GFX-5 review by Zoom

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (87 votes)
Zoom: GFX-5

Price paid: $ 327.57

Purchased from: Hickies, Reading

Sound — 9
I use a 1989 Fender Mex Custom strat into my Laney MXD-120 Twin amp (also reviewed here), and run the pedal thru the FX loop. This means that I can either use the pedal or the standalone amp, depending on the tone I'm after. It also means I can use stomp boxes between guitar and amp for other songs. It has very good sound quality, and lots of variety. The gain knob can create lots of noise, but Zoom's ZNR is excellent for getting rid of this, the D-Gate can offer various levels of protection while still giving out the intended distortion, but does sometimes crackle. Every effect you can want is available, and you can create a sim of virtually any amp, for instance you can have a clean, warm Fender combo amp, and turn the knob, press a few buttons and you have a high gain screaming Marshall Valve Stack at full volume. The FX are good quality, only down side being you can only use one at a time.

Overall Impression — 9
I play mainly rock based stuff, the large variety of distortion is highly appropriate. It is great for mixed abilites as I bought it as a new guitarist but still play it now. If I were to lose it, I would probably buy a Line 6 Pod XT Live as it is much better quality, or I might choose a Vox Valvetronix piece 'o' kit. It's generally an excellent piece of kit.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I would depend on this pedal for sure at a gig. It is built with a clear intention for road use, using a strong metal base, and a tough expression pedal. However, I would use a flight case before packing it for any length of time in the back of a transit van. I use it through an FX loop, with my guitar going via a series of stomp boxes before it reaches the amp, so if my pedal ever cut out back-up is at hand. It has a battery low indicator so if it's getting low your gonna know about it.

Ease of Use — 7
Plugging in of cables is excellent, the sockets are spread conveniently but not too far apart across the rear of the unit. The on/off button is an excellent slide, which cannot be turned off accidently as it is quite stiff, but not too bad. The power supply cable goes through a clip to prevent loss of power on stage. Very useful. Also has battery power. Editing patches can be done easier with other pedals due to the number of knobs on them, where as buttons are used for the GFX-5. However, once you get used to it, it's really easy. There is excellent foot control, and the LCD display is superb, far better than Line 6 stuff.

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