Two-Notes Captor X Review
This is a full review of the Two-Notes Torpedo Captor X. The Captor X is the best recording tool I have ever used for recording electric guitar. Additionally, the Captor X functions as a load box to drastically drop the amplifier speaker’s output or have it fully muted.
To help frame my user-review, I have been using the Two-Notes Torpedo Live for five years, and I also owned a Kemper. The Two-Notes Captor X was why I sold my Kemper profiling amplifier recently and retired the Two-Notes Torpedo Live.
What does the Two-Notes Captor X Do?
Unlike a lot of full-digital solutions, the Captor X is designed to replace only your amplifier speaker. This means you get all the lovely valve/tube tone of your amplifier but without the volume. There are several ways I have used the Two-Notes Captor X.
The first to use Captor X is to replace the speaker and have your speaker muted. This allows you to set up a virtual speaker, microphone, and room within the unit that allows you to get an amazing direct recording to your sound card. Unlike the previous Two-Notes Torpedo Live, the Captor X is full Stereo! To get the Muted tone, do not reconnect your speaker to Captor X.
The second way I like to use the Two-Notes is to incorporate the previous method above with some speaker signal going back to your amp. The back of the Two-Notes Captor X has a three-position toggle switch for speaker volume. Each of these positions corresponds to full, middle, and low. Low (-38dB), Medium (-20dB) and Normal (0dB).
Low is very quiet; even with a 40-watt guitar amplifier, you can barely hear it. This is a good way to get a saturated guitar tone without annoying the neighbors. The Middle and Full settings are far louder than low, and if you are playing live or want more “amp in the room” sound, these are your best options.
Thirdly, you can record via the XLR outputs on the Captor X and/or mic up the speaker. This will give you the best of both worlds, and thanks to the power settings I mentioned above, it’s a fantastic home recording solution.
The fourth way to use this load box is to send the XLR directly to a PA System when playing live. This will give you more freedom on stage rather than having to worry about microphone cables and mic placement in front of the amplifiers.
Great Tones and Options
The Torpedo remote Software is where Captor X really shines. In this “virtual environment,” you have full flexibility over many options. At the click of a mouse, you can change microphones, mic placement, room type, ambiance, and much more. One of the welcomed upgrades over the Torpedo live is using two different virtual microphones to blend them both. I love mixing the SM-57 with the E906 or the SM-57 with a classic Ribbon Mic.
The Remote software allows you to preview all 360+ cabinets in real-time when connected to the internet. The ability to change every parameter in this way will appeal to those who want an accurate or different recording than they would get otherwise.
How to hook the Two-Notes Captor X up?
Before you do anything, turn your amplifier off. Powering an amplifier without a speaker attached can destroy your amplifier head.
Connecting the Two-Notes Captor X to your amplifier is very simple. Disconnect the physical speaker from the guitar amplifier. Run a speaker cable (link to Sweetwater) from the amplifier to the Two-Notes Captor X, and that is it.
To take advantage of the speaker power attenuation, you will need to run a speaker cable back to the guitar speaker. If you own a combo amplifier instead of a head and box, you will need one of these female-to-female connectors to make it all work easily. Most speaker cables have a male end on each side, so this connector works a treat, and it’s the one I use.
Does The Captor X work with every amplifier?
No. It would be best if you were made aware of a few requirements—the Captor X ships with both an 8-ohm and 16-ohm version. If you are unsure which speaker you have in your amplifier, please see this great list of amplifier speaker ratings. The second thing you need to have is an amplifier where you can easily disconnect the speaker. Some solid-state amplifiers do not allow you to disconnect the speaker as they permanently attach it inside the cabinet head.
What is the Maximum amplifier power the Two-Notes Captor X can handle?
100-watts RMS. You can use any amplifier head up to 100 watts with the Two-Notes Captor X. If you own a mix of 8 and 16-ohm amplifiers, you need to make sure you buy the correct 8-ohm model or 16-ohm model. It would have been great if there was an all-in-one solution for this but available. Most common amplifier combos are rated at 8-ohm, and amplifier heads usually have both 8 and 16-ohm options. Check the back of your amplifier for more details.
Two-Notes Captor X Review Video
Is the Two-Notes Captor X better than the OX Box?
Two-Notes were the innovators of this technology, and many came in after them. Both offer very similar functionality and a solid user experience. I love that when I have the Captor X set up for my favorite amplifier or combo, I never have to hook it back up to the computer, and I can scroll between different presets thanks to the physical control on the front of the unit.
Another positive to the Two-Notes Captor X is the in-store experience. Two-Notes has its own Impulse Response (IR) store that allows you to get just about everything within a few clicks. So far, this has been a dream to use.
A clear advantage to the UI Ox Box is that it allows you to set the guitar amplifier speaker’s volume wherever you like. The Two-Notes gives you a three-position switch. I also like that the Ox Box has the speaker output control on the front, where it’s easily accessed. Both of these units are really solid and will essentially do the same thing at the end of the day.
The last advantage the UI OX Box has over the Two-Notes is you can switch impedance from 8 or 16 thanks to the dial on the back. For those with multiple amps and heads, this makes a lot of sense. The only downside is, the OX is far more expensive.
Downsides of the Two-Notes Captor X
While there’s a lot to like about Captor X, there are a few things I wish they didn’t do with this unit. The first downgrade from the Two-Notes Torpedo Live is they removed the kettle plug in place of a circular outboard power supply. I know space is limited in the unit due to the small size but kettle plugs rock.
Secondly, Two-Notes should have used a USB-C connector rather than Micro-USB. Micro USB cables are terrible, especially when you try to reach behind the unit to attach them. Micro USB cables are generally less reliable than USB-C under heavy use.
The last thing I need to mention is the fan can be quite loud. You’ll hear it spin up each time you start to play. When you have any speaker volume in the room, you will not hear it. I never hear it over any of my guitar reviews when filming my videos or recording a track. It’s not a big deal, but it’s worth mentioning.
Is the Two-Notes Captor X better than the Kemper?
Firstly, the Kemper is fantastic. It’s fantastic for those who don’t want to use an actual amplifier in the chain. If you want a fully-integrated unit for home recording, the Kemper is killer. The Kemper Profiling amplifier has all the effects under the sun and thousands of pre-profiled amplifiers for download. It’s a vastly different unit.
While the Kemper can do great distortion tones, it can’t do well in good, warm, and fat clean tones. Something always sounded a little bit flat to me. That, mixed with its inability to handle external effects, was the reason I sold it. The Two-Notes allows you to use your favorite amplifier in the chain, so you get all that analog goodness with the small sacrifice of a speaker IR. For my situation, this made far more sense.
The Kemper will also take you far longer to learn because it really does have a thousand options and effects built-in. Learning to profile an amplifier and have it sound great is a task within itself. Guitarists with external effects should go for the Two-Notes Captor X. If you want an instant recall recording solution, go for the Kemer.
I wrote a full article about my thoughts on the Kemper vs. Two-Notes Torpedo Live. Check out my article because a lot of the same points apply to the Two-Notes Captor X.
Two-Notes Captor X vs Torpedo Live
I am in the fortunate position of owning both the Torpedo Live and the Captor X. Over the last 5 years I have used the Torpedo for hundreds of recordings and gear review videos. Is it worth upgrading from the Two-Notes Torpedo Live to the Captor X? It depends. The biggest deciding factor is if you need to have your amplifier speaker connected or if you’ll ever use the power attenuation. If you are strictly a studio user, you may prefer the rack unit design of Torpedo Live.
Sound-wise, both are very similar. Captor X does take it to a new level but in the mix, both would sound very similar and feel similar to play. The main difference is the Stereo mode included in the Captor X unit. I actually prefer the rack unit design of the Torpedo live and if you are looking for a rack unit, it’s still a great choice. Due to the software and design upgrades of the Two-Notes Captor X, I would lean towards this for higher-quality audio recording.
Two-Notes Engineering had sent this out for my video review on YouTube. They don’t get to preview the video or this review, nor did any cash change hands. This review is written after six months of solid use. If this article was helpful, please support the page by using the affiliate links located above. These links help cover the costs of running the website.