Zoom G3Xn is one of the latest products in the company’s flagship line of guitar multi-effects. It is promised to have the most realistic stopmbox, amp, and cabinet emulations ever. Well, this is quite a bold statement. Is Zoom G3Xn really that impressive? Is it worth your money? Continue reading the Zoom G3Xn review below for the answer!
The things that we will discuss below include:
- The design and dimensions of Zoom G3Xn
- The durability of the housing and footswitches
- Zoom G3Xn’s features and ease of use
- The included software, Zoom Guitar Lab
- The performance and sound quality
- To buy or not to buy Zoom G3Xn
If you are familiar with Zoom’s guitar effects, you may have noticed that Zoom G3Xn looks quite similar to a slightly older model, Zoom G5n. It is true that Zoom G3Xn is a trimmed-down version of Zoom G5n that is available at a more affordable price point. It still comes with the same sound quality and functionality; it just has fewer features.
With that in mind, we can say that Zoom G3Xn is a viable alternative for people who want to enjoy and benefit from Zoom’s latest technologies without breaking the bank. Zoom G3Xn comes with a total of 80 built-in effects, which consist of 5 amp emulations, 5 cabinet emulations, and 70 DSP effects. The sound quality is generally impressive.
So, what are the differences between Zoom G3Xn and its predecessor, Zoom G5n? First of all, Zoom G3Xn can only handle up to 7 simultaneous effects in the chain (vs 9 on Zoom G5n). Second, Zoom G3Xn only has 6 on-board footswitches (vs 9 on Zoom G5n). Third, Zoom G3Xn can only save up to 150 user patches (vs 200 on Zoom G5n).
But even with those few compromises, Zoom G3Xn is still a solid and powerful performer. Unless you really need the extras of Zoom G5n, you can get a much better value from your money if you choose Zoom G3Xn. You can already tweak your sound very much with seven simultaneous effects in the chain. Plus, Zoom G3Xn comes with the Zoom Guitar Lab, which is a very useful software application for managing patches and importing new effects into the unit.
There are actually two different variants of this affordable guitar multi-effects processor, which are Zoom G3n and Zoom G3Xn. The only difference between the two variants is the built-in expression pedal on Zoom G3Xn. So, if you are sure that you don’t need the expression pedal, you may choose Zoom G3n. All the other features and functions are the same. However, the expression pedal on Zoom G3Xn can be quite handy and useful, as you will see below. (Read also : Zoom G3X Vs G3Xn)
Design and Build Quality
At first, Zoom G3Xn may look heavy, but this impression is not true. Well, it is true that the housing is made of highly durable metal. The housing is really sturdy and durable. However, the unit is surprisingly lightweight, with a mass of just 4.0 lbs (1.84 kg).
Furthermore, Zoom G3Xn is quite slim and compact. It only measures 318 mm (12.52 inches) wide, 181 mm (7.13 inches) deep, and 64 mm (2.52 inches) thick. With such a compact and lightweight design, portability is not an issue. You can easily carry this guitar multi-effects processor to gigs and practice places.
The build quality is excellent, and numerous user reviews have mentioned the same thing. The metallic housing is really tough and durable. The buttons and footswitches feel sturdy, too. For sure, it can withstand the abuse of on-stage uses and travels. It is a suitable choice for gigging or traveling musicians.
The interface is incredibly flexible and effective. If you come from an older Zoom model, like the G2 or MS50G, it may look a little intimidating due to the fact that it is radically different. However, if you come from a more recent model like the G3X, it is not too far different. Don’t hesitate to put half an hour to study the manual. Everything is written very clearly, so you can quickly understand how to change effects and settings.
Once you get the hold of Zoom G3Xn, you will love it very much. It is very flexible. It can activate/inactivate specific effects via the onboard footswitches. Switching between your patches and activating the onboard tuner are made very easy. There are three footswitches that have different functions at different times, and you will develop a reflex to hit them as you play. You don’t have to stomp them with all your might; a simple nudge is fine.
Zoom G3Xn can reduce your setup time, which is awesome. It makes things simple and straightforward. You just need to plug your stompboxes to the Zoom, connect the Zoom to the board, power them up, and set the levels. At the end of the night, once you have finished your performance, everything can be quickly and easily taken care of. You can go home in no time.
The only downside of Zoom G3Xn is that you can only see three effects at a time. There are three display screens, each displaying a particular effect. In a live situation, you need to navigate a patch to the effect that you want to switch on and off, and leave it there. This is not really a big deal, but things can be a lot easier if you can see the entire effects chain simultaneously in front of you.
Zoom G3Xn is armed with a total of 80 effects types, which consist of 5 amp emulations, 5 cabinet emulations, and 70 DSP effects. Indeed, Zoom G3Xn does not have as many built-in effects as some other models in the market. However, this is not necessarily a disadvantage, because of two reasons.
First, you don’t really need to have so many effects in your repertoire in the first place. It is better to have just a handful of effects that sound great, rather than having a bunch of effects that you never use. And Zoom G3Xn has great sounds. Second, you are not really limited to 80 effects with Zoom G3Xn; you can download and import new effects via the included software, Zoom Guitar Lab.
Zoom G3Xn can store up to 150 user patches. This is already very good, although the sibling Zoom G5n can store up to 200 user patches. You can create a lot of custom patches, and you can also download and import exclusive patches via the Zoom Guitar Lab software.
Again, you are not really limited to just 150 user patches. You can create a backup of your current patches via the software, save the backup in your computer, and then create new patches on the unit. This takes some effort, but this is a viable strategy if you want to collect lots of patches.
Zoom G3Xn comes with a built-in expression pedal. It allows powerful creative control over your effects. There are many effects parameters that you can control via the expression pedal, so it can open up new ways. For example, you can use the expression pedal to adjust the rate of a phaser, tweak the delay feedback on-the-fly, and fade the reverb effect in or out.
In addition, there is an onboard tuner. You will use it a lot, but not for setting the intonation. You will use it for noiseless on-stage tuning. It is very handy because it allows you to do the job without taking your hands off from the guitar.
The connectivity aspect of Zoom G3Xn is great. It has all the essential things, including a USB Micro-B port for connecting with a computer. This USB port also supports MIDI.
There are two inputs. The first one is a standard mono phone jack with a line-level impedance of 470 kilo-ohms. The second one is a 3.5mm stereo mini jack with a line-level impedance of 10 kilo-ohms. For outputs, there are L/R standard phone outputs. You use both jacks to send stereo signals. If you only want to send one mono signal, you should use the L port. The unit will automatically mix the signals and send them through this port.
Zoom G3Xn comes with the Zoom Guitar Lab software. This software is compatible with Windows and Mac. It is optional; you can use the unit without touching the software at all. However, it can be quite useful at times.
Zoom Guitar Lab is a free software application that can be used with Zoom G5n, Zoom G3n, Zoom G3Xn, and Zoom B3n. It includes a Patch Manager and an Effects Manager. Once the unit is connected to your computer, the Patch Manager allows you to manage your patches and effects chains easily. Meanwhile, the Effects Manager provides a simple and neat graphical user interface with detailed parameter descriptions on each effect.
The software also allows you to download exclusive patches and new effects from the Internet. Simply connect your Zoom G3Xn to your computer, and your computer to the Internet. Then, open the Zoom Guitar Lab software. Zoom continuously updates the software with new amp and cabinet combinations, stompboxes, and preset patches. You can see the latest additions and demo sounds on the News section of the app.
The software provides point-and-click control for re-naming and re-ordering your custom patches. The software displays your custom patches the same way as they appear on the unit’s display, so there is no room for confusion. You can re-arrange your effects chains, adjust parameters, add or delete effects, and backup the patches. There is also an integrated tuner display, so you can keep your eyes on the computer screen at all times.
Furthermore, Zoom Guitar Lab has a Clipboard function, which can memorize up to four effects complete with their custom parameters. This is very handy, as it allows you to easily copy and paste multiple effects to other patches. Zoom Guitar Lab also has an advanced UI to monitor your CPU usage while you are doing your work. It is useful for maintaining maximum performance, as the editing process can be very resource-intensive.
Zoom G3Xn has been tested in various setups and environments. The sound of this multi-effects processor becomes significantly less clear and rich if you send the signal through a preamp. For this reason, we can say that Zoom G3Xn is mainly designed to work with a power amp or a PA system. In such setting, it is a truly great device.
Most of the onboard stock patches are good. You can pick the ones that you like the most and tweak them a little to suit your liking. The amp models and overdrives are decent, although they are not particularly appealing. Adjusting the levels of the distortions is not really easy.
On the other hand, the time-based effects such as delay, reverb, tremolo, and chorus are all quite precise and rich. So, in a live situation, Zoom G3Xn is most suitable for handling time-based effects, whereas the overdrive is handled by a dedicated analog pedal. However, if you are just playing in a casual manner or traveling light, using the Zoom G3Xn alone is already good enough.
Some users say that the best way to get great sounds out of Zoom G3Xnis by tweakingthe effects every time you use a patch. After several tweaks, you will get a refined sound that fits you best. This also ensures that you can always adapt your sound to suit different environments.
|- 70 onboard high-quality digital effects (68 effects, 1 looper pedal, and 1 rhythm pedal), including distortion, overdrive, EQ, compression, delay, reverb, flanging, phasing, and chorusing - 5 amp emulators, 5 cabinet emulators, and 75 custom-designed factory patches - Use up to 7 effects/amps/cabinets simultaneously, chained together in any order - Stereo/mono looper allows recording of up to 80 seconds of phrase recording - Built-in expression pedal|
As the conclusion of this Zoom G3Xn review, we can say that it is an awesome deal. It is truly impressive when working with a power amp or PA system. It comes with great delay, reverb, tremolo, and chorus. You can use it with a dedicated overdrive pedal to get the best sound. The build quality is excellent, the housing and footswitches are very sturdy. Consider the compact and lightweight design, too, which makes it suitable for gigging and traveling.
Zoom G3Xn Review: Specifications
Weight: 4.0 lbs / 1.84 kg
- 52″ (W) X 7.13″ (D) X 2.52″ (H)
- 318 mm (W) X 181 mm (D) X 64 mm (H)
Display: Three 128 x 32 dot-matrix LCD screens
Maximum simultaneous effects: 7
Effect types: 80(5 amp and 5 cabinet emulators, 70 DSP effects)
User banks/patches: 150
Signal processing: 32-bit
A/D and D/A conversion: 24-bit with 128x oversampling
Sampling frequency: 44.1 kHz
Frequency response range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Equivalent input noise: -119 dBu
Noise floor/residual noise: -100 dBu
- Standard mono phone jack
- Stereo mini jack (3.5 mm)
- Output R: Standard mono phone jack
- Output L/Phone/Mono:Standard stereo phone jack
USB: USB Micro-B, USB MIDI
Power:DC9V AC adapter (ZOOM AD-16)
Zoom G3Xn Review: Pros and Cons
- Excellent build quality
- Compact and lightweight
- Great overall sound quality
- Can handle 7 simultaneous effects
- Can download new patches and effects via the software
- The overdrive sound is good but not great
- Doesn’t sound good through a preamp
Zoom G3Xn Review: Price
Find the best price for Zoom G3Xn here!