Mooer has been unleashing an arsenal of guitar tone tools in the market recently. Deciding what model to get is sometimes an overwhelming task. Of course if you have the budget you can go and buy them all. But for most of us mortals we need to choose one piece of gear, learn how to use it, and then move on.
GE200 Buy now: Amazon
GE300 Buy now: Amazon
Size, Look & Feel
Quite an important aspect as you may want to take this device on the road, to rehearsals and so on. The GE300 is obviously a far bigger device, with 3 kg against 1.4 kg and at least 10 cm longer. Its LCD display is larger, it has 10 foot-switches instead of 3, and far more I/O connections. It is a device designed to compete with titans such as the Fractal Audio FX8 and AX8, Line 6 Helix (Floor and LT) or the Headrush. Unsurprisingly it has to be sized accordingly.
It is however still a bit smaller than these direct competitors. The GE200 on the other hand is more suited for a comparison with a Helix HX Stomp. It will easily fit into backpacks for travel (we had the chance to travel from Australia to Brazil with one of these not long ago).
We’ve included a picture comparing a Line 6 Helix (Floor), a Mooer GE300 and a Mooer GE200 with a sunglasses case for reference.
Amps and Effects
Probably one of the key factors in selecting a multi-effects is, well, effects, right? The question here is availability. While you are unlikely to ever use all the effects and amp models these units have, it’s good to have options handy without having to haul or purchase additional gear.
If you play in a cover band this may be ever more important. You can’t really predict what tones you will need especially if your band covers a wide range of genres. I believe this is one of the drivers behind these devices these days, as many road warriors play a mix between their own material and a lot of covers, especially when starting out.
As expected, the GE300 wins here, with 108 amps and 317 effects against 55 amps and 151 effects in the case of the GE200. If you however want to dial in some of your preferred tones and just do minor tweaks from there, the GE200 should be enough as it has all the ‘classic’ effects and amps. For a full list be sure to check their website, as this might change with the firmware version.
In both cases, the key element for good tone is the ability to download IRs (Impulse Responses) and replace the cabs models. This makes a significant difference to the overall sound and is not expensive. OwnHammer and Celestion are good examples of professional IR shops. In fact, we recreated classic tones like the Marshall JCM800 and JTM45 by sourcing the IRs for the exact 4×12″ cabinet configurations used with these amps back in the 80s and 70s. Classic rock and metal sound !
Synth and Tone Capture
These two features are where GE300 stars sticking out not only from GE200 but also from the competition.
The synth allows you to recreate other sounds than just a guitar tone: organs, flutes, keyboards, you name it. While it’s a bit tricky to set up – it does require knowledge of the building blocks of a synth – the unit comes with plenty of presets which can be tweaked and reused.
The tone capture opens a world of new possibilities. The GE300 is able to capture tones of effects you already have (so you don’t need to carry them around), guitars you like (so there’s less guitars to carry) and amp and cabinet combinations you might like which are not included with the unit.
The set-up and usage ranges from easy to complex. Guitar tone capture is quite easy, all you need is two guitars and a bit of patience. Full capture of amps and cabinets requires more equipment, experience and a proper room setup. If you plan on actually using this feature, this alone would justify the investment on GE300.
I/O and connections
There are also a few additional perks that the GE300 offers as opposed to a GE200:
- MIDI IN, OUT/THRU so you can loop and control MIDI equipment. You can use this to trigger program changes in the GE300 via external MIDI equipment, or to control other MIDI devices right from the unit (example would be to turn another effect when you select a preset)
- Balanced XLR Output with ground lift. Particularly important in live and rehearsal situations where you have to interact with a lot of other gear and possibly be hooked directly to a PA system or a backline. This will give you a more stable and noise free option for connection into those systems
The choice ultimately depends on your budget and needs. From our tests and play through with the product, it really boils down to how much you value the additional features the GE300 has and howe often you think you will actually use them.
The GE200 seems more suitable for practice, as a backup and for situations where you don’t have a lot of space. Easy to carry and set-up, it’s awesome for those nights of practice in the living room or for that trip to the mountains or even overseas.
The GE300 is a more professional, full-blown solution that is still small enough to carry yet it is designed to sustain practice, rehearsal, live and recording situations with style.
If you want to discuss more feel free to drop us a line here or in social media.
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