Review: MOOER “CAB X2” Cabinet Simulation Pedal

While I already own a couple of guitar amplifier sim pedals, I’d never tried one designed specifically for the emulation of speaker cabinets. What an awesome idea… You’re still using your amp of choice, but straight out of the box it’s like having 11 different cabs in the room to run it through.

If nothing else, might save a bit of space, eh? 😉

This is a brand-new product from MOOER, a company I’ve had nothing but good experiences with in the past. From everything I had previously read in web articles and viewed on YouTube, guitarist reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. Since I had the opportunity to receive one free for review, I jumped at the chance to check it out.


There’s quite a bit to get into regarding this pedal, so let’s have at it

Unboxing contents

  • Excellent build

All-metal shell, along with a nice weight. I expected it to be larger, but its footprint is roughly the same as a standard full-sized pedal. Knurled control knobs are heavy-duty and tight feeling, with all jacks connecting solidly. There’s even a headphone output, when you don’t want to wake up the entire household at 03:00am.

Size comparison (MOOER mushroom footswitch toppers installed)

Testing by power removal confirmed it is indeed true bypass, with no added line noise I could detect whether active or inactive. Battery operation is not supported, but if you don’t happen to own a pedal power supply there’s actually a 9V DC 300mA center-negative type included, something pretty much unheard of.

The only thing I dislike about this entire product is the use of momentary contact foot switches, which of course do not latch. By their very nature, this type of switch does not retain bypass status across power cycling, and as a result always initializes as active. It’s not a showstopper by any means, just a personal preference of mine.


  • Basic controls

These should be self-explanatory perhaps with the exception of the latency knob, unusual to find on a single effect pedal. Cranking that up provides great “chug-chug” doubler sound.


  • Factory preset cabinets

There are 11 in all, and I found the Fender Twin Reverb cabinet emulation to be especially convincing. If I closed my eyes and didn’t know better, I’d likely think it was the real thing.

Cabinet to software effect name mapping

  • User presets

Once you’ve dialed-in the tone you’re after, settings of all controls can be stored in one of 7 user preset slots, along with two different cabinets in each for a total of 14 different combinations.

This can be done directly at the pedal via its foot switches and SAVE button, or much more easily through a USB-C connection (cable supplied) and accompanying “MOOER STUDIO” software, available for download on the MOOER web site. The latter also supports importing/exporting your presets, as well as loading other external IR files.

Companion MOOER STUDIO software

  • Stereo inputs/outputs

“Stereo” is actually a sketchy term to use here, at least in the traditional sense.

Inputs: These are simply separate ¼” standard unbalanced TS jacks which can also be used simultaneously. One possibility here would be two guitars (or other instruments) sharing the pedal, a pretty cool capability.

Inputs

Outputs: Again, these aren’t intended and do not supply a “normal” L/R stereo output signal as you might think. Instead, they’re swapped between the two active cabinet presets by the left footswitch. The left output is CAB-A (illuminates pedal LEDs in blue) and the right CAB-B (illuminates pedal LEDs in red).

TS and headphone outputs, 11 factory cab reference list

As recommended by MOOER customer support, I’m only using the left input (labeled “MONO”) and CAB-A output since the pedal is residing in my mono line-in effects chain. However, that still provides me with 7 user presets, which is plenty as far as I’m concerned.

A few other options would be to run each output channel to separate tracks in an A/D interface or mixer, two pedalboards, or even an additional amplifier. The gear/cabling choices these provide are virtually limitless.


Summary:

Currently commanding a retail price of $169.00, this pedal may be just is a tad pricey. However, as they say, you get what you pay for. Considering its quality components, sound, wide functionality and accessories, in my opinion you’re actually getting much MOOER (pardon the pun) than you pay for in this case.

Further information and demonstrations:

  • MOOER Official Tutorial Demo:
  • Great User Demo by “funto”:

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