IK Multimedia is launching its AXE I/O SOLO today. The new bus-powered USB audio interface for Mac and PC was teased earlier this year at NAMM and is a direct follow-up to the larger AXE I/O interface that launched in January. The new SOLO model maintains much of the standout feature set and technology found in the original while providing a more affordable and portable solution. Head below for a closer look.
AXE I/O SOLO launches today
Guitar players looking to integrate with a computer-based recording setup will almost certainly want to give the AXE I/O SOLO a closer look. While not the most affordable option out there, it packs some seriously notable tech for the price.
AXE I/O SOLO is a bus-powered 2-in/3-out USB audio interface for Mac and PC. It supports recording resolutions up 192 kHz/24-bit. The main draw here is what IK refers to as its triple-topology instrument input designed to “preserve your guitar’s unique character, combined with powerful tone-shaping features to adapt to any guitar or bass.”
Multiple pre-amp/pickup options
This essentially consists of a pair of passive and active pickup options to accommodate whatever instrument you’re using. Plus an option between two pre-amp types: PURE our JFET with the former being a clean transparent option and the latter offering subtle harmonic enhancements and a more classic sound. All of that is complemented by the Z-TONE circuit, which lets players “dial in impedance from 1 MOhm (‘sharp’) down to 2.2 kOhms (‘bold’) that interacts with your pick-ups.”
Much like its larger, older brother, the AXE I/O SOLO also sports that re-amplification feature. Known as the dedicated “Amp Out,” this feature lets introduce your other guitar gear, like amps and pedals, into your digital recording setup without having to get in to “expensive and confusing re-amping setups.” While this feature might a bit overkill for some, power users and those that like to re-amp clean recordings will certainly see the convenience here.
AXE I/O SOLO pricing
The AXE I/O SOLO is now available directly from IK and authorized retailers for $249.99 shipped. Its larger brother currently sells for $349 at Amazon where we are yet to see the SOLO appear. It ships AmpliTube 4 Deluxe, “IK’s powerful guitar and bass tone studio for Mac/PC,” along with a suite of T-RackS mixing and mastering plugs, and Ableton Live 10 Lite.
Audio interfaces tend be a little bit underwhelming in general — just another box to which to connect your mics and instruments. But IK has clearly gone over and above here with the inclusion of pickup control and pre-amp options, not to mention the handy Amp Out feature. Along with the massive collection of amp emulation software and more that comes in the box, AXE I/O SOLO is certainly an interface all guitar players should consider.
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