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New Zoom Multi FX: Zoom B6


rushbo

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I entirely agree @jimfist it's utterly subjective.

I mix a small amount of octave up with my basic sound, and it works for that. 

also there is an 'analogue' octaver which does that OC2 thing rather well. Again in my opinion.

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2 hours ago, stewblack said:

I entirely agree @jimfist it's utterly subjective.

I mix a small amount of octave up with my basic sound, and it works for that. 

also there is an 'analogue' octaver which does that OC2 thing rather well. Again in my opinion.

 

OK. If we're talking about the Bass Analog octaver, then I'm in total agreement that it works great.

Might be two ships passing in the night here with our context regarding pitch shifting....

I've been specifically talking about the B6 shifting as a replacement/alternative to using a second bass guitar (for example, down tuned to E flat).

For other special effects, octaves, whammy fx, and other stuff of that ilk, I think the B6 shifting is fine, and have created a number of nice sounds with them.

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Just connected up my expression pedal to the B6. It's the cheap Gear Ex-P by M-Audio which I suspect a lot of people have.

First tip is under the expression pedal there's a switch,  switch it from 'M-Audio' to 'Other'. It doesn't seem to make a difference with some effects but with the B6 it most definitely does.

I tried it in all its functions and the whammy was the most pleasing to me. Smooth and sweet all the way up. Or down. In fact taking it down a couple of octaves is a really cool effect I shall definitely use.

 

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Oh and also, while editing on the pedal, which is how I always work, pull down the menu, 1st page, bottom row centre, Edit All button.

It's almost perfect. It allows you to work from one screen without going back and forth to the main menu. Why only almost? No shortcut to change the order of effects. Otherwise it's great.

The little red squares above the effects are on off switches, which I also didn't know.

 

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I quickly checked one out at the Liverpool show. Went through the patches as I didn't want to delve into the menus. My take on it was that my B3n does 90% of what the B6 does, and was 25% of the cost.

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4 hours ago, Machines said:

I quickly checked one out at the Liverpool show. Went through the patches as I didn't want to delve into the menus. My take on it was that my B3n does 90% of what the B6 does, and was 25% of the cost.

Cool. If you're happy with the B3n, then you win! Saved a bag full of money.

 

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1 hour ago, stewblack said:

Cool. If you're happy with the B3n, then you win! Saved a bag full of money.

 

I can see some people would get some mileage out of the extra functionality, the touchscreen is cool but obviously has a big whack on the price. I'm happy with tactile controls and a single colour basic display but I guess this is where the market is heading.

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4 hours ago, Machines said:

 

I can see some people would get some mileage out of the extra functionality, the touchscreen is cool but obviously has a big whack on the price. I'm happy with tactile controls and a single colour basic display but I guess this is where the market is heading.

Believe me it's unusual for me to go for the expensive option in life, in fact very strange indeed. But in this case I believe it's the right option for me.

It's simple to edit effects and patches without recourse to a computer, I believe the effects I use most sound better than my other Zoom pedals, the big screen is visible to my lousy eyesight, the tuner is excellent, the effects bypass switch a good addition, the overall tone and volume controls with real life knobs priceless, the DI out useful for me, two inputs useful for me, the different colours for different effects being mirrored on the switches is great on stage, the effects loop a welcome addition, the scene mode for songs is cool.

It ain't perfect. I'd have preferred an expression pedal built in like the guitar model has, I'd have liked a couple more foot switches - but four is actually ok for me - and the DI switches seem not to make much difference to my ears. It's a bit big but I'm old and short sighted so that's ok.

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Not trying to convert anyone here but I'm with @stewblack on this one. 

The most I've spent on any multi-fx pedal in the last 7 years was $299 US for the Zoom G5n. ( I did get an HX Stomp but flipped it - can't come to terms with the 3 switch thing...)

I had not really considered the B6 in any way due primarily to the size (bigger than the G5n, even without an exp pedal) and cost vs. other known pedals (mainly Line 6).

 

But then I saw the features that I wanted which are missing in the G5n/B3n, some of which are missing on much more expensive multi-fx, too:

  • XLR out
  • 2 discrete inputs each with input impedance switch, with dedicated selection footswitch, each with its own global EQ and level
  • great selection of bass preamps (a bunch of new ones), amps, and dirt box models
  • higher sample rate 88.2kHz
  • IR loading
  • Send/Return (which can be used to pull a feed off of the effects routing anywhere in its path, or as typical for insert FX)
  • DI output simulations (I'm surprised at how much I like these)
  • Bluetooth capabilities (iPad/iPhone) for remote control (not using this yet)

 

The LAST thing I cared about, honestly, was the touch screen. I, too, prefer the WYSIWYG knob controls of the B3n/G5n, but I'm slowly becoming a fan of the touchscreen.

As @stewblack said, it is much easier to read than the old LCD screens on the G5n/B3n. In stompbox mode, just touch the effect you want to edit and the edit screen comes up with the 4 knobs to control the effect/model.

Not as quick as the G5n, but not bad as far as touch screen editing goes on the unit.

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Used mine last night for the first time with the band at rehearsal.......at volume .

At the moment lm using just the presets to get used to the box .

Went through quite a few of the presets and immediately noticed the difference in sound at a volume , compared to bedroom level .

I settled on 80's studio , very over compressed at bedroom level , but l found it great in band situation .

Quality of sound ( IMHO ) far, far better than the b3n .

For a 75 year old , things ain't half improved over the years .

Now back to the box , to learn how to tweek it , to get it even better .

Edited by petetexas
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1 hour ago, petetexas said:

Used mine last night for the first time with the band at rehearsal.......at volume .

At the moment lm using just the presets to get used to the box .

Went through quite a few of the presets and immediately noticed the difference in sound at a volume , compared to bedroom level .

I settled on 80's studio , very over compressed at bedroom level , but l found it great in band situation .

Quality of sound ( IMHO ) far, far better than the b3n .

For a 75 year old , things ain't half improved over the years .

Now back to the box , to learn how to tweek it , to get it even better .

 

The bit highlighted seems to be quite a key point to me and I've heard folk say that a fair bit already when comparing the B1-4 and B3n with the B6. I guess it's tied into higher (doubled in fact) 88.2kHz sample rate.

 

I wonder if Zoom will do the B3n -> B1-4 thing again and release a compact budget version of the B6? Something more pedalboard friendly in size would be awesome.

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I couldn't believe how good mine was first time I gigged it. Bearing in mind I hadn't had it long, so was really quite unfamiliar with it.

But I barely needed to tweak it beyond dialling down one effect. What blew me away was the way the sounds sat in/cut through the mix. Better than any of my uber expensive individual stomps have done in the past.

Even allowing for my cack handed inability to dial in a good sound on those pedals, the Zoom out shone them.

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8 hours ago, stewblack said:

Even allowing for my cack handed inability to dial in a good sound on those pedals, the Zoom out shone them.

 

Sounds promising if that is the engine for their next batch of pedals. When they come up with something compact and pedalboard friendly it will be interesting.

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I used to have a Helix LT then got rid and bought an Atomic Bassbox in my quest to find something simple to use, portable, great-sounding and suitable for use in a band where I go straight into the mixer (along with the rest of the band) with an FRFR speaker as my monitor. Don't use pedals much if at all. I keep looking at the B6 as an alternative but am yet to be convinced. 

 

The question from me is - why would I buy a B6 over a Helix Stomp?

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10 minutes ago, Tripehound said:

The question from me is - why would I buy a B6 over a Helix Stomp?

 

If you don't use pedals, then I can't see any reason why you would buy a B6 over a stomp. Although if you don't use pedals, I don't get why you would get a stomp either - why not just get a DI box or something like the TC Spectacomp, where you can just have a toneprint and a DI out?

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9 hours ago, Tripehound said:

I used to have a Helix LT then got rid and bought an Atomic Bassbox in my quest to find something simple to use, portable, great-sounding and suitable for use in a band where I go straight into the mixer (along with the rest of the band) with an FRFR speaker as my monitor. Don't use pedals much if at all. I keep looking at the B6 as an alternative but am yet to be convinced. 

 

The question from me is - why would I buy a B6 over a Helix Stomp?

 

Yes, the Atomic BassBox. Me and you both have this nice little toy. Great all-in-one box that covers the hardcore basics.

I also have the B6 for those gigs where I need more flavors of effects than what the BassBox provides.

In fact, I have some presets that integrate the BassBox last in the B6 effects loop so that I can max out the B6 internal memory on stomp effects.

I'll typically use a pitch-shifted chorus, tremolo, a few flavors of OD/distortion, envelope filter/auto wah, synths, and octavers.

The B6 does essentially all of what the BassBox does plus all the effects. I find the quality of the modeling in the BassBox to be a little better (but not by a lot).

If you don't have a need for effects, then the B6 will have little added value vs. the BassBox.

The B6 does have a lot more flavors of amp and preamp, which you might find interesting.

I recently discovered their Mark Bass Mini Mark model and cabinet and think it's pretty solid.

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And I'd add that the B6 and HX Stomp are very different animals in many aspects:

  • B6 much larger footprint than HX Stomp
  • B6 simpler to program and limited; HX has many options and allows deep diving parameter edits
  • B6 doesn't allow much for programming control switching; HX allows for sophisticated switch programming
  • B6 has a lot more switches with dedicated function; HX has only 3 switches that are multi-function
  • B6 has an XLR output for practicality; HX does not
  • B6 is dedicated as a bass modeler, though you could coax some guitar tones out of it if needed; HX excels at guitar modeling.
  • B6 has separate A/B dedicated inputs with switchable impedance, dedicated switch, volume and EQ for each input; Not sure what HX offers there.
  • B6 is a little less cost than the HX.
  • B6 has no MIDI; HX does MIDI

 

IMHO, you'd get the HX Stomp if you

  • want a very small footprint
  • don't need to do a lot of sound changing via footswitch
  • don't mind menu-diving and appreciate a higher level of complexity of design
  • need very specific programmed control of sounds/effects
  • prefer deep editing of parameters
  • want to integrate within an existing MIDI framework
  • may want to use it also for guitar amp modeling
  • are not concerned with having XLR output
  • have the extra coin to spend

All-in-all...different horses for different courses....etc...

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On 22/04/2022 at 22:28, jimfist said:

And I'd add that the B6 and HX Stomp are very different animals in many aspects:

  • B6 much larger footprint than HX Stomp
  • B6 simpler to program and limited; HX has many options and allows deep diving parameter edits
  • B6 doesn't allow much for programming control switching; HX allows for sophisticated switch programming
  • B6 has a lot more switches with dedicated function; HX has only 3 switches that are multi-function
  • B6 has an XLR output for practicality; HX does not
  • B6 is dedicated as a bass modeler, though you could coax some guitar tones out of it if needed; HX excels at guitar modeling.
  • B6 has separate A/B dedicated inputs with switchable impedance, dedicated switch, volume and EQ for each input; Not sure what HX offers there.
  • B6 is a little less cost than the HX.
  • B6 has no MIDI; HX does MIDI

 

IMHO, you'd get the HX Stomp if you

  • want a very small footprint
  • don't need to do a lot of sound changing via footswitch
  • don't mind menu-diving and appreciate a higher level of complexity of design
  • need very specific programmed control of sounds/effects
  • prefer deep editing of parameters
  • want to integrate within an existing MIDI framework
  • may want to use it also for guitar amp modeling
  • are not concerned with having XLR output
  • have the extra coin to spend

All-in-all...different horses for different courses....etc...

Thanks - that's an excellent summary! 

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Rehearsal and gig this week. Maiden voyage with the B6 in full band context. Found an old laptop soft case that fits the B6 perfectly. Will report on how it fares as the new kid on the block.

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Gigged with it in memory mode on Saturday.

I was bedeviled by the same problem I have whenever I use preprogrammed effects patches.

No matter how assiduously I set them up at home, get on stage and there are glaring differences in volume between the patches, and what sounds amazing at home seldom sounds great live.

Nothing wrong with the unit just my cack handed inability to program stuff properly.

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The B6 performed well for me at rehearsal last night. No issues whatsoever, but did need to do some tweaks to some of the patches to adjust tone and level.

It's true, that the best way to create sounds and balance them is in context at full rehearsal/gig volume. There's just no substitute IMO.

Gig is on Saturday, so we'll see how things a feeling after a full night of using the new box. So far, so good.

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