I've been thinking about a new multi-FX unit as individual stompboxes were always a lot of messing around and took more space on a cramped stage. I also liked being able to tweak patches for different songs. I don't mind staying with patches but I've also now settled on a handful of effects I use so I'd also appreciate something more simple. I don't use amp modeling at all. So far I've rejected a few:
GT-100 - Does everything I need but digital drive effects like overdrive are usually awful on these things and it has a lot on I don't need.
Nova System - Annoyed me not having the 4CM and I believe there's also a latency issue.
G-Major - Too much messing around
G-System - Too expensive
M13 - poor drive effects
That leaves me with two serious options and I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts:
Carl Martin Quattro
All of the effects I use and all of them analog and very high quality. The only thing I'd need to buy in addition to this is my favourite Wah pedal (Mark Tremonti Wah). This should come to a total of about £520
Not decided yet on exactly what I'd go for but this should give you an idea:
Blackstar HT-Dual = £150
TC Electronic Delay (used) = £100
Digitech Chorus = £50
MXR Compressor = £70
Mark Tremonti Wah = £120
This comes to a total of £490 but once you buy a power supply and pedalboard it would probably cost much the same as the Carl Martin option, if not a bit more.
I'm sorely tempted with the Carl Martin Quattro and separate Wah but I'm hesitating because I know absolutely nothing about them.
Not really relevant to your questions, but I'm currently selling a Tremonti Wah...
You said you want one... 2+2 = both get our needs?
you always want to go for individual pedals. unless you are in a pro covers band and need more effects than you can carry.
as far as your board goes... its a good set. ebay will be your friend!!
I prefer individual pedals because it keeps the system modular. easy to troubleshoot, easy to fix or replace one peice. easy (read: possible) to take something out of the loop when there is a failure.
can't do any of this with multi fx units. when they're down, you pretty much just need a new one.
Also, I agree with the guys...
Idevidual pedals are always the way forward, for me at least.
Like they said, when something is down, you can just replace it/take it out the chain, and carry on using the rest of the rig
If you can live without midi control, check out the RP1000 as well.
Edit: Haha, I just saw your sig and it says you already have an RP1000. Wouldn't it be a bit redundant to get another mult-effects unit?
I'll sell the RP1000 to help fund this. The RP1000 is really good in places but less than stellar in others. It's main problem is the usual problem with multi-fx - almost anything that goes before your amp is only 'OK' at best while effects in the loop are fine. I quite like the delay, chorus and flange effects I use on the RP1000 and I haven't missed the individual effects I used to have at all but overdrives, distortions, compressors and wahs are all much worse on the RP1000 than they were using individual effects. I think that's why I've discounted things like the GT-100.
I suspect that using Ebay I could get the four effects that appear on the Carl Martin for less than the Carl Martin Quattro would cost. The Blackstar HT-Dual would be the most and the Delay is likely to be a bit but you can get a perfectly decent MXR Compressor for £50 I would think and the Digitech Chorus would be perfectly OK and that's only about £50 new! Only two things put me off going back to individual stompboxes:
1) When I've used them in the past it's been a pain in the backside making sure that they all work properly together. Sometimes, certain pedals just don't work as well as you'd hope with other pedals and it gets frustrating quickly. I had that problem more than once with my old pedalboard and with a multi-fx, that has just never been an issue.
2) Once you factor in a pedalboard, velcro tape, power supply and cables, the cost soon racks up and on top of that, it tends to take up more precious space on the very tight space you have to play in when you're performing in a pub.
That said, I like the better quality effects you get and the simplicity, which is why the Carl Martin Quattro appeals so much. It's simply 4 effects with a couple of simple controls for each one. All four of the effects are fully analog so unlike other multi-fx units, it's more like four individual Carl Martin stomboxes kept within the same housing. Being Carl Martin and being analog, they should be very good indeed and there is no risk of one not working well with another. Against that of course, you have the extra expense in the initial purchase and the risk of a failure that ruins the whole unit, though I suspect that's doubtful based on their reputation when I read reviews. It's really a difficult choice because of what the Carl Martin is. It's just not like a normal multi-fx.
Another option: Buy an OD pedal (for drive sounds) and a multi FX pedal for modulation, delay, etc. And do you use your amp's distortion? Try that. You might not need any pedals for distortion (and if you need, try boosting the drive channel with an OD pedal).
That thought did cross my mind and on the RP1000, that is actually what I do. I never use the full distortion pedals on the RP1000 because I always use my amp's drive channel but I do use models of overdrive pedals to tighten things up a bit (Gain on zero and level on maximum). If I need any more saturation I simply use an overdrive model with a bit of gain added. If I did as you suggest, I was looking at the Blackstar HT-Dual as it would give me another option but the Carl Martin Quattro appeals because, not only is the overdrive analog, there are also two of them :)
The Carl Martin seems nice never heard it in person though.
M13 with a separate OD or two could be a very good option. The unit is flexible, built in noise gate, can use 4CM if you want, can have outboard pedals anywhere in its chain (using its FX loop), and most of the effects are really good. Last time I was messing with mine I ended finding a Tube Driver setting that sounded almost exactly like the OCD setting I was using. And the Screamer is actually a very good model. Really good unit IMO, and fairly cheap, especially if you get it used.
Now that's interesting, thanks. I was put off using an overdrive with the M13 because it seemed to defeat the purpose of having a multi-fx system but it may be the way to go. As you have an M13, I wonder if I can ask you a few questions:
1) Is there a Wah effect there that I can control from the optional expression pedal and if so, is it any good?
2) What are the Compressors like? On the RP1000 I don't like them as they're very noisy so I have to use a noise gate, which is also awful. It just doesn't react like a proper compressor and doesn't offer anything like enough sustain.
3) If the setup is noisy, what is the noise gate like? Is it effective and does it kill your sound? This is important because it may mean that one of my chosen effects may always have to be a noise gate so effectively I'm down to only three.
4) Does it take any tone? I find on the RP1000 I have to use an EQ on every patch to give it life so potentially, that may have to be used all the time too so now I'm down to only two available effects.
It strikes me that if the overdrives don't work very well, the Compressor is poor and I'd need to use a noise gate and EQ on every patch, the M13 just isn't worth it. I'd be better with a smaller unit for modulation effects (M9?) and keep the rest as conventional pedals. The same logic would apply to the GT-100 I guess.
To be honest, I was pretty much set on getting the Carl Martin and in many ways it is the best but I just realised that there is no rotary control for setting the time on the delay. It has to be done using the tap tempo. This puts me off partly because I'm in a covers band where I tend to use a lot of delay and a lot of the songs have differing speeds so I can see myself tap dancing on the tap tempo switch to be changing things for every song, especially some of the medleys we do. The second reason is that surely with a tap tempo, it's more difficult to set a fast speed on the delay. I just tried playing every song I use delay on with tap tempo and I didn't like it, though that may be because I'm not used to it. I'm guessing that in reality you wouldn't try changing things as often as I did (every song), nor would you only try to set it once the song has started and you know the speed. It seems to me that I'd have to take a guess at the speed before the song started and then adjust it in the song if I get the chance, though multi-tasking isn't my forte so if I tried that I may either mess up my playing or fall over!
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