Zoom B2.1u & Zoom B1Xon

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by giedosst, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. giedosst


    Aug 5, 2005
    Hey Everybody!

    I'm on the hunt for a good multi-effect processor and I've narrowed it down to the Zoom B2.1u & the Zoom B1Xon. I have these two in mind as I am a 7 string player and am looking for a good pitch shifter and overdrive to get a good compressed 1 octave up "Holdsworth" like guitar tone. Has anybody used either of these two units for such purposes and if so how do they track and sound? I can't find either of them locally just on the internet and I don't want to blow the money on them until I know with some knowledge that they will work.

  2. If your goal is to get a compressed tone like Holdsworth you might be better off going with a Zoom MS60B for the updated compressors and drives that will help a lot. I am still tweaking but really liking the MS60B for this function.

    The Zoom pitchshifter is pretty good and reasonably fast tracking. I am still using my B2.1u and B2 and get a pretty satisfying sound octave up sound, the trick is getting the right clean touch, playing cleanly and turning the tone control way down. The pitchshifter on the newer B1xon is a bit cleaner but not really any faster but for the low cost of the unit it does an acceptable job.

    For a point of comparison I also have an Akai UniBass and Digitech Whammy. The Akai tracks a touch better tracking and does sound more organic or guitar like but there is a bit more latency. The Whammy never really gets a realistic enough tone to fool anyone to thinking it is a guitar.
  3. giedosst


    Aug 5, 2005


    If I'm reading this correctly, both units would work for my purposes but the MS60B would be better compressor-wise huh? Do you miss the experssion pedal? Since all three pedals are zoom, is it safe to assume that it's the same pitch shifter effect in all three?

    I've been seriously leaning towards the B2.1u as it can also double as an audio interface which would mean less to schlep around. Also have you used the extra experssion pedal on the B2.1u? I would assume it acesses extra features in the patches?

    Oh, also how do you feel about the fretless (de fret) simulator? Is this even a usable effect?

  4. The thing to consider is the age of the different units, the functionality that best fits your needs. I will list these older to newer. The B2/B2.1u are getting a bit old at this point, still good units. The B1xon and B3 are a newer generation with more and better quality sounds. The MS60B is almost the current generation and was recently updated with some really great effects making it the best bang for the buck but still several years old at this point. The current version is the B3N, but I have no hands on experience with that one yet.

    Since you mentioned compression and overdrive I still think the best choice for you is the MS60B because with the update those effects are significantly improved over previous models. Otoh there is no expression function or interface.

    All said I do still like and use the B2.1u and B2 but a lot of that is because I know those units so well and have spent so much time tweaking tones. The newer units do sound marginally better but the B2/B2.1u are a better fit for the way I use the unit for creating sound scapes and effects changes during performances. I use the B3 and MS60B primarily for recording and additional effects.

    >The usb interface (B2.1u and B3) is a neat addition but it was always a bit clunky to me so I have always used other methods for recording.

    >On the B2.1u and other units only support one expression pedal, so adding one does not add additional function control. I do use a foot switch with my B2/B2.1u/B3 for bypass/tune/mute function.

    >The fretless effect is interesting but certainly does not sound like a fretless to me, no mwah, I do use it as more of an arco effect on occasion.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017