Longish post - sorry
Currently I'm in a rock band. 2 x 12 cab, blackstar head, couple of drive pedals, reverb and delay, wah and volume. job done. Weighs a ton and fills up the car.
I'm concerned about the head possibly going pear in a gig- so I am thinking about an Multi FX unit direct into the PA as a get out of jail card should the blackstar head break.
i'd also like to be able to do some drop in jams and gigs - varying styles - so at the moment i've got access to an old marshall 50w AVT which sounds crap and I'm thinking of running the unit in front of this to cover blues jams, jazzier gigs etc - get some variety in my life!!
there's also the promise of festivals where my gigging rig is far too huge
I'll probably replace the marshall to something more suited to running clean with the FX in front when funds allow.
then it's for use at home as the practice platform as it's much nicer doing lots of practice with a decent sound (rather than the crappy blackstar modelling 20w thing). A headphone out and line in for audio might be nice, as would a little looper - but this isn't critical.
So what's essential?
1. Easy stage use to drop in the band if I'm in a panic and the main gig rig goes tits up
2. line level out for the PA
3. Good classic rock, blues tones from the drives and a volume boost method - both for band and blues jams etc
4. some decent ambient and delays, compression etc - i'm not anal but it's nice to sound ok. I listen to jazz, fusion, rock, blues, funk, latin and that's what i'll be trying to play
5. Ease of use - don't want to get involved in days of deep editing to get a nice blues tone
6. no tone suck
If it is good enough to put pressure on my gigging pedalboard then I might be forced to sell it which would get cash back - but i'm not expecting this to be the case. BTW pedalboard includes - Thorpy gunshot, boss sd-1, wah, volume pedal, KOT Klone, boost (for strat vs les paul changes), TC delay, TC reverb, Vox Wah. Mostly it's reverb on, delay on - either normal ambient delay or a very long invasive one for a couple of songs, wah here and there, and SD-1 for sustaining/singing/hint of feedback ops
it'll be a second hand unit. The ones I'm thinking as contenders are
TC Nova (the tuner is shite but the rest is good isn't it?)
Boss ME80 - (are there good giggable drive tones available?)
Line 6 - Pod 500x - or the firehawk or whatever it's called??
Vox Tonelab SE
They are all sub £200 s/h so are feasable
then there's the bonkers option of a s/h Helix on some form of loan - but that's kinda "out there" and would need to be compelling
I'd like to upgrade the combo to a sort of couple of hundred quid platform for the unit at some point for the drop in gigs/festivals etc
Thanks for reading all this shite and help. Given our finances a couple of hundred quid is difficult to justify so it'll involve some fiddling around (life's a bastard sometimes)