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Tech 21

Tech 21
( 290 user reviews on products )
Tech 21 is the 97th most viewed brand on AF

About Tech 21

122 products36 news items6 reviews83 classified ads290 user reviews7 discussions

Reviews Tech 21


A pint-sized yet powerful multi-effects unit

Review of the Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 The Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 is a multi-effects pedal small enough to fit in a backpack, or in the pocket of most guitar bags. Featuring Tech 21’s signature analog tone, it can be used either through an amp, or as a complete rig direct to a PA or DAW. read more…

Tech 21 Hot-Rod Plexi Review

Stack Attack Although most amp modeling is digital, Tech 21 has always created its amp emulations using analog circuitry. The Hot-Rod Plexi pedal ($179) is the latest example. It’s an effects processor that’s designed to be used with an amp, so unlike the SansAmp processors, it has no speaker emulation built in. read more…

Tech 21 VT Bass DI Review

A New Bass Pedal in Town The VT Bass DI offers vintage tone and lots of handy features. How does it compare to Tech 21's other VT Bass products? read more…

User reviews on Tech 21 products

For studio? Yes. Live? It depends. (Fly Rig 5)

By Jahkal, 23/07/2014
It's a pedal with a built-in Sansamp, meaning a preamp with speaker simulation, plus a delay, a Plexi simulation and a 21dB boost.
It's analog, with very sensitive controls, all of which have a real impact on sound.
I use it live with a mixing console. So the Sansamp and the speaker simulation must always be active.


Very easy setup, if you know how to dial in an amp. Unfortunately, it has no memory, so settings can't be recalled
The controls are a bit small for live editing, besides being very sensitive.
Simple and clear manual with sound examples.


The Sansamp part is great. You really have the impression of listening to a very good tube amp, some of which don't even sound as good as this pedal, at least, to me.
And it has a reverb, which many tube amps don't.

The clean sound is quite all right. Increasing the drive you can get a light and very nice crunch.
Everything is very responsive to the volume pot on the guitar.
I use it with a Mexican Telecaster. The Sansamp part is truly interesting. But that's something I already knew, since I have already used similar Tech21 products.

The Plexi sound is very... Plexi. You can really hear that fat Hendrix tone. A simple F#m7 on the 9th fret and, voilà, Foxy Lady is in the house!

But that might be it's biggest defect. The sound is huge, apocalyptic, and a bit muddled when strumming the lower stings. Furthermore, the mixer input level is not very high.

The delay is convincing and you can even get a chorus, depending on the settings.

The boost... boosts, but it lacks a bit of oomph when the Sansamp + Plexi are engaged. I think it's more convincing only with the Sansamp.


It's a good all-in-one pedal. However, it doesn't quite suit my rhythm playing.

This pedal has a big personality, but in my view as someone who is not good enough for solos and plays rhythm guitar in a band, it's not sharp enough, it's too fat, with lots of lows.

It will probably do the trick for a '70s-like band with only one guitar player, but not for me.
You really need to test it under the conditions you are going to use it. At home it was very good. I tested it live with another guitarist and I wasn't really convinced by it.

I'm actually looking for an amp head in pedal format. On paper it's pretty convincing. In reality...I'll keep my AMT M2, which sounds really good.

I found my distortion! (XXL Original)

By Bidibuleable, 24/09/2014
This Tech 21 XXL is an analog distortion pedal that isn't very driven, in terms of gain, and with very simple controls:
- LEVEL: Affects the effect's volume
- TONE: Affects the tone
- WARP: This control affects the harmonics (which makes this pedal special I think)
- GAIN: Controls the distortion rate.
One input and one output, nothing too complicated.


In the manual you'll find several presets to give you and idea, but they are not very useful.
You can find your own sound pretty quickly, even if the WARP control may be new for some. Further, the pedal has its own character, so regardless of the settings, you'll always have that particular sound. It's not the best in terms of versatility: As I mentioned above, it has a particular sound.


This is the most interesting point: Broadly speaking, I think I've found my distortion (which isn't always easy ^^).
It has something that pleases me: The sound is warm enough, round and not too shrill. It's hard to describe...
In terms of settings, the most important ones are Tone and Warp: You can fiddle much more with them than with the Gain, for example. The gain possibilities are not very wide, so you can't go from overdrive to metal distortion. That might be the only downside of this pedal (but it also gives it its charm).


I've been using it for 4 months and I've become very fond of it. It's not the type of unit that simulates an overdrive, distortion, metal distortion, etc. but rather a pedal that stands out from the rest due to its particular sound and originality.
Originally, I wanted to buy a more versatile all-purpose distortion. I tested quite a few models and one day I stumbled upon this one: It was love at first sight with this pedal, even if it wasn't exactly what I was looking for (and I think I made a wise decision getting it). It won't please everybody, that's true, but it pleases me! Metalheads and hi-gain distortion lovers should refrain from it!
I think I'll get another distortion pedal to complement this one, because it's true that on certain solos it falls a bit short and it's a bit noisy. I recently had the opportunity to try the Mooer Solo and I liked its tone a lot, someday... ^^!

News Tech 21

[NAMM] [VIDEO] Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig

Published on 01/22/16
A demonstration of the new Tech 21 Bass Fly Rig bass-dedicated multieffect pedalboard.

Tech21 VT Bass 500

Published on 10/21/15

Forums Tech 21

Tech 21 classified ads

Tech 21 Sansamp Bass Driver D.I.

$110 Reverb classified ad

Tech 21 Boost Distortion

$92.15 Reverb classified ad