4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: Zoom G5
I've been using a Korg AX3G for a number of years & decided to treat myself to an upgrade. The thing that swayed me to the Zoom G5, apart from the huge number of modelled amps and effects, was the resemblance to a traditional pedal board with individual effect selection. You get 4 LCD screens showing a line drawing of the modelled device. The plastic covering these was finely scratched on my unit however with the unit switched on, these aren't noticable. Each effect has it's own on/off switch and also 3 rotary switches to control 3 parameters. A page switch allows access to further parameters. Although only 4 effects are shown at one time, you can chain up to 9 (1 of which uses the 4-way expression pedal) to form a 'bank'. It is possible to scroll through the bank using the footswitches, holding 2 at once - but frankly that would be risky to do live. A set of 3 'banks' are grouped to form a 'patch' and you can use the footswitches to switch between banks. There are 99 patches initially preset but these can all be overwritten and customised. Frankly I found it much easier to download the free 'Edit & Share' software which allows you to tweak everything in real-time and save & copy patches. This software takes a while to download and it would have been a nice idea for Zoom to provide this on a CD, which they do with the Cubase LE recording studio software (which I haven't tried yet). They also do not provide a USB cable - an A to B type cable is needed & luckily I had one for a printer! (Zoom do at least provide a mains power adapter). The G5 has a 5th footswitch which uses a real valve to give a bit of boost to your sound which is useful for solos. On the back of the unit there are sockets for plugging in your guitar with left and right (or mono) outputs, headphones (useful) and outputs for mixing desks. This review is only based on one night's play and there is more to explore. On this basis, the G5 looks extremely promising providing high quality effect emulation at a relatively low cost. I mark the score down slightly for not providing a USB cable or 'Edit & Share' on CD. Also the 'bank'/'patch' paradigm takes a while to get your head around & even then I can't see the rationale. I understand that with Cubase you can play the sound back through the G5 which I haven't tried but plugging the G5 into my laptop disables mp3 playback which is a pain. On balance, this looks good and is definitely a step up from my trusty Korg.