HX STOMP FAQ
That thing looks small. Is it small?
Considering the amount of hardware inside, HX Stomp is practically microscopic—its footprint is smaller than a Line 6 M5 pedal, and pretty much identical to that of a three-switch Strymon. We spent a stupid amount of time and effort cramming massive power into a tiny chassis. It’ll even fit into the small top pocket on Helix Backpack.
Helix Backpack was out in 2016. That pocket was designed for HX Stomp all along?
Okay, we agree that it’s small, but what IS it?
At the risk of hyperbole, HX Stomp may be the most powerful and flexible compact stompbox ever made. It can replace multiple pedals on your board (so you have room for more!). It can act as the ultimate fly or backup guitar/bass rig—except it may provide enough simultaneous amps and effects to be your main guitar/bass rig. It can be used to expand the DSP/model set of existing pro modelers; throw it in your Kemper, Fractal, or Atomic’s effects loop to add all Helix amps and effects. It’s also a world-class portable guitar recording interface with programmable impedance circuits, zero-latency monitoring, multichannel re-amping, and headphone amp. (One might suggest it’s the perfect front end for the Helix Native plug-in.) HX Stomp can become whatever you want it to be.
How does it sound compared to Helix?
Aside from the maximum number of simultaneous effects and amps—six blocks total—HX Stomp sounds identical to Helix. They have the same effects, amps, cabs, IR loading, 24-bit/192kHz A/D/A converters, analog impedance circuits, and patented guitar ins with 123dB of dynamic range.
HX Effects is the same price. How is HX Stomp different?
HX Effects is designed to be the centerpiece of your pedalboard, giving you full control over individual Line 6 effects, your MIDI-equipped pedals, and your amp switching. HX Stomp is a programmable amps+cabs/IRs+effects stompbox that seamlessly integrates into a wide variety of environments and applications.
TL;DR: HX Effects is for amp and pedalboard guys, HX Stomp is for modeling guys… but amp and pedalboard guys might love it too!
What ins and outs does it have?
- Left/Mono and Right 1/4” Inputs—switchable between instrument and line for use with passive guitars/basses, active guitars/basses, keyboards, synths, drum machines, electric nose flutes, and more
- Left/Mono and Right 1/4” Outputs—balanced/unbalanced for feeding amps, FRFR speakers, or the front-of-house mixer
- Stereo 1/4” TRS Send—with a Y cable, two separate mono effects loops (or one stereo effects loop) can be accommodated
- Left/Mono and Right 1/4” Returns—globally switchable to act as an always-on Aux In for monitoring mixers or MP3 players
- 1/4” stereo headphone out
- 1/4” EXP 1/2, FS4/5 Input—can accommodate two expression pedals, two additional footswitches, one of each, or the Mission Helix pedal with toe switch (https://shop.line6.com/promotions/pedals/mission-expression-pedal-for-line-6-products.html)
- MIDI In and Out/Thru
- USB—for recording to/jamming along with Macs, PCs, iPads, and iPhones. (iPads and iPhones require the Apple Camera Connection Kit.) HX Stomp can feed both stereo paths into your computer—along with dry versions for reamping—simultaneously
- DC In
Wait. How did you fit all that into something the size of two Tube Screamers?
Black sparkle magic.
I hate editing little pedals with screens. How easy is HX Stomp to use?
Very. WATCH THESE VIDEOS (around 10 minutes total) and you’ll be a master: line6.com/meet-hx-stomp
The full manual is up too: line6.com/support/manuals/hxstomp
How’s the build quality? Won’t you mess with the knobs when you stomp on it?
HX Stomp is built into a sturdy die-cast aluminum alloy case with the same footswitches and metal knobs from Helix. If you’re still worried, note that while in Play view, the four knobs closest to the switches are disabled.
How can I do anything with only three switches?
You can do a lot with three switches, but if you really need more, two additional external switches can be connected. HX Stomp also responds to a wide variety of MIDI commands, and any block or parameter can learn (or be manually assigned to) an incoming CC message. Plus, from the main Play view, you can press <PAGE/PAGE> or an external footswitch to select one of four footswitch modes on the fly.
Can it do 4-Cable Method?
Yes. After hooking everything up, just add an FX Loop block to your tone; any blocks before the FX Loop will appear before your real amp’s preamp and any blocks after the FX Loop will appear between your real amp’s preamp and power amp sections. There are even 4-Cable Method presets to get you started. (Note the “4CM” presets won’t pass audio unless everything’s hooked up correctly!)
Does HX Stomp have true analog bypass?
Yes. You may choose either analog bypass or DSP bypass with trails. To bypass everything press both the upper and lower knobs together (or assign a footswitch to All Bypass).
Is there a Looper?
HX Stomp includes a mono or stereo 1 Switch Looper that can be placed anywhere in the signal flow.
Is there an editor?
Yes. It uses the same HX Edit application as Helix Floor, Helix Rack/Control, Helix LT, and HX Effects, except with 126 presets and a simplified signal flow. Just update both HX Stomp’s firmware and HX Edit to 2.70. Both should be available very soon.
Can HX Stomp load Helix Floor, Helix Rack/Control, Helix LT, or HX Effects presets?
As long as the preset has six or fewer blocks, you can use the latest version of HX Edit (2.70, out very soon) to access both devices at once and copy and paste blocks back and forth. Rebuilding a Helix preset in HX Stomp shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds.
Can HX Stomp presets be loaded into the Helix Native plug-in?
Not currently, but individual blocks can be copied and pasted between HX Edit 2.70 and Helix Native 1.70. Again, rebuilding an HX Stomp preset in Helix Native shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds.
I know a bunch of us wanted something smaller than Helix LT, but did you have to make it THAT small?
< disapproving side-eye >
From the beginning, we understood that for HX Stomp to see the widest ocean of adopters (pedalboard guitarists, traveling guitarists, bassists, buskers, keyboardists, producers, fans of desktop PODs, curious Pedalboards of Doom members who post anti-modeling memes, etc.), it needed to be almost obnoxiously portable and convenient. That meant squeezing it into a pedal, not a slightly smaller traditional floor modeler—with a tough-as-nails chassis—but never sacrificing any sound quality or what it means to be Helix/HX.
Yeah, but that honkin’ huge DC-3G power supply is like a third the size of the entire pedal!
The power supply is large, yes. To ensure the same signal integrity of its bigger brothers, we needed a burly power supply.
That said, here’s a far-from-comprehensive list of third-party power supplies that we’ve tested with HX Stomp:
- Strymon Zuma R300—Appears to work fine when doubling up TWO 9V outputs (-140dBr)
- Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 4x4—Appears to work fine when doubling up TWO 9V outputs (-124dBr)
IMPORTANT NOTE #1: HX Stomp’s sophisticated circuitry pulls notably more than your average pedal. Hence, we used a DC IN jack with a larger center pin to sort of disincentivize people from throwing whatever at it. The stock DC cables that come with the power supplies listed above will NOT fit. Note that Eventide does the exact same thing with their H9.
IMPORTANT NOTE #2: YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. Feel free to use this FAQ as a starting point, but Line 6 is not responsible for any damage incurred when using HX Stomp with any third-party power supplies. That is, if someone writes "B-b-but Line 6 said I could use [power supply X!]," someone will hopefully refer them to this post where I make it perfectly clear that we only *officially* support our DC-3G.
Can HX Stomp run on batteries?
The chassis gets a bit warm after a while. Is that normal?
Yes. HX Stomp isn’t a budget modeler—it’s a hardcore, professional solution with four circuit boards (one with 12 layers) crammed with serious analog and digital circuitry that happens to have been meticulously squeezed into a tiny chassis. It’s gonna put off a bit of heat. Totally normal.
If you connect all the jacks on the sides, it kinda looks like an octopus.
The most commonly used jacks are all on the back. Besides, octopuses are awesome. Have you seen them open jars?
Excuse me, but the plural of octopus is octopi.
Including the jacks, 7”w x 5”d x 2.5”h; 1.75 lbs.
What’s the price?
$599.99 US street.
When is HX Stomp available?