Apogee’s guitar-targeted Jam X interface comes with a built-in analog compressor – and added Tim Henson!

14 April, 2023

— The firm’s latest audio interface offers a three-mode compressor and bundles in an extended trial of the Polyphia guitarist’s Archetype software —
NAMM 2023: High-end hardware firm Apogee has announced its latest plug-in-and-play audio interface aimed at guitarists: the Jam X.

Offering 24-bit/96 kHz audio quality, the chief innovation of the Jam X is a built-in analog compressor. The feature is a first for the Jam series and gives in-the-box players the chance to shape their signal before it hits their amp sim.

Controlling an analog compressor on such a small unit obviously presents a challenge, but Apogee has long-mastered the simplified interface. Here, it offers three simple modes on the compressor: Smooth Leveler, Purple Squeeze and Vintage Blue Stomp.

Apogee describes the effect as “responsive and musical,” stating: “It adds sustain and balances your dynamics. Use it to fatten up single-coil pickups or tame humbuckers. With 3 modes... you can go from subtle to extreme.”
In addition to the compressor, the Jam X also features the firm’s respected PureDIGITAL circuitry as well as the Blend mode found on its predecessor, the Jam+. This is a handy direct monitoring feature that allows you to record with zero latency in your headphone signal.

The Jam X connects to devices with the now-standard USB Type-C and is compatible with Mac, Windows and iOS devices and then there’s the obligatory 1/4" jack input, plus an 1/8” headphone output.

It’s all wrapped-up in a solid, metal case, which like previous iterations, should lend itself well to travel and offer a simple, portable solution for recording/demoing on the road.

The changes are not limited to the hardware, though. Apogee has also overhauled the bundled software, now including a DAW, in the shape of Ableton Live Lite and, more excitingly for guitarists, an extended trial of Neural DSP’s Archetype Tim Henson amp/effects-sim.

The latter also explains why Apogee’s launch trailer is soundtracked by Polyphia’s nylon-string banger, Playing God.

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