G3 review by Zoom

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  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Sound: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.3 (80 votes)
Zoom: G3

Price paid: $ 149

Purchased from: Amazon

Ease of Use — 10
The G3 is very simple to use. I had another multi before hand, so I'm used to bending on knees to fix whatever might be wrong. The G3 is very easy to edit, especially with V2.1. The effects scrolling is simple, the dials on the effects correspond with the output and are easy to change. Each screen has it's own individual controls for the individual effect. The screen modules are (WYSIWYG) but the outboard controls are not. Editing patches is easy, as is saving. Changing patches requires you to go into a different mode of sorts. There is a stompbox mode where you can click the stomps of the patch on and off, and there is a patch mode where you can scroll up and down each patch.

The G3 requires some work to get the amp sims and distortion models to sound good. For delays and verbs and other modulations, most work very well upon the first engagement of the effect.

Sound — 8
The G3 sounds quite great all around. The amp sims are a little lacking compared to a POD HD's, but still react to the on-board distortions and such well. Those preamp pedals sound decent on their own, but sound a little digital, as do the amps. I did make a Vox emulation (AC-Tone) and a djent emulation (Juicer with boost). Both sound fairly decent, but to work well the G3 needs to be in an effects loop, fed with a clean preamp signal.

Other preamp pedals (compressor, noise gate?) work decent as well. The comps could be better, but for the price of the G3 I think they are great. The noise gates are pretty high quality, leaving much of your tone intact but cutting off at the threshold efficiently.

The EQ's (only two of them) work okay. One is just treble and bass, and the other touches on odd frequencies (6 band). The low/mid frequencies give nasally qualities rather than punch, and the highs are just a spark above proper assignment. The gap between the lows and highs is way too large (from 800 hz to 3.2k hz). Not much midrange to be had there, you'll have to dial that in on the amp. A good combo of the 800 and 3.2k hz parameters can brighten up a dark amp.

The filters work as filters. The step filters are actually pretty nice and versatile. The chorus, flangers, and other pitch modulations work well. The whammy lacks a little bit of kick when the octave is engaged. Pitch shifting (lower/higher tunings) are okay, they cut some of the guitar timbre out, but latency isn't too bad. The fun effects (bomber, synth, etc.) are fun to mess with but I don't imagine much of a practice use from them.

Where the G3 shines and what really makes the unit worth it are the delays and reverbs. All of the time-based effects work great and help to create lush soundscapes and thicken up sonic space. Multiple, easy to use delays are available as well as multiple, easy to use reverbs. You can stack delays and verbs to create new sounds. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't find a plate verb, but I stacked a tiled room verb upon a hall verb and created a sparkly, fizzy plate verb. The sound quality of the time-based effects are great as well.

I use this unit primarily as a source of time-based effects, a bit of EQ, whammy, and noise gating. I play mostly Church worship music. In that regard, the G3 is wondrous.

Reliability & Durability — 7
The G3 is built reasonably well. I received it in new condition, nothing seemed off about it. The first time I loaded up the unit, however, I had to download the V2.1 software, as the unit came stock with v1. If you don't have a USB cable, you'll need to get one. The foam feet on the unit come off easily if you need to lay the pedal flat. If you wanted to run cables under it, you'll need to add on to the feet/glue new ones on.

One of my knobs gets a little sticky in it's full rotation. Nothing is hindered sound-wise or ease-of-use by this. Also, the power input seems to be a little loose, but again nothing is hindered. I don't foresee any problems in the future, but I'll be careful none the less.

Overall Impression — 8
The G3 is perfect for creating delay and reverb sound scapes. Delays and verbs can be stacked to create interesting, full, synth-like waves, as well as subtle backing for a cranked guitar. The common pitch modulations and filters can be used as their conventional counterparts.

The amp/distortion simulations are finicky but useable. They would require a clean preamp signal and the G3 would have to be in an effects loop. A direct out would not sound too great, especially without an out-board cab sim. At the point of having a decent tube effects loop amp, the user would probably already have standalone distortion/preamp pedals, so the G3's dirt and amp sims wouldn't be necessary. However, extremely different amp sims from the user's actually amp can be used to gain a versatile range of styles, rather than buying new amps for each style.

The only thing the G3 lacks (for my uses anyway) is an attack comp, an EQ with better mid-range emphasis, and a plate reverb. The looper works well, ties with the drum machine perfectly, and the sound quality is great. No issues there. I would use this without back-up. I would buy again.

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