Zoom G1X Four review

The classic ‘guitarist’s first multi-effects’ gets an update...

  • £85

MusicRadar Verdict

With its latest effort, Zoom has ensured it's still the first name in multi-effects pedals for beginners.


  • +

    Fantastic price.

  • +

    Logical interface.

  • +

    Great for practice.


  • -

    Drives are a little underwhelming.

  • -

    Not well suited to live use.

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The Zoom 505 was probably the first digital effects pedal that many guitarists of a certain generation had seen. 

Although none of the individual sounds were that impressive, the creative potential of having so many unusual effects in a bargain unit couldn’t be overstated. The G1X is the latest in that historic lineage, offering a smorgasbord of far more impressive effects, drives and even amp sims in a rugged yet affordable enclosure. 

It’s more intuitive than a lot of budget multi-effects. With no peeking at the manual, you can quickly suss out how to build a patch out of multiple blocks in a chain. The sounds are solid on the whole, with a good spread of basic reverbs and delays. The tape echo setting is particularly pleasant, although the reverse delay isn’t up to much. 

Many effects also have a variant that can be assigned to the treadle control, meaning you can swell in reverbs, set it to a pretty decent uni-vibe effect for some Hendrix riffs, or keep it as a simple volume control. There’s also a whammy effect, which, although it doesn’t track especially well, does a decent enough job. As perhaps is to be expected, the drives aren’t anything to write home about, but with some careful EQ-ing at the amp, you can get some serviceable tones. 

While it’s not going to challenge Boss or Strymon, this is a capable little unit. The biggest drawback is simply that, with two footswitches and up to five effects per patch, the G1X isn’t particularly well-suited to live use. However, as a first multi-effects pedal, it’s a winner.

Alex Lynham

Alex Lynham is a gear obsessive who's been collecting and building modern and vintage equipment since he got his first Saturday job. Besides reviewing countless pedals for Total Guitar, he's written guides on how to build your first pedal, how to build a tube amp from a kit, and briefly went viral when he released a glitch delay pedal, the Atom Smasher.