TC Electronic Flashback delay

I’ve been using TC Electronics products for more than 25 years I guess. The first TC Electronic pedal I bought was the phaser, and after that I’ve had several of their products. For years especially the 2290 has been an important part of my setup, so when I heard about the TC Electronic Flashback delay, I thought it would be a natural part of my board.

Facts about the TC Electronic Flashback delay

The TC Electronic Flashback delay offers you 11 different delay types. In addition to the “normal” different delay types, you get the TonePrint function. TonePrint gives you your favorite guitar players custom presets, in one of the delay modes. This is downloaded to the pedal either by your computer and an usb-cable or by and app for your smartphone. All in all a lot of possibilities in a regular stomp box – super.

The loop function is cool and sounds great – and I have loop time enough for my need (40 seconds).

The tc electronic Flashback delay in Soren Reiff's pedalboard
The tc electronic Flashback delay in my pedalboard

Does it cover all my needs delay wise?

Overall the pedal sounds great. The different presets sound cool, and it covers about everything you can expect from a delay pedal, at least from a small stomp box.

The “2290” preset sounds very nice – and it is one of the presets I use most often. The “LOFI” is also one of the presets I dial in. Another preset I use frequently is the “MOD”, even though I would prefer if the modulation was a bit more subtle. The dynamic delay was an awesome feature on the 2290, but in the Flashback the “DYN” a little to drastic for my taste, but it’s cool and nice to have.

My comment on the factory “MOD” and “DYN” is my personal opinion and I guess you can find TonePrint presets that suit you “better” if you really are annoyed by the preset coming in the box.

So what do I think?

  • Does it sound great? Yes – as expected.
  • Is it easy to use? Yes – as expected.
  • Is the TonePrint concept cool? Yes – as expected.
  • Does the smartphone TonePrint transfer work? No and Yes. First it didn’t work – I had to update the firmware (and had to google “problems with TonePrint” before I became aware of that), but after that it worked. I must admit it’s actually pretty impressive.
  • Do I love this pedal, and can not live without it? No …
The tc electronic Flashback delay in Soren Reiff's pedalboard
Another shot of the tc electronic Flashback delay in my pedalboard

No? Why not?

A couple of things: The fact that you cannot tap the delay “the old school way”, is a drag. I think audio tapping is a great idea, but if you forget to do this, before the next song starts you’re stuck. You can’t let the pedal know the new delay time/tempo without muting the signal. It’s irritating and has caused me some stress in live situations.

Another thing is the fact that I’ve had some technical problems with the box. The first one I got had problems with the on/off switch. When I wrote tc, they send me a new pedal the next day. Great service – I got the new one before I had returned the old one – super. But the fact that I almost didn’t explain my problem before they shipped the new one makes me wonder if they have experienced many problems with this box. Also because the next pedal I got also makes some funny stuff. If the pedal has been turned on for some hours … in the studio or for rehearsals, it can cut the high-end when it’s engaged. The only way to fix this is by turning it off and on again. It’s irritating if I forget to reset it before showstart, and the high end drops during a live set.

And just like almost everybody else … it could be great to have the editor for the TonePrints in the smartphone. Before I get that possibility, the TonePrint doesn’t make that big a difference for me – but again that’s just me 🙂

Talking about TonePrint – as a matter of fact do I have many thoughts in general about the TonePrint concept, that I’ll gladly share with you – but that’ll be another day.

Conclusion

All in all … It sounds great – many possibilities with some nice features, but I’m also glad that I have another delay in my board. I consider the other one (an Empress Super Delay) my main delay pedal – mostly because it has presets, a more subtle modulation delay and the old school tap function.

Is this written to make you avoid TC Electronic Flashback delay? Definitely not – but I wouldn’t by one, if I should make a new board today. That’s one of many great things … there’ always new pedals to explore 🙂

All the very best

Soren

You can read more about the technical specs here.
And you can read about the TonePrint for smartphone here.

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2 Replies to “TC Electronic Flashback delay”

  1. I used to have a Roland Tapedelay and I loved it, but hated to carry it around and all the time it takes to connect etc. But the way the sounds gets “worse” for every repeat and the natural wow and flutter that gives a very subtle, but important modulation to the sound that at the same time does not affect the direct guitarsignal is a must in my opinion.
    The flashback has one the best tapedelay simulations I have ever tried in any pedal. So I use either that preset or the slapdelay for old 60’s type tunes.
    I use the loop preset for rehearsals and fun at home etc.
    I can’t live without this one, and it is more or less on all the time.

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