Comparison Between Multi-Effects Units And Individual Effect Pedals

Best effect pedals are one of the most essential items for guitarist. You can click here to check for their benefits. There are various types of pedals available on the market but when coming to the most basic; there are 2 types of pedals, which are the multi effect units and the individual effect pedals. Each type will has its own pros and cons. If you want to buy some pedals for your guitar, it is best you understand the differences between them two in order to compare and choose the one that suits your needs the most.

In this article, I aim to show you the pros and cons of each type of pedal and let you make the decision yourself.

So let’s start with the individual pedals

Individual effect pedals may be the first item ever purchased of a guitarist besides the guitar and amplifier. There are several brands of individual effect pedals on the market such as the Harmonix Electro Small Stone, the MXR Distortion and the DOD Compressor.   


  • When you buy an individual effect pedal, you can choose exactly what effect you want and buy it without considering about other unwanted effects.
  • There are some manufacturers that even allow you to build your own individual effect pedals that match your style of playing. You get your own customized effect that nobody can have the same one, which makes your music style so unique and original.  

pedal's power supply

  • With an individual effect pedal, you can match the supply of power with the pedal’s power. You can also use batteries as source of power for your individual effect pedals
  • You can choose any types and sizes of the pedal board you prefer and lay out the pedal in the place you find convenient.
  • All of the individual effect pedals when wired together, they will not mix. Therefore, you can wire them in any sequence that you want without worrying that the second one will have the effect on the first one and how they will interact among themselves.
  • Individual effect pedals are so easy to use, especially when you are playing. You can adjust some of the parameters, delay time, compressor and chorus rates with your feet


  • As I mention above, the individual pedal maybe the first item you purchase, but after that, you will see yourself buying more and more pedal, along with all the cables and batteries. They will take a lot of space. And you will find it hard if you want to bring them all on a tour.
  • It is worth nothing that you also have to pay for the pedal board as well. And multiple pedal boards will also contribute to your huge amount of cost. You also need to make a cover and case for your pedal board so it is safe to be carried around.
  • Buying each individual pedals with different techniques is cheaper at first but it gets more and more expensive when you start buying more. Put it in another way, if you 3 three different individual effect pedals with 3 effect, it is more expensive than you buy a multiple effect pedal with 3 effect.
  • There are other costs that you need to consider when buying an individual effect pedal including the cost of the power supply for the DC voltage and the cost of cables. You will need good quality cables so that the signal of the guitars will be transferred to the amp smoothly and clearly.
  • Overall, as you can see, the biggest con of individual pedals is the cost. The more single effect pedal you have, the more you have to pay for pedal board, power supply, cable cord and not to mention the patch cable as well.

 After we have covered some of the most general advantages and disadvantages of individual effect pedals, let’s move to the discussion about the multiple effects pedal. Simple as the name sounds, a multiple effects pedal has all of the effects in box and is what you consider when you want to have as many effects as possible.


 box multiple effects pedal

  • Because a multiple effects pedal has multiple effects in 1 single box. Therefore, it helps you save a lot of space. You will also find it easier to carry 1 box around and bring it on stage rather than bring a lot of pedals with different effects.
  • When you buy effects in bulk, you save more money than buying 1 effect by 1.
  • You also save money on power supple and pedal board. Also you don’t need to buy batch cables between pedals. It saves you a lot of money and time when you don’t have to search for these items.
  • Some multiple effect pedals offer you additional features such as the tuner.
  • It is very easy when you want to play multiple effects at the same time. If you play with individual effect pedal, you have press 3 medals while with the multiple effects pedals, you only need to press a button to play 3 effects which you have stored in the bank before.


  • All of the effects are programmed in a specific order which you cannot change providing you less flexibility than when you play with individual effect.
  • Imagine the worst case, when your multiple effects pedal goes wrong, you might have no back up. So although you have all the effects you want in a pedal, it is a matter of caution that you should bring along some back up single effect pedals.
  • When buying a multiple effects pedal, if you find a single one that you don’t like, there is no way you can switch that effect for another one.

Here are some general and most common advantages and disadvantage of individual effect pedal and multiple effects pedals. There are many things that you need to take into consideration such as customization, ease of use and cost. I hope that after reading this article, you will know what pedal is best for you.

Hi, my name’s Samuel T.Cummins. I love music so much and I’ve been playing guitar for 7 years. Blogging is my hobby and I’m happy so much to share my knowledge with everyone

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