When I first started with my Zoom G3, I realized one thing: This pedal is incredibly easy to use. Not only that, but the effects sound great! With a built-in drum machine and looper, it's really fun when I'm just jamming in my apartment. And I can also use it as an audio interface, so I can quickly recording any song I've just written. I think this pedal is a great addition to any guitar rig.
If you're at all like me, I really can't get enough when it comes to reviews... especially when I'm ready to drop a buck and a half!! I'll apologize in advance for those that just need a line or two and five stars, for the remainder, here are my impressions after a couple of weeks with the Zoom G3.
The Zoom G3 is a really sweet multi-FX pedal! It has some very unusual virtual stomp boxes and FX modules. The hardware quality seems very adequate for the studio but might be a tad light for road use. Be gentle with the seven-button array along the top of the unit... I you a few users that had complained that it broke. You can't hammer it or use your foot!
The easiest way to use the G3 is with the very robust, Zoom Edit & Share software. This program is perhaps, a bit long in the tooth, as the current version (22.214.171.124), has not had any attention since 2012. On the other hand, I appreciate the fact that it does not require QuickTime, SilverLight, iLock or any other apps that can complicate things. You'll need to down this from the Zoom website and install... I found this to be an easy process. I also found that I needed to update the firmware on the G3, but that too was quick and easy.
To my ears, the factory presets sound a little better on humbuckers than single coils. I doubt that a great deal of time went into the Factory Selection, however, a fair number of the presets are very usable right out of the box... more than any other multi-fx units that I've owned and used! You can learn a great deal about how the modules/stomps react from how they are employed in the factory presets.
I like the fact that the Zoom Edit & Share software will not allow two different names for the exact same FX/amp string... if you want to copy and paste a favorite and then work from that, just turn one module off and then you can rename the new preset or patch when you have it the way you want.
I wish it was easier to audition cabs, alternate to the matching cabs that load automatically with each amp. I did, however, find a quick way to do this: Copy the preset and paste it into slot A0 in the User Area. Next, use the right hardware scroll key on the G3 to move over to the amp. Then press the (#3) Amp Page key four times and adjust the cab parameter with knob # two. When you have the cab you like, copy the preset back to it's original position.
Additionally, I do like the customizable and relatively fussy and accurate tuner.
The Zoom Edit & Share softwares linear layout will be familiar to most users but there are some things that make using it rather fiddly, and at times, difficult. To begin with, the virtual knobs, buttons and sliders on the control software, called Zoom Edit & Share, are extremely small and difficult to see and use to capture with the point of your mouse. Also, Zoom could have added a tad more memory to the unit so that you can use any of the modules in any combination.
If you're OK with a little extra tweaking, the sounds are quite amazing. There are some very unusual and useful FX. I like the auto-save feature. It has an on/off if you don't like it.
The metronome and practice kits sound good are fun to jam and practice with.
Some of the Zoom custom distortion modules/stomps are positively over the top... and there are quite a few! I like the little black box titled "LEAD".
Here is some other weirdness with the Zoom Edit & Share Software:
ZNR = Zero Noise Reduction and works well.
Squeak = ProCo Rat
Cty = Dunlop CryBaby
M-Filter = Moog
T-Scream = Ibanez Tube Screamer
Dist-1 (orange = Boss DS-1
Great Muff = Electroharmonix Big Muff
Acoustic = acoustic Simulator with effective controls for TOP, BODY and LEVEL.
Not sure what HDMP mean on delay units?
Although a sub-folder exists called ZOOM Online, I'm not sure how to find Zoom Presets online?
When you switch from the user area to the PC area, the program does not stay on the patch you were working on in the previous folder. Instead, it goes to patch A0 in the User Area every time. This also happens on power up/down.
It is a bit difficult to figure out what many of the FX are. You have to load them up and then try to remember what it was that you loaded and how it affected your sound. However, it is relatively easy to identify the FX or stomp box by its' name, color, control layout and shape and intuition!
The Acoustic Simulator is the best I have ever heard! Amazing!
I did a factory restore and it did not touch any of the custom patches that I had created... nice.
On my 21" LCD screen, the text that describes the knobs function, and the knob pointers are also quite difficult to see and/or read. If you hover your mouse over the control however, it will dispklay the parameters name and value nicely.
I was a bit disappointed to learn that the G3 does not have most of the same FX as the Zoom MS-70CDR as I thought it would. The MS-70CDR FX are stellar IMHO! i was able to "cobble" together multiple FX units to come close to some of the MS-70CDR sounds.
You can not cycle through your presets from the PC folder or Group folder using the foot switches. As soon as you press and hold footswitch 1 to enter the preset mode, the software switches to the User Area folder.
For some odd reason, when you fire up the kit, the G3 again switches to preset A0 in the User Area of presets???? Same goes for the tuner. I intend to call Zoom about this as this should not be happening.
In summation, I would rate the G3 as the very best in class value-for-dollar. Although, Zoom does not advertise it as such, the G3, a good DAW and a pair of quality cans or near-field monitors could be the start of a very powerful, guitar-centric, home recording studio. There are many other nice features that I'll only mention like looping, three high quality amber LCD screens, 3-way power via batteries, USB or the included adapter, etc.
If you are willing to put up with some quirkiness, the G3 can make amazing, unique, inspirational and unusual sounds that will never be heard from any other multi-FX unit!
Zoom G3 is well worth it!
While I've been playing guitar for thirty years,this is the first multi pedal I've ever owned.I never was a fan but over the years these units have gotten better and better.Zoom has outdone themselves here.The G3 is amazing! To start with,it's so easy to use.Most functions I didn't even need the manual.Love the LCD screens.The amp models are very nice,something for everyone.The effects are stellar as well.Chorus,Flange...they're all pretty realistic.It's nice to be able to adjust the parameters of each amp and each effect as well.My only gripe would be some of the distortion effects...not the best.But between the distortion pedals and amp models you can get some decent distortion.The forty second looper is a great option! Mix in the drum machine and it's hours of guitar fun.I haven't even tried the recording software yet.This thing is just chock full of tons of goodies!!!You definitely won't be disappointed!!
For a multi-effect, this unit has a severely limited stage usability: you can easily control up to 3 components of one sound at a time without having to kneel and fiddle with knobs and buttons. Switching patches during a song is cumbersome and takes too long.
But the ultimate deal-breaker is the fact that when you turn off delay or reverb, it dies off immediately; it doesn't fade off naturally. That is unbelievably amateurish and, while the unit has some decent effects, makes the whole box completely useless. I'm done with this unit and with the company that allowed itself to put out something like that on the market. Boss, here I come.
Decent for the Money
The good: There are many very good and useful sounds to be combined in good and useful patches fairly easily, and give you a great, simple and versatile tool for live playing.
The bad: Some features are pointless and ridiculous - the joke of the rhythm machine and the looper being the worst. They're too cumbersome to be of any use, and anyone into looping or using drum machines will have a dedicated separate unit anyway. The downloadable editor software helps with editing patches but is designed in the crappiest imaginable way, with a clunky and too small window, terrible controls that can't be fine-tuned with a mouse and overall amateurish interface design. On the unit itself, changing patches is too time-consuming to do in the middle of a song, so you can really use only one patch per song. However, with some careful patch preparation, that should be enough for most people.
The verdict: If you ignore some ridiculous additions, you get a versatile tool with good sounds for a rather low price.
OK most of us like the G3 and with good reasons. Really nice effects. Versatile for practice and live performances. Oh my and so easy to tweak. For the first time I used the Return option to bypass my amps preamp (TWEAKER) and use the modelor. I was surprised of how tweakable the G3 is for modeling using it as the preamp. Opted for the fender sound and compared it with my real fender. Really close. But you have to close your eyes in doing so to really appreciate how close it sounds to the real thing. I remember when musicians were hesitant of buying ZOOM products in the early days. I was one of them. Other manufactures had a better product. I no longer feel that way with ZOOM as they are really pushing the envelope for quality, efficiency, technology and fair cost. ZOOMs chip (ZFX4) must be a powerful one. And there sigmoid curve clipper which re-creates the smooth clipping of a tube is so cool. The G3 can go from one extreme to another in tone but in a good way. Somewhere in the middle you should be able to find the tone you have in your head. For the distortion/overdrive I use my own pedals as I prefer the Wamplers, and Fulltone. But in a pinch G3 has a few that are useable for me, such as there version of the RAT, Hot Box and Tube Screamer. Overall, a great buy and I would strongly recommend this to other musicians. Hope ZOOM continues to push the envelope. Love it.
Less Filling, Sounds Great!
I picked up one of these used for a steal, to replace some "place holder" pedals in the pedal board of my keyboard rig -- specifically overdrive, echo and reverb, and tremolo. Within a couple of hours of loading the version 2.1 firmware, I'd come up with a replacement setup for literally every pedal I own, including some boutique analog pedals.
The G3 is extremely easy to program and use, almost every effect sounds really great, and it seems really rugged. The only effect "missing" is a rotary speaker simulator, though I was able to fill that gap with the basic Phasor and The Vibe pedal-controlled vibrato.
I've got the G3 set up in the effects loop of my amp (Peavey KB4), and so I have the input set to the "active" setting. The level match couldn't be better. There's no audible distortion, and I'm not noticing any loss of level like I was with all the pedals.
The compact size does mean that several of the controls need to do double-duty, but I still think I'll end up doing a lot less "stomp box dancing" between or during songs.
The only problem I had was getting an M-Audio expression pedal properly calibrated, but after a couple of tries, it settled down and started behaving. If you've got the extra money and think you're going to want to use the wah or volume pedals, go ahead and get the G3X -- the pedal's built in on that model.
The bass player in my band has the Zoom B3 (bass version of the G3), and has been after me to get one of these for my rig for months -- and I'm really happy I did!
Great toy for intermediate musicians who compose. Great way to be creative in an intimate, small space. This was actually purchased as a graduation gift to a young friend who has just begun her journey as a guitarist.
Awesome pedal with one big disadvantage
I ordered this pedal because based on the reviews it seemed to be a really good pedal for a great price. I wasn't disappointed. Bunch of effects, it's very popular so you can download other users patches and do your own. I didn't even take the manual out of the plastic folder. It took me 3 minutes to figure out how it works (and I've never had any kind of multi-effect rack before). The collection is rich and everything sounds real as far as you actually use any effect. The only bad thing; no bypass at all. I play with a '62 Tele Reissue and it took away that nice vintage tone from the clean sound. The guitar sounds dead. You can avoid this problem if your amp has dedicated FX in/FX out jacks (like in my Marshall MG50DFX), because than the effect and the guitar are running in parallel, so if the effects are off, the bypassed pedal shouldn't affect the clean sound. Despite the bypass problem, it is one great pedal, everybody should have one at home or in a studio.
Zoom G-3 Multi Effects Pedal
Thanks for putting together something portable now I spend my time working it out the way I would like it & in a smaller package. I'm still learning but it sounds nice. So what else is new that your hiding thatI might be able to use? Just don't tell my Lady. Keep up the good work.
good effect good value
this effect is do great. i love the features that's included with this pedal. the effect variation is a really great. it's have a great delay, modulation, reverb effect. so many variation. i love stereo delay in this unit. i used two amp for out. and i really like the sound. the stereo chorus is amazing too. but i don't really like the amp simulator and distortion effect pedal.
the loop feature is great too, there are many drum sample over there, fun to jam with it.
overall this pedal is great and the value is great too. i really love it.
but i not recommended this pedal for main distortion sound.
I really like my zoom g3 looks great, easy to use. Although I thought it would've had a few more things to offer. Yet I'm still learning about it. Great pedal though
This is a great product. It's a very fair price, and that's what it's all about. Six simultaneous Stomp effects for each chain. Use the patches OR create your own ( I choose the latter). If you like to sound good, buy it.
SOUND: Great! The head turning snapped necks the first time I used it. I play a Gibson Midtown. I use the Zoom G3 Graphics EQ instead of an amp model and use the DI output to go directly into the sound board. I like a clean sound so I dislike amp models. This is because all manufacture's typical model the original amp sound and that means you even get the amp circuitry noise. The Zoom G3 and my POD xt both reproduce that same noise. I use the Zoom G3 now instead of the POD xt because of simplicity and good sound.
SIMPLICITY: Each Chain's Stomp Box (6) parameters can be changed easily and quickly (Do it - it's done. No save process needed).
PERFECT for me. I've read concerns about scrolling through banks. If you can dance on the buttons on a Stomp board throughout a set, then you can adapt to the Zoom G3 (simplicity). HERE"S THE SOLUTION: I don't need to jump around through more than three Stomp chains per song. I store patches in sequential order (from A0 to whatever - theres more than 100 chain slots available). During this process I put each songs primary patch in the middle and the other two (above and below the primary Stomp chain) and include a number in the Songs Title for those songs needing a sequencial series. Once the Stomp chains are set up, I hold down FOOT BUTTON # 1 to enter Scroll Mode. Then I simply scroll up and down during a song, and continually scroll up through Stomp chains as we progress through a set. Finally, during this process the name of each patch is displayed in the Far-Right (brightly lite) Window, so it's easy to see where you're at throughout the set.
COMPUTER INTERFACE: Easy. Save all the patches (current factory settings and all those you create) to your computer and reload them into the Zoom G3 in whatever order needed for your next gig. Easy to do with a laptop if you're on the road. There's more.... it's all just extra toppings on a good desert.
A Swiss Army Knife DI
Needed a DI for my acoustic guitar, so I decided to take a gamble and pick this up... Glad I did. I first dialed in an eq to make the guitar sound as natural as possible, and as a DI, I was very happy with it. Then I added a compressor to raise the volume of finger style passages, and it sounded great. A nice hall reverb added some fullness. Then, because of the firmware update (see below), I was able to add a delay/chorus following an amp model based on a Fender Vibroverb set to be slightly clean, with a boost pedal in front of it to give it a bit more bite and growl if needed. The three (nice) switches control the boost, amp model, and chorus, and it ended up making a great little pedal setup for my acoustic guitar.
The bottom line is that it does a great job as a DI, and I got some added tone toys thrown in. The amp models don't feel as lifelike as the Line 6 HD, but they sound great on stage and in the mix. The only thing I wish Zoom would have included is the ability to sync delay tempo via midi. However, at this price, that isn't really expected.
As an aside...when the unit first arrived with the old firmware, only three effects could be used at a time, but the firmware update 2.0 adds the ability to use six at a time...that essentially gave me the freebie sound options described above. It is now my favorite DI.
Received the G3 two weeks ago...I am very pleased with my purchase from Sweetwater. I couldn't believe that they actually follow-up with a phone call! Who does that anymore? This is my fourth multi-effects that I have used in 25 years and my second Zoom product. I tried other processors recently, but found the G3 to be exactly what I was looking for. I love the amp sims!! They have to be the best I have ever heard! Thanks Zoom!!
I use this with GarageBand and It works like a charm! USB interface is seamless. Amp models are very true to the original sound. It's a nice compact way to get many sounds in one unit. Love the stomp box layout, very smart.
For some one who dont like effects this is a nice tool run through the effects loop of my boogie with just enough to give some color to the sound
Best modeling unit available
Upgraded to version 2.0, the Zoom G3 is almost everything I want from an effects modeler. Strong and lightweight, complete range of effects and amps, sound quality is top notch. No latency, no dulling of your tone, qucik patch changes. It can sit on the floor, or on a desktop and look at home as a stomp or studio box. With 9 dedicated knobs, it makes a fantastic synth effects box as well as for guitar. I really like the triggered gate delay, never heard that in a guitar amp/fx modeler! A month later and still my favorite piece of gear. As good as the "leading brand."
Great Stomp Box
Love the effects even though some I will never use just due to my personal tastes. This is a great practice tool for learning what sounds you like and keeping time with the drum loops. The recording software is easy to use so far. I just wish it was easier to turn on and off the drum loop while playing. It seems to be well built.
A Useful Device for Recording Direct
I use the G3 for direct recording with my Tascam DP-02. It records nicely in both stereo and mono (the balanced XLR comes in handy for that). With the proper tweaking, many of the amp and effects mods sound pretty darn good and are very usable for home recording, especially the cleaner tones. The super-high gain tones aren't as good, but usable nonetheless. While as with a lot of multi-effects processors, there are also a bunch of useless un-musical "noisemaking" effects in there which I could do without, I guess it's possible someone might find a musical use for them. I haven't used the looper yet and don't intend to so I can't comment on that featue, but it's nice to have in case I find a use for it. The backlit LCDs and intuitive effect and amp icons make using the G3 a breeze. It would be nice if it had a separate headphone output volume control because the output levels on the presets vary widely when using it as a straight plug in practice device. Other than that, the G3 is packed full of decent tones for the price.
Great Bang For Your Buck
I bought the G3 mainly for home practice. Love the drums tracks and looper, very easy to use. I've started to use it at gigs, and find it very user friendly. I'm mainly using the delay and modulation effects at gigs, but have used the looper live. Definitely worth the money
Pull the trigger, you know you want it!!
If you can't find your tone in here, you may be deaf...
The effects are amazing quality. The amp models can't be beat for the price. You can only use three effects at a time, but there are multiple combos like delay/chorus, delay/reverb and comp/OD so you can get around that if you try. It doesn't get much easier to tweak the settings. I may have found the last pedal I will ever buy, well, unless I buy another one. One for the pre amp effects, one for the effects loop!
Everything in one box.
No matter what your style of guitar, this device will help you find the sound you are looking for. It's an absolutely brilliant design that lets you build a tone from an amp and then tweak it with a huge set of pedals. And when you get it the way you want it you just plug it into the laptop and amaze the world. This is without a doubt the best thing I have ever purchased for guitar in forty years.
Great quality product. Works fine. This unit has so many options you will have a hard time using them all. Lots of great sounds. Very easy to use. I gave it a 3 only because of the bad.
The bad ..
You can't start and stop the drum machine with your foot while in the Looper Mode. It has to be stopped with your finger by pushing this little tiny button, which is in the middle of other buttons. This is quite hard to do while playing the guitar and having the unit on the floor.. All Zoom had to do was make that little button a foot switchable button. Maybe a $ 5.00 fix. To bad about that. I almost sent it back because of this problem. But I will keep it and deal with it because of the other good features.
Amazing quality! With several Zoom products in my equipment bag prior to this I'm still impressed. Built like a tank and quiet make the G3 a great pick for me; less weight, geart tone, and very simple to program.
Also Thanks to the Sweetwater team for the prompt turnaround.
Compact Multi-FX With Stompbox Versitility
Zoom has really come a long way. Several years ago, my first multi-fx pedal that I ever bought was a Zoom. While it sounded great as my first pedal, I eventually found more expensive and bigger pedals that sounded even better by other manufacturers. But now that I had so many large multi-fx, I really wanted to go back to a more compact, portable solution that wouldn't sacrifice tone. The Zoom G3 was the perfect choice!
When searching for a new pedal here recently, my criteria were that:
1) The pedal had to sound good
2) It had to be relatively small
3) It had to have an on-board drum machine
4) It had to have a looper function which could be used at the same time as the drum machine
After searching for a long time, the only solution I could find was the Zoom G3. As soon as I plugged in and started fiddling with the knobs, I was blown away! Not only did the pedal sound awesome, but the easy of editing was phenomenal! Most multi-fx can be rather tedious to edit. Because of limitation of number of knobs and screen size, you must constantly scroll through various menus to try and find the parameters you're looking for.
The Zoom G3 is different, because it takes more of a stompbox approach. It is essentially 3 smaller single-effect pedals side by side. Each screen shows what effect you have selected on that pedal. From amp sims, to chorus pedals, to compressors to reverb, any one of the 100+ effects can be selected and in any order. Each effect slot also has its own set of three knobs to change the parameters. This means that it is very simple to change the gain on an overdrive pedal selected without first having to page through the parameters of your flanger pedal. Each pedal can be edited independantly, making it more enjoyable to edit patches on the fly!
The effects sound great and there are plenty to choose from. Classic amp emulations of Fender, Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Vox and more sound pretty good for a multi-fx, and feature gain, eq, presence and cab controls. A nice selection of several different choruses is cool too, as well as multiple flangers, delays and at least 10 overdrive/distortion pedals. The looper and drum machine work great, and are relatively easy to access. The looper can record 40 seconds of audio (or it goes down to 20 if you enable an "undo" feature, which can be helpful at times) and will sync up to the drum machine.
If you're looking for a compact multi-fx that is easy to use, sounds great, has tons of features and won't break the bank, this may be the pedal for you! One tip that I picked up early on is that at first, the pedal sounded WAY too bright. But going into the master menu, you can change the line-out options from "direct" to "into combo amp" or "into amp stack", which will give a more balanced sound.
There only one downside that I found with the pedal. Though I find it to be minor, I wouldn't want you to be disappointed by purchasing this without knowing this. Since this pedal takes more of a stompbox approach instead of the classic multi-fx, it only supports 3 effects at one time. What this means is that each screen on the device represents one effect, so at any given time, the most effects you can have active are 3. Sometimes 3 effects won't cut it, such as needing to slap a noise gate onto a chain with an OD, amp and delay, or something like that. While there are a few effects that combine two into one effect (phaser+delay, reverb+delay), it's not comprehensive enough for everyone's needs.
an army of sounds
i had the g2nu, and this looked the upgrade i wanted. the ability to turn effects on and off directly through the g3 is what sold me, but the overall sounds this unit can make are amazing.
there is a bit of a learning curve-at least for me. that is why i took 1/2 point off the rating-lol.
overall though- probably the nicest processor i have ever used
Amazing Quality for the Money!
I just received the new Zoom G3 effects processor and am totally blown away by it. I was looking for something for playing in church every week. Sometimes I play my Strat, other weeks it might be the Martin. This thing is SO cool. It's like having a couple of hundred effects at your feet. You choose any three and assign one to each of the three foot switches. Playing acoustic and don't need the amp sim but could use an EQ instead? Want an acoustic setup with boost, combined chorus/reverb and delay? You can do it. Need to go direct into the board with amp simulation? No problem! Playing electric and need an "Orange" head with a tube screamer and spring reverb? Two clicks of the footswitch and you're there. Plus tuner and looper. I've owned the TC Nova System, DigiTech RP1000, Boss units, separate pedals, etc....and this has them all beat - for two hundred bucks. GET IT!