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Sound Quality

I'm more or less happy with it, but I have to say, NONE of its effects are up to par with the pedal counterparts. Sure, they're nice, but the reverbs aren't quite as nice as the 507's, the overdrives aren't as pleasant as the 510's, etc. Not bad, and there are a few cool (if gimmicky) new ones added, but while it's a jack of all trades, it's really a master of none. On the other hand, as a practice amp that's portable, it delivers some sweet tones for a fairly low price. You're not going to beat its versatility unless you invent a pretty penny, and it's not _bad_ by any means. If you can deal with the somewhat limited range of programmable options and the frustratingly small (24) number of user-definable presets, you can easily hand-tweak values that please your ears. And for its portability and all-in-one package, it's a nice little unit. Serious multi-effects rack it ain't. The ideal portable mini-amp with effects? Definitely. Just like you wouldn't buy a Fender Mini-Twin and expect Marshall quality, don't buy this and expect it to be a top-notch rack unit. But for light gigging/jamming/carrying around, it's one sweet unit. I haven't tried running this one out to an amp, so I can't vouch for its line out quality.

Reliability/Durability

A bit flimsier than a typical Zoom, in my opinion. Speaker is much too flimsy, and scares me -- I think it might break if handled roughly. I wouldn't gig seriously without a backup, but then, I see this unit as really just a practice amp with major perks.

General Comments

I've got to say, I'm a tiny bit disappointed with it, but it wasn't a bad purchase at all. It's a nice practice amp, the effects aren't bad, and for portability, it can't be beat.

Zoom, if you're listening -- please, hear me here. You did a great job with the concept, and targeted a much-needed market niche. But would it have been so hard to give us, say, a hundred presets, ALL user-definable? That, plus a slightly sturdier case and better speaker hinge, and I would be completely satisfied with this unit as a versatile multi-effects processor. As it is, I'm not unhappy, but it's my least favorite Zoom product. Throw in a slightly more versatile processor with a wider range of values, charge $300, and I'd be ever-happier.

Consider it, please. If the Zoom Fire II (or whatever you call it) is all these things, I'll happily praise it to high heavens and back again.




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