Zoom Corporation

Zoom Corporation

company_name = Zoom Corporation
company_type = Private
company_slogan = Catch Us If You Can.
foundation = Tokyo, Japan (1983)
key_people = Michihito Nozokido, president
industry = Audio Equipment
products = Multi-effects, Amps, etc
homepage = [http://www.zoom.co.jp/ www.zoom.co.jp]

Zoom is a Japanese audio company that is distributed in the U.S. under the Samson family of companies. Zoom produce effects pedals for guitars and basses, recording equipment, drum machines, among other products. Most of their products are aimed at the amateur market although they also produce some high quality rack effects units used by professionals.

Zoom first gained worldwide attention with the release of the 9002 guitar belt processor. Roughly 1.5 times the size of a cigarette pack, the 9002 was one of the smallest multi-effect devices at the time. The unit combined analog compression and pre-amp circuitry with digital effects in an attempt to substitute for the traditional effects/amplifier chain. They would later put these effects into an amp-top-box called the 9000. It came with a 5 button floor pedal, one to change the bank and then 4 preset selections within that bank. Four effects on 4 banks resulted in 16 presets that the user can edit.

Over the years, Zoom has become widely known for producing budget-friendly multi-effects. For many guitar and bass players, a Zoom unit was the first multi-effect they could afford, before they moved on to bigger and better, or discarded multi-fx altogether in favor of standalone effects pedals that are typically designed to provide just one type of sound effect. Consequently, Zoom's reputation as a company that builds high quality multi-fx has been tarnished somewhat.

Zoom has always built their products around their own microchip designs. Their ZFX-3, is a 32-bit processor that is capable of processing digital audio at 96 kHz with 24-bit A/D/A conversion. As of 2006, this chip is one generation more powerful than that of direct competitors such as [http://www.bossus.com Boss] , [http://www.line6.com Line6] , [http://www.yamaha.com Yamaha] and [http://www.rocktron.com Rocktron] . The current Zoom flagship model is the G9.2tt multi-fx and amp modeler.

= Products =

Effect processors

Guitar effect processors

* G1
* G1X
* G2
* G2.1u
* G7.1utSimilar to the Zoom G9.2tt with omission of the "3d" pedal, second tube (valve) and effects loop. The unit also has a reduced number of foot switches and effects models.

* Zoom G9.2ttEffects processor and amplifier modelling unit. Solid steel body with switches. 120 different effects, controllable in real time via 2 sweller pedals (one of them is a "3D pedal", which can be moved vertically and horizontically in order to control two parameters with one pedal). A maximum of 10 simultaneous effects may be used. The unit has two 12AX7A preamp tubes that can amplify the signal in a tube or a solid-state based circuit. These functions are referred to as "tube energizer" and "tube accelerator", each of them utilizing one of the two tubes.The unit can simulate 28 different amp models, and altogether 43 amps and cabinets. User presets can be saved in 100 editable user patches, which exist in addition to and separately from 100 non-editable factory presets. Further features include an USB interface, MIDI In / Out, a statically-placed effects loop, 24-bit A/D/A conversion, and an auxiliary input, among others.The 9.2tt is the flagship of the G-series by Zoom.

* GFX-1
* GFX-3

* Zoom GFX-5Solid steel body, easy-to-tag pedals, hundreds of possible effect combinations, drum machine, sampling.

The GFX-5 has 75 different guitar effects. You can use up to 10 effects simultaneously.

The GFX-5 also includes an "Energize" feature, which is intended to emphasize upper harmonics and higher frequencies in such a way as to allow the guitarist to cut through the mix.

* GFX-8This is the flagship of the GFX series. It has solid steel dark green body with opto based pedal on the right and red LED display on the top left. It uses the Variable Architecture Modeling System (V.A.M.S ) technology. In general, there are three main internal modules: for drive, for modulation and for delay. The unit allows high level of distortion customization by using specialized software. It also allows using external distortion. The technology used in the unit does not allow full reordering of the effects but allows some of modulation effects like wah and phaser to be connected before or after the drive module. The drive module implements dynamic related effects like compressor, overdrive, distortion and fuzz. After the drive module, the noise gate module called ZNR (ZOOM Nose Reduction) is connected, followed by a parametric equalizer (presence, treble, middle, bass). The amp simulation module is connected next and allows various types of guitar amplifier simulations. The modulation module implements effects like wah, phaser, chorus, ring modulator, tremolo, vibrato, flanger and pitch shifter. The delay module is used to implement delay and reverb effects. Effects that require high processing power use modulation and delay module togheter. One of such effects is the jam play effect allowing, for example, guitar player to play rhythm guitar part and then play solo part over it. The unit design is oriented toward ease of use by providing more knobs than usually found on such units, thus making the unit look more like chain of effect boxes rather than typical effect processor with "few knobs many functions" design. Unit has mature MIDI capabilities, allowing both control from external sequencer or using the unit as MIDI controller. The MIDI OUT can be configured to act as MIDI THRU.

* PFX-9003
* StompBox

* 505

The 505 model was the first in a progressive series of guitar effects processors of similar design, which ended with the 707II. It is paralleled with the Zoom bass effects model 506 (following models incorporated a similar differentiation in the final number of the design title). The unit provides the user with a possible twenty-four effects; with up to nine simultaneously. From an above view, the unit has two identical pedals at the bottom left and right hand corners of the unit, four switches at either side around the centre (+ and - buttons for changing effect settings/bank on the left and Store and Edit buttons to affect patches) and a two-digit LED display, with standard LEDs next to each effect written on the unit around the centre to indicate their usage. At the back of the unit are three 1/4" jack inserts for input, output and external control (to use effects such as the Pedal Wah via. a pedal which was sold separately). The power input is 9v DC at 300mA, and can be powered either by a separately-sold mains transformer or a 9-volt battery. The former is recommended, as the Zoom 505 virtually eats batteries.

Each effect in the signal flow is categorised by, in order from input to output; Compressor (inc. Compressor, Limiter and Auto/Pedal Wah), Distortion (eight types of artificial distortion; from the likes of an acoustic sound to a metal sound), ZNR (Zoom Noise Reduction-conceptually a noise gate), Amp. simulation (the latter two in one "unit"), EQ (includes 4 band equalizer and phaser effect), Modulation (naturally; pitch and tempo shift effects such as Flange, Chorus and Pitch Shift) and finally Delay/Reverb (comprising of one hall and one room reverb simulations and a simple delay). All effects are adjustable, and each configuration can be saved in one of 24 user-assigned patches. Patches are separated into six banks (assigned to letters from A to F), each containing four patches available for use. By default, the patches are set to factory-assigned presets, which simulate various sounds-mostly with the design intent of providing insight to the unit's capability. Each patch can either be selected by the left and right pedals on the 505 to move in the corresponding direction by one patch, or the + and - buttons on the right hand side of the unit to shift to the same patch number in the next bank; again in the respective directions.

The Zoom 505 is generally a budget model, and it shows with overall weak tonality. The wah, distortion and reverb effects were amongst the most sour of the sounds, and the compressor can be problematically noisy at times. The 505 is best suited to beginner guitarists with low financing and identically lesser-range guitars and amplifiers. It also allows one to develop experimentation with different settings and, for all-provides portability. This unit is dated nowadays, and even subsequent models in the same range had more advanced circuitry and slightly improved tone. The processor also doubles as digital tuner, with a simultaneous bypass option accessible by pressing both pedals simultaneously.

* 505II

The Zoom 505II is simply a re-release of the 505 with a curvy, redesigned exterior and all controls spare the pedals assigned to two knobs (one for patches and effect type and the other for levels) and a single Store button. Digitally, the unit can now provide up to 33 different effects (including added distortion and modulation settings). This updated version is powered by four AA batteries and uses considerably less battery life than its predecessor. Regardless, the unit more or less operates in the same manner as the original 505 and only offers slight improvement in sound quality if at all.

* 606
* 606II
* 707
* 707II

Bass guitar effect processors

* 708II
* 607
* 506II
* B1
* B1x
* B2
* B2.1u

Both the B2 and B2.1u have 13 different amp/Stompbox models and 47 different effects divided into 7 modules. Features include a chromatic tuner and a simple drum machine. Zoom also state its fast patch changes (8ms), which are a common problem of multi effects units.

The b2.1u is a variation on the B2.1, adding an expression pedal (assignable to various effects, such as volume, effect mix, wah, intensity of tremolo, pitch shifting and many others depending on the effects used) and USB recording capabilities. It can also be used as a DI box, with the inclusion of an XLR output (with ground lift and pre/post switch), which also allows both a relatively dry and a wet signal to be sent to different amplifiers. Most retail B2.1u units come bundled with Steinbergs Cubase LE software.

Acoustic guitar effect processors

* 504II
* A2
* A2.1u

Studio rack mountable effect processors

* RFX-2200
* RFX-1100

Digital recorders

* MRS-1608
* MRS-802
* MRS-8
* MRS-4
* PS-04
* H4 Handy Recorder
* H2 Handy Recorder

Rhythm machines

* RT-223
* MRT-3
* SB-246

Guitar amplifiers

* FIRE-36M
* FIRE-18M
* FIRE-36
* FIRE-18

= External links =
* [http://www.zoom.co.jp Company official site]
* [http://www.samsontech.com/products/brandpage.cfm?brandID=4 Samson official website]

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