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A compact multieffect processor

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Ivan.Lt, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Ivan.Lt


    Jan 18, 2011
    Hi everybody,

    I've read and watched a lot of info on the net, looked through the first ten or so pages of this forum so I come prepared. :) What I need is a multieffect unit with an expression pedal. If the pedal can be externally connected (as in Zoom B2) it is even better as it gives more options. I want to carry around the absolute minimum of gear! :) Yeah, and size does matter so GT10B is not an option. I think the ones that suit me are Zoom B2 (B2.1u), Korg AX5B, Digitech BP90, possibly Line6 M9. So, here are the questions:

    1. What models do you recommend besides the above mentioned?

    2. I have an old Korg PX3B (red little one) which IMHO sounds horrible. Can I expect better sounds from AX5B?

    3. With regard to patch switching, which units allow scrolling through patches before finally selecting one? I mean when you press the up/down patch pedal the current sound remains active but patch number blinks or something like that, then you find the patch you need and press another pedal to apply it.

    4. Do you miss amp/speaker simulation in M9? Bass is anyway often recorded directly so it may be not as critical as for guitars.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
  2. ilovenofrets


    Dec 25, 2010
    I would recommend the Boss ME-20B. Great Boss effects, and minimal fuss. The built-in pedal works as volume/wah/ but you can add a Roland expression pedal as well as the FS series footswitches. This will, however, make your overall setup a bit bigger. I don't have much experience with the Line 6 stuff, but from what I know their amp modeling is second to none. For effects, tuner, and decent modeling, the Digitech or Zoom would be good choices. As for your Korg question, the AX5B is nothing more than the AX3B with a built-in expression pedal. Hope this helps. Cheers!!!
  3. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    If you are looking for effects it doesn't matter that there are no amp/cab models - referring to the Line 6. I think if I went multi, that's what I'd do.
  4. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    Your half right about the korg ax5b. it is like the korg ax3b with an expression pedal built in. but it also has some additional effects like ring modulator. other than that, the korg ax series is a pretty good choice for a multi-effects processor. and zoom processors are pretty good choices too.
  5. Ivan.Lt


    Jan 18, 2011
    Thanks for the replies, very much appreciated. Still not sure about patch switching (my question #3). Probably I'll go with M9 because you can switch to any scene directly. On PX3B if I want to get say from patch #1 to #10 the audience will hear #2, #3 and so on... or I'll have to stop playing.
  6. In reference to #3 most multieffects have user banks where you can program the sounds you want and you can then set them up in performance order.
    Also you can usually assign the pedal to whatever function you desire.
  7. Footbutt


    Aug 11, 2010
    Pickerington, OH
    the Line 6 M9 is a stompbox modeler, meaning it won't have things on it like the others. the M9 does three at a time, while some mutli-fx processors have COMP, VERB, TONE as independent controls separate from each effect, a la ME-50.
  8. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    The closest I've seen to that preview scrolling function would be the way the M9 changes scenes. Aside from that, I think the Zoom B2 is a fantastic bargain. With 40 programmable patches it's not too hard to set it up with patches that are used in the same song near each other. Both of these pedals has it's strengths and weaknesses. You have to choose between multi effect patches (there are 6 modules in the Zoom IIRC) with their instant global changes, or the more singular stomp box type accessibility. Do you prefer to program or to improvise? I thought the Korg (I forget which model) had the best envelope filter I'd played in a multi but the rest seemed a bit weak.
  9. BassMan4Him


    Jan 17, 2011
    ME-50B Really good unit by Boss.. Nice effects too :)
  10. jgroh

    jgroh Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    I really like my M9. I was on the fence about it for a little while though...I was mostly playing with it through headphones at home and hooked up to my computer. I felt the bass was being killed on alot of the patches. But then I decided to take it to practice with the band and it sounds really good. I still think they need to update the firmware with some more bass-centric models, but in a live setting where you want to take something small and still sound good, the M9 is hard to beat. YMMV.
  11. oldcatfish


    Jan 8, 2011
    I have all three of the Zoom *2 units---the B2 for bass, the A2 for acoustic guitar, and the G2 for electric guitar. I think they sound great for the money, are compact and reliable.

    Besides my regular bass gig, I fill in at various churches in the area (usually on bass, but sometimes on guitar)...sometimes they have a decent amp, sometimes they don't, and sometimes it's all direct through in-ears.

    I bought the B2 to use for the in-ear situation, but have received so many complements on the tone (from other bass players), that I often choose to go direct and just use the amp as a monitor, even if a decent amp is available.

    I bought the A2 as a cheap way to improve the tone on a great sounding acoustic with less than impressive electronics--it worked great. I get a lot of complements on the live acoustic guitar tone too.

    I bought the G2 just to fool around with...it was on clearance for 35 dollars. I have a Boss ME 70 that I use when I fill in on electric, so I'm not sure how this one sounds live.

    I don't use an expression pedal, and I actually use effects very sparingly, but I do use the amp simulations...and though they don't exactly nail the tones of the real amps, several of them do sound very good with a little tweaking. Most of the effects are decent sounding, and I wouldn't hesitate to use them more...I'm just not a heavy effects kind of player. I do use the tuner/mute function; it's decent enough too.

    I've also played my bass through all 3 units at home; The B2 obviously sounds the best, but the tube pre setting on the A2 sounds surprisingly good...so good that I'm tempted to try it out live with a bass, just to see if it holds up. The G2 just sounds "ok" with bass.

    There are only 2 things that I don't like about the Zoom *2 series:
    1) No auxillary input to play along with CD's/MP3 at home---what was Zoom thinking!
    2) It would be nice to be able to name a user preset, rather than just have a number displayed---this would be more of an issue for me, if I switched patches more...but I usually only use about 3-4 tones per gig. I just find a user preset that I like, then put them on the first few user banks. I could just make a cheat sheet with patch names, if I had to.

    If my B2 were lost or stolen, I would by another B2 as soon as the music store opened up.
  12. Shardik


    May 24, 2011
    Halden, Norway
    Old thread, I know, but still relevant.

    How does the Zoom B3 compare to the others?
  13. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I think the B3 is significantly better than all of the above. It has a similar functionality to the M9 with much better filters and very nice overdrives via the amp models. I find it does a good job of doing pretty much everything.
  14. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    Oh, and there's a dozen threads on the B3.
  15. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Key West, FL
    The DIgitech BP355 is a good choice.
  16. Medford Bassman

    Medford Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Medford, Wisconsin
    I use the digitech bp355 for live work. Works pretty well for me