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Multi-effects vs. Singles: The Great Debate

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Sako, Jun 13, 2005.

  1. Sako


    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Knowing for months that the Bass PODxt Live was coming out, I've held off building a pedal board. But I'm still unsure which way to go and would like to get opinions from you upstanding TBer's. And I know you've got 'em.

    Here's my deal: I play a Fender Jazz and use a Fender 400 Pro amp. Recently I put on a Badass II bridge, switched to GHS Boomers, messed with my EQ and BAM! I've got the sound I've been looking for for years. I've got an Ibanez chorus/flanger pedal (not the best, but it works for now) that, used subtly, just adds all kinds of goodness to my sound. The only things that I feel I HAVE to add are OD and autowah. But a phaser, reverb, and octave would be killer. Used to have a SABBDI, which I would easily consider again for OD. I play blues-rock to funk to hard-rock, and don't have an endless supply of money.

    Bass PODxt Live: Pros - chorus, flanger, phaser, reverb alone makes it an option price-wise. That and other effects like autowah and OD. Amp modeling could be interesting. Would probably use it through effects loop. Love thought of making preset patches to be called up instantly. Cons - not true bypass (I love my sound), lots of stuff I would probably never use, rumblings from owners about lack of support Bass from Line 6.

    Single Pedals: Pros - pick and choose brands. Build board over time. Analogue pedals. Cons - expensive. Effects can't be controlled like a patch on a multi.

    So there it is. I was 100% sure of getting the POD until I dialed in my sound. Now, I'm a bit apprehensive. Thoughts from you folks? Philman, would love to hear from you. Thanks.
  2. I'm not a big help because I haven't got any experience with the new POD, but I 1 1/2 years ago, when I didn't have much experience with effects I bought a Boss GT 6 B Multi effects processor, I thought this would be the best solution. But nowadays, I wish I would have gone with single pedals, because it's cool to have different ones and in my case, I'm not satisfied with some of the things on it (Overdrive, Wah, Synth..) but the rest is cool.
  3. Sako


    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Similar situation, after years of playing without effects, I wanted to experiment. I got the Boss ME-50B but returned it. I thought the mod effects were great, the OD was okay, but a lot of the other effects weren't fitting the bill. I was hoping the Bass POD would be a step up from the Boss.
  4. I am currently running a line 6 bass pod pro(not the live). I am switching to a head and traditional pedalboard. The only two effects I liked on the line 6 were the compressor and the overdrive. The synth suck and so does the wah. My guitar player has the guitar version and he gets great sounds out of his but it is the guitar version and he spends a lot of time tweaking. I mean a lot of time. It has some cool bells and whistles but it's a lot of work. If you like plug and play do not get a line 6 pod. I might keep mine for recording though. It has a lot of different sounds, but I really only want one good sound and a few effects. So I'm back to building a pedalboard.

    Hope that helped.
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Single pedals, no question.

    They will ALWAYS do it better than an "all-in-one" solution, if you're the type to try out and investigate the proper pedal for each type of effect you are seeking. There is no "one size fits all" in bass effects.

    Even with separates, it is up to each person's tastes which pedal is for them. Some people will dig one pedal as the "best" overdrive, some will choose others. Each is up to you.
  6. keb


    Mar 30, 2004
    I'm a single-effects guy. It can be more expensive, but I like to be able to pick and choose (and I tend to gravitate more towards analog effects.)
  7. xan


    Sep 10, 2004
    Perth, Australia
    i too owned an me-50b thinking it was the solution to my fx needs. it was great dont get me wrong but i still continued to buy single pedals. so i ended up selling the me-50. multis do have their benefits - such as being able to make heaps of presets based on the same effect - but the single pedals just seem to do things slightly better.
  8. Sako


    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Cool, thanks for sharing your opinions.

    Anyone have Bass POD vs. single pedal experience? Especially comparing OD/distortion and autowah capabilities.
  9. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Hey Sako...

    regarding soundoholic's negative post, I think he may have been generation 1 Pod Pro, NOT the XT, which is far and away better in all respects. It's like comparing Zoom and Eventide. Two completely different beasts. That said...

    This is paraphrasing from Line 6's rhetoric about the POD Xt: 'to get all the gear that is available in the POD, you need 20+ amplifiers (some rare and highly valuable), 20+ cabinets (ditto), 5 high quality microphones, dozens of different types of recording rooms, nearly 50 types of effects boxes, and a few semi trucks to haul it in.'

    I am an effects freak...I have pedals, some pretty good 'uns. But a few months ago, I splurged and got a Pod Pro XT and the Shortboard to control it. The effects are awesome, the amps are awesome, the flexibility is almost too much, but you can get any sound out of this thing. It isn't plug-n-play. You will spend at least an hour or two just twiddling the knobs to create a usable patch that you're comfortable with. It doesn't serve well being in an effects loop, and is primarily designed to be a preamp/effects module before a dedicated power amp. If you're a 'set it and forget it' kind of guy, this probably isn't for you. If you're in the type of situation where you rely on specific sounds consistently night after night, this is perfect. Me...I'd go from a synthed delay to a compressed overdrive phaser to bone-dry clean with only a couple of button presses.

    Check out this thread...read up on jpo259's posts...dude knows how to work his POD:
  10. I've had similar experience with my fretless sound, getting it just right in recent months, and found that if I put my BOSS ME-50B through the FX loop on the amp and put it in bypass mode, there is no change in sound. My clean dry tone still sounds great and when I need the FX they are there ready to be stomped on.
  11. I use both because neither alone offers me the total solution. There are single efx that are perfect and no multiefx can come close, DrQ, BassBalls, UniBass and DeepImpact. Other efx are from either a Zoom 607 (cheap, small and lots of presets) or a Digitech BP-8 (like a rack in a floorboard great preamp and overdrive tones). I'm still looking for the perfect overdrive for me.
  12. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    For me its mainly multi-FX.

    I love my old Nightbass SE as it has both digital and analog effects built in and has given me anything I have wanted effects wise so far. Its another of the non-plug & play units for the most part but I can tweak a preset rather quickly now to get the amount of effect(s) I want.

    To me the advantage is having:
    Less clutter
    Being able to save my favorite settings for easy recall
    I can set my presets up for a gig so its just click-click-click as I play our set. This is really nice instead of stomping 4 or 5 different stompboxes. One switch and thats it!

    I do like outboard effects as well though. I use a seperate wah pedal. I have one other pedal currently but I don't use it for gigs or band practice. Its just for my personal amusement at this point. There are some others I have been looking at that might make it into my gig setup someday. We'll see. ;)

    Kelly Lee
  13. Racsen


    Dec 6, 2003
    By the way anyone using rocktron blue thunder is it have analog feeling?
  14. Sako


    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks for your insight. As for use with a power amp, all I have is my Fender 400 Pro combo, so I assumed the effects loop would be the way to go.

    I just bought my son the guitar xt Live, which sounds great out of his combo amp, which is a keyboard amp -- it naturally has pretty flat EQ. Just for kicks, I might hook it up to my amp and try out a few effects. It looks like some of the effect models are the same for the Bass PODxt.
  15. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I am not a big effects user. I have individual pedals. I believe they do their effect better, and are easier to adjust "on the fly" than a multi.

    I don't have a pedal board any more. I use different pedals (or not) for different gigs. I bring what I need - usually no more than 3.
  16. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Line 6 suggests that you go Bass - POD - Combo amp. If there's a Line In jack on the combo (bypassing the preamp controls like gain and EQ) then that is what you should plug into. Or the Effects Return works pretty well. If not, they suggest setting your combo as flat as possible and going into the input. I'm not sure what 'Flat' is on your Fender, because on my Mesa, 'flat' is Bass 2, Mid 10, Treble 2 or something crazy.
  17. Mo'Phat... I actually had the bass pod pro xt. I think it just isn't for me. I know a few people who swear by them. If you want a lot of sounds, and not just effect sounds but actually different amps than I agree that the a bass pod will work well for you.
  18. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    First of all, you should search the topic; it has pretty much been covered ad nauseum.

    When you do that, you will find that the choices are totally subjective and depend on what you are trying to accomplish.

    Some of the multi units do pretty well. I like the BP-8, simply because it's basic TONE is there, and I don't need the wooshy stuff hardly ever. OTH, if you want THE Phaser, for example, perhaps you would do best to locate an old MuTron on the Bay. Best advice is to try a lot of units, then make up your own mind depending on your gigs.
  19. Tyler_W


    Jun 15, 2005
    Woodbridge, VA
    Well.. I believe single effects are alot better. I used to own a Digitech Pb200 and I must say it was the worst $100 I spent. When I put the pedal into "bypass" mode, the tone was still affected. So, I believe single effects are the better value.
  20. Sako


    Nov 4, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Yes, I've read a lot of the threads on multieffects, mainly about the Bass POD. That's why I tried to put details about my set up that were specific to me -- hoping to get opinions from people that might have a similar situation. And, of course, I realize that opinions are totally subjective in nature. I've tried a lot of pedals -- some at home, some with the band, some just in the store. The unfortunate reality is that to truly give most pedals a fair chance, you have to experiment with them for quite a while -- usually longer than the store's return policy. That's the main reason I'm so torn and seeking other's thoughts.

    Right now, it's either the Bass PODxt Live or a programmable SABBDI plus a Q Tron. But I might also give the DOD 250 a shot too. Ahhh, decisions...

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