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TC Electronic debuts the Plethora X3, a downsized version of its feature-packed multi-effects pedal

TC Electronic Plethora X3
(Image credit: TC Electronic)

In 2020, TC Electronic threw its hat into the multi-effects market by unleashing the impressively configured Plethora X5.

Now, in a bid to rival smaller units of the same nature, the Danish company – which isn't attending NAMM 2022 – has debuted a downsized, pedalboard-friendly iteration of its celebrated pedal: the Plethora X3.

As the name would suggest, the compact Plethora unit features only three configurable switches, though retains much of the X5’s feature set and even introduces some fresh extras. 

Thus, the X3 lets users curate, save and switch between up to 127 individual 'pedalboards', which can be created using TC Electronic’s comprehensive TonePrint pedal range.

The selected TonePrint pedals can then be finely tuned via TC Electronic’s Bluetooth TonePrint app – which lets users import a wealth of additional sounds and grants access to numerous parameters – and by using the three assignable control knobs that sit above the screen.

Available effects from the TonePrint range include the Helix Phaser, Viscous Vibe, Hall of Fame 2 Reverb, Flashback 2 Delay, Hypergravity Compressor, Vortex Flanger, Corona Chorus and many more.

Two other knobs – Effect and TonePrint – are in charge of the larger functions. It’s all pretty self-explanatory: while Effect dials in the specific effect, TonePrint scrolls through a specific TonePrint.

A final Play/Edit mode toggle keeps sound-sculpting and performance activities separate, with the X3 saving any off-the-cuff changes you make as you go.

Elsewhere, the multi-effects unit offers a Tape Deck looper – offering 80 seconds in mono or 40 seconds in stereo – and introduces a UniTune chromatic tuner, which is accessed by holding down the TonePrint knob while in Play mode. 

Eight onboard cabinet simulations are also available, and can be added to the end of the signal chain for going straight into PA systems and audio interfaces.

Other notable functions include the preset-navigating toggle switch, which lets you move up and down between your saved effect combos, and pedal-swapping powers that let you easily configure your 'board by changing the pedal order.

And, unlike the X5 – whose signal chain ran from left to right – the direction of the ‘boards‘ flow can be customized to whatever you desire.

Again, TC Electronic’s MASH expression feature is available. By holding down any of the unit’s three footswitches, they can also double as expression pedals, and aim to give the user a more dynamic control over the chosen effect.

In essence, the X3 operates almost exactly the same as the Plethora X5, though, obviously, with two fewer footswitches.

The Plethora X3 is available now for $309.

To find out more, visit TC Electronic (opens in new tab).

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.