Since the introduction of effect pedals and processors, guitarists and bassists have been given a totally new world of sonic possibilities. With these effect pedals, you can have vast flexibility and versatility to replicate those sounds that you have heard from your favorite records and to create your distinctive sound character. However, with the numerous options available on the market, ranging from subtle stompboxes to outrageous multiprocessors, choosing the right one can be tricky and confusing.
Of course, Zoom is one of the most notable names in the competition right now. Zoom’s effect pedals are generally accepted by the community, and there have been a lot of guitarists and bassists that have been satisfied. After a considerable success with Zoom B3 bass effect pedal, the company has finally discontinued the model. Recently, Zoom B3n is introduced, and many people have wondered whether the new one is much better. How does Zoom B3n compare against the predecessor, Zoom B3? Find out below.
What are Bass Effect Pedals?
A newcomer in the field may wonder what a bass effect pedal is and how it differs from a regular guitar effect pedal, so let’s start with the basics. Just like guitarists, bass players can also benefit from the sound shaping capabilities of effects. A bass player would want to craft a signature sound while still sonically meshing properly with the rest of the band. Bass effect pedals have been designed specifically to handle bass dynamics and challenges, which differ from guitars.
Bass effect pedals would offer similar tone shaping features like guitar effect pedals, such as chorus, delays, phasers, reverbs, and tremolos. However, the unique sound dynamics of the bass reach deep into low frequencies. Such low frequencies cause mechanical vibrations, creating destructive subsonic sound waves that can damage gear. Thus, a regular guitar effect pedal would not perform optimally when used on a bass. Bass effect pedals are designed with a focus on compression and limiters in order to keep a lid over those destructive sound waves so that they can perform well when used with a bass.
Zoom B3n vs. Zoom B3: Design, Dimension, and Interface
Despite the similar names, Zoom B3n actually looks very different from Zoom B3. As a matter of fact, not only the looks, but also the features differ quite significantly. We are going to see the feature comparisons in the next section. Now, onto the design. While the original Zoom B3 is colored in a slightly brighter red hue and shaped more like a brick, Zoom B3n comes with a darker maroon red hue. The shape also differs, with the lower half of the housing slanting down. Well, such design has a good practical benefit. It is now easier and more convenient for you to reach the footswitches.
However, Zoom B3n is indeed slightly bigger and also heavier than Zoom B3. The two models have the same width, 234 mm, but Zoom B3n is 181 mm deep and 58 mm high. Zoom B3 is 170 mm and 54 mm. In addition, Zoom B3n is 1.28 kg, whereas Zoom B3 is 1.2 kg. Due to the design, Zoom B3 is easy to pocket, allowing for great portability. Being slightly bigger and heavier, Zoom B3n is just somewhat not as practical to bring around.
Zoom B3n also comes with a few more control knobs. But, just like Zoom B3, it still features three dedicated footswitches and three display screens for enhanced control and handling on the effects. However, even though both models have backlit display screens, those on Zoom B3n are actually smaller than Zoom B3’s. While they are still monochrome, the display screens of Zoom B3 have an orange background whereas Zoom B3n’s is a more neutral greenish white.
Zoom B3n vs. Zoom B3: Features
At first, some people may frown that Zoom B3n actually comes with fewer built-in effects than the original Zoom B3. As a matter of fact, Zoom B3 has 111 built-in effects available, including 12 amp and cabinet effects. Such vast library is one of the biggest strengths of the model. On the other hand, Zoom B3n only comes with a total of 80 effects, consisting of 70 DSP effects, 5 amp effects, and 5 cabinet effects. However, it is still a great library nonetheless, with cool and nice selections of effects.
The decisive advantage that Zoom B3n offers is the significantly increased processing power. It allows you to apply up to 7 simultaneous effects, as opposed to Zoom B3 which were only able to handle up to 3 simultaneous effects. The increase enables you to shape your sound further and deeper, and is a great plus point. In addition, the memory has been increased, too, allowing you to save up to 150 patches from the previous model’s 100. Nevertheless, just like Zoom B3, Zoom B3n processes with 44.1 kHz sampling frequency, 128x oversampling, and 32-bit signal processing.
Zoom B3n features 68 rhythm patterns. The looper can record up to 80 seconds. The original Zoom B3 only has 41 rhythm patterns and 40-second looper. The longer looper is particularly useful if you often find yourself having to repeat a long phrase.
Zoom B3n vs. Zoom B3: Software
Finally, a notable difference between the two models is that Zoom B3n comes with the Zoom Guitar Lab for Windows and Mac. You can use the software to download additional effects. In other words, Zoom B3n does not actually lack the effects that Zoom B3 offers; it just requires you to download the ones that you need manually. The software also helps a lot in patch management.
|Zoom B3n||Zoom B3|
|Key features||- 67 high-quality stompbox DSP effects, 5 new amp emulators, and 5 cabinet emulators - Use up to 7 effects/amps/cabinets simultaneously, chained together in any order - 3 stompbox switches allow effects to instantly be brought in and out - Stereo/mono looper allows recording of up to 80 seconds of phrase recording - 68 built-in rhythm patterns that can also be used in conjunction with the looper||- Three large LCD displays with intuitive amp and stomp box interface, Looper function with 40 seconds of phrase recording and overdubbing - 12 amp or 99 stomp box models can be used in any combination, Integrated drum machine and auto-chromatic tuner - Personally designed patches by Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Frank Bello (Anthrax) and Doug Wimbish (Living Color)|
|Customer Ratings*||3.8 out of 5 stars||4.6 out of 5 stars|
|Best Deal*||Save Money Please click here||Save Money Please click here|
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Overall, Zoom B3n is an excellent update. Compared to Zoom B3, it offers various decisive advantages, most notably the capability to handle seven simultaneous effects. The larger memory, additional rhythm patterns, and longer looper are also great plus points. Though it is slightly bigger and comes with fewer pre-loaded effects, the Zoom Guitar Lab software somehow makes up the compensation.So, if you are considering to get either of the two, get Zoom B3n!