Multi-Effects Round Up

With the amount of guitar processing units now available many musicians now find a vast array of choices and features to decide upon when purchasing a multi effects unit.

Having come a long way since they first came out in the early 90s, most units now offer speaker modelling, and different effects such as distortion, overdrive, delay, reverb and others all in one convenient box.

This enables then to offer direct recording possibilities without the need to use traditional methods such as miking up an amplifier.

Most units are equally suited to live performance, some by themselves and others with the addition of external controllers.

Line 6 POD XT

Text Box:  More Info

Line 6 recently released their latest version of the POD, the XT. With more sounds and speaker cabinet models than ever, it is a popular choice for both the studio and for live use with the addition of short board controller unit.

I recently had the loan of a POD XT for several days and I was very impressed with the variety and quality of sounds, not only that but also those tones that imitate guitar greats such as Stevie Ray Vaughan or Mark Knophler are spot on.

The unit is very easy to use, and the supplied presets are an excellent starting in to make your own unique sounds.

Another option for those wishing perform live is the Flextone III amplifier, which integrates the POD sounds with a quality amplifier.

PC Software allows on screen tweaking of sounds and sharing your patches with other users through the Internet. A rack mounted version and a bass version of the unit is also available.

Behringer V-Amp 2

Text Box:  
More Info

The V-Amp is the basically a value for money version of the POD. 

It presumably uses cheaper components and a plastic case instead of the metal case of the POD.

However this does not mean that its sounds are low quality. It has speaker cabinet modelling and many effects that are arranged into presets.

Also it is supplied (unlike the more expensive POD) with a 2-button footswitch to change its presets and a soft carry case for protection.

PC Software also allows on screen tweaking of sounds and sharing your patches with other users.

A rack mounted version and a bass version of the unit is also available. The perfect unit for those on a budget.

Korg ToneWorks Ax1500g

Text Box:  
More Info
The Korg unit follows a different approach to those reviewed above, as instead of having the “kidney-bean” shape and being a desktop modeller it is a self contained floor unit.

Clearly in this format it is aimed at ease of use for live performance, with its sturdy metal case and footswitches.

Switch-able cabinet modelling is supplied for those who do not want to colour there amplifiers sound plus an impressive array of effects.

The preset layout is also very friendly as an A/B channel switch is available for each preset; this means that a total of six sounds are present per bank.

A CD-Input and Phrase trainer are also featured in the Korg unit. A number of other versions exist including the popular portable Pandora units.

Johnson J-Station

Text Box:  More Info  

Although discontinued the J-Station still has a great following, this is very evident by the large number of musicians that use and recommend it on Internet music forums

Clearly aimed at the home user for recording it has a very small footprint and even boasts a S/PDIF output for recording in the digital domain.  

With a choice of 24 amp models and many effects the J-Station is chosen by many especially as remaining stock has been blown out at very reasonable prices.

Midi control and PC software are also features of this great unit.


Hopefully this article will shed some light on the amazing array of multi-effects on currently on the market and help guitarists to make an informed choice on which unit is best for them.

By Ernest H Slade