What's the best floor-based amp modeler/effects processor for bass these days?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Jarrett, Jan 13, 2014.


  1. Jarrett

    Jarrett Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Waxahachie, Tx
    I just got a new zero stage volume gig and I am trying to get up to speed on what's hot in the bass amp modeling and effects processors these days. Thanks in advance.
  2. Phagor

    Phagor

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2002
    Location:
    London, UK
    What's your budget? The Zoom B3 or MS60B is cheap, easy to use and sounds good.

    There's the Line 6 M5 / M9 / M13 which is similar, but doesn't have as many bass-specific sounds.

    There are a few amp simulator pedals like the Two Notes Torpedo CAB.

    Finally if you want the best, check out the Fractal Audio Axe Fx or Kemper Profiling Amp. The Axe Fx does multi effects. The Kemper just does amp simulation (I think). Both were designed for guitar but can be used for bass.
  3. Voss451

    Voss451

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Line 6 doesn't seem to be doing much with bass these days, so their best offering would be either a Pod X3L or Bass Pod XTL.

    If you're looking for 'cheap', the Zoom B3 is getting pretty good reviews. I have one that I use with a Tech 21 VT Bass and it sounds amazing.

    If all you're looking for is a straight amp simulator, you can't go wrong with either a Tech 21 VT Bass Di, Sansamp Bass Driver Di or an MXR M-80 DI. They don't have any effects on them but are excellent DI boxes.
  4. jimfist

    jimfist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Line6 has recently been consumed by Yamaha. Whether this new "team" comes up with a bass pedal offering soon is up for debate, as is the fate of legacy Line6 products.

    IMHO, bang for buck is the ZOOM series of bass stuff. I own both the B-3 and MS60B, and gigged the B-3 this weekend with very satisfying results. In fact, it was one of the first times I've gigged on a big stage with a full band an NOT needed to tone tweak after sound check. Surprisingly good value in these pedals.

    The AxeFx and Kemper are high-end pro solutions, and IMHO you really have to have a serious need for all of their whiz-bang functionality for them to be a worthy financial investment. I should know b/c I own both the AxeFX Ultra and AxeFxII. Great gear....serious gear for power users and/or those who like to diddle around with only the best of gear on the cutting edge of technology. NOT NECESSARY, though, for most of the gigging universe...YMMV. The B-3 offers a LOT of bass-specific emulations that should provide gratification on pretty short order. Best quality? Probably not, but certainly sonically up to snuff for practical gigging from my experience.
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  6. Jarrett

    Jarrett Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Location:
    Waxahachie, Tx
    Thanks for the input. I have had an Axe FX Ultra in the past and didn't like it for bass so much. I've used the Line6 stuff and its ok. I wondered if someone was doing it better at this point. Really just looking for nice amp sims and effects created specifically for bass. Wondering if Zoom is the right place to look. Or Boss maybe?
  7. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Disclosures:
    Nobody is stupid enough to actually pay me to play their gear.
    I had the B3 and Line6 M9 for the last few days and kept the M9.

    The B3 may be what you want though if you are looking for amp models, signature bass tones based on songs and artists, a tuner, etc. Great product for under $200.

    I liked the stand alone effects of the M9 better than the B3, but YMMV.

    Note: I haven't run either into direct a PA so can't comment on that....
  8. jimfist

    jimfist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Direct to PA, IMO the B3 would win over the M9 b/c it is designed for direct to FOH.

    Jarrett, the AxeFx stuff is great gear, but there isn't very much direct bass support coming from the manufacturer beyond the SVT and Bassman models (this is enough for many) and a handful of bass cabinet choices. I've found that I need to do quite a bit of work within the AxeFx (either unit) in order to get my preferred tones, similar to what I can get out of the B3 using just 2 "stomp" slots with a compressor in front of an amp choice (SVT usually). It's really that simple for me, and allows another slot for special effects (chorus, flange, etc.)

    I'd recommend trying the B3, and if you really don't care for it, you'd take a very minimal hit financially selling or returning the unit. Even if you didn't like it for the amps, you might like it for the FX, or vice verse. Either way, at the price point, I'm of the thinking that it is a great piece of gear to have hanging around for its simplicity, versatility and small size. JMHO.

    FWIW, I've been using and auditioning various bass modelers from most well known manufacturers, as well as stomps (Sans Amp BDDI, Microtubes BK3) and other gear, for quite a few years, going direct to FOH. ZOOM scores very high on the price to performance scale.
  9. Darknut

    Darknut Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    I've owned
    A Boss GT6B, GT10b & now I have a Zoom MS-60b & IMHO the Zoom amp models are a little better.

    The plus on the GT10b is more effects at once, configuration options & built in DI.

    Plus on the Zoom B3 or MS-60b is cheap & small size

    they all sound good
  10. dkelley

    dkelley

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    maple ridge, bc, canada
    Roland VB-99 works for me - NOTE it's not actually floor-based, stupid stand based thing LoL. I own/use it. amazing. just amazing. blows away the roland guitar amp models I've used in the past. Mostly though the actual bass guitar models are quite exceptional. So my fretless and fretted 5 string ebmm basses now can model fender jazzes, precisions, ricks, upright, a hofner, a warwick, an alembic... etc etc. flats, rounds, all modeled. svt, trace, bassman, vintage ampeg combo, gk, tube preamps... etc etc etc. plug in a real bass and get the amp models and fx, plug in a gk pickup equipped bass and get the bass and string models as well.

    I am in LOVE with this thing.

    I use it without amp sims into my ampeg head instrument input just for bass models and fx, or I plug into the line in on the same amp if I use the amp sims.

    No doubt the amp sims may not be as textbook perfect as on an axe fx or kemper, but considering I have made money as a session bassist for years using an old behringer bass v-amp pro for my amp models and fx (aside from some standard comp pedals and so on), the models in the vb-99 needed very little tweaking by comparison to sound great in a mix or on their own.

    It IS pricy though...
  11. zwkoch

    zwkoch You can't do that on bass enthusiast Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Location:
    Twin Cities, MN
    I own a Zoom MS60-B, and have also owned a B3. I am a big fan of the amp and cab sims in both boxes. There are also really nice SansAmp other preamp sims available in both. I also have a Line6 Bass Pod XT Live that I keep around for fun. You can find them for a decent price used and also have really great amp and cab sims. I like the effects models in the Zoom series a little better, but both are pretty solid options. Line6 has the MIDI option and works perfectly with expression control if that is important to you.
  12. Voss451

    Voss451

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Boss generally does very well for effects but the amp sims tend to lack compared to the others.
  13. dkelley

    dkelley

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    maple ridge, bc, canada
    Yup. But as I said, in the vb-99 flagship product they're very very good imho. Much nicer than the guitar amp models in my gr-55. I'm sure there are better from the brands I pointed out in my earlier post, but I can't imagine these being insufficient in a mix. Mostly I go direct anyhow and only use Sims for geddy grind or squire crank.
  14. juan kubiertas

    juan kubiertas

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    I just bought a boss gt100. Not specific for bass, but I think it sounds amazing. Try it with the custom amp. Got a good sound immediately…!
    Don't listen to the preset patches thou. They are horrible. I play guitar as well, and couldn't find one I liked without tweaking…
  15. gumtownbassman

    gumtownbassman Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I use a Roland GR-55 (2 x PCM synth + guitar/bass/banjo instrument modeling + effects) with a modification where it has a loop in the normal bass signal to insert a Tech21 Vt bass pedal.
    Killer tones..

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