You've just started playing, your amp isn't making the sounds you want it to and you can't afford a £2000 Mesa Boogie. What's the next best thing? A slightly better amp? Nearly, it's the Zoom 505 pedal!
The zoom 505 is the full arsenal of effects pedals in one small pedal. Chorus, phaser, delay, reverb, overdrive, distortion and some other unwordly effects. Given the price tag (£50) the sound quality is surprisingly good!
It's easy to get carried away with adding too many effects with this and you may fall into buying it due to 'preset zero syndrome'. Preset zero is the first preset that most guitar shops dial in that encompasses everything about the pedal in one setting, it may sound like a good idea and may impress you upon first listen but you don't need a 20 second delay with phaser fully dialled in when you are just jamming with your band.
The portability and just general usefulness of this pedal are what makes it a good buy. You could easily pack this into your guitar case as I have done and just goto the gig without an amp at all! The pedal can be plugged straight into a P.A. system or mixing desk etc... and save you carrying an amp which sometimes is detrimental to the sound. So let's recap, you're going to your gig, you have your guitar, pedal and leads. The other guy without the Zoom pedal has his guitar, pedals, pedalboard, amp, cabinet and more leads than should be necessary. Obviously you have the upperhand here and will find yourself with an overtly smug look on your face.
If you can't find a sound you are happy with from the presets, then it's easy enough just to dial in your own tones with all the versatility that you could need.
Of particular importance are the clean, overdrive and acoustic simulator. Though the acoustic simulator does not sound like an acoustic at all, it is still a nice sound and should be treated just like another sound. The overdrives go from mild break up of the 1960's onto full on distortion of todays metal which your nan secretly enjoys. The clean sound is well...A clean sound, it's adviseable to spruce up the cleans with some small delay and reverb as a clean sound on its own is pretty uninspired.
On the whole I'd advise this pedal for beginners who are still learning the ins and outs of the instrument and the encumbering world of effects. This is a great introduction to learning about the guitars signal chain and it's tone, highly recommended.
** Zoom 505II Guitar Effects Pedal **
I am a bit of a hobby guitar player, along with being a hobby sportsman, a hobby cyclist and 200 other hobbies I won't bre you with. So in common with all my hobbies I don't want to spend a fortune on any of them. I'm never going to be more than an enthusiastic wannabe so I look for maximum results for minimal financial input.
My guitar playing hobby is one of my favourite and most regular pass-times so I decided to treat myself to a new effects pedal. After trying a few out and looking them up on the internet I decided on the Zoom 505II Guitar Effects Pedal as it is only £50 new -minus the power supply. It will run on 4 AA batteries so trhat is not a major problem. An adaptor thrown in would have been better though.
To look at the 505 is pretty flimsey plastic and I don't think it would cope well with being dropped. It is really made for hobby players like me. I can't see a real player in a band using one - for very long before it broke anyway. For me in my fromt room the build quilty isn't a great problem but I do worry ifd I leave it out in case it gets hit with the vacuum or trodden on. I don't think it would survive either!
In use the 505 sounds brilliant asnd it is hard to believe it cost me only £50. It sounds like I'm playing in astidio. There are different patches that you select with the two footswitches. Each patch has a combination of indivdual effects like reverb, echo, compressor, noise reduction, chorus and distortion plus many others.
The factory set patches cover a wide range of styles from country to heavy metal. I liked the patches with lots of echo on most of all.
It is possible to store your own user made patches instead of the factory preset ones but I'm not sure I can be bothered with all that in depth editing.
There are a few things I don't like about the Zoom 505II Guitar Effects Pedal. I've already told you about the flimsey plastic case. I also don't like the way the patches have differing volumes. What is a perfect volume for one patch can become excruciatingly loud or pathetically quiet for the next patch. Why aren't all the patch volumes the same? I would have been more impressed if the adaptor was included too because changing batteries is annoying. I worry I might store the pedal away with the batteries for a while and they might leak and break it.
** My verdict **
Not a pedal for proper players and performers but for hobby players like me the 505 is excellent value. Just treat it very gently and don't forget to take the batteries out if you don't use it for a while.
Thank you for reading my review.
I'm not what you would call a serious guitarist, Ive just taught myself over the past few years how to play purley for my own entertainment, so I cant really reveiw this pedal for being suitable for a proffesional, but for someone like me, a casual player, I would definetly recommend it. This is the first pedal I bought when I got my guitar and I chose it because of the price, the multi effects it had and the ability to create custom effects. It is very simple to use, has 3 simple connections on the back (input, output and footswitch). It has 36 preset effects which range from just a simple distortion, to sounds imitating well know artists, to strange and interesting special effects. It has a built in tuner and can also be used as a headphone amp, to allow you to play your guitar through headphones, without an amp and with using the effects on the pedal. I think this pedal works really well for someone that does not have a very good amp, it will give a better sound and will allow you to play using headphones, however if you are looking for a good distortion, then I would recommend buying a dedicated distortion pedal.
An appeal and an appology ************************* Now I know I will be slated,and perhaps rightly so,for this review because although I'm reviewing guitar effects pedals I'm not doing the one that is on the product list. Now in life we need rules to make things run smoothly and Dooyoo is no exception but I've scanned and searched for a better product review to fit these popular effects pedal into but couldn't find one. I accept all the criticism I may incur and hope this review will interesting enough to people who genuinely are into guitars i.e the potential buyers. Therefore you can see that although it is an infringement of the rules it remains,I think,within the spirit of the rules. Funny enough,my old man was a copper for most of my life,though he's retired now and the question of where the letter and the spirit of the law clash,compliment or contradict each other and the grey areas that lie in between them has always been an old favourite debating topic but I believe in the spirit more than the letter. Effects Pedals ************** Now the sound of a guitar plugged straight into an amp while pleasant enough will never achieve the range of sounds that the modern guitarist needs. As revolutionary a player as he was,Jimi Hendrix also took the whole sphere of the effects box to completely new heights. Now,I've no idea who first produced an effects box or even when but I know that the wah-wah pedal so famously associated with Hendrix was not his invention.Surf music bands were using it back in the mid 60s.Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck were both experimenting with fuzz boxes and Pete Townsend with feedback all before Hendrix arrived on these shores.He was completely unknown before he came to Britian,where he
launched his career and could he would never have found fame like that had he stayed in America because of their bizarre attitude towards coloured folk. Rock and roll music may have evolved from the blues but white American kids liked white American bands like Bill Haley & the Comets and Buddy Holly or later white British bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to play rock & roll,of course,as per usual the irony of imported white boys rehashing black american music to make it saleable to white American kids was completely lost on them. In this enviroment even the celestial and sublime talent of Hendrix fell on stoney ground until he came to Britian where fortunetly B.B King,Elmore James,Howlin Wolf and Muddy Waters,who's records were brought home by sailors and through the docks were quickly latched on to by British kids who understood where the real music was at. Collaborating with Jim Marshall and Roger Mayer,a leading light in the effects world Hendrix used many different types to great effect on his first two albums,in particular. He immortalised the wah-wah with the legendary song 'Voodoo Chile(Slight Return),apparently just an on-the-spot jam on the song 'Voodoo Chile' that was recorded right there and then.Although the intro is famous for the Vox Crybaby Wah-Wah this was in actual fact a highly modified 'hot wired'version of the pedal. There are thousands of effects these days and it really depends on your wants and needs.First of all,do you want seperate boxes or one overall computerised effects board.Do you just jam in your bedroom or a garage or are you a professional musician playing regular gigs. I jam in my bedroom and garages and until recently was playing twice weekly
in a pub with a band.My equipment is very basic,not really up to professional standards and I was putting my 15W amp through a PA system.It did the job,just. I personally don't really like big effects boards,I like as natural a sound from my guitar as possible.I use amp-driven gain with a wah-wah and compression pedal,set up in line between guitar and amp instead of using the effects loop. I find that I can still get a pretty natural strat sound without muddying it too much or having that strangely processed,synthasised sound that you get with massive effects boards. The two effects I use are what I intend to review and as they are both popular options this will hopefully make for a relevant review - even if it is not quite as the title suggests. Jim Dunlop Crybaby ****************** The first pedal I ever bought was a crybaby wah-wah pedal and at the time I was not even sure if that was the right pedal as I bought it by mail order from a guitar mag. It was and after that eventually gave up I bought a cheap RAK replacement but it was exactly that,cheap. A few years ago I bought a third one to replace the RAK and this is the subject one. Shape and Construction ********************** It is a Jim Dunlop 'Original Crybaby' Model GCB-95 wah-wah,although there are a few different models of wah-wah for different needs and they cost around £80-90 new. It has a crackled black surface/texture and is about 9-10 inches long by about 4 inches at the top narrowing to about 3 inches at the bottom while sitting about 2.5 inches in height,made of strong steel,about 1.75mm thick for the main case and with an equally solid metal pedal that is hindged by strong rivets that altogether make it very robust and
hard wearing. The hinged pedal has a black rubber,lined mat attatched to it's surface to minimize the effects of your shoes as with this pedal you rock the pedal back and forward using the front of your foot to press forward and your heel to push back while you play,it pivots on the hinge about 2 inches from the bottom end,in front where your heel would be and the hinge sits just in front the arch in the base of your foot. It has a solid metal on/off switch at the top end so when you don't need it you push forward but harder to activate the switch. Picked out in relief on the rubber mat,at either side are - on the right hand side - instrument and on the left - amplifier corresponding to the two jack-plug sockets on either side of the main case.Obviously you plug the lead from the guitar into the instrument side and the lead to the amp in the amp side. On my first Jim Dunlop,basically the same pedal I have now,you had four rubber feet that screwed into the base for the pedal to sit on and to absorb the force of your foot stoping it from sliding all over the floor.You had to unscrew these feet to remove the bottom plate so you could replace the P3? 9V battery that powered the pedal. With the newer one there is a plastic plate in the middle of the bottom plate which you lift to expose the battery,however it still has the same rubber feet screwed into the base. About 1/4 inch behind the amplifier-side jack plug there is a socket for a mains powered adaptor for use instead of the battery but you don't get one with the pedal,I've always used batteries as they last for months. In Use ****** Like I said it is easy to use.When switched off it does nothing.Push the pedal to it's forward position and then press a little harder to switch it on and the first thing that you'll hear is probably feed
back and your guitar will sound much brighter,thinner and trebley,rock it back with your heel to it's furthest back position and your guitar will sound much fatter,bassier and thicker. The effect is achieved because about 1/2 inch back from the on/off switch is a variable resistor mounted side-on at the base with a toothed cog,attached to the pedal is a toothed rack that is constantly meshed with the resistor's cog and turns the resistance up and down with the movement of the pedal and ultimately your foot. Though a digital effect it is activated in an analogue fashion and it is this constant sweep between the thin sound and the bassy,thick sound that gives it the wah-wah sound. If you're not into guitars and haven't heard 'Voodoo Chile(Slight Return)' so don't know what I mean then when you listen to your stereo,turn the tone knob from bass to treble quickly and repeatedly then you'll get the idea. Feedback can be a problem,I have two amps and a Japanese Squier Strat which sounds muddy even on the bridge pick-up.I used to plug in my wah-wah,switch it on and down to the forward treble setting,leaving it there to act as a filter.This often caused a high-pitched squeaking form of feedback,especially when playing in the pub or while close to the amp with it cranked up. The solution is basically to get a bigger amp so that you dion't have to overdrive it so much to play at your required volume. If your using it with other floor-mounted seperate boxes,put this one first,nearest the guitar and all the others between it and the amp as this seems to work best,giving the clearest sound. As with all guitar effects the more you add the muddier it will sound but even with a high powered distortion pedal the wah effect comes through crystal clear. Apart from these mild grumbles the J
8; has a very crisp and natural 60s wah sound,and although Hendrix's was a Vox version,the Jim Dunlop is basically the same pedal even today,and a 'hot-wired' custom made version the JD will reward you with that classic 60s sound made famous by Hendrix,Cream and Zeppelin etc. It will have you blasting 'Voodoo' in no time. Conclusion ********** Simple,if you want a wah-wah this is the best I've ever come across,made by JD but exactly like the 60s Vox,it is the same basic model used by Page,Clapton and co. What more endorsement do you need? I've still to hear a computerised one that you get,lashed as an after-thought to the side of all effects boards that can touch it's original wah sound.It's that simple,you want a wah-wah,you can afford the 80-odd quid,then buy one. Compression/Sustainer ********************* This is the other pedal I tend to use,in conjunction with and placed after the JD. Construction ************ It is a Boss CS-3 Compression/Sustainer pedal.Another American company like JD,Boss are an established and well respected maker of pedals.Their products are reliable,well made,up to professional standards and quality while being clean and pleasant looking pieces of equipment. The main body is 4.5 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches with a thick rubber base to absorb those stomping moments when you switch the thing on or off.1/3 of the way down from the top it is raised by about 1/2 inch were the pedal itself is hinged,hinged at one end and supported by a stong spring with in the main body,with a large black plastic headed screw going through the end of the foot pedal and into an elongated slot in the main body to allow it to be pushed down and lift again against the spring
.Unscrew the lagre plastic screw out almost completely and the foot pedal is free to hinge right up allowing access to the micro-switch and battery,9V like the JD and also with the adaptor option aswell,with the socket on the front. As with the JD there are two jack-plug sockets either side going from right to left,input and output.On the top face in front of the hinge and foot pedal are four control knobs.Labelled,in front of the knobs in silver they read from left to right,Level - Tone - Attack - Sustain.Below each knob is min/max also in silver. In front of the labels,at the very top is a red LED labelled check to let you know if it is on or off.The whole control area is satin black while the main body and foot pedal are a vibrant electric blue.The bottom half of the foot pedal has a black rubber section with Boss embossed on it.Above the rubber section it reads Compression Sutainer CS-3 in white with arrows and input,output on their respective sides,once again in white. It is metal making for another solid,robust pedal able to take many a size 9 boot and with its rubber-coated base it won't slide across any varnished stage floors. In Use ****** The CS-3 basically,unfortunetly I don't know what exactly it does to the sound,technically speaking but it gives the sound of your guitar a sharper,crisper,tighter sound not like distortion but a more compact sound i.e compression,and will make your notes last long past the point when they'd naturally decay - sustainer. The level acts like a volume switch while the tone softens or sharpens the sound in the same way as a tone on a hi-fi.Attack fades the compression effect in and out and the sustain the sustain.The over all effect makes it your guitar sound sharper with a harder edge while making the single note
s sing out until the point of controlled feedback. This pedal cost me around £60 new.Whether you want or need compression is personal choice,it is the comp. effect more than the sustain that I want it for but they both go together and the sustain which is already good on my guitar sounds alot better for this pedal. In Conclusion ************* Solid,robust,attractive and with the usual Boss build quality this is good value for money and a very effective pedal. I know there are guitar players on DooYoo and they are bound to have technical experience and I hope they find this review interesting,and I'd like to ask a question for someone to answer.Is there a decent 'noise gate,noise suppressor' pedal out there that can cut back on the wild,unpredictable feedback I occaisonally get with these two pedals together,I used to have a DOD noise gate but it either never worked or cut my notes off dead,so is there a better solution?Thanks. When I started playing live with the last band I used my 15W Park amp(Park - son of Marshall,so true) connected into the PA but at high volumes it was pretty uncontrolable then I bought a Laney 100W amp and the lower volume required sorted all that out nicely.With the right set up both these effects are more than capable for live gigs. I have standard single coil pick-ups on my Strat which can sound thin and reedy at the best of times and the compression this pedal gives fills out the sound,giving the edge I require without the need for a humbucker.With a humbucker pick-up the sound would be further improved,I have a Jim 'Bacon' Strat copy just now that I've been setting up and intoning for a mate,though he's in no hurry for it back as it's origin is a bit dubious!!This has a bridge humbu
cker which I think has finally swayed me to the point of installing one in my Strat,which will make for another review - I think I'll try the suggestions link first though.
Featuring a sleek new design, easy analog operation, nine powerful new guitar effects and amp modeling, the 505 II Guitar takes the world's most popular compact multi-effect guitar pedal to a new standard of performance. The 505 II's molded chassis with its sleek, flowing lines and Silver finish offers a stylish appearance thatÕs built to last. Extremely durable space-age plastic and a flat control surface take the worry out of carrying it in the same case with other gear. As part of its enhanced design, the 505 II Guitar features new distortion effects including Clean, Scream, Wild and Shred; along with new modulation effects such as Cry, Tremolo, Ring Modulation, Slow Attack and Echo. The 505 MKII includes a total of 33 guitar effects, arranged in seven modules. Up to nine effects can be used at the same time. In addition to 12 different types of smooth, rich distortion sounds, the 505II features world-famous guitar amp sounds created using Zoom's proprietary VAMS (Variable Architecture Modeling System) technology. A large rotary selector, easy-to-read red LED display and foot switches make the 505 II truly user friendly. Sounds can be easily stored in up to 36 patch locations. Other features include: ZNR (Zoom Noise Reduction); 28 hours of continuous operation with four size AA alkaline batteries plus AC operation; a rear panel input for an expression pedal; integrated auto chromatic tuner and more.
I have played guitar for around 40 years.. I have played many Gigs.. backed Lulu at one time.. Enjoyed the 60s Most of the that time I performed with no Sound Effects or Enhancements.. I then started using a WEM Copycat Echo Unit.. .The Wah-Wah Pedal and Fuzz Box appeared.. I used them.. but always returned to playing direct without effects.. Pedals do NOT make a bad guitar player good.. Through the years I have tried many effects pedals .. from expensive ones to the cheap ones.. but the ZOOM 505II has proved to be a real assett.. Sure you can get more expensive pedal with more effects.. but most of those extra effects will not be used.. The 505II has all the effects you need.. and if ,in the unlikely event you should want something more.. It can easily be customised.. On the down-side.. There is no actual PEDAL but there is a provision for one and for a Footswitch to give more control. I would strongly recommend that you purchase those extras. It is strongly constructed and can take a lot of punishment.. but even the most expensive Effects Unit will not take Over-Abuse.. It may not be the Best.. but it rates very high If you can't get what you're looking for from the 505II then I would suggest you look closer to your Playing Skills and don't condemn the Unit
When deciding what pedal to select, the main thing to consider is what exactly you want from the pedal, and what sort of music you play. This is a great low end pedal for use with metal. It features many high quality overdrive/distortion settings, unlike competetors like the dod tec4x which seems to proved roughly the same overdrive tone whatever settings you use. It does not feature an acoustic synthesizer like a lot of other pedals, but this is only fair really considering the price. Unlike the dod tec4x, this is not as customisable, so if you're after your own "signature tone" which nobody else is likely to have, this is definately not your pedal. It features a range of different effects which should cater for just about all tastes, but you would be better spending a bit more money on a hige end pedal, as you will only want to upgrade in time. Personally i wouldnt consider this pedal stage worthy... it would be simply to hard to change effects on stage without having to stamp numerous times to find the desired setting, scrolling through allsorts of other effects. Fine for home use, but anything more would be stupidity :) Note : You will need 2 leads in order to use this, so if you order one, it would be advisable to make sure you have them, and if not, to go out and buy them.
I bought a guitar, studied 'Guitar For Dummies', did silly poses; and now that I feel somewhat confident enough to degrade myself by calling myself *gulp* a guitarist (somewhat - still a little far to go before I'm comfier with my skill, or lack of), I thought I'd extend my sound palette beyond limited distorted and clean with a compact multi-effects pedal. - Saving money on purchasing dedicated single effects units, which are better but costly. Like my guitar playing friend, I wanted to get the Korg AX1G pedal as he'd highly recommended that in terms of price and sound set, and it had a built in expression pedal to boot. But alas the AX1G is no more made, and so with some debating I got my hands on Zoom's slightly more expensive 505II Guitar pedal, which although has no expression pedal, has some extra great features of it's own to more than compensate! The first thing that stunned me when I received my package, was the size of the pedal. Unlike the Korg pedal, the 505II is not much bigger than the original Game Boy, and it virtually weighs nothing. And to top it all off it's been beautifully and sturdily designed in a part retro, part-futuristic silver plastic with a very sensible interface. You can only use the 505II (the cheaper, compact-er and better successor to the 505 - allegedly) with guitars (electric, of course) only, not bass guitars as I'm told that these pedals work by frequency detection of some sort. You can use this pedal and a guitar without needing an amp though, if you plug your pedal into some speakers or a pair of headphones. Also built in is an auto-chromatic tuner, so you can be computer accurate in how tuned your strings are and save time in needing to work it out manually (though I can do that, and I'm very proud - I have to say!) or shelling out an external tuner. To power the unit you'll need a 9v AC adapter (not supplied) or four AA batteries. Alkaline ba
tteries will give you 28hrs continuous usage. You can also plug in an expression pedal or footswitch into the control socket if you have one, into the control socket at the back. These will unlock additional features of your pedal (controlling volume and pitch etc.) Incorporating the device into your setup is a breeze, although you will need two leads. Simply plug your guitar into the pedal, and plug your pedal either into speakers, an amp, a recording source or just put on headphones. Voila! The unit automatically turns on when a lead is inserted - though a on/off switch I'd say would've been nicer. The 505II has 33 effects, and 9 can be used at the same time. This is more than the AX1G I am told. 36 presets or 'patches' are stored in memory and can be written over with your own creations. Patches are made up of effects modules which you can edit, and these patches are stored in banks. There are six banks that can store 6 patches each (A, B... upto F); equalling memory space for 36 patches. You can also reload these factory presets if you desire, should you for instance have lots of poor patches on your pedal. Some of the presets are amazing; early 80's style metal, robotic, a Chinese/Sitarry like thing etc. All ace! The simple instruction booklet details the preset patches, and many of these are very fine indeed! A few though seem to be completely dud or don't make a sound at all, not matching their description. But this isn't as a problem as you can indeed make your own patches from existing ones and the good presets make you thirsty to use it straight away! A rotary dial on the pedal selects between play and edit modes, clearly labelled on the pedal, and + and - keys let you scroll through the available parameters for each module you want to edit in a patch. And then apart from that there's a store button to store your creations, an LCD display, which is a tad cryptic if you haven't read th
e manual, but not very, and of course two sensibly sensitive foot switches to skip back and forth through patches as you play. Functions such as setting volume, accessing the tuner, sound editing and storing can be looked up in the little manual. They aren't difficult to execute but just require simple procedures to remember (e.g. hold down both foot switches simultaneously for a sec. etc.). You can also change the 'patch call' method, which allows you to organise patches in an order you'd like them to be called up. i.e. you'd want a distorted patch readily accessible on a foot-tap after a clean patch if you're playing a song that starts quiet and goes loud. You get the gist! This makes it suitable for live use as it prevents you from halting your playing before you find your sound! The instruction manual's end pages provide notes on all the effect types and parameters, which makes understanding the 2 digit red display, at this time, easier. I won't go through all the effects but in a whole the things you can edit in a patch on the 505II are: level (volume), compression (keeping the overall signal in a certain range), limiter (reduces peak levels), wah (get funky), distortion (go metal), gain (go metal!), EQ (bass boost/cut), phase (pulsating, man!), contour (EQ 2), ZNR/AMP (noise reduction and popular amp simulation), modulation (you need a good chorus), delay (hello!...hello!), reverb (turn a bedroom into a concert hall), and time (delay/reverb). Overall, the Zoom 505II is easily one of the best compact multi-effects units out there. It has a multitude of effects, extra features, it looks damn cool and it's really easy to master aswell. It's the ideal money saving solution for the smart guitarist in search of an effects pedal, and I have no reservations in recommending at all. It has a few drawbacks, but as most standard pedals cost about £100, you cannot argue with this one! The 4 stars
here actually mean 5! I'm sure you understand my gibbering. Now let me go and bury my riffs in swathes of treatments.
In a compact body, you get a full array of 33 different effects, arranged in seven modules. Up to nine effects can be used at the same time.