Review of TC Electronic Flashback X4 Pedal -
We raved over TC Electronic's original Flashback delay
pedal back in issue seven - and now there's a brand new version
with even more to offer. But does it still offer the great value
for money of its predecessor? Gi was one of the first magazines in
the world to get a review sample and Tom Quayle was first in the
queue to try it!
At the time we videoed our review of the Flashback X4, the pedal
was so new that there was literally no information available about
its features or specs. TC Electronic's hugely efficient publicity
department had kindly sent us a very early review sample but I had
no idea what to expect, other than great sounding delays I always
expect from TC, so I went into the experience with a definite sense
I wasn't disappointed then, when I opened the box to find a
pedal loaded with new features but familiar enough that I could
operate it immediately. The X4 is about four times the width of the
original Flashback but the same length and depth. Whilst this takes
up a larger footprint on your pedal board, the extra features make
it more than worthwhile.
Housed in the same style blue aluminium casing as the original,
the X4 has four footswitches along the bottom, three of which
function in principle as three separate delay units, each of which
can store a preset from the myriad of delay options available. The
fourth footswitch controls tap tempo functions and keeps the audio
tap function of the original unit. Saving a preset is as simple as
choosing your delay options and holding down the relevant
footswitch until it saves the sound. Recalling the preset requires
a simple press of the required footswitch, effectively giving you
three delay units in a single footprint.
A small switch converts the Flashback X4 into a fully
functioning looper pedal, something that the original unit featured
but which was very limited in functionality. The new version has
full undo functions, allowing you to delete single layers of audio
and will store a loop after you've recorded it for playback later
on. You can't save loops but providing you don't switch the unit
off, your last recorded loop will be preserved. You can also now
use the delay functions of the pedal at the same time as the
looper, something that was sorely missing from the smaller
One of the most exciting features of the X4 is the ability to
store up to four Toneprints, as opposed to one on the original
Toneprint pedals - hence the name X4. This allows a much greater
degree of flexibility and the range of Toneprints is now so vast
that you'd be hard pushed to not find some sounds that push your
buttons. The range of on-board delays has been expanded too, in the
form of Tube and Space modes plus modulated analogue and 2290
Ins and Outs have been upgraded with the addition of MIDI in and
thru, allowing for MIDI control over preset selection and internal
parameters plus an expression pedal input. You still get stereo ins
and outs plus a USB port for transferring Toneprints and firmware
updates. These additions really put the Flashback X4 into the
pro-level market, allowing it to be integrated into sophisticated
switching units and midi setups for the ultimate control over your
Tonally, the Flashback X4 is everything you expect from TC with
beautifully pristine digital delays through to thick modulated
analogue repeats and crazy infinite space-type sounds. The ability
to select between quarter, eighth and quarter with dotted eighth
note rhythms allows for easy textural or rhythmic delays that mimic
the sounds of the Edge or Albert Lee. With such a multitude of
options you'd be hard pressed not to be inspired by this pedal and
the new looper functions push this aspect way beyond the practice
tool that it was in the original Flashback into a serious musical
With the original Flashback, TC created a pedal that represented
such good value for money that you wondered how it was even
possible. The new X4 version makes this question even harder to
answer and gives a product that will be really hard for the
competition to beat. Superb sounds, flexibility, ease of use and
expanded I/O options makes this a very attractive and pro-level
delay pedal that is affordable for all but the most budget
conscious of players. TC is leading the way once again. I recommend
you check one out as soon as you can!
Check out the full review inc. video of the TC Electronic
Flashback X4 Peda by Micahel Casswell in Issue 13 of Guitar
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