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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Zoom MS-50G Do All Pedal. Save Money and Read This.

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I got a call recently from a recording artist/friend to play a few dates in Canada. He's mostly an acoustic player but plays "lead" electric guitar on one song, the fans love it. We used to tour with an extensive set up, gear, technicians but for these few dates it's throw and go festivals. I wanted an all in one pedal processor to plug him in and wham, instant rock guitar.

I researched some multi-effects pedals (I don't keep up with this stuff) and came across the Zoom MS-50G, a Boss sized do everything pedal that comes with 50 pedal models (upgradable to 100 via a USB update) can have up to six effects at a time in any order, runs on 2-AA batteries and thought "that'll do". When his pedal arrived and I started to build a sound for him and I was so impressed that I bought one myself. I used it for two days of rehearsal and loved it. Now just so you know where I'm coming from.......I did some beta testing years ago for Line 6 and Yamaha on similar products but I'm a pretty simple guy when it comes to pedals.

After spending some more time listening to and editing sounds I wrote this email to a good friend, fellow guitar player and I'm passing this info on in case it might help someone else. Normally I wouldn't give this kind of gear a glance at all but I'm glad I did.

So I got into this little pedal more today, for close to and hour and a half and I'm pretty damn impressed.
Thoughts.....

Definitely do the USB upgrade from their website. The extra pedals are really worth it. Takes it from 50 to 100 effects.

The Tremolo is bad ass with great options in waveform and such. Very versatile and great sounding.
There is a Trem-ish model called The Slicer, kind of a pattern Tremolo that starts at The Smiths "How Soon Is Now" (nails it) and has many other rhythm patterns from there. Choppy and cool.

Reverbs are good but the Spring Reverb is not awesome. It's O.K. at best but not great although it would make a good back up.

The basic Vibrato (true pitch vibrato) is Bad ass and there are other options in the Leslie, Uni-Vibe camp that are pretty cool.

The Auto Wah is great

Chorus, Flange, Phaser all really good. Not that I use those often if at all but the the old Boss Chorus model CE-1 is fantastic. Andy Summers.

Distortions and Overdrives are O.K. at best BUT could be fixed up quite a bit by following them with the 6 band EQ model which works well.

2 Fuzzes- Not very 60's or Eleki. More Hendrix and Jack White.

Compressors are good, not too drastic.
The Rack Compressor models is really good 1176 type sounds

Delays are pretty fantastic. I'd buy this before any other delay pedal out there with the exception of some of the expensive boutiques like the BellEpoch or El Capistan. You can tap tempo if you leave that option active.

Pitch effects such as octave down (there is an octave up plus octave down model like the POG as well ) are better for weird, spacey things. Tracking is not as good as the EH POG pedal.

Weird effects such as Seek Wah, Mono Synth, Ring Modulator...........some of these are very, very usable for more creative things.

Amp models aren't bad in that they strongly resemble what they are modeling. I didn't try them direct with the Cabinet simulators but I got the feeling they might work well.

Built in Tuner -works well

Acoustic Guitar Simulator - not great but not bad. Some cool things could be done with it.

They say 2-AA batteries last seven hours and I proved at a few day long rehearsals that they actually can last a little longer than that.

Up to six effects at one time in any order you choose.

Obviously it's a little limited with just one footswitch (which can be assigned to turn specific effects in a chain off, Tuner option, Tap Tempo and I believe scrolling of presets - maybe. But as a Swiss army knife of pedals with great Tremolo, Vibratos, Delays and Weird sounds it's pretty unbelievable and the sounds are very, very good.
There is a learning curve (there's a LOT crammed in here) but it's not too bad and worth the time as, like most digital pedals, manipulation of the sounds is key to getting great ones.
Think about it; in a pinch this pedal could replace almost anything on your board and even your amp to get through a bad situation. Crazy

Color me impressed and since Sam Ash is blowing these things out at 69.99..........how can you go wrong.

Sorry this is so long but I thought it was worth telling.

http://www.facebook.com/CrazyAcesMusic
http://www.youtube.com/user/crazyacesrock
http://www.reverbnation.com/crazyacesmusic

Last edited: Jun 29, 2014 14:42:05

Are you able to just use effects without amp modeling?

Aaaaaaargh! It's digital! Kill it! Kill it with fire!

Wink

Seriously though... I take it Zoom have upped their game then? My first ever multi-effect unit was a Zoom 505, and believe it or not I still own it after 20 years. Yes, I kept it so I can still throw stones at it from time to time Argh

Old punks never die... They just become surf rockers.

If the Zoom MS-50G is anywhere near as good as the Zoom R24 then it's going to be outstanding. The R24 is a recorder but it has a massive storage of internal guitar simulations and effects, so many that you need the manual to find them all. I spent an afternoon trying them out at a friends home studio and was very impressed. I take it the MS-50G is the same technology.

"Are you able to just use effects without amp modeling?"
Surf Skater, Yes, that's exactly what I'm using it for. Just as a stompbox

"Seriously though... I take it Zoom have upped their game then?"
LeeVanCleef, I couldn't answer that effectively as I have no prior experience with Zoom devices. I can tell you that in direct comparison to a few analog and digital devices that I use, TC Flashback and Nova delay, Boss and Behringer Vibratos, Amp Tremolo, the Zoom comes out well, sounds really good.

"I take it the MS-50G is the same technology."
crumble, I don't know for certain but if that R24 is from the last few years then most likely. The Zoom G3 has the same sounds but in a slightly larger platform. Three assignable switches and windows but takes things even further with bluetooth capabilities for sound uploads and many of the extra and even third party sounds for this are getting really good reviews, even for esoteric models like the Klon overdrive. I have no experience with any of their other products though except this MS-50G.

http://www.facebook.com/CrazyAcesMusic
http://www.youtube.com/user/crazyacesrock
http://www.reverbnation.com/crazyacesmusic

LeeVanCleef wrote:

Aaaaaaargh! It's digital! Kill it! Kill it with fire!

Wink

Seriously though... I take it Zoom have upped their game then? My first ever multi-effect unit was a Zoom 505, and believe it or not I still own it after 20 years. Yes, I kept it so I can still throw stones at it from time to time Argh

The 505 suffered a bit from being an early attempt to cram as much into as small a package as possible. For bedroom guitarists on a budget (with families that encouraged playing through headphones) they were a Godsend.
The delay and modulation specific pedals in the same series were great.

I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Zoom. I borrowed a 2020, bought a 4040, and then upgraded to an 8080. I almost had a 9030 at one point too.
As a long haired, teenage, widdly widdly wannabe guitarist, they suited me perfectly.

I purchased a Zoom MS-70CDR MultiStomp Chorus/Delay/Reverb pedal this Winter and have been very pleased with the unit. It's really an outstanding multi-effects pedal with a small footprint and even has a very good "Spring 63" setting. Better than the Boss unit imho. Cool I've always used analog pedals up until this point btw

As stated the tremolo, delays and various reverbs are top-notch. The chorus settings are good as well though I just don't use that particular effect much (never have).

I use it for my solo gigs now; Gretsch - Zoom MS70 - PA.

  • It will eat batteries though; I purchased an a/c adapter.

METEOR IV on reverbnation

Last edited: Jun 29, 2014 17:39:08

surfaholic wrote:

For bedroom guitarists on a budget (with families that encouraged playing through headphones) they were a Godsend.

Only if you like the forlorn sound of the northern wind blowing through a copse of trees, because that's what you would hear coming out of these at idle, now matter how high you cranked the included "Zoom Noise Reductor".

Also, they had a very perceivable lag between the time you would press on a footswitch and the time the patch would actually change, making them totally useless for live playing.

Add to that a bunch of pretty bad effects (especially the od/dist section) and the fully digital incremental settings (meaning you could never dial in the correct speed for modulation effects) and you've got one of the worst, most unusable multiFX units ever made in my opinion.

But hey... These had a "Surf" preset (tremolo + hall reverb IIRC), so they couldn't be all bad, could they? Mr. Green

Old punks never die... They just become surf rockers.

Cool, my tech guy's been a beta tester for these pedals and he essentially says the same about them. Actually he didn't stop talking about them the last time I visited. They seem to be a real great bang for the buck.

/Edit: Oh drats, he offered me one for testing almost a year ago and I was like 'meh, digital...' Could slap myself now.

The Hicadoolas

Last edited: Jun 30, 2014 06:56:55

Early cheap digital devices were all horrible. Cheapest of 16bit converters, low sampling rates, crazy filtering and phasing, and perceived latency.
As a kid, I was disgusted. So I upgraded to Behringer X-Vamp. It cut your guitar tone only in half, not 75% like the 505...

Zoom have definitely upped their game since.

I to was super skeptical until I heard one. I bought it thinking it would be mainly for rehearsal but after some time with the unit I'm now using it for live gigs.

Btw, the MS-70 has two outputs which allows you to run in stereo / tandem and some of the effects sound super cool this way especially the pan, roto-vibe and tremolo settings.

METEOR IV on reverbnation

Last edited: Nov 07, 2014 12:05:43

I have a Zoom MS-100BT (BT=Bluetooth) on order. The price of the 100BT has dropped so dramatically it hardly seems worth going for MS-50G. Thanks to Jeff for the heads-up about this pedal, probably wouldn't noticed it otherwise. I've had tuner/mild fuzz pedals on my mind for a while and this covers all those bases and much more.

Last edited: Nov 06, 2014 12:05:37

crumble - FWIW, I still really dig mine. Use it all the time.
It's surprising how many cork sniffing tone seekers stop by my shop and remark at the sounds and possibilities of the pedal.
There are more online and aftermarket sounds available for the bluetooth version so probably a smart move there.
A little advice (take or leave it of course) with the fuzzes and drives - don't be shy about running an EQ model before or after to tailor the sound better. The fuzz and drive models can really come to life when you do this.
Hope you dig it,

Jeff

http://www.facebook.com/CrazyAcesMusic
http://www.youtube.com/user/crazyacesrock
http://www.reverbnation.com/crazyacesmusic

Jeff It arrived this afternoon! Running through the manual I was struck with fear my 50+ year old brain wouldn't be able to cope with all the complexities but I've found pretty intuitive so far. I'm not yet into the chaining effects and sub menus, rather just absorbing what it can do right off the cuff. Some of the sounds, especially the clean/transparent ones are very nearly studio rack quality, no unwanted background noise, clear smooth and warm. Just about everything you wouldn't expect from a fairly cheap digital pedal.

MS-100BT vs MS-50G you lose USB connection but gain an extra stereo-in socket and bluetooth internet access to other soft amps/effects including some from MS-70CDR. In my country the MS-50G sells for £75 all day long while the MS-100BT I bought for £92 freepost.

Perennial Galaxy Trio groupie that I am there's a possibility I could dial in Jim's elusive creamy fuzz tone or at least get somewhere in the ball park without buying every pedal on the planet Smile As you say the Zoom has EQ and other useful stuff..

If there's anything I can do to help unlock some of the features or usage please feel free to let me know.
Multi-menu gadgets, be they TV's or Pedals or Recording gear aren't exactly my wheelhouse either but after a few days and some help from the manual I was doing O.K.
Some things such as the tap tempo can be a little strange to enable at first, there are some menu steps required. Took me two days, I thought it was faulty but it was just me that was faulty, LOL
As per my original post. I received my first one just days before I was supposed to walk into rehearsal and have a good sound for the artist I was working with to plug in and go. At first I thought " Oh my, learning curve!" But I found the unit pretty well designed and easy to use although truth be told - I've just been using the 7 or 8 sounds or signal chains I originally made and if I went back right now to create a new chain......it might take a minute.....Ha Ha.

Cheers,
Jeff

http://www.facebook.com/CrazyAcesMusic
http://www.youtube.com/user/crazyacesrock
http://www.reverbnation.com/crazyacesmusic

I bought and tried the Zoom 505 a few years ago . . . sold it 2-weeks later, I though it was a very average sounding pedal, especially weak reverb.

I like Zoom pedals and just think this is not one of their good ones.

'Surf Music Lasts Forever'

I bought and tried the Zoom 505 a few years ago . . . sold it 2-weeks later, I though it was a very average sounding pedal, especially weak reverb.

I like Zoom pedals and just think this is not one of their good ones.

If you want minimum setup, just use a Fender Mustang Amp (with built in modeling) there have great sound - just guitar and amp, easy

'Surf Music Lasts Forever'

CrazyAces, thanks for the info.
How do you rate the Vox amp simulator on this pedal ?
Does it sound like a Vox clean and/or distorted ?

Wombat wrote:

I bought and tried the Zoom 505 a few years ago . . . sold it 2-weeks later, I though it was a very average sounding pedal, especially weak reverb.

I like Zoom pedals and just think this is not one of their good ones.

If you want minimum setup, just use a Fender Mustang Amp (with built in modeling) there have great sound - just guitar and amp, easy

I understand how you feel about previous Zoom pedals but I can assure you the latest range are not like a plastic box with an 8 bit pic chip and 12k of memory. These MS pedals have a very powerful processor and plenty of internal memory. Check the specifications Here. Also because they have built-in amp simulations you can plug directly into a PA or recording desk with stereo output, you can even link two pedals together.. (edit. come to think of it, perhaps not the MS50G with only mono input - the other models have stereo in/out)

Earlier this year my friend Roger who has a home studio called to say he was thinking about buying a Zoom R24 multitrack recorder. He'd been using a Zoom 1608 for some years but liked the idea of the R24s ability to be either stand-alone or USB interface for whatever DAW you have. I said, isn't it time you splashed the cash and bought a Fostex (or whatever) instead of a crappy Zoom but he bought it anyway and I'm glad he did because it-is-jaw-dropping.. Believe me there is nothing out there as good for the money.

The Zoom R24 (Or R8/R16 they are much the same) it has the same amp model/effects technology as the MS50G range of pedals. The best way I can show you is through this video.

Last edited: Nov 08, 2014 06:51:47

DaveF wrote:

CrazyAces, thanks for the info.
How do you rate the Vox amp simulator on this pedal ?
Does it sound like a Vox clean and/or distorted ?

Dave,
I really haven't spent much time with the amp simulators.
I did use the Deluxe Reverb simulator direct on a pro gig (real PA, monitors etc) and it worked fine, especially since it was a fly gig and the backline amps were dying. It was not a surf gig though, just a quiet gig where I played electric along with some singer songwriters. Sounded good through the monitor, to me and the audience still clapped for solos.....
I don't have much of a need for amp simulators so I have not delved into them on this pedal, sorry.
I'm doing some recording today though and if I have time I'll try to do a demo of the pedal and post it.

Cheers,
Jeff

http://www.facebook.com/CrazyAcesMusic
http://www.youtube.com/user/crazyacesrock
http://www.reverbnation.com/crazyacesmusic

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