The 10 Best Guitar Floor Multieffects
This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Whether you want to subtly color your sound using reverb or boost, or transform it dramatically with distortion and delay, one of these guitar floor multi effects will be up to the challenge. They are available in a wide range of designs with capabilities that can be immediately utilized by beginners, and parameters that can be endlessly tweaked and perfected by professional musicians. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 06, 2020:
A few of the models on our previous list saw much needed upgrades, while others — like the TC Electronic — were sent packing for being so old, despite offering some excellent sound options. The biggest upgrade came in the form of the Boss GT-1000, which came along to replace the GT-100 with a big, easy-to-read display and an impressive suite of effects.
One of the best things about that Boss option is its 32-bit signal processing. For musicians working in the studio this is very important, as it allows you to essentially use the board as a kind of DI box if you prefer to play directly into recording software with a modeled amplifier. You'll note that the Headrush Gigaboard Ultra-Portable, despite having a bigger screen with an intuitive touch interface that make it feel decidedly more modern, only has 24-bit sampling. Now, that's still excellent, but it's enough of a difference to prevent it from eclipsing the Boss on our list.
T Rex Magnus This rather easy-to-use model packs five pedals into one, with overdrive, distortion, delay, reverb, and boost, each of which mirrors the sound and function of single offerings by the company. It boasts a pair of preset banks that can save and recall up to ten settings, and also has a built-in tuner, but it doesn't support alternate tunings. t-rex-effects.com
Leprechaun FX Dr Scientist Bitquest If you don't need to apply too many effects at one time, this might be a smart choice for you. It houses eight modifications, each of which can be applied clean or with the addition of a little distortion. You can't use any of them in conjunction with one another, however, which may be limiting to some players. leprechaunfx.com
Floor Multi Effects Vs. Pedal Boards
For the truly experimental guitarist, you may have invested in loop stations, ring modulators, and other effects that might not get used quite as often as the rest.
If you've been playing guitar for any stretch of time, there's a good chance that you have collected at least one or two pedals. You may have started with something as simple as a tuner pedal, and you likely and added some form of distortion or overdrive to your setup, even if your amp has its own boost settings. Beyond those, more seasoned guitarists will often have their own reverb pedals, multiband equalizers, and other common effects such as delay, chorus, and phaser. For the truly experimental guitarist, you may have invested in loop stations, ring modulators, and other effects that might not get used quite as often as the rest.
Keeping all of these pedals organized can be quite a headache. Just figuring out the best way to fit them onto a prefabricated pedalboard is hard enough, and then you have to figure out how to run power to each of the pedals and ensure that they're connected in the order you require to maximize their effect and minimize signal noise. And even if you get to the point where you've perfected your pedalboard’s layout and connections, if you get to a venue for a performance and your signal isn't reaching your amplifier, it could take hours to diagnose and fix the problem, as you have to check each individual connection and each pedal for a fault.
Guitar floor multi-effects do away with these problems. They provide you with more effects options than you could possibly fit on even a large custom pedalboard, and many have their own versions of some of the most popular pedals on the market.
None of this is to say that you have to replace all of your favorite pedals with a multi-effects board. Most guitarist simply use them to minimize their footprint on stage, maximize the possibilities for expression, and pair them with their absolute favorite pedals, some of which are so unique that no multi-effects board could hope to replicate them.
Of course, newer guitarists stand to benefit from an investment in a multi-effects board, simply because it will save them so much money in the long run. Instead of investing in upwards of a dozen or more pedals to create your unique sound, you can grab a multi-effects board right out of the gate and have just about everything you need.
So, with a multi-effects board on the floor in front of you, and one or two of your favorite pedals to complement it, you'll be able to perform with a wider variety of tones and a lot less hassle.
What To Look For In A Floor Multi-Effect
Giving shape and specificity to the sound of your guitar is one of the great journeys of anyone to pick up the instrument. As such, one of the most important things to look for in a guitar floor multi-effect is flexibility. It's vital that whatever effects are available on your new toy can be easily modified to suit changes in your taste or the demands of a particular genre or style of music you wish to play. Many multi-effects feature LCD screens with simple menus to take you through the changes available on any given effect setting. This level of precision will help ensure that you get the same quality of tone in the studio as you do on the stage.
Giving shape and specificity to the sound of your guitar is one of the great journeys of anyone to pick up the instrument.
Many guitar floor multi-effects also come equipped with two vital built-in pedals. One of them is the tap pedal, which is designed to allow players to input the rhythm of a particular song. That way, effects that have rhythms of their own, such as delay or chorus, can intuitively sync up with the song you're performing live. The other particularly important pedal that comes equipped on many multi-effects is known as the expression pedal. This resembles a wah pedal or a volume pedal, but in this case it is assigned to a particular effect or combination of effects the intensity of which corresponds to the forward position of the pedal. That means you can increase or decrease the intensity of an effect as needed without having to manipulate any knobs or dials, or go diving around in any menus.
Finally, many of the manufacturers of guitar floor multi-effects also make individual pedals, some of which you may have used and rather liked. This can help you find a brand whose sound you've come to trust, and it can also help reassure you that even if you replace some of your standalone pedals with a multi-effects board, you can still get many of the same tones you came to love in your old pedals.
Volume Down, Quality Up
One of the main reasons that you might want to invest in a multi-effects board is that you want your guitar to sound as good as possible. More than that though, I would argue that you want your band to sound as good as possible, unless of course you're an egomaniac, which, among guitarists, isn't that rare an ailment.
One of the main reasons that you might want to invest in a multi-effects board is that you want your guitar to sound as good as possible.
So, here is something that you might not want to hear: if you want your band to sound better, you, the guitarist, are going to need to turn your volume down. This is coming from someone who ran a concert venue for over two years, and had to fight, beg, and convince by example endless numbers of guitarists that their band would sound better if they brought their volume down a scoach.
Go ahead and carefully listen to the records of your favorite bands, and you'll notice that it's the vocals, the snare drum, and the kick drum that drive any successful record. Too many Indie bands make the mistake both live and in the studio of pushing the agenda of their guitars, often at the very significant cost of the overall quality of their sound. Make your vocals and the heart of your drum beat a priority, and you'll be surprised how much easier it is to mix on your records and on stage, and how much better you will sound as a group.