Multi-effect vs single effect pedals

Choosing guitar effect pedals is difficult because there is not definitive place that I’ve found where one can get objective answers. Maybe this is the case because music is so subjective and styles are so varied. Playing different different guitar/ amp combinations can make a difference in the tonal qualities and even capabilities of an effects pedal.

When I started investigating effects pedals a person I knew recommended the Line 6 Pod XT Live, a multi effect pedal board. For about $400, you get a plethora of effects, amp models and a great interface with your computer. Its really an easy solution and not a bad one. However, in the last few months I’ve realized that I use very few of the effects the Pod provides. Products like the Pod require time in setting up the banks of effects to match your needs and while it gives you a lot of choices, it can be overwhelming. An important consideration for me is that I have a tube amp (Peavey Classic 30) with a good gain pedal built in. One of the main benefits of the Pod is the ability to model amps. For me, I like the sound of my amp and rarely model another amp. Perhaps if I had a solid state amp, the Pod would make more sense.

As a result, I’ve temporarily shelved the Pod and am going with a few select pedals. Right now I don’t miss the Pod much; once in blue moon I miss some of the weirder effects I’ve used on occasion, but overall, I’m more focused on getting good sound using my amp controls and feeling like I’ve simplified my life – always something worth striving for.


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