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July 22, 2022

Hi all! I’m in the camp of people who probably don’t post here but are totally enjoying the Plethora X3. It’s a lot of fun and I have no complaints at all.

I’m a simple “just for fun” player and don’t need FX loops, pre/post control, MIDI, instant on-the-fly board changes, or anything like that. All I want is to be able to put an assortment of pedals in front of my small bedroom amp and play around with different, good sounds. Really I just want to set the pedals to a nice tone and forget it’s there so I can just play guitar. The Plethora X3 has worked perfectly so far and I haven’t noticed any bugs, interface glitches, bad sounds, or anything unexpected or disappointing. After watching demos and Filipe’s (Pedal Platform) excellent Plethora videos, the unit is really exactly what I was expecting and I’m perfectly satisfied with the product.

My main requirements when considering the unit were: portability (super small size, lightweight), simple in/out connections, and quality and variety of tones and effects. Having owned other TC pedals in the past and enjoying them, the TC brand is also a plus for me. Considering what I was looking for, the Plethora X3 scores 10/10, and even comes with extra bonuses that weren’t necessarily on my requirements but which I appreciated: stereo in/out, cab sims, built-in tuner, MASH (pressure-sensitive) button effects, nice and simple menu system and ease of tweaking sounds. Initially, what I really wanted was just a great reverb (Hall of Fame 2), a great delay (Flashback 2), a simple looper for practice, and a variety of extra tones to play with like flanger, chorus, octaver, etc. Plethora satisfies this perfectly.

I think of the X3 like this: You get 16 effect types which can be thought of as 16 different “pedals”. It’s really more like 16x3=48 pedals (3 pedals of each “type”), since you can use the same effect 2 or 3 times on an X3, as in Delay -> Delay -> Delay, or Looper -> Looper -> Looper, for example. PLUS, with the TonePrint ability, each pedal can be tweaked to produce quite different sounds easily – and these templates can be finetuned in the app for even more control and experimentation (check the Pedal Platform videos for great details on that). While not as easy as, say turning one knob quickly from “Hall” to “Plate” to “Spring” on a Hall of Fame 2 reverb pedal, the X3 interface and menu system works perfectly for switching between these TonePrints on the virtual Hall of Fame 2 in the X3. The utilitarian UI is intuitive and does what it needs simply, so for me, the UI is great.

With the X3, it’s like you get a big box of 48 TC electronic pedals to hook up in any way you like: 3 pedals of each type (reverb, delay, etc) that you can arrange, adjust, and rearrange easily without having to plug in/out actual physical cables between actual physical pedals, rearrange on a pedal board, and plug in/out power plugs… and it takes less physical space. And, having 127 slots (“boards”) to save each arrangement with potentially different pedal settings and TonePrints means I won’t run out of space for experimentation. Although, as I said I am a relatively simple player and don’t really experiment that much with effects tweaking at this point. With the X3, I don’t even need a pedalboard or anything extra, since the unit itself is sturdy, self-contained, and personally I don’t need to add any other effects.

When researching the Plethora X3 and X5, I noticed a lot of people worrying about lack of firmware updates from TC, and pleading for some feature to be added in the next update. Personally, with a unit like this, I am fine with a careful, slow pace for updates (barring urgent fixes for serious flaws of course). I’d just rather have a robust, fully-tested unit that works as expected for a long time without frequent updates (which can always introduce more unexpected bugs and a less stable product). Of course, I do like and want the occasional firmware update with new effects and new features, but not at the risk of overall product stability. Speaking for myself, my feedback to TC is to keep up what you’re doing and there will be some happy (if a bit quiet on the forums) customers!

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