Electro-Harmonix Epitome Multi-Effects Guitar Pedal

Zoom G5

What do you do when you have three super-popular stomp boxes in your product line? Combine them into one pedal, of course. Fortunately, Electro-Harmonix didn’t just slap any old pedals together; they combined an octaver, a flange/chorus, and a reverb.

The Electro-Harmonix Epitome pedal consists of the Micro POG, Stereo Electric Mistress, and the Holy Grail Plus. All three are top-notch pedals on their own. When combined, they produce a product that is a dangerous little gem.

Each effect has its own dedicated on/off foot switch. So, it is literally three stomp-boxes in one. But the interplay between the effects is what adds up to a “fourth” member of the party that is hard to describe. This is because there really is more than just the “sum of the parts” here. Twisting / turning / tinkering produces some incredible results. What really impresses me is the stereo in; this way you can process two simultaneous channels, which really comes in handy. Your rig is, in-fact, stereo before it hits this pedal.

The polyphonic tracking of the Micro POG is surprisingly good. When combined with the chorus or flanger effects, the range of possibilities is quite impressive. According to the Electro-Harmonix web site, the “shimmer” setting “…transforms the Grail into a digital delay.”

If you take a look at the videos here, you will see that there is a ton of fun sounds here. From 12-string to a rotating leslie, there are quite a few combinations here that are really a joy. I think the Octaver is where you will find most of your oddball effects. But when you combine that with some “flerb,” or kick in the “shimmer” effect, things start to really take off.

Electro-Harmonix has combined three top-quality digital effects into one package. Although the world of electric guitar effects seems dominated by desktop or amp-based digital modeling units, some folks still prefer the context of a floor-based stomp box with big ‘ol knobs. If you are a member of that group, this is one pedal that will keep you up all night tweaking and tinkering.

HBS Zoom G5 Guitar Multi-Effects & Amp Simulator

Zoom G5What do Dave Mustaine, Wayne Krantz and Eric Struthers all have in common? They are fans of the Zoom G5. Be careful… if you take a closer look at this multi-effects pedal, you might be too.

It’s amazing how multi-effect technology keeps on progressing. Zoom’s new G5 is yet another impressive unit that delivers an overwhelming amount of value and flexibility. I have to rave about one feature first: the multi-dimensional expression pedal. In addition to moving the pedal up and down, you can twist it to the right or left. Do the math…. yes, significantly expanded levels of expression and real-time parameter changes. The end result is that you can assign up to four parameters to the expression pedal. Nuts.

Based on their popular G3 model, the G5 is a great balance of digital processing and what can feel like old-school stomp boxes. I say “feel like” because while there are not actually any stomp boxes under your feet, the G3 is designed in such a way that the experience is the same. This is not just because there are four heavy-duty switches, but also because each one has three real control knobs, each with its own small LCD display. Needless to say, this is all highly programmable. Once again, do the math. There is an insane amount of fiddlin’, tweakin’ and savin’ available here.

There is a 12AX7 tube built into this pedal, which is cool. But what’s really cool is that it can be turned on or off with the flick of a switch.

There are too many impressive features to list here, but the few other ones that really impressed me are:

  • Up to nine simultaneous stomp-box effects
  • 16dB boost via foot-switch, with dedicated tone control
  • More than 120 effects
  • More than 150 patches designed by well-known guitarists
  • Up to 60 seconds of looping / phrase recording
  • More than 40 drum patterns
  • Balanced XLR output
  • Free “Edit & Share” software that allows you to send your custom settings to friends

There is a lot to shout about here. The most important detail is, of course, the sound, which is great. Zoom has done a nice job of crafting analog sounds out of digital models.

Zoom G5 Product Page: http://www.zoom.co.jp/products/g5

Videos

Zoom G5 Guitar Multi-FX Processor Demo – Sweetwater Sound – YouTube
Eric Struthers, guitarist with Aaron Neville Quintet does a really nice job of discussing and demonstrating the G5. Not only the different sounds, but he explains why some of the features are particularly useful for him. This is a really helpful video because as a working musician, his discussion is as “real world” as it gets.

Dave Mustaine Demos the Zoom G5 Guitar Effects & Amp Simulator Pedal – YouTube

Dave Mustaine intro overview of the G5 is great. He explains all of the high-level features and what makes this pedal such a standout. What makes this video pretty cool is that in the second half, his guitar tech walks you through a few patches. It’s interesting to get his perspective because he gets into a very technical discussion of various parameters. Even if you are not a Dave Mustaine fan, this is a good video for getting a nice demo of the pedal.


Wayne Krantz demos the Zoom G5 Guitar Effects & Amp Simulator pedal @ Sound Service TV – YouTube

The intro is a little unusual. Wayne seems like a slightly odd bird, but he’s a pretty monster guitar player, and that’s what counts. Here he demonstrates some of his favorite sounds from the G5. The video gives you a pretty good sense of what the pedal is capable of. Wayne is a highly respected guitarist, so I’d say this is a pretty big endorsement.