How to choose a quality effect processor?

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In order to choose a good guitar effects processor for your electric guitar or bass guitar, you first need to know what these devices are. An effects processor (guitar processor) is an electronic device that transforms and processes the sound of your musical instrument (if it contains pickups), giving it a different tone or changing its sound. This article will only focus on guitar processors. Thus, if you are the owner of an electric violin or other stringed instrument with a pickup installed on it, then this article will not be useful to you. Without going into historical details, in the course of the evolution of studio and concert guitar equipment, two main types of processors have emerged: digital and analog.

Digital processors have appeared on the market relatively recently. These devices are more compact than the previous generation of guitar processors. Digital processors usually combine a “cocktail” of several effects and models of guitar cabinets (for the uninitiated, these are the speakers from which your guitar sounds). Digital guitar processors are ideal for a beginner musician, as they are quite cheap and yet sound good. The average digital processor starts at around $ 40-50.

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Analog guitar processors are divided into transistors and tubes. The very first effect pedals (not processors, but pedals) were tube-based. They are rather bulky and inconvenient, as they contain only one of the many effects known to guitarists. But at the same time, they have an unsurpassed warm and smooth, “tube” sound, which, according to many professionals, compensates for all the inconveniences in use and transportation. Tube pedals and processors are the choice of high-class and wealthy musicians who are willing to pay as much for quality as needed. Therefore, this luxury will cost you no less than $ 300-400.

Transistor processors are a kind of “compromise” between digital and tube guitar processors. Such devices combine the best characteristics of their modern counterparts. The advantages of transistor processors include portability, capacity and good sound. These guitar gears are the perfect combination of value for money. It is for this reason that many aspiring guitarists prefer solid-state effects pedals. The price of transistor guitar processors is very affordable and starts from $ 100.

In this article, we will not describe the sound of each effect in detail. More information about a specific processor can be found in our articles. In addition, new models are constantly appearing on Amazon and updated models of existing effects. Moreover, the music itself is changing. Nevertheless, at the moment there are main types of effects, such as:

  • “distortion”;
  • “overdrive”;
  • “equalizer”;
  • “wah-wah”;
  • “phaser”;
  • “flanger”;
  • “chorus”;
  • “booster”.

Which set is optimal? It is said that “chorus” is the most popular effect. But if you play  “hard rock” then you cannot do without “distortion”. Therefore, when choosing a specific effect for your guitar, you should go to the store and hear the sound of each effect on the spot. This approach will make the choice more understandable and convenient. There are several of the world’s leading manufacturers of guitar processors:

  • “Boss”;
  • “Marshall”;
  • “Zoom”;
  • “Line 6”;
  • “Korg”;
  • “DOD”;
  • “Electronics”;
  • “Dunlop”.

A fairly new, but successful company in this area is “Nux”. Which manufacturer to choose is a personal matter for each guitarist. All of the above companies and corporations produce high-quality products, all give a guarantee for at least a year. You should not stop your choice only on the products of these companies, since in our time of scientific and technological progress, new companies and competitors appear on the market of guitar equipment every day. Experience shows that one cannot say that the products of young companies will always be worse than the products of old, proven manufacturers. Every device needs to be tried. We hope that, taking into account the knowledge gained, you can easily choose the right guitar processor and be creative without unnecessary problems.

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