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IK Multimedia AmpliTube X-Time review

AmpliTube arrives for your pedalboard – this all-purpose delay lives up to the hype and then some

IK Multimedia AmpliTube X-Time
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Our Verdict

A highly programmable delay pedal with easy onstage access and tap tempo. A worthy competitor to other stalwarts of the genre.

For

  • Excellent range of sounds.
  • Superb tape echo emulation.
  • Presets easily recalled.
  • Can function as an audio interface.

Against

  • Some other multi-function pedals offer more delay types.

The maker of the long-established AmpliTube guitar amp and effects emulation software has introduced a series of four X-Gear pedals. There’s one each for modulation, reverb and delay – the latter of which we are looking at here – and another, the X-Drive, for drive, distortion, fuzz and so on. 

The X-Time has the same three-footswitch form factor with mono and stereo connectivity and full MIDI implementation. There are 16 algorithms and up to 300 storable presets that can be managed with the included librarian app and used in AmpliTube 5. 

In addition, the necessary USB computer connection lets the pedal function as an audio interface for recording, with or without cab sim. While basically preset-based, the pedals have physical knobs to quickly adjust the main parameters, while several more are accessed with a push-and-turn parameter knob. 

Presets and banks are easily recalled for live use and you get some useful performance features, such as being able to add an expression pedal, and the X-Mode facility, which momentarily alters a parameter by holding down a footswitch.

IK Multimedia X-Gear pedal

(Image credit: IK Multimedia)

While a few delay styles can’t be dialled in here, the algorithms have plenty of adjustability and use the X-Mode facility to ramp up feedback into self-oscillation, and vintage tape and BBD analogue sounds are well represented.

The two Tape delays have slightly different control, the second with separate modulation rate and depth parameters allowing for some Deluxe Memory Man approximations. This is something the Analog algorithm doesn’t do, though it does include degrees of saturation via the Mod knob. There’s also a Dirty algorithm with distortion and phasing.

You’ll also find ethereal ambiences, pristine digital delay, psychedelic reverse delay and dual delays related by music time. For pitched delays, the Pitch and Harm algorithms won’t let you down.

Turn the pitch to zero, though, and they’ll do multi-tap; you can set delay times for three repeats, approximating the head spacings of a three-head tape echo.

Specs

  • PRICE: $329 /  £299
  • ORIGIN: Italy
  • TYPE: Delay pedal
  • FEATURES: Selectable True or Buffered bypass, tap tempo, librarian software and AmpliTube 5 SE included, Safe mode (locks knobs), cab sim, audio interface capability
  • EFFECTS: Vtg Tape, Mod Tape, Analog, Digital, Ping Pong, Pattern, Dual, Reverse, Rev Pong, Swell, Duck, Pitch, Harm, Dirty, Slapback, Arctic
  • CONTROLS: Model/Back, Preset/Save, Parameter, Time, Feedback, Filter, Mod, Mix, footswitch A, footswitch B, Tap footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard inputs
    (L/Mono, R), standard outputs (L/Mono, R), MIDI In, MIDI Out, Ext. Control, USB
  • POWER: Supplied 9V DC adaptor 260 mA 
  • DIMENSIONS: 176 (w) x 144 (d) x 60mm (h)
  • CONTACT: IK Multimedia

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Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.