Zoom G3n/G5N platform, tips and tricks

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by ballynally, Feb 1, 2017.


  1. TimCaesar

    TimCaesar Member

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    The main problem is the price of the unit, it's too cheap! People who post to guitar forums who have never seen the unit, read guitar cork-sniffer monthly or will argue about NOS tubes all day will never buy one because it's not $1500! The other issue is Zoom don't have any high profile endorsers or brand champions.

    I think the unit is fabulous! When I got mine, I saw it as a 'toe in the water' path to a Helix. Now I have dialed in the Zoom I am not so sure! I love it! It's the best thing I have got in years! My gigging rig is tiny and the tones are first class!

    Like you say, maybe a Helix is 'better', but $1200 better? Probably not!
     
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  2. Johnny88

    Johnny88 Member

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    Glad someone else feels the same way. I'm curious as to if Zoom will release a new flagship model in another year or two to really go after the Helix and Headrush crowd. Something with comparable sexy bells and whistles and slicker interface, effects loop, more inputs/outputs, everything that people whine about the Zoom not having. (Oh, and some durable screens that don't get scratched right odd the bat).

    I would be open to upgrading in a couple of years if Zoom made some significant upgrades, but for now, this unit does everything I need to do so far.
     
  3. Codger12

    Codger12 Member

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    I got excited today when I saw there was an update to guitar lab. Then I saw it was a compatibility fix with I Macs...
     
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  4. jimfist

    jimfist Member

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    I've owned and gigged a lot of high end gear that is constantly mentioned on this forum. IMHO, the Zoom G3/G5, and the newer G5n/G3n pedals get extremely high marks in cost-to-performance and quality. Great sounds and great music can easily be made on this gear.

    All things considered, that's all that really matters. What others think? Who really cares? It does get tiring to read, though. Here on TGP, this will not ever change, and I guess nor should it, necessarily.
     
  5. TimCaesar

    TimCaesar Member

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    And that is the end of this thread! Hit the nail right on the head.
     
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  6. ballynally

    ballynally Member

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    A general tip for setting parameters in 'live' settings.
    If you're using the g3/5n as an effects unit like me make sure you set the parameters at gigging volume.
    Fletcher-Munson et al..
    That also applies to amp/cab sims of course.Having your own setup gets you control of sound.Another tip f the gigging squad w b to bring your system to a room together with a drum machine.Take volume up to gig level and adjust parameters.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
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  7. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

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    I have an ME80 I am perfectly thrilled with for many of the reasons listed in the last few posts, and you're all making me want a G5n I don't need
     
  8. mojah

    mojah Member

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    I know the bigger brands pay to get copy in the flyers GC and others send out. It's probably the same for floor space or GC wants Zoom to front the units for free. I've yet to see a Helix at the 3 GCs within 50 miles of me...
     
  9. jimfist

    jimfist Member

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    I had a funny experience last year at a local GC (Danvers). Was killing time poking around the store and the sales weasel gave me the standard "can I help you find something?" routine. So I asked if they had a Line 6 Helix in stock (this was before the LT was introduced), and he said, "Yeah". I asked what they were selling for and he confidently said "I think we've got one for $600". I laughed out loud and told him I'd take it for $600. He looked it up and then balked, coughed, and then said he was sorry, but couldn't sell it for $600.

    In any event, you'll see a Helix every so often around here. I've seen a lot of Zoom products in the used bin at the Nashua, NH store, but not sure if they actually sell new products there, though I think they do. With the great deals and free shipping from large online vendors, I actually don't even really care to shop at brick-and-mortar stores anymore, unless I'm buying an amp or a guitar.
     
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  10. SocProf

    SocProf Member

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    I just got a new Gibson SG Faded T (end of year closeout + customer return=$200 off!) which I tested out on my Zoom G5n. I was blown away at how good the two sounded together with both clean and overdriven amps. Yes, you can make great music with this unit if your fingers are up to it.

    There are just two things that I hope get added to the successor model to make the experience near perfect:
    1. More robust processors that don't overload under reasonable conditions.
    2. A pre-boost control to adjust for weaker pickups. (I suppose you can put a booster at the beginning of the signal chain, but that uses up a slot and some processing power.)
     
  11. TimCaesar

    TimCaesar Member

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    My Zoom sounds great with my MusicMan Axis guitars, and I recently got a Brian May guitar. With just a few small tweaks to the gain of the virtual Tube Screamer and it sounds equally amazing!
     
  12. Johnny88

    Johnny88 Member

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    I'm curious on your point #2. I was using my Zoom G5n into an Orange Amp (thought it would be comparable to what I already have as I couldn't take my amp with me because I'm traveling). I was trying out mainly Strat's and Tele's. I picked up what (I think) was an American Standard Strat and I was blown away by how CLEAR it sounded compared to the other 6 guitars I had tried to that point. It seemed like the pickups were stronger in some way. I could hear each note with great clarity. I asked the salesguy about the guitar and it turns out that it was used and the guy who owned it before had modded and/or put in different pickups. So I wasn't able to figure out why the sound was so much better than every other guitar I had tried to that point.

    Perhaps as you are speculating maybe stronger pickups do better with the G5n? I tried another guitar that wasn't quite as good as the used modded one, but it was still very nice. I believe the salesguy said that one had P90's in it. I really don't know anything about pickups, but yeah.

    All that being said, I feel like half of the equation is my lack of knowledge as to order or effects and how to dial in each effect for maximum impact and so that the effects compliment (and don't fight) each other.

    Between the free artist presets, stock presets, and a few presets I've dialed in from scratch, I'm getting some really nice sounds. I feel like I am more limited by my own inexperience with Mfx than I am limited by the Zoom.

    Just when I think that the G5n just isn't capable of dialing in a certain sound, I will come across an artist preset that is very close to what I'm looking for OR it simply sounds great and I wasn't aware that the G5n was able to pull off such a nice distorted sound (background: I sometimes struggle to dial in drive sounds I am satisfied with, but those with more experience, i.e. artist patches give me the beautiful distinct, non-muddy distortions I'm looking for). The Oziel Ohno patches are a good example of this. Even though I'm not inclined to play a lot of heavier stuff, I found that he really did a nice job of dialing in some drive/delay/smooth distortion. He showed me that certain sounds are possible as mentioned above). He created some really nice bold and strong sounds imo.

    The refreshing thing about the Zoom is that it is simplified so that there are only so many parameters to dial in. While some people view this as a negative and would like to get into loading custom cabinet IR's, endless parameters, etc, but for ME as someone who doesn't have a lot of experience with Mfx, I'm glad that there aren't more settings at this point. It's possible that I may upgrade down the road, but for now there is no reason to. I'm happy with my unit and by getting experience with a more simple unit. If I do upgrade down the road, I will have a better chance of knowing what I'm doing and will be ready to tweak additional parameters. But for now I'm like, "why do I need all of these extra parameters when I've got all I can handle with 4-8 parameters for now?" I would rather spend more time making actual music with less "under the hood" access than tweaking 24 parameters per effect and being confused as to how they interact with one another. That's just me.
     
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  13. Johnny88

    Johnny88 Member

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    Also, I trimmed my preset count from around 185 down to 120ish. I'm sure I'll trim that number down quite a bit as well, but you have to start somewhere. It was getting too messy with presets that just sounded like garbage to me and/or stuff I was never going to use.

    Now it's more a matter of choosing one or two nice Wah presets and getting rid of the other 3 or 4 that don't serve my needs as well/deleting sounds that are close to each other. I was surprised that I wound up keeping as many as I did on the first cut, but just goes to show that the Zoom has some good usable sounds.

    I kept about 50 of the original 100 stock presets and the others I kept were artist patches which I kept a higher percentage of. I know I eliminated them with headphones on so stuff probably sounded better than through my amp, but I was encouraged to hear so many (imo) usable/tweakable sounds.
     
  14. SocProf

    SocProf Member

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    Point #2 was about getting over-the-top distortion with weak single coil pickups. I have one strat clone with fairly weak pickups. I linked a maxed out (volume and drive) tube screamer with a maxed out Plexi, and the gain levels weren't as high as what I was expecting. My SG with humbuckers got better results. So a pre-boost would help compensate for the strength of the pickups. The Headrush has this feature according to the manual (haven't played one yet).

    I think I got spoiled from making a recording with a Sansamp GT2, which has INSANE levels of gain when you max out the drive on the "British" (Marshall) settings.
     
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  15. Johnny88

    Johnny88 Member

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    Gotcha, thanks for clarifying. So much these "budget" G5n/G3n's can do for the money it is crazy.
     
  16. ballynally

    ballynally Member

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    i can't say it too often but having a separate stomp box for different guitars with adjusted parameters to get to unity gain prior to unit/amp is the best way to go about it imo.
    Zoom's MS series are great for that purpose.
    To give an example: my Strat has 57/62 low output single coils.it needs almost twice the gain compared to my LP w humbuckers.I also take down some lows and highs from my strat neck pickup so i have a setting for that.designated A-Z.quite often it's an eq issue coupled w gain changes.I use an MS50g.that pedal goes to every gig i do and i can change which setup to use according to need.
    You really can't do that with the G3/5n..
     
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  17. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

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    A few thoughts:

    1. Have you dived into the overall patch settings? Don’t forget that in the upper display, you can adjust the over all level of the patch across a wide range.

    2. There are a ton of clean boost pedal models which can be position before or after the tube screamer effect.

    3. Have you done the firmware and patch upgrades in Guitar Lab? There’s a lot to be gained from recent developments in the amp and pedal selection.
     
  18. TimCaesar

    TimCaesar Member

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    Could you not use the built in EQ pedal in the Zoom for this purpose? Or will the Zoom run out of processing power?
     
  19. SocProf

    SocProf Member

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    1. It's more a distortion issue than a level issue. As I reported earlier, I actually had a problem with awful sounding digital clipping when I set the patch levels too high.

    2. Using a clean boost pedal is exactly what I ended up doing. Boost -> Fuzz -> Clean Amp also works well with the strat. I'm just concerned that the boost pedal uses up processing power, whereas some kind of built-in pre-gain might be able to do this with minimal drain on the processor. If I remember correctly, the previous generation of Zoom multieffects had a switch for tamping down active pickups, so maybe a three way switch (low, medium, high pickup output).

    3. Got them all and waiting for the next download. :)
     
  20. SocProf

    SocProf Member

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    I actually have a Joyo boost pedal somewhere in my basement. Maybe I'll try putting this in front of the Zoom and see what happens.

    I mostly play in my home studio, so quick changes aren't an issue for me.
     
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