Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 10
I bought the pedal for use at wedding gigs where true tone isnt an issue and really just to di into the pa and have a silent tuner also, but the unit really exceeded my expectations. I've bought Multifx for 15 years or so and had the GFX in 1999 but this is a different league. The unit contains 2 12ax7 valves (tubes) which make all the difference to shaping the tone and eliminating the saturated digital sounds especially on high gain patches. It definately gives an overall Marshall style warmth when the valves are cranked. Unfortunately it seems when cranking the tube levels over 1/2 way this distorts the clean channel (this may be my settings). The individual sounds are all very nice-on par with most of my electro harmonix and boutique pedals, the tremelo is very analogue sounding, the delays are substantial and there is 2 modulation choices so you can do loop FX using 2 long delays. The chorus/flange and phasers are decent not to Boss or EHX standards but nice with particular patch settings. Harmoniser and Whammy a shade off my DigiTech Whammy and wahs suffer from the pedals lack of width. One of my favourites is an AIR modulation effect which acts as air between speaker and amp I guess, really adds realism. The acoustic simulator is really sweet sounding once dialled in well. The amp models are really great in general. Some favourites are Diezel, Engl, Recto, Roland JC, HK Clean. All very realistic and great for emulating fav artists, I can get a great adam jones sound with the Diezel. For the brutals it does better than my 5150 anyway IMO, and isnt far off Powerballs heads etc.
Overall Impression — 9
I play death metal to bossa nova, just about every genre as I teach, play in wedding bands and play in a prog metal band as well. It covers all the bases. I own a lot of high end gear and this is amongst with pride of place. After I've hooked up a Carvin V3 with Holy Grail, Crybaby, Whammy, Small Stone, Big Muff and all those patch cables it is a seriously cheaper, more convenient and high quality alternative. I don't know if multifx would ever exceed amp heads of boutique pedals but this is 95% of the way there. I would reccommend it anyday over the Boss GE-8, this has too much tweaking and too saturated a tone despite having some nice add ons like dual outputs and the synth sounds etc, and I would take it over the Vox Tonelab SE for it's superior cleans and organic sound. I do like the Tonelabs SLO and 5150 patches but this is cheaper and higher quality. Favourite feature is the dual modes (you can go clean to gain on the same patch which is really useful), and the least favourite the small screen for tuning. I would definately replace it if lost stolen. I wish it would have a dual output and synth as well as a function to combine amp models ala Adam Jones Recto and Diezel, but that would be cherry on the icing on the cake.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I would say it feels very reliable nothing has went wrong with my Zoom FX in the past and it's very sturdy. I use this through my mackie PA system live and I think this sounds better than through my 4x12 because the sound is clearer. I have a backup pedal just for di purposes as you never know but the chances are it's more likely not to get used if I forget the power supply.
Ease of Use — 8
The Zoom is easy with a few minutes of tinkering to get used to. Editing patches is all straightforward and logical. The editing is moderate not so complex as to have you dialling tones forever instead of playing. The layout of the Zoom is great, really practical and efficiant with heavy duty dials and pedals. A couple of things that might work better would be both pedals on one side for easy volume then wah/modulation pedal changing but this isnt a big issue. The pedals are also not so wide in soundscope I.e. you can go from zero volume to full too quickly, although there may be a function to amend this (let me know if you know how). The Zoom has the quickest patch change ever apparantly which with the nice softclick buttons makes it unobvious on stage and comfortable. The screen could have been a bit bigger, especially when tuning on stage. I haven't used the system with the built in cubase package but I have heard it isnt as user friendly as the pods but I couldnt substantiate this.