Price paid: C$ 70
Purchased from: Bobba Lalonde Music
Sound — 7
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.
Overall Impression — 10
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.
Reliability & Durability — 6
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.
Ease of Use — 7
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?