Price paid: € 150
Purchased from: Polish auction service (used)
Sound — 10
Guitars plugged to in involved rather cheaper models, I didn't have the chance to plug something better yet. Still, it always sounded great. I used Ibanez ART 120 and Cort X2 (look for their reviews for reference). I played it through my no-name 80W amp, Ibanez 150W-2x12 combo (pretty old, so I can't give exact model), medium size multimedia speakers and large home theatre system. Everytime it was just like... Wow! It isn't noisy at all (which is particularly connected to pickups in my guitar - Ib's are really quiet). Even on the most hardcore settings I didn't have to use any noise reduction system. It is equipped however with 3-module noise reduction system, so owner of some Stratocaster might use it, and I'm sure it will be able to cope with the noise. The effects... First of all, there are just so many of them! Of course, see the manufacturer page, but for the things that catched my attention: you can use two separate delays at the same time, reverse delay is really cool. Wah-wahs are pretty good, but I can't play them that well to actually be able to tell anything about them. I can certainly say that the wahs and pitch effects sound at least comparable to these of Boss multieffects (tested ME-70), leaving DigiTech (RP500, RP70) far behind. I'd also like to note, that the built-in harmonizer is very good, at least for me. I must start the new paragraph to talk about distortions. They're just amazing! Before I bought it, I visited many shops and played lots of different effects through lot of different amps. The one I was closest to buying was the Line6 HD300 - I played it throught Bogner tube combo, and it sounded amazing. However, I believe that if you plug the G7 into some decent amp, it can still compete with it and in some cases win - but look, how much older gear it is! It's certainly starting to get Vintage status. My main preset is built around Mesa Boogie Mark IIIamp, which is my amp of dreams. I didn't have the chance to play the amp itself, but the simulated one gives as wide spectrum of sounds as I would expect from the original. The amps really differ from each other, giving you great possibilities. Fender is bright, Peavey crispy - just as they should be. The cabinet simulation is very important for me, since as I said, I mostly play at home, connected to the normal speakers. It makes the sound really sound like it should, allowing me to play along with my favourite songs, don't feeling that my sound is worse - it is just different, but mine. That's the sound it gives me, however, the variety of effects enables you to mimic nearly any sound you hear on CD. Last but not least - The Energizer. Opinions vary, from very overrated to very underrated. I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It certainly won't sound alone as a tube amp and a huge stack, if you don't plug it to one. Period. However, the Boost function is really useful to getting the sound more to the front, and driving my speakers to their limits. As for the Tube control, I use it on my Overdrive presets, and sometimes it's very helpful for finding the sound I need. I strongly believe, that if you want 100% of this board live, you must plug it into nice tube amp. As for recording, you won't be able to tell the difference.
Overall Impression — 9
I play lots of genres on gigs, and fits every of them perfectly. Whatever do you play, you will be able to with this baby. I've been playing for 1,5 year now, and for the price I paid for it (half the market price), it's more than enough. I'm sort of gear geek, and like to turn all these knobs. The G7 enables me to experiment with the gear I won't be able to buy in next 10 years, certainly helping me develop. I wish I'd asked about the programming via usb - I was pretty sure I can do it, however, as I said earlier, cheap midi cable solves all the problems. If it was stolen, I'd probably buy G9.2 - for the two separate pedals, however, if I only had that much cash as I had, I wouldn't hesitate. G9 is a bit long. I love how it look in the darkness or on stage - all the mates from different bands just came to watch all these shiny lights, and ask something about it. I hate the low-mid and harmonics knobs moved far to the left, I understand the purpose however - only way to squeeze 6-band eq, so I forgive it. It also could have the G9 effects loop, which certainly helps to extend your possibilities. I don't have any other pedals yet, so now it's not the problem. Still, great, sturdy gear for the price. If you want to be distinguished from all these Line6 and DigiTech users - go for it. Certainly everyone will be curious about it, it's the gear that gives your tools some personality. (Why not 10? Someday I will buy rack processor, so I'm saving this point for it;))
Reliability & Durability — 9
As I said, mine is the used one - with a lot of scratches, however all the main components remain intact. The metal buttons still work very well, same for knobs. The only thing that is a bit damaged are these small buttons, as I said earlier. They just need some more force to work, but still work. I believe this thing can rock for the next few years with me, as it did with the previous owner. I'd take it without backup, simply because I don't have enough money to buy another one. Still, even if I had the money, I'd probably buy more cables, but not another G7. It's build like a tank - all from metal (just look at the screen protection - not only looks, cool, I believe you could stand on it!). The pedal is veery big, and can withstand the whatever pressure you put on it (note - you must literally stand on it to toggle the Wah Switch under the pedal, but I've noticed that's the case with most effects I used. I'm very thin person.
Ease of Use — 8
How easy is it to get a good sound out of it? Certainly needs some tweaking. The built-in presets can be used for some sort of reference, but they aren't actually that good. Or maybe they are, but I'm mainly using the console with flat-response, medium-sized speakers, and I had to modify some of the settings. How about Editing patches? The one I got was a bit old, however, still working fine. Some of these small buttons require a bit more pressure to work, and these are the things that wear out first. The librarian software made it easier, and you can set patches on PC on-the-fly, while playing. This feature made it comparable to devices costing 2-4x more. The only flaw is that it requires MIDI connection (which resolves to 10$ midi-usb cable and another usb slot occupied. Not that bad. Manual is really great. I didn't get the printed one with the device, so I just downloaded it from the Zoom page. It explains everything very clearly, I think the most valuable parts of it are the tone tips related to the built-in effects. I also downloaded the newest firmware (1.06). Updating took a few seconds. I did it just as I got my hands on it, so I can't really compare the older versions, but from what I read on Zoom website, it fixed a tuner and some minor bugs. I switched from DigiTech RP70, and and first I had to get used to it, but then editing was very easy. The hardest part I believe was that 3rd and 4th digital knob are used to control specific parts of EQ, and they are on the left side. (see the photo for reference).