Decent muti-effects unit?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by J Purcell, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. J Purcell

    J Purcell Member

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    Does anyone make a good sounding multi-effects unit that a tube snob can learn to gig with without hanging his head in shame?
    I've never owned one but sometimes the convenience of using one is pretty tempting. I have to cover a fairly wide range of sounds with our group and I'm looking to simplify my setup without sacrificing too much in tone. Simplicity of use would be a huge plus. Something that doesn't require a lot of tweaking between songs.
    Anyone have a good unit to recommend?
    Thanks,
    John
     
  2. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC Member

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    if I were going to go the modeling route (which is the only way I'd go for multi-fx capability) I would buy a Vox Valvetronix head and floorboard. To my ears, it sounds way better than the Line 6 heads although I own and use a POD extensively. But for live stuff, the Valvetronix sounds pretty freakin' good, that is, if one were so inclined to go that route.

    I'm not ready to quit playing my Z yet.

    I've got a question though, how many effects do you really need?

    I mean chorus and vibe are nice but there isn't a song that you can't play without them. You know, are bar people really going to miss the chorused guitar in Paradice City? Likely not.

    Anywho... you can do what I did, minimize drastically. Get rid of all your effects and just say F*CK It. I think the three staples are wah, overdrive/boost, delay. These are three things that cannot be covered without pedals (unless the o.d. is covered by a high gain amp). Everything else is luxury.
     
  3. J Purcell

    J Purcell Member

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    Good point Charlie. Simplicity is the key to good sound.
     
  4. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC Member

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    i read my post and sound kind of like a d-i-c-k. that was not my intention.

    i really meant to pose the honest question of what harbors the neccesity for a given effect.

    that's why i always put chorus and swirly pedals in this category. they add flavor, but at the end of the night, when everybody's drunk, nobody's going to care about the vibe sound on whatever Hendrix tune you might be doing. however, it is likely that they will want to hear a Wah pedal on Voodoo Chile or something like that? No what I mean?
     
  5. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    the digitech gnx3k is supposed to have the best sounding amp models, as well as excellent effects. Try out one of these babies
     
  6. jcshirke

    jcshirke Silver Supporting Member

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    Maybe check out the Pod XT Live. I had an XT Pro and thought the amp models sucked royally. But the fx were ok, for the most part. The XT Live could do what you need. Worth looking at, in any case.

    Jeff
     
  7. grego7

    grego7 has left the building Gold Supporting Member

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    +1

    Something else that never happens in a club:

    "hey dude, you guys sound great, but your distortion pedal must not be true bypass. Methinks I picked up on some tone-suck during that last number."
     
  8. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    too true, my friend. No drunken lush at a bar would ever say "methinks"
     
  9. Yek

    Yek Member

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    While it is absolutely true that fx are not necessary at all, it's quite nice to have them ...

    So John, it depends on what you want.

    You want an integral unit on the floor? Think Boss GT-something or Line 6 XT Live.

    Or do you want a 19" rack device and MIDI-control on the floor? Then:

    You want as many fx as you can get and skip a little on quality? Think Boss, Line 6, TC Electronic G-Major.

    Or get less effects but better sound with Rocktron stuff: Intellifex, Intelliverb, Multivalve, Xperience.

    Or get it all but pay: TC G-force or G-System, Eventide.
     
  10. J Purcell

    J Purcell Member

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    I know that 99% of the bar patrons never even notice what the guitar sounds like. I do it for my own enjoyment.
    We did our regular Mon. night gig last night. My 68 Super Reverb crapped out on me, don't know the problem yet, and for over half the night I had to run the 4 10's with my bass players spare Gallien Kruger head. Nobody seemed to notice the difference.
    Yes I had a backup amp. one of those little Crate Power Block heads. It died on me in the first song. Brand new.
    I'm going to start carrying a spare Bassman head arounf again.
    As far as the multi effects unit question....
    I must have been experiencing a 60's flashback. I'm feeling better this morning.
    I'm going to go beat my Super.
     
  11. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    I always thought those Yamaha DG-Stomps sounded reasonably nice and were very flexible. I also appreciate the fact that you can totally bypass the preamp section and just use the effects with your amp. It can run straight to a PA, it can be used as a headphone amp for practice ... and they're just over $100 on the used market when you can find them.
     
  12. Alejandro

    Alejandro Supporting Member

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    I am not sure what you are looking for, but let share my experience about Mfx.

    First my profile. Analog freak, Classic Rock, Blues, Strat lover

    I use to have the Boss ME-6...ME-8..ME-10...GT-5...Ibanez PT-5...Yamaha GW33 and I realized all of them lack natural vibe. I mean, lack the natural sound I can get plugging direct to my amp, or with a couple of stomp boxes.

    For this reason I quit MFX

    Yes, I quit until I found one of the first MFX from Boss, the - build like a tank-1988's ME-5
    No tuner, no COSM, USB, RCA, FBI, CIA:p ..but yes, it has MIDI

    With 64 available patches for storing sounds, just 9 effect types: COMPRESSOR - DISTORTION/OVERDRIVE - FLANGER/CHORUS - REVERB/DELAY - NOISE REDUCTION and 3-BAND EQ

    This toy is warm, organic, analog, simple and effective (just Reverb and Delay are Digital)..and the best thing is you can buy one for just a hundred...or less :eek:

    The ME-5 is ridiculously easy to use, edit and gig with. Give a try

    Sometimes I add the Mosferatu or my Deucetone Rat to the loop in the name to get more OD/DIST options besides de 3 you already have in the unit

    It doesn't has weirds effects, but I don't need any of them
    The only thing I miss is the tuner, but I plug my Boss TU-12 to the Tuner out and ready to go

    [​IMG]
     
  13. pacomc79

    pacomc79 Member

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    The XT live and the Boss GT6 are my favorites although if you use them they will sound far far better through the PA than infront of any amplifier.

    I tend to be more of a traditionalist, but the XT live has a lot of great tones inside if you need to do that kind of thing (cover bands etc) and the ease of carrying one bag to a gig+ guitars and then plugging into the PA is very nice.
     
  14. bluescube

    bluescube Supporting Member

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  15. jazzgitter

    jazzgitter Member

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  16. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I still haven't tried one out myself, but I sure was surprised no one mentioned the Vox Tonelab SE.

    I have seriously considered that one.

    J Purcell, a couple of questions answered would help folks give you the best advice.

    When you agree that simplicity is key, HOW simple? Do you mind MIDI? I personally don't like going that route even if it can make things easier in the long run, but what about you?

    Have you ever used a ME pedal before? If so, which ones, and what did you like and not like about it?

    Do you want tubes in the ME? (Vox Tonelab SE has one, Digitech RP-7 and others also had..not all of them though).

    I have the RP-7. I tried using it for the same things you are talking about. I know personally some folks that use theirs with great success, but as much as I generally like it, it wasn't for me for live playing. Studio I use it still and like it a lot. Just not live.

    Here are some of the drawbacks (which...again I haven't tried the Tonelab SE, but reading the specs, and looking at it it seems to have solved or helped with some of the inherent problems...other problems seem to still be there)...

    Biggest drawback. You either have to have a "cheat sheet" of all your patches so you know which of each type of pedal you have programmed. Many (most? all?) floor models allow you one type of each modulation/distortion/amp model/echo-delay/reverb..
    So often you cannot have say a tremolo and a vibe at the same time, some you can't have a vol peda control and a wah at the same time (I think you can with Tonelab...they have two foot pedals) etc.

    Put it this way...it seems to me, with my limited intelligence, that I either could use this in a band where I had a patch per-song, or that I made about 4 patches and only used them.

    To me the worst is, you don't know what youve chosen as say..a delay. Did this patch (with the wonderfully descriptive name A31) have the long delay or the two short delays? Is this OD heavily overdriven OR just on the edge?

    For me, in the passion of playing, I may want suddenly a nice short slapback...I know with pedals what I have, here...it's a problem.

    Also, with the RP-7 volume differences can be huge. In the middly of that intense lead, you kick in the OD and drop about 15 db in volume ARGHHH!. Or worse...in that ballad you want just a little bite, and you blow the roof off the place.

    I wondered why NO one has made a master volum on the floor models, or a "normalized" volume control. Now someone is going to tell me "you can do it in MIDI"...but I dont' want MIDI :)

    Tonelab seems like you can tell easier from just looking down what is chosen, they use knobs.

    That's the other bitch about RP-7....menu driven with multi-level menus. Has kind of a matrix. I like knobs. My band even in rehearsal can't stand still as I adjust and adjust the EQ on my menus, trying to cut through the mix the right way.

    I have yet to hear a ME pedal that had a noise gate that was worth anything. Reportedly the TL also has a terrible one. Can be used for a great "swell" effect on the RP-7 though. Still, live maybe isn't such a problem with that then.

    One other thing...if the pedal goes out one night, you got NO pedals at all. With stomp boxes this is way less likely, and you will lose only one if one goes bad.

    My advice is, think about what you really want, list what is important to you in order of importance...get specific. Write it here, get feedback here, then go to some music store that carries lots of ME's and try as many as you can...spend time with them (when I bougt the RP-7 I sat with it and Digitechs' newer RP-2000, for a few hours with headphones and amp, went home, came back two days later and played them both again and bought the RP-7 which I noticed I liked best. I like taking that two day break, because when you go back...you start over and see if you STILL like it best. I think I made the best choice between the two. I just can't get used to it live.
     
  17. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Sorry for the long post...I just reread it and it sounds like I am really down on ME pedals.

    But I wanted to stress that there are folks that use ME pedals, and do it great. I have heard folks that can use them and there is nothing to hang their heads low over.

    Some people can use them. For me, live, they get in the way of my playing....and I end up fiddling too much with them, which is frustrating. I wanted to be able to use mine...it should in theory make my life easier...no pedalboard to make, don't have to hook up a bunch of pedals each gig, etc.

    But it doesn't work for me. One other thing for me...you can spend countless hours tweaking these things (and it can be FUN and you discover lots of cool sounds...but) and have too many choices to choose from. I think it is a mistake to say a ME simplifies anything in that respect. Maybe one that is all done, prgrammed well, and all...but to get to that point takes a lot of time and effort.

    I like stomp boxes for live, because of knobs (easy to tweak, easy to see where they are set), rocognizability...(when I want delay one glance tells me what it is set for if I don't remember, and I know which pedal to look at), versatility (hey..I got enough deicisons to make decide which pedals to take and what order to put them in), upgradability...just buy a better pedal.

    But again, SOME people can get lots of good use out of ME's.
     
  18. wow, that drive one does sound really good. do they use the same chips and modeling on the latest g7 and g9?

    I really want to try that g9:)
     
  19. seanc

    seanc Member

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    i have a boss gt-6 and a yamaha magic stomp (mk 1) and i love them both. the magic stomp is great for delays and reverbs. the best on the market for those hands down
     

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