MS-100BT Review

manufacturer: Zoom date: 06/05/2014 category: Guitar Effects
Zoom: MS-100BT
Overall, if you are looking for a simple Multi-FX pedal that gets the job done easily, I'd really recommend the Zoom MS-100BT.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Ease of Use: 8.5
 Overall rating:
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reviews (2) pictures (3) 9 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
MS-100BT Reviewed by: taka.perry, on february 07, 2013
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: The patches are a bit of a hit-and-miss. Some will sound great, and others will require extensive editing to sound good. You can use it as an effect chain, or just use it as one pedal in your existing rig. Editing is easy once you learn to get around the device, but as the MS-100BT only has 3 knobs and 3 buttons, it is a bit more troublesome than other Multi-FX pedals like the Boss ME-70 or Zoom G3. However, that is not to say that the sound quality is inferior, or that it is capable of less. There are two manuals online; one for using the device, and another for explaining what different effects and parameters do. Both manuals are easy to follow, and very useful. The device can also connect to iOS devices via Bluetooth, which is required to upgrade the firmware and to purchase additional effects and amp simulations. This is a real disadvantage for those who don't have an iOS device. However, the process of connecting the pedal was very simple and easy to do. // 8

Sound: I am using this pedal with a custom guitar fitted with Tesla VR-Nitro Humbuckers, and running it through a Vox Mini-3, on the BTQ Clean setting with all knobs neutral. The sound is great, provided that you play around with the settings a bit. On high-gain, there is a bit of noise, but this can be tackled easily with a noise gate. The first category, Dynamics & Filter have a bunch of different effects ranging from a simulation of an MXR Dyna Comp to a Moog LPF. All of these are quite useful, and sound pretty good. The noise reduction pedal (ZNR) is very impressive, allowing noise to be cut off without having guitar sound cut off during sustains. The next category, Overdrive & Distorion, has a pretty extensive list of different distortions. There are multiple overdrives, distortions and fuzzes. They all sound different, and some will introduce noise, but as stated before, can be tackled with a simple noise gate. One of my favourites is the MetalWRLD (simulation of Boss Metal Zone), which is very usable for that Joe Satriani lead tone. The modulations (MOD/SFX) are very extensive and I think are the strongest point of the unit. There are some really crazy effects in here that will really get you thinking creatively, including a harmoniser, bit-crusher, and a scale pitch shifter. You can really go crazy with these, as long as you remember that the unit can only handle up to 6 simultaneous effects. The last section, Delay & Reverb, holds a significant amount of different effects. There's a tape echo, reverse delay, stereo delay, among many others. There are 9 reverbs which all sound surprisingly good, considering that they're digitally emulated. The amp simulations are the weakest point of this unit, especially the DZ Drive and ALIEN. As the gain is increased, there is a high-pitch noise, which has been noticed by others across several forums. This makes these almost unusable, but hopefully a firmware update will be release in the future to fix this. The other ones are okay, but nothing special. Besides, I have an amp for a reason! // 9

Reliability & Durability: The unit is made out of solid anodised aluminium, so it quite durable. The knobs are plastic, but the buttons and footswitch is metal, so overall I think that the unit is built quite well. Although the pedal is built well, depending on the amount of effects you use live, it may prove unsuitable for live use. However, there is an option to make the footswitch cycle through patches, which is a nice touch. Because I don't find myself turning multiple effects on and off throughout a song, I would use it live at gigs without a backup. // 8

Overall Impression: Because I play a wide range of music, this pedal is great for me. I can get a nice Nirvana sound, or a Steve Vai sound, or a Rodrigo y Gabriela sound, or basically any guitar sound after a bit of tweaking. Also, as I don't own a massive amount of pedals, this pedal is kind of what I'll depend on for practising and performing. I'm a 14-year-old self taught-guitarist and have been playing for 3.5 years. If it were lost or stolen, I think that I'd get another one. I love the simplicity and the no-frills aspect of this device. I can literally plug in, and switch to my favourite patch and jam away! Sometimes I wish that the pedal had an extra footswitch, or an expression pedal. However, I understand that the pedal is made to be simple, and it executes that amazingly. My favourite feature is the simplicity of the unit, and the large (100) amount of effects that it has. Overall, if you are looking for a simple Multi-FX pedal that gets the job done easily, I'd really recommend the Zoom MS-100BT. You can tweak it a lot and get a lot of different, diverse sounds. If you don't own an iOS device, I'd think twice before purchasing it, but even without an iOS device, you can get a lot out of this little unit. Here's hoping that Zoom will release a firmware update to fix the high-pitch noise in the amp simulators.

// 9

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overall: 9
MS-100BT Reviewed by: anthonyessaye, on june 05, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Amazon

Ease of Use: Bluetooth/Extra effects: For starters I got the Bluetooth hooked up with my iPad in 1 minute, I downloaded the Stompshare app and everything was smooth from there.. What I like is that you could actually try a pedal before you buy it and I eventually ended up buying most of what I tried... What I don't like is the absence of a function which lets you control the effect chain from the iPad which would have been a lot easier for many of us. Once you plug it into the iPad it updates automatically and without any button pushes and well editing patches isn't as easy as larger pedals just because you have to actually use your hands for it but it is easy because of the supplied manual which teaches you everything you need to know. // 9

Sound: Distortion: I got to say I've seen some great distortion pedals I even have a Boss one but I said i'll give it a shot on the zoom. You would be surprised how clear the tone is.. how every twist of a know will make a huge difference... I had little or no buzzing problem, and when I had a buzzing problem BAMM I just added another pedal which is a noise gate and all my problems are solved. Delay/Reverb: I didn't like the delays much but after a while I knew how to add more effects (I'll talk about in a while) and everything seemed to work. I even tried being funky putting reverb with delays with an EQ and it still preformed top notch.

Amp Models: The ones available on the pedal are great but not to my taste they sound great, I even got that Slash GnR tone from sweet child o mine and they did sound great... Things started getting even better when I added more from my iPad, I got the tone I wanted and was looking for and still the pedal wouldn't give up on the battery.

Random Effects: I tried using a lot of weird effects just for fun, and to my surprise some are really quite fun.. You have this one pedal which gives the sound of bombs with each note, and bombs in the middle east are quite an amusing thing.. Another effect I tried is one which actually bends a chord so you play a chord and it just bends it like one step which makes it funky... Another one I used was the synth which actually made my parents think I was actually trying to learn synth. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have 3 Boss pedals and a cry baby other than this in my rig and as pretty much everybody knows Boss pedals are so durable and are as tough as diamonds. It's safe to say that Zoom has the same build quality and durability... It is built from fine metal which prevents a couple of scratches its also built in a way to protect the buttons and the screen so this also is a good thing. For power consumption, this is a beast at what it gives. The batteries that came with the pedal didn't last long, about 4 hours of play, how ever I replaced the batteries with Duracells and they seem to last about 10 hours which is great so Zoom succeeded in this. // 9

Overall Impression: Pros:
- Durable
- Battery Lasts long
- Distortion pedals are wow
- All effects sound natural
- Availability of 100 Effects on it
- Addition on more effects from iOS
- Connection through Bluetooth is smooth

- Effect Chain can not be controlled from iOS device

I play majorly rock, classic rock and this has all the effects needed and I already have a couple of pedals and with the size of one of those stompboxes it fits normally into my pedal board without any change.

I have been playing for 6 years I own Boss OD-2 and Dunlop MXR Analog Chorus and Dunlop Cry Baby and TC Electronics Hall of Fame Reverb... Sometimes and just for fun with the band I use some weird effects and we have this kind of alternative rock kind of songs which is nice. // 9

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