Pedals

Xtomp

26

If you don't care about stereo, and can live without the none-more-cooler industrial design of the monty, go for the mini.

But keep a watch on Reverb. Not many used full versions there now, but there are usually a few, and you can often snag one for around 150.00. Minis go for under 75.00.

27

Finally got my standard XTOMP and gave it a go and man am I impressed! This thing is very cool, not at all cheesy. Works perfect with my other pedals and the PedalPowerPlus. Sounds seem to be really spot-on even such ones as the Memory Man with all of its weirdness. The Fulldrive has all the functions too, comp cut, modes etc. I think I might need a mini as well. Consider me sold on this unit (thanks for the tip, Proteus).

Back to geeking out with this thing.

28

OK...you guys GOT me. I just ordered one (also from AmazonSmile...seems they have better pricing than Reverb). I need this like I need a hole in the head and since I already have what, maybe SEVEN of those if you count eye sockets, I figure what's one more.

29

I'm also looking forward to the release of the TC Electronic PlethoraX5 and think I might also have to explore that...but, one thing at a time, one thing at a time......

30

Glad Xtomp is living up to my enthusiasm for it. And no, it's certainly not at all cheesy.

American companies can deploy Asian manufacture in one of two ways: have the off-shore manufacturers build cheesy stuff to undercut the market with the cheapest thing that kinda works and sorta does what it says it does - or, like Apple, to build the smartest, slickest tech on the planet, still at a price that makes it possible to own.

Clearly Asian manufacturers who set out to make their own name in the market face the same decisions for themselves - and Hotone consistently goes top-shelf with innovative tech, smart engineering, fine industrial design, and top manufacturing quality. I've yet to be disappointed - or anything short of impressed - by any Hotone product. It's not just "value" - it's intrinsic worth.

I'm similarly impressed by Mooer products. Both companies got a foothold in the market with their mini-pedals, which are "just" the best of the minis coming out of China (Hotone's notably the smallest and cutest). But mini pedals, by their nature, suffer from compromise - and rarely compete sonically or for ease of use with full-size pedals. So I think we mistook those mini pedals as "all the Chinese can do," that sentiment carrying some of the residue of the widely-held trope that Chinese/Asian products are junk, nothing but copies, HelMart crap.

And this in spite of the fact that 40 years ago it was Japan with that reputation, eventually proving in nearly every field of manufacture that they're world-class, sometimes world-leading; now we don't question Honda, Toyota, Yamaha, or Roland/Boss. 20 years ago it was Korea's turn to prove their products were competitive on the world stage. Now Indonesia is one of the labor-bargain frontiers - and have any of us had a bad experience with, say, a Gretsch Streamliner made there? We should really get over our skepticism and surprise that these ancient cultures can innovate and execute at the highest level.


Then there's them durn Scandinavians!

I'm not a general fan of TC Electronics' pedals. Or, rather, I appreciate that the tech and build are pristine, price is very competitive, and that the TonePrint concept was an early example of updating/repurposing the computers inside our pedals with software. But I've had the Hall of Fame, Flashback, and Mojomojo, and while I couldn't find anything to dislike about them - and lots to kinda like - there also wasn't anything very compelling to me about their sound. All just kinda bland, generic, clinical. None ever inspired me - with the notable exception of the Quintessence harmony pedal, which is a little marvel of its type.

But at a time when other builders also issue regular software updates with new features, new programs, even new models for existing pedals - all with their own way of going about it, of course - TonePrint isn't that big a deal. There are tons of aftermarket programs for Line6, Strymon, Source Audio, Kemper, Headrush, AxeFx, Hotone, Mooer, etc - and Meris, Empress, Pigtronix, and others issue regular updates with new programs. TC just isn't that special in that domain - though they've been clever to promote their artist-designed TonePrints.

They're also clever to market the PlethoraX5 as being able to store 127 "pedalboards," each combining a mix of 5 of their 12 TonePrint-capable effects engines. But calling a configuration of 5 a "pedalboard," while it sounds impressive, is just a semantic trick: Boss, Line6, Hotone, Mooer, Kemper, AxeFX, Headrush - you name it - do the same thing...they just call them "programs", "patches", "presets" or another equivalent term. And virtually any of these other multi-FX devices supports more than 5 simultaneous effects (blocks, modules, what-have-you), in ANY program - without having to unload and reload TonePrints.

They're also clever to pitch the notion that a multi-fx is the equivalent of an easily-reconfigured pedalboard, to remind us in their malarkety what a hassle cables, power supply, and wire management are, and what a relief it will be with the Plethora that all that happens seamlessly in the virtual realm. But the same can be said about any multi-fx unit on the market.

At 399.00 (the projected price), the Plethora is an attractive way to get all of TC's TonePrint pedals in one, with what looks to be a smart and well-implemented package for functionality. But it has stiff competition at that price with devices that do a lot more, with more simultaneous effect blocks AND/or amp/cab models. Because TC's engineering is generally so impressive, I'll probably end up curious enough to give the Plethora a listen. But it seems like it's going to have to rise or fall simply on the sound of TC's digital pedals - and so far I haven't felt the wonder.

31

The XTOMP really is astounding and the interface is as familiar as your favorite pedal.

Ive always been an analog snob but this has opened my mind not just to what tech can do now but in the near future. I hear no significant differences between the XTOMP and the corresponding effects, if anything they are better sounding, and easier to use on the XTOMP. ill check out the amps and cabs tomorrow though I am less familiar with most of those.

32

Looks like a nightmare to figure out what effect is being used and what knob does what? How would this be used in a live situation? Seems like there is a trend in Tech to leave the operation of a system a mystery, that has to be uncovered by hours and hours of study. No thanks, give me a device that does one thing and does it well. Step on a switch and off you go.

33

Looks like a nightmare to figure out what effect is being used and what knob does what? How would this be used in a live situation? Seems like there is a trend in Tech to leave the operation of a system a mystery, that has to be uncovered by hours and hours of study. No thanks, give me a device that does one thing and does it well. Step on a switch and off you go.

– Hipbone

This is where I am at as well. I abhor learning curves as I continue getting older. I could see the great utility of this effect this way: in my own personal playing, I don't use a lot of effects. But in the cover band, I do. I don't own a flanger. I don't want to own one. But if we are doing a song that requires a flanger, this could be a perfect solution.... because, when we stop playing that song and start playing one that requires a phaser, I'm all set.... I don't have to own a phaser, a flanger, a chorus, a leslie pedal, and auto-wah, etc. Owning this pedal could fill occasional gaps in the pedalboard, regardless of what they are, and make life easier...

Of course, it can't negate an entire pedalboard of effects, which is what I deal with in my cover band. I need several of the effects mentioned at EVERY gig. ONE Xtomp will not cure that need, and at the price they sell for, I'm not buying multiples! I'll just buy the real deals.

34

What ruger9 just said. Just ordered the mini. I like the idea of using it as well to try out pedals I may think I need/want/need and didn't know it ect.

35

Thank you all for this useful information. I may need to try one myself. I've got an old Digitech iStomp which is a similar concept with older tech. I didn't spend much time with it before it was promoted to a box in the garage, but the acoustic sim was good as was the fuzz. No Bluetooth, of course

36

I am as surprised by the quality of the sound as I am by the realism of each effect. For instance, The Memory Man effect has the same damn limited headroom before it starts to feedback as the original. The Big Muff is killer and I like how I can get all the gain I want at unity or lower and control the highs / mids. There are a few delay effects that also offer up some sweet reverb washes. Love the RAT, Crunch Box, and Full-Drive as well as the Small-Stone, etc. Lots of different Chorus effects, all are really excellent.

Lots of bass effects as well.

It really is an exceptional product (especially for the price) and they aren't paying me to say that.

37

My Amazon order was shipped from Sam Ash Music, and they did the same thing to me that they did to BirdsNBats (assuming his came from them) ...they sent me a Mini when I ordered the full size version.....hmmm, kind of makes me wonder what is up with that???? They seem to have a mini that they'd really like some sucker to accept.

Anyway, my email requesting a replacement is out to them and I am awaiting their response. In the meantime, I'm not going to plug this one in to check it out.

38

You will be fine with the mini.

3 weeks in: ordered a LM308 RAT because of this pedal. The XTOMp excels at dirt. the reverb effects are so-so, the one knob mod pedals like the Phase90 are exceptional and the amp models are really close. The delays are fun but not stellar. It nails my Blonde Bassman and the Vintage AC-30 is killer.

I am using the vintage “Black-Tail” (RAT2) on the XTOMP till mine comes today. It positively nails REM (Monster album) with the Gretsch. SurfyTrem helps too.

39

All in all, I’m happy with the XTOMP.

40

The Chorus pedals are amazing, well worth the shekels.

41

The XTOMP integrates easily into your pedal board, just sayin’.

42

Agreed with all that from my experience. Dirt, amps, modulation are pretty top-notch; delays are all more than serviceable - especially for gigs and general ambience. There's plenty of variety on tap. It's just that a delay diva wouldn't luxuriate in them under solo focus.

Reverbs are probably the weakest link (by the standards of modern standalone 'verb pedals and some other modelers). Certainly gig-serviceable. Most are a bit grainy, like they could do with more bits of resolution. Most would also benefit from tone control, especially the ability to roll off low end, which can collect and get muddy. Sometimes you want to peel some highs as well. I'd think those parameters could be easily added. AND - at least ONE of the reverbs does have those controls, so it's the choice when it gets critical.

Also, it's not fair to really berate the reverbs. There's good choice, and some of the non-standard choices (ie, not spring/plate/room/hall) can be pretty captivating. They could just use more tweakability. I stick to room and plate for standard reverb; the spring is especially Not Special. But the algo cost you less than 90 cents, and it's probably worth that. Just sayin' - don't buy an Xtomp for the spring reverb.

Did you get Friday's new models? There are four new pedals...

I've emailed Hotone's tech guys several times with observations and suggestions; sometimes I hear back, sometimes I don't. But they do continue to build on the platform (even though it didn't stand as tall in the market as I'm sure they hoped, and it probably deserves), even while developing other stuff. So it's not unreasonable to expect tweaks and improvements even to existing models. The reverbs could get better.

But there are enough good models and effects that I started asking myself why they didn't build a multi-fx combining more than one (or two, in the combo algos) at a time.

So I went looking, and there was the Ampero. There's a lot of overlap with Xtomp tech, a lot of familiar models - but a complete program consists of 10 "blocks," which can be arranged in any order you like. Three are freely assignable "FX" blocks - assign any of your choice of the library; other blocks have a fixed character - that is, you can assign any of the choices in that category, but not algos from the other groups. The preassigned blocks include amp, noise reduction, cab, EQ, delay, reverb, and master tempo/patch volume. So - except for maybe EQ, likely stuff you'd assign anyway.

3.5 x 2" hi-res color touchscreen, 1/4" stereo outs, XLR stereo outs, USB interface, MIDI in, integrated volume/exp pedal, external expression jack, a short looper, and drum tracks (with dozens of genre options) round out the options. The weakest link is that there's no effect loop, so other than pedals you'd put in front of a whole rig, you use what's in the box.

But it's a classy, well-made, handsome, and very compact box: 12.5" x 7.5" x 2" (to the top of the knobs). The interface is very easy to use - pretty obvious and intuitive even without documentation - and there's an app to make programming even easier.

I have otherbiggermorebettercostly modelers, but this one is so easy to grab-n-go for travel, sounds so good, and is so easy to use, I spend a lot of time plugged into it. Lists at 500.00; you can regularly find them for 350.00 or so. Small money for tall functionality, without committing to making it your main rig or something.

43

As a tool to see what works with your setup, it is very cool. So far I bought a vintage RAT the “Black Tail” is the XTOMP model based on a vintage RAT2 and I love the Dimension C (Liquid C on the XTOMP) with its (4) modes and the Phase 90 as well as a few more. Well worth it.

44

The XTOMP Acoustilizer 2 (amp model) really shines with my acoustic guitars and Fishman Loudbox Performer amp. It definitely opens the sound up in a very natural sounding way - much better sounding than the amp without it. Yet another reason this pedal is worth the cost of admission.


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