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What's the most incredible reggae pedal?
It certainly would make life a lot easier if there was such a thing
as a reggae pedal. Fortunately most if not all guitar pedals can be used
to play reggae. You certainly can get by with just your amp and guitar
and many amps are being shipped these days with on board effects but, most can't give the versatility of an effects
When looking for a reggae pedal make sure it has decent delay,
reverb, distortion, overdrive, chorus an envelope filter and possibly a phaser. If you are having trouble finding a unit read on, as I will look at some muliti-effects
processors, stomboxes and rackmount effects you can use for reggae.
The Boss GT pedals are probably the most used multi-effects pedal
in reggae. All the sounds you will ever need can be found in these pedals. I would not recommend going lower than
the GT-6. I have actually tried the GT-6 and the GT-10, I find the 10 is better than the 6 although it is some what
more complex than the 6. The GT 100 is game and very easy to use. Some say it sounds the best a all the GT's
and if you have the money get it. These pedals sound really good with an amp that gives a flat and natural
response like the JC-120. For amps that works well with reggae pedal see reggae guitar.
The GT series are not my favorite reggae pedals – I have found them
to be some what thin and noisy on some of the presets. I know it can be
tweaked but for me if the factory presets are not decent enough I don’t bother with the
pedal. Still, many reggae guitarists use them so there must be something in them.
If you do not have the money to buy one of the GT series you could get by with the
ME-50, ME-70 (for more see my review of the Boss Me 70 Reggae Pedal) or ME
80. In fact I like the ME series better than the GT
series. They are easier to use, they have enough effects for reggae and
they are cheap. The only draw back in my opinion is that they have no
equalizer, but they are still good value for money. The one to get is the ME 80. It has a preamp and
an EQ section which makes it very versatile.
Digitech is catching up with Boss very quickly if they haven’t
overtaken them already when it comes on to multi-effect
pedals. If I were to choose between the Digitech RP
series or the Boss GT series, I would go with Digitech all the time for reggae.
Some body at Digitech knows what they are doing. The RP 500 and 1000 are extremely powerful and yet unbelievably easy to
use. I own the RP 1000 and I can't fault it. There was no learning curve, it was very easy to use from the get go.
The factory presets are very good and can easily be tweaked. This thing has all the reggae sound you will ever need and more. It's the best reggae pedal by far!
The amp models and cabinet models are very
good. Not the same as the original amps and cabinets they are
modeling but they do actually sound very good. The sounds are not
thin and flat but dynamic. The thing that sold me on these units
was the fact that you can use it and still maintain the original sound of your amp, pure
genius. Why can’t the other companies do the
All the new RP pedals are good and they all use the Audio DNA2
chip. Nevertheless I would not go lower than the RP 355 or maybe the
350. The 500 and 355 are good value for money. I have started using the
RP360XP and its holding up very nicely indeed. Sounds are easy to create, love it! Sorry for
shouting. I will review it soon.
Line 6 Pods
The Line 6 multi-effects pedals are stacked with features too
numerous to name here. If you don’t like any of the ones I've mentioned
you could look at their old Pod XT or Pod X3 Live. The
newer Pod HD500X are ok as well. The Helix is very good but expensive, if you have the money its
worth a try. Its very flexible. I have not used them but many guitarists do. Some say they are good, others say they are rubbish. The major complain I hear is that they are unreliable, because of some software issue, the
sounds are way too digital and it takes a bit of effort to tweak.
Having said that Line 6 is always improving and I would imagine
that these issues will be sorted out in future updates. They can be used as a reggae
pedal and that’s what matters.
Vox ToneLab LE
One of the sweetest sounding pedals out there is the Vox ToneLab
LE. The electronics in this pedal were copied from Vox’s extremely
popular Valvetronix amps. With a good solid state amp or through a PA
this pedal really shines. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of
the other models I‘ve mentioned but, it certainly can hold its own on any stage.
It is ruggedly built and it has a valve inside which seems to
improve the quality of the sound. In some ways it reminds me of the ME-50
because of its simplicity and ease of use. They are not terrible
expensive and can be had second had for cheap. This pedal is very good
value for money and can add some spice to your reggae sound especially if you use a solid state amp. The newer
ToneLab EX is simple and easy to use as well.
Zoom G3X and G3Xn
I tried the Zoom G3X after reading some reviews on the net and I
have to say musically this little baby can shine. I obsolutely love it. Its so small and easy to use and
it fits in my guitar bag, amazing! The G3Xn is good too and for reggae, I would be more than happy to gig
with it. Just like the RP360XP the price is right.
A very good alternative to multi-effects processors are stomboxes
and they substitute very well as reggae pedals. In fact many people argue
that stomboxes are your best option for authentic effects sound. While I
tend to agree, one has to bare in mind that multi-effects processor are very good, extremely affordable and
versatile when compared to stomboxes. Having said that, if you like
stomboxes then by all means go for them.
I think Boss is the market leader when it comes to stomboxes so you
could consider checking their stuff out first. There is really no point in
me naming individual stomdoxes here since any one of their reverbs, choruses, delays, envelop filters (auto
wah/yah), overdrives or distortion pedals will do just fine. Go to a music shop and try
them all to see which ones you like.
Digitech also make very good stomboxes especially their Hardwire
range. Many of the reviews that I have seen on the Hardwire pedals have
been extremely positive. They are a bit more expensive, so if you are on
a budget you could try their other pedals. I have only tried the Bad
Monkey and if that is the standard of their pedals then I am sold.
There are other makes of course like, Line 6, Electro-Harmonics,
Ibanez, Tech 21 etc; so shop around to see what suits your needs. Just
remember that stomboxes can get very expensive especially the boutique ones and there are loads to choose from
which can be quite disconcerting. All in all, they do make good reggae
If you are not troubled by a lack of flexibility then you could try
a rackmount effects unit. Some people claim they are built better and are
more authentic sounding. I think they are ok sounding and they are more
for studio use.
If you are into rackmount effects you could look at the Boss
GT-Pro, Digitech GSP1101, Fractal Audio Axe-Fx or Axe-Fx Ultra (many people seem to be happy with this one, they
claim it’s the best replica of a valve sound), TC Electronic G-Major, G-Sharp or G-Force, Rocktron Prophey 11 or
the Tech 21 SanAmp PSA-1.1. The line 6 rackmount Pod HD Pro or the Eleven Rack form Avid if are good
These are just a few of the rackmount effects processors out there
so again remember to shop around to see what best suits your needs. If you plan to use these units live, bare in mind that you may need an additional pedal to change
from preset to preset.
With so many options out there for reggae pedal, your reggae sound
and playing should never be the same.Now go have some fun trying the different
effects units out there. Later!