I have a Zoom G2 that is one of the best purchases I ever did, got a used one for $55 months ago. The reason was that I was looking for a better solution for quickly tuning bass guitars or guitars during a jam — having a tuner was a drag, it was for me easier to have something on the floor and check the tuning from time to time. Looking around I realized that multi-effect guitar pedals usually included a chromatic tuner. I needed a chromatic one as my bass guitars have D-G-C-F tuning.
I found a used Zoom G2 at the local Guitar Showcase store; it was a cheap one to pick up for plain testing purposes. Then I realized that I really like compression on bass playing — having that as a default setting when going to jams is neat, I could key in the sound I needed on any bass amplifier.
Similarly, I have seven other possible bass effects if I ever need those. The pedal has a built-in drum machine for practice purposes as well as headphone outs so I could take this battery-driven unit and practice anywhere.
For the guitar I have a set of eight or more sounds — all I need at the jam is a clean signal and I could control the guitar sound as I want. It’s a small unit, could fit easily in a padded guitar bag, as well.
All together, it’s good to have such a single-unit pedal, compare this with dragging to jams/practices/sets a huge pedal board, rack-mounted effect system with MIDI control or something similar.
There are indeed different schools of thought, having separate effect pedals versus multi-purpose systems. The nice thing with pedals is that you control each effect separately — the drawback is that sometimes you need to change the settings for specific songs. Multi-purpose pedals could be programmed, but depending on the architecture you can or can’t turn on/off individual effects in the patch.
This was for me a good compromise — next I will dedicate one bank to pure effect sounds, hooked this together with my Pod XT and Marshall stack I could key in either individual sounds, combinational ones and all kinds of other mixtures of effects and amp sounds.