The GE 300 is Mooer’s multi-effect flagship – a sophisticated processor with official amp modeling, IR speaker simulations, an extensive effects section, a USB audio interface and a 3-part synthesizer. 43 IRs are already on board, with the optional Mooer Studio software, IRs from third-party providers can be included. The real hit on the GE 300 is the Tone Capture Feature: your own setup, consisting of amp, stompbox, guitar and cab, can be analyzed and digitally reproduced using the tone capture function – there are 4 memory spaces available. In addition to the lavish inputs and outputs, a MIDI and a USB interface as well as various additional connections for external foot switches and expression pedals are available. On board is a looper with 30 minutes (!!! ) recording time. The whole thing packed in a stable aluminum housing, the operation is very simple and intuitive thanks to the large graphic display and some real-time controllers.
Sampling the ‘target’ tone (the guitar you wish to sound like) and then the source tone (the guitar you’ll be using) is a surprisingly short process that takes just over a minute. The results are not as immediately impressive as the amp-modelling mode – certain nuances of the guitar are captured, but even though three frequency-band controls are provided for fine-tuning, we are never able to achieve a perfect facsimile of our Telecaster’s tone through our PRS. However, it must be said that the result is a decent-enough approximation.
With 108 amp models and 164 effects, the palette of sounds available (the majority of them based on Mooer’s successful Micro Preamp series) run the full tonal gamut, catering for every stylistic requirement. We’re drawn to our favourite classic Marshall and Fender-type tones and they indeed prove to be worthy recreations.
Moving along the presets, we find ourselves transfixed by ‘USGOLD 100’ – a profile of the mighty Friedman BE100. There is a wonderful depth of tone to this model and its dynamic responsiveness adds to the illusion we’re playing through a real amp. It’s fair to say that we’re now at the stage in the evolution of digital modelling technology during which subjective appraisal is more concerned with nuanced attributes such as depth of tone or dynamic response than ‘good’ or ‘bad’, with the higher-priced stalwarts Fractal and Kemper still providing the benchmark.
Whereas the Preamp Live has little competition in its price range, the GE300 faces stiffer opposition, most notably from Line 6’s Helix LT. The Californian company has a long-established reputation, whereas Mooer is an emerging force. It’s difficult to predict a winner, but the sheer number of effects and options onboard make the Mooer GE300 a definite contender for your money