Right, the title should explain everything, but I'll elaborate...

Not a very original thread I know, but I'm looking for ideas regarding multi-effect units I could plug into a PA. I've been a "bedroom hero" for as long as I can remember, so most of my gear is based on that, a Hayden Mini-Mofo amp, with a number of pedals in front and some more in the loop. Recently I was unexpectedly asked to join a covers band. The Mini-Mofo isn't loud enough to cope with that - especially as we're using an awful lot of cleans - and anyway the band are using a PA already for both rehearsal and performance. I invested in a Behringer (Behringer GDI21 - don't laugh, it was well worth the £20 I paid!) guitar pre-amp and stuck it on my pedal board and so far so good...

I'm getting sick of carrying the pedal board to gigs though, especially as the band is very limited for space in the locations we're playing at, so I'm wanting to downsize. Could I get some suggestions for effects units at a reasonably low price point (say <£200) which will be good enough to stick through the PA? I'm using a lot of cleans, sometimes chorused, and while I don't need the heaviest in gain and distortion I do want as decent as possible overdriven sounds available (think rock from the 50s through to the 90s, no metal is to be played!)

I'm intending to buy new and I'm most likely to use www.gear4music.com as it's only a ten minute drive away from me. One unit I'm considering is BOSS GT-001 , has anybody got any experience with / thoughts on this?

Priorities are sound quality and ease of dialling in usable patches, then switching between them. I don't need an expression pedal as I can't use one (due to disability).

TL/DR version : recommend me a decent multi-effects unit for under £200
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Quote by My_Login_Name
One unit I'm considering is BOSS GT-001 , has anybody got any experience with / thoughts on this?

That's not what you want at all. That is a desktop unit, you need a pedal for live playing. Before this thread turns into a debate about which tube amp you should buy I'll throw out my recommendation for a boss me-80. Not very complicated and sounds great, and it has a lot of stuff in it since you never know what you'll need doing covers.

They even have a "used" one for your price point:
Do you need an amp modeller or a multi a fx unit? If the latter then look to either a Line 6 M series (the M13 usually goes for about £200) which has loads of effects and is idiot-proof or TC Electronics Nova System.

If it's the former then what you need is a Vox Tonelab (which does effects as well, but not as in-depth as the Line 6 M series or the Nova System). The Tonelab does Vox and Fender cleans very well. It's considered the best of the multi fx units to do the cleans and overdriven tubelike emulation well, and not much of metal. Check forums such as thegearpage and gearslutz for confirmation. It also has settings for PA system. Most go for under £200 as they are more than a decade old. Very simple to dial in and can save loads of patches.

If you want less pedaling, consider the Tonelab LE (the grey unit) over the SE (the large blue unit with two expression pedals). Here:

One thing to consider with multi fx units - if you want to fine tune for the PA get some cheap FRFR (full range, flat response) monitors and a power amp to get the exact representation of the sound. Otherwise, what you found sounded good going through your headphones or amplifier may sound crap through the PA system. FRFR gives you the most accurate and neutral reproduction of the sound the multi fx unit so that when you use it with a PA you are getting the same exact sound.

There are other smaller things you can do to improve the sound of old multi-fx amp modelling units - like getting the Radial Dragster - which matches the impedance of your guitar signal. Most multi fx units really chew up the tone of the guitar - the Dragster is a fairly cheap to improve the feel of directly plugging into an amp. Another is to get a cab sim IR pedal into the outputs of the multi fx units. Most multi fx units have weak cab sims, which are key to good sound. Cheap solution is to get a di box that doubles up as cab sim, a more expensive is a Logidy EPSi pedal (£160, can only be imported from the US) (which allows you to upload as many IR's as you want - check out Ownhammer if you're going this route) or the more expensive Two Note Torpedo Cab pedal (about £360).
My son and myself mess around with a floor based Boss GT-3 multi effects processor and cabinet modeler and pickup simulator. It has programmable patches. I would say that making adjustments to a particular patch while playing live would NOT be ideal, however, if you have a predetermined setlist of the covers that you know you will be playing on any given night, you could adjust the settings of (for instance) patch 1 to sound like BB King, and then Patch 2 to sound like Bruce Springsteen, and then patch 3 to sound like The Stray Cats, patch 4 to sound like James Brown, etc.....So, theoretically, (with this unit) you could have a 45 song setlist and 45 different tones and access those tones with a click of a button. The unit has a backlit display which makes it easy to see in 'lights-out' conditions and you could even name the tones you have dialed in which makes it easy to identify what tone you have accessed.
Last edited by tonysilva530 at Oct 11, 2015,
I Currently use a POD HD400 to a FRFR wedge for gigs. Sound guys love it as long as your patches are all the same volume and have a smooth EQ. It takes some time to get used to the unit but if you put your hours in, it is well worth it.