Hello guys,

I am looking for a Multi FX-Processor that would give some high quality metal distortion. To be more specific I'm looking for a crispy clear metal distortion sound like you can hear on latest Metallica album (Spit out the Bone sounds so great for me).

So far the Multi FX I've heard around youtube sound all so mushy and muddy, if you know what I mean, when it comes to metal distortion (maybe its just the users who cant get a decent sound out of it).

The best covers of Hardwired I've heard so far were made through BIAS, but I would really love to get the sound out of a multi-fx processor for live playing etc.

My budget goes up to $300.

Thank you.
How about the Digitech RP500 or RP1000? I did see a video with some fairly convincing Metallica tones.
Don't trust youtube for an accurate representation of how something will sound.

When you say you're going to be using the multi-fx for live playing, are you planning on going direct in to the PA or as a distortion pedal for your amp? If the latter, what amp do you have? Multi-fx may not be the answer.
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I have a USA made Rocktron Chameleon (lizard logo) sitting unused.
I'd part with it for under $200. New they were stupid expensive.
Or keep watch on cheeseBay. If you know exactly what you want, chances are you'll find a decent deal in it.
I've found zoom g3 series pretty impressive. Would have to spend a fair amount of time twiddling to get a decent sound, as an example I find alot of the heavier amp models even with super low gain settings sound pretty overdriven.

I found the best for sounding similar to Metallica a metal sound I can appreciate through a pa is the krank revolution model. OD in front of the amp in the chain and fairly low drive settings on the amp. like 30/100 ish. also found the bit crusher later in the chain adds a nice feeling to the sound.

They are fairly cheap and can be DI'd to a PA. and can be loud as hell through a PA.
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Quote by Axelfox
With that budget I'd vote used POD HD500 or the HD500X, if you can find it in budget. It's not perfect, but it is pretty much the best MFX in that range.

The RP500 and RP1000 are okay, but I never thought the sounds were all that convincing comparatively speaking. Digitech has definitely fallen behind when it comes to MFX.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
I used to own a Digi 2112. I thought it was pretty decent. Very user friendly. And the effects and preamp were ok.
Granted, that was a long time ago, when the 2112 was released.
My PSA-1 totally burns it.
Yeah once upon a time Digitech was really up there in terms of innovation and sound quality with their MFX units. They still have a ton of standalone pedals that sound fantastic, but they haven't realeased an updated MFX unit in years, and the last RP units were the "budget" units of their day.

I had an RP350 back before they released the RP500/1000, it was fun, and for the more over-the-top sounds it worked fine (plus you got a whammy pedal built-in which was pretty expensive at the time), but I preferred the sound of modeling amps like the Valvetronix and Vypyr.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
There's currently a Rocktron Chameleon USA on eBay for $115 buy it now. That's a helluva deal on a great sounding unit.
It's the desirable "lizard logo".
You could try it out and probably make money flipping it if you didn't like it.
I own the exact same unit, and can vouche.
I have no affiliation with that seller btw. Just trying to help out.
I don't think Rocktron has made anything of note in several years.... Definitely nothing to compare to the "big names"
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
Rocktron was bought out by GHS several years ago, and moved their production to china.
Jim what's his name previous owner still works for them and is very cool dude.
But in answer to your reply, I have heard good stuff about the Prophesy. I personally would never own one.
Their USA gear, pre GHS is phenomenal. And their effects processors hold their own with any of the current top makers.
I had a chance to A/B my Replifex and Intellifex (when I had it ) against a TC G-Force. The Denmark made unit.
I could have kept whichever I pleased. Money no issue.
I sold the G-Force, and intellifex.
The former colored sound with bypass, if even slightly. The latter I sold to a friend, as it was just sitting.
My Replifex just rocks. Doesn't color on bypass. Analog out. Etc etc.
And the USA Chameleon will keep pace with any current "big names" in my opinion.
That said, I don't use mine. ONLY because I fell in love with my PSA-1, and run a MultiValve for compressor, and Replifex for effects.
Before I got the PSA-1, the chammy was my main unit.
Also, the older units all have preset spillover for delays and reverbs etc, and seamless preset switching. (No lag) with exception of the Voodu Valve. It has lag when switching presets. Never got why they left it like that.
Last edited by Diatribes at Nov 22, 2016,
And there's the "bang for your buck" factor. Said Chammy for $115 shipped...for a USA made rack unit?
You're getting a high quality rack processor, for the price of a crappy pedal.
Even if it's like 20 years old.
I know it's kind of apples-to-oranges, but what about, say, an early 80's Mesa Studio Pre?
Sometimes the old stuff is better than the new.
Looking at the Chameleon, how do you edit the thing?

I didn't look into it further than some YouTube demos but I'm confused how you would edit patches...
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
Quote by dementiacaptain
Looking at the Chameleon, how do you edit the thing?

I didn't look into it further than some YouTube demos but I'm confused how you would edit patches...

It's really quite easy, once you get the hang of it. Scroll function through effects and parameters, the scroll other knob to select edit etc.
and most rocktron gear has the same menus, so using one is simplified for using others.
I'm sure there's vids showing this process. There's manuals that can be downloaded as well.
Thanks for the explanation.

With the sound, it's hard to say exactly because the demos I heard were all aimed at very 80s sounds, which is fine, but not exactly diverse. They were also swimming in delay and chorus

The sounds I heard were pretty good for what they were, but I'd like to hear some more in-depth reviews. Maybe a few more sounds other than the squeaky clean and the shreddy Marshall sound.

I'll say, and this is without first-hand experience so I could be off base, that the Chameleon would struggle with achieving the kind of dynamics and responsiveness that I can get with my Helix, for example. It seems like for its time it was quality, but I just don't think it can hold up to the modern stuff.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
We all have our preferences with sound, and should be respected.
I just think for the cost, you could experiment.
That said, I prefer the PSA-1.
The PSA-1 offers tonal variety across the spectrum. But they're kinda spendy, and lack any effects. It's a dedicated preamp, which I also prefer.
It's going to be tough to find an "all-in-one" processor, that covers the vast spectrum of sounds.
I've had best results running a dedicated pre, and dedicated fx
See I think the HD500X would give him the variety of sounds he wants, with a high quality sound. I agree that the PSA-1 is solid kit, but as you mentioned it lacks the FX.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
If you checked more reviews of the chammy, you might have a different opinion though.
Not trying to push it one bit, but I have played with A LOT of multi effect units over a 30 year period.
Digitech Rocktron ART TC Electronics Lexicon Alesis, just to name a few.
I'm also a huge rush fan, and the chammy purrs out Alex Lifesonesque very well.
All in all, I hope the OP ends up with what the OP is looking for, not what I think is cool.
Just trying to share the lil bit of knowledge I gots
Now if we were discussing preamps, I'd challenge anyone to a duel whom spoke poorly of my PSA-1!
Thank you all for your inputs guys I appreciate. I dont actually need the distortion from the mfx for live playing, my amp gives out pretty decent sound considering distortion.

I maybe changed my preferences a bit. I'm thinking not to spend all the money on mfx processor, but to buy some cheaper one like, someone mentioned zoom g3, just for the effects and wah, and just get the BIAS FX on top of it for the distortion into headphones for home playing.

I actually got my hands on RP500, it has some really great effects, the wah pedal is sick too, but the distortion doesn't simply give me what I want. BUT im not saying the distortion is bad at all, I took a lot of hours just messing with it, and some really sick sounds can be pulled out of it (some lovely crunchy good old Marshall sound, mesa boogies - even old albums like Master of puppets or Ride the Lightning I managed to get those sounds), but i wasnt able to get the clear sound of the new albums/live sounds, it always has some additional muddiness to it, no matter how much I tweak the EQ, amp, pre distortion, compressors etc. I guess I maybe asked for too much there. And I'm a bit afraid I wouldnt come any closer with the Line 6 mfx's or the others.
I would love to check the chameleon, but google has been dead for several hours now in Czech rep, youtube too.
May I ask how you were connected to the RP500? Like, through your amp, headphones... etc?

That can make a difference. Using these units can be quite difficult and time-consuming, especially for a new-comer.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
Guitar -> RP500 -> Headphones

I have already some experience with amp sims and fx through VST's in things like Guitar Rig, BIAS, Amplitube, through which I was actually able to get much closer sound, but I really wanted to cut the "plug to pc" part out of the guitar playing process.

Working with the VST's and the rp500 seemed a lot similiar to me tbh, but yeah it's the first mfx processor I've ever used.
Gotcha. I still think the HD series is a significant jump in quality from the RP, but the Zoom units are also quality for the price.
I'm just a kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer.
I don't honestly think any multifx can achieve anything closer to that Metallica sound. This is a straight up tube amp with some overdrive, something you can get nicely with a Mesa, Laney or a Marshall. Cheapest in amp form, probably DSL40C.

In pedal form, maybe a Sansamp Classic or a GT-2 pedal...

About Rocktron - I wouldn't touch anything in their preamp range. Maybe some of the fx are ok, switching is good, but their modelling is tremendously outdated. I played in a Queensryche/Dreamtheater knockoff band in '94 and the Piranha sounded tired even back then. I've had the other units in the studio and in our rehearsal through the years and they weren't very good. They had an ultra expensive unit at the time that was the "end of all tube amps" (like the AxeFX is supposed to be now ) called the Prophecy, Dave Mustaine played that live for long time...It was OK but it wasn't $2000 good
Considering Mustaine though, his tone back then was better so maybe that Prophecy wasn't so bad

I wouldn't touch RP *anything* by Digitech...they are just awful cheesegrater sounding amp sims. Recorded quite a few over the years and hated every minute of it. The HD Line6 units are OK but I wouldn't really tout them as metal tone machines...neither the Boss GT range...they're OK at best. Like someone mentioned - the PSA-1 by Sansamp eats all these for breakfast.

If you don't want to buy an amp and want to try pedals - the Sansamps as I mentioned above, the IRT Pulse by Laney might be a good starting point.

Software - you can probably get that with an Amplitube Plexi or Marshall emulation, maybe even with Poulin Hybrit (free) and NadIR speaker impulse loader with some of the Kalthallen free Marshall cab impulses. Some mild compression and overdrive might be needed to seal the deal, you can dial these in software form.
diabolical - yeah thats what I experience with Digitech RP500 when it comes to metal distortion. Its either too muddy, greasy, once I get out of that, the tone gets god damn thin. But the other effects are good, I started to like the Wah pedal very very much actually. I compare it to mine Vox 847-a where the pot gets scratchy all the time and the range sucks.

Now im using the RP500 as an audio interface for BIAS FX. BIAS is really the shit to get for this kind of distortion, I was able to get it with no sweat.
Last edited by davidkoh007 at Nov 30, 2016,