The world of audio and musical equipment can be a tricky one to navigate at the best of times. With so many different products, conflicting opinions and confusing reviews, it’s hard to know what’s actually the best product for your needs. Luckily, the team at Mixdown have put in the legwork for you, sifting through the spec-sheets and putting the products through their paces to bring you Mixdown’s Picks - a new series of expansive, category defining product guides across our digital channels. Anything that has made the cut has rated highly across the board with the Mixdown staff, garnering a unanimous tick of approval from our staunch critics.
This time around, we're dissecting the huge range of essential effects out there for stage and studio, exploring everything from rugged multi-effects units through to boutique overdrives and vocal plug-ins.
TC Electronic Plethora X5
Key Features: Designed and engineered in Denmark, the Plethora X5 is an extremely flexible Toneprint pedal FX set up which utilises perceptive and easy to use controls.
With 127 custom boards and the option to create and customise even more, the X5 can also easily employ any combination that you can come up with. Fast and easy recall of favourite effect mixes are part of this unit’s overall usability and standard operations. It uses an all-inclusive speaker cab simulation network which allows the unit to be plugged directly into a PA system or recording installation for straightforward plug and play of your biggest guitar sounds. The onboard MASH technology allows expression control and adaptive mapping on all 5 footswitches, and this is also usable across each of the Toneprint pedals. A Bluetooth connection instantly connects you to a selection of extra tones and effects via TC Electronics’ extensive online library.
The X5 also uses an Autosave function while you create your sounds and pedal set-ups, and the ‘Quik Swap’ feature makes re-organising any signal chain smooth and effortless. MIDI in on the unit also allows board selection from exterior devices. A Tap Tempo component and inbuilt Uni-Tune chromatic tuner are included in this comprehensive package, along with a large array of classic Echo, Octaver and Compression patches. An accessible Toneprint App also allows for easy and quick organisation of boards within the unit.
Mixdown Says: A fully professional guitar FX unit which comes with MIDI capability, full online support, a one year warranty plus a staggering array of classic sounds. The many user-friendly options that come as standard with the X5 may seem a little daunting to prioritise and navigate initially, but the intuitive design has ensured ease of operation for most situations. The control sections of the unit have been particularly well thought through with the professional player in mind.
Overall: Once you get used to what the Plethora can do for your sound, you will love the fully customisable patches and amp cab configurations. While it seems to be a bit ‘over the top’ with its onboard features and sounds, these will very quickly put you in the picture with lots of useful guitar sounds combined with your individual stamp.
Find out more about how to get your hands on a Plethora X5 in Australia via Amber Technology.