The Zoom B1Xon is a bass guitar multi effects pedal, with 80 DSP effects. The B1on offers 100 bass effects, including a variety of distortion, compression, modulation, delay, reverb and amp models. The B1Xon offers 5 additional pedal-controlled effects. Up to 5 effects can be used simultaneously, chained together any way you like. In addition, there are 68 built-in rhythm accompaniment patterns, and you can connect headphones to the output jack (as well as portable music players to the auxiliary input jack) for silent practice sessions. An onboard chromatic tuner supports all standard bass tunings, and a Looper feature enables you to record up to 30 seconds of CD-quality audio. Loop length can be set either manually or to a preset number of quarter notes, and you can loop to any rhythm pattern, with automatic quantization that ensures seamless start and end times.
Programming is simple and straightforward, thanks to a streamlined user interface and the large backlit LCD screen. Advanced editing features such as Swap, Auto-Save and Pre-Select make it easy to organize your patches for live performance and allow you to scroll through patches silently while keeping the current patch operational. In addition, the B1Xon's built-in expression pedal enables you to control input level, output level, or any selected effect parameter in real time. Both the B1on and the B1Xon allow you to choose from 100 different onboard DSP effects. (The B1Xon offers 5 additional pedal-controlled effects.)
These include compressors, noise gates, filters, equalizers and octave dividers, as well as boosters, overdrives, fuzzes, phasers and flangers, plus chorus, pitch shift, tremolo, vibrato, a sub-octave generator and an intelligent bass synthesizer that plays along in key—even a DeFret effect that changes the tone of a fretted bass into that of a fretless. There are simulations of both classic and modern pedals such as the Aphex Punch Factory, MXR DynaComp, dbx 160A, BBE Sonic Maximizer, Moog MF-101 and Z. Vex Seek-Wah, as well as the Xotic EP Booster and Bass BB Preamp, Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff, SansAmp Bass Driver DI, MXR Bass D.I.+, Avalon Design U5, plus the ADA Flanger, tc Electronic Corona Tri-Chorus and BOSS ODB-3, DS-1 and Metal Zone. Original effects include Zoom's Noise Reduction (ZNR) algorithm, a bass frequency-specific Auto-Wah and a "talking" modulator. You'll also find more than a dozen delays and natural-sounding reverbs here, including rooms, halls, plates and an emulation of the Line6 M9 Particle Verb.
The dozen amp models include emulations of classic tube amplifiers like the Ampeg SVT, Ampeg B-15, Fender Bassman, Marshall Super Bass, Polytone Mini-Brute III and acoustic 360, as well as the contemporary sounds of the Hartke HA3500, SWR SM-900, Aguilar DB750, Gallien-Krueger 800RB, Eden WT-800 and Italian Markbass Little Mark III, each with its own distinct cabinet modeling that can be used to further alter the tonal quality. What's more, you can pair any amp model to any cabinet model for unusual, and often striking, effects. The B1Xon not only allows you to select and edit any of its onboard effects, it enables you to use up to 5 of them simultaneously, chained together in any order you like. This kind of power and flexibility means that you can create rich, complex effects within the unit itself instead of having to use multiple pedals.
Stompbox chains typically start with dynamics effects such as compression, before routing the signal to wah, EQ, distortion and/or overdrive effects. Modulation and spatial effects such as chorus, delay and reverb are usually placed at the end of the chain. However, there are no hard and fast rules on how to chain effects. Exciting new sounds can easily be discovered with a little experimentation and some imaginative effect chaining. The B1on/B1Xon gives you the ability to get creative with your effects chaining. You can also easily edit chains you’ve previously created. Simple changes in the order of effects can sometimes alter sounds dramatically. For example, an EQ set before an amp model can result in a radically different sound than having the EQ set after the amp model. That's because putting the EQ before the amp model serves not only to alter the tonal characteristic of the sound but to act as a signal booster as well. All this can be done internally with the B1Xon—much easier than physically changing the order of stompboxes.
Bassists know the importance of playing in tune. But it's not just about getting your instrument in tune; it's about keeping it in tune all night. That's no problem if you're using a B1Xon, because its built-in Tuner makes the task totally stress-free, even under the pressure of a live gig and the heat of stage lighting. The B1Xon Tuner is instantly accessible at all times and shows you whether the note you're playing is sharp, flat, or dead on. You can opt to either bypass the currently selected effect (thus giving you a clean, unaffected sound) when tuning, or to mute the signal altogether, allowing you to tune in silence. The B1Xon Tuner is flexible, too: It can be set to a reference of A=440, or any value between 435 and 445, and can be used chromatically or in a variety of standard bass tunings.
Rhythm training is an important part of every bassist's craft. The B1Xon Rhythm function makes it easy and fun to do. 68 realistic-sounding rhythms are at your fingertips: PCM samples of actual drums playing real-life patterns in a variety of different genres—everything from rock to jazz, from Emo to Motown. Dozens of quarter-note, eighth-note and sixteenth-note rhythms are provided, in 4/4, 6/8 (shuffle) and 3/4 (waltz time); for the adventurous, there's even a 5/4 groove! The Rhythm function can also be used in conjunction with the Looper function (see below), allowing you to craft complex orchestrations overlaying the pattern of your choice.
Got a great lick that you'd like to expand on, or a distinctive chord progression that you think could serve as the foundation for an exciting improvisation or an inspired solo? Explore your creativity to its fullest with the B1Xon Looper function, which allows you to layer up to 30 seconds of performance (through the effect or effects of your choice) in high quality audio (16-bit 44.1kHz). Recording time can either be set manually or to a preset number of quarter notes, up to 64 beats, and starting and stopping the Looper (as well as readying it for an overdub or clearing its memory altogether) is as easy as pressing a pedal—no hands required. The B1Xon Looper can also be used in conjunction with the Rhythm function, allowing you to play along with the pattern of your choice.
Finally got that perfect effect crafted, but afraid you'll lose it? It'll never happen when you use the B1Xon's handy Auto Save function. When switched on, whatever you change will automatically be saved. Alternatively, if you'd prefer the insurance of a safety net (so that you never accidentally overwrite a patch), simply leave Auto Save off. The B1Xon will then politely ask you if you want to save your edits whenever you move on to a different patch. Settings can be saved to the currently selected memory area, or to any other area, allowing you to place it where it's most convenient.
The B1Xon makes naming patches a breeze, too—simply use the parameter knob to dial in the characters you want. Patch names can be up to ten characters long, and each patch can be assigned its own level as well, allowing you to ensure consistent volume even when going from a gentle acoustic sound to heavy metal overdrive. Normally, you'll want to store your custom B1Xon patches adjacent to one another so that stepping on the pedal will scroll through them in the order needed. In that circumstance, you'll also want the sound to change immediately, and this is the way the B1Xon normally operates. However, if you haven't stored your patches in adjacent memory locations, or if you simply get the urge to experiment and change things up in the middle of a performance, just turn on the B1Xon Pre Select function. This allows you to scroll through patches silently; with the current sound remaining unchanged as you do so.
The B1Xon runs on just 4 AA batteries—either alkaline or rechargeable NiMH. Alternatively, it can be powered from an optional Zoom AD-16 AC adapter or via USB. When running on batteries, the B1Xon powers up automatically when a jack is inserted into its input connector and a unique "eco" function can be used to automatically power the unit off if unused for 10 hours. Battery life (when using alkaline batteries) is more than 20 hours, even during continuous use, and a handy "battery remaining" display shows you how much power is remaining. To extend battery life further still, you can opt to have the backlit LCD display turn off automatically after 15 or 30 seconds after the pedal was last used.
The B1Xon's built-in expression pedal allows you to alter any selected parameter in real time. You can use it for gain drive or volume (affecting either input or output level), to add wah or filtering, to affect delay time or modulation speed, or a variety of other parameters. In addition, the pedal range can be independently adjusted for each patch—you can even set the minimum value higher than the maximum value for reverse pedalling effects. There's also a simple calibration procedure that allows you to customize pedal sensitivity. Whether you're a feather-light player or a real lead-foot, the B1Xon can adapt to your particular pedalling style.
The main features of the Zoom B1Xon include:
- 100 effects, including distortion, compression, modulation, delay and reverb (B1Xon adds 5 pedal-controlled effects)
- Up to 5 effects can be used simultaneously, chained together in any order
- 100 memory locations (10 banks of 10) for the storage of user-created patches
- Swap function makes patch organization a breeze
- Auto Save function for automatic saving of all patch parameters
- Pre Select function allows silent patch selection while keeping the current patch operational
- Onboard chromatic tuner supports all standard bass tunings
- Looper feature for the recording of up to 30 seconds of CD-quality audio with seamless start and end times
- 68 built-in rhythm patterns which can be used in conjunction with the Looper
- Standard 1/4" input jack accepts standard cable (both active and passive instruments supported)
- 1/8" auxiliary input jack for connection of personal music players
- Output jack for connection to amp or headphones
- Backlit LCD with contrast control for easy viewing in low-light environments
- Lightweight and small enough to fit in your gig bag
- Easily integrated into any existing pedalboard
- Runs on 4 AA batteries, with alkaline battery life of 20 hours
- USB port for power and firmware updates
- Optional AC adapter
- B1Xon model adds a built-in expression pedal for control over input level, output level, or any selected effect parameter