XTOMP – Long-term user review

So I’ve just caught up with this and other online reviews about a year late, duh.

I’ve been trying to run four XTOMPS on a mini pedalboard for most of this year, for live playing into one or two amps.

The positives : great-looking, well-made pedals; wide choice of models, the vast majority of which are very good-sounding. Continuous update and addition of new models, though this has slowed. Compact and powerful.

The negatives : price (uk£200 each so four = £800 ?).; app and Bluetooth connection still glitchy with multiple XTOMPS, Phone/pad need to be very close to connect.

The biggest downside is when you connect several together in stereo as there is no facility to override individual models’ mono/stereo configuration and therefore the behaviour of the ins and outs.

This is important because some pedal combinations give rise to serious phase issues (sound thins out). And in the worst cases, certain models early in the chain even neutralise models in the chain from working (especially the excellent Helicopter trem, a great model which is therefore unfortunately useless in some chains).

The only way of getting round this is to change connections from stereo to mono according to which model is loaded – not viable in a hardwired pedalboard context.

Some eighteen months in market, these and other common user requests (amp/cab combos, preloaded sounds, assignable controls/colours etc etc) should have been addressed and resolved.

The Hotone guys are quite responsive in a ‘hi fella, happy to help’ kind of way, but actual action is slower or not forthcoming.

Instead, Hotone’s energies seem to have been diverted towards the launch of the new XTOMP mini, the very existence of which suggests that the original Xtomp’s price point

Will Hotone turn their attention to completing this product? Or will they once again turn their attention to the next shiny, new thing, leaving the XTOMP as a great idea that didn’t quite fulfil its promise and leaving users with an incomplete product for their significant investment?

(Experience of other software-based products is that makers are regrettably swift to withdraw support, beaching the early adopters that made their business viable in the first place, eg Fractal Audio and Axe-Fx pre II).

These shortcomings mean that the XTOMP remains an interesting product for the more casual user / toy seeker but despite its sound quality, is not (yet) pro level.

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