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Zoom G5 Multi-FX Pedal Reviews

4.0 stars based on 27 customer reviews
  • Robert
    from Wichita Falls TX October 10, 2015

    Love it just all around

    This can give you the ability to play any genre from heavy metal to hard rock and alternative to blues and also modern rock me personally the effects come in quite handy amp models sound amazing most people are sad about the distortions just give it a boost adjustment or tweak em and it should sound good especially the big muff effect might seem difficult to get use to finding your sound you have in your head but after you experiment with it you should get a pretty amazing sound the only thing I don't like about the zoom g5 it doesn't have long sustain but I could always carry my metal zone just in case really got this to lighten the pedal effects lowed but after some getting use to fell in love with the zoom g5 and after all really can't beat the price for coming as close to sounding like some of your favorite bands and guitar players

  • Peter
    from Massachusetts September 1, 2015Music Background:
    Studio Owner/Musician


    Take any other modeling preamp that is sold on this site, or your local music store. Now compare it this soundwise. there are a couple of features I wish it had, like easier bank up down, and an easier way to switch between programs and individual effects switching in programs, but the software is awesome and the pedal itself sounds as good as anything out there.

  • Leroy
    from Grenada April 22, 2015Music Background:
    Intermediate Guitar player

    Zoom G5

    I started out using the Amplitude on my ipad so getting the G5 was a huge step up. At first i was a bit sceptical of the dials and knobs but then i got a hang of it being able to edit, download and share patches i must say that MultiFX pedal is the BOMB!!! i really love it its amazing i use at for practice as well as concerts and church, whenever i pull it out my bag i turn many heads and i get a lot of compliments on the effects and especially the Z Pedal feature i would recommend this to anyone ... so far Sweetwater has the best deal on this pedal get it from em....

  • JC
    from April 2, 2015

    Love it

    I bought it mostly for the use of the effects. Works perfect.

  • Stanman
    from Huntington, Indiana August 13, 2014Music Background:
    Jamming and recording guitarist.

    Excellent Sound Quality, Ease of Use.

    I previously had a Boss GT-10 unit and as of receiving the Zoom G5, the Boss is retired. You can pull the G5 right out of the box and intuitively start tweaking all of the great sounds! As if that's not easy enough, you can use the edit and share software and visually tweak everything on your computer. The sound of the unit is very spacial and outstanding. The amp sims are great as are the plethora of awesome effects. The real kicker is the ability to control extra parameters with the Z pedal. If you can turn knobs on a stompbox, you can dial in the G5. I honestly can't believe how amazing this unit is for such little scratch. Go try one out for yourself and you will be floored!

  • Larry
    from St. Paul, MN, USA August 8, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist musician, band member

    Excellent Multi-Effects Pedal

    Let me start out by saying that I think this is a very accurate multi-effects pedal. I own a Fender Blues Deluxe amp that I absolutely love. So I did a head to head comparison with the the Zoom G5 piped into my 550 Watt PA. I selected the Fender Twin Amp Preset on the Zoom and added the Spring Reverb. The results were amazing close. The Zoom/PA combination gives that tube warmth and that was without using the tube boost on the Zoom. So the bottom line is that I use the Zoom for my practicing and playing rather that the Blues Deluxe. I love the Blues Deluxe, but the Zoom offers too many advantages: Headphones, a volume control, an endless number of tones, and a great interface.
    How does it compare to the Boss? Well I don't have the GT100, but I do have the RC300 and one big difference is turning the unit off and on. With my RC300, if you forget your speakers on, you get a pop that will send you through the ceiling, but you can turn the Zoom on and off without making a sound through the PA. In my book, that's a mark of quality. And keep in mind that the Zoom costs nearly half as much as the Boss.
    Another thing that the Zoom has is a looping feature. I had a lot of fun with that. So much fun, that I eventually invested in the Boss RC300. It's hard to believe how much you get with the Zoom. I've also found that I like the drums provided with the Zoom better than those provided with the RC300.
    I own the Boss/Roland RC300 and GR55, but I have to say that I'd have gone Zoom if they had competitive products. I'm very impressed with the quality and the feature set of the Zoom.
    Yes I would recommmend it to a friend. And yes, I would replace it if it was stolen.

  • Geo
    from midwest USA March 22, 2014Music Background:
    pro player

    Accurate models, very low noise, very deep editing

    I must thank Brian L. of Sweetwater for bringing this mine of ZOOM peddles to my attention. He listened to my "wish list" and recommended this. I could not be happy with his suggestion!

    First off, the amp models are very accurate. All the processing power in the world means nothing if the modeling isn't right. Throughout my 45 year career, I've owned and used most of the major brands: Marshal, Hiwatt, Fender, Orange... in fact it would be easier to list the only two amps in here I have not owned: Two Rock and Carr.

    From that experience I can say with confidence these are the best models I have played so far, and that includes the very fine (original) roland GP100, Digitech and Line 6 stuff.

    The other sonic quality difference I notice is how amazingly quiet this thing is. My rig is now close to perfectly noise free!

    The dynamic range is splendid. You can use your guitar's volume controls and dynamic picking to musical effect with this, just as you would with any real amp.

    The list of effects is incredible, especially at this price. Choruses are lush, clear and musically useful. Reverbs compare favorably with Lexicon and TC algorithms.

    If you are a distortion-crazed metal head... this is the box for you!

    I tend to use only "natural" sounding amp distortions, but this is loaded with uber-brutal mammal-stunning madness if you want it.

    Along with that metal madness, ZOOM provides their admirable noise-reduction, which is fully adjustable. That's crucial for high-gain sounds. The ZOOM noise-reduction is very good, on par with Decimator products. Obviously, the ZOOM noise reduction does not have all the features of Decimator reduction, but in an enclosed system like this, that's OK.

    Even though I'm an old fart and spiritually opposed to technology, I was able to navigate this thing and find a few great sounds within minutes. Then I read the manual.

    After a day or two, I loaded the software into a laptop and hooked it up to this, WOW. If you are familiar with the line 6 editing software sweet of "amp farm" then you will immediately see how easy this is.

    Even the looper is intuitive. That is crucial for me since I make countless practice loops for students. I don't have time to read manuals or remember arcane complex menus. This thing is simple: Press and hold to engage. Press to start, press to stop, press to overdub. That's it. It is as simple as the TC ditto 2.

    A unique feature I have not seen on ANY other pedal: you can use different sound when looping. In other words, you can let the loop play, press one button to change sound, go back to the looper and over-dub with that new sound all in real-time.

    I only have ONE major criticism of this design. Although it has stereo 1/4" outs ( which is absolutely essential for stereo effects) they only provide ONE XLR line output. That's a dumb mistake. It would not cost much to add another balanced line out. Seeing as how they give you so much with this pedal though, I can see how they wanted to cut costs here and there.

    One place they did not cut costs is in the construction. The case is metal and the switches are sturdy. I will avoid stepping on the control knobs though since that looks like the only weak point. Even the two-way Z-pedal feels very solid.

    If you absolutely need balanced stereo line out, then get the Digitech RP series or their GSP rack-mount. I have those and they are great.

    But if you are satisfied running 1/4" unbalanced cables into guitar amps, this is the best thing I've tried... and you can believe I've tried them all. At this price, it is an incredible bargain. The Line 6 and Roland stuff is good too, but twice the price. This sounds and "feels" more realistic than other digital modelers at nearly half the price. Factor that into your considerations.

  • michael
    from yakima wa January 31, 2013Music Background:
    studio pro/pro musician

    awesome !!!

    Well i have to say this is one of the best pedals i ever bought !!! been playing since i was 11(i'm now 46)!! it has every option you can think of ! you name it , it can do it !!!! Thanks to sweetwater !! they rock !!

  • Ed Owen
    from Boise Idaho USA July 9, 2012Music Background:
    Guitarist and Teacher

    ZOOM G 5

    Very nice pedal...has a lot of options and good visuals to know what you are doing with each stomp box/ amp Sweet water is Awesome...they do great work and Excellent follow up!
    They are my go to online Music store.

  • Finn
    from USA June 21, 2012Music Background:

    Wow...everything you could ask for in a pedal

    This pedal sounds great and is easy to use. Its easy to edit patches and tweak your sound on the pedal and even easier when editing your patches on the computer via usb cable. No problem to upload or download patches. This pedal is really user friendly. They have alot of great patches on the pedal and some that I have no use for but are fun to play around with to see what this pedal is capable of. User patches for the G5 can be found on the web and patches for the G3 will also work on this unit. When I first got this it was so freaking loud....hint: go to your global settings and adjust the master level. This pedal is worth way more than what it is sold for. Bottom line is the Zoom G5 is an awesome pedal.

  • Ken Binkley
    from United States June 5, 2012Music Background:
    Guitar Player 49 years

    Awesome Pedal are you sure this price is right?

    This pedal is awesome!! I would have thought that a pedal of this quality would have cost much much more. I love all of the features of this pedal from being able to practice with headphones to performing live and recording directly to a DAW. Love all of the different pedal effects and amp models and wahs that it has built in. You can spend hours playing around with this thing. This is a keeper!!

  • David Chamberlain
    from Cuba NY January 13, 2016Music Background:
    Weekend warrior musician for 40 years now.

    Zoom G5 - good value

    Is a great value, pretty easy to learn and use. Great computer interface for long-term management of sounds / organization. Comparable to computer based systems without all the hassle. Surely beats a stomp-box pedal board. Very handy to adjust on the fly.

    Wish they had a whammy bar function in the pedal that went up and down rather than side to side - would like to do EVH dives and such, but not controllable enough as configured.

    Also wish they had a little more control features on the Leslie function too.

    Beyond that, it's a real winner.

  • Scott
    from Colorado Springs August 5, 2015

    External Tap Tempo is really nice

    This unit is the cheapest way to get dotted 8th and other non even divisions with tap tempo of any product on the market, as far as I can tell. After a little bit of fidgeting with the software and the FS01 external pedal, I can tap in 1/4 notes and have any of the effects with a time modulation (I use it for dotted 8th delays) will do the proper time manipulation, so my repeats on my delay are dotted 8th time intervals and I just tap in 1/4 notes. Instant U2 and just about 1/2 of modern worship songs. My favorite amp sim is the Two Rock Emerald emulation. It pairs up with my Epiphone Nighthawk Custom Reissue very nicely - I have reverb amount on the left-horizontal axis and delay amount on the up/down axis of the Z-pedal, giving me a nearly infinite variety of mix of those two effects. Most worship sets I use just that one preset I made. At first I was disappointed that the banks only hold 3 presets, but with the flexibility of the z-pedal and the individual effect switches and tube boost, I really have no need to dance around the banks during a set.

  • Customer
    from February 6, 2015Music Background:

    Amazing tone and versatility

    Awesome effects and sounds. I plug direct into a Bose L1 Compact. This is my favorite setup I've ever had. I'm able to keep up with my buddies during jam sessions and the looper function has completely changed the way I practice. The built in drums are very helpful when you're by yourself (I wish there was more variety, but they're plenty useful).

    The tube makes a real difference. It was cool showing the pedal off to my friends, they loved the sound. But then I'd turn on the tube and they were really blown away.

    This pedal was perfect for me because I didn't want to have to spend hours dialing in the sounds I hear in my head. It was quick and easy to get what I was looking for. What's great is the amount of fine tuning that can be done with each amp or effect. If you're not getting a good tone, you don't know what you're doing or you have something set wrong (read the manual, this thing can be plugged into various setups, but it may need configured for your particular rig). I love the marshall plexi amp sim. It breaks up real nice with varying pick attack. The hotbox and big muff pedals are my faves. I'm able to get an amazing clean sound with the first fender amp. I forget the name of it and I'm at work. Boo.

    One thing I didn't like is when looping, if you turn off/on the tube it affects every layer of your loop. Overall though, this pedal is a total score. I've been waiting for something like this for a long time. I've had tube amps in the past, and I love them. But it wasn't in my budget to have a different amp/pedal for all the sounds I like to play. I stayed away from anything digital for years. Zoom really did it tho. I'm impressed.

  • Stephen Lederle
    from St Robert, MO March 19, 2014Music Background:
    Experienced musician, gigging musicians, and obsesive practicer/student of all things guitar.

    Zoom has done it AGAIN!

    First off I must say that I've been using Zoom for 4 years now so when I wanted/needed a new rig I looked to Zoom right off the bat. I had been a loyal and loving user of the Zoom G2.1Nu. When I saw the Zoom G5 demos on Youtube I just knew it would be perfect for me. Now I didn't buy the Zoom G5 until it had been out for several years (due to the fact that my G2.1Nu wasn't letting me down at all with regards to sound quality). But I was at a place where I needed more "live gig" friendly preset configuration with more editing capabilities. Well I found it in the G5! About an hour after pulling straight from the box I was ready to gig. And gig is exactly what I did, and still do 3 times per week, only using the Zoom G5 thought the PA system of the venue. The presets are so close to the actual sound they are emulating that I literally cannot tell the difference! People rave about my tone, clarity, and definition. At home I use it straight into the Tech 21 Power Engine 60 with all the tube qualities of the real deal. I've added it up using figures found openly on the net and the amps alone that the G5 sims add up to well over 25 grand, with my favorite model being the Bogner Ecstasy 100. However the one I use primarily while gigging out is the Fender Vibro (which is off the hook). I also use their great ZNR noise gate, graphic EQ, Exciter, Booster, and Zoom's simulated tube Screamer. I really get a great fusion/modern blues solo tone. If you're on the fence be prepared to jump off on Zoom's side. Also the built -in tube Boost that comes with the pedal is great for adding up to 16db off volume, but I use it as an extra tonal quality by evening our the boost volume with my overall sound. It really adds that tube tone to my signal. Overall I'd say I love the crud out of this pedal and I plan on using it for another 2-4 years, at which point I'll more-than-likely choose the latest Zoom pedal as a replacement.

  • Bryce McFadden
    from Arlington, WA USA November 22, 2013Music Background:
    Musician with a learners permit.

    Wading in to deeper waters.

    Awesome effect unit loaded with incredible sounds! I have already used some preset effects in performance with the band, and loved it. It is a learning curve for me though, since I feel like I have barely stepped into the shores of an ocean of possibilities. I look forward to what is up ahead!

  • Criss
    from Southern California November 16, 2013

    Best in its class

    I've owned a lot of multieffects in the past and still own a TC G System, Nova System, and Fender Mustang Floor. As far as amp modeling this is far better than the Fender, Line 6 HD500, Digitech RP..., and Boss GT... The other effects are just as good as well. The G5 doesn't have that typical high end fizz the rest of the modelers have. As far as effects the G5 doesn't quite stand up to the G System but then again the G System is 4 to 5 times the cost. It doesn't have delay and reverb spillover but it does switch patches in 1.6 milliseconds. One thing that is nice is when you make a preset that sounds good direct it also sounds good running into your amp just by choosing the correct output type. It could use some easier functionality but for the cost you can't beat it. It's super easy to program. It's built primarily out of metal which means it'll take some abuse. It's definitely a keeper.

  • phreddybee
    from ohio July 14, 2013Music Background:

    amazing unit

    bought this to replace my g3 my brother is now using. I liked the idea of more capabilities as well as a built-in pedal. very easy to use, and I have really enjoyed it so far. these will never replace expensive units when it comes to sound, but for the price and convenience it is a very good unit

  • kamikaze3557
    from Arkansas April 30, 2015Music Background:
    more years than I care to mention

    More than decent pedal

    I too have been playing for multiple decades, but I wont claim that makes me an expert....here are the facts "mam"...it's ALL subjective..what sounds good or bad to you may sound worthless or great to another......like tastes in music....it also is true that most of the presets will not be useful to most who buy this pedal..but some that seem useless can work as something to fill in the freq spectrum of the whole mix..when using this pedal for recording.....this unit in the hands of someone who will spend the time with it more than adequate...I will also not that I personally get best results playing through a clean amp.....and adj. the presets to my liking (for studio work) or venue....I can also see this unit not playing well with some amps I've owned and or had the pleasure to play through....I play through a Peavey Bandit 112 modified by me with and ext cab , built by me...so I can play acoustic and electric at will and with reasonable /workable sound quality......so I do not have to carry an acoustic and elect. amp..or play acoustic through a PA....one last note.....most people you will be playing for will NOT have as of a discerning ear as you the musician.....I have in the past and present..played and thinking and or knowing the sound was not up to "my" standard...I just knew the audience was hearing this junk sound I thought I was playing....the I'll be dang..the compliments I got were all positive...oh except from a fellow musician friend who knew it was not sounding right on that night.......so enjoy and let your audience enjoy as well...what they don't know wont hurt them ,in this case......but always strive for the sound you want to put out for the audience....if a pedal doesn't work for you..try another..but as for the Zoom G5...through the right amp and setting up the effects as you want them to sound this is a great pedal for many.........

  • David Murry
    from Santa Fe, NM USA November 10, 2014Music Background:
    acoustic / electric hobbyist

    Great Practice Tool

    The built-in rhythm machine makes a great metronome / jam track. The effects are clean. Two minor quibbles :

    As mentioned in other reviews you must scroll through all effects to find the one you want. It would be nice to have a way to directly access a particular effect

    The power supply is an external transformer with a thin cord which takes away from the otherwise solid build of the pedal. I think the design would be improved by having the power converter built in, with a standard AC cord running from th pedal to the outlet

    Otherwise very nice gear

  • Steve
    from Long Island NY May 30, 2012Music Background:
    Pro guitar player

    Review of my new Zoom G5

    I just got my new G5 from Sweetwater. Let me first off by saying I own many pedals and multi effect units. Some are very high end like my axe-fx II and my Kemper. Some others I own are the Boss GT-100. So the question is where does this unit fall into. I will break it down under three categories. Price, Sound and feature set.I do wish to say I have only had it for a day.In terms of price it is a great value.You get a lot of bang for your buck. I could get one type of pedal that could coast this much alone. In terms of sounds as in most multi effect products some sounds are better then others. After some tweaking you can make some average sounds that come with the unit sound better. The unit can be patch driven. Lets say a Guns and Roses sound. However to me the unit shines when you don't use these and just use the effects. Lets say a Marshall 1959 amp with a tape delay, Here you can do pre and post sounds. There is also deep editing if you like. I really like the tube drive section which really warms some sounds up very well, and does make a difference. You can run it through your Mac or PC. There is a good editor that you can download for free. You get a looper which is good at 60 seconds. You also get Cubebase LE software. I will not use this myself as I have better software for my needs, but this is great that you get it for free. When you just want to practice this unit is great.
    I found it very user friendly. The sounds are overall good. for the money
    I think this is a real nice package. My one small gripe is they don't include a USB cable. They are so cheap it makes no sense not to include one. However most people own them so this is no deal breaker.
    Check it out at your local store and decide for yourself. I would recommend buying it from Sweetwater as there prices are great and there is no sales tax and free shipping.The other plus is Sweetwater has free Tech support if you desire it. Good luck and have fun wit this product if you get one.

  • Jeremy
    from Beaumont, Texas November 27, 2015Music Background:
    Blues, Country, Rock, Praise & Worship

    Decent Multi Effects Pedal, Great For Practice

    A couple of years ago I was in the market for a multi effects pedal. I never owned one as I've always used individual pedals, etc. After some research, I settled with the Zoom G5. First impression is the layout is actually easy to understand and the usability of this board is very user friendly within the settings and in the individual effects, in most cases. It's a lot lighter than it looks but it's fairly sturdy. It is difficult to scroll through the patches, unfortunately because selecting different effects in live situations can be tedious. The drives that are available are okay, very few of them sound decent to me, the rest are useless. Distortion sounds very lifeless. No dynamics. The delays and reverbs are actually pretty good, unfortunately there is no tap tempo for the delays. Some of the amp simulators sound okay, never really was impressed with them. The rest of the funny effects are nearly useless. I'm just not a fan of much of the effects that are on the board. I know I have said a lot of negative things about this board, but it is still decent. There were things that I liked about it, but there were many areas that were lacking for me to use it in live situations. So, this would be a great board for someone learning to use effects and just simply using it for practice at home. So, all in all, 2.5 stars. I was disappointed in some areas, but in general somewhat content with this board. The ideas are great though, there was a lot of things like switching effect order in the chain, which makes a huge difference how your tone and sound is. I would just spend the time and money investing in individual quality pedals to use in live settings.

    A 15 year guitar veteran.

  • Aaron Phillips
    from Lake Chelan, WA August 30, 2012Music Background:
    Played at Red Rocks and have a ton of music on iTunes.

    Zoom G5

    Needed something super portable. Some of the sounds in here are very good! There's no tap delay function and so you have to buy another pedal that can only be used with this. The volume pedal on this is VERY cheaply made... worthless really. So I had to buy a Morely volume/wah pedal. To switch patches on the Zoom G5 you have to hold down TWO buttons. Couldn't they built in a patch up and patch down switch? Sheesh. I'm keeping it however because really the pedal sounds in this are really good! Darn!! I should've bought the Boss GT-100 :(

  • Marcus
    from Orange County, LA September 11, 2012Music Background:
    play guitar, bass, keyboard and drums for over twenty years.

    A really honest review...

    It seems like there were a lot of good ideas that just never got implemented in this pedal. In short I really don't recommend it at all.

    Here's a few things it doesn't have:
    There's no bank up or bank down switch, you have to hold down one foot-switch for 2 seconds, then step on two others in order to do this. This could be pretty tricky in a live setting which is really the point of having a multi-effects processor... so you don't have to do a bunch of tap-dancing right? But what I really don't like is the tap-temp function is only for the drum beats. The manual states that an FS01 pedal can be purchased separately (which I bought) and can be used as a tap tempo for... (guess what?) not any of the delay effects, just the drum tempo. What's the point of that? You're not buying this for the drum beats. Also the footpedal is made of cheap plastic and will eventually break & the amp models are terrible.
    Here's what it does have:
    A couple of decent delay and reverb effects. Also the Tube Booster was a good idea.

  • Ryan Christopher Mowdy
    from Oklahoma City, OK April 25, 2014Music Background:
    oh who cares does it matter :) ?


    Okay. Let me preface by stating I've been playing for +24 years. I own only high end electric guitars and I've been through so much with pedals, f/x processors, etc. I decided to ditch all my pedals due to the decrease in workflow and problems playing live with them. So I tried this G5 out. Frankly I believe it to be junk. Completely impossible to understand at least for an old dumb guy like me :) it showed no sense of organization, nor rhyme nor reason to it. Furthermore, as I tried to experiment with it more, IT GOT WORSE! Anyway yeah it has good ratings but i'm an expert and I am using a 1x12 Mesa Boogie Tube Combo (have had tons of amps over the past two decades) so I suppose I am in the position to make these judgements. I'd recommend get something else.

  • Customer
    from July 24, 2012

    Nothing for proffessionals

    Only G2 with new more user friendly interface. Too bad sounding overall.

  • Jason
    from United States February 25, 2015Music Background:
    I am a veteran guitar player of 17 years

    Worst pedal ever

    This pedal sounds terrible. Most of the presets are useless, and the distortions are virtually unusable. they all sound digitized even with the tube. the clean FX are OK, but not great.

    the software is sub-par, and most of the time doesn't work correctly. it fails to recognize the pedal after sitting idle for ten minutes or so, and the pedal has to be reset in order to reappear in the Edit and Share software.

    additionally I find the "level" feature of each individual effect very annoying. it changes your overall volume drastically, which in turn requires turning the level down on every other module. it is overly complicated and frustrating to use

    I do like the availability of outputs and the general configuration of this pedal, but

    I have owned this pedal for a year, and have tried everything to get better sound out of it with no success. I sold my VOX Tonelab LE to get this, and I sorely regret it.

    I am a veteran guitar player of 17 years.

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