G1 Review

manufacturer: Zoom date: 11/22/2011 category: Guitar Effects
Zoom: G1
The G1 represents a significant upgrade from the previous 505 series. The new Zoom G1 pedal features 24-bit/96kHz digital multi-effects and an incredible 40kHz frequency response. The G1 also includes a built-in drum machine, harmonized pitch shifter and an astounding 46 effect types.
 Sound: 8.4
 Overall Impression: 8.9
 Reliability & Durability: 7.8
 Ease of Use: 8.6
 Overall rating:
 8.2 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.4 
 Users rating:
 8 
 Votes:
 99 
reviews (9) pictures (2) 58 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
G1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 13, 2007
5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: First of all, I do not work for Zoom. The preset patches are generally OK, for something as little and as digital as the G1. If you want a good sound, then you must first know or somewhat define the "sound" you want, and from there, start turning the module selector. it's not that hard, but it just takes patience, especially if you mix up a lot of effects. I mean, compared to analogs, tweaking a digital doesn't only take 2 minutes! The sound that comes out of this unit goes through the drive, ZNR, comp, modulation, etc. With all the effects that comes with the G1, you really have to make choices. You don't need the manual really. I only read to know about turning the patches back to their original state (in case I messed up). // 10

Sound: For a price of $70, this babe kicks ass! The preset patches are OK, the distortion and Overdrive patches do not sound that digital. If you close your eyes and just listen, you'd find it hard guessing if it's analog or not (the distortion). An exaggeration, but something like that. The modulation module, which contains the great effects, sound good and the delay too, awesome! I'm using a very good copy of the Strato (did I mention Suzuki) and I plug it into the home stereo! It still sounds first class though, believe me! Sounds good with the stereo which was not built for this, and sounds greater with an amp, built for this. When the Zoom noise reduction is turned to zero, or lesser than the preset, the noise comes in. It's like a gate: once opened, hell breaks out. When you increase the value though, noise becomes controlled, but your sustain suffers! I compensate though by adding a little delay and reverb. You do not need a very long sustain most of the time though, right? if no, just play with the reverb! When I first tried it, I was surprised it sounded the way it sounded, because it was pretty good! Load some more patience, tweak, and oh! They'll be surprised to know that it's coming from this cute, little thing! There are 40 writable patches, the other 40, read only (from 00-39), maybe, maybe, so that you'd have an idea of how this patch was created, the effects combined, etc. Useful useful. I play Velvet Revolver, alterbridge, filter, and the like the wah's not that wah-like. It is there, but it needs more kick. It's nothing compared to slash's "slither" or even "come on come in solos," but gets a bit, little, touch close to Mark's "find the real solo autowah." The clean sound of Mark's "Open Your Eyes," with a little chorus, is easy with the G1. The distortion in filter's "you walk away" is easily imitated by this babe. I made it even sound heavier for the part after the 2nd chorus! // 9

Reliability & Durability: The front's made of plastic, the part that hits the floor is metal, with some rubber on the edges, maybe so that you won't get "electrified" while playing. I don't know with the first review, but the fact that you actually have something to step on other than a foot Switch, to me, is gig-like. So yes, on a gig without backup. This is not Boss analog encased in steel, so please give it a little loving when you step on it or kick it. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, I think G1 is for the not-so-rich-but-decent-guitarist (am I talking about me? Apologies). I mean, what are you going to do with an Ibanez, a Fender with all the boss/vox/korg digital and analog effects plugged through each other like that of Mike of Incubus (singing: Love hurts, but sometimes it's a good hurt) when you don't know what you're actually playing? I play "rock" from those I mentioned above to lighter ones like lifehouse, more experimental, like Incubus, and even lighter like Jason Mraz and John Mayer (Velvet, Alter, and Filter, are the ones I'm busy with right now.) I'm self-taught, started strumming in 6th grade, the scales, modes, techniques when I was 18 so how old am I? And up to now, still learning them. "Owned" not "played" my first electric when I was 18 by the way. So from 6th grade to 18, it was mostly electric songs played in "acoustic." If it were stolen or lost, that depends: if I have more money, I'll buy a different one. If I just have money, I'll buy the same thing again. if I don't have money, then I'd probably just behave. It's cute, light, yet it can do So many things for you if you just want it to, of course, subject to limitations. It also has a built in drum Machine, good for soloing practice. The EQ works, but "confined" to -18 to +18 settings. (Sigh) hey it's only $70, let us not be so harsh about it. Needs work on the sustain of the distortion. I wish the effects under the modulation module, were separated, like that of the delay, so that we could maximize it! I wish we could select more than one effect under a module when editing. G1 actually has two delays: one under the modulation, and one separate, more range than the first. The control knobs are very easy to turn, the step-on pedals I suspect were placed with 'springs' to protect it inside making it more sturdy comapred to 05-507II, which I've also played with but didn't own. Don't get me wrong, the G1 step pedals respond, ok? // 9

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overall: 9.3
G1 Reviewed by: phillipssg, on september 20, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: It's fairly easy to figure out how to work the box, it took me about 30 minutes, that's without reading the user manual as I found that the manual was rather confusing. Editing patches is fairly easy as well and I found, extremely fun! You can alter each of the following for one patch: The volume, the type of effect to apply, drive and consequently the gain, the EQ (low, middle, high), ZNR/AMP, modulation and the rate of modulation, delay and the time of delay, reverb and the decay of the reverb. After creating a patch that you like from altering the above list, you can save it into the pedal's internal memory in 1 of 60 locations. You can get a huge range of sounds, I managed to make one that sounded like a pneumatic drill. The wah on it is absolutley superb as well! // 9

Sound: I'm currently using an Epiphone SG G-310 with a Fender Frontman amp and I find that it produces great results, I have no reverb/delay setting on my amp therefore it's a good way to demonstrate the the pedals effects without the added amp effects, and to be honest, the sound quality is quite impressive. I was playing part of the G major scale and I loaded one of the preset settings and the notes I was playing were being played as well as notes a fifth higher, so it was playing in Harmony and it sounded really impressive. There are also very good distortion settings on there as well, one of the presets sounds exactly like Dimebag Darell's guitar settings. It just goes to show how versitile the sound settings are on this thing. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've had no problems with it so far, although I've only had it for 2 days. But I would have no fear of gigging with it, you can cycle through each preset and homemade sound with the easy use of 2 buttons (up and down buttons) making it easy to use and enjoyable to play with. // 9

Overall Impression: I (try) to play a wide range of music, varying from Buckethead's experimental intrumentals to classical music such as Bach and Vivaldi and this thing suits me nicely. I can tweak it to sound like a music track from the old Mario games and I can tweak it to sound like an acoustic classical piece, there are very little limitations and the possibilities are nearly endless. Therefore I definately would buy another one if it where lost or stolen, you can get so much out of this multi effects pedal for so little money. // 9

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overall: 8.8
G1 Reviewed by: AlskiOverload, on june 23, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Morgenroth Music

Ease of Use: Right away, you can easily mess with the settings pretty easily. The included manual is a must to keep, because some of the names for the effects, mods, and drives are quite hard to understand without it. It comes with a quick reference card that you should tape to the bottom to keep. Navigating through the patches and stuff is quite simple, though not the most convenient way thought of. User made patches are handy, and there are plenty of ways to experiment. Overall it's very easy to use, and the large range of effects will appeal to anyone looking to experiment with these things. // 8

Sound: I personally am using it with a 15 watt Peavey, but put together with this fits my needs. If you don't turn the reverb and gain down on your amp, this can cause some sound issues, but not major ones. The effects themselves sound great, but the way you use them is important. The way the interface works doesn't allow for you to mix effects. You can Pick one effect, one Drive, and one modulation, along with delay, reverb, and various types of those. The effects though are simple to tweak, such as changing the rate, gain, and you can buy an expression pedal for things like wah and many of the modulations. The included patches sound great, and on the ref. page, you can see the song, amp, or artist that it sounds like. Artists such as Lukather, Page, Hammet, Gilmour (I might have misspelled some of those)One issue is the noise reduction thing you can have. If you have that on on accident, it can make your sustain and tone suffer. // 9

Reliability & Durability: So far, no problems have been found with it. Immediately I noticed that it was made of plastic, so you should be careful if gigging with it. The bottom of it is metal, so it's fine there. If you are careful not to abuse it badly, you should be fine with it. // 9

Overall Impression: I play funk, classic rock, and some more prog rock than I used to. This works out well for what I use for it. It has plenty of basic effects and drives, and it also has some more advanced effects, such as harmonized pitch shifter, chorus, ring mod, etc. It's not quite as customizable as other pedals, but for the price it's amazing. I've been playing for over a year, but I have really experimented with this pedal. If this was lost or stolen, I would definitely buy it again, but next time perhaps the one with the attached pedal. I love the simplicity of it, but one thing I don't like is it's customization, it's just pretty basic feeling. My favorite feature is the delay, because it sounds great when you need to use it, but it should be used lightly or in moderation. // 9

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overall: 5.8
G1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 02, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 71

Purchased from: Golden Music

Ease of Use: The Zoom G1 is an upgrade for Zoom 505II. I have used 505II before and to me the sound has improved a bit from the old processor. The patches are editable only after you read the manual thoroughly. Otherwise you will end up nowhere. Not to mention the manual is well written with adequate details. New patches are moderately easy to create and save. // 7

Sound: I am using a pacifica and a Laney LX12 with it. The processor gets noisy when you turn off the Zoom Noise reduction. However I find ZNR system completely useless. It kills your notes early. I normally turn it off and use moderate gain (it eliminates noise to a great extent). To be honest it has quite a few tasteful effects. The delay, reverb and compressor are the only usable effects, others sound like toy. The amp modeling works great, especially Marshal JCM 2000, 1959, Fender Twin, and Matchless. It almost sounds like an authentic tube amp. The Fuzz modeling effects are perfect. You will have hard time differentiating between real and the simulation. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This pedal wont survive Live playing. It is made out of very poor quality plastic and not so strong knobs. It has some problems with the adapter it came with, it turns off and on randomly. I will not use it for live playing. // 3

Overall Impression: I play classic rock, Hard rock, Progressive rock and some blues and this pedal can handle them well. If it was lost/stolen I will buy a Tonelab LE. I compared it with DigiTech RP 80 and found this more authentic in terms of amp simulation. With the price it came, I don't wish any thing more. // 6

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overall: 7.5
G1 Reviewed by: toyboxmonster, on march 30, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 70

Purchased from: Bobba Lalonde Music

Ease of Use: This is a much more intuitively laid-out processor than the hectic, disorganised unit's in it's price range. The G1 is fairly simple multi-effects pedal to use, though for first-timers, it may be a little complicated. The manual does it's job well in explaining everything. The patch saving process is easy and quickly learned. It is very easy to jump from one category (Compressor, Modulation, Rverb) to the next. Editing may take a while, because some of these effects have a pretty good range of sound. Depending on the genre you wish to play and the extent to which you plan on using these effects, this can be either a huge advantage or an irritating drawback. The presets, of course, are completely unuseable, but it's a multi-FX processor; what do you expect? // 7

Sound: At the time when I owned this, my setup was: Epiphone SG Special/Fender Telecaster > Zoom G1 > MEGA Bass Amp. Though both the guitar and the amp were very low quality, I still managed some decent tones. While the G1's sound is very digital, it is also very warm and fat, as opposed to the thin, cold sounds of many low-end multi-FX pedals. Surprisingly, the G1 does have some useable gain sounds. I was particularly impressed with the cave-like Acoustic simulator and the very nicely simulated Rat distortion. I used the latter extensively and am constantly baffled by it's great tone when I listen to recordings of my old band. The delays are fairly choppy, though the reverbs are quite nice and mellow. The biggest surprise this pedal has in store is the quality of it's flanger. It has a massive sweep that even the higher end processors cannot emulate. This is honestly a better flanger than some stompboxes offer. The other modulation effects aren't wonderful, and aren't terrible. They are simply there, period. // 7

Reliability & Durability: As all Zoom products, the G1 is housed in a plastic chassis that seems extremely brittle. The footswitches look unreliable, and I've heard horror stories about the input & output jacks. That being said, I owned mine for about 6 months and had no t rouble with it. I gigged with it once and faced no trouble. The G1 is not a pedal that will withstand much abuse, but if it's well taken care of, it should last. // 6

Overall Impression: Of the very few multi-effects pedals in it's price range, I have No Doubt that the Zoom G1 is the best. It is not a good effects unit byany means, but it it beats out DigiTech's RP-50 in terms of sound quality, practicality, and versatility. I sold this a long time ago to pay for an RP-50 (which I also sold). This is a decision that I regretted almost immediately. I've never had the chance to try one of the Zoom models with the expression pedal, but I imagine that it would greatly improve this box's versatiliy. Though I've moved away multi-effect processors and toward single stompboxes, I will definitely keep an eye out for some of Zoom's single products, particularly delays. Once again, this is not a very good ppedal; it is, however, the best purchase for a fairly new guitarist on a tight budget. // 10

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overall: 9.3
G1 Reviewed by: Xter, on july 02, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Irv's Music Center

Ease of Use: It comes with 40 Preset Effects ranging from AC/DC's Angus Young to Van Halen's Eddie Van Halen. It is very easy to use after the box, you get a little manual that explains what everything does and where everything is. Then you get a Quick Refernce Card in case you wanted to know what a Symbol ment or where your Flanger or Chorus or Delay was at. Editing patches is simple, all you have to do is change one knob to what you want and edit it. // 9

Sound: I use this with a Custom Guitar, and my Les Paul and I find the sound very Good. I have experimented and got many sounds from it from Blues to Rock to Acoustic. Its not very Noisy at all, it has a Noise Controll that limts feedback and unwanted sounds. The effects tend to be great but can get weak if you mix to many together in my opinion. I think all the Effects are good except the Flanger. The modeled amps and distortion types tend to be good and very verstalie but I dont like the Flanger at all, its just progarmmed to strong even at low settings to be honest. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I could diffently depend on this, I had my Amp (150 Watt) sit on it for a night and it never cracked or anything. Thats a long story why it was sitting there but I had some rearranging and forgot my pedal was there and you couldnt see into my homemade amp box. I would diffently use this at a gig without a Backup, It works fine, just use your adapter and strong nice cables and there will be no noise or tech issues concerning with the Zoom G1 // 10

Overall Impression: I play abit of everything and this Pedal seems to do abit of everything that I need. From Classical to Blues to Rock to Metal it does it all. I have been playing for about 3 years with anywhere from 6 to 9 hours of practice each day. I use an Epiphone Les Paul custom, A Scheter Sunset Series Deluxe, an Epiphone Acoustic AJ series, and my Custom guitar with a 15wat Crate amp or 150 watt Ibanez TBR Amp and it works great with everything. The only thing I wished I asked before buying it was there anything I could get to mount it on too. If mine was Stolen or lost I would buy another one, but If I had the cash I would honestly buy a Pedal Board with everything I need (Which I might do soon actually for certain gigs) I compared this to many other products such as the Boss ones and Vox ones and DigiTech and it diffently is better for the Price. // 10

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overall: 9
G1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 21, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 60

Purchased from: Heartland Music

Ease of Use: This little effects pedal was a bit difficult to use at first. But after a little experimenting I got it to work flawlessly. The amout of preset patches on this little guy can blow you away.I really use only 6 or 7 when I'm playing. Mainly ones for alot of distortion, or Acoustic modeling(this includes a VERY accurate aooustic guitar simulator) The manual for it is very explanitory, it covers all of the functions that its able to do, this includes a telephone number for if you need to have it repaired or have any questions about the product. // 9

Sound: Setup: I WAS running this through a J-series Jackson warrior and a Crate 15W, but I recently upgraded to a Peavey Vypyr 15 and the use of the pedal isnt as much as it was with the crate. its not really noisy, it has a noise gate in it so you can control just how much sound you want coming out of your guitar, so on a max settings you wont here most bumps or unwanted sound if you hit your strings on accident or anything. you can get a good tone for almost ANY artist if you shape your tone and effects right. And all of the effects are good, exept I prefer straight tone with very little effects added on to it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I'd say that its very relaiable.. exept a little knob on mine fell off(it wasn't glued or anything) and its not calibrated with the bottom part, so say if.. for example. the sharp part of the Switch is on a certain category like gain for instance, it would actually be on Mid(for changing your mid tone) And I would definatly gig with this if I had to. // 7

Overall Impression: I play mostly metal, and if I'm feeling quiet I'll use one of my two Acoustic effects (one is the normal simulator and the other is a slightly creepy reverbed version) I've been playing for three years, I don't own any other effects pedals, mainly with this little badass I wont need one. If it were stolen I'd definatly buy another one, hell I'd buy two more just to give one to a friend. This is really worth the money. // 10

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overall: 7.3
G1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 03, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 99

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Ease of Use: I have owned this for over a year. I have the G1U model which is also a USB interface. The regular G1 is not an interface. This is from a 28 year old who has been playing for 8 years. It can be very difficult to understand at first. UNLESS YOU READ THE MANUAL. Then it's pretty easy. // 8

Sound: Ok sound. This is going to be a long one but hopefully it'll help someone in the same boat is me. I've played this through a Line 6 Spider II 112, a Marshall HD100FX Half Stack, a Kustom PA System, recently a Vox AD100VT, and of course as a computer interface with studio monitors. I've used multiple guitars, a ESP Viper 400 with EMG 81 & 85 pickups tuned down to A, a Ibanez ART300 with Lo-zi humbickers tuned down to B, a Ibanez ART300 with Lo-zi humbuckers tuned down to C and a Schecter Omen 6 with Seymour Duncan pickups tuned to standard. All set neck guitars. The sound is very good and very bad depending on genre. If you play classic rock, country, blues, 80's metal, alternative and rock (Foo Fighters, Green Day) this pedal can get some great tones live and using it as a recording interface going direct in. How ever, if you want nu metal tones for recording that are drowned out in distortion THIS IS NOT THE PEDAL FOR YOU. You have a lot of 14-16 year olds rating this pedal awesome. NO! You CAN get some sick, nasty, crazy distortions. But to the trained ear they sound like sh-t, fake and synthetic. I'm surprised Joe Satriani and John 5 endorse this pedal. It goes to show how little credit sound engineers get post production. I truly believe they are responsible for most GREAT tones. This is the deal... I write and record hard rock. I love newer tones of Mark Tremonti, Sevendust, Kill Switch, Jim Root of Slipknot (the other guy is a dick). Their tones are heavy, powerful but clean and warm at the same time. You're not gonna get this with the ZOOM. You're going to get very harsh gritty tones while recording. I've spent months trying to EQ it differently, turning down the distortion to down to 4 (it goes from 1-99 so for is pretty damn low to still have so much grit.) I just can't get the harshness out. Teens want to turn the distortion (gain) way up and think it sounds cool. I used to also. But while recording you have to layer your guitar tracks (dub them) to make them sound full... So your gain should never be as high as your settings when you play live because layering ads grit on top of grit on top of grit especially with the ZOOM. I even assumed "Oh! It's gritty cause I'm going direct in. Let me mic my amp or cab instead." NOPE! Using a Shure SM57 (intrument mic) and a Shure SM58 (vocal mic) It still had a ton of grit (harshness). Now having said all that, if you just buy the G1 for live use you can't really detect that grit so you can get some good heavy tones. But I got the G1.u which is marketed for recording. That's fine. JUST DON'T RECORD HARD ROCK. I got some great cleans, and delays, and wah's while recording with this. I know this seems biased cause I record hard rock... And that's fine. I hope it helps someone else out who is looking for a recording interface for hard rock. // 6

Reliability & Durability: Plastic case... But no damage in over a year. I would take it to a gig but I would be careful with it. I don't trust anything with a plastic case and plastic knobs for a lot of live use. If it was stolen or broken I would not replace it. In fact I'm selling it to a guy who records punk rock. This would work perfect for that genre of music. // 8

Overall Impression: I mostly play metal, hard rock. I've been playing on and off for 8 years. This not a good match for recording. For live use yes. Bottom line is if your looking for tube modelers, get a Line 6 product for 50 bucks more (even though they still sound fake to me.) Nothing beats a real tube amp. I am searching for the tone Bury Your Dead had on the album It's Nothing Personal. Not the greatest band or album but just google the tone. Hands down people say that tone is the best. Invest in a tube amp or something like the Vox Valvetronix series. It sends the signal through one tube before it hits the effects so it's kinda like a tube preamp. They're not as expensive as a all tube amp but the tone sounds a lot better than any modeler. Also if anyone can help with the tone above go to www.thisawakened.com and send me an email through that site. Hopes this helped someone. Thanks. // 7

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overall: 10
G1 Reviewed by: rockmaster689, on november 22, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: The Zoom G1 Guitar effects pedal is an amazing piece of kit and is very useful for achieving a very large range of sounds from bands like XTC all the way up to bands like Metallica and Avenged Sevenfold. I bought my unit second hand (in perfect working order) and I have never used a better pedal than this. The manual supplied is very clear and helpful and its easy to edit and create your own patches (and it has a built in tuner which is very handy live). // 10

Sound: I use this pedal with a Peavey 200w and its sounds epic and the sounds are clear and strong. The Wah Wah is excellent, however you need to avoid the reverb because it don't sound too good. Overall the sounds are amazing, but I do advise you create your own sounds. I have created about 30 effects and they are permanently saved onto the pedal until I reset it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: You could state your life that this pedal will not break. I use it at gigs and it's never failed on me once. With this pedal you won't need a backup pedal. If you look after this pedal I don't see what could go wrong with it. It is solid and has firm strong buttons and footswitches and is well protected if you drop it etc (I know, I've lost count of how many times I've dropped it). // 10

Overall Impression: My band play mainly rock and listen to bands such as Avenged Sevenfold and Rage Against The Machine and this pedal suits this perfectly. I been playing for about two years and I use this pedal with my Yamaha Pacifica 112v. I have no regrets in purchasing this pedal and it has served me well. If this pedal was stolen I would, without a doubt, purchase another one. It is much better than the Zoom G2 and an overall amazing product that a good guitarist needs. // 10

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