Hi, I hope someone can help me out with some tips. I'm really stuck at this moment and I have no clue where else to ask this. I've been reading a lot of posts and watching dozens of videos on YouTube, but I can't make a decision.

Bit of background:
I (27) started playing guitar around 11 years ago, but only got more serous around my 24th. 16 months ago (more or less) I bought my first electric guitar, a Jackson (looks like a Jackson Soloist xl, but I can't be sure, the last owner painted it).
Anyway, I haven't played that much. Been going through some difficult periods, and although I keep playing daily, I never play more than 15/30min.

I want to reignite my musical passion.

At this moment I have no recording equipment (other than a computer). I have no pedals, just a simple amp: Marshall MG15CFX.

I really love John Frusciante's sound on his solo album The Empyrean (distortion, reverb, wah pedal etc), but I also love a large variety of Metal/ Jazz/ Blues and so on. So I don't have a definite sound for myself.

I would like to start recording some things I've made over the last couple of months, and create some new things. I have a low budget, around €200,-.

I was thinking about buying a Boss ME-25, that way I have an audio interface, looper, pedal, fx box in one. Good for practice, and for recording.
On the other hand, from all I've read I'm not sure if it's good deal. I will be trowing money away in the long run. I could also buy an audio interface (something like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2), and start buying pedals, each month one or maybe two until I get a nice collection of sounds.

As you can see, I'm a beginner. I don't have a lot of experience on the electric guitar (a lot more on a classical guitar), but it's my main focus at the moment.

To summarize:

-Buy an multi effect pedal around €200,-, and be done for a couple of months. In those months save some money and eventually buy good gear; new guitar, amp, pedals etc.
-Or start with an audio interface and one distortion pedal, and from there on buying each month (or every other month) something new.

What do you guys think is better?
For audio interfaces, head over to the Recording forum & read the stickies. You'll find lots of advice about the hard & software you'll need to record or just use your PC as practice. Also, if you got this route, you will probably find that in the short term, you don't actually need pedals etc. You will be able to find plugins to simulate all the amps & effects you could possibly need and therefore you can experiment with your sound indefinitely without committing to any pedal purchases.

If you wanted to go the multi-fx route though, my personal recommendation would be a Zoom G3. IMO, better than the Boss and with much more functionality. Line 6 are also worth a look.

But if you're on a low budget, don't spend more than you have to. To get you started, the cheapest interface option can be had for very little expenditure, and then you can stick with free software & plugins indefinitely.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
My SoundCloud
^ This exactly. Just get an interface and start off using free software - Reaper for the recording and something like Peavey ReValver for the amp and effect simulations. Just buy what you need. The Lepou stuff is good as well and free.
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
Thanks for the advice! I haven't looked at it that way yet, but it makes sense. I only mentioned the Boss me-80, but I've seen many videos about other brands as well. The Zoom G3 seems to be very good, thanks again.

I have Reaper installed, but I need some plugins, so thanks for the tip!

That was one of my first considerations, but then I read it came out a few years ago and I reckoned the newer the better (it being digital). But I also read the Vox has a real vacuum tube, that might make a huge difference. I'm a noob..
Thanks for your advice!

edit: forgot about it, the VOX doesn't have a looper. Not that it's a deal breaker, but it imagine it's fun to play around with,
Last edited by Zenophy at Sep 22, 2015,
+1 on the G3. Zoom is the only multifx with a looper synced to a drum machine. Plus it has everything else you want.
I've found the Vox is closer sounding to the sound of real amps and it has more of that vintage vibe you're after. I think they also have newer pedals, so not sure what you refer is their newest.

I'd recommend this first:

If it is out of your budget the smaller one:

Both have audio interfaces as well so you can record with them but so does most of the competition. I wouldn't place much on the tube but as far as my ears are concerned, those sound more realistic to me than the competition, especially the Zoom and Digitech are downright horrible, the Line6 and Boss can work with more work at tweaking them.
I'll +1 to the G3. Good multi mhm.

A distortion running into an AI would probably not sound too great. If you do go the AI route you will need to get some sort of modeling software as mentioned before. The G3 would do that for you, and it can work as an AI.
So it does come to personal preference I guess. Some say the G3 is clearly better, the other calls it horrible.
I can't test them out myself unfortunately (unless the web-store accepts it back if I don't like the sounds).

I said it wasn't a deal breaker to not have a looper, but I'm starting to think it is. I'm buying this mainly for practice, but also to record. As for the practice part a looper with a drum machine will be great.
Thanks for commenting!

The Vox Tonelab EX is in my budget, it costs €199,- here ($223,-).
From what I've heard on YouTube the Vox really seems to have a great sound. Maybe it's because of my untrained ears, but I actually thought the Boss, Zoom, Line 6 (in the same price range) were also excellent.
Anyway, thanks for your comment. I think the vintage part is an important one to remember, it is a sound I like.

@Will Lane
Haha, the G3 is winning at this moment.
Thanks for the tip.


So, maybe I'll toss a coin and let 'faith' decide.
Preference is always the answer in any "what shall I buy?" thread

I like the G3, personally I preferred it to the Line 6 units I tried. Never tried Digitech though so I have no opinion about them. The G3 has more features than anything in it's price range though
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
My SoundCloud