Boss ME-20b vs. Zoom B2.1u

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by j_micho, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. I'm looking for a cheap but decent quality multi-effects pedal. I've narrowed down my choice to these two : Boss ME-20b and Zoom B2.1u.

    They both have good reviews and are about the same price. What do you guys think?

    Is there another similarly priced multi-effects you think is better than these?

  2. Chowowbus


    Mar 24, 2009
    Olympia WA
    I replaced my zoom with the boss me20b.
    The boss is a lot easier to use. The zoom had a lot of gee wizz cool effects but most were not usable in real world gigs.
    The me20b is so easy to use even I could use it!:D
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I haven't tried the me50b specifically, but so far my experience is that Boss's modeling sounds a lot better than Zoom's modeling.
  4. I bought a used me-20b, and I love it. All the effects are pretty nice. And it's so easy to put together custom effects in like 2 seconds. Ofcourse it takes a little while to get how to do everything, but once u get it, its sooo easy. Great sound too.
  5. GregDunn


    Jan 8, 2009
    First of all, thanks to the TB members who share their input on effects.

    I have come down to this same pair of FX and am trying to make a decision between them, hence I'm bumping this thread instead of starting a new one. What I need in a multi box is a decent compressor/limiter, a tuner, and (less important) a "soft attack" envelope of some kind. Both pedals seem to meet my needs, from external appearance.

    Can anyone share - is there any reason to choose differently based on the above criteria? Or should I just go ahead and get the ME-20B?

  6. Consider a used me-50b. Should be about the same price as a new me-20b. Much easier to use, and more useful effects.
  7. GregDunn


    Jan 8, 2009
    I'd consider one, except that I'll occasionally need battery power and I don't think the 50B will run on batteries.
  8. I just checked mine.... it takes 6 AA's. I've never had batteries in it though, so I can't speak to how quickly it would eat them.
  9. GregDunn


    Jan 8, 2009
    Well spotted! It is buried deep in the specs for sure, and I could swear that one review said otherwise - I'll keep my eye open for a used piece.
  10. I feel like I should say what others have said in many other threads regarding multi-effects vs. single pedals. Buy a multi-effect used, figure out what effects/settings you like, then go buy those singles, and sell the multi-effect for what you paid for it.

    I took that advice, bought an me-50B. I figured out that I use the volume, tuner, noise suppressor, compressor, dialed in one distortion I like, and every now and then delay and octave. So now I'm getting those effects in singles, and just put the ME-50b up on the 'bay.

    I think it was good advice. It was definitely useful to figure out what effects I'd use or not, and what parameters of each effect I liked.
    Ric_ Ardo likes this.
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    i have a little kinder opinion of the zoom. i have the b2 because i didn't need an expression pedal, and i thought it was a pretty good deal. none of the sounds are exceptional but a lot of them are pretty darn usable. but i would probably go for boss if choosing between the b2.1u and the me-20b. at $100, those sounds are pretty darn good. at $180, i start getting a little pickier.
  12. Gaetano Paul

    Gaetano Paul

    Nov 25, 2009
    Sarasota, FL
    The ME50 B lasts around 24 hours, or so, with new batteries. Very impressive, IMO. Very easy to use as well. I sold mine on the "Bay"and got the Zoom G7.1ut and i am hoping now to be able to double this pedal as a amazing guitar box, but also able to use for the limited amount of effects I need for the bass. I haven't started it with the bass though, still working out the right guitar sounds I need. Any one have any good advice on a multi effects that can double for bass and guitar nicely?:help:
  13. GregDunn


    Jan 8, 2009
    I think I've been swayed toward the ME-50B - I put a bid in on Walker's (hope it's not bad etiquette to say that while the auction is running). Wish me luck. ;)
  14. I'm pretty sure there are some threads around here discussing that.

    Greg I saw your bid on my ME-50b. It made me realize it will actually be gone :crying: I've only spent a few months with it, not sure if I'm emotionally ready to let go. but I've got replacements on the way already, so it must.

    I hope you get it, I'd like to know it's going to a happy home with a TB'er. I would have sold it via the TB classifieds, but I honestly can't afford the cash for a supporting membership at the moment. (soon I hope).
  15. GregDunn


    Jan 8, 2009
    I get emotionally attached to my gear too. ;) If I get it, i guarantee it will be played live for a while, so it will be happy!
  16. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    If you ask me, I'd say go with boss. I once had a zoom b2.1u and I was a little disappointed with it. although I do give zoom credit for their distortion channels and their amp and cab models, there were a few minor drawbacks I was disappointed with. their distortion channels were quieter than the amp models(which was a major bummer because I did like the distortion channels that it provided). their amp models tend to distort if the bass boost on your active bass is turned up. their compressor and limiter makes a loud whistling noise(which is caused by the gain being turned up). disappointed by those minor drawbacks, I ended up returning it. I've tried boss processors before. they're not too shabby. I can honestly say that boss has better sound quality than zoom. zoom is more suitable for beginners. boss is definitely a good choice for advanced players. if you want a multi-effects processor that has decent sound quality, boss would be a good choice.
  17. GregDunn


    Jan 8, 2009
    I'm using a passive bass, so gain might not be an issue. If I end up with the ME-50B, the choice will be moot; nonetheless, the prevailing opinion seems to be that the Boss pedals are preferred and I'll be guided by that.
  18. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    If you want another choice for a multi-effects processor, I would recommend korg processors. I own a korg ax3000b and I am satisfied with it. it's got a large variety of effects, amp and cab models. and it's affordable.
  19. I currently have a B2.1u, and I used to have an ME-50B. I'm really having some fun with the B2.1u so far. I think there are a lot of sounds that are usable, but it definitely requires a good read of the manual.

    The ME-50B is pretty easy-to-use and has some pretty good sounds except for the Synths. I've had amps with built-in compressors, so I haven't really used the compressors/limiters on the effects pedals. The ME-50B doesn't have any amp modelling if that's important to you.

    One interesting thing about the B2.1u is the USB connectivity, which, apparently, makes it pretty easy to do recording on your computer. I've heard the included Cubase software is kinda hard to use, but I read a review that said they used Audacity, and that worked well.
  20. GregDunn


    Jan 8, 2009
    Well, I've had the ME-50B for about a week now. It really didn't take all that long to dial in my desired sound - a little bit of dynacomp with some chorus just to thicken it up, and depending on what I'm playing, either some bottom boost or the slow gear mode to fit the mood.

    Interestingly, this box seems to be a complement to my BP-200; each has things that the other lacks so it will be nice to have both at hand. I much prefer the bypass on the ME-50 and its flexibility, though, so combined with the ability to run on batteries it will certainly be used for gigs.

    I love the drive/synth sounds, but they won't get any use in my current band. Classic folk/rock really doesn't benefit from heavy fuzz or a biting solo synth tone. :p I might switch it on briefly just to mess with the acoustic guitarist though.