Zoom G3 Guitar Effects and Amp Simulator Review

Zoom G3 Guitar Effects and Amp SimulatorThe Zoom G3 is a guitar effects and amp simulator that’s designed to offer a range of high-quality guitar presets. It utilizes a USB audio interface and multi-effects processor, combined with a stompbox pedalboard that allows you to produce a variety of sounds with ease. You’ll find a total of three large LCDs, each of which features their own footswitch, giving the user the ability to enjoy six amp and stompbox effects at the same time. The interface is easy and simple to use, so you won’t have any issues using it from the start.

G3 Guitar Effects Pedal Assessment and Features

The firmware upgrade allows for six modules on each patch with every module holding one of the ninety-four unique stompbox forms or thirteen amp simulations. The ninety-four effects and twenty-two amp modes have an advanced realism that includes overtones at your command.

You can use the six included effects in a number of combinations. This model by Zoom features a diverse effects range including distortion, compression, delay, and reverb. The HD reverb makes the most out of the DSP power, in order to provide excellent resonance, rivaling outboard gear for professional studio and live performance use.

This unit operates with a few different power options including four double-A alkaline batteries, USB, or AC adapter. When in battery power mode the device can be used for up to six hours.

With complete amp modeling control and individual effects, you can change the tones for stage and studio settings. This model is adjustable through the use of knobs and footswitches. For ultimate convenience, the additional scroll function allows you to conveniently edit guitar tracks.

This is one sophisticated pedal that features some amazing tones if you know how to correctly configure the amps. All of the compressors, special effects, modulations and various delays are all first rate. We felt that the reverb sounded a little metallic. Out of all the reverbs, the spring reverb is definitely the most realistic, as long as you keep the time short.

We were a little disappointed with the amp modes, which tend to sound lifeless, flat and unresponsive if you don’t take the time to carefully set them up, which makes it challenging to use for beginners. Before you start, update the firmware. You can find instructions on how to do so located on the manufacturer’s website. Next, you’ll want to get a decent quality female XLR and connect the output to the effects return on your amp. Shut the reverb off on your amp while setting the master volume low. Using the XLR output will sound better, tighter and cleaner. Make sure you also set the XLR output to post.

Head to the global settings and set the output to direct mode. The other settings tend to kill the bass or presence, giving it a muddy, flat sound.

With any amp mode you choose, go to the cabinet settings and turn the cab mode off. This will help to bring the sound of the amps to life. While we weren’t too impressed with most of the cab models, the amp models offer a surprisingly realistic sound. Once you make these adjustments you’ll notice an instant improvement in sound.

Effects and Amp Simulator Pros and Cons

Pros: This device comes with three main LCD screens and matching footswitches, which form a graphical interface to provide you with the chance to use a maximum of six stompboxes and amp effects simultaneously. The user interface is streamlined using only three knobs for display controls. The intuitive design allows you to save, rearrange, and create chain effects with ease thanks to the simple navigation system for live settings and studio recording. The three stompbox panels guarantee you can create sounds in a more intuitive way with total control. The share and edit software are pretty simple to use, thanks to the three LCD screens and easy to navigate user interface. You can also play with this model and edit patches easily without PC connection.

Cons: This pedal may come packed with features, but we felt it lacked some of the basic ones. While there’s a button for tap tempo, it’s just a small finger button, and although you can program the wah pedal to work as the tap tempo, it’s a clumsy fix and you end up losing one in favor of the other. It’s hard to believe that with everything this pedal has, there’s no tap tempo footswitch. It also lacks the usability of competing models. If you enjoy pressing down on a foot pedal to switch between expression and volume control and the convenience that comes with it, you’ll be disappointed in the G3’s lack of this innovative feature control that many live performers tend to rely on. The rhythm/looper mode has some limitations. During looping, the rhythm can’t be started and stopped using the footswitches. Overall, some guitarists felt that the pedal just isn’t live performance friendly.

If you’re looking for a more live performance friendly option, the Vox StombLab modeling guitar multi-effects pedal features over a hundred types of modeling effects and presets, an easy to use interface that’s perfect for beginners and with little tweaking required straight out of the box.

G3 Pedal Conclusion and Rating

The G3 features important functions that truly make it a versatile piece of audio equipment. With the USB connection, you’ll be able to use this device as a recording interface on your DAW.  The included edit and share software also add a ton of convenience when you’re in creating mode. With this type of flexibility there often comes some kind of compromise. When you take into consideration the almost limitless ability to adjust patches and effects, the sound quality and the versatility of features, you’ll get a lot of use out of this effects pedal and a ton of value for the price. Zoom G3 Guitar Effects and Amp Simulator earned a consumer rating of four out of five stars for pricing, ease of use, sound quality and overall usability.