B1X review by Zoom

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 5.9 (9 votes)
Zoom: B1X
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Price paid: $ 60

Purchased from: Audiomusica (a big Chilean store)

Sound — 7
You can get a decent sound out of pretty much ANY effect if you know how to use it. The only bad ones in my opinion, are the Auto-Wah and the Vox Wah (which change the sound way too much), the Ring Mod (which sounds horrible and way too loud, lacks a mix setting) and the Mono Synth (unresponsive, slow). Some other effects don't always sound good, like the ODB-3 which lacks low end - but you can get around that by changing the "Mix" value between the raw and distorted signal. Most of the simulated effects and cabs won't sound exactly like the original, but that's something you'd expect from a cheap unit. Most of the factory preset patches sound pretty mediocre, I wouldn't actually use those on a song, or live. At home, I play only with this and headphones and it sounds still great, I've even tried connecting it directly to my computer and the sound was just as good. When using it with an amp, you might find that it's pretty loud - you can turn down the master volume of the unit using the same knob you use to adjust values, while in "Play" mode. Personally, I mainly use 3 patches: My normal tone using the Hartke cab sim, a "clean lead" tone using heavy reverb and chorus and a "dirty lead" tone using the Fuzz Factory sim. I also have other patches to mess around, such as one that uses the whammy to tune the bass a fourth down, like a 5 string bass. In short, it sounds good if you use the effects right. Don't use the factory patches.

Overall Impression — 7
This pedal is pretty good for beginners: Cheap, easy to use, versatile and sounds good. The expression pedal differentiates it from the B1 unit, and adds quite a bit of playability. It handles pretty much any kind of tone very well, I play in a metal band which covers mostly Metallica and Ozzy songs and I can get fitting tones for that, along with the Fender Rumble 100 available on the rehearsal room we rent. Before this, I only had a Behringer UZ400 which I used for a fuzzy tone, but the Fuzz Factory available in this unit is far better and less muddy. The expression pedal leaves a bit to desire, definitely you shouldn't get this just for the Wah. And you shouldn't get it for the Synth either - it's unresponsive and sounds bad. If it were stolen, I might buy another or if I had the money, buy the real effects it simulates - the sound would be better most likely.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Since I got this, I've used it in every single rehearsal with my band. It's plastic encasing is actually very sturdy - I would use it in a gig, for sure. One con is actually the same one I mentioned earlier - setting effects on or off with the expression pedal doesn't always work, making that feature pretty unreliable - exactly why I don't use the pedal often.

Ease of Use — 8
Like any other multieffects unit, it might seem hard to use at first, but after a quick glance at the manual, it's very easy. To edit a patch, you choose it, roll the knob in the top-left corner to pick an effect, and edit it with the value knob. Then you press "Store" to save the patch. The manual is very detailed, and explains every single function, and effect very well. The only real complaint I'd have about it is that, though you can use the expression pedal to activate or deactivate the effect it's assigned to, it takes a real hard press and it doesn't work at times. You may calibrate it, but if it's too "soft" you may, say, accidentally deactivate a wah or whammy effect while using it.

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