#TweedTone: Is The UAFX Woodrow A Great Alternative To A Real Tweed Deluxe Amp?

I’m lucky enough to own a physical Tweed Deluxe amp. I also think that a Tweed Deluxe amp rig for home use has become so expensive in 2023, it’s difficult to justify. So I’ve started looking at alternatives, to see how they compare to the real thing.

This is a photo of the UAFX Woodrow guitar pedal, from Universal Audio.

We're looking down on the pedal from an angle. The pedal is sat on my practice pedalboard at home.

On the front panel, there are four rows of controls.

The first row contains three knobs. They control INST volume, NORM volume, and OUTPUT volume.

The second row contains three toggle switches. They control the selected speaker emulation, whether or not to save the current settings as a preset, and the kind of boost that is active (if any).

The third row consists of three knobs. These control the amount of room added to the sound; the overall tone of the signal; and how much boost to use.

The fourth row consists of two latching footswitches. They control whether the pedal is in live mode or bypassed; and whether the pedal is in preset mode or bypassed.
The UAFX Woodrow pedal on my pedalboard

This time around, I’m looking at Universal Audio’s UAFX Woodrow pedal.

Table of Contents


The UAFX Woodrow, from Universal Audio, delivers effortless 5e3 Tweed Deluxe tones at a fraction of the current price of Fender’s 57 Custom Deluxe reissue amp. It’s great to play, and it works well with Telecasters, Stratocasters and Les Pauls alike. Just remember to budget for a suitable power supply too!

Unfortunately, unless I’ve missed something, it’s only a partial emulation of a Tweed Deluxe amp. I couldn’t find a way to get it to emulate the way both channels interact when the amp isn’t jumpered. I think that’s a really strange omission, as this pedal is based on the UAD Fender 55 Apollo plugin which can do this.

You’ll need to decide whether or not that’s important to you.

What Is The UAFX Woodrow?

The UAFX Woodrow is a digital amp-in-a-box pedal from Universal Audio. It’s a Tweed Deluxe amp emulator, designed to go straight into your DAW of choice.

It basically takes UAD’s Fender 55 Apollo plugin and stuffs it into a handy pedal to go onto the pedalboard. That’s an oversimplification, for sure: Universal Audio (UAD for short) have tweaked the amp model to make it even more accurate, and have added three different types of boost too.

(I’ve already discussed the Fender 55 Apollo plugin here.)

What Do I Need To Use It?

First and foremost, you need a power supply that can deliver 400ma of current.

The Woodrow is a digital pedal. While it runs at the normal 9V, it needs a lot more power than regular analogue overdrive pedals do. You may need to upgrade your existing pedalboard power supply if you decide to get this pedal.

I’m powering mine off of my Friedman Power Grid 10 power supply, which seems to do the job just fine.

Secondly, you need a way to hear it. That might be by running it into your DAW, or into an external power amp of some kind (for example, into the FX return of a regular vale amp).

The Woodrow is an amp sim. It isn’t really designed to go into the front of a normal guitar amp. I haven’t even tried that, but I imagine it sounds less than stellar!

The good news is that (unlike the Fender 55 plugin) you don’t need to own or use one of UAD’s Apollo interfaces to use this pedal. This pedal is a completely standalone piece of hardware.

My Rig Today

My signal chain is:

  • Squier 50s Esquire with Seymour Duncan Antiquity bridge pickup (aka The Squirrel)
  • into the mono input of the Woodrow
  • into Input 1 of my Apollo x6 interface
  • into the EP-34 tape delay plugin
  • into the Precision Reflection Engine plugin (setup for spring reverb)

and into my DAW.

(This is basically the same setup that I’ve been using for the recent #TweedTone comparison posts.)

Only A Partial Emulation

The Woodrow acts like a Tweed Deluxe amp with both channels jumpered.

When I’m using my Tweed Deluxe amp, I just set it up for the classic rhythm drive sound and leave it there:

  • plugged into Instrument 1 input
  • Instrument Volume at 4
  • Mic Volume at 8

Even after reading the manual, I can’t find a way to get the Woodrow pedal to recreate this setting. It seems to be completely missing from the pedal at this time.

I only discovered this after plugging in my Woodrow. It’s not something that’s clearly stated on retail websites at the time of writing, nor on UAD’s own landing page for the pedal.

Isn’t it a really strange omission? I think so.

The interaction between the two channels is a big part of what makes the Tweed Deluxe so special. The Woodrow is based on the existing Fender 55 plugin, so UAD already has the classic channel interaction modelled.

Who knows? Maybe UAD will add this in a future firmware update. But until then … yeah. The Woodrow definitely cannot be a full replacement for a Tweed Deluxe.

How Does It Sound?

I’ve dialled in a rhythm sound that suits my Squier Esquire:

  • INT volume just below 1 o’clock
  • NORM volume just below 12 o’clock
  • output volume around 2 o’clock
  • tone around 12 o’clock
  • JP12 speaker emulation on
  • no boost engaged
  • no room reverb engaged on the pedal

And this is how it sounds:

Telecaster > Woodrow > DAW

For comparison, here’s the rhythm tone I’d normally dial in on my real Tweed Deluxe amp:

Telecaster > Tweed Deluxe Amp > PS-100 > Axe-FX 3 > DAW

As with the Fender 55 plugin, I can hear a clear difference in the mid-range between the two. To my ears, the Woodrow sounds more mid-scooped compared to my Tweed Deluxe amp. That could easily be down to the differences in speaker emulation – something that I want to explore in a separate blog post.

Which Do You Prefer?

If the Woodrow also emulated the non-jumpered Tweed Deluxe behaviour, it would be the clear winner for me.

There’s a lot to like about the Woodrow. To use the old cliché, it’s plug-and-play tweed tones for days. UAD have already dialled in the overall tone for us. All we need to do is to set our channel volumes for the tone we want, and we’re done. I think it’s the easiest way to get the Tweed Deluxe sound for home recording right now.

The Woodrow also feels very good to play through. I really enjoyed it, and didn’t miss the amp. Although I can’t put my finger on why, I’d pick this over the Fender 55 plugin every time. The tweaks they’ve made feel like improvements to me. I’d love to see UAD bring them back to the Fender 55 plugin (or just release a Woodrow plugin).

Finally, although I haven’t included an audio demo, I found it a lot easier to use my Les Paul with the Woodrow (compared to the real amp). Same goes for Strats. I tried it with my Silver Sky, and really liked what I heard.

… BUT …

The one thing the Woodrow currently cannot do (unless I’ve missed something!) is give me the full experience of a Tweed Deluxe amp. I can’t use the NORM channel to clean up the gain, in the way that I can on the real amp.

I just wish that it did.

What Is The App Like?

The Woodrow is a digital pedal. There’s an app for it, called UAFX Control. Unless you’re really into your presets, I don’t think the app really offers anything much.

You can use it to register the pedal, which gives you extra Artist presets and three extra speaker emulations (which I haven’t tried). That’s nice. Definitely worth using once just for that.

I suspect the app will also provide firmware updates in the future. I didn’t see a way to check for latest firmware, but that might be hidden until there is an update available?

There’s no hidden controls in the app, other than tweaking what each foot switch does. All the sounds of the Woodrow are available from the physical controls on the pedal.

That’s a good thing, because I found the app to be very unreliable. I couldn’t get it to open the list of factory presets. The app also lost contact with the pedal for no obvious reason, and it wouldn’t reconnect no matter what I tried.

How Does The Price Compare?

At the time of writing, the Woodrow retails for £349 here in the UK. The Friedman Power Grid 10 that I used costs £259. The total cost is £608 for the setup.

If you shop around, you might be able to get this setup for less. I have seen retailers put the Woodrow on sale at times. I’m sure there’s cheaper power supplies out there that will also provide 9V and 400ma of power for the pedal.

There’s always second-hand too (which is how I got my Woodrow). I haven’t seen many of them on the second-hand market to date. It’s quite a new pedal, and I suspect quite a niche one too. It took me months to find a second-hand one at a good price. Maybe you won’t have to be as patient as I was to pick one up for a decent discount over the retail price?

Even at full retail asking price, this setup gives you many (but not all) 5e3 Tweed Deluxe tones for far far less than it costs to go with Fender’s Custom 57 Deluxe + attenuator.

This might be the most cost-effective way to get 5e3 tones for home and recording use so far.

Final Thoughts

I think effortless is the perfect word to describe the Woodrow. While I can’t dial it in the way I do with my real amp, it’s just so easy to find tones that I really love for every guitar that I’ve tried with it.

You’ll need to decide what’s more important to you: effortless 5e3 tone from the Woodrow, or being able to explore and dial in the tones that you get from the real amp by not jumping the channels – at the cost of a lot of extra effort to get the signal chain sounding good.

One Reply to “#TweedTone: Is The UAFX Woodrow A Great Alternative To A Real Tweed Deluxe Amp?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.