Although I bartered on a POD, and some horid digitech stomps, I was simply blown away by this unit. By the sheer versatility of this stomp rack it wins hands down, its only competitor it's bigger brother the GFX-8 it'll only come down on your budget to decide which one you'll buy.
If this were lost or stolen, I'd ball my eyes out like a girl, whine like a dog to the manufactuers for claims on the factory warrently, fail, then do the man thing and fork out another 160 quid for this pedal as put simply. It should be all you'll ever need.
Overall the pedal is fantastic, but the one thing that will bring you down is when they don't include the power adapter. Batteries have about a 4-5 hour life in this pedal which is very good compared to most, but to save yourself alot of hassle... get an AC adapter lined up when it arrives. Nothing worse then having your cake and not eating it...
Price: $300.00 160 (new)
Where Obtained: www.Gak.co.uk
The GFX-5 is much like any other stomp rack with 3 patch button and 2 bank buttons (all for menu selection etc etc). It has obviously a gain switch, 4 EQ switches (low,mid,high,presence) and a little handy feature of the GFX-5 called the 'energize' switch. This switch boosts high frequencies while slightly compressing your mid to high range as well to lift your sound slightly higher.
There is also a 'level' switch located on the rear of the unit near the output sockets to allow you to adjust the signal level going into your amplifier/PA/headphones.
There are ouput jacks for a stereo image on this pedal, but don't worry it still supports mono output jacks. A headphones port and an aux in port as well, a feature handy for the sampler built on this pedal. Pretty much all you'd need in the studio or stage...
And for those who like to sit at home and practice once in a while(what guitarist doesn't?) it comes in with a built in sampler and drum machine/metronome. Only a 6 second sampler but that's more then enough to put down hard riffs to practice or small loops to improvise over.
The GFX-5 is also able to run on either battery power or an AC adapter... but the one thing that will make your blood boil when you order it is that it doesn't come included in the retail package...
I use an Ibanez JS100 and an old vintage SG copy along side an MG100DFX, first off I found that all the sound that was coming out of the amplifier was a quite boxy (when put through it's effects loop. Even though the EQ could sort most of this out there was always a slight muddiness to it, this was easily solved by simply plugging the effects unit straight into the amplifier. Not terribly advisable but so long as you have the level below 25 it shouldn't damage anything... Since then all I've been having is cool, crisp, clear guitar patches and effects out of the amp.
I play mainly lead and rythm guitar in instrumental rock, rock, progressive metal and metal. Now I do play the occasional rock ballard so I haven't JUST tested the distortion patches on this pedal to the max... I've also aced alot of the clean and acoustic mirror patches as well and let me assure you they all are fantastic. And even if you didn't like some, one or all of them you can tweak them in every way, shape or form till it fits your preference.
Obviously if you beef out the distortion patch you may get a slight gain hiss but that's easily solved by turning down the gain or level switch.
In comparison to the GFX-8, although the GFX-8 has alot more sounds, because the GFX-5 was developed after the GFX-8 it has alot of the bugs that it's bigger brother had, removed.
Now here is where it gets annoying, although you can edit everything on this pedal (literally every aspect of every distortion patch) because it hasn't got software for a computer like the GFX-8 has. You have to programme it via the pedal and this can be a time consuming and frustrating art to master. True enough the GFX-8 via the pedal has the same problem, it has an outlet via the VAMMS computer editing program.
Depending on if you're familiar with pedal settings especially zooms it can make alot of difference between getting your life long sound in 5 minutes to 2 and a half hours. I've never used anything other than zoom pedals so I found it a piece of cake, if you're a beginner or this is you're first zoom pedal you may have to consult the manual after trying to 'do the manly thing' like we all do and discard it the second we open the box. :)
Built as steady as a rock, I've stomped on these stomp buttons with chunky boots at high speeds and nothing. It just keeps working, everything seems very durable on this pedal I've never had anything break..
Made of metal,hard duty plastic and rubber grip for the pedal this thing with basic care and handling could last you a lifetime.