2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great, Almost Perfect,
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This review is from: Zoom G3x Guitar Effects Pedal (Electronics)
I had my eye on this unit for a while before pulling the trigger on it, and I'm glad I did. I now use this for rehearsals and have no trouble gigging with it. The sounds are really useable, especially in front of an amp. Going through a PA via the XLR output doesn't have the some kind of punch and power for some reason. I've used some setups with a cab sim and DI box that have sounded great through a PA, but this one lacked a bit of presence, so half a star off for that, Zoom!
Programming is hardly worth a manual, because it's so easy and intuitive: you have six stomp blocks and can control three at a time from the controls on the front panel. There's a button to go through a couple of pages of additional options for things like the amp sims, where there will be gain, volume, EQ controls, cab size, etc., and another couple of buttons to scroll through the stomps that are "off screen". A patch can then be saved to any location in the unit's memory. One point to note is that on-the-fly settings will persist. This may not be to everyone's preference, but personally, I like the fact that I can tweak a patch and move on without having to explicitly save it. There is also a downloadable editor/librarian available for Windows and Mac OS X, which makes editing patches even easier and setting up the unit for a particular gig just ridiculous as you can flash a whole set of previously-archived patches to the G3X and then be on your way. I was really pleased with this simple but powerful application.
The distortion sounds are useable without being "OMG WOW!" and that's fine for probably everything apart from the larger stages (where no doubt you'll already have a roadie to lug your boutique pedalboard about) and the modulation, delay and reverb sounds are very good. If you are completely sold on individual stompboxes then this won't change your mind: You'll probably say "Can't I have a more authentic Marshall overdrive / Small Stone phaser / Strymon reverb sound" but this unit is all about acceptable compromises. It's light, portable, sounds good, is easy to work with and it even runs off batteries!
It also responds to MIDI, though it seems that this is limited to program change and so could be better implemented. I've tried using a MIDI port watcher to identify events like switching stomps on and off but it's a real hassle using sysex and it'd be great if Zoom released a document explaining the MIDI implementation. Another half-star off there because it would be really useful to run the unit off a sequencer track and have the host control the patch and stomp changes without the need to even use your feet.
All in all though this is a great little all-in-one unit for getting the job done.