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How do multi-effects units w/ amp modeling affect your basic sound?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by soulgeezer, Jun 10, 2007.

  1. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Inactive

    Jan 29, 2007
    Northern New Jersey
    Endorsing Artist: Red Zone Effects
    My guitarist wants me to start using some effects in certain songs. Now, I love the way my bass and amp sound together; they have exactly the tone I've always wanted in a bass rig.

    The bass is a Hamer Cruise 2-Tek deluxe with EMGs. The amp is a Yorkville XM200C with XC115XC extention cab.

    In order to avoid building a whole new pedalboard (I have an extensive one that I use when I play guitar) and to save some money, I was looking at the Zoom B2.1u bass multi-effect unit. It has every effect I'll ever need and then some. But, it has one potential drawback that I'd like some input about.

    The Zoom unit applies the effects to its own internal amp models before outputting to the amp. The models can't be turned off.

    I don't want to change my basic sound. I'm afraid that a pedal like this will end up making me sound like I'm playing an Ampeg or an SWR, etc., depending on the model selected.

    Does anybody have any experience with this? Do multi-effect units allow you to keep your basic sound, or are you stuck choosing some sound that is "close enough"?

    Any help would be appreciated -- Thanks!
  2. the_fooj


    Feb 15, 2007
    Chevy Chase, MD
    I used to have a Zoom thing too. And I think you're right about not being able to turn off the amp models I don't think I was ever able to figure it out, but back then I was a total noob :(

    But anyway, I think you should check out the bass PODs by Line 6. I think you'll find want you want in that line. You can turn off the models and save a bunch of different patches for every song or even different patches in same banks for different parts of a song. This is pretty much standard in most multi effect units, but the POD IMO is prettty easy to use and doesn't color your tone too much.

    You might also want to chech out the Boss stuff, maybe the ME-50B or the GT-6B? The ME-50 works almost like a bunch of stompboxes in one unit, without patches, which you might like.
  3. Col200


    Feb 18, 2007
    Honestly, I bought a Digitech BP200 and can't find a single good sound on there. Great for practicing on the couch through headphones, but I'd NEVER gig with it. I can't find my "natural" bass sound through that thing. I rekon than Zoom pedal is similar.
    Did you try some of your guitar effects with your bass yet? There might be some good ones in there. Here's what I use on my bass (only one bass specific effects)
    Ross Compressor
    ADA flanger (for a dreamy chorus)
    EH Bassballs
    Vintage Fuzzface (once in a while..kinda kills the lows though).

    I'd say skip the cheap multi effect boxes and look into the LINE6POD or BOSS boards. They have sound you can actually use =)
    I'll stick with pedals though.

    FYI- I play funk/R&B so I rarely use heavy effects.
  4. i had the plastic model till i traded it of fer 30 buck and tax exemption i couldn't tell the difference
  5. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I have a Zoom B2.1u since last week. First of all, ALL MODULES CAN BE SWITCHED OFF, INCLUDING THE DRIVE/SYNTH MODULE in which the amp emulations are.

    I bought this B2.1u for having MY tone in my pedalboard instead of in my preamp (a SansAmp RBI) for occasions when I don't carry my rack with me. It debuted in a gig last saturday night. Simulations don't seem to be too faithful to the real thing but I still managed to find my tone using the "Tube Preamp" model (the SansAmp model just didn't cut it for my purpose -with only 3 parameters+mix it can't be as flexible as a real SansAmp-), some EQ and some compression. It's WAY more transparent than the RBI (doesn't hide my Stingray's tone as the RBI did) and WAY more quiet too (A/Bed side by side). I'll still keep the para EQ and compressor I use in my rack before the power amp (RBI was first in the chain -now B2.1u is-) for "on the fly" tweaking.

    I'm happy, our soundman is happy too (gets the signal from the B2.1u's XLR plus a bass only signal he always likes to have -but barely mixes in-). I'm not comming back. And the RBI is definitely for sale.

    The effects are reasonably nice (except for the synths that have a very limited use range). By the way, THERE'S NO MUTING GOING ON WHEN CHANGING PATCHES!!!!


    P/S: Yes, I also had the two previous plastic models (BFX-708 and 708II, 20bit/32KHz sampling rate) and they sucked (except for the sampling and SmartMedia storage in the 708II, a nice feature I hope the B2.1u had), but this is a totally different animal (24bit/96KHz). Check out my review at Harmony Central (right now it's the first one, submitted 06/07/2007 at 04:55am).
  6. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    The amp models on the B2 can definitely be turned off. And I agree that the tube pre is very nice. Take another look and save yourself a couple hundred $.
  7. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    There's your answer. Or are you of the impression that a bass' signal might hurt your effects? You already have the tools, so use 'em. :bassist:
  8. The models can be switched off.
    The zoom unit is very good. I have the B2 and like it more every day.
  9. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Inactive

    Jan 29, 2007
    Northern New Jersey
    Endorsing Artist: Red Zone Effects
    Thanks for all the responses so far. A couple of points:

    I've read the owner's manual for the B2.1u and it indicates that the cabinet models can be turned off, but it does not say that it's possible to turn off the amp models. Is there a way to do this that's not covered in the manual? (In other words, to use the pedal as "effects-only"?)

    I am not afraid of hurting my guitar pedals by using them with a bass. I am more concerned about the loss of bottom due to the voicing of the guitar effects. Of all my guitar stuff, only my chorus seems to work well with my bass.
  10. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    Every module can be switched off on the Zoom except for nr and maybe control. When you turn the leftmost knob to the drive/synth module just hit the foot switch so that the LED reads "of." It works just like every other module.
  11. Well, if you can't turn off the amp models, then your signal will be going through some amp model. That means it will sound different.

    Only you won't sound like you are playing through an Ampeg, but rather an Ampeg that is connected to a Yorkville...

    Maybe different won't be bad, though. You might like it. Try it out and see.
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