10 Best Multi-Effects Pedals In 2021 (Budget to High-End)

Best Multi-Effects Pedals

Are you a new guitarist looking for an all-in-one pedal to practice on a budget?

Or are you a professional guitarist looking for an alternative to your expensive, vintage guitar rig to take on the road?

Though multi-effects pedals have been around for decades, the technology has really caught up in the last 5 years or so, to where just about every large effects company is releasing their own multi-effects unit.

But with so many great products creating a nearly saturated market, how are you supposed to pick out the best multi-effects pedal?

We’re here to help you do just that!

Snapshot: Top 10 Multi-Effects Pedals

  1. Keeley Dark Side WorkstationBest High End Option
  2. TC Electronic Plethora X5
  3. Eventide H9 Core
  4. Line 6 POD GoBest for Live Performances
  5. NuX MG-300Best Budget Option
  6. Boss GT-1Best Under $200
  7. Fishman ToneDEQBest for Acoustic
  8. Zoom B3nBest for Bass
  9. Zoom G1X FourBest Under $100
  10. Line 6 HX StompBest Overall

Picking the Best Multi-Effects Pedal for Your Playing and Budget

No other type of guitar gear has evolved so rapidly in the past few years than multi-effects pedals. They have evolved so much that they have practically reshaped the world of guitar effects AND amplifiers, as many multi-effects pedals also include amp and cabinet modeling.

It’s because of this wide array of capability that the definition of “multi-effects pedal” isn’t as cut and dry as it once was.

For the sake of narrowing my scope, I chose to focus on pedals that include more than one type of effect. That means pedals with six different types of delay weren’t considered for this list. If a pedal had 20 types of delay as well as an overdrive effect thrown into the mix, then we were in business.

I chose to focus on pedals as opposed to rack units (as well as large pedal board units like the Helix Floor). These types of units are worthy of their own article.

What is so exciting to me about multi-effects pedals is that these manufacturers are making units for every type of player from the beginner, to the effects only user, to the full-blown rig in a box player. I included pedals of all types (and all budgets) on this list.

Without further ado, it’s time to check out the best pedals with multiple effects and beyond!

The Best Multi-Effects Pedals in 2021

1. Keeley Dark Side Workstation – Best High-End Multi-Effects Pedal

Keeley Dark Side Workstation Analog Multi-Effects Pedal
  • Epic Big Fuzz Multi Head Tape Delay Rotary/Flanger U-Vibe/Phaser

It’s no surprise that boutique pedal pioneer Robert Keeley created one of the best (and first) analog multi-effects pedals, and he chose to focus it around the sound one hears on “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd.

Build

The Dark Side was specifically designed to emulate the effects that David Gilmour used on the classic Pink Floyd record and includes Flange, Rotary, Phase, U-Vibe, Delay, and Fuzz all in one pedal. Unlike most of the pedals on this list, the Dark Side is partially analog and is combined with a 24-bit DSP engine for the modulation effects.

You can plug in an expression pedal, as well as change the effect order with some creative patchwork.

Controls

This is only one of two pedals on this list that doesn’t have a screen – just good old fashioned rotary knobs and switches. The pedal is split into two sides, with one side housing the Big Muff style fuzz, and the other side housing the multi-head delay and modulation effects.

The three way toggle lets you choose between Flange or Rotary (Left), Delay (Center), and Phase or Univibe (Right). The Blend control lets you choose between the effects even further. For example, with the switch set to Flange/Rotary, adjusting the Blend knob to the left would result in Flange, and setting to the Right creates a Rotary effect.

Beyond that, there are controls for the Rate and Depth of your effects, as well as a dedicated set of Filter and Fuzz controls for the Fuzz effect.

Sounds

You don’t have to be a fan of Pink Floyd to enjoy this pedal (though, you can’t do much better if you’re in a Floyd tribute band), as these tones are highly sought after for a number of different applications. The Flanger could be justifiably compared to an EHX Electric Mistress, which can go for hundreds on its own on the vintage pedal market.

The multi-head delay has 12 different rhythms, making it a great sound for experimentation. Finally, the Fuzz is just awesome. If you’re a fan of Big Muff style fuzzes, this makes the pedal worth getting alone.

Spec Summary

  • Type: Multi-Effect
  • Signal: Digital/Analog Hybrid
  • Power Source: 9V
  • Dimensions: 6.75 x 4.37 x 3.25
  • Features: Multi-Modulation, Analog Big Muff style Fuzz, Expression pedal functionality

David Gilmour tones in a box

Final Thoughts on the Keeley Dark Side Workstation

Though none of us will ever sound exactly like David Gilmour, the Dark Side gives us as much of an opportunity as we can ask for. I was amazed at the range this pedal had when it first came out years ago, and now it’s one of the tamer multi-effects pedals. Despite this, the Dark Side will continue to age well with its top-notch build quality and focused theme.

2. TC Electronic Plethora X-5

TC Electronic Pedalboards (PLETHORA X5)
  • Highly-flexible TonePrint pedal board with simple, intuitive controls

If the Dark Side was a bit much for you to wrap your head around, it only gets more complex from here as we move onto the Plethora X-5 by TC Electronic. This pedal aims to work as your standalone pedalboard or as an integral feature in your rig.

Build

The Plethora X-5 is the newest offering from TC Electronic that came out in early 2020. It was designed to include all (well, almost all) of the TonePrint effects under one, customizable roof. As of just this week, the newest firmware (version 1.2) was released so that the X-5 now includes ALL TonePrint pedals, as well as speaker simulations among other updates.

It has an onboard effects loop so that you can wire other pedals into the unit, or run four-cable method to run certain effects into your amp’s effects loops. It also had an input for an expression pedal, MIDI, as well as TC’s MASH technology.

Controls

While the X-5 is a powerful unit, TC designed it to be user friendly with easy to read screens. Using the five footswitches and five parameter knobs, you can effectively program up to 127 “pedalboards” with up to five pedals per board that can be routed in any combination. Each of the five footswitches comes with MASH technology, which can be tied to any parameter on an effect so that when you hold the footswitch down, the effect changes in some way.

There is a switch for Play/Edit settings, as well as a switch that lets you navigate between boards. This can now be achieved by holding down the first two footswitches as of the newest firmware update.

Sounds

The Plethora X-5 has every TonePrint pedal ever released by TC, with each of those pedals having 75 presets available for you to use. This makes the X-5 an incredibly dynamic multi-effects pedal with effects including delay, reverb, fuzz, distortion, modulation, and everything in between.

If you want to create your own sounds, you can utilize the same TonePrint app that was used in all their single effect pedals to design your own custom tone. Even with all these effects, TC made sure to not intrude upon your amp/board sound so there are no artifacts or other wonky digital noises to worry about.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Multi-Effects
  • Signal: Digital
  • Power Requirements: 9V DC (600mA)
  • Dimensions: 11.73 x 4.57 x 2.09
  • Features: Tuner, IR, Legacy TC Electronic Pedals, MASH, TonePrint

The ultimate, miniature pedalboard from TC

Final Thoughts on the TC Electronic Plethora X5

While many multi-effects pedals include amp modeling, TC has focused on effects with this in a way that makes it stand out from all the other all-in-one boxes out there. The new firmware has some much needed improvements (most notably the cabinet simulators), making this a great option for those looking to utilize their tube amps while slimming down their pedalboard.

3. Eventide H9 Core

Eventide Multi Effect Processor, White (H9 CORE)
  • The H9 Core can run all of the effect algorithms from our TimeFactor (delay), ModFactor (mod), PitchFactor (pitch), and Space (reverb) pedals as well as some created just for the H9. Sold separately.

Another early innovator of multi-effects processors is Eventide. The H9 series continues to pop up on touring musician’s pedalboards since its creation over five years ago and provides unique, one of a kind harmonizer effects under one roof.

Build

Based on original Eventide H910 and H949 Harmonizer rack units, the H9 Core is a multi-effects pedal that wears the disguise of a single effects pedal. This is one of the reasons it is still used by many guitarists today, despite the fact that it is no longer the most powerful multi-effects pedal around.

There are three models of the H9 (the Core, Harmonizer, and Max), but all that separates these pedals apart is the amount of DSP/effects inside them. The Core is the most streamlined and comes with 25 factory presets to get you started. It has its own built in tuner, as well as MIDI and Expression connectivity.

Controls

Eventide keeps things as streamlined as possible with the H9. The pedal has one large wheel with lights around it called the “Encoder” wheel. This control lets you dial in tempo, select presets, adjust preset parameters, and more that can be unfolded in the manual. This wheel is surround by 5 “radio” buttons (X,Y,Z, Hot Knob, and Preset). X,Y, and Z adjust the parameters by pressing them and then adjusting with the encoder wheel.

The Hot Knob works as an onboard expression pedal, and the Preset button turns the encoder wheel into a preset selector. The two footswitches act as bypass and tap tempo switches among other functions.

Sounds

The H9 sounds like you have an entire pedalboard in one small, easy to use pedal. While many multi-effects units try to emulate classic circuits, the H9 has sounds that are 100% original to their brand including the TimeFactor (delay), ModFactor (mod), PitchFactor (pitch), and Space (reverb) pedals.

These algorithms are truly unique and can offer shimmering delays, Leslie speaker modulation, and cosmic reverbs. The H9 even has a new “Crush Station” set of overdrive sounds that can be purchased separately.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Multi-Effects
  • Signal: Digital
  • Power Requirements: 9-12V DC
  • Dimensions: 5.25 x 4.65 x 1.96
  • Features: Tuner, MIDI, Stereo Output, Multiple effects, H9 Control App

Every style of effect you’d want in a small box

Final Thoughts on the Eventide H9

The H9 is the smallest and arguably strongest multi-effects pedal on this list in terms of how many effects it offers at such an awesome quality level. This is a great swiss army knife pedal for a larger pedal board that will give you any effect you want, no matter what the gig asks for and it can be easily integrated into your rig.

4. Line 6 POD Go – Best Multi-Effects Pedal for Live Performances

Line 6 POD Go Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal
  • Simple interface with large color display

This isn’t the “Red Bean” POD that you may have read about (though this is a seriously underrated piece of gear. Line 6 has reimagined the POD into the POD Go, giving all the sounds of the Helix and nearly all its functionality at half the price for the ultimate live rig.

Build

The POD Go is the newest addition to the HX family from Line 6 and lies somewhere between the HX Stomp and Helix in terms of functionality, but it shares the exact same HX Software and therefore has all the same sounds as a full blown Helix.

The screen is large and easy to read on stage. It is super lightweight and has a built in handle for easy traveling. It can even serve as your recording interface in your home studio. When it comes to club gigging, this is a real game changer in terms of its balance and size for an HX product.

Controls

Considering that the POD Go has an expression pedal, six stomp switches (or four snapshots), five push encoders, and an LCD Screen layout that closely resembles its big brother, it’s no wonder people are wondering if this can replace a Helix. One thing that the POD Go lacks is scribble strips that label each of your footswitches for you, but the switches are color coded per effect type.

The POD Go has up to 9 blocks, which should be plenty for most applications. Overall this unit can do a lot and it is easy enough to use without cracking open a manual, but for a deep dive you can check out this video.

Sounds

The real question: does it sound like a Helix? The answer is an unquestionable YES. This is a distilled Helix, meaning that you get all 270 effects/amp models ready to go at your disposal. As is typical with the HX family, my only critique of the sound is the cabinet simulations, which can’t hold a candle to some third party IR designers.

Thankfully, the POD Go can have third party impulse responses downloaded onto it, which I think really takes this unit to another level as far a realistic amp and classic effects are concerned.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Multi-Effects/Guitar Processor l
  • Signal: Digital
  • Power Requirements: 9V DC (2.5A)
  • Dimensions:14.13 x 9.05 x 3.46”
  • Features: 270 effects & amps, Stereo In/Out, 3rd Party IR, Expression Pedal, and MUCH more

The first, last, or only gigging rig you’ll need

Final Thoughts on the Line 6 POD Go

The Line 6 POD Go strikes the perfect balance of lightweight design, heavyweight functionality, and approachable price point. If you were interested in the Helix, but couldn’t afford it or were intimidated by the size and functionality, then this is the pedal for you.

5. NuX MG-300 – Best Budget Multi-Effects Pedal

NUX MG-300 Multi Effects Pedal TSAC-HD Pre-Effects,Amp Modeling algorithm,CORE-IMAGE...
  • Update the firmware from the official website for first playing.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one rig to take out to gigs or to use in your home studio, but the Line 6 HX family is too expensive, then the NuX MG-300 is a product seriously worth your consideration. It gives you quality amp/effect models, a drum machine, and a looper for a bargain.

Build

The MG-300 is an amp modeler and multi-effects simulator that is also accompanied by a drum machine and looper, making it an awesome budget friendly rig or practice tool.

The housing is made of plastic, so this keeps it from being an option for serious touring musicians, but is more than appropriate for home recording or practicing. It has a single input and output. The standout feature is the LCD screen, which makes navigating the pedal fun and easy.

Controls

What really sets this pedal apart from others in its price range is the LCD screen and expression pedal, which make it a competitor with the new Line 6 POD Go in terms on controls. While the pedal itself is easy enough to navigate with dedicated knobs for Gain, Level, Set, and Master, as well as buttons for the looper/drum machine, the MG-300 has a really fun software editor.

I really have to tip my hat to the NuX software as it has each pedal/amp model look like a real life pedal. Whereas many manufacturers look for a universal layout for all the modeled gear to speed up workflow, this is much more interactive and is a good bridge for traditional players that want to see amps and pedals in front of  them.

Sounds

It’s really hard to critique NuX’s sound quality. They have taken their amazing Core & Vertigo pedals (that somehow cost next to nothing) and crammed them into this along with other classic circuits and amp models.

I would have to sit down with each unit side by side to truly compare them, but in a live setting I would argue that most listeners won’t notice the difference between these amp models and an HX stomp.

It has over 25 built in cabinet IR’s with four classic microphones and positions to choose from in addition to the ability to load third party IR’s. There’s a lot of hidden gems and flexibility in this little pedal.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Multi-Effect/Guitar Processor
  • Signal: Digital 
  • Power Requirements: DC 9V
  • Dimensions:13.23 x 7.64 x 3.62”
  • Features: Drum Loop, Metronome, Amp modeling, 3rd party IR, multi-effects

Budget friendly amp modeler with a satisfying editing software

Final Thoughts on the NuX MG-300

Though the  NuX MG-300 doesn’t have the controls or build quality necessary to make it a staple touring rig, it is a fantastic budget friendly amp and effects modeler. I think this is the perfect piece of gear for a guitarists that has just started to show serious enthusiasm for the instrument, as it gives fun and ample practice tools (tuner, metronome, and drum machine) in addition to a plethora of fun amp and effects sounds.

It can also help someone learn how to record guitar using modern DI techniques.

6. Boss GT-1 – Best Multi-Effects Pedal Under $200

BOSS Guitar Effects Processor, Black (GT-1)
  • Premium BOSS sound engine squeezed into a light and compact floor unit

If you’re looking for a great multi-effects pedal that has the build quality and features of a POD Go, but lands closer to the price point of the MG-300, the Boss GT-1 might be the unit you’re looking for. This multi-effects unit and amp modeler hits a nice sweet spot between price point and professional quality.

Build

The GT-1 is the smallest and cheapest guitar processor that Boss has to offer, which means you know you’re getting a great sounding a dependable multi-effects pedal for the price. This compact floor unit was made for taking on the road, with its rugged metal structure without any sharp edges to ensure safe transport on tour.

It even can be powered by four AA batteries in a pinch if you lose your power supply. You can also connect it to the free Boss Tone Central app for added tonal flexibility and sound design. This is an entry level guitar processor with top of the line sound quality.

Controls

The GT-1 is primary set around presets, so most of the controls are going to help you navigate from one preset to another. There are two foot pedals that let you navigate up and down the list of 99 presets that come stock, as well as a CTL1 switch that can quickly alter a parameter of an effect. The expression pedal can control just about any aspect you assign it to.

There are also dedicated buttons that let you shut off individual effects (fine for in the studio, but not very practical on stage). The controls are brightly lit and are really easy to see even on the darkest of stages.

Sounds

Boss is truly at the top of their game and it shows in pieces of gear like the GT-1, where even though it’s an entry level product, it gets flagship level sound quality via the Premium Boss engine. The GT-1 has a wide array of COSM amplifiers, meaning this can be used as your entire rig straight into a PA system.

The presets are perfect for beginners that want classic tones at their disposal ranging from Green Day, to Pink Floyd, to Metallica. More experience users can deep dive into the editing software to truly explore all the great sounds that one could also find in the more advanced Boss GT1000 series.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Multi-Effects/Guitar Processor
  • Signal: Digital
  • Power Requirements: 4xAA or 9V adaptor
  • Dimensions: 15 x 8.5 x 4.5”
  • Features: Expression pedal, IR, Amp modeling, Effects loop

Premium Boss sound in a budget multi-effects pedal

Final Thoughts on the Boss GT-1

Boss has always been a company that strives to bring the highest quality sound, ground breaking technology, and top tier build quality to every type of player, including those on a budget. The GT-1 makes guitar processing accessible to entry level players that want to take things up a notch in the studio or on stage.

7. Fishman ToneDEQ – Best for Acoustic

Fishman ToneDEQ AFX Preamp EQ and DI Box with Dual FX
  • With a high-quality preamp, dual effects section, tone controls, a compressor, level booster and a balanced D.I. — it’s got everything you need in one box

Acoustic players need multiple effects, too! And there is no better manufacturer than Fishman and their ToneDEQ (pronounced Tone Deck) multi-effects pedal.

Build

The ToneDEQ is a DI, EQ, and Multi-effect box made specifically for acoustic guitar players. It is essentially a Fishman Loudbox amplifier without the speaker. This compact and lightweight pedal comes with a stylish wood varnish and an all knob based interface (no convoluted LCD screens and hidden menus here).

It comes with its own compressor, analog preamplifier, DI Out (or amp connection) and two banks of high quality effects (more on those shortly).

Controls

The controls on the ToneDEQ are essentially split up into three sections, with a footswitch and effects parameters for each including Reverb/Delay, Modulation, and the Boost/Preamp section. The Reverb/Delay section has two types of reverb and two types of delay, with controls for the time and level of those effects.

The Modulation section has a selector for two types of chorus, flanger, and tremolo with rate and level controls. Finally, the Boost section has a control for your overall volume, a compression circuit, and a three band EQ. The side of the pedal also has an input trim and a boost level control that goes up to 9 dB

Sounds

The Fishman ToneDEQ has a really transparent sound and lets the sound of your guitar and its pickup system work their magic. The compressor is super usable, and I would argue is an effect worthy of keeping on at all times to level out your dynamics while strumming. The boost is also great because it just bumps up the volume without coloring your tone at all.

The effects themselves are everything but corny and add some real interesting textures and depth to your playing. The low cut is also super effective and useful for taming a booming low end heavy instrument.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: DI, EQ, Multi-Effects for Acoustic
  • Signal: Analog Preamp, Digital Effects
  • Power Requirements: 9V
  • Dimensions:    9.45 x 5.51 x 1.97
  • Features: DI, Boost, Multi-Effects, Low Cut

The perfect DI/effects box for acoustic guitar

Final Thoughts on the Fishman ToneDEQ

Acoustic players don’t need all the bells and whistles that electric guitarists think the require (usually, anyway) so this is the perfect, focused DI box and multi-effects unit for singer-songwriters, classical players, or really anyone who spends all of their time playing acoustic. As long as you know you have a PA or monitor to plug into, this will easily get you through the gig and the most professional and fun way possible.

8. Zoom B3n – Best Multi-Effects Pedal for Bass

Zoom B3n Bass Guitar Multi-Effects Processor Pedal, With 60+ Built-in effects, Amp Modeling, Stereo...
  • 67 high-quality stompbox DSP effects, 5 new amp emulators, and 5 cabinet emulators

Even though some multi-effects units will work well for bass, there are far fewer options that are strictly designed with bass players in mind. The folks at Zoom have your back with this heavy hitting and easy to use multi-effects box and amp modeler for bass guitar so that you don’t have to skip over all the guitar stuff to find your sound.

Build

The Zoom B3n is an all-in-one bass rig with 67 top of the line effects, five bass amp models, and five classic cabinet designs. Measuring in at 9.21 x 7.13 x 2.28” and built to last, the Zoom B3n is ready to hit the road. Not only does it give incredible bass tones, but it’s the perfect practice companion with an 80 second looper and 68 different drum loops. Who needs a drummer these days?

Controls

The B3n allows you to use up to seven different effects or amps in your signal chain and they can be routed in any order. Up to three effects can have their own designated controls and bypass switches assigned at any given time, making tone changes simple when on stage or in the studio.

The pixelated screens are not very aesthetically pleasing and can be hard to read from a distance, but they get the job done. The switches along the bottom are used for scrolling through lists and accessing your tuner, tap tempo function, and memory banks (just don’t hit them with your heel).

Sounds

The amp simulations in the B3n sound really convincing and I don’t think many will miss their amps on tour unless you have a boutique amp with a special voicing to it. That being said, the amp selection in here covers a wide array of styles from the Fender Bassman 100 to the Ampeg SVT.

Not to mention, all 67 of the stomp boxes housed within this multi-effects pedal are specifically designed to work optimally with bass guitars. This is a great sounding pedal whether you are going directly to the front of house or if you have your own full range speaker.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Multi-Effects/Bass Processor
  • Signal: Digital
  • Power Requirements: 9V DC
  • Dimensions: 9.21 x 7.13 x 2.28”
  • Features: Expression Out, Stereo Out, Amp Modeling, IR, Multi-Effects

Multi-effects and amp models just for bass

 Final Thoughts on the Zoom B3n

If you’re a bassist that is tired of lugging around a 4×12 or 8×12 cabinet to your gigs, or if you’re looking to find the perfect interface for recording demos, or if you need a unit to help you practice anywhere, the B3n from Zoom has you covered. I think every bass player should at least have one of these in their gig bag as a backup rig.

9. Zoom G1X-Four – Best Multi Effects Pedal Under $100

If you had told me even just five year ago that a pedal would exist that has amp modeling, multiple effects, and a drum machine built into it for under $100, I wouldn’t have believed you. Yet here we are – the Zoom G1 Four – and it sounds better than it has any right to at this price point.

Build

There are two models worth mentioning: the G1 Four and the G1X Four. The X series adds an expression pedal and tips the price point up to $109 dollars at the time of writing this article. Because this is a much more versatile pedal and it’s just over the $100 mark, I’m going to review that pedal. Just keep in mind that you can get an even cheaper, but still great sounding pedal with the G1 Four, just without the expression pedal.

The G1X Four has 71 built in guitar effects and 13 amp models on deck, making it a serious powerhouse, tone machine. It features a 30 second looper and 68 built-in drum patterns for easy and fun practice. It also has a free downloadable Zoom guitar Lab for Mac/Windows that lets you control everything through our computer.

Controls

The pedal has five bypass switches for the effects, as well as one for the drum machine and one for the looper. The screen lets you see your effects chain and is where you select your effects from, which can then be manipulated using the four controls beneath.

There are two foot pedals that let you access the looper and to navigate the preset menu on the fly. Holding down both of these pedals lets you access the tuner. Most notable for the G1X Four is the expression pedal which can be used for wah, volume, and much more beyond that.

Sounds

Even though the price point may have you doubting the sonic quality of this pedal, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you hear it in action. The amp models aren’t quick as squishy or organic sounding as a real tube amp, but for live scenarios this will work quite well.

With over seventy different effects and over a dozen amp models, you could surely come up with a rig that would fit any genre of music using the G1X Four and using the expression pedal makes it even more versatile.

One drawback to this unit is that it only works in Mono, as it doesn’t have stereo In/Out, so if you’re looking for a stereo rig you will have to look elsewhere.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Multi Effect/Guitar Processor
  • Signal: Digital
  • Power Requirements: 9V DC
  • Dimensions: 6.2 x 5 x 1.7
  • Features: Drum Looper, Tuner, Amp Modeling, Effects, Expression pedal

The cheapest, good sounding guitar processor around

Final Thoughts on the Zoom G1X Four

The Zoom G1X Four shows how far this technology has evolved in its own right, because for under $100 anyone can have over seventy effects and 13 amp models at their disposal. Though not as versatile or expansive as more expensive models, there is certainly a crowd for this kind of pedal.

10.  Line 6 HX Stomp – Best Overall

Line 6 HX Stomp Multi-Effects Guitar Pedal, Black
  • Utilizes the same HX Modeling as Helix

The Line 6 HX Stomp is arguably one of the most revolutionary pieces of guitar gear to come out in recent years. A full blown Helix is housed in a small pedal, meaning that this will fit in on your board or could work as your entire rig.

Build

The HX Stomp has it all: amp models, cabinet simulators, effects, and just about every routing option possible. It’s incredibly small, measuring in at around 6.7 x 4.8 x 2.5”. It can easily fit into a gig bag as a backup rig or as your primary rig (as I often use it).

Because the Stomp has a USB port it can also be a useful tool in the studio as your interface. This is easily the smallest, and most powerful guitar processor on the market that sounds good and it is well worth its price tag.

Controls

The few complaints that are common with the Stomp often revolve around its limitations in control, at least compared to its big brother the Helix. You originally only got six effect blocks, but now with firmware 3.0 you have eight.

There are also only 3 foot switches so you might have to get clever with your snapshots if you need multiple effect changes in a song. Other than that the controls are super simple and easy to understand with a couple days use.

The switches can be assigned by simply resting your finger on them. The HX Stomp is also MIDI controllable, has an input for an expression pedal, and has stereo in/out for four cable method or stereo routing.

Sounds

There are simply too many great sounds in this to explain here, but there are dozens of great videos online to check out. This sounds as good as a Helix, so if you’re looking for those sounds in a smaller enclosure or at a slightly lower price, this is the answer.

The amp models are stellar, but the cab simulations aren’t as good as the best third party developers. Thankfully, this is capable of loading third party impulse responses which take this pedal to a whole new level. Every new firmware update gives you new and exciting classic pedal models that would otherwise cost you thousands.

This is a great way to test out tube amplifiers before pulling the trigger on the real thing. This sounds good enough to use in the studio or on the road by professionals.

Spec Summary

  • Effect Type: Multi-Effects/Guitar Processor
  • Signal: Digital
  • Power Requirements: 9VDC (3A)
  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.8 x 2.5
  • Features: Stereo In/Out, USB, Amp/Effects modeling, MIDI

The best mini amp modeler/multi-effects pedal. Period.

 

Final Thoughts on the Line 6 HX Stomp

I may be biased because I own and use the pedal regularly, but take it from me when I say that this is an amazing piece of gear that every professional should have in their back pocket. It may not replace the best tube amps quite yet, but it is good enough for 95% of professional settings and it is an absolute blast to play through whether you are experimenting in the studio or need an amp on the move.

The Technology is Impressive and Exciting

No other form of guitar gear has grown as much as amp models and multi-effects processors. They are reshaping the guitar effects landscape in a major way.

They have gotten incredibly powerful and even the cheapest models sound good enough to take out to a gig. As a result, many guitarists are on the search for the best multi-effects pedal around, and they have plenty of awesome options to choose from.

Hopefully this list is effective in helping you make that very choice. Cheers and happy guitar playing!

Further Reading: