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In need of the best multi effects pedal for the money

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  • In need of the best multi effects pedal for the money

    Hi there, i've decided to try and go down the route of a multi effects pedal, and I was wondering if anyone could suggest something which is great value fo money?

    thank you!

  • #2
    I've been out of the gear shopping and gigging circuit for a long time now so I can't say what's available in the stores. Other than on line and I would never buy something for tone that I couldn't hear personally. JM2C on that.

    That said... Most effects brands have made multi effects units. Do you have a preferred brand? That is, If you know you already like the BOSS chorus, delay and distortion boxes then shop BOSS. If you ever played through a Digitech and liked it then shop Digitech. Used is always a good way to save $$$ as long as you can confirm that the unit is in good working condition. Other considerations would be whether you plan to run this into the amps input or in an effects loop. Because certain effects work better in either location depending on several things. And that is subjective because some experimental players have achieved good tones doing things "wrong".

    If the goal is an all in one plug and play system with a large pallet of effects, and "pristine" tonal nuance and all tube main signal purity aren't your game then it's impossible to beat some of the new digital amps that come with all the effects built in. In the face of these products the old multi effects units that locked you into a similar tonal box have become somewhat passe. I mean, if you can't choose the order of your effects and you're locked into one "distortion" effect then your basic tone is already decided for you. Both the multi effects units and the new digital systems do that, but the newer digital systems typically have more options and versatility.
    "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kyle View Post
      Hi there, i've decided to try and go down the route of a multi effects pedal, and I was wondering if anyone could suggest something which is great value fo money?

      thank you!
      Unless things have changed over the last year or so, Boss seems to make the best dollar to performance ratio in the category you are looking for...

      Now for my more detailed opinion (it's only an opinion), I believe some of the effects built into those "everything in one" arrangements are inferior to their better pedal counterparts, or the better pedals of some other companies. Again it takes time to find out what you like, what sounds good for you, and what you need. I think buying separate boxes used allows you that flexibility to build your rig over a period of time. IMHO that's the best way to get what you want for the long haul for a rig and effects.

      Oh, and important, I have NEVER found any amp modeler that sounds better than an actual tube amp. Search if you must, but I've played dozens of them... Digital is for effects IMHO, of for when you are constrained somehow. Good tube amps are STILL the standard to meet for an amplifier.

      I would rather buy good used Boss pedals and make up a pedal board that way, and take my time to find the ones I like. That gives you a bigger challenge in time, testing, and probably cost more, but if you buy used you will be surprised that it won't generally be triple the cost. All my pedals with the exception of 2 (I have about 14 in total) were bought used, and they have very little issues. One had a loose 9V connector that I tightened with a pliers, fixed. Another had a bad LED after owning it for a few years, and that's about it. The rest have worked flawlessly, and I paid anywhere from 1/3 to a maximum of 1/2 the retail prices. I just added up the 9 pedals I currently use, and the total comes to roughly $450. May still sound like a lot of money, but bear in mind I got my pick of Exactly what I wanted, and wouldn't part with any of those pedals that IMHO sound better than anything offered in any Mulit-Effects pedal I have ever tried, and I've tried quite a few.

      Then there is the rack mountable stuff. I own an Eleven Rack Amp modeler and effects unit for guitar. You don't need to buy the software often packaged with that, and they seem to hide that fact ! That unit brand new only set me back $320 delivered to my door, and some of the internal effects are breathtaking. Namely the Stereo reverb with a "Canyon" setting, but just in reverbs alone you have 20+ choices in that one unit. Then there is my Lexicon MX400 for all the other time delay stuff. Only $145 used and delivered !!! Again, breathtaking reverbs, Fantastic list of Time delay (Flanging, Detune, Digital, Harmonizer, etc... ) In that one single unit. Even though it's an inexpensive piece from a top notch studio effects company like Lexicon, there are no real stomp boxes that could ever compare to what is offered in that one inexpensive unit. 4 full and distinctly Separate signal paths, it's incredible what you can do with it, and it will forever expand your mind with the endless possibilities.

      But let me back off a bit, those last two rack mounted units are not for everyone, and the Learning curve to use the unit totally is steep, but if you are an unrelenting techie, you should be able to handle it.

      If you are into simplicity at all cost (you time to learn that is), then please stay away from the Eleven Rack or Lexicon MX400, as I would rather not see you buy something you wouldn't use.

      Here's a list of the effects and specs built into my ($145 !!!) Lexicon MX400:
      (There's a Guitar Jack Version out there as well as the XLR input version...)


      The Lexicon Pro MX400XL Dual Stereo/Surround Reverb Processor is a single rack space, four-channel unit with an intuitive front-panel interface. It uses Lexicon's unique hardware plug-in technology through USB connection and a VST/AU interface to operate as a plug-in with software recording applications. The MX400XL features four separate effects processors to deliver 17 legendary reverbs alongside a powerful array of delays, effects, and dbx dynamics. Four-in, four-out design uses XLR I/O, offering four-channel surround processing and seven effect routing options. You can switch effect routings via front panel controls, so you don't have to spend time changing cables. You also get 99 factory/99 user programs for both stereo and dual-stereo mode, as well as 25 factory/25 user surround programs.

      •17 legendary Lexicon reverbs
      •Lexicon delays and modulation effects
      •dbx compression and de-essing
      •Quad-processor design
      •7 effect routing options
      •99 Factory/99 user programs for Stereo mode
      •99 Factory/99 user programs for Dual-Stereo mode
      •25 Factory/25 user surround programs
      •USB "Hardware Plug-In" feature with
      •VST and Audio Units plug-in software
      •MX-Edit Editor/Librarian software
      •Dual S/PDIF Digital Input/Output
      •24 bit, 48kHz/44.1kHz sample rates
      •Large front panel LCD display
      •MIDI I/THRU
      •XLR I/O
      •Reverbs: Small Hall, Large Hall, Surround Hall, Small Plate, Large Plate, Room
      •Chamber, Gated, Reverse, Vocal Hall, Vocal Plate, Drum Hall, Drum Plate, Ambience, Studio, Arena, Spring
      •Delays: Studio Delay, Digital Delay, Tape Delay, Pong Delay, Mod Delay, Reverse Delay, 2-Tap Delay
      •dbx Dynamics: Compressor, De-Esser
      •Effects: Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Tremolo/Pan, Rotary, Vibrato, Pitch Shift, Detune

      •19"W x 1.75"H x 7.25"D
      •5.8 lbs.

      Here's one for sale :
      Last edited by HaroldBrooks; 04-19-2020, 02:40 AM.
      " Things change, not always for the better. " - Leo_Gnardo


      • #4
        Honestly.. it’s really subjective. I’m not a modeler guy. I have a pedal board. BUT.. the last year I’ve been using one of these at jams and small gigs. I was really impressed.. especially for the money. I’ve even DIed it through the PA. Your genre and mileage may vary.. AND it’s all analog.


        • #5
          Just FX into a real amp with a big cab? Or a stand alone rig that does FX and amp/cab simulation?
          If the latter, many a pro guitarist uses a POD set up as a truly portable do it all rig thats not crazy expensive. The older HD500 versions can be had for cheap used, while the new Helix can top out at $1700 (ulp!)


          • #6
            I can get behind the multi units for their convenience. And certainly the value since most cost a lot less than buying the pedals individually. It's nothing I've ever had to deal with though because I'm from the pedal era. I already own any floor effect I could need and all the short connections to go between them. Assembling a pedal board isn't hard. Some guys like to complicate it more than they have to. Mine was a carpeted board with a 9V wall wart stuck to it. I pulled the feet off my effects and stuck HD Velcro to the bottoms. That gave me something I could leave intact for as long as I wanted to but with the option to change things too. Sure it weighs three times what a all in one unit does, but that has a stability advantage too. So we took the good with the bad and that's just how I learned to do it. Nowadays most guys like to include a tuner on their board. This makes a lot of sense since they're more accurate and affordable than they were when I was doing it. I've seen multi units with tuners, but IIRC they weren't very good, just well appointed. I guess what I'm saying is that I find the option of personal choice and customization eminently better than the "convenience" of the smaller, cheaper package. You're not going to find a multi effects unit with a modified Dunlop wah, a mid 80's ProCo RAT for the dirt box, a MXR Phase 90, a Digiteck Whammy and a custom momentary switch box to advance programs on a digital reverb but that's what mine had. Along with the usual stuff like delay and chorus. And with the homemade rig you can choose what goes to an effects loop and what goes in the front of the amp. This can be important if you want to idealize for tone. That was when my board was at full catastrophe and I was playing in a cover band with ten sets. I fussed about my tone a lot then and I'm much happier now that I just plug and play. I use amps that don't need a dirt box up front and will clean up with the guitar volume. I think I could cover most any gig with just a wah, chorus and maybe a delay pedal as a fake for amps that don't have reverb. I don't even really like chorus effects but you need one if you do a lot of covers.

            When playing out at jam nights and such and for my experience with other players rigs I think I've been most impressed by the BOSS multi effects units for tone. I suppose if all my stuff burned up in a fire I might get one and call it good enough before hunting down and paying out the nose to replace my vintage pedals.
            "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

            "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

            "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A


            • #7
              Value for money depends on how much you have to spend. A friend has a Bentley for sale and it's good value at 47,000. My budget for a car is less than 1/10th of that so it's not even a consideration. before giving any advice it's useful to know what style/genre you play and which guitars - there are acoustic multi-FX as well as electric and bass. If you're country picker then it may steer you down a different path than if you're a de-tuned staccato black metal player.


              • #8
                Be aware also that your typical multiFX unit now a days doesn't aim to merely add a touch of flavor to your basic amp/guitar/cab sound.
                Their goal is no less than single handedly and completely recreating the sound heard on many commercial albums.
                Creativity can often be complex and confusing; cloning is way more tractable in product design.


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