NPD: ...replacing Zoom B3N and Boss GT-1B...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by CaptainWally, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    Despite having expensive/boutique gear, I should mention that I’m not an effects aficionado. I am super happy with the unaffected tone I get from my Demeter amp and bass. Most of the time I don’t use effects at all, but there are certain times when I really need them, e.g.
    • Chorus for a New Order song
    • Oct + Comp for Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”
    • Serious Overdrive for a Muse song
    I just need a good, solid representation of the effect in live situations. Boutique nuance is really an overkill for my needs.

    I used to maintain a boutique pedal board with some nice pieces, and I currently own the Zoom B3N and Boss GT-1B. I had/have various frustrations with all of them.

    These frustrations have led me to a rather surprising new (old) effects choice ….the Boss ME-50B

    Yes, it’s old and seemingly clunky technology, but I reckon it meets my needs, and it addresses most of my frustrations. It’s a pretty good “best of both worlds” hybrid between a pedal board and more modern multis.

    So what do I like about it?
    • The sounds. Has everything I need (and more), and it generally sounds squarely in the good enough category. I doubt anyone would think of them as boutique sounds, but they are solid. YMMV.
    • The form factor. I didn’t have to spend time setting it up and fussing with tiny cables and cutting little Velcro squares. And it doesn’t have the “multiple potential points of failure” issue one might experience with an elaborate pedal board. It’s a solid box with nice components, and it has adequately sized pedals. The B3N/GT-1B are well made, but they do feel comparably toy-ish and not really well-suited for a pub stage. As an aside, it’s super lame that the GT-1B doesn’t have a power switch…WT*?!
    • The controls. It’s got nice knobs and larger pedals that are better suited for live playing. The pedals on the B3N/GT-1B are a bit small for live playing, esp. the B3N’s little black half pedals.
    • Configuration. It configures more like a pedal board. It’s a much more visceral experience than my other multis…it’s more about me with my bass and the board, as opposed to endless scrolling in complicated screens/menus and/or hunting around for my USB cable. Memorizing patches on the ME-50B is pretty limited, but it does meet my needs. I can keep three patches in a bank, but I realized this is generally all I need in a set. It sucks that it requires an external footswitch to switch banks; otherwise you need to stoop and touch a little button to move to another bank. It has eight banks, which is more than enough for me.
    • Bypass. Bypass really sucks on the B3N and the GT-1B….it’s two awkward steps to the get to the right tuner, which really doesn’t work live. So you end up creating blank bypass patches. With the ME-50B, it’s two big pedals at once and you’re there.
    • Price. Despite being older and having less functionality, the ME-50B is actually $100 more expensive than the B3N and GT-1B. But I reckon you’re paying for more knobs and physical elements. And at $310, it’s still super cheap compared to a pedal board with even just a couple of pedals.
    Anyway, I’m pretty sure I have not inspired any effects gurus to rush out and buy an ME-50B, but, for someone in the same boat as me, maybe it’s worth considering.

    If you are interested, Anderton's has a nice video on the unit.

    Anyone want to buy a B3N or GT-1B?
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2018
  2. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    The ME-50B is pretty much filling the bill.

    It is rather old and clunky, but I really do not care for the Zoom BeN or Boss GT-1B. The latter I still have, but I'm resolved to move it to a happier home.

    Mostly lack of easy bypass. The Zoom has some questionable effects. I hate programming the GT-1B, and it has NO POWER SWITCH.

    I wish there was a more modern version of the idea behind the ME-80B. If the Fly had reverb, I'd be interested, but I'd have to hear it first.

    Am I missing anything?
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  3. BrentSimons

    BrentSimons Supporting Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Vergennes,VT USA
    I'm thinking about going back to the old Digitech Bp-8 if that helps? :) Some things just work ya know?
    Best wishes,
    CaptainWally likes this.
  4. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    I still like the Boss ME-80B, but I'm thinking of trying the Helix. It has really straightforward bypass.

    And programming looks comparatively straightforward.
    BrentSimons likes this.
  5. I still have a 10 y.o. Zoom B2.1u, which I mainly used as a system DI, XLR out with earth lift & pre/post, assignable pedal which I mostly set to volume so I could go quiet to tune/plug unplug an active bass [MM Stingray] but sadly, just lately a switch went feral, jumping patches, also making tuning virtually impossible.
    I have arrived at the 3 options under $500 you’re discussing, I’d go TC Nova but rr $999! . .even best price $699 [On you, Musos Corner!].
    NONE offer the XLR out, not even the Nova!
    From your generous assessment, Lemon-Head, sorry, CapWal, ME50B looks like the go, as I really only need 3 or 4 departures from core clean bass, chor/del/rev/oct, occasional comp/grit. My eyesight is a issue [60+] so tiny screens & no patch names are gonna be debilitating. Quick transitions are imperative, trio format, gtr/bs/perc/, & the ability to maintain last patch till next selection desirable.
    Thanks Bass Bro(s)! Luv, pierre
    Cantstandsya and CaptainWally like this.
  6. madmaskbass


    Apr 29, 2008
    I love my boss gt1b...but...only after adding two very important bits: A loop switcher system and a fs6 copy.

    A true bypass loop could be very very cheap to buy and same with an fs6. As youre in australia loopi pedals are absolutely awesome!! their fs copy is tiny, cheap and perfect. they have heaps of options for true bypass looper. this fixes most of your issues with the gt1b..

    Also programming is really easy when using the PC program. I have my Gt1b in stomp mode. this means that I have a chorus, delay and fretless sim assigned to thier own switch and then still have up and down free for presets that are more specific.

    After ALLL that mucking around I like my Gt1b its not hard or expensive stuff but it does fix pretty much all your problems with a unit you already do have.
    nuage420b likes this.
  7. Just found the discontinued GT 10B & it’s the GO! Anyone who got one still has it, is my guess?
    I’m keen if there’s one going?
    It still has XLR OUTS, which seem to be out of favour? p
  8. CaptainWally

    CaptainWally Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2000
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    I had one. It's pretty big physically. A lot of effects/features.....but a lot of stuff I don't want/need, e.g. cabinet modeling.

    I like that it has its own dedicated bypass pedal though. You can name the effects, which is cool --- but a pain.

    I hate that you can't get rid of all those horrible presets on it.

    It does have an XLR, but, IMO, it sounds like sh*te. I never used it --- always used the DI from my amp.
  9. BluesWalker

    BluesWalker Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2008
    San Diego
    I have been using the ME-50B for many years. I have gone through a few of them: one died after about 10 years and the other was stolen. I tried pedal boards with individually selected pedals but for a bar, party or stage setting the ME-50B works perfectly for me. I usually use the tuner, compressor, chorus, octave down and some of the driver/overdrive functions. There is a lot of stuff on it that I have no use for but at $300 I can't go wrong.
    BrentSimons likes this.
  10. Tomas73


    Feb 21, 2019
    Portishead, UK
    I'm still using my ME-8B from 1998! :)
    Eli_Kyiv and Winton like this.
  11. Nuage420

    Nuage420 Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2014

    I just picked up my first individual pedal after using the GT1B as my first and only effects anything. I have had it for a year or so and only messed with the preset stuff. having recently hooked up to the computer and messing with th settings and watching tons of videos on how to tweak stuff on the comp and on the unit itself I'm blown away by how awesome this thing is. I won a FatRat and thought it might lead me down the pedal rabbithole. But as I'm researching I feel like I'd just be senselessly wasting so much money on pedals when I have so many possibilities already? I wonder how many people took the time to tweak the settings and really dig into the GT1B before selling it and nay saying? Between the multi pedal, your amp, and your on board preamp is applicable I cannot imagine not being able to find great tones for any situation?
    BrentSimons likes this.
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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