Five years ago, multi-effects pedals weren't much more than a viable entry into the world of effects for beginners and hobby guitarists - clunky, chock full of cheesy sounds, and often unreliable. However, the times they are a changing, and the Mooer GE-200 looks set to flip the multi-effects market on its head.
Offering 70 different effects, 55 amplifier models and 26 built-in speaker cabinet models, as well as a drum machine, 52 second looper and USB connectivity, the GE-200 is the guitarist’s Swiss army knife. While it’s certainly not as appealing as having a whole bank of pedals at your feet on stage, the GE-200’s slight dimensions - the whole unit is smaller and lighter than a Line 6 DL4 - makes it an easy gig solution for guitarists tight on space or money. While getting to know your way around the LED interface takes some getting used to at first, the included USB cable makes editing effects parameters super easy, and also acts as an easy way to record tracks straight to your DAW of choice.
With so many effects and amp combinations to choose from, there’s no better place to start than the huge bank of presets pre-loaded onto the GE-200. Dominated by the likes of high-gain Mesa and Marshall heads, the presets definitely cater towards the heavy guitarist, so be prepared to be blasted by some high gain hiss when you plug it in – however, the extremely useful master volume knob helps to tame most of the excessive noise from these presets.
If you’re not chasing high gain, the clean presets offer crystal clean, vibrato heavy Fender Twin tones, while the ambient preset sounds like it’s been lifted straight from the Mooer Ocean Machine. There’s a lot of variety here, and it’s easy to get lost in the versatility of the GE-200 - if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can even switch up the order of your effects pedals to concoct some totally left field tones with the chain feature, which is perfect for experimenting with new sounds. As far as quality goes, the effects models in the GE-200 sound top notch, with the reverb and distortion/overdrive banks in particular sticking true to the sonic nuances of their inspirers.
Although the individual effects and grouped presets are of the highest quality, the GE-200 is definitely let down by its expression pedal. While it certainly offers a lot of potential, I found the interface somewhat confusing, and the operation of the pedal itself was a little sluggish, particularly when operating it in wah-wah mode. Nevertheless, the expression pedal works an absolute treat when paired with the delay function, with the ability to control feedback and oscillation parameters on the fly offering the potential for some freaky moments.
In short, Mooer have hit an absolute goldmine with this unit. For beginners, it’s a perfect entry into discovering the nuances of different amplifiers and speaker cabinet combinations, and professionals will find joy in the tonal versatility of the chain function. While the expression pedal and interface are a little clunky at times, overall, the GE-200 is one of the finest multi-effects units produced in years – it’ll be interesting to see how rival companies react to this one.
Hits and Misses
Huge variety of effects and amp/speaker combinations
Intuitive looper and drum machine functions
The expression pedal is a little clunky