GFX-3 review by Zoom

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  • Sound: 5
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Ease of Use: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 5.5 Decent
  • Users' score: 7.4 (37 votes)
Zoom: GFX-3

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 5
I was using the Zoom GFX-3 with a Schecter C1 Classic through a B-52 AT 112 tube amp. Right now I only use it for its tuner however. The unit is incredibly noisy, even when it is not modifying the signal in any way. I suspect the buffer is extremely cheap, and low quality. The delay and echo effects are pretty decent, but the Drive and modulation are both horrible. The effects sound very shallow and artificial.

Overall Impression — 4
I play mostly metal and metalcore, although I do occasionally play rock, blues and jazz. I've been playing for two years and you can check my profile for my other (good quality) gear. I bought the GFX-3 when I was starting out because I wanted the effects to tinker with. This worked alright through the 15 watt Peavey Backstage SS amp I had back then, but not at all through the 60 Watt tube amp I use today. If it were stolen or lost, I would simply use the money to buy a rackmount tuner. I only use the GFX-3 occasionally as a tuner anyway. I don't it it for it's effects anymore since they are mediocre at best, and the noise it produces is horrible. I didn't compare this to other products at the time, since it was given to me as a birthday gift. If I could have decided myself, I would probably have saved up for a Boss GT8 or a PodXTLive, which are far superior in every way. If you are considering to buy this unit, please don't. Either buy the single effect stomp boxes you want, or save up for a high quality effects processor like the Boss GT8 or PodXTLive. You will be much happier. I do like the tuner.

Reliability & Durability — 7
You can depend on it, in that it will keep functioning. However, I would never use this thing Live since the feedback and noise it produces would be louder than my actual playing. If this thing were to break down during a Live performance, the crowd would probably cheer. (if they hadn't left already). This piece of software is enclosed in a sturdy metal casing however all the knobs and pedals are made ouf of cheap plastic. This makes the unit feel pretty cheap, although I'm sure it can take a beating.

Ease of Use — 6
It took me considerable time to get a remotely decent sound from this unit. It isn't easy to use at all, and every adjustment takes considerable time to save or load. The patches in this unit can be pretty useful but scrolling through them is incredibly cumbersome. You chance presets by pressing the smaller footswitches on this unit, which prompts the unit to load the preset. This takes considerable time, making it very cumbersome to go to, for example the 60th preset. Also, the volume on the presets isn't always the same. You could have a preset at normal volume, and then get punched in the face by an incredibly loud preset. The manual was a bit too brief. For example, it describes how to adjust the internal compressors, but it doesn't tell you exactly how this affects your sound. Also, it will tell you which knobs are used to adjust delay, but it will not say exactly how these knobs do exactly that. You might think you are adjust the delay time, when you are infact adjusting the delay type.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's enjoying a new lease of life as I've just got a valve amp (Hot Rod) and it sounds a hell of a lot better than it ever did with my solid state. By comparison to the natural tone of the amp and other pedals I have however - I agree, it's very artificial. Never used it a gig. I've brought it a few times but opted out just before we go on. It's not easy to use on stage and I never feel confident with it.
    valley boy
    I just got it, and im sorta confused on how to run it. its great for my buget, though.