How brands create flagship units? This is the question I have asked myself a couple of time before I figured out an answer that seemed to make the most sense. Though every manufacturer starts out with certain knowledge that they put into work, most of the expertise comes with practice. Yeah, some brands might come out with a revolutionary product right away, but that is more of a miracle than a tendency. Most of the companies out there create a pedal, listen to the reviews from customers, keep an eye on technological development and build upon that experience. And that’s when and how magnificent pedals are born. This must be especially true in terms of multi-effects pedals, since they are even harder to manufacture then single-effect units. Our review today is dedicated to Zoom – a company that is a big name in the world of such devices. Their G5n is something that won’t break the bank and empty your savings account, but it will still deliver everything you’d expect from an expensive model. It combines audio effects and speaker and cabinet emulations, providing you with numerous options to work with. If diversity is what you’re looking for, then you should keep this one in mind. Let’s begin this review and discuss the specific features of G5n!
Zoom G5n is a unit that will never get outdated. Yeah, its certain technologies might not stand the test of time, however, the brand made sure to provide the customer with the ability to update the firmware. This means that you can download newer sounds whenever they become available – and that’s a guarantee that you’ll never get bored. But we can all agree that on-board features are way more important so let’s see what we have here.
This bad boy comes with up to 100 effects, which include individual ones such as distortion, overdrive, chorus, vibrato, delay, EQ and etc., as well as unique combinations, such as Seq Filter, Gold Drive, Reverse Delay, HD hall and OSC Echo. This means that you get the ability to experiment with traditional sounds, but if you get bored, you can always turn to weirder options. You can utilize 9 effects simultaneously within one preset, giving you the option to mix and match various ingredients and come up with mouthwatering recipes. G5n offers 26 amp simulations, including the classics: Marshall, Fender, Vox, Mesa Boogie and etc. And there’s more. We have 200 presets here, 124 of which are pre-recorded. You can easily find legendary sounds here or if you urge for something new, you can always turn to newer tones recorded by various guitarists. The memory is more than enough to store your pieces and employ them whenever needed. The great thing about G5n is that it provides you with 68 rhythm/drum patterns and truly turns you into a band. Those patterns can be paired with 80 seconds of looping in order to produce some of the most saturated pieces. This fella can be connected to your computer via USB port to utilize it with Zoom Guitar Lab 3.0 app or Steinberg’s Cubase LE software. This way you can either download even more sounds or access the editing options that aren’t available in the pedal itself.
I’m sure Zoom G5n won’t be that difficult to control if you have used a multi-effects processor before. However, it still requires an attentive approach in order to understand what is what and tweak everything more precisely. The only thing you can do is practice as soon as you get your hands on it and you’ll master the unit really quickly. If we compare it with some of the more sophisticated models, it is definitely rather user-friendly.
Zoom G5n operates in Stomp and Memory modes. You can switch between the two with Memory/Stomp footswitch. This means that you can change the mode on the fly, which can be really useful during practice. It also has dedicated footswitches for Tap Tempo and Tuner. Bank/Scroll switches enable you to navigate through the presets easily. These five footswitches are located on the lower part of the unit and have different designs, so that you won’t mix them up with anything else. In the upper row, you’ll find four footswitches that can be utilized for the effects. We have four displays with four parameter knobs so that you can change the desired settings. We do also have Output Boost, which adds extra strength to the parts that you want to stand out. The expression pedal will help you create the effects that rely on the movement of your feet. And that’s it (well, we covered the basics at least).
If I were asked to describe the sound of Zoom G5n with a simple sentence, I would say that it is easily just as good as high-end models (such as Helix LT or even Helix itself). At a fraction of the price, it offers the same quality, ease of operation and versatility. Well, you do get some extra features with those fancy models, but you also have to pay way more. In that sense, G5n is simply wonderful. It outplays many rivals in its price range with its accurate simulations and rich and deep effects. Drum patterns make it easy to practice rhythms or record them when you’re in need for more character and dimension. The looper is wonderful and offers more than you generally see in multi-effects pedals. The app opens up even more opportunities for you – this device is a sort of a thing that should scream the clichéd phrase “sky’s the limit”. This unit will clear that one up if you didn’t get it before.
All in all, you can’t go wrong with Zoom G5n. Every single aspect of this multi-effects pedal shows you that the brand put a lot of effort in its creation. The results are might-blowing and at some point you might not even believe that you paid so little for such quality and versatility. Try it out and see where it takes you. Good luck!
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