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Zoom Bass multi effects

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by ahhelpme, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. ahhelpme


    Aug 26, 2004
    I am getting a Zoom 506 Multi Effects pedal for bass. Are they any good? I mean its got distortion and fretless simulator and all, but is it actually good?
  2. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    I have a Zoom 506II. I use it as a tuner. :)
  3. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Don't spend any more than $25 for it. In all fairness, if you read the manual you'll find you can program out all the garbage patches / options and actually come up with some usable effects.

    I use my 708 primarily as a mute switch, tuner, and headphone amp.

  4. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Agreed. While 90% of the stuff falls into the "useless gimmicks" category, a few things are alright to throw into music. The step effect is alright for a quick stop where a neat sound will help fill up the open space. The chorus isn't the best thing ya ever heard, but within the mix of a whole band, it would serve its purpose. The distortion sounds are basically garbage, though there are a couple settings (like Edge) that give you a little bit of... well... edge. If you have a passive bass with relatively low output, you can use this as a basic pre-amp just by making a patch that's totally dry and pumping up the patch level a bit. Back before I got good basses and a good rig, I had a patch programmed into my Zoom that had a bit of compression, Edge, chorus, and a tiny bit of reverb, and I just used it as a pre-amp with that patch on all the time. I just left the Zoom on top of my amp. That was "my sound" for about a year or so. Although I didn't like it, I got a good bit of compliments on my "original" tone. It was good for what it was.

    Bottom line is, you get what you pay for. If you're using a $200 bass with a $100 amp, then this pedal will probably be an amazing tool for you. But trying to use it with high-end gear would leave you 100% disappointed. The problem is, even in bypass mode, this pedal effects your tone a little, and that's a deal breaker if you've got great tone already. Like I said, a cheap bass and amp probably won't have real good tone to begin with, so there's not much you could do to hurt it.

    So it just depends on what kind of equipment you have and what kind of expectations you have for the Zoom. If you think it's going to be the answer to every sound you ever wanted to get and couldn't, then you're setting yourself up for a letdown, but if you're reasonable and don't expect much, it might surprise you.

    And I do like the tuner immensely. :)
  5. Andy Brown

    Andy Brown Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 23, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Founder/Owner: Wing Instruments
    I had one for about 15 mins once. It was VERY noisy, even moreso than what you would expect out of a pedal effect.

    My experience with the 506 triggered a quest for a noiseless all-in-one effects unit. I settled on the Boss GT-6B. This may be overboard for most folks, but I know I'll never have to buy another effect. It's pretty quiet as well.
  6. Multiefx are like a Swiss Army Knife devices they are small ez to carry and do a lot of jobs reasonably well, but are never the best tool possible. I have an older 506 and a 607 that I use all the time mostly out of convenience, quick and ez to carry and I have programmed both to fulfill my needs. But if I am really needing good quality efx I'll use seperate pedals.
  7. b3zsgirl


    Jun 16, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I have a 506 that I got off of e-bay for $19 and I love it. I also got the expression pedal for $12 (I held out for a good price for months), but I can't figure out how to get the Wah to work or anything other than flat volume. I like the chorus, funk, and the other ambient settings, but the distortion leaves a bit to be desired. I am not sure I would get one if I was doing a lot of metal. It is easy to get a good distortion stomp box in various flavors so no big deal.

    Anyone ever use one of these as a pre-amp? I just got a tascam 4 track casette recorder for some quick stuff at home, and I really hate to run it through my bassmaster amp. It is extream overkill and difficult to manage the levels. I have not had the time to really mess with it much, but I don't want to go get a pre-amp if this will work.
  8. The 506 should work pretty well and there are even some OK cab models that are a part of the ZNR section that might add the right vibe. All of the Drive voices are essentially preamps with different tone settings and by varying the gain you can make it clean or dirty. I even use my Zooms for recording guitar and keyboard parts sometimes.
  9. b3zsgirl


    Jun 16, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Thanks...I am going to give that a try for recording.

    BTW...anyone else think that the tuner just tunes sharp, and inconsistent or is it just mine? My cheapy Korg seems to do a much better job.
  10. roakes


    Dec 12, 2004
    Mine works great with my fender bxr combo amp...with my big rig...only as a tuner! :cool:
  11. I don't really like it but it is quite cheap, especially for you guys (its about AU$100, maybe less, we get ripped). Its not quiet, particularly for compression and the slap effect, which bites because they're the ones that I'd prefer to use. I really like the defret effect though, crank the bridge pup and its really nice. And like Puarija said, its pretty good as a simple gain stage, I was using it as that for a while, a touch of the amp modelling thingy.

    On a side note, I think it blew up the deaf aid loop at church. I was flicking through the channels and some crazy high pitched noise came from somewhere and toasted the loop. In theory it shouldn't make it to the loop, because there's compressors and limiters before there but I dunno. Its now relegated to tuner duty, I can get a useful range of tones out of my fingers and a blend knob.

    Josh D
  12. rluk


    Nov 4, 2004
    Tallinn, Estonia
    I have an old 506. I really cant think of anything good to say about it. Some of the controls stopped working in a few weeks, didn't
    manage to get any good sounds out of it, most effects were
    quite noisy, kept eating up my original sound, brrrr. Hated
    even the tuner! :D

    I payed like 200$US for it too and was reallie pissed, should
    of just bought octave and overdrive separetely (effects I
    actually needed at the time), now I would of had 2 decent
    pedals instead of this thing in my cupboard.

    Maybe the 506-II is better, but I m not touching a Zoom for
    a while :p

    The Great Fake Three -
    Rubber women, alcohol-free beer and zoom effects.

    Oh, remembered something positive, needed like total
    outer space sound for one of the songs, some of the
    preprogrammed sounds suited that perfectly.
  13. Deadworks


    Dec 13, 2004
    St.Louis, MO
    I'm glad I saw this thread before wasting money. Thanks guys.
  14. Just make sure you have a real decent sit down with the thing first. It depends what you're after, I dunno if there's another product that does it but the defret effect rocks.

    And don't pay too much for it, its only a cheap unit.

    Josh D
  15. b3zsgirl


    Jun 16, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Ebay can be your friend here. I got mine for $19 and the optional volume pedal for another $19. I can live with its limits for that price.
  16. ahhelpme


    Aug 26, 2004
    Anyone want to share any of their own effectss that theyve created? Please specify the settings in each of the categories.
  17. kearney


    Jul 5, 2004
    i got the 506II, its ok, but it could have better stuff, i dont even think the frettless simulator works for me, i hate the tuner, and i mostly use it (if it use it at all) for distrtion on guitar, the wah and octave is pretty cool, but its got sooo many more useless sounds
  18. diobassist


    Jan 2, 2005
    :help: I have a zoom 506II. Its ok, but any hints of how to edit some of the effects to sound good. So has anyone done any good effects, and could someone give me instructions to make good effects. I play mostly rock and hard rock so i need some rougher sounds and not those "twinkle twinkle little star effects" - If you know what i mean ;)