Zoom B1Xon blew away the Zoom B3n. Why?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by drdog, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. drdog


    Apr 17, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Ok...I am totally confused. Today I tried both these processors at a music store. Why does the B1Xon souny waaayyyy better than the B3n?
    Here was my setup.
    Geddy Lee jazz bass, Ampeg SVT-3 amp into Ampeg 410HF cabinet. All amp settings set perfectly flat. All switch options set flat.
    The B3n sounds like crap compared to the B1Xon that costs less than half. The B1Xon is cleaner and had much more clarity. All sounds on the B3n were MUCH darker...almost muffled sound. The B1Xon was much better tone and more normal sounding. How can a device at less than half the price have more features (11 amp/cab sims vs 5 for example) and yet sound waaayyyy better? I dont understand.
    Do they use different dsp sound engines?
    Mili likes this.
  2. Like comparing a V6 to a V8. There are significant differences in the digital renderings and running them through an amp actually defeats the purpose because the amp adds its own color. Try a good set of headphones next time and try to create equal settings because the presets are not identical.

    That dark effect could be a result of having the cab SIM on.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
    Eli_Kyiv, dBChad, Alik and 1 other person like this.
  3. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    Really...you like the zoom b1xon is better than the zoom b3n? I currently own a zoom b1on and it has some great sounding effects. and I was gonna purchase a zoom b3n based on popular request(since I've been known for posting patch ideas for the zoom b3) and also based on curiosity. I'll admit that the lack of certain amp models was kind of a deal breaker for me, but some of the preamps do make up for it. would like to check out the b3n's take on of the darkglass effects.
  4. drdog


    Apr 17, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Both of the Zoom devices each had cabinet their cabinet simulations on so that puts them on equal basis I would think? My ultimate goal is to use one direct into the house PA system. But based on what I heard going into the Ampeg amps yesterday, it still seems like I should consider the B1Xon?
    It just seemed to me that every preset, no matter how much I tried to alter them, just sounded a lot more flat and less lively and punchy as compared to the B1XON
  5. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    If you aren't intimately familiar with the adjustments of parameters within these two units, and how they are designed quite different from each other, I can see how you might get wildly different results. If you're trying to use the pedals like front end stomps only, no modeling or cab sim, you're going to have to go into each patch (and possibly some of the global settings) to see exactly what is programmed on a patch-by-patch basis, and then pull out or put in the things you want to hear. Doing a side-by-side going solely on presets isn't going to tell you much, really.

    Everyone has their own opinions as to which they prefer, and for whatever reason. Please don't make a snap judgment either way without understanding why each sounds the way it does. I own the B1xOn, B3, B3n, and G5n. My personal feeling is that if you want the maximum variety of effects stuff, then the B3 or B1on have this over the B3n. However, the B3n amp and cabinet modeling and effects have generally had their modeling algorithms re-worked so that they're more accurate and have better realism (subjectively, or course, but I feel they do). The B3n also has a number of updated drive stomp models not found in the other units, and IMHO they do sound good and are quite an improvement over the B3/B1on.

    YMMV, good luck!
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  6. drdog


    Apr 17, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Oh man...YOU are the guy I need to talk to since you own all 3 of these.
    In advance I want to say thank u for helping me in my following questions.
    I really want to love the B3n...7 effects is the main attraction.
    I actually spent 4 hours between the two (the B3n and B1Xon)...and I did tweak amps and cabs in each. That is why I was bafflwd why the B3n sounded so much "darker" despite what I tried. I even played with the GEQ and para EQ in each...the B1Xon still sounded brighter and more lively...and allowed the Geddy Lee jazz to definately obtain much more jazz bass growl....even when using same amp/cab sims in both units.
    Also...Last week I played the B3 and loved it...but fear only 3slots might not be enough.
    My questions:
    1. Do the B3 and B3n sound the same to you? Are they using same DSP system?
    2. Would I better to get say two MS60b units and chain them together to achieve 8 total effects?
    3. Does ms60b sound more closer to a B3 model, or does it sound closer to a B3n model?

  7. drdog


    Apr 17, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    If I had to make a decision right now....I would lean towards the B1Xon due to what I feel is superior sound. BUT, I am getting help from jimfist on this same forum to help me straighten this out. I am pursuing why the B3n sounded so "bad" to me as compared to the B1Xon....there was no comparison in my opinion...but why ???
  8. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    Just out of curiosity, if you liked the B1on (or B1Xon) more than the B3n, given that these are a ridiculously cheap price, why didn't you take one home?

    I have the G1on (for reasons I won't go into) and it makes a great portable practice device even if I didn't use it on my board.
    BurnOut and blondmix3 like this.
  9. drdog


    Apr 17, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    I was afraid to buy it thinking that maybe there were "system setting" inside the B3n that may have been set wrong which would not make it sound as good....so I decided to come on here first and ask questions. I will probably go buy it this weekend.
  10. JACink


    Mar 9, 2011
    By no means am I saying you should get the B1on instead of the B3n, I think that if you like the sound then you should get a B1on anyway as it is a great headphone (and other combinations) practice tool!
  11. If the B1Xon does what you need go for it, i played many a gig with the earlier Zoom pedals and never had any issues and continue to use the B2. I am lining up to use an MS60b and MS100BT in tandem for my sole processing for an upcoming project and tour for next year my entire rig will be in a double gig bag and pocket.
  12. drdog


    Apr 17, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well....being that you appear to be of the status of touring musician, then I will put a lot of faith in that statement that it is a decent product. So, I am going to go with the B1Xon. BRING ON THE Xon ! :)
    Thanks for your input.
    By the way: When you play it live: do you go direct out of the 1/4" into a DI box then into the house?
  13. Yes I do, generally using the house DI and backline usually the loop return bypassing the preamp since I use the Zoom for that. My only stipulation is no Ampeg or the promoter owes me $100. It is an old stipulation put in by a past road manager but I let it ride, fun for extra money.
  14. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I have the MS60 and the b1x0n. Used to have a b3 too. I like the b1x0n the best. If Zoom would make one with a more durable metal chassis, I’d say we would really have something. Especially since the introduction of ToneLib. Long as I’m askin for stuff add a DI and you’d have it. Don’t say the B3, not sure what’s different but the b1xon just is. By my ears, definitely the better.
  15. Why did it blow the b3n away?

    Personal preference.

    I’ve read someone say that their b3n sounded better than their AX8.

    I believe that they heard it.

    I don’t believe it’s true.
  16. Crystalman85


    Nov 30, 2008
    Chicago, Il.
    I did choose the zoom b1on because I was on a tight budget at the time. but also it has the amp models and effects I like very much. so I guess in the case of choosing between the zoom b1on/b1xon or the zoom b3n, I get more for less. still I am curious about what the zoom b3n has to offer despite the lack of amp models it has. and since there isn't that many amp and cab models, I can improvise something unique with the use of the cab models. like say I create a distortion patch for instance, and needed something to improve the sound quality. I could use either the cab models with the distortion patch(which would be handy for recording) or a preamp(which can be handy for live). that way, I am capable of creating something unique with the zoom b3n. even with the lack of amp and cab models. other than that, if you prefer the zoom b1xon over the zoom b3n, that's cool. you should stick with which zoom processor suits you more.
    JACink likes this.
  17. BillMason


    Mar 6, 2007
    Just another plug here for the ToneLib software, available for free download. I’m not affiliated, just a vocal fan of this for managing effects and patches on my B1Xon.
    imabuddha likes this.
  18. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    After extensively trying the B3n, I went back to the B3. I prefer the general tone and interface.
    I'd say you are not alone. I am here with you.
    grifo likes this.
  19. Kubicki440


    Feb 6, 2011
    I just picked up the Zoom B1XON and downloaded the Tonelib program, it is fantastic. Not sure if the Zoom will be used for rehearsal tomorrow night, still learning the ropes. So far, the sounds are very good for the price point. I went with the XON due to using the pedal as a volume control, the Jazz bass has two volumes so it is easier for me with one master volume.

    The ZNR seems to take away any hiss or hum, very nice. Was using Guitar Rig 5 for my setup going to a Markbass Little Mark 250 and a Carvin 18" speaker. Can't wait to hear it with the cab.

    The Zoom B3N was just out of my price range at this particular moment, otherwise, I may have gone with the B3N.
    imabuddha likes this.
  20. dBChad


    Aug 17, 2018
    Daytona Beach, FL
    I just got my B3n earlier this week (ordered online since I wasn't able to find any locally). It was pretty good out of the box, but there was an updated firmware version I downloaded from Zoom that really improved it. It even added more amp models!

    I chose it specifically for headphone practice. It was the only thing I could find that modeled an SWR and Trace Elliot. The aux input is great for hooking to my laptop and learning new songs from my playlist or YouTube. The drum beats work with tap tempo, which I love for technical practice. I have only played it through my AKG K240 headphones so far, but it sounds pretty good. I will see if I can connect it to one of the line inputs on my Yamaha sound board maybe over the weekend to see if it works well straight to PA.

    It's somewhat intuitive to use, but I'm still getting used to it's user interface. It's great for what I bought it to do, but now I'm curious about the B1Xon now though.