A good guitar multi-effects pedal is a great choice for most learners who are trying to throw in some special effects along with their regular electronic guitar sound. However, these multi-effects processors are not limited to just beginners, and they have been advancing ever since their inception. In fact, multi-effects pedals are now being used by touring pros, as well as advanced learners and guitar enthusiasts.
Best Guitar Multi Effects Pedals: How do you pick one?
The best guitar multi effects pedal is the one that suits your needs the most. But the thing with needs in this scenario is – you don’t really know if you need a pedal until you actually hear it play. Then, how do you choose a pedal without knowing how it sounds firsthand? We are here to help you in that regard. First, take a look at the points that you need to consider while purchasing a multi-effects guitar pedal.
- Pedal board layout: The best boards are not the simplest ones with fewer controls, the best boards present the controls in one single, easy to use a panel that you can access on the fly and tweak even while playing live. Make sure the stomp pedal is well built and has adjustable tension to it.
- Roadworthy or not: If you plan to travel frequently and conduct live gigs every now and then, you must ensure that your multi-effects pedal comes with a solid metal case that is resistant to wear and tear. It should have an easily accessible battery case for quick power source swaps mid-performance and must be capable of handling frequent use.
- Phase Looping: If you’re into self-recording and use this feature for practice and mixing, make sure that your pedal can capture your live performance and play it back for track layering.
Finally, make sure your pedal has a USB port for easy sharing and mixing of data on a workstation PC.
Now, we have listed some of the most incredible guitar multi-effects pedals out there for you to choose from. Scroll for more.
Read our review of Best Bass Multi Effects Pedal.
Behringer Digital Multi-FX FX600Pro: Multiple 24-bit stereo effects
Con: Sound quality may differ on battery mode
Despite its small size and even smaller price tag, the Behringer Digital Multi-FX FX600 seems to pack quite a bit of power. It includes multiple 24-bit high-resolution stereo effects such as Flanger, Chorus, Phaser, Delay, Tremolo, and Pitch Shifter. Each of these effects triggers a unique and very enjoyable change in the sound produced by your guitar. Noise is kept to a minimum because of the high-resolution 24-bit signals. There are 2 additional controls to control delay time, flanger rate, etc. A blue status LED indicates power on/ off and battery status.
Zoom G1Xon Guitar Effects PedalPro: 75 effects, built in Expression pedal
Con: Tough to setup and configure
When you get 75 preset effects and a total of 100 memory locations at such a low price, your first instinct will be to suspect that there is something wrong with the build quality, and you may even think that the effects are low quality. Fortunately, the Zoom G1Xon guitar multi effects pedal is more than adequately equipped with the structural strength needed to cope with daily usage and heavy stomping. It has 100 memory locations out of which 75 are occupied by the built-in presets and 25 are open for user defined functions.
There are 14 amp models included in the device, and each amp model will cause your guitar to have a unique post-processing style sound. Up to 5 effects can be mixed together and used simultaneously, and the built-in expression pedal lets you create even more effects with the tap of your feet.
VOX STOMPLAB1G Multi-Effects PedalPro: 100 preset effects programs, up to 20 user defined functions
Con: Hard to find
While the G1Xon multi-effects pedal offered 175 presets at a sub-$100 price tag, the VOX STOMPLAB1G took it one step further, well actually, 25 steps further since this one has 100 preset effects for you to enjoy at the tap of a button. Talking of buttons, the interface has 3 giant white knobs that control gain, level, and category. Rock, blues, metal, pop- everything is supported by this little special effects powerhouse and it boasts a sound engine whose core technology is similar to that of the much more expensive VT+ series. If the 100 presets are not enough, you can always edit and save 20 of your custom presets for use at any time, during a live gig or during a studio recording.
Boss ME-80 Multi-Effects PedalPro: Eight simultaneous special-effects channels
Con: Lacks a full-time EQ module
The BOSS ME-80 is a pretty well-known multi-effects pedal in the guitar community. Partly because of the fact that it is extremely easy to use despite its rather intimidating front panel which is filled with dials, knobs, and switches. It is capable of supporting 8 simultaneous effects, and you can control the individual tone and frequency response of each of the 8 individual effects. If that is not enough, there is a storehouse of effects for you to take inspiration from, and you also get some classic COSM amps derived from the GT-100 multifunction footswitches.
DigiTech RP1000Pro: More than 160 effects, built in Expression pedal
Con: Hard to find
With its assortment of special effects, amps, and stompboxes, the DigiTech RP1000 guitar multi effects pedal is loaded with everything that a professional guitarist needs in order to set up an incredible live performance. You can choose from over 160 special effects, and control them all with the built-in expression pedal. The amps and stompbox loops use external gears, while tone, reverb, clarity, etc. are modulated by 14 heavy duty metal switches. The built in phase looper features 20 seconds of recording time, with an assortment of play, pause, and overdub functions to let you create your very own special effect on the fly.
TC Electronic Nova SystemPro: All-analog programmable overdrive and distortion
Con: Requires a lot of tweaking to get right sound
If you need an all-around performer at a reasonable price (well, slightly premium actually), then the TC Electronic Nova is something that might peak your interest. Well, it is actually quite impressive with its Nova Drive Technology which is basically an assortment of 100% analog overdrive circuits, and analog distortion circuits. There is 30 factory presets and 60 user presets for you to choose from, and there are two footswitch layouts- preset and portal. The 6 built-in effect blocks are- compression, EQ + noise gate, modulation, pitch, delay, and reverb. All of these ensure a smooth operating experience right out of the box, although you will need to tweak the settings quite a bit if you plan to do anything other than play with the built in presets.
Line 6 POD HD500X Multi Effects PedalPro: Giant collection of HD amps and effects built-in
Con: Distortion effects sound somewhat flat
No matter whether you plan on gigging or recording live at the studio, the Line 6 POD HD500X is a guitar multi-effects pedal that is designed to cover a wide variety of tonal and special-effects needs. It feels and looks premium with the professional-grade backlit switches, and the central command center is equipped with an LCD. There is a gigantic collection of world-class HD effects and amps for you to enjoy right out of the box, and if you want to create your own effects- there is nothing better than the HD500X that can help you achieve that goal. With its dynamic digital signal processing and ultra-flexible routing options, the HD500X generates unmatched sonic depth and provides a unique character to each sound. Each of the backlit footswitches is customizable, and you can assign any function you want to any switch.