We wanted to take a look at some of the most popular digital multi-effects pedals for electric guitar players that are on the market today. We whittled our list down to the five that we thought were among the best due to their price, number of features/effects that they contain, and user-friendliness.
Line 6 HD500X
The main difference between the Line 6 HD500X and its predecessor, the Line 6 HD500, is that the X has multiple foot switches. These switches have a red light that surrounds them, so if you’re playing onstage or in a dark studio you can see what effects you have switched on and can easily change or alternate between effects with your foot. Personally, I think that this is a great improvement because you don’t want to be turning on the wrong thing when you’re playing in front of people or recording live.
Digitech RP 1000
The Digitech RP 1000 is a popular multi-effects pedal, and I can see why. One of the coolest features of this product is that it has built-in effects that are based on popular pedals. You can also preset your tone so that you don’t have to waste time fidgeting around to get the sound that you want. I’ve definitely played in front of an audience and wanted to change sounds from one pedal to another mid-song and believe me, it isn’t pretty. Something like the Digitech RP 1000 would be a welcome addition to my setup.
Line 6 Pocket Pod
There really isn’t much more I can say about the Line 6 Pocket Pod except that it is just plain cool. With built-in custom effects created by world class musicians, you can sound like your favorite bands and artists. On top of that, it is battery powered and can attach to your belt. That means that you can play almost anywhere and it lends you a lot of flexibility if you like to jump around when you play on stage.
Boss has really improved their multi-effects pedals over the years, and the ME-80 is their most recent model. Like the Digitech RP 1000, the Boss ME-80 allows you to have preset tones (something that wasn’t available on older ME models). There are some really cool effects on this pedal that weren’t present on its predecessors, like Tera Echo, which is a modulated delay effect. Boss is a pretty decent company (if you even have a remote interest in electric guitar playing, I’m sure that you’re familiar with their DS-1 drive pedal, which has been a perennial favorite since the 70s), so the ME-80 is definitely something to check out.
This might be my favorite multi-effects pedal that we looked at. Not only does it have a number of really awesome features, like 123 different pedal effects and 22 amp and preamp model simulators, but it also has other really neat effects like tape delay simulators, different room/hall simulators, etc. It even has tube boost for soloing. One thing that I really like about this product is that the foot pedal (called the “Z pedal”) can go side to side, which is great for comfort and also allows you to preset different sounds/effects based on how the pedal is positioned. I wasn’t in the market for a new multi-effect pedal, but I think that the Zoom G5 may be calling my name.
There you have it, folks! We hope that this list helped you narrow down your search for a multi-effects pedal that is right for you. Let us know what you end up choosing on Twitter at @GetUnboxed.