GFX-3 Review

manufacturer: Zoom date: 12/31/2014 category: Guitar Effects
Zoom: GFX-3
The GFX-3 has tons of patches, cab simulations, and an expression pedal taking it to the next level. It offers 50 effects in various categories including dynamics, drive, modulation, and ambience. All the standard effects for guitar are there, plus some unconventional ones.
 Sound: 8.3
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Ease of Use: 8.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (6) pictures (2) 10 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
GFX-3 Reviewed by: TORSION, on april 10, 2006
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: It is very easy to get good sound out of the unit because it has dials which you just put on the sound you want and you get it. The fine tuning of the sound is also easy. You can change the gain, tone, presence, treble, middle, bass and anything else just by turning the value dial. Editing patches is easy because the unit has a store button, that you press once you have got the sound you want and then it is there stored and ready to use. The manual is a little bit confusing. I read it but found it was better to just play around with it to figure out how it works. It also has a function to return it back to factory settings which came in handy when I thought I stuffed it up! It is also good because it has 3 patch pedals so you can go from distortion to clean to acoustic just by pressing the buttons. // 10

Sound: I am using a Encore guitar that is a Stratocaster copy and a Samick 10 watt amp. It sounds good on this for the size of the amp. I have also used it on a Peavey 112 Studio and some Laney Hardcore amp that my friend has and it also sounded good on these. It can be noisy at times when using distortion or metal distortion but it still sounds ok. I have noticed I get a fair bit of feed back since I have had the pedal which can get very noisy. The effects to me always sound great and if the dont I edit the patch to make it sound great! I can get it to sound like Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, Metallica, Papa Roach pretty easily. Getting a Papa Roach distortion sound was the hardest to find but in the end I got it. All the effects are good. the distortion is good I use it a lot, the wah is good I think it is based on a cry baby, all the delays and echos work well, also the flange and phaser are good. The vibrato setting is pretty crappy though. I don't know if it is supposed to sound like vibrato but it just sounds like a weird pulse noise. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I can depend on it totally. Pretty much the whole thing is metal so it wont break, I bought a Boss power pack to go with it so I dont have to worry about batteries either. I have used it to play at school and it was ok I didnt need a back up unit. Would've liked my own amp though! If the settings on the amp are changed you get a completely different sound and someone used the amp before me (it was the schools amp) and changed all the settings so it didn't sound how I set it up. But hey it still sounded good. // 9

Overall Impression: I play all different styles of music from heavy stuff like papa roach, to classic rock- AC/DC, acoustic stuff, and I can get all these sounds out of the pedal. It is awesome. I have been playing for 8 years on and off and this is my first pedal. I own an encore guitar, a Samick 10 watt amp (SM-10), the GFX-3 (obviously), a Boss power pack, a 4 way adaptor, two leads, a stand, a strap, a capo, and some picks. I don't own any other pedals though. I wish I asked if it would do any thing to my amp because since I've had the pedal it is not as powerful, but hey it's 20 years old or something (it is my dads). if it was stolen or lost I would be pissed! And I would chase down the sucker who stole it and get it back then kick their ass! So yes I would buy a new one. I love how it puts expression into what I'm playing. Putting an echo or a wah when I'm playing blues or something just makes it sound 100 times better. I hate nothing about it to be 100% honest! My favourite feature is probably the wah or the distortion. The wah makes Jimi Hendrix songs sound so much better and the distortion makes heavy stuff sound better. It sure beats my amps built in Overdrive! Go out and buy it, it rocks! // 10

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overall: 8.3
GFX-3 Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 12, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 149.99

Purchased from: Sam Ash

Ease of Use: This product is fairly easy to use although for beginners, the parameter section might be a bit confusing or otherwise, pointless. It gets a really great sound no matter what style you want or what amp you use it from as I use it from a Mega 10 W amp for practice and a 350 W old '70s Fender Amp for jamming sessions. Editing patches is a no brainer and it can be done instantaneous. The manual is also really helpful as it runs through all the basic controls of everything and even gives you a guide on how to sound like other artists. // 8

Sound: The sound is really sweet. If I had enough money though, I'd go for the GFX-5, but I'm very content with this. I'm using it with a Fender Squier and a 350 W Fender amp that's from the '70s. The sound from the different amp modules can be compared to that of a Gibson-easily. It doesn't get noisy unless you turn up your guitar or your amp to about the 8th, 9th or 10th volume dial. Then it starts getting a deep buzz, but nothing sharp, it can probably be reduced or removed with a better amp cord. The effects are above decent and you can match any guitarists sound really. I think the wha wha could use a looott more tone though, its really not that strong. The phaser is probably its best effect as its got the perfect sound for playing Voodoo Child and other such phase songs. Excellent for any type of rock genre. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I would definitely depend on this as its made of all metal and can endure the road life. I probably wouldn't use it on a gig without a backup but thats because I'm a backup freak and have to ahve back ups for all my backups. It's powered by 4 AA batteries which are included. // 8

Overall Impression: I play mainly hard rock/metal/shred (Scorpions, Judas Priest, EVH, Alice In Chains, Guns N' Roses, Iron Maiden the such) and I can imitate their tones almost perfectly. I've bene palying for three years tried out many other effects boards, but this is the one I chose because yuy really get a bargain for your money, its not that expensive and I would rate it superior to that of DigiTech. Not to mention look wise, DigiTechs are damned ugly. If it were stolen I'd get really pissed off and not bother buying another one though, just save up for a GFX 5. This things amazing, so if you're looking for something in the 150 price range, this is the pedal board for you. 'Nuff said. // 8

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overall: 8.5
GFX-3 Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 08, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: I got this about a month after I started learning to play. The manual helps out by explaining all the abbreviations on the 2 character display and explains to noobs what all the parameters mean for different effects. Two months later I still refer back to the instructions from time to time, but once you learn what each effect actually does to your tone, it gets rather easy to Pick up. Play with it for a week and you'll have most of it down. Making patches is relatively simple, and it stores a bunch of them. The tuner is great and simple to use. // 8

Sound: I run a starter pack Ibanez (I know, but I got it for free to learn on while I save to buy a nice Fender or Gibson) right to the GFX-3 and then into a Roland Jazz Chorus (got in a trade because my friend didn't like it but I do.) The pups on the guitar are crap, but I can get a respectable sound out of it still. The thing does suck some tone though, not too bad when in bypass mode though. No noise to begin with, but it does have a hum killer built in but I've had no need thus far. It has a 3 band EQ that makes the $75 guitar sound like maybe a $150 guitar. Each effect has gain or presence settings and can also be changed via the foot pedal so you can have as much or little effect as you want. Some effects are pointless to me like the whacky computer sound effects and ringing tone, but they all work how they're supposed to. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've kicked the thing in the dark a few times and it'd break my toe before it'd get a scratch on it. I wouldn't recommend jumping on it but it is mostly metal and the plastic parts seem up to it. Don't know how good the electronics inside would enjoy being stomped on, the unit is rather inexpensive. I play sitting down most of the time, but I'd think you could gig with it if you wanted without a backup if you don't abuse it. // 9

Overall Impression: I play things along the lines of Sabbath, WASP, Deep Purple, Dio, and Def Leppard and can get nice Overdrive and distortion sounds which was mainly what I wanted from this pedal. The fuzz and metal effects are acceptable. All the modulations (flanger/phaser/chorus) sound average. If you want to use it live, you need to have your patches all pre-programmed or you're going to have to reach down a lot to adjust this thing. You can switch patches with your feet but not individual settings. I got it mainly to see what types of effects I liked before buying single pedals at the price of what I paid for this. It is a good way to introduce yourself to the wide range of effects without going broke, and if you don't ever intend to play in front of anyone besides family or friends, this thing is all you really need. More experienced players would probably prefer single pedals, but for the beginner to intermediate or someone on a budget, I don't think you could beat this pedal. // 9

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overall: 5.5
GFX-3 Reviewed by: Mark G, on october 26, 2007
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: 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. // 6

Sound: 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. // 5

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 7

Overall Impression: 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. // 4

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overall: 9.3
GFX-3 Reviewed by: The Dark Jackal, on march 11, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 168

Purchased from: Guitar Market

Ease of Use: Well, this GFX (Guitar Effects Processor) is very simple to use. I mean, I didn't even read the manual completly, but on the play you learn how to use it, 'cause is really simple to get into it. Editing patches is also a breeze, you just have to setup your effect, press the 'Store' button, select the pedal and 'Store' again, and that's all. In other hand, if you want to read the manual, you'll have it easy because it's not too long. // 9

Sound: The effects this GFX develop are always great. They sound stronge and clear. One of the things that surprissed me is that it isn't noisy at all. It's very, very quiet when are not playing any note on your guitar. It has 120 effects, you can setup another 50, and play up to 7 simultaneous. So that you can play almost your favorites bands' songs. // 10

Reliability & Durability: About its reliability & durability you can depend on it and take it anywhere. It's small and you can power it with 4 AA batteries. I recommend you to buy rechargeable batteries for it. So that you can save money and buy a portatil amp with it, to play anywhere! // 9

Overall Impression: My overall impression is a 9. I use it to play mostly rock music. Also is good for funk, alternative, metal and pop. And I guess the price is average. It's a very good buy. My favorite feature is it's wah-wah effect, 'cause it has, like the others effects, many ajustments, so you can customize it like you desire, as you wish. // 9

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overall: 9.5
GFX-3 Reviewed by: christofloffer, on december 31, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: This is a very transparent bit of kit. I have never had to resort to the manual other than for curiosity sake. The only effect I have never used is the "sfx" setting which sounds a little cheesy and limited. Everything else I have used extensively. Yes I am sure a more expensive unit would be more refined and more precise, but for a day to day work horse I am very sad to lose it. I could not recommend it more to a beginner as it has a bit of everything and the ease of adjustment allows you to experiment a lot. For intermediates I would say it's a good solid, rugged and useful bit of kit for day to day use. Advanced players would probably find it a little lacking when it comes to effect building as by that point you tend to know exactly how you want something to sound and the more expensive units are more appropriate, but for having fun with its still great. // 10

Sound: I love the sounds and the customisation you can get. You can jump right in there and knock out some coa-se effects with pretty pleasing results. I have gotten to know this thing very well over the years and the smaller tweaks and settings can refine a patch very well indeed. There has only been a handful of times I have failed to achieve the sound I was aiming for. I play various styles, from Metallica to Pink Floyd and at the drive-in to john butler. It compliments both the electric and electro acoustic nicely, although the electro acoustic need a little more time to mess with the settings. The setting are very logical though, its not hard to get to grips with. Having 3 effects to hand at any time is great and being able to bypass any of them is handy. Having the bypass as the tuner is handy too as you can quickly tweak up. I am sure that a bigger and newer unit would be more refined and have better fine tuning but I have not been left wanting with this. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I have had this for 11 years and only recently has it given up. It has been through hell and taken abuse like being dropped down the stairs and once from a second story window, to getting rained on it survived when I lived in the woods for a few years too. The thing that finally failed was the expression pedal, over the last 2 months it started to randomly go to zero regardless of what you do with it. I have had it since I was 16 and fairly careless with my gear, it got filthy and battered but it stuck to it valiantly. I use it mainly for home recording and it has been fantastic for that, I have not played live with it but up until a few months ago I would have done with no hesitation. The only reason I haven't given it a 10 is that its broken now. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall I love this bit of kit. I have had a friend take a look at it and it is terminally broken now, I will honestly miss it a lot. I have not been able to track a replacement down unfortunately, if I did I would buy it in a heartbeat. There are obviously better ones out there, which is what I am looking into now, but I wish I could have another one of these handy. I am aware that this is a very positive review but I really do love this thing. I started as a beginner with it and now it has given up 11 years later I know exactly what I want from a new unit. // 10

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