I saw the Boss ME-20 today...it has tons and tons of effects that you can mix and match and all that...

However, I have a few pedals that do only one thing...like the maxon that just does overdrive or verbzilla that just does reverb...and love these.

I am just curious, do people prefer these multi effect things or are single pedals regarded as better? How do you decide which to invest in?

i prefer single effects pedals i think they sound better
and give me more options to shape the tone in each effect

not to mention that i dont really need that many different effects
Single pedals are almost always going to be better, but you get waaaay more pedals in a mfx unit for the price you pay for single pedals. It depends what would be better for you. Do you play live? Or do you just jam out at home? If you want to save some money, mfx units are the way to go. But if you dont mind spending more to get better sounding single pedals, then go for it.
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Single pedals works better for some people (like myself) and some people like their MFX units. I find them too confusing myself
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and some people like their MFX units.

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Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
It all depends on preference, usage, etc. but as previously stated, single units will often sound much better because they are hard wired for a specific sound, whereas MFX are digital models based off of certain units. They can sound great, but personally, I think a Tube Screamer will always sound better than an MFX that models one.

I have a Digitech RP500, and I love using it for recording at home, I don't have to have 500 pedals or a mounted rack unit tacking up tons of space.
i prefer having multi fx or modelling amps because i use a wide variety of tones, and id rather have them all a click away versus cutting several pedals on and off and tap dancing. i find them easier to use live and im very happy with the sound quality
Personal preference... I prefer single units as I chop and change; playing with a tuner and maybe an overdrive in front of the amp, to playing with around 12 pedals. I've tried various multi-fx units from a variety of companies and find the sound is usually lacking something... often sounding too clinical or having a great overdrive but a lousy chorus or reverbs that sound like a steel drum being thrown into a cave. Or they simply aren't as versatile as they initially make out ("7650 effects modelled on popular brands and those used by the rich and famous!! nb. only two effects can be used simultaneously")
It's an opinion. It's subjective. And I'm right, anyway.
Last edited by Slap-happy at Jul 7, 2011,
Depends on the application. For jamming I prefer pedals but for gigs I far prefer fully programmable MFX. I program each patch for particular songs and write the patch numbers next to the set list. Once it's done you never have to fiddle with the settings again - and no pedal dancing required.
As for quality, there are good and bad in both formats.
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I used to be a single pedal guy, but the Boss GT-10 changed that shit real quick for me.

That said, I believe that single pedals can easily have a higher sound quality than any MFX out there, and I would obviously use single pedals for recording, but for playing live, there is nothing that can beat the massive amount of power and versatility you get with a MFX/MIDI setup. The things you can do with a Boss GT-10 and an Amp Gizmo are mind bogglingly limitless.

You can run a MIDI setup with normal pedals, but it's going to be much, much, MUCH more expensive and space consuming. Obviously if you have the means, go for it, but I, and most people simply do not.

Lastly, some people don't really need that much. I'm a versatility *****. Some people are good to go with 3 pedals. So if you only need a couple FX, it wouldn't make sense to have an MFX or MIDI, and you might as well go for a couple high quality single pedals in that case.
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I generally prefer single pedals, that said I also have a Korg AX1500G that has some really useable modulation effects. Although this will probally cause all levels of disgust on UG I prefer it's orange phaser to my small stone nano on the "orange setting" for some applications.
Last edited by ragingben at Jul 7, 2011,
I use both; single pedals cover all my dirt/fuzz/OD/octaves and I have a Line 6 M13 for modulations, filters, delays and reverbs. Oh, I also have a Line 6 Dl4, which I guess is somewhere between a single effect and a multi effect.
It'd depend on your application really. I generally prefer individual stomp boxes... I feel that they have more "character"... like unless a MFX models a Catalinbread DLS or a Fulltone OCD or a ToneCzar EchoTzar... there's no way you'll get the sounds of those pedals without the pedal in question.

On the other hand if you want a wide variety of modeled pedals, and you don't mind the fact that it might sound a little generic, then MFX are great for the slightly differing models, the programmability and the ease of transportation.

Another good point about MFX is the fact that they will sometimes "expand" on the pedal being modeled. For example, maybe a specific delay modulation built in does not allow you to tweak the depth of its modulation. Sometimes, a MFX model of the delay might have the depth as a tweakable parameter.

There're pros and cons to both... its partly a matter of preference, budget, portability and tastes.
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The cheapo ones sound weak, but you can really learn a lot about different effects and learn exactly what you want for effects.
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I have an RP1000 with my pedalboard in the stomp loop. So I can compare my pedals directly against the multifx stomps. Generally the multifx stomps sound as good as your average pedal. But higher priced pedals like the OCD do sound a little better. Also I have some favorite pedals like my DOD FX100 that has a unique sound, so I consider it to be better.

But I find that the built in stomps are very good. I don't consider so much that individual pedals are better. Just that individual pedals that you really like are better. So you may not actually find those pedals until you've spent a bit of money going through different pedals. Even with my DOD FX100 I didn't realize I liked it so much until I had tried it with some different amps.

IMO Fuzz's are not as good on my RP1000. But I have an M5 (same stomps as Pod HD500) on my pedalboard that has very good fuzz stomps.