HBS Zoom G5 Guitar Multi-Effects & Amp Simulator

Zoom G5

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 of the Zoom G5 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 Zoom’s popular G3 model, the G5 is a great balance of digital processing and what can feel like old-school stompboxes. I say “feel like” because while there are no actual stompboxes under your feet, the G5 is designed to provide you with the same experience. 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 outstanding 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 there are some that really stand out:

  • 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.


Eric Struthers Demos the Zoom G5 Guitar Multi-FX Processor – Sweetwater Sound – YouTube

Eric Struthers, guitarist with Aaron Neville Quintet does a really nice job of discussing and demonstrating the G5. He talks about not just the different sounds, but also why some of the features are particularly useful for him. This is a truly 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

The 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 because it offers 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.