GFX-1 Review

manufacturer: Zoom date: 06/04/2009 category: Guitar Effects
Zoom: GFX-1
With its instant access to four effect patches the new GFX-1 is great for live performances and built to take the abuse of the road with its solid metal construction.
 Sound: 8
 Overall Impression: 8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.7
 Ease of Use: 8.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) 22 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
GFX-1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 04, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Music Store

Ease of Use: This effects pedal is the best I've seen in a very long time and in its price range it's unmatched. The selection of effects and distortions are huge and can be given a good sound out of it easly. Editing the patchs couldn't be made any more simpler simply turn the knob to the desiered distortion ot effect or both then press edit then select the patch you wish to save it on! It is also helpful to read the manual which is also brilliant. // 10

Sound: I use an OLP John Petrucci guitar with an Aria AG-10 amp. The guitar is exelent but the amp could do with alot more work. Dispite the amp bieng crap this effects pedal gets the best posibble sound out of it. It can sometimes be noisy but is easly overcome with the right noise reduction setting so that problem fixed. Chorus, flanger, phase, doubling, tremilo, step, cry baby, ring mod, slow attack, pitch, delay, echo, hall and room are the effects you can get out of this not mentioning wah noise reduction equilizer ect. Every one of those efects listed above sound perect nothing wrong with them and you can attach an expression pedal for maximum controll. I haven't really tried to get sounds of different people I like to create my own sound but I really do think that if tried yuo can get the almost exact sound of many populer artists. There is a very long extension of different distortions to choose from and every one of them are perfected. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is built like a brick! solid metal casing would not break for a good solid 4 years. Though I'm not a electrition expert I don't know about the wireing but il assure you that it shouldnt be faulty. I would deffenatly use this in a gig without a backup. // 10

Overall Impression: I play blues, lead, metal, hard rock and this pedal fits that style perfectly and it does suit almost all other styles of music. with 10 banks and 4 patches in each (that's 40 stored efects at one time) you can store every different effect yuo can think of fro a good long time. these patches have pre-set effets on them rangiong from a classic bank multi EFX bank to a heavy bank. I've been playing for 2 years and this is my first effects pedal, I have although used various other effect pedals. One problem is that it doesnt seem quit finished without an expresion pedal but this will not effect its score. If this were stolen or lost I'd buy it again and if I had mroe money I'd get an expresison pedal. I love the extensive effects to choose from and I don't hate anything about it. I did wish it had an intergrated expression pedal but it isnt a nessesity. // 10

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overall: 7.8
GFX-1 Reviewed by: Drool_Mouse, on june 04, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 70

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Ease of Use: The Zoom GFX-1 is a great effects box for a beginner or intermediate, or even an advanced guitar player. It is relatively easy to get a nice quality sound out of it, with 11 different types of sound settings, like distortion, and a gain control for each one. On top of that, it has 34 different effects to add on top of the distortion setting, including wah, phase shifter, flanger, tremolo, etc. Each of these effects also can be customized into what type of effect, such as how much phase is included with the shifter, or with the pitch effect, which tone it is adding to what you play, either an octave down, or a perfect 4th or 5th, etc. Editing can be somewhat confusing at first, until you really get a handle on it. And really the main thing I dislike about editing is that the effects are adjusted by buttons, not knobs, so it's hard to tell the difference between the effects from level 1 to level 2. Honestly, the manual that came with it says GFX-3... But both pedals/boxes are similar enough that there wasn't any real problem. The manual is pretty easy to read, but can be confusing occasionally; it is, after all, a manual. I left my GFX-1 exactly how it came out of the store, just been playing with it constantly. It was an extremely good deal, and can be operated by 4 AA batteries, or with an adapter. The adapter was an additional $25, making the purchase a total of about $100 USD. // 6

Sound: I currently use two different guitars with this effects pedal: an Epiphone Les Paul, and a Washburn X-Series. I use one of two amps when I play, a Line 6 Spider 30W, or a Kustom (it's my dad's and have no idea how old it is, or what model, as it doesn't say). Really the only noise I get out of it is exactly what I want. Unwanted noise is usually due to the pickup setting, which results in humming. The only time the effects get weak are when you try to use the Acoustic or the clean settings. It really sucks the power out of the sound, and also, it's a hassle sometimes, because it comes out louded with bass, and if it's supposed to sound acoustic/clean, I need more treble in my sound. Other than that, the effects come through strong every time. Using the Metal distortion, and adjusting the contour, I can get a good sound to play anything from Megadeth, to Atreyu, to Mudvayne. I even use that same setting if I'm feeling a little punk and play some Sum 41. So, overall the sound that's produced is very versatile. Almost all of the effects are great. I have very little problems with them, and usually when I have a problem, it's the guitar - as in tonal quality because of cheap, stock pickups. The onyl effect I really will not use is the Wah effect, and that's because it has no pedal to control the effect. It just does it on everything you play. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I am extremely confident I can depend on this thing forever. I got it a few years ago, and it still plays like new. I would, reluctantly - because of Murphy's Law (anything that can go wrong, will go wrong) use this at a gig without a backup, I really believe it would handle a Live performance perfectly, as long as the batteries didn't die, in which case, you always bring plenty of extra. // 9

Overall Impression: I play mostly some sort of metal, be it Death Metal, or thrash metal, or metalcore, and occasionally some punk/pop punk (on very strange days), and I feel that this effects pedal fits perfectly. I have been playing for about 5 or 6 years now, and as I said before I have an Epiphone Les Paul, and Washburn X-Series, with a Line 6 30W Spider amp. I have a Dunlop Crybaby, but it's broken - don't ask me how, no one knows why it won't work, awesome I know. I kind of feel like this effects pedal is pretty straight forward and I don't think there is anything else I would have asked. If this were lost or stolen, I would definitely search for a new one, probably on eBay, but I may upgrade to a GFX-3 if I could find one for a good price instead. I love the versatility and convenience of having all of the effects in one place and the overall quality of the sound it produces. As I said earlier I just really dislike that is sucks the power out of the sound when using an acoustic/clean setting, and adjusting the settings could be more convenient with a knob, not buttons. Honestly I did not really compare it other products. It was years ago, and I knew a lot less about guitar playing and everything back then. I mainly chose this one because it was really cheap, and I was looking for something to improve my sound. I have never looked back since I got this thing. The only things I wish it had were an expression pedal, for Wah and volume, and with the pedal come a tremolo pedal, so I could do the dives on the Les Paul. Other than that, I love this thing. // 7

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overall: 8.5
GFX-1 Reviewed by: the loud one, on may 10, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: This is such a brilliant unit! It's easy to use, very simple in comparison to other digital effects units and for the cost, sounds great! Every patch can be fully edited and it has more parameters than many people will really need. The manual is very easy to understand too as it uses loads of diagrams and explains everything you will ever need to know about it! In comparison to other Zooms it is very civilised in that its not overly complicated. // 10

Sound: My setup is a cheap but chearful Fender strat style Westfield guitar, staight through the Zoom and into my Vox AD50VT. It works for me beautifully as it opens up a huge range of sounds, most of which I may never need! Because it is digital, it will never reach the sound quality of an analogue setup but considering the fact that you will pay pennies for one, it's easily good enough for gigs, which is all I will ever use it for! I'm in band that plays mainly indie rock music ranging from mellow to reasonably heavy and it has no trouble giving the entire range of sound but it does mean I spend ages on floor reprogramming the thing! // 8

Reliability & Durability: Easily dependible unit made from metal on the outside so it will stand up for itself, but that said, it won't put up with being lobbed around! I always rely on it for our bands gigs, and doesn't need a backup as long as its looked after. // 8

Overall Impression: Playing indie rock, it has a the capability of giving the whole range of sounds I need and would easily cope with practically any other type of music too. As I said before though, it is only digital and so will never match analogue sound quality but it is easily good enough live! I love the fact that it is so easy to use but the main down side is that programming takes a fair bit of time. The top reason I went for this is because of the price. It is a cheap unit, and so is never going to be as good as other more pricey effects. However, if you are going for something simple, very easy to use, and sturdy for live performances then I would recommend the GFX-1. // 8

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overall: 8.5
GFX-1 Reviewed by: billyd4eva, on october 30, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Wisbech Music, Wisbech, Cambs

Ease of Use: The GFX-1 comes with 10 banks (A-J) of 4 defaulted patches (1-4). That's 40 altogether. That's a lot of default patched to play with, however, a few of these sound very similar. There are only slight differences. It's easy to get a good sound out of this equipment quickly and easily. Just choose a bank then Pick a number, and you'll have a startig sound. The LED display shows what bank and number is selected. Editing patches is made simple. 2 dials on the surface. 1 for a quick distortion change. And the other controls all the effects. The two buttons under the distortion dial controls the strength of the distortion. The two buttons under the effects dial cycle through the effects, strengthen or weaken the effects, increase or decrease the time delay and much more. The LED light displays all the details which are being changed. The button on the far left stores the custom patch. Press once and the LED light will flash, just to make sure your certaion you want to save your changes. Press again to store. // 9

Sound: I'm currently using an ESP LTD AX-50 guitar, which connects into the effects processor, which goes into the input of my Marshall MG30DFX, 30 watt amp. Some of the patches are louder than others, as some have stronger distortion. But the patch level can easily be changed by using the effects dial and two lower butons. Most of the effects sound great, but one or two, such as the phaser crackles if turned up too loud, which is hard to avoid as the phaser seems to be a quieter effect any way. It's quite easy to match up basic effects to current artists. My faverite band is Muse. I have matched several of their effects using the GFX-1. And the ones I haven't matched are pretty damn close. The PVY Drive stands out as the best distortion to me. I use this as my main distortion when playing. It gives a clear sound and does not dirty the sound when strengthened. All banks have various themes, such as bank A's bluesy feel and bank F's futuristic robotic type sounds. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This is a solid piece of equipment, unlikely to break easily. It hasn't failed me yet, and I don't expect it to. It strikes me as a very reliable and durable bit ok kit. It's small and compact, easy to carry. I use this at all my gigs. I never take backup as I know I will never need it. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a range of music, from blues to heavy metal. The GFX-1 meets all my needs. It's a perfect match for me. I've been playing for 4 years now. I own an Encore guitar and a Crafter electric acoustic guitar, which both work great with the GFX-1. I've also got a Rockwood bass which I sometimes put through it (even thought I shouldn't because it's made for guitar, but it still works great). If I ever lost this or it was stolen I would definately buy this again or maybe the next model in the hope of getting an even better expierience! My favorite feature has to be the ability to mix different effects and customize every feature of them to create something unique. The only thing I dislike about it is that some of the efects get a bit crackly when turned up, which is a real shame. Overall this is a top piece of kit, ideal for anyone who wishes to create thier own sounds and play gigs. I highly recommend it! // 8

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overall: 8.5
GFX-1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 04, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 177.66

Purchased from: Unisound

Ease of Use: At first when I tested the GFX-1 in the shop it didn't know how to use the thing, just tested the effects. Bought it and when I got home the real learning began, luckily you get a hang of how it all works fairly quickly. But mastering it all takes quite a while, cause there are a lot of options. Editing patches couldn't be much easier and it helps a lot to read the manual in order to understand what information the display is giving. It comes with 6 manuals, essentially all are the same just in different languages, English, German, Italian, Japanese, French and Spanish. // 9

Sound: I'm using this with a Ibanez GRX40J and an Ibanez TB50R at the moment, very nice sound indeed. But I'm sure it will be alot better with a better guitar and a nice stack. The ZNR aka. Zoom Noise Reduction works well, no annoying hissing or humming sounds when not playing. The only things that I don't like so far are some of the distortions. Like the lead, I can't get it anywhere near the smoothness of John Petrucci's lead sounds. But I guess that can be blamed on the guitar quite a bit too. So far I'm pleased with the overall sound, and there's a lot to tweak which is always good. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It seems very sturdy, haven't done any gigs with it yet but I think I could use it on a gig without a backup. Just have to do some gigs with it and we'll see how reliable it really is. // 8

Overall Impression: It fits my style of playing well, I mostly play metal, progressive metal and "alternative rock/metal" or whatever you could call it. I've been playing for ca. 4 years now. If it was stolen, I'd probably get a better one with more features, not that I'm saying it ain't good. It's very good for the price. The amount of gain is something I really like about it, only thing is you can't get a nice hybrid sound between the Metal and Fuzz distortions. And the EQ could be a bit better, as the manual doesn't give you a very clear picture of how the EQ works but you get the hang of it after a while. There are a few missing major features, like the chance to plug it into the computer via an USB port and load patches downloaded from the net like you can do with the DigiTech GNX3. // 9

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overall: 8.8
GFX-1 Reviewed by: zmusicbubblez, on august 22, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 126.4

Purchased from: Noteables

Ease of Use: The sound from this pedal is amazing, doesn't matter what kind of setup or amp you have, it will bring the max out of it. Editing your sounds has never been so easy, even if you use your feet. The manual is pretty much a waste of time, too easy to figure out on your own. Press the button and it turns the effect on, press the same one again and it bypasses the pedal, or hold the button and it mutes the whole setup. Also have the option to add a Wah pedal. // 9

Sound: I'm mainly using a Ibanex GRX 40 with a simple Ibanez GTA 10 amp. Crappy amp but this pedal makes it sound awesome. I've only used this amp for playing at home but it could easily pull of a small gig of about 50 people. The effects are always great as long as you know what you want. Some of my favorite sounds to get out of this pedal are Green Day, Colin James, and Led Zeppelin sounds [works perfect]. All the effects work for me and have good sound quality. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is built like a brick, however it does have some minor errors. There are about 6 little tiny buttons on it and I pushed one of them alittle too hard and it broke inside of the pedal, and I tried to take the screws out of it so I could fix it and a little peice got loose and likes to run around inside of the pedal. If you're gonna buy this amp, know that it has certain limits to how you treat it. I would definately use this pedal without anything to back it up. // 8

Overall Impression: I play a lot of punk/rock/metal and this pedal matches the sounds I wanted perfectly. I've only been playing guitar for two years but have done afew gigs and know that sound quality is everything. My pedal is purple, personally I love the color. If the pedal was stolen I'd probably upgrade to the Zoom GFX-5 or a Boss multi-effect pedal. The best part of this pedal is you don't even have to get down to use it, you can just use your feet the whole time. But I hate some of the small controls. I chose this pedal because it's small, powerful, and affordable. I just wish the buttons didn't break as easy as mine did. // 9

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overall: 6
GFX-1 Reviewed by: MattRemmel, on december 12, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 85

Purchased from: Samash

Ease of Use: When I first bought this pedal I thought it was good. That was before I had any type of pedal. But there are so many better pedals out there than this one. there aren't really that many good effects and the ones that are it's to hard edit to get it to sound good. And if you want to have an effect over distortion and then you want to take it off, you have to have it in a completly new channel which wastes space. it's kinda confusing editing them and it takes forever because you have to press the button a hundred million times before you get what you want out of it. // 6

Sound: I used it as a preamp. there wasn't really much you could get out of it apart from a basic clean sound and basic distortion. the effects were pretty weak. you couldnt really get any distinctive sound out of it. The effects were pretty low end and the overall quallity wasn't were I would of like it to be. // 5

Reliability & Durability: Apart from haveing a bad sound it never broke down or stopped working on me. The only problem I had with it was when I tried to switch channels and if you hit two of them (which isnt hard to do) it would completly switch banks and you would have to hit a million buttons to get it to go back to the one you want. Which is really bad if you in the middle of a song. // 8

Overall Impression: I doesnt't really matter what type of music you gonna play, your not gonna get a distictive sound out of it anyway. If you had nothing, then I would be better, but there are millions of better pedals out there. If it was stolen I wouldn't think about going back and getting another. The only thing I like about it was haveing four channels to Switch between but you can get that with any other pedal. // 5

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