Price paid: £ 77
Purchased from: GAK
Sound — 8
Is it the best sounding fx ever? No. I have numerous Stomp boxes, and Line 6 HD500, Boss GT5, POD farm with all packs. I can get just about any tone I want when combined with the rest of my gear. However, I don't always want to use the Multi FX floor boards. I often want just my amp with a couple of stompboxes. I don't use a lot of fx, generally I have a bit of chorus, some delay and reverb. For some of the gigs I do I needed some pitch shift, some backwards delay, flanger, maybe some other occasionally used oddities. This unit has them you can just switch the pedal to be this effect and stick it on your pedal board. This flexibility for 77... You'd be mad not too. The sounds are more than adequate, you can have it as a single effect or as a upto 6 fx patch changing unit. Well I have a HD500 that cost 4-5 times more. IS it 4-5 times better? No. This unit is not quite as good, but it is not far behind. There are presets on there, they are pretty good. Making your own patches, requires the manual as it does take a bit of getting used to the way the various controls work differently in different modes. Once you get used to it, well it seems ok, but its not as intuitive as some pedals I have. Don't expect this to be the greatest Overdrive unit of all time, it's not, but it certainly does a good job.
Overall Impression — 9
I play all kinds of music, literally right across the board. I require this unit to be as transparent as possible, I also require it to be silent. Well I have tried it on a Cornford MK50H and a Peavey 6505 and I am not hearing any colouring to the tones. The unit has the Zoom ZNR noise reduction, I usually use an ISP Decimator so the bar is raised pretty high in terms of what I expect. Verdict, very good, it passed. The Peavey is very hissy and this cleaned and silenced it. Good work. So this unit will allow me to travel abroad and have most of my FX to hand available in one stomp box. It cost less than most of my other FX so I am very happy and would recommend this to anyone. It is a great convenient stomp box and would be great as a back up if your main floorboard packed up. Thank you Zoom, you did it again! Video from YouTube:
Reliability & Durability — 8
The unit is pretty sturdy, seems like a good weight. It will be gigged hard as I play 2-3 times a week live and will use it in lessons, 4-5 hours a day. If it isn't robust enough Zoom and the retailer will know about it. All my gear needs to cut it live and be able to travel and take the knocks and bumps of working gear. I will be using this unit mostly in fx loops as chorus/delay type fx, but on some occasions the unit will be used as front end and so far the tones seem ok. Richie Kotzen seems to use the stuff and he is pretty good in my eyes.
Ease of Use — 8
How good is this unit? Well I bought one and as my other bits of gear include Cornford Amps, Parker Fly's, Gibson, Fender, Taylor, I do prefer the finer instruments and equipment. I purchased the unit for 2 applications. Number 1, I tour abroad a fair bit and fly to the locations. Hand luggage sizes are such that most of my floorboards either exceed to sizes or weights allowed. So I wanted something compact. This unit is the size of one stomp box. The unit can also be run off 2 AA batteries. This is advantageous when flying to gigs. The second application I wanted it for was to fill in on my pedal board for some effects I don't use very often but would like to use on occasion. Auto wah, Cry, Pitch shifter, backwards delay and many more. This unit can be used as a multi fx or as a single stompbox and this flexibility was what I was looking for.