ZOOM 505 Multi-Effects Pedal

Multi-Effects Floor Unit

Made by ZOOM

Description Presets combining analog distortion, delays, reverbs, pitch shifting, wah, noise reduction, and other stuff.
Posted By Dagan Harrington (705)
Directory Equipment: Effects
Rate/Review This Resource
Overall Rating: 3.5 (of 5)
Rating Votes %
2 10 ||
9 45 ||
5 25 ||
4 20 ||
0 0 ||
From 20 votes total

Member Reviews


On 5/5/2005, Vanja Zoric (30) posted:
Overall Rating:
The unit could be improved tremendously if a higher quality distortion option was built into it. However, the unit is highly affordable and for its small size, it packs a wide array of different effects.
Price: $30.00
Where Obtained: a friend
Features:
Both AC and battery-powered with two foot switches and an array of side switches
Sound Quality:
Ive used it with Ibanez GRX20, a Tradition, and a Fender strat. The sound quality is good when the cleaner effects are used, but its real problem is a lack of good quality distortion despite its highly modifiable features.
Ease of Use:
The unit is highly programmable but it takes a while to get used to the annoying setup procedures and it takes a great amount of time to reach a desired sound.
Durability:
The pedal is definitly not reliable for live playing since in my personal case, it has been known to choose random effects for itself.
On 8/15/2004, Tom Havok (38) posted:
Overall Rating:
This thing is gettin pretty old so if you're just getting into effects or you just started playing and you want to get a few different distortions without breaking the bank, this is a good way to go. You'll outgrow it in time and don't expect to gig with it. It's also good for practicing since it's got the amp simulation and you can put headphones into it. as a direct box for recording, you can get it to sound semi-decent but don't get this FOR a direct box unless you plan on getting something like amplitube to beefen up the signal.

if you can get it used or cheap (ie $40 or less) I say go for it. If not look elsewhere.. I just baught a used POD for $75 which is around the suggested retail price of this thing.
Price: $20.00
Where Obtained: Given to me by a friend
Features:
This pedal has good digital effects for a beginner or someone on a tight budget that wants some effects for practicing. It accepts AC power if you have the right adaptor (which it doesn't come with). If you don't have a universal AC adaptor like I do, you'll be throwing a new 9V battery in there every few hours. It also is compatable with an expression pedal which I've been told you can make yourself but I've never tried one. It can control volume and wah I believe.
Sound Quality:
The sound quality is average at best. When I first began to play with it I had just started playing guitar and I don't even think I knew what real distortion was supposed to sound like. One thing I've always noticed about the distortion on this unit is that when I jam with friends and I turn up my amp a lot, I can hear a lot of unwanted noise over the top. Also the default presets are nice to introduce you to some of the possibilities of the unit but when it comes right down to it they're complete crap. Go online and look for other peoples configurations, once I did that I was able to get some better sounds out of the thing. Like I said, it's impressive to someone just getting into effects but anyone else is going to want more control over specific parameters.
Ease of Use:
This thing is pretty easy. I had the manual to look at, and programming new patches is pretty much a snap. For home practice this thing is great. If i was ever to gig with this thing I think I'd only use like 2 or 3 patches, and you can set up banks and whatnot. People complain about having to scroll through all the effects to get the one you want but you can just program say 4 things you're gonna use at a gig into the first bank and just have to worry about those. Pressing both pedals at once will get you to the bypass/tuner mode so watch out for that. The tuner is alright but it's kind of finnickey like any cheap tuner and sometimes you hit a note and it shows like 4 different notes quickly on the display. Is it a g? no that can't be.. oh now it says e.. no e sharp. damnit! but overall its pretty good.
Durability:
Well i'm pretty sure i've dropped this thing and thrown it around a bit. it's fine. It was previously owned too. So I give it a 5 because nothing's broken on it.
On 11/11/2003, Rick Fokkinga (258) posted:
Overall Rating:
I find it a poor little thingie
Price: $80.00
Where Obtained: Eindhoven musical instruments
Features:
Two switches AC powered: battery-lot is broke I wish it had been working No tubes, no stereo
Sound Quality:
The music sound fake has a lot of noise (humm) only the chorus really works
Ease of Use:
It's programmable, not very hard to create patches It takes a century to get it exactly the way you want it... The switches are to little... (my foot is 10cm wide, the switches are 5cm or something...)
Durability:
NOt quite reliable, the AC tends to fail sometimes... not really funny when your suddenly playing unplugged in the middle of a song.....
On 5/28/2002, Matt Rowan (16) posted:
Overall Rating:
I tried the digidesign and boss units of the same price,and the reason i liked this one was the sound quality, and i would buy it if it were stolen. Knobs and a expression pedal would vastly improve this items, the external footswitch was a great feature, and the worst aspect was the editing of patches, overall, i would suggest this pedal for anyone looking for an all in one deal or an additional unit for their reprotoir
Model Year: 1999
Price: $89.00 (new)
Where Obtained: borrowed a friends
Features:
I hade the older model, with no knobs, only the footswitches and 2 side buttons, ac and 9v battery powered,wish it had a expression pedal, and easier programming, stereo and tubeless
Sound Quality:
Used it with (surprise) epiphone lp special II and crate gfx 15. played well with everything i played,compares well with procesors of the same price, never had any noise issues in the 5 months i used it, all the effects worked in perfect union
Ease of Use:
While programmable, this specific model (earlier one) was a little tricky to program, with no knobs and only the footswitches and 3 up down and edit buttons. one of the odder ones to use, but still good
Durability:
Very durable plastic and metal housing, zoom is known forr quality effect unit, definately a heavy duty durable item
On 8/31/2001, Justin Watts (169) posted:
Overall Rating:
I looked at the ZOOM II, ZOOM gfx-4 and the Boss ME-33. But they were all to expensive. But I found the Boss later on 249.99 instead of 329.99 and I kicked myself in the ass. But all togerther I happy with it for now, when I get better I'll get a nicer processor. I just wish there was an echo on it. And the delay could be a bit better. But that's about it.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $219.95 Canadian (new)
Where Obtained: Arden's Music: Belleville Ontario
Features:
Comes with a total of 24 effects, it can do 9 at once. 24 programs. Tuner. 8 types of distortion. And an amp sim.
Sound Quality:
I've used it with a Jaguar strat, Fender strat, Gibson Sg and it sounded great on all of them. It can play just about any type of music style as well. From Death metal to Flamenco. I mostly play blues, funk, flamenco and metal. Now I havn't really used all that many processors in my playing experience. But I think it more a practice tool than to be used on stage. There is a bit of a hum and buzz if you use crappy patch cords but other than that it's cool.
Ease of Use:
You can pretty much a beginner processor its really easy to use, you will need some knowledge of distortion gain and all of that, but its all in the manual.
Durability:
You can play live with them, but it's probaly not a good idea if you play Tool style or experimental music which require a lot of effects for one song. But this thing can take beating... It goes everywhere with me when I know I'll be playing the old guitar.
On 8/9/2001, Richard Holding (76) posted:
Overall Rating:
Well looking back now i needed some effects and it seemed reasonable for the price, if it were stolen then, .....well id claim off the insurance and get my damn money back, if you are strapped for cash then this thing could suit you. Saying all this though i am extremely fussy about my sound, cos the golden rule with recording is 'S--- in, S--- out'. All this model has going for it is its compactness for bedroom recording, chao
Model Year: 1998
Where Obtained: A1 music preston
Features:
Youve probable seen this by now, if not it has 2 pedals for shifting up/down a patch with a few small edit buttons. Good battery life, even loger witha plug, haw haw.
Sound Quality:
Sorry to any lovers of this but i think the sound of this thing is crap. The distortion patches are rubbish and so are all the other patches for that matter. The thing is really noisy and ......... well its just not so good. To think i actually had a demo of it first and thought it ok, its when you get it haome and start playing around with it do you see its tackiness
Ease of Use:
For one you cant obtain a good sound on this pedal, all the sounds really do sound simulated, but what really could you expect for something around 100. What i mean by that is is that, getting confused.. I have a boss distortion pedal that produces a sound better than all of the 5 06 6 different overdrives on the thing. Saying all this the thing is extremely easy to program
Durability:
The thing is fragile, i wouldnt recomend taking it to a rowdy bar, but on the other hand if you are setting up a tiny bedroom studio the thing is great. You can literally, (this is what i did) fix it to a wall so its out of the way, its very good in this sense.
On 3/4/2001, Curt Olson (6) posted:
Overall Rating:
Overall this is one of the best pedals for the price that ive seen,it comes highly recommended in my book!!!!
Model Year: 1998
Price: $30.00
Where Obtained: a freind
Features:
This is a good pedal to start off with,it has multipale effects to work with and you can also purshase a wah,pitch,voulume pedal for $60.00 dollars that is well worth the price
Sound Quality:
I play metal and the distortions on this pedal are awesome
Ease of Use:
The patches are kind of hard to figure out at first but once you read the instructions and get the hang of it,its pretty simple
Durability:
This pedal has been through hell and back with me and still works perfect
On 12/6/2000, Inactive Member posted:
Overall Rating:
The effects are great. If you are just getting into effects, or if you want a non-durable, kinda hard to use multi-effect unit that has F---ING KICK A-- sound, buy it now. It rules. I tried to copy the sound in the beginning of Sanitarium off Metallica's Master of Puppets, and it came out EXACTLY the same. When I play the riff it will send a f---ing chill down your spine, I swear to god.
Price: $85.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Offshore Music in Capitola, CA
Features:
It is AC powered with a four AA battery option. It has two pedals on it, for switching between effects, and for bypassing effects altogether. It has a several jacks not all of which I can remember, but I know it has one for linking additional effects units to it. It also has I think four buttons for editing the effects. One problem is that the buttons are small and you have to bend down and hold your guitar all awkward in order to use 'em. It would be better if you could just step on 'em. Also the pedals are smallish.
Sound Quality:
I use this with Marshall amps with Reverb and Distortion off, and it sounds ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS. It fits all styles great. You can assimilate any amp sound, any effect, any guitar sound, it's just f---in' awesome! It is the best sounding pedal I have ever used with two exceptions: Boss Super Chorus and MXR Phasers. It has NO weird noise, except if you layer effects really heavily. For example: with a HEAVY dose of flanging you can hear SLIGHT sound wavering in and out. But you only get noise with a hell of a lot of layering. The best effects are Acoustic Simulator, Metal Distortion, Auto Wah, Delay, and especially FLANGER. The flanger is sweet. I can't remember the combination right now, but there is a way to get a REALLY SWEET leslie effect too.
Ease of Use:
The Zoom is programmable, and it is prett easy to edit patches. It takes quite a bit of fiddling, however, to get a great sound. But that's only because there are so many options. The biggest problem here is that you can't move effects around. Example: You can use the two pedals to switch between effects one at a time. If you want to switch instantly between Acoustic and Metal Distortion like if you're playing One or something, and they are five apart, you can't step on the thing really fast five times, now can you? You have to program the effect directly next to Metal Distortion to be Acoustic, and then it works. It's easy but it takes forever. You can store your configurations and return to defaults any time.
Durability:
It is reliable for live playing if nobody f---s with it. It is not heavy duty though. It is made almost entirely of hard plastic, and you can't step on it really hard or throw it around in your gear bag or whatever.
On 11/27/2000, Rick Saenz (528) posted:
Overall Rating:
Like I wrote before, I returned because I felt the device was completely useless.

Try not to buy it!
Price: $99.95 (new)
Where Obtained: Musicans friend
Features:
I cant remember as I only had it for a week before sendind it back.
Sound Quality:
If you like a sterile over-proccessed unreponsive sound, then this gizmo is for you!
Ease of Use:
Difficult to use, I thought the interface was clumsy and cumbersome.
Durability:
The case is made entirely out of plastic.
On 8/21/2000, Lisa Perusse (425) posted:
Overall Rating:
I don't think i would buy it again if it got stolen, although it does sound AMAZING through my fender 30-watt, i don't use that amp enought to buy it again. it could be better if it didn't hiss as much on certain patches. my favorite effect which i created is one that has distortion, hall reverb and alot of delay. it sounds very satriani.
Model Year: 1997
Price: $125.00 can
Where Obtained: York International
Features:
It's got 2 big buttons on it, and it's pretty easy to control, once you learn how... It's AC powered but can be used with a 9-volt battery for like 10 mins, before the battery dies.
Sound Quality:
This sounds excellent through my 30-watt fender solid state amp, which sounds horrible on it's own, but the zoom sounds bad through my fender princeton chorus, it sounds very tinny and jangly. i also find some of the effects usless like the octave wah one, Honestly, WHEN are you gonna use that?
Ease of Use:
It's pretty easy to use, if you're smart and read the instruction booklet.. it took me a good week before i was fluently using it.
Durability:
I'm not too confident in it's construction and it's hard to switch patches while you're playing. you'd have to step on the thing about 12 or 14 times to get to a different patch, there's no other way.
On 7/29/2000, Kevin Kennedy (133) posted:
Overall Rating:
This is a great unit for beginners and experts alike. But as I said, you'll probably want seperate phase, delay, or flange units.
Model Year: 1997
Price: $180.00 Canadian (new)
Where Obtained: Long and McQuade
Features:
This thing has two large foot pedals, and two buttons for selecting patches. It is powered by a 9V battery or through the 9V (300ma) AC Adaptor jack. It's has a stereo output, and can be used with headphones. I don't think it really has a very wide selection of delays, and there's no way of telling what setting the harmonizer is actually on, but the instructions say it has 2 octaves of range. Everything else about this unit is great. It saves you a lot of money from buying an acoustic simulator, or noise reduction unit, etc. Oh yes, also, the phase, flange, and chorus only have 10 settings, as everything else does, so if you are looking to have a specific taste of speed and range for each, don't look here.
Sound Quality:
I use the 505 with a Strat and a Peavey Special 130 amp. I play mostly metal, so it can make incredibly thick, rich distorted crazyness! The acoustic simulator is good for a relaxed vibe.
Ease of Use:
It's incredibly easy to edit this thing, believe me.
Durability:
It's made of hard plastic, so don't kick it too hard. The foot pedal are good and sturdy, but the two little buttons stick sometimes.
On 7/25/2000, Sangram Rakshit (1274) posted:
Overall Rating:
Great choice for beginners wanting to get a hang of what effects are and how they can use them as a part of their sound. Very reasonable price. Not suited for professional or live use.
Model Year: 1999
Where Obtained: Retail store
Features:
Two footswitches for switching effect patches, four other buttons for editing and some special functions
Sound Quality:
Amp: Marshall G30RCD Guitars: Indian made - Tansen (2 X Kent Armstrong humbuckers, PMG (Korean, 1 X Humbucker) Good delay, reverb, Noise gate Terrible distortion
Ease of Use:
Very easy...
Durability:
Maybe not for live use, OK for home use... Zoom is not known to manufacture durable units, this one should be similar... Cheapo plastic case, light duty aluminium base
On 7/8/2000, Peppe Lahtinen (1754) posted:
Overall Rating:
In my opinion this is for travelling and practising purposes. Nothing more.
Features:
Features are not bad though it has some limitations.
Sound Quality:
This is the worst part: sounds like the guitar played trough old PC. In my opinion this kind of sounds are decent for practising purposes only.
Ease of Use:
I dont have problems when using these but i know some players would like something more simple.
Durability:
This kind of devices are not very suitable for gigs in my opinion.
On 6/19/2000, Jordan Rubaskowski (127) posted:
Overall Rating:
As I said before, it's good for beginners and people just getting into effects. Otherwise, professionally it's not up to par, cause the effects are far from perfect. If you want that real reverb, distortion, flanger or chorus effect, get a peddle that's specifically for it. But it's a good thrill for the buck.
Model Year: 2000
Price: $80.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Manny's Music Shop
Features:
Very simple design, doesn't allow much on-the-spot variation after your settings are created. It's both AC and Battery Powered. It doesn't have any internal output, but you can plug and amp or some headphones into it. It's got distortion, reverb, chorus, flanger, etc. All the usual. Great for beginners to peddles and effects, kind of blan for anyone looking for a serious effects man.
Sound Quality:
Pretty good, I like how it sounds through my headphones. Distortion is great, reverb isn't as noticable as I would like, but all around solid quality.
Ease of Use:
Pretty easy once you read how to program it.
Durability:
Cheap Plastic. It'll last unless you drop it a good distance or step on it full weight.
On 6/17/2000, Juan Alvarado (116) posted:
Overall Rating:
This is a good unit for someone who is just starting to use effects. it is an inexpensive unit that gives u a wide range of effects.
Model Year: 1999
Price: $90.00 (new)
Where Obtained: musicians friend
Features:
Sound Quality:
Ease of Use:
Durability:
On 2/6/2000, Uncle Charlie (83) posted:
Overall Rating:
Ditch the factory presets, setup your own with a basic effect in each preset, group them according to style, and you'll be set!
Model Year: 1999
Price: $50.00
Where Obtained: Used guitar shop
Features:
If you want a good all around effects pedal, this one is hard to beat. Granted, the overdrive/distortions are not the most organic/tubelike, but the other effects are quite decent. The reverb alone is worth getting this pedal.
Sound Quality:
I use the 505 by itself direct into the mixer and it sounds good, but when I use it in conjunction with my SansAmp and amplifier it sounds even better.
Ease of Use:
Though not easy to use when in a hurry, and the side by side switching is touchy, especially when wearing big lugged shoes, this pedal can be mastered after a little fooling around.
Durability:
So far it has survived my feet and being tossed around.
On 11/17/1999, Inactive Member posted:
Overall Rating:
This was obviously made for the starter guitarist, or someone one who like a vast array of effects. If you know your effects, you'l go for one box, but this is great, because it's all there. I have it, and think it's great.
Price: $110.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Marcole Music
Features:
It's got it all, that's the whole reason to buy it. Great for a starter.
Sound Quality:
It does sound pretty digital at times, but only a little. That's it's only flaw in my opinion.
Ease of Use:
No trouble using it, very easy to understand with or without instructions.
Durability:
It's small, but powerful. I think it can stay new for years, but you can't stomp this one, not ment for it.
On 11/16/1999, Anthony Hunt (55) posted:
Overall Rating:
A good deal for beginners, it allows you to get a feel for different effects. Later after you find a type of effect you really like...go with a a more expensive pedal specifically for that effect.
Model Year: 1998
Price: $129.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Danny's Music Box (El Paso, TX)
Features:
With many different effects and a built-in tuner. It's great for a beginner.
Sound Quality:
The sound quality isn't great (you get what you pay for). THis is especially noticable after you're more experienced (if you buy the 505 as a beginner). As a matter of fact I rarely use mine these days because of the sound quality.
Ease of Use:
Really easy to use. Short,easy-to-understand instructions.
Durability:
Metal base, plastic all on top. Also, the "ZOOM 505" logo scratches off really easily.
On 11/12/1999, Jason Reich (1765) posted:
Overall Rating:
Its really cheap, sounds ok, and gives you ALOT of effects. The longer you own it, the less you like it because two things come into play. Sound quality and durability. One other thing, a 9v adapter is a must, because this thing gobbles AA batteries. For a step up to a better pedal, read my review of the GFX707.
Where Obtained: Borrowed from friend
Features:
For the price, this little pedal has a ton of features. It offers more effects than any other pedal in its class (the class is the $99 pedal class). You get basic comp, a few distortions, decent modulations and a few cheesy ones like "step". The reverbs are ok, and the delay is ok.
Sound Quality:
For a digital pedal, it's not that bad. If you have a good ear, you might pick up on the poor sound quality, but I assume this pedal was focused on the less experienced player who cannot really tell.
Ease of Use:
Digital pedals are really hard to use, period. If youve used one before, this pedal is pretty straightforward, but analog stompbox users will definetly need the manual (which is well made).
Durability:
Its made out of plastic, and its no Boss, but looks alright.
On 11/11/1999, Dagan Harrington (705) posted:
Overall Rating:
Not a bad little box. Very cheap...which was what attracted me to it in the first place. I'd recommend it to someone who is new to effects or wants them all jumbled into a box. When you grow up as a guitarist, you'll use less and less and no pedals.
Price: $99.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Hubert & Breese
Features:
Has a good selection. Different flavors of distiortion are a nice touch. Delay doesn't have much too it.
Sound Quality:
This all depends on how long your ear has been listening to it. I think it sounds a little too processed/digital. The preamp boost (volume) really brings the "digitallity" out to the front....Really damages your tone. ESPECIALLY in bypass mode.
Ease of Use:
Can you operate a ham sandwich?
Durability:
Don't hit it with a hammer/drive over it. It has a pretty durable plastic casing.