G5 Review

manufacturer: Zoom date: 09/11/2013 category: Guitar Effects
Zoom: G5
Owing to having an entire screen and three control knobs dedicated to each effect, editing effects is nearly as simple as it is on any ordinary stomp box.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 8.4
 Reliability & Durability: 8.4
 Ease of Use: 8.4
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reviews (5) pictures (1) 48 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
G5 Reviewed by: fdrstrat, on may 17, 2012
6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 229.99

Purchased from: DV247.com

Ease of Use: I bought the Zoom G5 to try something new. The design and editing process is like nothing I'd seen before in a multi-fx. Owing to having an entire screen and three control knobs dedicated to each effect, editing effects is nearly as simple as it is on any ordinary stomp box. Things get marginally more complicated when you have to press a few buttons to change the effect parameters you are changing or to scroll along your virtual rig. Having said that, it is still really simple. The only thing I have noticed the G5, on the ease of use front, is that it takes a little longer than I would like to switch between patches. You have a press and hold one footswitch to enter patch mode, then press two footswitches together to change the patch bank, press a footswitch to select the patch and then press and hold a footswitch to re-enter "home"/stompbox mode. This can take about 20 seconds, which isn't much, but I hope you understand me when I say that 20 seconds seems like an eternity between songs at a gig. However, if you plan on staying in one patch for most or all of a gig, this wouldn't be a problem. All I can say is that I hope I get a little faster at this in time! // 8

Sound: I was genuinely surprised by the sound of the G5. The first multi-fx I ever bought was a Zoom GFX-5. I didn't think much of how that thing sounded. As a result, I wasn't expecting any miracles from the G5 and bought it on the back of some reviews of the Zoom G3 and some videos I'd seen. When I plugged it in (to the effects return of my Vox VT100), I was instantly impressed. I was expecting the cleans to be a little flat and they weren't. I was expecting the dirtier sounds to be a little hissy and they weren't. From there, what you're left with is 22 amp models which are all very usable and Very adjustable. I find that the controls of the amp models have a very wide range, wider than I have generally experienced of any amp. As a result of this, you really can find Your sound in just about any one of the amp models. My particular favorite amp models are the FD Combo, modeling a Fender Twin; the VX Combo, modeling a Vox AC30; and the MS Crunch, modeling a 1959 Marshall stack. All of these sounds go from clean to crunch (and beyond) without a hint of hissyness and with all the dynamics you could hope for from a multi-fx. Speaking of dynamics, rolling off the volume on the guitar does exactly what you'd hope it would do and the G5 responds well to dynamic playing. All this and I haven't even got to the effects. I'm taking up some serious space with this review, so I'll be a little more concise. With the exception of the more wacky effects (like the monosynth and the organ effect etc.) they are all great. Simple as that. You can edit practically everything, to the point where you end up spending too long trying to get it right as you like it! If you're thinking of using the G5 purely for its effects, you won't be disappointed. Especially not for the price. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Seeing as it's only just been released in the UK, you can imagine I haven't had it long, so I'll refrain from being too optimistic. All I can say at this point is that it is heavier than it looks which, in my experience, is a good sign with regards to durability. The Z-pedal (which I can only really see myself using one dimensionally!) perhaps is the only part of the G5 which I may have reservations about. And the only other thing is that you do end up pressing the same buttons and twisting the same knobs a lot of the time. I don't know if they'll be susceptible to wear, but they might be. Then again, this may be a non-issue. Overall, you do get the impression that the G5 is very well made and, as yet, I have nothing to convince me otherwise. // 8

Overall Impression: I'm a blues/rock guitarist and I wasn't expecting the G5 to really suit my playing. All I can say is that I've been proven wrong. The sound of it running through my VT100 and through a PA is second to no multi-fx I've tried. Although admittedly, I haven't tried the Line 6 HD500 or the Boss GT100. On the other hand, those multi-fx units cost nearly twice as much as the G5, so if you're considering the G5, you might not want to spend the extra. One multi-fx unit in the same price range that I do have experience with is the Vox Tonelab EX. Against this, the G5 definitely has the better effects and will produce a better distorted tone. The cleans are nip-and-tuck between the TLEX and the G5 but, if you like bright and jangly then you want the G5. If you like your cleans full and a bit darker then the TLEX would be better. The TLEX is also much simpler to use, but this does come at the expense of versatility, with some effects lacking the adjustment parameters you would expect. Personally, if I were given the choice between the two right now, I would take the G5. The only real drawback to the G5 is the time it takes to switch between patches. Some might also be annoyed that there is no effects loop and no "four-cable" method of running in front of and into the effects loop of an amp. I definitely don't need either of those things though. As an all-round multi-fx unit, the Zoom G5 is formidably well featured and sounds brilliant. And for all I've said, I haven't even mentioned the looper or the built-in drum machine! To sum up: for 230GBP, I don't think you can do any better. // 9

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overall: 9
G5 Reviewed by: majorbytes, on october 01, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 299.99

Purchased from: zzounds.com

Ease of Use: I think the Zoom G5 is pretty easy to use and setting up an effects chain is straight forward. Also the software editing tool is pretty damn nice. I wish it had a better way to scroll through the effects in a chain though. There is a mod for it and I will probably go ahead and make that mod. It will make it a much more usable pedal for a live situation. // 9

Sound: I bought this unit to hook up to the effects loop of my tube amps and use the modulations, delays, reverbs, chorus and a zillion other effects that make my head spin. The sound is superb and dead silent with all of my tube amps, which is a big plus. I just finished A/B'ing between my old setup and the Zoom G5. The Zoom G5 won hands down in the competition. My old setup for my effects loop was: Boss TR2 -> EH Small Stone -> EH Small Clone -> EH Deluxe Electric Mistress -> EH Stereo Memory Man with Hazaria -> EH Cathedral -> Boss RC3 Loop Station. I think most of those are eBay bound, the Zoom sounds better and is a lot smaller setup. I play a lot of Gilmour and Trower type of lead along with ambient blues/jazz. This thing is great and the small footprint is killer. The overdrives and distortions are pretty good for recording and playing through a PA or monitor speakers, but leave much to be desired in the effects loop. I have discovered that downfall in most of the multi effects I have played through the years. I currently also have a Fender Mustang Floor unit and it is a very good tool for recording, but lacks a lot of the functionality of the Zoom G5 for live playing. I had a Zoom G9.2tt, but did not like it at all and eBayed it. Since the overdrives and distortions just are not my cup of tea from the Zoom G5 I put the ones I had on my old pedal board on a smaller board. They are working killer with the Zoom G5. The chain for them is: Guitar -> EH Soul Preacher -> Hardwire CM2 -> Fulltone Fulldrive 2 -> EH Big Muff with Tone/Wicker -> MXR 10 Band EQ -> Boss FV500L Volume Pedal -> Amp. The guitars I am using are Fender MIM Strats, two have rosewood fretboards and one maple fretboard. I have Fender Vintage Noiseless in one, DiMarzio Area 67, 58, 61in one and one with a EMG DG20 set. It sounds pretty damn good with the two strats with the regular pickups, but I have to do some special tweaking for the EMG active set, it can get a little jangly.. The amps I am using are an Egnater Tweaker 15 with 2 x 12 with two 16ohm Texas Heats. A Fender Blues Deluxe with a Eminence C-Rex and a Fender Blues Deville with two 10" Eminence Ragin Cajuns and two 10" Eminence Legends. // 10

Reliability & Durability: So far so good, but I have not been out of the studio with it yet. I have my old pedal board as a backup now, but with the price of the Zoom G5 I might just get another one or maybe a Zoom G3 for a backup. I had to return my Zoom G9.2tt because it was really hissy and noisy. The replacement one was a ton better, but I just did not like the sound of it... // 8

Overall Impression: I have to admit I am impressed with the quality of the sound. The functionality of scrolling and switching through the patches leaves a little to be desired in a live situation. They really should have thought that one out a little better. All that said, I think the Zoom G5 is great pedal for what I am using it for, which is mostly writing and composing songs. I do not do a lot of gigs, but if I do I will definitely make the scrolling and patch mods, because I like the quality of the sound. Also being able to experiment with all the different effects and the 60 second looper is a good thing for composing or practicing. The acoustic simulator is great also and a lot better than I thought it was going to be. You can go from a six string sound to a twelve string sound just by stomping a button. // 9

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overall: 7.8
G5 Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 11, 2013
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 225

Purchased from: Musikhaus Thomann

Ease of Use: I bought the G5 to have something for both live use, rehearsals and studio/home recordings. Getting a decent sound is a walk in the park. You choose a patch and tweak it into your own liking. The presets are... Typically Zoom, not too good. The only negative thing here is that it might be quite some "knob-work" going through the (long) effect "Lists" to get what you want. But changing the order of the effects or swapping patches is easy and adjusting them is as you would on a stomp box or an amp thanks to the displays. Learning how the different modules work towards global settings takes a little bit more time, but it's pretty intuitive any way. The built-in tube preamp is very nice for recording as it adds a kinda tubeish sound to otherwise digital effects, reducing the need for re-amping. I haven't really explored all the features of the 3D expression pedal. // 9

Sound: I'm running it as an effect loop on my Peavey 5150II, using the amps own distortion (obviously). At home I use it as you would with any pedal board. I generally don't use it as an audio interface, but it works very well as that too and is fully compatible with (in my case) Cubase 6. The guitars I use are Ibanez UV777 (DiMarzio Breed), RG3520Z Prestige (customized with DiMarzio D-Activators), Ibanez RG2550E Prestige (customized with DiMarzio Evolution (N) and EMG 81 (B) and a Martin XCT1 Ellipse. The board isn't noisy at all. Very quiet! Far less noisy than my friends Boss G8 and my old Behringer V-Amp Pro or Zoom GFX-5 for instance. The (usable) effects are generally good, although I feel Zoom tend to tweak them too light. But as stated, they're easy to tweak so it doesn't really matter. I don't tweak to sound like my own artist. I wanna have my own sound. For that, it works nicely. The amp effects, regular distortions and cleans are nice. But a lot of these modular ones are cr@p. But I don't use them, so I don't care. I just push them out of my way. The noise gate and compressors are generally very good. So are the EQs. I let my amp do the distortion work. // 8

Reliability & Durability: My old GFX-5 had some issues, so that is lingering a bit in the back of my head. But this one seem to be built pretty sturdy and, well... Yeah. I guess it's pretty reliable. If it ever breaks down on me live, I'll just de-activate the effect loop, going all direct in the amp. That works too. So I never bother bringing a back-up. // 8

Overall Impression: I play heavy metal with some influences from progressive metal, extreme metal and whatever makes the songs sound cool. Mostly rhythm parts but also some leads, Harmony sections and clean. The board works very well in that setting. I've been playing guitar for almost as long as I can remember, but my band is only 5 years old. I did a lot of research and testing before I got the board, so I was pretty well covered. If someone stole it... Dunno, actually. I love the easy editing and set up. BUT it has some MAJOR drawbacks that even makes the old GFX-5 laugh. Firstly, the tuner is a bit too "nervy", exaggregating how much you're actually off. But that's not a big deal once you've gotten used to it. But it get worse. For instance, there is no way to pre-arm one patch on another bank while staying in the old one (on another bank). This means that unless all patches in the same song are stored either on the same bank or nicely lined up vertically to one another, you might get lost in "riverdancing" between patches and banks. The GFX-5 had separately bank and patch switches where you could arm one bank while still satying in another. A FAR better solution! Also, having to press two switches to change banks is a b1tch! Cause they need to be pressed simultaneously, and with equal force. Easy "on paper", but in a heated live gig moment... Not. Good. At. All. The switches are also WAY too close to each other (internal distance 2 cm shorter than for my Peavy foot switch) making it too easy to actually swith banks while really only trying to switch between patches. I've come out from a lead part a couple of times, all worked up and "on" and slammed my foot down to go back to the previous patch, ending up hitting two switches and thereby going into another bank instead. It kinda ruined the moment. The last annoyng feature is that if you cut the volume (by assigning the expression pedal as a volume switch) on one patch, change to another patch, the volume is still cut, which is ok, BUT the expression pedal is disregarded! So, say you go from a distortion part and into a clean section. You cut the volume to avoid feed-back or whatever, change patch to the clean one and then turn up the volume on the expression pedal, it's still quiet no matter how much you step on the expression pedal. Anyway, to the price you get one of these boards for, there is not much out there that matches it. If anything. The Boss G10, Line 6 HD PODs, DigiTechs and VOXs with similar are twice the price (and some of them sound awful... ). So you get your moneys worth. That's for sure! I don't need MIDI swithing for the amp either, so... If you can live with the drawbacks (I guess it's just a question about getting used to it and a well thought through set-up and what you wanna use it for- probably better suited for home recordings and rehearsals than live settings in a metal band), then get one! Probably wont regret it. The tube pre-amp is worth half the money alone. // 6

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overall: 8.8
G5 Reviewed by: EC401FM, on december 05, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 309

Purchased from: Long And Mcquade

Ease of Use: First let me start by saying I've wanted this pedal since it was first announced. I'm also glad that I got it. I will start with the bad first. 1) I have yet to get the recording software Cubase to record or even get sound from the pedal. This was a big selling feature for me... 2) The Zoom software is kinda cool and makes for super easy visual editing. However the whole online part is non-existent. It doesn't connect online to share with a big community. You can however import/export your patches and email them to a friend to import etc... It is however really easy to use. I haven't owned guitar gear for many yrs and just getting back into it (guitar on order review of that will come) And I was able to just fly through and get some awesome sounds right off the bat. // 8

Sound: Currently just using my neighbor's SG and a small practice amp. Hopefully when my guitar arrives I can update this with my brand new LTD EC-401FM w/EMG's. Some of the patches have a lot of noise, however most of the noisy ones also have a gate put in the mix and works really good. I tried the tube booster because I had to and lets just say I don't think it was made for solid state amps, but it would pound on a nice stack! I was really worried about it having a crappy WAH. It doesn't, some of them are really strong when set up with good amp models and distortion and yes clean. A real bonus there. I hate to say it I liked the Zakk Wylde one but changed the Marshall style amp to a dual rectifier and changed the chorus. Awesome sound. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Built like a tank. This is a really well built pedal. I was surprised at how heavy it was. I had seen some YouTube vids alluding to its solidness but was pleasantly surprised at how sturdy it is. I will have no problems or concerns taking this wherever I go when I decide to get a band going. It will be nice to have one pedal do all and NOT have to worry about breaking the damn thing! It is mostly aluminum the pedal itself is a rather sturdy piece as well. It has the great sticky rubber stuff on it. The stomp buttons seam to be pretty good and haven't had a false stomp yet. They are rounded on the tops. The screens are pretty well lit and clear to read. // 10

Overall Impression: This is going to be used with an LTD EC-401FM w/EMG's. It will more than likely be used with a future 100w solid state 1/2 stack which will more than likely be throwing out loud and obnoxious metal riffs in a basement/garage band made up of mid 30's truck drivers lol... I have a feeling I will be keeping this for a very long time if not for as long as I play. It is built well and has a huge compliment of sounds to suite whatever may come its way through me. It also allows me to worry about only 3 things: 1) guitar 2) amp 3) 1 pedal Thanks for reading my first review. If you have any questions that maybe one of the other reviewers hasn't been able to ask, or if you have a suggestion for me let me know (if you can I dunno). // 9

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overall: 8.5
G5 Reviewed by: Skidgoh, on december 13, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 285

Purchased from: Singapore

Ease of Use: It is a straight forward multi effect which can easily dial in a great tone with minimum time. For some, changing bank may an issue but as for myself, I placed it on my music stand and changing the bank using the knobs so its fine for me. There is 3 patch in a bank so I don't see a need in changing bank especially in one song duration. Hence, I would say the G5 is really for live situation. Editing patches is so damn simple compared to my HD500 which is a plus. My unit comes with version 1.10. Unlike Line 6, it does not have community to share and download patches. I actually compared the GT100, HD500 and G5 before buying. Below are my comparison. 1. GT100 - overprice - not much improvement as compared to GT10 - tone is average and expected - able to dial in usable tone within a breeze - High school education level needed to operate this unit 2. HD500] - Slight overpriced - Constant updates which is a plus - Lot of amp sim but few are usable - Never like the clean tone - Very steep learning curve - Time tweaking the unit is far more than I enjoy playing my guitar - Bachelor degree need for this unit 3. Zoom G5 - Great price tag - Dial in great tone easily - Nice jangling clean tone - Bank change issue - Pre school education level would be able to operate this unit // 8

Sound: I'm using a Yamaha Pacifica 212VFM as my main gear. Pickups: Pacifica 212VFM is loaded with Duncan JB(b) classic stack plus on both middle and neck. Amps: No amp but a pair of KRK Rokit 5 with audio technical M50 headphone. Tone: I love using the MS crunch, slightly overdriven, along side with tube screamer, Znr delay and reverb to get my lead tone. I feel that the tone is more realistic than my hd500. The clean tone is marvelous. My favorite artists are Joe Satriani, Jack Thammarat, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, Gary Moore and John Pertrucci. Getting the tone from these mention player is achievable and without too much effort. I don't use the distortion as I always prefer Overdrive with driven amp to get the distorted tone and this G5 really done it perfectly. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Sure I can depend on this unit for what I need. On a gig I believe I can use it without a backup. This unit built like a tank but I feel it's slightly over weight. 3.8kg. It's a very well made/ built unit which cost much cheaper than other unit. For less than 300 buck, you'll get what you should have and even more than you can expect. Buying this effect really worth the money. The best buy for myself before 2012 end. This unit does not come with the USB cable but I'm fortunate that I sold my HD500 without the cable hence I could use it now with my G5. // 8

Overall Impression: I play instrumental rock and which I find this unit very suitable for me. I have been playing for 17 years and finally get an unit with a great price and sound compared to other overpriced brand. If its stolen, I would definitely buy it again with second thought. I love the tone and outlook so much. The 60 second looper and drum Machine is the ultimate plus point for those who practice alone. My greatest regret is spending too much money on other unit like the HD500, GT100 before I found this Zoom G5 which sound great and a lot more cheaper.

// 9

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