If you’re someone who’s looking for an affordable multi-effects pedal, then you’re in the right place my friend. By affordable I mean cheap – the model I’m going to review costs less than some of single-effect stompboxes. Yeah, you heard me, these bad boys can be found even at such price tags. I’m sure you’ll have many doubts and suspicions, but I’ll attempt to prove that you have nothing to worry about. Zoom has been renowned with its devices and those who have encountered this manufacturer before, will know perfectly well what I’m implying. But if you have never had that chance, I’ll tell you that this company is trustworthy. Their pedals are usually budget-friendly, but still maintain the qualities that will intrigue novices and professionals equally. The particular model that we’re going to discuss today is G1Xon – a compact multi-effects pedal. It has many virtues and affordability is the least important one. What I’m trying to say is that we’d love this one the same even if it were a bit higher in the price range. But since it is the combination of everything we ever asked for, we can’t really complain about a thing, am I right? I think it’s time to get down to business. Let’s begin our journey and explore the features Zoom G1Xon has hidden in its small body.
G1Xon is unexpectedly versatile. I don’t even know how they managed to shove so many features in such a tiny body at such a low price point. I guess Zoom did its best to make that happen. Before we move on to the juicy details, I want to tell you that the biggest thing you’re compromising here is the build quality. This fella is made out of plastic and though it’s still quite durable, I see why some of you might consider that as a disadvantage. However, you should take care of it and you should do that even with full-metal units. And if you don’t throw bricks at it, it will last you for quite a long time.
Moving on to the features that you might be more interested in, G1Xon offers 100 effects, including distortion, compression, modulation, delay, reverb and amp simulations. 5 of them can be controlled by footswitch, meaning that you can trigger them really easily. And plus, you can use 5 effects simultaneously. There are 100 memory locations that can be filled with your own effects. I’m honestly surprised with so much storage. Wonderful job, Zoom! What’s more, your presets can be organized in the desired order with the help of the Swap functionality. If you can’t do that right before the rig (for whatever reason), you can always utilize Pre Select – it enables you to scroll through the phrases seamlessly (while the current one is playing). This bad boy has Auto Save function which stores any changes that you make. This way your pieces will never get deleted. G1Xon comes with in-built chromatic tuner, 30-second looper, as well as 68 rhythm patterns. To make sure your pedal is always up to the minute, it has a USB port for firmware updates. The rest of the connection is pretty standard, including guitar input and amp/headphone output, aux input and DC jack.
If we were to compare G1Xon with the rest of the market, be it its own price range or way above it, we’d easily conclude that this puppy is one of the simplest multi-effects pedals out there. Though the control panel seems a bit rudimentary, the combination of LCD display, buttons, footswitches and an expression pedal leave you with full control over your sound. Judging from the character of the unit, you don’t need anything else to nail anything that springs to your mind. When the unit itself is straight-forward, I can’t see why you’d need sophisticated control panel.
Below the LCD display you will see two buttons and a knob. Home enables you to return to the home screen whenever you get entangled in the deep webs of the menu, Enter lets you select the desired setting, while Parameter allows you to choose the property you want to alter. Then you’ll find huge black cursors (up, down, left and right) that can be used for navigating through settings or presets. Menu is self-explanatory, while Rhythm/Looper triggers these functionalities (you can choose between them in the menu). Footswitches can be utilized for triggering the effects, while the expression pedal can be assigned with various duties.
The sound of G1Xon is where things get really interesting. It would be really hard to compete with this one since it sets a really high bar in its price range. Of course there are some effects that might sound a bit artificial, however, the amount of those is too small to even mention. The rest are defined and thick, creating the feel of single-effect devices. The ability to stack 5 effects on top of each other gives you a lot of flexibility – you can easily organize them the way you want and produce expansive and spatial sounds. G1Xon offers a wide variety of drum patterns that are really useful for livening up the whole thing and adding some rhythm to otherwise dull sound, and when used in conjunction with the looper, it can truly produce fantastic results. The most useful feature is definitely Pre Select that makes it possible to find the needed phrase without your audience noticing what’s happening. As you can see, G1Xon has everything that it needs to make sure your sound is tailored and refined. Wow!
All in all, who would have thought that a multi-effects pedal that looks like a rudimentary smartphone or some sci-fi device, could be so wonderful! Zoom G1Xon is truly a wonderful product when considering its sound, versatile features and price tag. It is extremely lightweight and compact, which might be really useful for those of you who move around a lot. For the price, this puppy is the best thing that can happen to your rig. Good luck!
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