Strymon Iridium VS Line 6 HX Stomp (Comparison)
Our pick: The Strymon Iridium
For simple amp replacement where extensive modeling/tweaking is not required, the Strymon Iridium is your better option and significantly cheaper. Though for more complex effects and amp modeling, we'd recommend the HX Stomp.
This is a comparison of the Strymon Iridium and the Line 6 HX Stompbox, which are both classified as amp and cab simulators, though with slightly different feature sets and focuses. We'd classify the Iridium as more of a preamp and the HX Stomp as a multi-effects processor with a built-in amp and cab simulator.
We get this comparison because both are technically a type of digital amp and cab simulation stompbox.
The HX Stomp is a stompbox version of the Line 6 Helix which is a high-end rack effects processor.
Strymon's Iridium is a far simpler stompbox that focuses on digitized amp modeling with an analog flavor to it.
Both are solid preamps/processors, but which one is right for you?
We'll do a basic comparison below and then look at some of the finer details of each device.
Strymon Iridium VS Line 6 HX Stomp
Line 6 HX Stomp
To get a feel for which one is better-suited for your situation, we'll look at the two units on their own to give you a better idea of where they have strengths and weaknesses.
The Line 6 HX Stomp
The single biggest difference between the Iridium and the HX Stomp is the Stomp's focus on digital effects, in addition to amp and cab modeling. The Stomp has over 200 onboard effects modeled after the Helix and Legacy, that can all be used in conjunction with over 80 amp models and 40 cab simulators.
Here's a quick summary:
- 200 onboard effects
- 80 amp models
- 40 cab simulators
This is different than the Iridium which does not provide effects outside of a room reverb control, and only includes three amp models alongside nine IR cab simulators.
Having all this variety and control in the Stomp makes it a better choice for those planning to use it as an effects processor and not just a preamp. For those prioritizing effects and tweaking ability, the HX Stomp is going to be a far better - and more expensive - option than the Iridium.
Of the two, it's certainly the more digitized option and doesn't provide the analog-esque appeal of the Iridium preamp.
The Strymon Iridium
Strymon designed the Iridium to essentially replace your guitar amp. And with a Class A JFET preamp/analog front-end, it handles your guitar tone more like a tube amp and less like a digital effects processor.
This means less options, but better tone quality and a more "organic" analog type of experience.
You still have presets and amp models to choose from, though no onboard effects outside of the reverb we mention earlier.
If you want a simpler amp replacement and you're not as interested in the effects processing side, the Strymon Iridium is one of our favorite electric guitar preamps and a decent bargain that comes in $200 cheaper than the HX Stomp.
Summary of the Comparison
You can see clear differences between these pedals if you just look at the types of sounds they prioritize. In the Iridium, Strymon gives you an analog experience in a digital preamp with enough flexibility to replace your tube amp.
The goal of the HX Stomp is to give you effects and digital flexibility that replicates what Line 6 did in the Helix rack unit.
What you need in your own rig will determine how you value these two pedals and which one will work better for you.
If you need effects and flexibility, go with the HX Stomp.
But for a more pure tone and simple amp replacement, the Iridium is a better (and cheaper) option.
For those with questions about the Iridium or the HX Stomp, leave them in the comments section below and we'll chat.