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Still searching for right rack multi-effect match...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by stflbn, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    I've been slowly searching for a rack multi-effect to pair with my BBE Bmax-T. The Bmax gives me the exact general tone I love when paired with my new Avatar b210 Neo.

    Where I do a good portion of cover tunes I also need the ability to adapt my sound for specific songs.

    A bit of chorus.
    Octave down for a couple things would be nice.
    Very slight distortion.

    Generally nothing over the top or aggressive. Just subtle tweaks to my core sound to make it more appropriate.

    I've tried:
    Zoom RFX-1100 (Did the chorus well, but no programmability or down ocatave)
    Bass V-amp Pro (When ran through my Bmax-T's effect loop it had some constant 'breathing' that did not show up if just using the V-amp alone as a pre-amp/effects unit. Bmax is dead quiet on it's own.)
    Individual Pedals or a floor unit (we play alot of intimate (smaller) stages and floor pedals or a floor unit is always in my way.)

    What else I'm considering:
    Bass Pod XT Pro (a bit concerned that the same problem may arise that I encountered with the V-amp pro and I don't really need amp/cab simulation though it could be useful for me)
    Rocktron Blue Thunder (I was jazzed about this unit until I noticed how long they've been around. Seems potentially ok as an effect unit, less so as a PreAmp, which I don't need anyhow)
    Pod x3 (Yes, it's a floor unit, but it's also very adaptable and an improvement over previous units)
    TC Electronics Rack Effects (Several of these offer much of what I'm looking for.

    Is there anything else I'm missing in the $300 - $400 range that I should be considering? (Yes, the X3 is beyond that, but it's a long-shot because of being a floor unit.)

  2. shirky


    Apr 7, 2000
    Reading, PA, USA
    How about the ART Nightbass sytem? I haven't heard one, but I've read generally good reviews, and I believe it does everything you're looking for.

  3. Joeykun

    Joeykun pronounced ジョーイくん

    Jun 22, 2007
    Shirley, MA
    Lexicon M200 is a nice 1 space unit.
    The TC stuff is great too!
  4. stflbn


    May 10, 2007

    I've heard that the Nightbass systems can be pretty brutal on your tone, and once again can add to your noise.

    I'm hoping to find something that's fairly transparent and gentle on my core tone that I'm feeding through it.

    Aren't these also 10+ years old? At this point I'd start being concerned about end of life or failure issues.

  5. shirky


    Apr 7, 2000
    Reading, PA, USA

    That "end-of-life" comment makes me think you work in the IT industry...is that your day job or are you a professional musician? Just curious.

    Well, that tone-sucking of which you speak would put me off-especially since I've been considering taking the plunge on ebay for a Nightbass. The fact that it's 10 years old wouldn't really bother me-I still have 10 year old effect pedals that are working great.

    However, if you're playing 2-3 gigs a week, then I guess you've gotta worry about how these things will hold up.

    I currently use a GT-6B, but I'm not totally in love with it, so I also am considering other options - be they of the floor or rackmount variety.
  6. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    No, not IT specifically.

    Designer working in the movie industry. But 'tech' related background.
    I just see something that old and can't help but feel like there has to be something more current and higher bit-rate, etc out there that I'm missing.

    Gig wise, I'm only playing out once or twice a month which is my preferred approach at this point. One or two practices a week.

    Musically I'm a tweaker. I'm VERY happy with everything I have except for my effects options right now. I'm soooo close it's killing me feeling "complete" with my rig it's killing me... heh... or as complete as I ever realistically expect to feel.
  7. King David

    King David

    Dec 13, 1999
    I have had the POD XT and I now own the X3. I can vouch for them both. The x3 is a little more versatile as it has the guitar stuff in there too. The X3 does not yet have a software editor yet, but it is sopposed to soon.

    I use a real deep tone, and nice rock tone, and sometimes a very clean tube amp tone. I have played with the slow gear effect in the x3 to get a bowed sound. I need to play with it to get it right though. I have done it live, but it was not what I expected.
  8. The Boss VF-1 is all you need.
  9. stflbn


    May 10, 2007

    at this point kind of considering:

    Boss VF-1 (concerned about failures I've heard of old units)
    Rocktron Blue Thunder (seems right, but never seen one)
    Lexicon MX200 (affordable and good, but sadly no distortion effects which is tolerable for my need)
    Line6 Pod x3 (Floor unit aspect makes it tough to pull trigger and it's highest priced.)

    I'm assuming the Lexicon is similar to the Zoom RFX-1100 that I used to have, only much better where it's a Lexicon, and of course Programmable.

    The VF-1 is a given, granted that it's a good condition unit.

    The Rocktron is still pestering me as the thing I'd like, but it's also the most expensive of the bunch to 'test' only to find out it's noisy, thin, or changes my tone considerably. :-/

  10. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Maybe one of the tc electronic rackmount units?
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    One thing you'll find is that the distortion effects in digital multifx units are almost universally disappointing. Enough so that ART and Rocktron (IIRC) made digital multis with analog distortion sections. But those units fall into the older/noiser categories.

    So you may find a very wide gap between cheap(er) pedals that sound good, and a top-of-the-line TC Electronic unit, in terms of distortion quality.
  12. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Ya, for my limited need (2-3 songs out of three sets with VERY very mild distortion) it's not really worth worrying about.

    I'd much rather have a good selection of quiet quality effects at my disposal, then I would a bit of distortion when outside of a studio no one's really gonna notice it. And honestly, in a live mix it would likely just keep me from cutting through as much. So mehhhh.

    Boss VF-1, Lexicon MX200 and Rocktron Blue Thunder remain.

    Of those three the Rocktron is the most expensive and probably the most suspect of being noisy or lesser sounding.

    Over the past few months i've definitely found the 'sound' that's been living in my head for so long. My foremost concern is maintaining that sound, but gaining subtle quality effects via rack to keep things off the floor.

    I think i'm getting close. Hell, from looking around I could get a VF-1 AND an MX200 for the cost that the Rocktrons seem to be selling for.

    So I think we just came to a smart and affordable solution!

  13. stflbn


    May 10, 2007

    Went with a Boss VF-1.
    After a first night tooling around with it a bit I'm pleased. Footpedal is on order and not arrived yet, so I'm manipulating it by hand, but I'm starting to understand the editing and functions.

    Seems to be very good stuff. Quiet. Nice sounding.

    Essentially just what I was looking for.

    Only problem... now I have a half space unit taking up a full space in my rack. Grrrrrrrrr.... at least it's pretty, and Red.

  14. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS
    First off, I don't know anyone who has had a Nightbass and been really happy with it. Its basic sound just isn't that good.

    If you can find a Lexicon G2 for not too much money, I think you'd love it. Programming it can get intense, but the distortions and overdrives are pretty nice and everything else is usual Lexicon quality. It took quite a bit of messing around to get a good envelope filter sound, but I did it. The pitch shifting is quite nice and can be intelligent (ie diatonic).

    They are above your price range, but if you are persistent and look for used stuff, you might be able to find one in your price range.


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