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Line 6 M9 vs. Zoom B3

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Baird6869, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member


    Kinda hard to do a search on this due to the TalkBass 3 character search rule, but I am considering one of these units for rehersals as I am sick of dragging my full board around.

    I am looking for a plug and play multi-effect unit that is very simple to use. I don't have time to navigate thru a 100+ page manual to set amp/speaker sims, etc. I am leaniong towards the Line 6 but it is twice as much $$$ as the B3.

    I am not looking for crazy complicated effects, just chorus, some dirt, maybe a synth/envelope filter, delay, etc.

    Any thoughts and/or experiences with the two units in question would be greatly appreciated.

  2. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I have a B-3 and MS60B. Great bang for the buck, either pedal. B3 is easier to navigate IMO, and if you are used individual stomps. I've not used the Line6 M9. As for search engines, you might have better luck doing generic Google searches rather than using the TB search feature. I know I've had much better luck, getting very comprehensive results using Google as a search engine. You wouldn't think this to be the case, but try it and see.
  3. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    I've owned the M13 and M9 and currently have the B3. In both cases, I didn't use them so much in preset mode but more like a small pedalboard with three pedals that I'd turn on and off individually. I also use mostly the effects as opposed to the amp/cab models.

    Here's why I like the B3:

    1. They both sound good but I thought he B3 was a little more bass friendly. Most of the effects have a mix control so you can blend in your uneffected bass sound. No loss of low end. In a live setting, it'd be hard to tell the difference between the B3 and separate, dedicated pedals.

    2. The B3 has USB connectivity vs. the M9's MIDI. I always found USB easier to navigate.

    3. The B3 has software for the computer that lets you adjust effects, organize presets and backup the device. Plus the software is very intuitive to use.

    4. The size and weight of the B3 is easier to transport.

    5. The B3 can be powered off a One-Spot where the M9 needs a dedicated power supply.
  4. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    Thanks guys.

    Much appreciated.

    I think I will bring home both and try out tonight. This is a benefit of spending waaaayyyy too much $$$ on gear at your local store!
  5. Vic Winters

    Vic Winters Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    I'd say the B3 wins all those categories except for maybe delay. M9 has better pitch shifting and octaver.
  6. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    I picked up both and will A/B them hopefully tonight.


  7. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I like the B3's filters A LOT better. The amp sims make the dirt better too. The M9 does a couple cool modulation things that the Zoom doesn't and it's pitch shifting is a little better. All in all I prefer the B3.
  8. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    Spent an hour or so with both and I like the Zoom better after first glance.

    With zero tweaking, the B3 patches seem more bass friendly. I REALLY like the chorus and the octaver tracks pretty well. I like the headphone capability and much prefer USB to MIDI. The tuner is a good feature as well.

    The tap tempo on the M9 is excellent as is the looper. It is also better constructed than the B3... But it is exactly 2x the price.

    I may change my mind after I hear both in a band mix, but I am leaning towards the B3.... Again, just first impressions.
  9. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    What headphone capability?
  10. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    As in the B3 is capable of accepting headphones thru the headphone input and the M9 is not.
  11. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    My bad. I got two issues mixed up.

    When the B3 first came out, folks were wondering if you could mix an external signal into the B3. You can't. The solution was to send the output of the B3 to a computer via USB and mix/listen in the computer.
  12. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    Ahhhhh.... I was just wondering about that. Thx!
  13. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    I got in a quick rehersal tonight and I am now torn.

    The B3 is cool and a very well thought out product and the presets are awesome. But when comparing the models stand alone effect by effect, I think the M9 sounds better in the mix.

    I am leaning towards the M9 now but it will be hard not to keep both (but I can't!).

    One great thing with the B3 for 5 string bassists is that the B3 tuner has no problem with a B string or even A#. The M9? Nope. I need to hit my low B in the fifth position to tune E or Eb if I am down a 1/2 step (not sure if this can be adjusted, but I doubt it).

    Glad I got to borrow both to A/B in any case. Very cool to compare them side by side.:hyper:
  14. shenanigans


    Sep 9, 2013
    Expression capabilities on the M9 are much greater than on the B3. I don't know if that is something that will affect your decision. I don't use an expression pedal much, but when I do my M13 is amazing.
  15. waveman

    waveman Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2008
    So get the best of both worlds. Get a MS -60B to augment the M9
  16. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I really liked the bias trem on the M series with envelope control of the speed, I wish the B3 had something like that. The M series also had some OK octave fuzz but it's filters were utterly useless to me.
  17. I use the octave and chorus/flange/phase effects on the M9 and really like them. I'm not keen on the OD and fuzz tones. The looper is awesome as are delays and reverbs.

    I have it on my big board wouldn't change a thing. That said I really want to get an MS-60B for my mini board...

    Good luck with your trials!
  18. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member

    Thanks all!

    I went with the M9.

    It sounds great to me and covers all tones I need when paired with my MXR Bass Auto-Q, B3K, and Diamond Compressor. I really like the chorus/phaser/flangers, octave, looper and delays.

    The tuner sucks for 5 string bassists compared to the B3 and my TC Polytune and I find the distortions and filters not great for bass. Also, the display is super tiny. Beyond that, very easy to use once you get used to it and it really is built like a tank. I actually SAVED $$$ by buying this as I returned/sold my Octave, Fuzz, Looper and Delay for more than I paid for the M9.

    I really like the idea of throwing just the M9 in my gig bag for rehersals and then slap it on my big board for gigs.