Purchased from: eBay
Ease of Use — 9
True it takes time to sort out your patches, but it's time well spent, and you won't be upset when the tone is sounding great. To be fair, you'll spend the same amount of time with an array of pedals. Please don't take this review as a pedal bashing though, I'm a fan of pedals, but on a budget, the zoom wins hands down! The patch editing is good, is meant to resemble an amp, the chart is really clear on what sounds to expect, all can be edited from the EQ. Make sure you get a manual with it, otherwise you'll be lost, you can download a PDF, but the manual is much easier to get on with.
Sound — 8
I play through a Les Paul and Tele, using a Peavey Valveking 212. Play mostly rock/blues etc. The zoom, works really as a multi Fx console, if I'm honest I've turned off the preamp setting because I prefer the Valveking's tones. But the Zoom's fx are great, I've set it up with different effects for clean/dirty/lead playing, and that's where it's sounding great. I've dropped 2 points here, for the preamps in the unit, if I was playing through a PA or recording, they would most likely sound great. But with a valve amp, they sound weak.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It's built like tank! The foot switches and expression pedal are tough! Plastic knobs may come under a beating during gigs, but they are positioned far enough away from the switches, that they may just avoid a misplaced foot during your gig. Weight inspires confidence during playing, previous plastic pedals feel like they would fly around the floor if kicked accidentally. Kick this bad boy, and you might just break a toe! It's definitely a reliable tool for gigging, with this on the floor, you'll stomp with the confidence that the pedal will remain under your feet all the time.
Overall Impression — 9
Apart from the preamps, the console is awesome! I love the energiser function that allows for fine tuning the signal output and the guitar tone to help it stand out from the band, I would definitely recommend this for gigging, practicing and recording. It's very versatile with all the effects available, the durability makes gigging that bit easier and gives you one less thing to worry about during playing. If it were stolen, I would definitely buy another, mainly for the fact that I get all the effects I need for a show without the expense of a mass of pedals. Well done Zoom guys!