He's thrilled to be back on the Harmony Central team after two years as Managing Editor for Musician's Friend covering gear, bands and events and gigging in the Los Angeles area.