As far as guitar multi-effects units go, Zoom has never really been seen as one of the premium manufacturers like Line 6 or BOSS. However, they do have a history of producing pedals that are practical and affordable; and the G3X is one such pedal which seems to pack in quite a bit of value for money in small package. I recently had the chance to test run this pedal and discover its many pros and few cons myself.
When Line 6 released the POD HD500 way back in 2010 they bridged the gap between the sonic capabilities of a big, bulky and hugely expensive rack-type effects unit and the portability of a multi-effects pedal. And with the POD HD500X Line 6 has offered some minor, but very well thought out changes that really positions the POD series in a class of its own.
Line 6 has always been a company at the forefront of the guitar world’s latest technological innovations. From high quality amplifiers to powerful multi-effects processors, the company has delivered consistently in terms of quality and innovation. And with the AMPLIFi FX100, its latest member of the forward-thinking AMPLIFi range of products, Line 6 seems to be stepping into the future of guitar effects processors. If this step is a hit or miss, however, remains to be seen as I delve into a detailed review of the AMPLIFi FX100.
There are three main qualities that factor in when creating a great multi-effects unit: sound quality, versatility and simplicity. No one can deny that the multi-effects units available on the market today have come a long way in terms of sound quality and versatility. But the one area that most of these units fall short at is simplicity. However, Roland seems to be nailing it of late with its BOSS ME series multi-effects units. Today I take a look at BOSS’s latest offering, the ME-80.
Over the years multi-effects processors have gone from being the excitable disappointments of the guitar world to becoming a series part of any guitarist’s arsenal of equipment. And over the past few years DigiTech has been a serious player in the multi-effects processor market offering guitarists units that are easy to use, affordable and versatile. Today I take a look at DigiTech’s latest upgrades to its iconic RP series the RP360 and RP360XP; both which pack in some serious effects and functionalities into a handy-sized package.
The DigiTech Element and Element XP are two of DigiTech’s more recent offerings that are both affordable and versatile. Both these pedals are jam packed with hundreds of effects and amp and cabinet modulations, and come complete with a built in tuner and drum machine. The only difference between the two is that the Element XP comes with an expression pedal and four additional expression-based effects.
Digitech’s iPB-10 is in many ways a sign of things to come. In this age where there is an app for everything, it was only a matter of time before technology-toting guitarists were treated to a multi-effects unit like the iPB-10. The basic idea is simple: combine the body of a traditional multi-effects pedal with the brains and user interface of an amp and effects modeling iPad app – allowing for one amp model, one cab model and ten stompbox effects working simultaneously. But is this is an inspired idea that represents the future of guitar multi-effects, or a half-baked concept that should have been left on the drawing board?
The Fender Mustang Floor is what you get when you rip the amp-modeling and effects-laden processor from a Mustang III/IV/V amp and stick it into a sizable multi-effects style floor unit. The result might not have the overwhelming number of amp models and effects you’ll find with many options on the market, such as the Zoom G5, but when it really comes down to it, do we need hundreds of amp models and effects, or should we be more concerned about the quality of the sounds offered? Does Fender’s entry into the world of effects pedals fall short of the competition, or simply remind us of the importance of quality over quantity?
Bigger isn’t always better. Well, that’s what we tell ourselves. Since we can’t always afford the fully stocked, top end effects pedals (what did you think we were talking about?) with footswitches, buttons and dials covering every square inch of their goliath surface area, compromise is often necessary. Line 6’s M13 is the biggest of the M-series, but unless you’re very serious about your multi-effects, the choice is likely between either the mid-sized M9 or the compact M5. The M5 may be a little poorly-endowed in terms of footswitches, but it still has plenty to offer – packing a lot of the same core features in a considerably more affordable package. But is it really worth it, or in this case, does size really matter?
If Goldilocks were to choose a Line 6 POD HD series pedal, she would undoubtedly moan about the abundance of pedal switches and the sheer mass of the 500 and whine about the relative daintiness of the 300. The 400 falls right in the middle, the Goldilocks-zone for multi-effects pedals. In terms of price, size and functionality, it aims to strike a balance to suit players who play live, but don’t have the bankroll to splurge on the HD500.