Price paid: $ 79
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 9
I use a Stratocaster guitar with single coil pickups, and some low power home made amps; I haven't take this unit out yet to try it with other guitars and "real" amps, and I must say that the G1X makes them sound great, it has a powerful noise gate (you got to be careful when using it or your sound will be chopped). Electrical noise passes sometimes but that's due to my single coils, compared to the 505 II, the G1X is too much quite until you hit the strings and then, it releases it's big sound. The G1X is a great improvement to the way the 505 II sounded, if you liked that, this will blow your ears and brain with quality simulations and effects. I'm mostly in the heavy metal side of rock, following the path led by Iron Maiden, Saxon, Black Sabbath and those, and let me tell you that sounding just like them it's not hard with this, even if you use small practice amps, it will take just a little editing on the patches and that's it (obviously it is helpful if you know what are like the guitar rigs of your favorite artists). Now distortions are better than before, also modulation effects, having in mind the control the expression pedal gives over them. Time effects have now more options. The EQ section is more friendly than the 505 II, now you can control lows, mids, and highs separately, with a wide range of action. Noise gate as I told is strong. At last but not least, the rythm patterns are quite suitable for an ample variety of music styles, and they just sound good. Even if you use it with headphones it sounds great, and my recommendation is to use it always with a stereo amp or two amps to get everything of its sound. The new harmonics technology Zoom says it is included here really makes it sound just fine, the first time I play with it, using the presets it sounded so fine to me that certainly it became my new take-it-where-ever-you-want standard.
Overall Impression — 9
Having in mind my musical tastes, it is a match, you can even use it to process voice if you sing. I'd been playing for the last 15 years, and I have tried many different systems, all sound good, RP21D, Marshall effects, Boss, the 05, 505 II, and now this. Let me tell you that if you're looking for a great sound and ease of use, this is your choice at a low cost. I haven't tried yet the G2 series, but beside the facts of the metal case and the USB recording capabilities of that, the G1X looked better to me when I read the specifications. So for now, if something happens to my G1X I will get another one. The G1X has this modern look that I like, even when I have to confess that the appearance of the 505ii is the best, I'm starting to love G1X's. What I less like about it are the foot switches, big ones like those of the 505 II would be better to use features like the tunner and the by-pass mode that are activated stepping on both at the same time (would Zoom be the first company to offer switchable covers of different styles for their low cost units to improve their appearance just like cell phone manufac tures do). I don't hate it but have you think how wonderful would be the G1X if it also had features like a phrase sampler and an aux-line input, just like the Zoom 707?
Reliability & Durability — 8
If the G1X is constructed (and it seems) like the 505 II was, I'm pretty sure it will last for many years, even if it receive some hits. Obviously I won't let my 1.8 meters tall, 240 pounds mate to jump on it, but I think it will last if you treat it well. Just remember it is still plastic, so don't pretent to stop bullets with it.
Ease of Use — 9
This is a very easy unit, you just can unpack it and get some great sounds out of it, and if you are/were a Zoom 505 II user, this will not represent any problem when using it and editing the sounds. The editing of patches is even simpler than with the 505ii due to the spinning knob instead of buttons, even when you have now more parameters to deal with, but this ensures you can get very acurate sounds. The manual is quite complete, obviously it covers all the functions of the unit, in the way Zoom got us used to, though for some effects and it's parameters I find the explanation was a little better in the 505ii manual. Good thing is that this time you got a complete list of al the factory patches with their descriptions and what makes them sound like that.