One of the most renowned sound effects processors you can come across these days is Zoom’s G5n Guitar Multi-Effects Processor. This complex tool can successfully meet the needs of any guitarist, ranging from mere beginners to professional musicians who need a reliable multi-effects tool that can deliver the results they seek in any setting.
This model is Zoom’s premiere sound effects processor. The reputable manufacturer made sure to include a series of significant features in this device. What can you achieve with this processor?
First of all, it provides a generous number of effects, which is the main aspect you are looking for when investing in such an item. Zoom partnered with professional guitarists to provide those who choose the G5n a wide range of possibilities, more precisely, 68 quality digital effects and 100 customized effects chains.
This versatile tool also allows you to chain as many as 9 effects at once, with the latest firmware version – V.2.0. Furthermore, you won’t have to struggle to learn how to use this processor that has an intuitive design and allows you to create your signature sound.
Last, but not the least, this is a sturdy piece that’s meant to stand the test of time and it easily connects to different other devices to ease your experience.
Before we mention the drawbacks, let us highlight one essential aspect that will surely interest you when making a purchase – the price. This is an affordable option costing less than similar processors. Given the generous price, it is understandable that the processor might not deliver the same power as other, considerably more expensive, models.
Generally, the G5 performs quite well in most settings. Musicians that normally don’t play in large venues or festivals, can work well with this product. However, those who showcase their skills in front of large audiences might need a stronger tool that can provide more output, allow easy on-stage monitoring, and be able to cope with high stage volumes.
Main features explained
Zoom has been known as one of the best multi-effects pedal manufacturers for the past three decades. The company normally targets many of its products toward entry and mid-level musicians who need affordable options or who are yet in the early days of their careers.
However, the G5n, its premier multi-effects and amp simulator unit, has seen significant improvements in comparison with previous models. This product marks a milestone for Zoom and it aims to compete with high-end sound effect units that can cost more than ten times as much.
To offer a cheap but viable option, the manufacturer invested time and energy in gathering an impressive array of effects that any professional guitarist would appreciate.
Zoom’s flagship product proudly showcases a wide range of effects. Moreover, it is provided with a considerable array of sim models. There are 68 preloaded digital effects in the G5n and they can easily aid any one-man-band performance.
This multi-effects processor provides new takes on as many as 126 essential tones. The newly developed takes have been made using essential guitar sounds including distortion, reverb, overdrive, EQ, delay, or vibrato.
Moreover, this sound-effect floor unit also includes a set of 5 cabinet emulators and many amplifier emulators. As you learn to operate the instrument, you will be pleased to see how easily you can pair them among each other in order to obtain 25 rig varieties.
The emulators are rightfully described by the manufacturer as ‘ultra-realistic’. The array of cabinets you can choose from includes, among others, the Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb, the Bogner Ecstasy cabinet, or the Marshall 1960 A-type cabinet.
With this tool, you can get 100 custom-made patches that were crafted by professional guitarists. They are based on essential tones such as those pertaining to emblematic figures, for example, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana or Jimmy Page, but also include exclusive varieties you can only get with the G5n.
Another key feature that makes this processor stand out is the fact that it easily allows you to create your own signature sound. To do this, you will rely on G5n’s great editing capabilities. A single unit of this kind allows you to reproduce an impressive array of complex tonalities.
Taken separately, these sounds would require a significant effort to be produced, which means investing a lot of time. Moreover, you would need an entire collection of different amplifiers, speakers, and stompboxes to be able to get the same audio content you can get with the G5n that allows you to use 9 effects at once.
This device has the same capability as several loaded pedalboards. The advantage is that with the G5n, you get all these in a single compact item. Moreover, it enables you to easily achieve the signature sounds you might be looking for by editing your composition with the help of a generous overview display.
The modern display features your work’s status and allows you to delete or add any effects in no time. You can also change the order of your effects so that you can experiment more until you reach the sound that pleases you.
This easy-editing feature distinguishes the G5n as you cannot do the same with most pedalboards currently available on the market. The editing options also allow you to zero in on the sound and there are four separate editing displays you can use for this.
If you want to memorize the customized effects-chains you’ve come across, you can do this by using the generous memory of this device that allows you to stock up to 200 of them. When you want to access any of the effect-chains, you simply have to touch the footswitch to make your choice.
Ease of use
There are several user-friendly features that recommend this product. As previously mentioned, the G5n is targeted at the needs of any guitarist, regardless of their experience. The manufacturer strived to provide the G5n with the utmost intuitive design that won’t cause you headaches or force you to watch tutorials on repeat to learn how to handle the device.
Most floor units require a lot of attention and effort as you continuously have to touch the switches, which is not practical in a live concert. However, this device allows you to use up to 9 effects simultaneously and also order them as you please within the signal chain, which means less physical effort and wasted time.
On the device’s footboard, you can find 4 stompbox switches that allow you to handle 4 effects in one rig. The display has large control knobs that can help you edit the rigs. You can get from one patch to another instantly, just by pushing a button.
The LCD screen that accompanies each one of the device’s tone banks will show you at any given moment the precise configuration of your effects chains. Together with the display located at the back, these features leave no room for confusion as you will always have a clear picture of your sound effects.
There is a built-in chromatic tuner that is manipulated through a simple footswitch and that allows you to get past the patch you have selected when you are tuning. With the same tuner, you can choose to instantly mute the signal.
With the expression paddle, you gain real-time control over the tone, volume, and the effect parameters of your choice. The pedal was designed as a full foot-size, which makes it impossible to miss it or to struggle to touch it.
Nowadays, every tool you use to produce or process sound has to be able to connect to other devices and the easier they do it, the better. Zoom’s top of the range sound effects processor offers you the connectivity features you need.
Connectivity is key to providing a successful floor unit because you need to send the signal from this device to others such as recording audio interfaces or preamps. According to most opinions, this device offers good connectivity for its price.
The G5n is built with dual output jacks that enable you to connect to a PA or to power amps. You can achieve a mono or stereo connection with these. In case you play in a live session, you can connect the G5n to a power amp or a PA so that you can gain the power you need.
Moreover, the G5n is provided with control inputs that enable you to connect pedals or stompboxes and manage them directly from the unit.
Finally, the Zoom multi-effects processor is also provided with a USB port. You can use it to leverage the device’s audio interface by connecting it directly with the DAW. This might be a good replacement for the average traditional interface as the G5n has a direct zero-latency monitoring. The connection can be achieved on any Mac or Windows computer.