Effects are a great way to tailor your instrument’s signature tone into something quite different, pushing a guitar’s sound farther than what would normally be possible with just an amplifier. They are a great addition to a player’s arsenal of tonal tools. They also come in a few different flavors, two of which are single, dedicated pedals and multi-effects units. Below, we take a look at what each one entails and take a closer look at each of their pros and cons.



Individual Effects Pedals

If the tone is very important for you, a dedicated individual effects pedal is more likely to deliver the desired sound. Given their single-minded nature, dedicated guitar effects stompboxes offer more authentic playing dynamics and sound than multi-effects pedals. However, you’ll have to pay more for a single effects pedal.

In case that you focus on a relatively narrow sounds range, and have a budget to work with, you may go for a premium stompbox. But if you spend a lot of time pushing the boundaries of the guitar sound and experimenting heavily, it is more likely that a multi-effects box is a better choice for you. Also, a multiprocessor can be useful if you do a lot of covers. You can call up a good fuzz sound at a moment’s notice.


Pros Of Dedicated Effects Pedals

• You can select the exact pedal model that you want.
• In order to power your pedals, you can choose the exact power supply.
• You can lay out each pedal exactly where you need them, after choosing the type and size of pedalboard.
• You can wire all the effects in the order you like them.
• You can easily adjust individual pedals.


Cons Of Dedicated Effects Pedals

• When putting together your rig, individual pedals can be expensive.
• You also have to cover the cost of the pedal board itself.
• In addition, you will have to cover the cost of the DC power supply.
• Cables will also add to the total cost.
• A large board can be difficult to fit into your available space.
• In case that a patch cable goes bad, it may take time to find out which one is generating the issue.


Multi-Effects Units

If you’re looking to get maximum value for your money, multi-effects pedals for guitars typically offer in a single unit tens or even hundreds of effects. They also usually allow you to edit and save settings and effect combinations as patches and presets. Many are also able to import new patches and effects from the internet.

There are many multi-effects pedals for guitars that come with the ability to twist, tweak and transform your sound in various ways. However, not everyone needs all these features. And, in order to pack all these functions into a single unit, compromises are made.

For instance, instead of having dedicated circuits that produce a range overdrive effects, these sounds are emulated by a multiprocessor that uses digital signal processing. Some musicians prefer real tones generated by the original pedal or amp instead of their simulation.


Pros Of Multi-Effects Units

• They can be a space saver.
• Most multi-effect units are less expensive than individual pedals.
• Some units have many built in features.
• There is no extra cost for a power supply or pedal board.
• Some multi-effects units allow you to program in a bank several patches.
• They only need one cable in and one out.

Cons Of Multi-Effects Units

• They don’t allow you to choose each individual effect.
• The effects are set in a certain order.
• You cannot choose where the footswitch buttons are located on the unit.
• During a performance, some units are not easy to adjust on the go.


Final Thoughts ...

In the end, there really isn't any right or wrong choice. It all depends on what works best for your style and needs! But one thing is for sure... if you're looking for a great deal on an effects pedal or a multi-effects unit, make sure to talk to one of our helpful PAL Pros by using the live chat feature below or by calling us toll-free at 1 877-671-2200!



Your Turn to Sound Off!

Which do you prefer, single dedicated effects or multi-effects units?

Let us know in the comment section below!



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