by Robin Vincent | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Xodes BCI

Xodes BCI  ·  Source: Xodes


XODES Backpack adapter lets you use Tiptop Audio Z-DSP cartridges with the Pico DSP or Black Hole DSP to access their fantastic effects. Be warned, it requires some SMT desoldering.


XODES BCI Black Card Interface

What a great idea. Take the amazing effects from the Tiptop Audio Z-DSP Digital Signal Processor and plug them into a more affordable and space-saving DSP module. While the feature set is dramatically simplified it means you can run effects such as the legendary Halls of Valhalla, Mariana Trench and Dragonfly Delay in 3HP.

All that’s required is a little bit of tricky desoldering of the surface-mounted IC that contains the original algorithms which is then transplanted and resoldered to the BCI card. This ensures that you can use the original functionality as well as new effects via the cartridge slot. This will probably void your warranty so do it with care.

There are a couple of versions. The Backpack version mounts onto the back of the Pico DSP or Black Hole DSP. The only disadvantage to that is you’ll have to pull the module out to swap the cartridge. An alternative is a 2HP breakout version which brings the slot to the front but at the cost of 2HP.

XO Backpack

XO Backpack

These have been available for a while but YouTuber John Schussler has just released a video comparing the effects with the original Pico DSP ones and with them running in the Tiptop Z5000 and it really brings the power of this little modification to life. He also gives some tips on attempting the soldering.


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This looks like an excellent way of expanding on the features of the already capable Pico DSP with some of the best reverbs and effects in the business. The Tiptop cartridge-based system is Open Source and you can design your own effects with a blank cartridge and development tool called NumberZ. Cartridges cost around £60.

More information from XO Devices



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