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zoom.gif (8443 bytes) 504  Acoustic

I am a 'bedroom guitarist' , owning an Aria AW75E acoustic guitar, a Strat copy and a Crate G20C XL Amp. Whilst I am very happy with my setup I wanted more variation in the sounds I could produce, so I looked around for the most cost effective way of achieving that aim. I quickly discounted individual pedals for each effect I wanted, mainly due to cost, but also bearing in mind that I only play for my own pleasure.

After searching all the magazines it came down to a choice of two, the Korg Pandora II and the Zoom 504. Once again price came into the equation, so I plumped for the Zoom.

The Zoom 504 is approximately 15cm square, of sturdy construction with a good clear LED display. Mine came with a 300 mA power supply. This is REALLY required as the pedal is a real battery eater (minutes rather than hours).

You get an instruction sheet with the unit rather than a book. I think this is really poor. Whilst the content is complete and clear the thin paper on which it is printed will soon deteriorate and the layout leaves a lot to be desired.

The unit has 24 memories for it's effects. You can either stick with the presets or edit and overwrite them. Editing initially takes a bit of thought but is very soon mastered. Of the 24 pre-defined patches banks A thru D are meant for the acoustic guitar and banks E and F are for electric guitars that want to sound like an acoustic.

The unit has a built in tuner, which is excellent. It is possible to tune up really accurately and fast by following the LEDs. The large display show the note being played.

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Now the bit that counts:- What does the unit sound like?

Well, it isn't what I expected. I expected to be able to produce a lot of weird and wonderful space-age type effects with wild distortions and wicked feedback....not so.   This is not what this pedal is about. What it can do though is make my guitar sound like almost any other type of acoustic guitar I choose.

After initial disappointment I soon warmed to the rich variety of tones it could produce. The other notable thing is that the effects sound a lot better when heard through headphones rather than direct via the amplifier. This unit would be a good unit to use in conjunction with a 4-track.

It enables a really professional sound to be obtained and also using headphones blanks out the natural sound of the guitar which when heard though an amplifier mixes with the effect. Some of the patches are a bit hissy, but this can be managed by turning down some of the parameters.

Overall then, a good pedal if you are using a 4-track (or headphones) and want a 'studio' sound, but no substitute for individual pedals (just a whole lot cheaper). It is also aimed at the slightly more serious player. For general use the Zoom 505 is probably better.

Effects for Acoustic Guitar

BANK A 1 Acoustic Master
2 Spacey 12
3 Gut Style
4 Studio Strum
BANK B 1 J-Folk
2 Hawaiian Steel
3 Street Blues
4 Asian Dream
BANK C 1 Studio Finger
2 Slide (Bottle)
3 Ragtime
4 Resonator
BANK D 1 Green Flavour
2 Arpeggian
3 Virtuoso
4 Avant-Garde

Acoustic Simulation for Electric Guitar

BANK E 1 Standard
2 Elect.-Acoustic
3 Warm Taste
4 12-Plus
BANK F 1 Jumbo Type
2 Stage Strum
3 New-strings
4 Rich Strum

P.S. Since creating this page I have exchanged my 504 for a 505
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