Best Multi Effects Pedal Processors 2024 - Our Recommended List

The quality of multi-effects pedal has jumped tremendously since they were first introduced. These days, you’ll often find the best multi effects pedal processors on stages and in studios, used by musicians pros and enthusiasts alike.

Best Multi Effect Pedal
(Overall)
Line 6 Helix Floor

Line 6 Helix Floor

Line 6's flagship multi-effects pedal combines impressive tone, versatile control, and superior build quality.

Best Multi Effect Pedal
(Value for Money)
Hotone Ampero

Hotone Ampero

A cheap and portable multi-effects pedal that can go toe to toe with more expensive digital guitar processors.

Best Multi Effect Pedal
(Compact)
Line 6 HX Stomp

Line 6 HX Stomp

Streamlined and compact version of the popular Line 6 Helix, with essential effects and features covered.

Best Multi Effect Pedal
(Cutting-Edge)
Neural DSP Quad Cortex Digital Multi Effects Processor

Neural DSP Quad Cortex

This new comer is redefining what a multi-effects pedal can do. Beating established brands with its sound quality.

Best Multi Effect Pedal
(Tone Quality)
Kemper Profiler

Kemper Profiler

The game changing amp profiling technology of Kemper, packed in a compact floor based guitar processor.

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Multi effects pedals and processors can streamline otherwise complicated and costly guitar rigs. 

These days are packed with more features and are less difficult to use. 

It’s actually getting to the point where even the critics have less and less to say! And given the benefits they offer, there’s a continued demand for multi-effects pedals, 

Here, you’ll see our list of the best multi-effects pedals, covering both flagship and small-format multi-effects models.

We’ve included information and advice on how to choose the features that best suit your needs as well.

These highly recommended multi-effects devices are great for replacing heavy pedalboards. They provide more tone options and easier connectivity to Amps, PA systems, and recording consoles.

Sweetwater

Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal's Detailed Descriptions

Line 6 Helix Floor

Best Multi Effect Pedal (Overall)

Line 6 Helix Floor

Line 6 Helix Floor

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

Digital sound processing has been Line 6’s bread and butter from the beginning, and they have persisted in making improvements despite criticism. At this point, many consider Line 6 as a benchmark for quality and value for money.

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As expected, Helix carries over the latest and best technology that Line 6 could offer. Similar to its predecessor, the widely successful and popular POD HD series, Helix has quickly gained traction in the market. It receives favorable reviews and recommendations from artists, experts, and users alike.

The general consensus is that Helix is a big upgrade in terms of sound and dynamics, and most notably, it is easier to set up and make adjustments.

There’s a whole lot of sound that you can get from this multi-effects unit. It lets you play around with digital representations of 70 effects, 45 amp models, 30 guitar cabinets, and 16 mics.

Use these effects to create your own preset and save it in Line 6’s massive preset bank of over a thousand. And we all have that one preset that we often use because we love it so much.

With Line 6’s snapshot function, you can create up to 8 variations of that single preset. This way, you can experiment with creating different variations of a preset. Set aside the preset settings that you’ve come to love, and do not mess with them further.

The Helix’s built-in expression pedal is able to control volume, wah, or any parameter combinations. You could edit the parameters of a block using only your toes with its hand-free pedal edit mode.

To ensure a high-quality rendition of the modeled sounds, Line 6 equipped the Helix with a SHARC dual DSP-powered HX effects modeling engine. This processor is more than capable of not only processing audio but also running multiple effects at the same time.

Line 6 Helix has been on the market for quite a while now. Despite that, it can still compete and maintain its status as a highly regarded multi-effects pedal. A testament to Line 6’s superb quality. With its great balance of price, quality, versatility, and reliability, the Line 6 Helix is truly highly recommended.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Processor: 450MHz Dual Core SHARC DSP Processor & professional-quality HX®
Presets: 1024 presets
Effects Models: 273 total (Distortion, EQ, Dynamic, Reverb, Modulation, Delay, Pitch/Synth, Filter, Wah, Volume/Pan)
Amp Models: 106 guitars and bass
Speaker/Cabinet Models: 80 single, dual, and legacy
Looper: 30sec (stereo) and 60sec (mono)
Editing: Knobs, footswitches, pedal, and HX Edit app Helix Native Plugin Software
Impulse Response: 1024-2048-sample IRs. Load and store up to 128 custom or third-party IRs.
Connectivity: EXP 2 and 3, EXT AMP 1/2, CV/Expression Out, GUITAR IN, AUX IN, MIC IN, SENDS/RETURNS 1-4, Ground Lift Switch, XLR OUT, 1/4″ OUT, PHONES Out, VARIAX Input, MIDI IN, OUT/THRU, S/PDIF IN/OUT, AES/EBU, L6 LINK, USB audio interface, AC In
Weight: 14.6 lbs

Line 6 Helix LT Electric Guitar Multi-Effects Processor

Best User-Friendly

Line 6 Helix LT Electric Guitar Multi Effects Processor

Line 6 Helix LT Electric Guitar Multi-Effects Processor

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

The essential functions of the Helix Floor at a lower cost. Same good tone, in a more portable profile. Line 6 did cut some features here and there to compensate for the lower cost. But it retains the same dual-SHARC processing and professional-quality HX modeling that is present on the Helix Floor and Helix Rack.

 
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Using the same processor translates to identical amp models, effects, and processing power. After all, the most important feature of a multi-effects pedal is its tone-shaping capability. So, living without a few other features is no biggie for the most part.

But if you want to record vocals or acoustic guitars, this unit does not feature an XLR mic input.

It can also be less flexible, as you’ll be limited by more advanced setups since it has fewer send/return effects loops and no S/PDIF digital output.

If you’re familiar with the features of the Helix Floor, one thing that stands out with this unit is that it doesn’t have scribble strips. It has an identical 6.2″ 800×480 screen, though, and when you pair it with touch-sensitive footswitches, navigation becomes a breeze.

And let’s not forget its impressive 100+ core effects that you can save in over 1000 presets accessible via a simple foot tap. You can also easily recreate some of the most iconic sounds with different amp models, speakers, and even mic placement options. This provides you with a serious arsenal of tones.

This unit is also equipped with a built-in expression pedal. Although a bit lower than the flagship models, it still features the same hand-free pedal edit mode present in the Helix Floor. On top of that, you could also use it for volume control, pitch shifting, and as a wah pedal.

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the Helix LT provides portability at a lower cost. It also maintains great build quality that is professional-grade. It may not have some of the fancy features of a Helix Floor but it has its core functionality.

And true to its name, the LT carries the same stunning sound and overall high-quality build known by many.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Processor: 450MHz Dual Core SHARC DSP Processor & professional-quality HX®
Presets: 1024 presets
Effects Models: 220 total (Distortion, EQ, Dynamic, Reverb, Modulation, Delay, Pitch/Synth, Filter, wah, volume/pan)
Amp Models: 80 guitars and bass
Speaker/Cabinet Models: 40 single, dual, and legacy
Looper: 30sec (stereo) and 60sec (mono)
Editing: Knobs, footswitches, pedal, and HX Edit app Helix Native Plugin Software
Impulse Response: 1024-2048-sample IRs. Load and store up to 128 custom or third-party IR.
Connectivity: EXP PEDAL 2/EXT AMP, GUITAR IN, SENDS/RETURNS 1-2, Ground Lift Switch, XLR OUT, 1/4″ OUT, PHONES Out, VARIAX Input, AES/EBU, L6 LINK, MIDI IN, OUT/THRU, USB, AC In.
Weight: 12.5 lbs

HeadRush Pedalboard Electric Guitar Multi-Effects Processor

The Best Multi Effect Pedal (User-Friendly)

HeadRush Pedalboard Electric Guitar Multi Effects Processor

HeadRush Pedalboard Electric Guitar Multi-Effects Processor

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

Headrush stands out with its 7″ touchscreen interface, making it more intuitive to use. It’s a slick-looking pedal with an equally slick touchscreen editing function. 

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First off is it’s good sound quality. Within this 15-pound unit, you get to access over 65 high-quality effects. It also has 50 amp models with 15 different speakers as well as microphone options.

This wide option of guitar effects, amp models, and speakers gives you a massive tonal palette that you can use in customizing your tone.

You can also get life-like setups and tones with its 300 impulse responses. This way, you don’t need to physically change the settings of your cabinet or amp every time.

It has a 7″ touchscreen LCD, so say goodbye to the endless navigation of menus and buttons. It allows you to explore the pedal’s functionalities without even using a manual. Its UI is user-friendly, and to me, it’s the most slick UI I’ve ever seen in a multi-effects pedal.

The HeadRush Pedalboard also has dual effects loops, similar to those of a Helix floor. This allows you to patch two external effects and place them at different points within the signal chain.

You can edit model parameters using only its assigned footswitch. You could also use the HeadRush Pedalboard built-in expression pedal. Of course, it has more common functions like volume control, pitch shifting, and wah-wah.

It also has a built-in looper with 5 minutes of recording time, which is long enough to create even a full song. You could also create a loop with more dynamic chord changes that are perfect for practice or jamming.

You don’t know when you’re a spark of creativity will come. So, having a lengthy loop will help you express more of your ideas even without using a recorder.

However, despite its many amazing features, Headrush is still a relatively new player in the multi-effects market.

This means having a smaller online community that can help with settings and patches. I also have to say that some of the presets sound a bit thin or flat in comparison to the Helix. Still, these presets can be made to sound better with some editing.

All in all, if you want a multi-effects pedal with a modern touchscreen interface, then the HeadRush Pedalboard is truly worth checking out.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Processor: Quad-Core Processor Eleven® HD; Expanded™ DSP
Presets: 200+ presets
Effects Models: 40 FX
Amp Models: 44 amps
Speaker/Cabinet Models: 15 cabs
Looper: 20 minutes
Editing: Knobs, footswitches, pedal, and 7″ LCD Touchscreen
Impulse Response: Yes
Connectivity: 1/4”/6.35 mm input, TS; 1/4”/6.35 mm, TRS input; 1/8”/3.5 mm, TRS input; XLR outputs; Ground-Lift Switch; 1/4”/6.35 mm, TRS) outputs; 1/4”/6.35 mm, TRS phone output; 1/4”/6.35 mm, TRS outputs; 1/4”/6.35 mm, TRS return inputs; MIDI Input; MIDI Output/Throughput; USB Port.
Weight: 15.65 lbs

Kemper Profiler Stage Multi-Effects Pedal

Kemper Profiler Stage Multi Effects Pedal

Kemper Profiler Stage Multi-Effects Pedal

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

Kemper’s profiling technology was a game changer when it first came out. And up to now, many professional still gig with their trusty Kemper. The Kemper Profiler Stage packs this technology inside a floor based guitar processor, which is more portable and allows for easier hands-free operation.

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Kemper Profiler is known mostly for their amp profiles, but they are also good at profiling digitized versions of vintage and modern guitar pedals.  

The Kemper can profile the sound of your entire rig. From vintage tube amps, to pedals, and even room acoustics. And it does so with unbelievable accuracy; you’ll find it hard to tell the difference from the real thing anymore. This means that you can leave your own amps and other physical gear at home, while still enjoying their profiled tone on the road.

The thing that separates an authentic feeling from the ones that are not is its nuances. These may be subtle changes in the sound, but when you hear them, you can tell or feel the difference.

As you can tell, the Kemper Profiler is not your run-of-the-mill multi-effects pedal. Profiling also requires more technical knowledge to fully unleash this pedal’s full potential.

The Kemper Profiler doesn’t have massive presets like most multi-effects pedals. Although it has a few effects, like the delay and reverb for your spatial effects. It doesn’t have an expression pedal, which is mostly present in the best multi-effects pedals.

At almost $1800, the Kemper Profiler Stage requires quite the investment.

But many professional musicians are happy with the return their getting – Great tone that allows them to leave their favorite amps safe at home. 

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Processor: Not specified
Presets: None
Effects Models: Kemper Stomp FX, Delay, Reverb
Amp Models: Preloaded Amp Models, Kemper Rig Exchange Cloud, Ability to Capture New Profiles
Speaker/Cabinet Models: Full Range, Guitar Cab, and KEMPER Kone™ Modes
Looper: 30sec (stereo) and 60sec (mono)
Editing: Knobs, footswitches, and Kemper Rig Manager
Impulse Response: No
Connectivity: 1 x 1/4″ (instrument), 1 x 1/4″ (return/profiling), 3 x 1/4″ (return), 1 x Coax (S/PDIF), 1 x 1/8″ TRS (Headphone), 4 x 1/4″ (switching/expression pedals), MIDI; 2 x 1/4″ (main), 2 x 1/4″ (monitor), 2 x XLR (main), 2 x 1/4″ (send 1/2), 1 x Coax (S/PDIF), USB
Weight: 14.33 lbs

Hotone Ampero Amp Modeler & Multi-Effects Guitar Processor

Hotone Ampero

Hotone Ampero Amp Modeler & Multi-Effects Guitar Processor

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

This is the smallest of all the standard-sized multi-effects pedals on this list. And it edges out the competition with its good balance of quality and value for money. You get much of core functionalities and quality expected from an expensive guitar processor, at a more accessible price point.

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The Hotone Ampero boasts a SHARC DSP. Sounds familiar? Of course, it’s because it’s the processor the Line 6 Helix Floor and LT are using.

The difference, though, is that Line 6 uses an Analog Devices Blackfin 500 family. The Ampero, on the other hand, uses an Analog Devices ADSP-21469N. In terms of processor generation, the Ampero also has the newer one and is known to have improved performance and efficiency.

In terms of processing power, Line 6 has been scarce in providing detailed information about. So, we can’t accurately compare which one is better.

Newer also doesn’t always mean better as well. So, it is best to take this information with a grain of salt.

With its processing power, the Ampero can handle up to nine (9) maximum effects at the same time. You can choose them from its rich library of more than 200 effects, at least 60 amp models, and speaker simulators to help you create a more authentic sound.

With only 2 main knobs and 4 footswitches, you could tell that this isn’t one of the pricier ones. But it’s still intuitive, and having a built-in expression pedal in this one really is a welcome addition.

It does not have the same complex editing as the more expensive brands. However, the touchscreen in the Ampero makes it easier to navigate and has more than enough features to keep your creative mind busy.

It’s also the most affordable full-sized pedal here. With a price tag of about $400, this pedal is perfect for beginners, hobbyists, and those who want multi-effects pedals without breaking the bank.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Processor: Analog Devices® SHARC® series (Main); NXP® RT series (Co-processor)
Presets: 198 presets
Effects Models: 50+ Hotone original effects (incl. high-quality drive/dynamic/filter/mod/delay/reverb models and more)
Amp Models: 64 amp models
Speaker/Cabinet Models: 60 cab models
Looper: 100 sec
Editing: Knobs, pedal, 4″ Touch Screen, and Ampero Editor
Impulse Response: Yes
Connectivity: One 1/4” Tip Sleeve (TS) Instrument jack, with three-way input mode selection; One 1/8” Stereo Auxiliary In (Aux In) jack; One 1/4” Tip Ring Sleeve (TRS) Expression Pedal input jack; One Standard 5 pin MIDI input jack; Two 1/4” Tip Sleeve (TS) Unbalanced Stereo output jacks; Two XLR Balanced stereo output jacks, with ground lift switch; One 1/8” Stereo headphones output jack; USB 2.0 Type-B port.
Weight: 3.1 lbs

Compact Guitar Multi-Effects

Line 6 HX Stomp Guitar Multi-Effects Processor

Best Multi Effect Pedal (Value for Money)

Line 6 HX Stomp

Line 6 HX Stomp Guitar Multi-Effects Processor

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

Yet another entry from Line 6. This time in a more portable form, the Line 6 HX Stomp packs incredibly versatile features, staying true to the Line 6 namesake. It carries the Line 6 Helix quality both figuratively and literally in a very compact form factor.

 
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Stomp lets you enjoy the techonology behind Helix in a more streamlined form factor. And even though it is limited, it still provides you with an enormous number of options to play around with.

Place up to eight (8) effects at once in a signal chain, which is plenty enough to create a dynamic tone. You could also save your edits into 126 preset banks, and with Line 6’s snapshot, customize each preset into 3 variations.

The Helix line is known for realistic-sounding modeling, and the HX Stomp is no exception. With a selection of 80 amp models and 40 speaker cabinets, you can easily tweak this pedal to sound like most of the classic or modern amp tones that you can think of.

Even though it presents fewer physical controls in comparison to Line 6’s best multi-effects pedals at the top. The Stomp is still user-friendly thanks to its intuitive interface. Using the three footswitches, this unit gives you enough control. Navigate the presets, adjust parameters, and integrate HX Stomp into any existing rig of yours.

With its USB feature, you could also edit your effects via desktop using the Helix Native app. And for your recording needs, this unit also doubles as an audio interface.

In summary, the Line 6 HX Stomp is undoubtedly a great choice for guitar players, regardless of their level. It’s the perfect travel companion because of its light and compact body, which you can easily hand-carry. Use it for gigs or in a studio for recording purposes.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Processor: SHARC DSP Processor (450MHz)
Presets: 126 presets
Effects Models: 200+ Helix and Legacy FX; (Pitch shift, Synth filter, Compressor/Limiter, Distortion, Modulation, Delay, Reverb)
Amp Models: 80+ Amps
Speaker/Cabinet Models: 60+ Cabinets with 3D Mic Placement
Looper: 60 sec mono/30 sec stereo
Editing: Knobs and footswitches; HX Edit 3.50 app
Impulse Response: Yes
Connectivity: Stereo L/R, Return L/R; Main L/R, Stereo Send; FX loop 2x Send, 2x Return, stereo-linkable; 1/4″ stereo; MIDI In, Out/Thru + USB; 8-in, 6-out w/ re-amping; EXP 1/2 (TRS; shared w/ Footswitch 4/5)
Weight: 1.79 lbs

Zoom G1X Four Guitar Multi-Effects Processor

Zoom G1X Four Guitar Multi Effects Processor

Zoom G1X Four Guitar Multi-Effects Processor

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

Plastic-made guitar effects pedals can be reliable too, and that’s a quality the Zoom G1X Four brings to the table. And you’d be surprised at how many sounds you can get from this lightweight and comapct unit, with over 70 individual effects, including amp models, which is quite sufficient for most gigs.

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Zoom guitar effects pedals have been one of the go-to brands when it comes to budget multi-effects pedals. They’re cheaper than most brands, and they pack a lot of tones in one single unit.

You can find here the basic effects like overdrives, distortions, and choruses. It has some wild ones too, like a ring modulator, or if you want a more South Asian flavor, there’s a sitar simulator for you.

It also has 13 classic amp models. This includes amp models like Fenders and Marshalls, to help give your effects the sound they would have if they were going through a real amplifier.

On top of that, the G1X Four has a built-in 30-second looper. Pair that with any of its 68 drum patterns, and you’re ready to have a jamming session, which is great, especially when you’re alone.

It has 4 knobs to control its 3-band EQ and 1 for the volume. You can use its left and right footswitch to navigate through its presets saved in its bank.

Zoom G1X four’s built-in expression pedal is pretty decent for the price. And forgo wires as this unit can run using 4 AA batteries, allowing you to jam even without connecting to a power outlet.

To keep it lightweight, the unit is made mostly of plastic. But this hasn’t stopped Zoom units from lasting for years, some decades even. I have seen Zoom G1Xon units that are still working after a decade of use. 

Don’t expect this unit to sound like one of the best multi-effects pedals out there. But it does sound pretty decent, considering its price of just over $100. This is a great choice for those working with tight budgets.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Processor: 32-bit, Internal Processor, Guitar Lab 4.0
Presets: 50 patches/presets
Effects Models: 70 built-in effects
Amp Models: 13 amp models
Speaker/Cabinet Models: 13 cab models
Looper: 30 seconds
Editing: Knobs and footswitches; ZOOM Guitar Lab software
Impulse Response: No
Connectivity: Standard mono phone jack | Rated input level: -20 dBu | Input impedance (line): 470 kΩ; Stereo mini jack | Rated input level: -10 dBu | Input impedance (line): 1kΩ; Standard stereo phone jack (combined line/headphone) | Maximum output level: Line +2 dBu (10 kΩ or more output impedance) | Headphones 17 mW + 17 mW (32Ω load); USB2.0 Micro-B; USB 1.1 Full Speed;
Weight: 0.74 lbs

Nux MG-400 Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal

Nux MG 400 Guitar Multi Effects Pedal

Nux MG-400 Guitar Multi-Effects Pedal

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

Don’t sleep on this one. The MG-400 has the features of more established units, at a price that a lot of guitar player beginners, and intermediates would be happy with.

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NUX may not be a household brand name, but the MG-400 earned a spot for its feature-packed design in a budget-friendly format.

The 48 built-in effects of an MG-400 will be more than enough for your needs.

You can use them all to create your own presets to save into the MG-400’s 64 preset banks. You can even have three variations for each preset, which is similar to Line 6’s snapshot feature.

This makes it easier to have consistent volume and tone across your presets, even when transitioning from clean, overdrive, or really dirty settings.

The MG-400 features amps and cabinets that are not only for electric guitars but also for bass and even acoustic guitars as well. This makes this product a versatile option, especially if you are a multi-instrumentalist.

Sound isn’t up to par with more expensive units, but it sounds decent. Definitely good enough for jams and gigs.

This pedal has a pretty straightforward interface. It has three footswitches that you can use to navigate the menus and edit your effects. It has a really handy tuner and an expression pedal to fill your need for pitch shifting, volume control, or some wah action.

It doesn’t have the most accurate IR that other expensive brands have. But it’s still a cool feature and something you would not usually expect from a product in this price range.

So, if you’re looking for a multi-effects pedal within the $200 range, the NUX MG-400 can be a nice choice. And the IR, of course; you don’t usually see that in most cheap multi-effects pedals.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Processor: White-Box Amp Modeling algorithm (TS/AC-HD) and Core-Image post-effects
Presets: 500+ presets
Effects Models: OD, DIST, CMP, EQ, MOD, DLY, RVB
Amp Models: 25+ amps
Speaker/Cabinet Models: 30+ cabs
Looper: 60 sec mono/30 sec stereo
Editing: Knobs, footswitches, and Quick Tone Software
Impulse Response: Yes
Connectivity: 1/8″ AUX IN jack; GUITAR IN (MONO) and OUT (MONO/STEREO); USB; 1/8″ phone jack, DC Jack.
Weight: 2.02 lbs

Neural DSP Quad Cortex Digital Multi Effects Processor

Best Multi Effect Pedal (Cutting-Edge)

Neural DSP Quad Cortex Digital Multi Effects Processor

Neural DSP Quad Cortex Digital Multi Effects Processor

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

This newcomer in the multi-effects arena is shaking the foundations of which giants like Line 6, Axe FX, Kemper and others have stood for years. 

The Quad Cortex redefines what multi-effects can do. It goes beyond the already impressive amp “profiling” technology, providing unprecedented realism and response, much like using the amp or pedal it is emulating.

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I might be exaggerating, but to put it into perspective, the Quad Cortex captures the dynamic response of a real amplifier. This includes how the amp interacts with your playing and the overall dynamic response of the amp.

It is equipped with biomimetic artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which allows Quad Cortex to learn and accurately replicate the sonic characteristics of any physical amplifier, overdrive, and speaker cabinet. 

This modeler can go toe to toe with giants such as the Kemper Stage. It’s great enough to earn its place in some modern players’ rigs, like Cory Wong and Tim Henson of Polyphia.

With this, you can gain access to some of the most iconic tones from artists like John Petrucci, Plini, Tom Morello, and Tosin Abasi. You also get over 100 FX and 90+ amp selections that are modeled using ground-breaking technology.

The Neural DSP is another entry that incorporates touchscreen technology into guitar effects pedals. The 7″ multi-touch display of the Quad Cortex is large enough that you can see your settings even when standing up. This is ideal, especially when playing live.

It has a USB port for firmware updates and computer connectivity. You can stay up-to-date with the Neural Cortex Cloud app and edit your effects on your PC using the Cortex Control software.

But before you get too excited, there are some things to consider first. The main one is its price, which is really up there at $1,800.  This pedal is more expensive than even a Line 6 Helix Floor. Also, Neural DSP is mainly a software company, and this Quad Cortex is their first hardware product, which means that reliability is still a question.

But if you do have the money to spend, and you want the best guitar processing technology that’s currently out there, then get the Neural DSP Quad Cortex.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Processor: 4x SHARC+ and 2x ARM cores running at 500MHz each
Presets: 100+ Presets
Effects Models: 100+ Effects
Amp Models: 90+ Amps
Speaker/Cabinet Models: 50+ Cabs
Looper: Looper X (4 mins)
Editing: Knob, footswitches, 7″ LCD Touchscreen, and Cortex Control Software
Impulse Response: Yes
Connectivity: Dual Combo Inputs: TS, TRS, and XLR; Dual effects-loops; 1/4” Output jacks: two mono, balanced (TRS) outputs; XLR Output jacks: two mono, balanced XLR output jacks; Headphone Output; MIDI In, Out/Thru; Dual Expression Pedal Input; USB, MIDI.
Weight: Lightweight 4.2 lbs

Boss GT-1000CORE Multi-effects Processor

Boss GT 1000CORE Multi effects Processor

Boss GT-1000CORE Multi-effects Processor

Guitarsite Expert Opinion

A stripped-down version of the popular Boss GT-1000. The Boss GT-1000CORE has all the important features and functions of the original packed in a small metal box.

 

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Boss is a brand synonymous with guitar effects pedals, so it’s no surprise to find one on this list. After the success of their GT-1000 multi-effects pedal, they’ve made a stripped-down version of it, resulting in the GT-1000CORE.

As the name implies, it has the core processing capability present in a GT-1000 placed in a compact unit. This pedal only weighs 2 pounds in comparison to the GT-1000’s 8 pounds. It makes this a great companion for the busy traveling musician, as it’s easy to pack and light to carry.

This unit still has the same Boss build quality that is second to none. Making the GT-1000CORE handle the editing is similar to what a GT-1000 does.

It can handle even complex editing of its vast 140 effects and place them into a signal chain of 24 simultaneous FX blocks.

The CORE also uses Boss’s AIRD technology, which provides more realistic-sounding modeling. Boss’s AIRD claims to have a more dynamic range. In comparison to regular IR capture, which captures only the “tail” of a specific speaker cabinet at a specific moment in time.

AIRD aims to capture the intricacies of your playing, like picking strength and how the amp reacts to it. Eventually, this produces amp and effects models that are more nuanced and nearly identical to the real thing.

And bass players out there, this unit has a dedicated “bass mode.” Take advantage of this and experiment with sounds tailored specifically for the instrument.

It also comes with stereo paths. This provides you with the flexibility to route your signal, creating more complex soundscapes. Learning it can take some time, but it is a powerful tool that will help fuel your creativity.

Boss’s GT-1000CORE is a great option for guitarists and even bassists who are in search of a powerful, portable, and versatile multi-effects pedal. It might not have the other features a Boss GT-1000 has, but it has its CORE features (pun intended), and that’s what really matters.

For $600, this unit is a steal. It’s a great tool in your sonic exploration and an overall reliable workhorse.

Pros:

Cons:

Specifications:
Processor: 32-bit/96 kHz AIRD Modeling Technology
Presets: 250 presets
Effects Models: 140+ effect
Amp Models: 140+ amps
Speaker/Cabinet Models: Buil-in cabinets + 16 IR slots
Looper: 38 sec. (MONO); 19 sec. (STEREO)
Editing: Knobs, footswitches and BOSS Tone Studio
Impulse Response: Yes
Connectivity: INPUT (L/MONO, R), OUTPUT (R/MONO) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type; OUTPUT (L/PHONES) jack: 1/4-inch TRS phone type; CTL 2, 3/EXP 1、CTL 4, 5/EXP 2 jacks: 1/4-inch TRS phone type; MIDI (IN, OUT) connectors: Stereo miniature phone type; USB COMPUTER port: USB Micro-B type; DC IN jack
Weight: 2 lbs

Things to Consider in Choosing the Best Multi-Effects Pedal

Sound Quality and Budget

Multi-effects pedals have now gone beyond providing guitar effects. Many multi-effects can serve as amp modeling pedals.

The more features you want, the more you have to prepare to stretch your budget. And it’s not just about having more features. Highly regarded, multi-effects units like the Line 6 Helix and Neural DSP Quad Cortex command steep price tags.

If you’re looking for studio-level quality amp simulation, then you’ll need to pay for it. No wonder there’s a rise in multi-effects pedal effects equipped with amp modeling and IR loading capability and profiling.

IR and profiling allow you to produce more lifelike effects using only your multi-effects pedal.

On the flip side, some users revert to single stompboxes because they prefer the sound or feature of a specific pedal.

Intuitiveness and Features

Having to deal with too many buttons can lead to frustration, leading some to revert to regular guitar effects pedals. To avoid this, you want to carefully consider what effects you use now and understand its features. If that brand worked for you before, chances are their latest guitar effects will make sense to you.

Other manufacturers brought the smartphone experience to multi-effects pedals. With newer brands incorporating touchscreen technology into their multi-effects units. This eliminates the need for too many knobs, plus it makes editing easier, especially when changing the sequence of effects.

Looking at how the interface works through various YouTube videos also helps to give you a better idea of what you’ll be dealing with. Remember to keep it simple; this way, you get to focus more on developing your skills and music rather than spending time on endless tweaking.

Reliability and Upgradeability

It’s really hard to actually break multi-effects units these days unless you drop them or stomp like a madman. Still, reliability should be considered. The housing used and the quality of the footswitches and knobs should, ideally, be metal.

However, even cheaper multi-effects units with plastic buttons and exteriors can be quite sturdy as well.

Units that include free future upgrades are worth considering. This means that you get more value for your money each time a new feature, preset, and other improvements are available for download.

Portability

Portability is a key advantage that multi-effects pedals provide over traditional stompboxes. You’ll want to carefully consider how much weight you want to carry around and how much space is available for the unit you’re getting. These factors are both important for transport and for playing.

Flagship units are usually heavy and bulky, but they offer the most features. Meanwhile, compact multi-effects pedals are more streamlined and easier to carry around.

Regardless of the size, a multi-effects unit like the TC Electronic Plethora X5 is still much smaller and compact compared to a regular pedalboard packed with individual pedals.

If you need to get an amplifier for your acoustic-electric guitar then check out the Gearank Guide to The Best Acoustic Guitar Amplifiers.

Jason Horton

Lead Author

Alexander Briones
Jerome Arcon

Contributor: Research and Supplemental Writing