Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: American Musical Supply
Sound — 9
I use this device when I travel, so it runs through any amp I encounter from PA to tranny to tubes, and at home I run it through a Yahama DG60FX - yup, a modeling amp - a Kustom Centender, Crate PB150 Powerblock, and a Pevaey Royal 8 I modded. It sounds excellent with all of them. I nailed Page's "Whole Lotta Love" with this, but I prefer making my own sounds. Some I've programmed from scratch, but the onboard artist presets on this thing are actually so good, and so different, that I've simply tweaked them to get the sounds I want for the most part. Check the online specs for the specific amps and stomp boxes modelled on this device; I'll just say here that there are plenty, and they sound very good. They're not exact copies, but who cares? The Vox model sounds Voxy, the Fender models are Fenderish. The octave divider and booster features are excellent; delays and reverbs sound rich, and even the chorus, which I usually hate on MFX, sounds lush, not tinny. I used the tremolo on a Fogerty tune yesterday, sounded perfect. It would take me months to work through everything that's here, and in the meanwhile here's the bottom line: I quite liked the G2, and this is better. It also has better drum parts onboard, and better control of the beats (time is in BPM). One problem: The noise reduction is not as good as on the G2. Not that it lets noise through: On the contrary, you'll have to tweak it carefully to stop it from killing your sustain, But you can. I point off.
Overall Impression — 9
I'm a Slide player, and I do not have a band; I sit in when I feel the need for company. I use a lot of different gear, from Pignose to Bassman 100, tranny and tube. I have about a dozen guitars, mainly Reverends these days, and all very nice pieces, even if they're not luxury guitars; they all play and sound great. I need good bass response, because the basis of my technique is Delta Blues, and I need good modern rhythm and lead sounds too (though I do NOT play metal in any form). The Zoom has it, as well as a lot of effects I will never use. You get this device so you can put a good-sounding amp in your pocket and on stage if you get the chance. There is no other modeler that sounds this good and offers as much versatility and portability. I've compared it to Line 6 and Digitech; the battery-powered Line 6 devices aren't as good sounding, and the Digitechs don't have that capability and sound much more digital to my ears. I also own a Tech 21 Blonde Character pedal, which does nothing but modelm Fender amps. That is a truly amazing device, and the amp models sound richer than the Zoom, and distortions sound better on it too. If you just want a modeler, the Tech 21 character series are top value. If you need an all in one package, which I often do, get the Zoom and you'll thank me.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I depend on my G2s. I take a G2 with me, loaded with 4 AAs, ont he orad or to jams. I set it down, turn it on, plug it in, and there's my sound. However, of the three I wowned - a G2, G2.1U and now this - the G2.1U has bugs I hate. The drumbox feature stopped working and the selector pedal buttons don't always function. So you CAN get a bad one, and it can go bad after the guarantee is done. 2 points off.
Ease of Use — 9
This is the G2NU, and NOT the G2.1Nu. It's the same device except the latter has an expression pedal. OK, is it esy to use? If you know Zoom's G2 interface, it's the same, only better, more control over the parameters and better visibility. If not, you'll have to read thye manual and get used to it. I learned this interface by tweaking or programming a sound every time I played. You learn it fast.