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Hotone XTOMP Owners Club

Discussion in 'Pedal/Effects Owners Clubs' started by StormJH1, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic


    I thought I would start a club for the Hotone XTOMP because while it is only a single physical device, it acts almost like a platform for dozens (perhaps hundreds, eventually) of different effects models. It also appears that a "XTOMP Mini" is about to be announced at Winter NAMM 2017, and the development team releases updates with new models and firmware improvements every 1-2 months. Since there hadn't been much discussion of the XTOMP elsewhere on TDPRI, I thought an owners club would be a nice gathering place for XTOMP users to discuss tricks and features of the device, keep informed on software updates, and field questions from would-be buyers as to whether or not the pedal might be for them.

    A quick history on the XTOMP and a description of what it does. Announced at Winter NAMM 2015, the XTOMP isn't an entirely new idea - DigiTech tried a similar thing in 2012 with the iStomp, but it had to be tethered to proprietary cable to change pedals, and both the unit and the pedal models were viewed as too expensive. (They later blew out iStomp sales for $40 and made virtually all the models free, so it became a sneaky good bargain). By contrast, the XTOMP can receive software updates and pedal changes via Bluetooth from your smartphone, and (so far) ALL of the effects in the library are free.

    The XTOMP was delayed about a year-and-a-half after it was announced, and finally became available around May 2016, so it was pretty "soft" roll-out. But the pedal has seen a number of updates since then, and continues to improve. Here's a link to the library of effects, which is up to about 126 separate "effects", though there are a few that can be combined 2-in-1:

    First, a few negatives to discuss. The XTOMP is a "one at a time" effect pedal, and while the actual pedal models are far advanced beyond what you'd find in most multi-effects units, it's a piece a gear meant to be used with other gear, rather than a standalone solution for "all the effects I could need at the same time". The 6 LED knobs are extremely cool-looking and very functional, but without consulting the iPhone app, you have no way of knowing what each one does. Hotone provides labels, but that isn't practical for a unit whose whole purpose is to be a "chameleon" effect changing frequently from one thing to the next.

    That being said, here's a quick run-down of some neat features that I've really enjoyed in my short time with the XTOMP:

    • The LED-display knobs can be configured as on/off or mode switches by changing color as you turn them. For example, the Fulltone OCD model sets up the top middle knob as a Hi/Lo switch. The Xotic EP Booster has only a single gain knob in real life, but the XTOMP model maps two of the knobs to control the dB boost setting and bright/normal mod (which are accessible by internal DIP switches) to two external knobs.
    • As of January 2017, the effects library includes 10 amp models and 14 cabinets. The XTOMP can be used as a standalone cabinet simulator (with output and presence controls) behind another preamp pedal, or as a direct box using the preamp + cabinet sim. The XTOMP has a L and a R output...the former outputs a normal effects signal for the front of an amp, while the latter adds a brand-appropriate speaker simulation for direct recording. Therefore, the XTOMP can be used a versatile direct box, similar to the Tech21 Character series.
    • Tap tempo was added to the delay effects in a recent update. Hold the switch down for a second or two to activate, and the LED flashes in rhythm. Hold again to exit tap tempo mode.

    Anybody have one of these? Anyone considered getting one, but have questions they want me to answer or test out for them? It's far from a perfect product, but I've been really happy with it so far - especially the digital dirt models, which are usually garbage on multi-FX units, but sound very authentic on the XTOMP. Whether or not they sound exactly like the things they are emulating, the sheer variety of sounds is stunning. I've really enjoyed it thus far, and am trying to pour my energy into getting the most use out of it, while taking a prolonged break from the constant pedal researching and buying hobby (addiction).
  2. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Hotone updated the effects library today!

    Looks like 6 new items, plus 1 combination effect:

    (1) Bogner 412SL (4x12" cabinet simulator)
    (2) Octotoucher (2-in-1 combining Octave and Touch Wah effects)
    (3) Comprosso (Ross Compressor pedal)
    (4) Voxy Lady (Vox-in-a-box drive pedal; original design)
    (5) Plexi Crunch (Plexi-in-a-box drive pedal; original design)
    (6) Super Drive + (Model of a Boss OD-2 Turbo Overdrive? I think?)
    (7) Marshell SLP (preamp/cab model of Marshall Super Lead 1959)
    3-Chord-Genius likes this.
  3. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    February update with a few more pedals. Highlight for me is a model of the Wampler Plextortion - a pedal I've demoed in person, but didn't like enough to pay $150+ for (I do own a few other Wamplers and really like their stuff).

    There's also a Fender Twin 2x12 cab (which it seems like they should have had already), a Keeley 4-Knob Compressor (cool!), and a chorus/fuzz combo (meh).

    Then there's the Yellow Drive T, but I can't figure out what it is...anyone? -->

    The Yellow Drive T is based on a rare overdrive pedal. The original wasn’t on the market very long, but later the sound was recognized as a faithful replica of classic Brit style dirt amps (especially when TURBO is on). By then, it was impossible to get…but we got it for you, right here.
  4. Hexxman

    Hexxman NEW MEMBER!

    Mar 30, 2017
    have you had any issues with the purple plexi they just added? when i use it in invariably goes all haywire and it loses bluetooth connection and just hums instead?
  5. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    I did use the Purple Plexi, but I have not used it extensively. Just for a few minutes after downloading. It seemed to function correctly for me - did you try reinstalling to the pedal?

    Also consider installing it using the USB cable from a laptop. Losing Bluetooth connection shouldn't matter while you are using the effect - Bluetooth is only used as one of the means to transfer new effect programs to the pedal. USB transfer allows you to do the same thing and doesn't rely on BT at all. So maybe what you are seeing is a problem with the installation or a bad version of the program versus a connection problem. In any event, I didn't see that with Purple Plexi or any other effect I tried.

    New update for March! Hotone keeping good on their pattern of releasing about 5 new effects on the last Friday of every month. My favorite from this batch is a clone of the BOSS FA-1 FET Preamp - a discontinued clean boost/EQ shaper from the early 80's that was popularly used by The Edge and others.
  6. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    April update. I believe this is the first noise gate for XTOMP. The 6505/Brown Sound preamp/cab is a cool addition, though I really like my AMT P2 for that purpose. Also, a CS-2, EHX Bassballs (!), Maxon CS-550 Chorus, and 3 signature pedals.

  7. m0b1liz3

    m0b1liz3 TDPRI Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    I didn't realize these had even been released yet. Has anyone done a direct comparison against the atomic amplifire stuff?
  8. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    You'd be forgiven for not catching that they were out - it was a bit of delayed/botched release. Fortunately (in my opinion), everything they've handled in the year since it has become available has been handled pretty well. They're predictably added a new content bundle on the last Friday of every month, and the stuff that's already there is quiet varied and generally quite good.

    I have not tried Amplifire. The XTOMP (while still not "cheap") is about 1/3 the price of that and amp modeling is only a subset of what it does. In fact, while it clones basically every type of popular effect, I think the best description of what it does best is "digital modeling of classic and modern analog dirt pedals". Something like Amplifire, which is dedicated for that purpose of being a bunch of amps-in-a-box (and includes reverb!), is probably superior to the XTOMP's amp modeling functionality. But the point of an XTOMP is that you could use it in front of an Amplifire, or an amp, another XTOMP and have a near limitless arsenal of effects available to you. If I had a buddy coming over to play at my house, I'd probably want to show off a bunch of different pedals, and plug them in and out. If I was going play over at someone else's house, it probably makes a lot more sense just to bring the XTOMP, and have all those sounds covered in one "modular" package.

    For all the good things about it, probably the worst thing about it is just the visual interaction you have while actually using the pedal - the "user interface" (U.I.). The knobs are not labeled (though they glow in different, beautiful LED colors!), and you have to consult to the chart on your phone to have any clue how to use each pedal. It'd be one thing if the top left pedal was always "Level" and you just came to remember that. But the controls move around quite a bit, as Hotone really aims to make each pedal as similar to the functionality of the source material. That's a noble goal, but it makes for a confusing experience for us tinkerers that switch back and forth between pedals. By contrast, my DigiTech iStomp has been left on the "Spring Reverb" effect for about 2 years yet, and I have a stick on label (provided by DigiTech) that tells me what each knob does. But that's equally a product of the iStomp's major flaw: you need a proprietary cable to switch effects and it is an absolute pain in the butt.

    The HOTONE is just a better pedal than iStomp ever was - both in depth of effects library and in functionality. One cool thing about the amp simulators is that each preamp provides a matched cab out of the "R" output jack, or just a preamp/"amp-in-a-box" sound without cab sim from the "L" output. And if you have a separate preamp pedal, you can configure the XTOMP just to be a cab simulator and there well over a dozen different cabs.
  9. m0b1liz3

    m0b1liz3 TDPRI Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    Thanks for the review. I remember they were supposed to be at NAMM and it seemed to be vapourware. I forgot about it since then. Still very few people talking about these. Amplifire Box is coming out soon and is only $50 more than XTOMP. I've already got a Source Audio OD pedal that can do all sorts of ODs/Fuzz/distortions. I would still like to hear an XTOMP but my mind is pretty much made up already despite Atomic also sucking at their release (already past the point it was supposed to be available).
  10. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    No problem. Two points of clarification - (1) I was aware of the $599 Amplifier Atomic pedal, so a smaller, cheaper version of that would be appealing; and (2) The XTOMP generally sells for $249.00, but I caught a $199 sale on Amazon somehow, so I was a bit more comfortable at that price (and it actually is really good value, given that I've paid $200 for straight overdrive pedals before, though not terribly often).

    But I 100% agree that something like the XTOMP is unlikely to ever gain traction at $200+ without the benefit of a Western marketing machine behind it. To add to the market confusion, Hotone sells a Ravo MP10 Multi-Effects processor for $139 - it's kind of like a cheaper version of a Digitech RP360, or maybe a Zoom G3. But all of those units allow for the use of multiple effects along with some degree of amp/cabinet simulation. I think the XTOMP does legitimately do individual effects better than the vast majority of effects on those multi-units, but it's entirely fair for the consumer to question why they should pay $200+ for a one-at-a-time effects unit. The iStomp faced the exact same questions - then became a cult favorite later on when it was cleared out through some vendors for $40! I want XTOMP to succeed, but that history may be worth noting here...
  11. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    They're still at it!

    June update features a Silver Jubilee cab (but no preamp?!), and a Friedman BE100 head/cab combo. Really interested in that Friedman if it sounds even remotely like the BE-OD pedal.

    Cliffyg62 likes this.
  12. mak009

    mak009 NEW MEMBER!

    Jul 5, 2017
    Hi Thanks for starting the forum. My only serious complaint with my XTomp is the lack of the Favourites function to hold knob settings so you can get a pre-set function. This really limits it's use as a live pedal unless you stick to one sound. Most of the sounds are excellent and it really has a place at the end of an FX chain for little used pedal sounds like flanging, tremolo etc ( for me anyway) but having to re-dial them in after each load doesn't really stack up (you could have a diary of settings but that's a bit retro...!)
    StormJH1 and Lexx like this.
  13. rob_mr

    rob_mr NEW MEMBER!

    Jul 10, 2017
    I have had no luck using the amp models live. I've tried going from the xtomp to the front end of an amp. I've tried to the effects return of a Tech 21 Power Engine. I've tried both Xtomp outputs. Everything sounds terrible, over-processed and not at all like the amps being modeled. Has anyone been able to use the amp simulations in a live setting or is it the general consensus that they're only usable for recording (I don't do home recording so haven't tried)?

  14. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Welcome @mak009 and @rob_mr - good to encounter some actual XTOMP users out in the wild!

    I don't really play live - just a home tinkerer, so I have no reason to disagree with your critiques of the XTOMP as a live device. I'd be terrified to have to rely on something like this live. That being said, if I had it in my bag as a backup, and it could pretty admirably stand in for dozens of other pedals if something failed, that's not a bad option to have.

    Regarding the quality of the amp models turned up, I'll take your word on it. I thought they sounded pretty good in headphones and with near field monitoring, but I know that turning things up to gigging levels is a whole new test for gear (particularly digital gear). The review video that really sold me on it was from Henning Pauly's YouTube channel - he generally tends to be one of the reviewers most willing to criticize gear sent to him to demo, but he liked a lot of things about the XTOMP and seemed to like the amp modeling/direct box functionality in particular.

    One thing you could try (that I haven't tried) is using the top output jack (which has no cab sim) and try feeding it into a different cab sim like a CabDryVR or equivalent, if you have one. See if that makes a difference.

    If they ever clearanced it, or if the XTOMP Mini is ever released for less money, I'd like to have a 2nd one to use as an even more versatile, modular setup, but I can't justify a 2nd one for $200 or $250.
  15. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    July update looks really intriguing for direct play! Three new amp models, including a Supro Dual-Tone, Marshall JCM900, and MESA-Boogie F-100. Haven't tried them yet, but was excited to see them offer some off-the-beaten path amp/cab models.
    Cliffyg62 likes this.
  16. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Looks like the XTOMP Mini is finally starting to creep out into the market. Hotone did some release videos and social media posts, and I see it on Amazon for the first time:

    But they have it listed at $162 (not $150), and it looks like it may not be stocked for a month or two. I also screen capped a comparison chart for the original vs. the Mini:


    I've contemplated getting a Mini, but given that the original occasionally goes on sale at $200 (at least for me it did), I'm not sure it makes a ton of sense. That being said, the things missing on the Mini are really among the features I use the least on XTOMP - I'm not a big fan of any of the signature effects, I don't run in stereo, and I find the controls on most of the combined effects too confusing to control with just 6 unlabeled knobs. In fact, getting a 2nd one would mostly be to address the fact that I want dirt+delay, or dirt+preamp model (and so on) performed by different pedals.

    I think the biggest weaknesses of the Mini (which, coincidentally, are not referenced on this chart), are that they only cache 20 effects (instead of 100+), and you can't use it as a "Tech21 killer" amp-in-a-box, since it lacks the output to run the cabinet sim along with the preamp. But again, if you already had an XTOMP to run with it, none of this would really'd simply delegate the Mini to handle the more straightforward effect, and put the original XTOMP last in the chain.

    I'll hold off for now, but I'd like to own a 2nd one at some point, particularly if the price is right.

    Attached Files:

    Cliffyg62 likes this.
  17. davlav

    davlav NEW MEMBER!

    Sep 11, 2017
    Philadelphia, PA
    Can anyone give more specifics on what the "Signature" and "Special" effects are that the Mini is lacking?

    Update: Never mind, I found the answer by looking through the Library (
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2017
  18. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Yeah, I think both categories are just pedals that Hotone made up from scratch, but they call it signature if it's endorsed or worked on by an artist (Brett Kingman of YouTube fame has one).

    I don't know if those are more resource-hungry or if they purposefully just left out some extra effects to make the original model more appealing. I suspect the latter.
  19. Hueycaster

    Hueycaster TDPRI Member

    Aug 19, 2014
    Buckeye az
    Hi all, just a quick question about the HOTONE XSTOMP, are the Cab sims IR’s or filter type sims.
    Thanks in advanced.
    Sgt Huey Falls USMC Ret.
  20. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    I don't know and haven't been able to figure that out. It's a good question. I have to think that the XTOMP has the horsepower to run an IR-type cab sim, but I don't know if that's what they are doing, or if it's like a digital filter roll-off of some kind.

    A dream scenario (since they keep adding models to the XTOMP on a monthly basis) would be that they add some type of IR loader to the iOS app and then allow that to be sent over to the XTOMP via the usual BlueTooth transfer. But that would be like a whole different product, so I don't expect that will happen. (I think the cab sims I've tried are pretty good, whatever they are, but I'm not an expert or very experienced with IR's).
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