What's a good rackmount effects unit for a band's PA?
January 14, 2006 3:28 PM   Subscribe

I'm after a new rackmounted effects unit for my live PA. Any suggestions?

It's going to carry two electroacoustic guitars, two mics, a harmonica, and who knows what else in the future. Having used all in ones (mixer-amps) in the past, and this being my first rack system, I'm not up to spending a lot, and fully intend to get in on eBay (I'm in the UK) I've been looking at the Zoom 1201 and 1202, but they seem a bit guitar-oriented.

The winning product will, of course, be used here.
posted by armoured-ant to Media & Arts (3 answers total)
 
I've got a few Lexicon MPX-100's in my rack. We use 2 of them when playing live - one for vocals and one to give a little more oomph for the snare. They are inexpensive, easy to use, and sound pretty good.

We also have an Alesis Q2 which sounds better but is a bit more expensive.
posted by Rubber Soul at 5:00 PM on January 14, 2006


Best answer: I've got a Zoom 1201 and 1204. To be honest, they're not particularly well-suited to live work. I bought the 1201 for my home setup, as I love the wacky lo-fi effects on it (not to mention the extremely useable vocoder). I loved this end of it so much, I ended up putting it in our studio. So I picked up the 1204 as a replacement, but it isn't anywhere near as good in the "wacky" department.

In my opinion, the unit that would give you the optimum point between value-for-money and performance is the TC Electronic M300. It's a dual engine unit - one engine for multi-FX and the other dedicated to reverb. The reverbs sound great (TC reverbs usually do). The multi effects are very useful for live work - especially the delays (not to mention the incredibly handy "tap" button on the front for setting delay time). Digital Village carry the M300 for £125 - I think Turnkey carry it too for about the same price. It's a great unit, and far superior to the equivalent Zoom boxes.

Hope this helps.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 8:57 AM on January 15, 2006


I forgot to expand on my reasons for the 1201 not being that great for live work. It's quite fiddly to select presets, and the controls are a little too "multi-function". There's a tiny switch that changes the bank of effects you're working on, then a rotary knob to select the specific patch within that bank. Also, the dark colour of the front panel makes it very tough to read in low-light situations.

The M300 simplifies things by separating the reverb section from the multi FX. It's also got a silver front panel, which is more readable in low light. Even though (like the 1201) it doesn't have an LCD screen, it's still easier to look at it and see what's going on. There's also a flashing LED to indicate delay time, which is very handy.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 9:05 AM on January 15, 2006


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