M9 Stompbox Modeler review by Line 6

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (24 votes)
Line 6: M9 Stompbox Modeler
1

Sound — 9
My rig is a Fender strat into a Vox AC15. I use my M9 for all my delays, reverbs, modulations, filters, and looping. The delays sound great, and there are enough to capture almost any tone you're looking for. The modulations are great too, featuring phaser, flanger, chorus, tremolo, vibe, and Leslie tones. Some of the distortion models are very nice, but aren't excellent. The distortion models are the weak area of the M9. Filters sound great, I use the Voice Box model to play Sonic Youth's "The Diamond Sea". The M9 definitely excels at delays, reverbs, modulations and filters. The Compressor models are also very nice, but the dirt models aren't the best. IMO, it's ideal to use your favorite analog dirt stompboxes alongside the M9 if you can, it'll give you the best tones all round.

Overall Impression — 9
I play lot's of different genres of music, and the M9's versatility is a perfect match for my eclectic taste. I can go from gritty blues rock to swirling shoegaze to stripped-down Indie to atmospheric post-rock in half an hour, and the M9 can handle it all. I've had the M9 for about 4 months now, and it's definitely become an irreplaceable part of my set up. I rely on it for quite a bit of my sound, basically anything that isn't just completely clean or fuzz. I love that it's incredibly versatile, easy to use, and has so many effects available.

Reliability & Durability — 9
The M9 is built extremely well, I'm sure I can depend on it for a very long time. It's in a nice metal enclosure that could definitely survive getting beat up on the road. The screen is small, thereby having a better chance of survival. It also seems pretty tough. I would definitely gig the M9 without a backup. In fact, I'd have no qualms about only taking my M9 to a gig. Not only could it handle all the tones I'd need, I have no worries it could survive.

Ease of Use — 9
Although the M9 is a multi-effects unit, it is very intuitive to use, and is designed to act more like a pedalboard than your regular multi-fx unit. It has 6 'scenes' which are like 6 separate pedalboards containing 6 pedals of your choosing. The looper is also very intuitive. Surprisingly, there's very little tap-dancing involved, unless you're doing lots of looping and scene-switching. Editing patches is very easy, you just have to turn the knobs located below the screen. The effect 'types' are colour-coded to let you know at a glance what kind of effect each is. The manuals are very helpful. One explains general functionality, and is more like the regular owner's manual. Then, there's a separate booklet that helps explains each effect, and it's unique characteristics.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    guitarsftw
    This was a great idea. Once I get a tube amp, I'm throwin' one of these bad boys in the effects loop. I do agree with the fact that the distortion models aren't top notch, but you can't expect great distortion to come digitally (there are SOME exceptions).
    COBHC728
    I own this product, and I think it has its ups and downs. The digital effects DO sound great, but when placed in the effects loop, I feel that they add a little too much color to the tone, even with the true bypass. However, when placed in the front end of the amp, it gives great sound, and absolutely no tonal coloration problems.
    Dougieg
    I have recently switched from the Boss Gt10 to the m9,and enjoy it so much more. The M9 is simple no amp models,or multiple setting to tweek your sound. I would say the tones of the M9 are second to none aswell.
    yojimbo9999
    I agree with Dougieg. I have both units too, and found the Boss GT10 to tinny and digital sounding, and the overall not as user friendly. The M9 has genuine "stompbox" feel, AND is just as tweakable as the GT10 in terms of setting up presets.
    IAMTHESHOTGUN
    I just purchased this unit a week ago and IMO this thing is sic!!!! I was using the Boss ME70, it was cool for a split second, I liked the fact that you could run and control it like stompboxes. But most of the effects and the looper are weak!!! But the M9 on the other hand has mindblowing sounds, a nice looper and you can control it like a stompbox or a multi-fx unit. PERFECT!!! Just on the pre-sets alone i was already blown away. I found running it from my fxloop was the best way for the best sound. I use distortion straight from my amp(Mesa Triple Rec = Hi Gain )and it seemed to drown out the fx when I ran it from the front end. Anyone looking to get a Multi-fx unit the M9 or the M-13 is def the way to go.
    yamisan
    Have M9. Delays GREAT, Verbs GREAT, Filters FUN, Chorus/Trems does the trick for us who uses them only from time to time, Drives/Dists not so good, throw in a real ts-808 and combine with some dist/drive on the m9 and your there. Looper as always--> fun,great and useful for practicing and songwriting.
    ai_dee
    I have a question about sound processing in m9 and m5, is it the same? Did anybody compare them?
    eddbolt
    spent a few hours with the M9 last weekend, was dissapointed to be honest, couldn't combine more than 3 effects at once. Overall sound quality was a little bit brightly coloured. Some fantastic effects though, you can make some increadible sounds with this baby. As a dedicated multiFX unit I think it is insufficiant, probably a great addition to an already established Pedalboard. Just bought the Nova System, It walked all over the M9
    BurstbuckerHoe
    On the Line 6 M9 I did a lot of research on this unit before buying. I knew it could only do 3 effects and that the distortions and overdrives were mediocre at best. But I am pretty happy with the pedal. I combine it with a ISP decimator, MXR custom badass overdrive, and BBE Soulvibe. the delays are great, the reverbs are not as versatile as I would have hoped, all the phaser flanger modulation stuff is not great but usable, I like the rotory horn ( for that intro to 'it dont come easy' sound) Our band does everything from Rage to James Brown I have used it at about 20 gigs, never had a problem. The looper is good, but THE BEST AND MOST HELPFUL THING THAT MOST REVIEWS MISS is the pitch shifter which you can set to tune your guitar down from anywhere to down 1 octave to up 1 octave. You can also customize the octive volumn to make your guitar sound like a 12 string. And if you wanna jam along to GnR you dont need to change your guitar's tuning. It has good eq options when you need your strat to cut through the band for solos. The compressors stink BTW. So for me it definately fills out some needs and saves space on my pedalbrd, and makes it lightter to carry, but it is not and end all and be all. If your picky like me, this will not satisfy your every desire.