Is The Line 6 HX Stomp Worth It? HELL YES – Here’s Why…

The Line 6 HX Stomp is one of the newer additions to the Helix family. It’s compact, versatile, and looks like it is packed with features. So what does it do exactly? Today we take a look at all of the features.


The Line 6 HX Stomp: Helix’s Little Brother, Or Something More?

Here at Electrikjam we have been very enamored with the Helix, and all of the amazing stuff that it can do. There are tons of amp models, speaker cabs, microphone placement options…the possibilities are really limited only to your imagination. For some people this might be a little overwhelming. I totally understand that!

When it comes to the bigger amp sims and products like them, I often get option paralysis. It’s nice to have so many options and effects right at your fingertips, but I am one of those people that will sit there and play with the settings and never actually record anything.

So I need… Limits.

I imagine a lot of other people look at the Helix like that as well. More importantly, some people just want to use their own amp, and use the collection of Helix effects with their rig. because while the amp models and cabinet sims are all top notch, the real hero of the Line 6 products is the amazing collection of digital effects.

I think this is where the Line6 HX Stomp comes in. This is for the people that want a great set of amp sims and effects, but they don’t need something like the full-on Helix. Today we are going to take a look at the Line 6 HX Stomp, and all of it’s features, while comparing it to it’s big brother.


Line 6 HX Stomp Features

Line 6 Hx stomp

The Line 6 HX Stomp is less than a quarter of the size of a Helix. It is pretty tiny, yet still has a nice sized display screen. The knobs will seems familiar to Line 6 users, along with the three foot pedals. On the surface, it looks like a baby Helix, and to be honest, that’s kind of what it is!

  • Utilizes the same HX Modeling as Helix
  • More than 300 effects and models from Helix, M-Series, and legacy Line 6 products
  • Up to 6 simultaneous amp, cab, and effect blocks (including a looper and IR loading)
  • 3 capacitive-sensing footswitches with color-coded LED rings facilitate fast editing
  • TRS dual expression pedal/footswitch input extends creative control capabilities
  • 126 Presets
  • Stereo TS ins and balanced TRS outs
  • FX loop
  • MIDI in/out
  • TRS expression pedal/footswitch jack
  • USB connection
  • 80+ Amps, 40+ Cabinets

Let’s start with the most obvious thing, the size. This thing is tiny! It is about the size of a paperback book. This was designed to be used on your pedalboard, and it takes up a smaller foot print than some overdrive pedals that I can think of. If you plan on using the Line 6 HX Stomp to record, it is perfect to sit on your desk. It takes up almost zero space.

It does…a lot!

The brains and brawn* of the award-winning Helix family comes to a board-friendly 3-switch stomp in the Line 6 HX Stomp. The HX Stomp makes the ultimate standalone travel rig, a fully loaded modeling and FX engine to front-load an amp, and a capable audio interface with re-amping capabilities.

Choose up to eight blocks — amps, cabs, and stomps — per preset, and assign switches to suit your particular needs. The HX Stomp is equipped for real-world gigging applications with 126 user presets for guitars, bass, and keys; and tons of I/O, which include TRS balanced outs, traditional MIDI switching, an FX return for 4-cable amp integration, and a 2-channel expansion jack for expression pedals or additional external switches.

Line 6/Sweetwater

We have talked about how the Helix can be used as a stand-alone interface before, and the Line 6 HX Stomp can do the same thing! You can do this by either plugging the HX Stomp directly into an interface, or you can use it via USB and make it an interface! It has all of the same routing options as well.

It works just like the Helix when in USB mode. This means you can record, but you can also edit patches in real-time with HX Edit. Just like the Helix, you technically never have to touch the knobs to program all of your patches. The Line 6 HX Stomp can also download user patches from the huge library on the Line 6 forums. They have everything from Metallica to Eddie Van Halen, and the sounds are very good quality!

The input/output options on the rear of the unit are definitely less than the Helix. However, the back of the unit has everything you need to plug up to AUX, USB, or typical speaker cable methods. But it does not have anywhere near the options that the Helix has. The Line 6 HX Stomp has everything most people would need, though.

It has some limitations compared to the Helix, but that is by design.

Line 6 HX Stomp
$599.99

Line 6 is at the forefront of modeling technology and digital effects. The HX Stomp was clearly designed to fit a niche that the Helix cannot. It is the compact solution to recording, adding to your effects chain, or using it as a stand-alone unit. The possibilities are crazy!


Line 6 Helix vs Line 6 HX Stomp

The HX Stomp has some serious limitations compared to the flagship Helix. Firstly, you can only have 8 blocks of effects, unlike the 32 blocks you get with the Helix. For some people, this is going to be a deal-breaker. Tons of guitarists tweak their Helix to the max with subtle effects and add-ons. The HX Stomp is not going to work for that.

There is also a lack of expression pedal on the HX Stomp. Again, for some people, this will be a deal-breaker. The Helix has the expression pedal to control wah-wah effects, values, and volume controls. Now, you CAN buy an expression pedal and hook it up to the Line 6 HX Stomp unit, or use one that you already have. But the Helix clearly wins this category.

Is The Line 6 HX Stomp Worth It? HELL YES - Here's Why...
HX Stomp Rear Panel

The Helix also has “bank” buttons on the side of the unit, that lets you easily scroll through your presets. The HX Stomp is missing these and only has the three-button switches. The three switches on the HX Stomp can be assigned to do a lot of things, like turn effects on/off, and set up a tuner function. But it lacks all of the options that the Helix has for tuning patches and “scenes” on and off.

But at the core of the HX Stomp, it still uses the same sounds and effects that the Helix uses. The same quality, and options. Just…a bit limited. The HX Stomp is half the price of the Helix as well. The limitations of the HX Stomp are purposeful, though. because it was designed to be used in a completely different way than the Helix.


The Line 6 HX Stomp: The New Core of Your Pedalboard

Is The Line 6 HX Stomp Worth It? HELL YES - Here's Why...
The HX Stomp on a board

The HX Stomp is limited in design, but that’s because it is supposed to function as an addition to your existing pedalboard. Even though, technically, it has everything you need to replace your traditional rig.

There are a couple of ways you can do this. The first is to use the HX Stomp as a stand-alone effects unit. It is easy to go into the settings and remove all of the amp models. That means you have thousands of effects combos that you can incorporate into your rig. You can still use your amplifier as the main source of your tone, and use the HX Stomp for the amazing delay, chorus, octave, and other arrays of effects.

The second way you can add the HX Stomp to your pedalboard is to use it as the “brain” of your board. You can use the amp models, and effects as your primary tone source, and run the whole rig through an FRFR cab. With this method, you can also use your other pedals to color the tone. Maybe you have a fuzz pedal that sounds so good, that the Helix can’t replicate it. You can still use that pedal in conjunction with your HX Stomp.

This is exactly what the HX Stomp was designed to be! The balanced dual effects loop line out allows you to place the unit anywhere in your pedal chain. You can use it for a wide variety of effects, or just a few carefully programmed effects that are tailored to your setlist. Likewise, you can also use it as your sole effects pedal, plugged into your amp’s effects loop.

But these are just the basic ways you can use the HX Stomp with your live rig. The HX Stomp allows to you to be as restricted, or brilliantly complicated as you want. There are tons of ways you can integrate it into your rig. Or, if you want…it can replace your amp rig!

But the HX Stomp is not just for live uses. It can also be a huge advantage in a studio situation.


Using The Line 6 HX Stomp For Recording

Just like the Helix, the HX Stomp can be used as a recording interface without any other hardware. It can be used to be the interface between your computer and DAW. This can be done as a dry signal, where you can re-amp the track, or it can be used with all of the HX Effects and amp sims. There are tons of ways to route the HX Stomp.

Is The Line 6 HX Stomp Worth It? HELL YES - Here's Why...
Using the HX Stomp As An Interface

This is another way that the size of the HX Stomp can be a huge advantage. It is very small and can be used as a hub on your desktop to record guitar. Just like the Helix, you can also use the HX Stomp to record other instruments as well, including vocals and keyboards. And you can do this with or without the HX Effects! We went over how to do this with the Helix in detail. It works the same with the HX Stomp.

The interface feature is not just an “added on” feature that was some sort of afterthought. The HX Stomp uses all of the same USB recording features as the Helix. This feature was part of the design from the ground up.


Is The Line 6 HX Stomp Worth It? Closing Thoughts…

Line 6 is at the forefront of modeling technology and digital effects. The HX Stomp was clearly designed to fit a niche that the Helix cannot. It is the compact solution to recording, adding to your effects chain, or using it as a stand-alone unit. The possibilities are crazy!

The HX Stomp is also a cheaper option than the Helix for someone on a budget. The helix is a powerhouse that is meant to be an all-in-one solution to your guitar rig, but the price reflects that! The HX Stomp is half the price – it retails for $599 – and is even cheaper if you look at the used market.

So how you want to use the HX Stomp is up to you. But there is no denying that big things definitely can come in small packages!

Line 6 HX Stomp
$599.99

Line 6 is at the forefront of modeling technology and digital effects. The HX Stomp was clearly designed to fit a niche that the Helix cannot. It is the compact solution to recording, adding to your effects chain, or using it as a stand-alone unit. The possibilities are crazy!

Does The Line 6 HX Stomp have all of the Amp Models as the Helix?

Yes. The HX Stomp uses the same technology as the Helix series, and uses the HX Edit program just like the Helix.

Does The Line 6 HX Stomp have all of the same effects as the Helix?

The HX Stomp has all of the same quality effects as the Line 6 Helix. The only difference is how many you can program at once. The HX Stomp has 8 blocks max, while the Helix has up to 32.

Can I transfer HX Stomp Patches to my Helix?

Yes. You can use the HX Edit program to transfer all of your patches back and forth between the two units. It also works with Helix Native plugins.

Do I need an interface to record with the Line 6 HX Stomp?

You do not! You can use the HX Stomp as a stand-alone interface to record ad dry signal, or record using the patches and presets on the unit. The unit connects via USB directly to your computer and can be used with your favorite DAW.

Christoper Horton

Christopher started playing guitar in 1994 at 14 years old. He has been a part of the Metal community for the last 25 years and has 11 solo albums under his belt. Christopher started his career in Atlanta, Georgia in the late 90's, later securing a major label record deal in the early 2000s under the name IAMSOUND. He worked briefly as a hired gun in Los Angeles before he opened his own studio in 2010 in Savannah, Georgia. Chris has worked with some big names over the years like Tripping Daisy, Kylesa, Baroness, and the legendary Reflux.

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