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Effects pedals, Individual pedals or Mulit Effects?

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I'm starting to play more electric guitar and want to start playing around with some different effects but I'm torn between gettting a multi effects unit and individual pedals. I have usually taken a purist apporoach to things which makes me lean toward indvidual pedals. I like the simplicity of turning a knob and hitting a switch but I can see how that can easily lead to a very expensive and complex set up.

On the other hand it looks like you can get a fairly nice multi effects unit in the sub $500.00 range. I really am kind of smitten with the Zoom G5. It offers a lot of features and looks fairly easy to use with the added bonus of preset sounds and amp and cabinet modeling.

I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the subject?

If it makes a difference, I have a Tele and a Strat and Blues jr. amp. I also have a compression, tremelo and a couple of distorion pedals already but they aren't getting much use. I'm not ;looking to be a rock star but I'd like to have some fun.

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I have a Boss ME-70 multi-effects pedal and I love it!

It's basically like having 4 Boss stomp-boxes and an expression pedal all in one. Not to mention that it has a tuner, a looper, and sound-modeling preamp settings to mimic your favorite (really expensive) amps.

The blurb:

The Effects

The BOSS ME-70 has 8 different effects groups, and all of them can be used independently or simultaneously. Once you dial up your effect type and customize it on the front panel, you can even save your settings for each effect type.

Manual and Memory

The BOSS ME-70 pedal has 2 operating modes: Manual and Memory. In Manual mode the effects function like a floor full of stompboxes; all adjustable on the fly. Its 4 dedicated footswitches allow you to turn the essential effects groups on and off. Once you've got your sound where you want it, Memory mode lets you save the setup as a patch for instant recall. You can save up to 36, and the ME-70 comes with 36 presets to get you started. In Memory mode, the 4 main footswitches let you switch patches and banks with ease.


  • Effects Groups:
  • PREAMP: Uses BOSS COSM amp modeling technology to emulate 6 classic guitar amps
  • OD/DS: 10 distortion and overdrive effects
  • COMP/FX: Compressor, Touch Wah, BOSS Slow Gear, BOSS Defretter, Pickup Simulator
  • MODULATION: Phaser, Flanger, Vibrato, Tremolo, Chorus, Rotary Speaker, Uni-vibe, Intelligent Harmonist
  • DELAY: Phrase Loop with 38 seconds of recording time and unlimited overdubbing, Echo for up to 6 seconds in analog, modulate, and reverse
  • PEDAL FX: Wah and pitch-shifting, voice effects, modulation control via expression pedal's toe switch

  • Extras: 1-knob reverb control, noise suppressor, built-in chromatic tuner, and AUX IN jack for playing along with music

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How'do Jimbo...............i prefer individual pedals, as i only need a couple - overdrive, wah, delay, and a pedal tuner - the cost of this set-up was @ £300, so it's not the cheapest option, not always the best either - powering, connecting and routing individual pedals can be a task......

i'd go with Rolands' advice........i've not played the ME-70, i'd considered one for the last band i was in, but as i had an overdrive pedal i liked and a great wah pedal, i decided it better to add a delay pedal and a tuner to this set-up ..... the ME-70 costs @ £300 here

i did however own the Boss ME-50, i bought this when it first came out, and it's the best multi-fx unit i've used........i've used a lot of different ones over the years ! i used this for the band i was in at the time, gigged and recorded with it.........and the rest of the band liked it too, we had a second guitar player for a while, and he quickly bought one aswell.....which he still owns, and he wouldn't sell it when i asked him last year.......i only sold mine after the band had ended, and it was not getting used ( the ME-50 had no amp sim, and i was only doing home recording at the time) .....i traded it in and got an electric guitar starter package for my friend who was learning.........

i've used DOD, Zoom, Korg, Digitech, Alesis (Quadraverb + Multiverb), Boss, multi-fx - the Alesis are rack mount and more of a studio fx unit, the rest are all multi-fx stomp boxes - and the Boss is the best by far (in my opinion) build quality (like a tank) sounds, features, and ease of use all get 10/10 from me...............i'd have another ME-50, or an ME-70 any day :)


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The Zoom G5 is a very nice unit. It provides the independant stomp approach that allows FX placement in any order and duplicates of the same effect or type of effect. It also has a 60 sec looper with a synchronized rhythm machine.

Separate stomps offer simplicity and help you avoid that endless tweaking that many people find themselves performing with a multifx loaded with tons of FX. OTOH multifx like the G5 provide a audio interface that allows for direct recording. Either can produce great tones, but it does seem that separate pedals make it easier to nail them. Or perhaps it's the strict requirement that you run them directly into an amp and don't deal with amp/cab models and output configuration that make it straightforward and weed out user error.

I keep a separate pedalboard running into a tube amp handy, but find myself using the multifx at least as much. Given a limited budget or space I would probably just go the multifx route. So much packed into a tiny package.

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