Is Zoom's new G11 amp and effects modeller a serious rival to Helix and HeadRush?

Just when we thought the effects modelling market was already filled with fierce contenders, Zoom has stepped into the arena. And its new G11 is certainly ticking a lot of boxes for us that could see it on players shortlists alongside the likes of Helix, HeadRush and Mooer. 

The latest in its G series is its most significant to date. There's five switches for activating individual effects, an expression pedal and a 5-inch colour touchscreen display for speedy navigation. Then there's a whole host of features to be activated that suggest Zoom really means business here…

(Image credit: Zoom)

The G11 is packing 48 amp and cab models that mix models based on classics, contemporary models and Zoom's own. There's also 70 built-in Impulse Responses, and space to add 130 of your own.

Zoom hasn't revealed the full list of effects yet but we're expecting it to be comprehensive and all-new sounds have been promised. Users can run one amp model and up to nine effects simultaneously. 

The G11 will also include jamming features with a five-minute looper and 68 rhythm patterns.

Cubase G11 is included to utilise the G11's functionality as an audio interface for recording via USB. Additional connections include a pair of effects loops, aux in, stereo outputs and MIDI connectivity.

Players can also synch wirelessly via Bluetooth to Zoom's forthcoming Guitar Lab 6.0 app. With the optional BTA-1 bluetooth adaptor (we're a bit surprised this bluetooth functionality isn't included out of the box) you can browse and upload/download amps effects and artists patches via the amp. 

There's no launch date confirmed as yet from Zoom, but we're seeing preorder prices of $799 online in the US, and that's cheaper than the current prices for the Helix LT and HeadRush Pedalboard. So this is certainly shaping up to be one to watch from the Japanese company. 

For more information visit Zoom

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.