Price paid: $ 49.99
Purchased from: music132.com
Sound — 8
I have played several different guitars through this pedal, everything from Squire Strats to Gibson Les Pauls, and it's sounded great with them all. I am currently running it through a Fender FM65 and it sounds excellent through it. The only complaint I have is that it can at times be a little noisy depending on the effect and the kind of pickups (open coils tend to have a little bit more buzz with the overdrives but that's to be expected). The distortions effects sound alright, but they aren't anything to write home about. The remaining effects are all really nice, so my suggestion would be to buy a separate stompbox type distortion effect to use in conjunction with the other effects. I suggest the Boss DS-1 or the DigiTech Metal Master in this case. One of the better effects on the pedal is the compressor, it has varying effects depending upon what the user chooses as the level. You can easily get a Metallica (think "Ride the Lighting" tones) sound as well as a crunchy AC/DC like sound. All in all the clean jazz and blues mods take the cake in my book, you can easily model the tone of an expensive Gibson or the twang Fender with just a few turns of a knob. Other effects such as a chorus, flanger and reverb are all very good depending on the application. The auto Wah is pretty awesome too.
Overall Impression — 8
I play a wide range of styles from blues to metal, this pedal suites all of them without failure. I have been playing for 9 years and like I stated above this pedal was the first effects pedal I ever bought. I have a DigiTech RP-200 work station as well, since I acquired it, I haven't had much need for the Zoom. For the price and the features I utilize, it was a great buy and would buy it again if I had to do it over. If it were lost or stolen I would buy it again. I like the assortment of different pedals and the ease of use; I can say it much easier to manipulate than the DigiTech RP-200 I have. The only feature it is missing is the expression pedal, if it had a Wah/Volume pedal, it would be the only modeling pedal I would ever need. It's far more inexpensive than other pedals like it, but for the price tag, it exceeds my expectations daily.
Reliability & Durability — 6
Plastic pedals are to be avoided I know, but this pedal is very sturdy. The underside is steel though, so that does add some support, but the toggle pedals are plastic and could easily break. I don't gig with this pedal on a regular basis anymore, but it is a solid choice for studio or home playing none the less. I would be apprehensive about using it without a back up for one reason; it eats AA batteries like crazy. An afternoon of jamming it about all the life the batteries have, if you can track done a power supply you'll be rid of all doubt about losing power.
Ease of Use — 7
This was my very first guitar pedal and as a beginner, it was an excellent tool for learning what effects produce a particular sound. It was very inexpensive so as a beginner, the price was just right. It apparently has a Wah/Volume expression pedal port but I have seen no such pedal for sale anywhere. The factory patches sounds range from clean and clear to heavy and chunky, not to mention that each factory patch can be modified if you choose. I basically left all the factory patches and augmented from there, keeping what I liked and changing or removing what I didn't like all together. The manual was very helpful from what I can remember (I bought it about 9 years ago and lost the manual soon thereafter), it explained what each effect does and the corresponding abbreviation as it appears on the display. The Chromatic Tuner is another fantastic and easy to use feature the 505 II has to offer.