Universal Audio UAFX Ruby '63

13

Stereo Amp and Cabinet Emulation Pedal

  • With vibrato, room modelling, multiple speakers, cabs and boosts, live and preset modes, and customisation options with the UAFX mobile app
  • Microphone and speaker combinations from the OX Amp Top Box
  • 2x12 Speaker models: SILVER (rare 15W Celestion Silver Bulldogs), BLUE (oiriginal Celestion Blue Bulldogs), GREEN (modern Celestion G12Hs)
  • Free additional cabinet models via UAFX Control App: 1x12 AC15 Cab with Blue Bulldog, 2x12 Matchless Cab with Celestion G12Hs, 2x12 Two-Rock Cab with Celestion Golds
  • Power supply via 9 V DC power supply with min. 400 mA, centre-negative (not included, suitable power supply: art. 543322)
  • 2 Inputs: 6.3 mm jack
  • 2 Outputs: 6.3 mm jack
  • USB-C connection
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 14.1 cm
  • Weight: 567 g
available since May 2022
Item number 543320
sales unit 1 piece(s)
Effect Types Preamp
$333
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Classic British sounds in a pedal

The Ruby '63 is a modelling amplifier housed in the compact format of Universal Audio's UAFX pedal series. The pedal's sub-name, "Top Boost Amplifier", is a clear statement of intent from the manufacturer: To emulate a classic British tube combo that has become known as "the sound of the British Invasion". To be more precise, the pedal incorporates both a Top Boost model from 1963 and an older version from 1961, as well as the corresponding vibrato channel. What is more, the Ruby '63 includes customised boost circuits, the distinctive tremolo effect of the original amplifier, and a matching speaker simulation that allows the player to choose between two variations of the archetype's famous "Blue Bulldog" speaker as well as an additional 12" speaker as preferred by none other than Brian May. Alongside its stereo inputs and outputs, the pedal features a live mode and allows the user to store their settings as a preset. It can also be controlled via the dedicated app, which makes additional functions available.

Three in one

The pedal's user interface comprises six rotary controls and three switches, which provide quick access to a wide range of different sounds. The "Alt" function, for instance, can be used to configure the room simulation and the tremolo effect. Universal Audio is known for its high-quality modelling solutions, and the Ruby '63 accordingly delivers an astonishingly accurate emulation of the rare originals on which it is based, with authentic sounds, convincing dynamics, and a realistic playing feel - true to Universal Audio's mission to deliver sounds that can be recorded and used for live performance. The Normal channel delivers the original's characteristic tone and features a simulation of a sought-after treble booster that was integral to the sounds of Rory Gallagher and Queen legend Brian May, while the Brilliant channel takes that sound and enhances it by adding the preamp sound from a legendary tape echo unit. The Vibrato channel, by contrast, features a neutral boost.

Small, intuitive, and powerful

With the Ruby '63, Universal Audio has packed the sounds of a classic amp into a compact, practical device that is ideal for use both on stage and in the studio as well as in combination with real amplifiers. The pedal is not only suitable for guitarists, however: Its stereo inputs and outputs also make it great for keyboard players, and the configuration is automatically identified based on which sockets are occupied. The direct nature of the controls means that the Ruby '63 is intuitive to operate, and an additional preset can be stored for use alongside the user's current settings. The corresponding app, which is available free of charge, lets the user harness the Ruby 63's enhanced functions and communicates with the pedal via Bluetooth. It is thus possible to select alternative configurations for the two footswitches, access the history of all presets that have ever been stored, and download artist and manufacturer presets which include sonic options that cannot be created using the pedal alone.

About Universal Audio

Few manufacturers can draw upon a wealth of audio engineering experience comparable to that of Universal Audio. The company’s founding father Bill Putnam, along with his friend Les Paul, have an admirable reputation as trend-setting music producers and developers of legendary analogue studio technology. Putnam recorded Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, and Sarah Vaughan, and was Duke Ellington’s favourite sound engineer. He developed the famous 1176 Peak Limiter and distributed the Teletronix LA-2A level amplifier. This earned him a posthumous “Technical Grammy Award” in 2000. In 1999, Putnam’s sons, Bill Putnam Jr. and James Putnam, re-founded Universal Audio, transferring their father’s analogue vision and craftsmanship to the digital music world. Their product range includes audio interfaces, dedicated DSP farms, and a variety of plug-ins, as well as analogue hardware devices.

Vintage amp sounds with digital flexibility

The Ruby '63 is the ideal tool for studio sessions, live performances, and demo recordings, and also provides a perfect safety net during concerts. The pedal can also be combined with real amplifiers (provided that they have an effects loop) using four cables. At the same time, Universal Audio has taken care to ensure that the Ruby '63 works well with other pedals and can be used to good effect in a range of different setups. The pedal's features are nothing short of opulent: Three channels, the same specific controls as the originals, integrated boosters, tremolo, and customised speaker simulations that are based on the popular Ox Amp Top Box's circuitry. Upon product registration, the user also gets three additional matched speaker simulations. Put it all together and you get a highly practical and variable solution with a level of sound quality that is quite astonishing given the pedal's compact dimensions.

In the spotlight: Modelling - made by Universal Audio

Universal Audio is one of the market leaders in the field of modelling-based studio technology and effects units. Even classic tube amplifiers are emulated based on the circuit diagrams of the sometimes rare originals, right down to their individual components - including the specific values and characteristics. This minute attention to detail allows a virtual image of the original to be made digitally, which includes the latter's tonal characteristics and the variations that can be made to them using the controls provided. Simulations of sought-after boosters, the appropriate speakers, and supplementary effects are also included to enhance the basic sounds. And even though you wouldn't think it to look at the pedals, their stereo signal path means that two simulations are independently at work at the same time. It goes without saying, of course, that a master volume control is provided - so that signature tube saturation can be achieved at any volume level.

S
You won't swap this for a good tube amp :(
Simonkaai 27.08.2022
I'll put my bottom line first here: I was tempted to think this would help me drop my tube amp for gigs and travelling, but it just isn't good enough - so it has gone back to Thomann. There are several reasons why it might work for you though - just depends what you are used to and what you want.

First: I play a lot of clear sounding guitar (Les P, Tele, amplified acoustic) and some valve overdrive sounds for solos, and I wanted a transportable alternative to my Mesa Boogie mini-Rectifier + cab (Celestions). I have never been a big AC30 fan, but the reviews made the Ruby sound pretty flexible.

Operation: let's just say the 6 knobs, with toggle switches to change their function and unintuitive reverse dial effect (maybe the AC30 was like that, who cares...) doesn't lend itself to dialling in your preferred sound easily. After three sessions with it I just about had it worked out, and of course you can save the settings to the app which is not too bad. See other reviews on this, all I can say is it is not easy to operate. This is not a gain/treble/mid/bass/presence/master volume rig...

Sound: I tried via desk monitors and a small PA system; I could get it to an OK sound, close to the clean channel on my mini-rectifier - but the rest of the settings are buzzzzzed, too easily overdriven and all too authentic copy of a small amp being cranked up. Which is maybe what some might look for (the Brian May overdriven preset on the app is sweet) - but I bet you can dial that in with most tubescreamer pedals at 1/3rd the price. So yes, you can probably find one amp sound that you like... but then what? What is the point of the complicated tone adjustment interface, or six cab simulators, you might ask.

Features: no reverb (good choice; don't want one in an amp, my Hall of Fame II goes everywhere) but there is a vibrato/tremolo a la AC30, but it is harsh and only works in one setting - so you need another on your board anyway... Then, no XLR/balanced outputs (that's an issue for something that should go straight to a desk), and since it is a pedal pretending to be an amp, why no headphone socket? And also not clear to me how I would/could use it to split between the desk and an amp on stage.

Build: no complaints. Looks good and sturdy. Design: Would sit comfortably on a pedal board but then again you'd be constantly on your knees fiddling with the knobs? So probably shouldn't be on a board... but then has stomp switches... go figure. Seems they couldn't decide which it was?

So my conclusion : sound not enough to really replace a *very good* tube amp, utility not well thought out unless you were looking for an AC30 sound that you had to have but didn't want a reconditioned vintage, and not really practical in any case to take gigging. A real pity - I had high expectations - but thank you Thomann for the great service!
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n
Scary close to the real thing
nitsuj 23.06.2022
Having used many early 60's AC30s (Top Boost / modded) in the past, and still owning an all original mid 60's AC30 Treble, well all I can say is this pedal lives up to the hype, to me. If you know old Vox amps you will know the quirks that contribute to the overall magic, and this has all of that, and all that one would expect from the real thing. The cab choices are excellent, so much variety of tones. So don't just stick it on the Blue speakers and leave it at that, try them all. The silver is excellent. They all are. So, the potential complaint of only one modelled amp in a modern sim seems kind of redundant to me. A huge variety of tones here. The Room option is excellent also. I usually very much dislike amp sims in terms of feel 😃. But well, this is quite different, to me. Most importantly: like a good old Vox when you dig in it kind of sinks, like a compression, is bouncy, reacts so well to dynamics when playing. In summary, so far I've used it in a live setting just direct into another clean amp, with and without the cab sim on, both sounded great, also direct into audio interface for recording, even better. Finally - yes if one was able to bridge the Normal and Brilliant inputs for maximum control that would be cool, though not sure how they'd be able to practically do that with a pedal. But that's certainly not a deal breaker to me. I'm still a bit flabbergasted by this pedal. That's my 2 cents. Thanks to Thomann for great customer service also!
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KS
Universal Audio - what else?
Konrad Sa 21.06.2022
Ausgepackt, angeschlossen, ich habe immer noch Tränen in den Augen.
Ich bin glücklicher Besitzer eines OX Amp Tops von Universal Audio und habe ich nochmal neu in meinen Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III verliebt.

Als ich beim Schlendern auf die neuen UAFX Ruby, Dream und Woodrow gestoßen bin, wollte ich eigentlich den Dream haben, der konnte nur letzte Woche nicht geliefert werden, daher hab ich den Ruby gekauft :D - wie gesagt, egal was aus dem Hause Universal Audio kommt, es kann nicht schlecht sein, maximal trifft es nicht meinen Geschmack aber den hat es getroffen und zwar mitten ins Herz.

Also an Alle da draussen, Kaufempfehlung!!! Ehrlich!!! Super dynamische Ansprache, komprimiert wie ein echter Verstärker, wenn man kräftiger spielt. Klingt mega mega geil. Mein persönliches Highlight ist der Room-Regler, der klingt abartig gut.

Zusammengefasst:
Bedienung sehr edel, super einfach zu verstehen, Achtung manche Regler sind andersrum - wohl nach dem Original so empfunden^^.
Features auch super, ich hätte Gerne mehr Preset-Knöpfe aber man kann nicht alles haben.
Sound bekommt 6 Sterne und Verarbeitung auch.

Zusammengefasst, ist das Gerät der Mega Hammer. Aus dem Ding kommen aufnahmefertige Sounds und zusammen mit einem Pedalboard ist das ne Waffe.

Also Leute, Sparschwein leeren und los geht's.
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S
Großer Sound in kleiner Box
Stischer 23.07.2022
Ein Vox AC30 stand bereits seit langem auf meiner Wunschliste, allerdings hielten mich Größe, Gewicht und vor allem die Tauglichkeit für den Gebrauch zu Hause bisher von einem Kauf ab. Als Universal Audio ihre neuen Amp-in-a-Box Pedals angekündigt hat, war ich sofort am Ruby interessiert.

Verarbeitung

Das Pedal kommt in einer sehr hochwertigen Box mit wenig darin - nur Pedal, kurze Anleitung und ein QR-Code. Ein Netzteil sollte man bei Bedarf gleich mitbestellen, denn das gibt es nicht dazu. Der erste Eindruck, man das Effektpedal aus der Box genommen hat, kann überzeigen. Schweres, solides Metallgehäuse mit einer schönen Lackierung. Gut ablesbare Aufdrucke und alle Drehregel haben einen angenehmen Widerstand. Hier merkt man, dass Ruby in einer höheren Preisklasse angesiedelt ist.

Bedienung

Viele Regler und Schalter bringt das Pedal nicht mit sich, was dazu führt, dass viele Sachen eine doppelte Belegung haben. So teilen sich bspw. Bass und Raumklang einen Drehregler und je nach Position des mittleren Schalters wird das eine oder andere angepasst. Auch wenn das bei viele vielleicht nicht sehr beliebt ist, man sollte sich die Anleitung zur Ruby auf der Webseite von Universal Audio durchlesen. Hier wird kurz und knapp erklärt, welche Funktionen wann zur Verfügung stehen, welche Speaker genau hinter Silver, Blue und Green stecken, welche Boosts welchen Kanal unterstützen und wie man das Pedal in ein bestehendes Setup integrierten kann. Hat man die Anleitung einmal durch, ist die Bedienung wirklich einfach und wirft nur noch selten Fragen auf.

UAFX Control Apps

Universal Audio stellt dem Pedal sowohl eine Desktop Anwendung als auch eine Smartphone App an die Seite. Die Desktop App ist im Funktionsumfang sehr überschaubar – Effektpedal registrieren, Firmware aktualisieren und das war es. Ich hoffe da kommt in Zukunft noch mehr Funktionalität hinzu. Nichtsdestotrotz sollte man sie installieren und ein Firmware Update ausführen, denn dieses hat bei mir Verbindungsprobleme mit dem Smartphone behoben.

Über das Smartphone kann man etwas mehr machen, jedoch ist auch hier die App nicht gerade weltbewegend. Mittels Smartphone bekommt man die Kontrolle über die Presets, welche man selbst erstellen kann oder man greift auf eine bereitgestellte Auswahl von Universal Audio und bekannten Künstlern zurückgreifen. Dank der Presets kann man aus dem Pedal einen Verstärker mit 2 Kanälen machen, in dem man schnell zwischen Live Modus und Preset wechselt. Die Möglichkeit mehr als nur ein Preset direkt am Pedal auszuwählen, wäre eine schöne Sache gewesen. So muss das Smartphone immer griffbereit sein.

Leider können abgespeicherte Presets nicht über die App nachträglich angepasst werden oder auch nur die gesetzten Einstellungen ausgelesen werden. Zu viel Raumklang? Preset auf dem Pedal laden und mittels Regler anpassen – was natürlich die Live Einstellung kaputt macht. Größere Anpassungen erfordern dadurch mehr Aufwand. Die Regler wurden inzwischen verstellt und man weiß nicht mehr, wie viel von was genau eingestellt war.

Klang

Der Klang, dass eigentlich wichtige Thema hier. Das Pedal klingt fantastisch! Man vergisst, dass es sich nur um eine digitale Abbildung eines Verstärkers handelt. Das Spielgefühl und der Klang können mich vollkommen überzeugen. Die verschiedenen Speaker haben alle ihren eigenen Charakter (unbedingt das Pedal registrieren, um die tollen zusätzlichen Lautsprecher freizuschalten), die unterschiedlichen Kanäle haben alle ihre Eigenheiten und es ist wirklich einfach mehr als nur einen guten Sound aus dem Pedal zubekommen. Bei dem wohl wichtigsten Feature hat Universal Audio voll ins Schwarze getroffen.

Die Verbindung mit anderen Effektpedalen funktioniert ebenfalls überraschend gut. Zwar sollte man beim Einsatz von Distortion, Fuzz oder Preamp Pedalen mit höherem Gain auf den normalen Kanal zurückgreifen, aber einen leichten Push mit einem Blues Driver vertagen alle. Auch Reverb und Delay kann ohne Probleme eingesetzt werden, wobei die fehlende Effect Loop zu Limitierungen führt.

Fazit

Anstelle nur eines Vox AC30 habe ich dank Universal Audio eine große Auswahl an Vox Sounds im kleinen Format bekommen. Auch wenn ich bei den Features 2 Punkte abziehen muss, da die Apps (zum aktuellen Zeitpunkt) etwas enttäuschend sind und mit Anwendungen von bspw. Two Notes nicht mithalten können, so entschädigt der Klang vollends dafür. Würde ich meinen Röhrenverstärker verkaufen und nur noch das Pedal verwenden? Eher nicht, dafür hänge ich zu sehr an ihm. Würde ich ggf. ein weiteres Pedal aus der Reihe kaufen, anstelle des richtigen Verstärkers? Das auf jeden Fall.
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