Review: Zoom G3 – English summary

The Zoom G3 (current price in Finland: 213 €) represents a change in the basic functionality of compact Zoom-pedals. Up until now the pedals were built with an architecture based on pre-configured effect-chains as the basis of all effect-patches.

There wasn’t anything wrong with doing it this way, it only made the user experience a little clumsy and non-intuitive.

The new G3 changes all that by giving the user a floor effect that feels like three independent pedals side-by-side. But while three conventional stand-alone pedals tend to offer only one single effect per pedal, each of the G3’s three sections is a full-blown multieffect filled to the brim with tasty amp simulations and guitar effects.

The back panel really takes full care of all your connection needs, even offering a balanced xlr-output, as well as a usb-port for effect-patch exchange using a computer (PC/Mac) or for using the G3 as a digital recording interface.

When the G3 is in Home View -mode its large displays clearly show you which effects make up the current patch. The well-designed icons leave you in no doubt as to the inspiration behind most effects. Each effect can be turned on or off individually using the Zoom’s sturdy footswitches.

Touch one of the controls, and the display changes automatically to show you the available parameters and their settings.

The Zoom G3 is also equipped with its own basic drum machine, an easy-to-use 40-second looper, as well as a cromatic tuner.

Adding even more value to the package are the user-friendly Steinberg Sequel LE -audiosequencer (Win/Mac), as well as Zoom’s own Edit & Share -patch editor.

****

The best thing about the Zoom G3 – apart from its intuitive user interface, that is – are the fantastic sounds on offer. Some of its predecessors’ clean tones tended to sound slightly lacklustre, but the new Zoom G3 really delivers the goods – excellent amp models and juicy effects.

It really offers something for virtually any guitarist, regardless of musical style.

The following soundbites were recorded direct via the G3’s xlr-output:

Fender Stratocaster – detune – delay

Fender Stratocaster – dirty Tweed – tremolo

Fender Stratocaster – Hiwatt-style

Fender Stratocaster – Marshall-type – tape delay

Fender Stratocaster – slow attack – delay

Tokai LC-85 – fixed wah – Marshall-type

Tokai LC-85 – Fender-style – tremolo – tape delay

Tokai LC-85 – Rectifier – noise gate

Tokai LC-85 – phaser – Blackface-style

Tokai LC-85 – Marshall-style

Zoom G3 drum sound

****

Zoom G3

213 €

Finnish distributor: Studiotec

****

Pros:

+ sound

+ sturdy construction

+ compact size

+ large range of different amp models and effects

+ intuitive user interface

+ different output modes

+ USB-audio interface

Cons:

– some effect types cut down the number of effects in a patch

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