Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: JVS Music Shop
Sound — 10
My guitars are Fender Japanese Vintage '57, Ibanez RG350DX and a Yamaha Pacifica 112J. On practice sessions I run this unit straight to a Vox Pathfinder 15R and on regular gigs I use a Peavey Classic 30. Most of the time I use a 4-cable method on regular gigs and it responds very well with respect to dynamics. The amp sims are pretty good too. On low gain amp sim, I adore a lot the Vox AC30 simulation, it really sounded like the real thing. Likewise, on high gain territory this unit really soars. I love the tight bass response of the BG, Engl and DZ Drive. The Extreme Distortion is really insane, I have coupled it with the ZNR module and some tightening of the low frequencies, and yeah you'll have that bone crushing tone but still pleasing to hear. The modulation effects of this unit are pretty decent too. It sounded like an individual stompboxes. I love the stereo chorus effect, it has that very lushy, sparkling and mouth-watering sound. The tremolo is pretty good too, the you can hear the guitar signal sliced thouroughly and you can alter its waveform too. I have to mention the volume swell effect is really great compared to other multis. The effect responds really well with respect to your picking and it has a good time curve too so you can emulate a violin-like effect. The delays and reverbs are ace. You can dial those dotted notes with ease and it can be manipulated with the tap tempo switch. These module offers a wide selection of delays and reverbs. The early reflection and modulation delay are very cool.
Overall Impression — 9
I play jazz, classic rock, blues, progressive rock and metal. All these music styles were catered by this unit. I have been playing for 15 years and have bunch of boutique pedals and other multis too (e.g. Korg AX3000G, Boss ME-50, GT-10 and etc). Though the flexibility and versatility of this unit may not top notch but the Z-pedal really gives me an additional control over other parameters of my effects. The tones coming out of this thing is near analogue, thanks to the tube-buffered input and output stage. For the wish list, I wish Zoom had included the following: 1. Its the LCD interface into more larger display so the user could have an ease of viewing. 2. The Wah and booster effect should be separated. 3. The pedal, amp and cabinet simulations should be separated. 4. To include a pedal placement feature, in which you could re-arrange the order of pedals in your chain. 5. To include warp mode on amp sims would be great! 6. To have a separate dry and wet output. 7. Making the tubes more accessible. Did I ask much? :D Anyway, this multi rocks! If it were stolen or lost I would probably wait the next higher model.
Reliability & Durability — 10
In terms of durability all I can say is that this unit is very dependable, built to last. If I could recall it right, I have accidentally dropped it thrice already during rush gigs, have stomped on it hardly but it's still kicking. It had no pedal, Switch issues or whatsoever as what other poeple were complaining. It has served me very well for 3 years already and counting. It had never let me down.
Ease of Use — 9
Getting a good sound from this unit is pretty easy since you have all the knobs to control the parameter which you will tailor. Even if you're not familiar with Zoom units you can edit the patches with ease. Each effect module has its own button, you'll just have to press the corresponding button in order to edit its values. The manual is very informative, has hints and tips for the unit.