I mostly just use a Digitech Workstation 3 that I've had for maybe 4 years. I see a lot of electric guitarists use a lot of individual pedals and maybe I'm missing out Idk. Has anyone gone with a multi-effects processor then found that going with an array of different pedals gave a better quality sound or not. All I remember from way back when was when I hooked up a bunch of pedals I got a lot of hum and hiss but perhaps that's all changed now. I guess I'm just afraid of getting my feet wet with the investment of a bunch of pedals only to find that I'm back to the wonderful world of hisses/pops and hums let alone the huge outlay of cash.
I use individual pedals and don't find that I have any issues with noise. Really, I think that if you've found a solution that works for you and gets the sounds you want - then go with that!
I do have a pair of similar pedals that don't play nicely with each other, but they fulfill similar functions so I usually don't take both to a service. Both are fine pedals in their own right, and very useful, just not with each other. Perhaps you had a situation like that...different manufacturers with competing wiring schemes that caused a ground issue or something... : )
I think you're talking about what is often called "tone-sucking". Without getting too technical into the low-level electronics, it's because: a) units don't have true-by-pass and b) rely on non-ideal IC which act as "buffers". So even with a pedal many think is great for the price, like the Digitech Bad Monkey distortion, by itself will sound ok, but, put it in long effect line and it starts to affect the signal path as it has some low-cost parts. Sometimes it gets so bad that pedals earlier in the signal path just can't pump out enough juice in their buffers (output impedance) and again the sound suffers. Logically, it gets worse the more stuff you throw into your line.
Here's an article on the phenomenon know as tone-sucking (http://www.stinkfoot.se/andreas/diy/articles/suck.htm). The article also talks about ways to solve the issue (besides buying higher-end pedal that already have mods to fix this issue). I've build something like this so I could have 4 different pedals looks that are all tru-bypass. So as a practical example, I had 8 pedals which were in 4 loops of 2 pedals each, vs. a single line of 8 pedals, that I would tune on and off individual units.
However, if your question is which is better? Individual pedals or modelers? Well, it's hard to say. I have a closet full of the classics, like the FuzzFace, TS, BigMuff, SD-1, etc.
I hope don't get killed here, but for Sunday morning service, I now use my POD XT live exclusively. Unless you have an army of A/V techs that can remote midi-control your individual effects, the best thing invented was ability to create and store pre-programmed patches. That is why I use the POD XT live. I pre-program my sounds for the Sunday, hit a button and "presto!" it's done. New song, new sound. I used to have a huge pedal board and between songs (or even between chorus and verse) guys would be telling me it looks like I'm break-dancing or playing that DanceDanceRevolution video game on stage (turning things on and off).
I have the originals and 'yes' the POD doesn't sound exactly the same. Yet for me, function is king.. at least for now. (We're a sandwich service and we're really tight on time for set-up and tear-down.) BUT you can get good sounds from either pedals or multi unit/modelers as well. As always, the sound is mostly in the fingers.
If your curious, I'm not that much a "geek", I just happen to have done my 4th year engineer project years and years ago comparing tubes and analog distortion circuits (the POD modeling craze hadn't hit yet).
I wouldn't think that finding an amp / guitar combination that you like makes you a tone snob.
To me that term carries with it a particular attitude where you have determined whether you like it or not without hearing it (if it is not brand X or Y - depending on the types of capacitors that Y uses) and therefore make a judgment on someone else's tone without even hearing them play -- That gets you into tone snob territory.
If you can talk with your local music store professional for more than 45 minutes about strings, and hold them personally responsible if the strings they recommend are not your own tone nirvana, well, you may be a tone snob.
But nothing you've talked about here suggests that. Perhaps you might like some DIY effects, since you're into the homebrew amp scene. : )
Amen. Though I can't complain because we have a great sound tech who is very flexible. She has gone so far as to purchase her own db meter to find out exactly how loud the music is in ever area of the sanctuary, both during practice and the service. Oddly enough we usually only get complaints about volume (usually the drums) when the db level is LOWER. Go figure. I use an iso box to keep the stage volume down and mic it inside the box. She gets me. I've never had that conversation with her. I have had the conversation with the sound guy at our other site about the fact that maxing the reverb on my mic channel won't make me a better singer, I'll just sound like I'm in hole. Baby Jessica didn't start a singing career while she was in the well for a reason (ok maybe a TON of reasons).
My main amp is a Vox AC15, though I sometimes use a 1967 Fender Princeton Silverface. As far as effects, I like to keep it simple. Amp->Tuner->Fulltone Fulldrive 2 Overdrive->MXR Carbon Copy Delay->Vox Wah->Volume Pedal->Guitar. I used to keep the delay right before volume, but I really like the tone it has before the wah. Oh yeah, and I play a Fender American Deluxe Tele, a Les Paul Standard, and a Taylor T5!
I play a fender tele and use an Epiphone valve jr. head and cab ( very affordable tube amp...you should get one.) and thus far I only have a boss blues driver. I want a boss dd6 delay pedal and a tuning pedal of some sort.
I play a Epiphone Sheridan II and use a Egnater Rebel 20 half stack (has variable wattage from 20W all the way down to 1W).
In between are the fun toys: Visual Sound Route 66 Compressor/OD, Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive, Danelctro Cool Cat Transparent Drive (the Tim knock-off), BOSS TR-2 Tremolo, BOSS DD-5 Digital Delay (for dotted 1/8ths), Line6 DL-4 Delay Modeler, Line6 Verbzilla.
The Verbzilla is my newest toy and it has great reverb analogues but the best is the octo setting which blows my mind!
Daniel I have seen your post about the OCTO reverb before and have some bad news. Line6 has released a firmware update which added like 25 new effects to the m13 and m9. One of which is called particle reverb. It is an AWESOME atmospheric type reverb as well. It has three settings the first is stable and the next two I'm not sure of. It is a bit darker than the octo but equally impressive. They also added a harmonizer and intelligent pitch shift IE whammy type effect.