Suggestions for decent multifx unit

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by kenneho, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. kenneho

    kenneho Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm looking to purchase a simple and decent multifx unit, which I will use with my tube amp. Don't need many effects, but a compressor, chorus, delay and overdrive/distortion is a bare minimum. I'm using Eleven Rack as my primary rig, but would like to be able to bring my tube amp (with multifx unit) to gigs when needed.

    Any suggestions on budget units that provide decent effects? I came across Boss ME-25, but I'd prefer less effect/complexity in favor of better tone, although I don't rule out the ME-25 as an candidate.

    Regards,
    Kenneth
     
  2. marvelboy_04

    marvelboy_04 Member

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    Line 6 M5 or M9 for all but the overdrive. To me, that is the one effect other than maybe univibe that digital just can't cop very well.
     
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  3. kenneho

    kenneho Member

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    Wow, that was an extremely quick resonse. Thanks!

    Both these seems very good. Will look into the M9, as I'll probably wish to use more than one effect at the same time (for example chorus and delay).
     
  4. jordane93

    jordane93 Member

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    TC Eectronic Nova System
     
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  5. CEFlint

    CEFlint Member

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    M5 will only allow one effect at a time. I'd suggest the Zoom MS50G or G3. Optical compressor is nice as is the Rat style patch. TS in the G3 is very usable. Plenty of nice delay, chorus and reverb sounds in both.

    G3 is more performance friendly, but I've used both with no problems.
     
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  6. DaveKS

    DaveKS Member

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    Agree, Zoom G3 is pretty sweet on the price/function ratio.
     
  7. WillLane

    WillLane Member

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    I always suggest to have physical, stand-alone overdrive/distortion units. Higher-end multis can do them okay but the cheap units do not do it well at all. Running into an amp and it is not the same.

    But for delays, reverbs, etc. multis are great. I use a Zoom G3 in the effects loop.
     
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  8. tbader

    tbader Member

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    If you're only wanting one box, the M9 or even the M13 are excellent. I have the M13 + Mission EP1-L6 expression pedal.

    Some guys will poo-poo the digital dirt, but it's not really THAT bad. I find the usable range of tones in each model rather limited, but I can still dial in a great drive tone; it just takes a bit longer than just plugging in an dirt box you already know and like. The Boost Comp (MXR Micro Amp) and Tube Drive (B.K. Butler Tube Driver) models are a good place to start.

    The delays are excellent. Lots of character. The analog/tape delays decay and self-oscillate very similarly to the units from which they were inspired. Analog w/ Mod (DMM) and Tape Echo Dry-Thru (Echoplex EP-3) are great.

    The verbs can be disappointing if you're an ambient player. Although, Particle Verb and Cave are very unique and neato.

    The pitch/synth/wah effects are very good. Tons of fun. And they have some pretty obscure stuff (ZVex Seek Wah, for example). You can create a bunch of interesting sounds and textures. Throaty wah (RMC), and Growler are pretty good. It can also do a very good Whammy WH-1.

    The modulation effects are not bad, but I don't generally use much. They all sound pretty decent to me (minus the Leslie simulations and Uni-Vibe, as they aren't very authentic), but they have a ton of control and options, sometimes more than the original pedal. The Opto Trem, VB-2 Vibrato, and Pattern Trem (Goatkeeper) are all pretty sweet.

    Furthermore, you can set subdivisions per effect for tap tempo (everything is synced, which is handy), or dial in BPM/MS. It has a gate, tuner, and a pretty good looper.

    Nothing is really like it.
     
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  9. Goku13

    Goku13 Member

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    The Zoom G3 and G5 are both really solid units and easy to configure and play with live.

    Like someone else said, the tubescreamer model is actually good at least, as far as overdriven go. For a while I ran a G3 in my live rig for most of my fx and used a different pedal for overdrive but the G3/G5 are both great!
     
  10. stevel

    stevel Member

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    Line 6 M9 or M13.

    Everyone is wrong about the drives. They're fantastic. Just not at the default settings. I think everyone expects to just call up a patch and have it sound great. Doesn't work like that.

    For the drives:

    1. Expect to tweak
    2. They sound best "at volume" (but really, that's true of analog drives too).

    The Tube Driver, Tube Screamer, and Rat models are all very usable. The Screamer and the Rat are my favorites. The Line 6 Drive is really cool because it will go from a metal type distortion to more of a fuzz.

    What I've found is that you have to spend some time tinkering with each model. In some cases, like the Rat, the Filter control can make a huge difference with very slight tweaks so you have to spend time figuring out how big of an effect each parameter has and where it sound best or best fits your needs.

    I've heard side-by-sides with the real pedals and they're pretty much spot on. I was able to make one of the models sound so close to my Fulldrive II that you couldn't tell the difference.

    Initially, I thought some of the things like the Colorsound Overdriver were useless, but again after spending some time tweaking the controls I found an awesome tone in there.

    I don't use the Metal Zone or Line 6 distortion, but they sound right on for that style of music.

    The Modulations are IMHO great with a few exceptions: Yes the Uni-Vibe is common complaint, and it sucks. The Rotary speaker sims are not great either. They're useable, and I've used them at gigs, and bandmates were impressed, but it was more about the effect being there rather than being accurate (but hey, that's important too - suspension of disbelief). Some of the mod effects still have issues with volume increase or loss when the effect is engaged, so to fully compensate you'd have to set up a preset that had some sort of volume adjustment with another pedal.

    The delays are also very workable. I'm not a huge delay guy but I've gotten more into it recently.

    In fact, the more time I spend learning about the originals the models were modelled after, the more I've come to appreciate what a great job Line 6 did at modelling these things.

    The catch was, I kind of had to learn about them first. So if I wanted that David Gilmour echo, I couldn't just pick any old delay. I needed to find the Binson Echorec model (there is one) and learn how it works, and set up values based on Gilmour, etc. Once I did, it nailed the sound.

    I'm not big on all the ring modulators and synths (though the latter could be useful) and didn't care for the ambient reverbs. But I think there's enough there for most users to find at least half the effects useful.

    The units are True Bypass and most of the effects when engaged do not color the sound (unless they're supposed to, as they even modeled the sound of the pre-amp in things like the Fender standalone Reverb and the Echoplex).

    There are flaws though. But for the price, if you want a bunch of pedals in one unit, and you don't need or want amp modelling/cabinet sim, then these are the most perfect devices out there currently.

    You can of course run existing pedals before, after, or in the FX loop of the unit and you can use expression pedal(s) to control other parameters. I had mine set up so I could use 1 pedal to increase the gain while keeping the overall volume the same (which means as the drive goes up, the volume goes down to compensate on most models) and I used a 2nd pedal (M13) that went to a volume pedal patch that simply gave me a rhythm volume and lead volume and anything in between.

    I've considered many times using my analog dirt pedals in conjunction with it, but to be honest I've tweaked the drives to the point where it would be overkill. Now, with only the M9, using outboard drives would mean you don't have to "waste" a button on those in the box, so would open up other possibilities. But if you're like me where you use a drive and then maybe one or two other things with it (CHorus, Flange, Delay, or Chorus and Delay, etc.) the M9 might be enough.

    But if money is no object, for for the 13. You'll be happy to have the extra buttons.
     
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  11. kenneho

    kenneho Member

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    Thanks for the great input.

    Line 6 M-series seems to get quite a few votes, and they look very interesting. One of the suggestions were TC Electronic Nova System, which is about the same price range as the Line 6 M9. Having a lot of analog sounds, the Nova systems seems like the obvious choice, but how would you guys compare these two options?

    EDIT: Keep in mind that I'm not in need of many effects, as I typically play pop, "soft" rock and blues, using only standard effects such as delay, compression, chorus and overdrive/distortion.
     
  12. ERGExplorer

    ERGExplorer Member

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    I've found these specific points regarding the Line 6 M series to be true of just about any current or just-past-current modeler: They have the goods, but a lot of people judge them on the presets, and don't know how the originals work, and don't learn how the models work.

    No matter what modeler someone gets, I always suggest using it initially as just one effect pedal, preferably an effect someone wants to use. Learn how to really use it, dialing it in for all kinds of things, listening to demos of the gear being modeled to see how the original sounds and how the controls work. Once that's going well, learn another effect. Once you have a few going well, check out combinations in addition to continually adding mastery of more individual models to your knowledge base.

    On the M series in specific, I spent a long time listening to different synth models in combination with different wah pedals set in specific cocked positions. It's not technically an infinite search space, but there was much more there than I heard at first listen. One of my favorite saxophone sounds is just the Attack Synth on Ramp wave, running through the Fassel wah and then some mild reverb. I stumbled upon the combo when I accidentally changed the effect family on the middle effect from reverb to wah, and it led me to explore those possibilities much more, with a lot of interesting discoveries.

    In any case, whatever multi you wind up getting, I hope you feel inspired to put in a little time. I'm sure it will pay off. Good luck and happy exploring!
     
  13. kahluabeer

    kahluabeer Member

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    I feel same,the distortion works great and enough for me, now im only using m9 + keeley java boost(it worrks good better than ts)
     
  14. stevel

    stevel Member

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    The dealbreaker for me was tone coloration when bypassed. It must have NONE. The Line 6 M series is the ONLY product out there that's true bypass and doesn't color the signal (other than the same kind of loading down a traditional individual pedal would have when you put it in line).

    From what I could learn about TC, it colors the signal when bypassed.

    In fact, I was thinking about adding a 2nd multi-fx unit to my rig, and I was hoping to find something to "fill in" and "augment" what Line 6 already gave me - you know, for example, a better Univibe or Rotary effect.

    But since nothing else out there is true bypass, or they color the tone even when all the amp modeling/cab sim is turned off, I didn't want to have anything to do with them.

    Right now, my only option for augmenting the M13 is to buy another M13, or traditional individual pedals - which sucks becuase the whole point of getting a multi-fx unit is to get rid of all the individual pedals!

    But until someone else comes out with something that's true bypass, the M series was the only thing that would work for me.
     
  15. kenneho

    kenneho Member

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    I'm glad to hear the great line 6 M series testimonials, as these fx units are easier to come by (second hand) than the Nova unit. Will probably go for the Line 6 M9.
     
  16. Axe-Man

    Axe-Man Member

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    I have gotten some good verb, trem and delay sounds from the M13 and HD POD series; I always enjoyed the basic boost type fx like the tube comp, TS etc as well.

    I just wished the HD500 had true bypass like the M series; crying shame they didn't.
     
  17. MrLahey

    MrLahey Member

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    I would skip the me25 and get a used me80 for the same price. Much more user friendly and sounds really good as just an effects board into my peavey tube amp or my peavey bandits in stereo. Would easily cover what you listed and dead simple to dial in. And it has all the boss effects my ears have heard and used for decades with some added goodies as well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2016
  18. jota

    jota Member

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    Line6 is more flexible but I've been very happy with my Nova System for more than 6 years now!
    I never noticed any tone coloration!

    Things I don't like:
    - heavy and big
    - can't have more than one effect on the same preset from the mod and pitch banks (no tremolo and chorus for example although you can fake the chorus with the detune)
    - some effects have way too many parameters (reverb and tremolo for example have about 10 parameters each!)

    One thing I love and don't see to often is an independent volume control for each output that you can assign for preset. Thgis way you can have one preset going only to the right output, another preset going to the left and a third prest can go for both outputs.
    This way I can use the Nova as an A/B/Y box.
     
  19. dpgreek

    dpgreek Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    you can get something like this from henretta engineering, but put in what you want
     
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  20. Dr.Picklebottom

    Dr.Picklebottom Member

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    zoom has much more functionality and i prefer the tones too. zoom also has never been associated w low quality and QC issues.
     

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