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Line6 M9 vs Zoom B3 questions please to answers?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by behndy, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    hey there y'all. i've been looking for a deal on an M9 to go back to it from the M5. a bud reminded me about the Zoom B3 and how impressed he was with some of the demo sounds he'd heard of it. it DOES look like a nice little unit, was wondering if some B3 owners could chime in and lemme know if i'm tripping in my impressions. also, if anybody's used both love to hear from chu.

    just read through the manual and these are the things that make me think the M9 works way better for me. i DO like the 6 patches on each page on the M9, kinda plan to only have 1 page and just use it as a 6-1 effect box. there's like 3 per page on the B3. but other than that........

    01) M9 - having all the effects parameters ALWAYS mapped to hardware knobs for each patch is smart. how annoying/perfectly designed is the soft interface B3ians?

    02) M9 lets you control (usually all, mostly all except maybe one) all parameters of each patch with an expression pedal. and you can control more than one parameter at a time with the same exp pedal. looks like in the manual B3 has a specific list of common parameters between effects types that you can control. and only one at a time. and you need a separate external controller for tap tempo?

    03) last thing's expression pedal....... they recommend their own pedal for the B3, i can't see the specs but i doubt it's identical to the weird one the M-Series uses. i have a Mission pedal built to have 2 always outs on, one for M-Series, one for regular pedals/an Expressionator. has anybody used an expression pedal like the VP JR that works with the M9 to control a B3?

    not bashing the B3 at all, i have zero experience with Zoom stuff. not fan-boi'ing the M9, it's just the first multi effect pedal i liked enough to spend time to get to know pretty thoroughly.

    thanks! appreciate any input!
  2. Not used the M series, but can answer a few Qs about the B3:

    - With only 3 knobs per effect, you have a page button which flips through multiple pages (up to 3 I think). Good thing about this is that you can control up to 9 knobs per effect, downside is it's a pain to flip pages if you want to reach the master volume and it's on the third page for example.

    - It is really easy to change the order of effects by pressing a button then turning one of the 3 knobs in the centre pedal to shuffle the positions. Not sure if the M9 does something similar.

    - I think each effect only has one pre-determined control that can be linked to the expression control. You can also control master volume or blend with it. I could be wrong though and there could be some effects with more than one selectable parameter, but you are pretty limited.

    - You can only have an expression pedal OR tap tempo plugged in. This is dumb. You might be able to make an A/B switch especially for it though.

    - I only tried the Moog EP-2, which does not work. The entire sweep happens within the first few mm of pedal travel, rendering it unusable. I had a hard tiem trying to find out which pedals apart from the special Zoom one are compatible.
  3. Tony Flow MMMM

    Tony Flow MMMM

    Dec 4, 2012
    Bump. I'm interested in any responses. I plan to use it for envelope filter, Octiver, pitch shifter, wah, possibly fuzzes and tuner. Generally just messing around.
  4. SGbassist


    Jan 3, 2012
    Hey. I was using the M5 for months before swapping it out for a B3 so I believe I'm a good person to review the comparison.

    1) I concur with the previous post that the bank swapping on the B3 is v gigging friendly. I using close to 10 presets per set with ease

    2) When I bought the B3, I planned to use just the delays and mods and keeping my analog pedals for drive. But I was blown away at how good was the simulation of these pedals on the B3. Most of the time I use the sansamp and the big muff. I have both of them in analog and conparing it with the B3, I think it's about 85 to 90% close. 10% for a pedal board that's a third the weight, worth it for me.

    3) I remember loving the delays and mods on the M series. But can't find the same love on the B3. That being said, I can't pinpoint why too. While that's the case, I still use these effect more often than anything else.
  5. SGbassist


    Jan 3, 2012
    Oh ya. Expression pedal
    4) I'm using the line 6 exp pedal for my B3 now. Useful in activating the wah and doing volume swells. Also, I'm using a blend signal with my EBS microbass. So I'll just heel the exp pedal to turn off all the effects when I'm playing clean. That being said, I do miss controlling ANY or ALL the parameters with the M5.
  6. I use a roland EV-5 expression pedal and it works fine. I think I read somewhere about someone making an ab box for using tap and expression but I may be wrong.

    It would be nice if you could control more than one effect at a time via expression. Maybe they'll update the firmware at some point.
  7. Tony Flow MMMM

    Tony Flow MMMM

    Dec 4, 2012
    Well I had the m9 now I have the b3 coming in. I might get the m5 again..
  8. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    Zommmmmmbieeeee THREAAAAAAAD. good on you for searching though. you ROKK. like BIRDS.

    yah. never ended up with a B3. i'm just really comfy with the M9. i found a deal on one awhile ago and i use it only for the trem, whammy style pitch bombs, octaver, ring mod and Proteus style step filter. for those, a tuner and a looper it MORE than justifies the space.

    the M5 is a good idea, but it was useless live for me. the way you switch patches is ridiculous. useless actually. there's a mod that makes it better, but stacking rokks, so.... yeah.

    the delays on the M's are good, but i use a TimeLine for delays so..... yurp.

  9. Tony Flow MMMM

    Tony Flow MMMM

    Dec 4, 2012
    Hmm maybe I WON'T get an m5
  10. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    lol. yah. it is AWKWARD.

    the way i remember it is click both footies to go into patch selection mode, one goes up one goes down, click both to select that patch. takes too long, AND each patch is active while you scroll.

    sooooo.... as long as it's setup so you kill your signal than set it up on the one patch you use on a song before the song starts, it would work. otherwise it is FUMBLY.

    i see the M9 more as a specific 6 effects i will always have the same with a tuner and looper than a box that stores hundreds of different toanz. works way better for me like that.