Dan Veall looks to take your low-end to new heights with the Zoom B1X FOUR. Featuring over 70 effects and amp models, looper and a built-in rhythm section, plus, an expression pedal that can adjust effects, such as volume, wah, delay and pitch all for under £100. The B1X FOUR could be a must for all bass enthusiasts.
Zoom’s latest multi-effects processor for bass guitar joins the family of red, in between the current crop of processors, the B1 & B1on models and the higher specification B3n.
Small but mighty, the B1 Four (and it’s big brother the B1X Four that we are viewing here today) boasts 71 internal effects, 9 amp simulations of well known head and cabinet combinations any of which can be inserted in to a signal chain of five effects at once, in any order!
Getting creative is dead easy especially as Zoom have crammed in a 30 second looper whereby you can select whatever effect you want on your sound before recording a new layer over the top of the previous.
If you are like me, I always need a bit of practice with all aptitudes, such as timing, it’s great that the onboard looper can sync-start the inbuilt rhythm section win the form of 68 internal rhythm patterns adjustable for tempo.
Your carefully crafted tones need not be lost either as there are 50 memory slots to save to. That would include taking an existing factory preset and tweaking it to your tastes.
There’s a few nifty little features in the B1 that I think you’ll like. There’s the ability to “auto-save”, which means whenever you get to a new patch, when you want to keep your ideas all you have to do a change a parameter. No need to hit save afterward for the patch to remember the new setting. This of course can be switched off in the setting menu. You’ll be back to being asked if you wish to save in no time. There’s also a “pre-select” allowing a player to cue up a new effect ready whilst another is still being used, thus cutting down on crazy foot tapping when the moment arrives in the music to drop a new sound bang on the beat with one single button press.
Not surprisingly as an effects unit, it has a built-in tuner which is of a chromatic type that is easily accessed by holding down both of the larger pedals.
I like the addition of an aux in for playing along to favourite tracks or even possible to use in rudimentary IEM monitoring situations I guess. Something to try out!
B1 will run off AA batteries that I am pleased to say are included in the box too - but also the usual pedal power 9v adaptors will work. These pedals feature a USB connection which is there to access either updating of the onboard firmware or Zoom’s Guitar Lab software for editing, creating and managing effects and patches. You can even download more effects from Zoom!
Interestingly for me, when the device is plugged into a computer with the correct specification USB port, it will power the B1 too!
B1 comes with a quick start guide and a list of the factory bass patches to help get you on your way to building some mammoth tones. Oh! In case I didn’t mention it in my video review, the difference between B1 and B1X of course that the latter comes with a built-in expression pedal that works with effect parameters.
Zoom aren’t just a new company, they have been producing a wide range of audio technology for musician, artist, studio and field workers alike for many years.
For the musician, they are forever managing to compact a huge amount of technology into affordable units that really do sound good.
Furthermore, in the case of devices such as the B1X we are looking at today, the lay out of modern multi-effect pedals I think is getting more intuitive. Yeah sure, there have been a few hiccups on the way and yes, some units that have bigger colour screens and more “data entry” dials will be even easier than smaller units; Zoom B1 does a great job of allowing the user to access either banks of patches or individual effects when editing a patch easily.
There’s a huge amount of power in a box designed to be compact here - and at a price that is practically mind-boggling. For that reason, I find it difficult to whinge about anything on it. Yes, the small screen could be difficult to read in bright sunlight should you need to edit an effects chain, but that’s not a deal breaker for what this device is trying to achieve elsewhere. The only problem I personally had was getting the application to communicate with the device on my laptop. That could, of course, be a problem with my laptop though so we shall ignore that for this review.
Wrapping up, here is a multi-effects unit capable of a mind-boggling array of effects. Seventy one stomp-box models of well-known pedals. Nine built-in amplifier simulation and speaker cabinets models. Somehow at this price point, easily handling five effects at once.
It’s brilliant for the money, what more can I say?
Zoom has lots of experience in DSP Audio.
None at this price point.
71 Internal effects
9 Amp simulations
Dimensions: 156 x 216 x 52 mm
Weight: 610 g
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