Find a Zoom GFX-707 on Ebay
There was a time when people were regularly sharing custom GFX-707 user patches in forums. They seem to be near impossible to find now ... which is rather sad.
If you have created any interesting patches for the Zoom GFX 707 or GFX-707 II that you'd like to share, send them to
Some background ...
The Zoom Corporation of Japan (founded in 1983) has a long and illustrious history of providing musicians with high-tech guitar/bass multi-effects units (and more recently recording gear). All at very reasonable prices.
Zoom products feature robust construction and a level of electronic sophistication that has seen even their older products retain substantial resale value. In some cases more than a decade after their initial release.
Broadly speaking, Zoom products are up there with the best of them and are often better value for money.
Buying a Used Zoom GFX-707
Aside from some expected cosmetic wear and tear, there is not a lot that will go wrong with this device. For the most part, it is either working or it's not.
One thing I have noticed though, is that the Input and Output jacks do get 'crackly' as these units age. At first I though this was probably just oxidation of the 6mm (1/4") sockets.
However, after purchasing a second GFX-707 online, I noticed it was particularly bad in that department. To the point where the signal would cut in and out with any movement of either the Input or Output lead (Probably why it was so cheap).
Figuring the problem was probably mechanical, I opened the unit up and sure enough, the soldering on both the In and Out socket terminals had failed (this is generally referred to as a 'Dry Joint').
A simple resoldering of all the socket connections to the circuit board and the unit was as good as new.
I subsequently checked both my other GFX-707 and the GFX-707 II to discover that they also had the same issue, just not as bad. All good now.
If you're not paying more than around AUD $80 to $90, then a GFX-707 is good value.
I would consider a 'Grab it!' price to be around AUD $60 to $80 (includes a power supply and shipping), depending on the device's condition of course.
They have sold for well over $120, but I think that's insane, given that you can buy some of the latest Zoom toys new for a similar price.
The GFX series were around AUD $350 to $450 new, back in the early 2000's.
Also worth mentioning is that the GFX-707 II, which has the added ability to save patches to a Smart Media card, can be picked up for around AUD $120 (or less) at times.
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Zoom GFX-707 is a compact, versatile and sturdy guitar multi-effects unit, first released around 2000. Having owned and used this pedal for over a decade, I have decided to post some information in case any one else is interested to learn about this classic hybrid (Analogue/Digital) guitar multi-effects unit.
First-time users of the GFX-707 have occasionally written some unflattering reports about this device. I suspect this is mostly due either to ignorance about how to set up and use the GFX-707 (it seems that few people ever read the manual for anything these days), or it may simply be due to unrealistic expectations.
That's not to say the Zoom GFX-707 is perfect. Rather that you get a whole lot, actually an insane lot, of value for money with this piece of guitar effects kit.
(See also Zoom GFX-707 II and Bass Guitar Zoom BFX-708).
Quick Resources Links (PDFs):
- The Zoom 707 User Manual / Specifications
- The Original Factory Patch List
- Around 130 assorted User Patches to try out
- Zoom GFX-707 Blank User Patch Sheets for recording your custom patches
An Overview of the Zoom GFX-707
Being a Guitar Multi-Effects unit, the GFX-707 is nothing less than an effects rack in a box. There are two main effects sections divided into Analogue and Digital.
The Analogue (and first) section includes your basic Compression, Limiting, Noise Gate, Gain, Distortion, Sustain, Fuzz and EQ functions. The optional Amp (actually Cabinet) Simulation is also analogue.
These allow you to create your basic guitar sound for a patch. The diversity of possible sounds is quite impressive. With a little effort you can copy most popular guitarists' sounds (if that's what you want). Or you can create totally original sounds in minutes. [source http://musicstudio.bigredroo.com.au/Guitar_Effects_Zoom_GFX-707_Pt0.html]
The Digital section features the full range of DSP (Digital Signal Processing) functions including: Chorus, Flange, Phase, Tremolo, Wah, Pitch Shift, Ring Modulation, several Delay / Echo options, various Reverb settings and more. The Pitch Shift option includes a range of steps from -2 to +2 octaves, making for some great harmony effects.
For control over the ambient sound, the Delay / Reverb options include a simple Tone control to increase/reduce the brightness of reflected sounds.
All DSP options can be set up individually and may be used in combination (e.g. Chorus + Delay + Reverb).
The pedal can be assigned to perform various effect parameter control functions (e.g. modulation depth, delay length, pitch frequency, etc.), as well as the expected Volume and Wah. The Volume Pedal function can also be assigned as Pre or Post delay effects.
The GFX-707 also has a built-in Rhythm function (a rather simple drum machine) that provides a selection of useful beats and patterns in various styles for practice or jamming. These are factory presets with only Tempo and Volume controls.
PROS (Listed in order from Best Feature down):
- Extensive collection of Analogue and DSP effects. The GFX-707 can effectively replace an entire Pedal Board. 43 Effects (in 4 modules), 4 Amp (Cabinet) Settings, plus ZNR (Zoom Noise Reduction).
- 30 User Programmable Patches (6 Banks, A through F, by 5 patches per Bank).
Plus 30 (Read Only) Factory Presets for a Total of 60 patches ... (See Patch List PDF and also a collection of around 130 User Patches for some interesting options).
Comes loaded with 60 Factory presets, with documented settings (on an additional sheet, that is, it's not included in the User Manual).
The unit can be Reset to Factory Default if required, restoring all 60 of the original patches. Please remember to document your existing User Patches first, as there is no 'undo' for this action.
- User Patches can be individually named with Alpha-numeric and a wide selection of symbol characters including spaces. Name length up to 6 characters.
- Extremely compact.
- Expression Pedal. A must have item. Can be used to control Patch Parameters as well as the standard Volume Pedal and Wah functions.
- Stereo / Mono Output. The ability to provide an output to two amplifiers for Stereo Chorus and Delay effects should not be underrated.
- Independent Output Level Control. A stupidly simple, but totally essential item, that allows you plug the GFX-707 into an amp, headphones or mixing/recording console with complete ease.
- Comprehensive and importantly, easy to understand User Manual.
Note: The documentation (User Manual / Specifications) were once available from the Zoom web site. Sadly Zoom seem to have gone the way of other manufacturers and decided to discontinue support for their older products. A real shame, given the popularity of some units.
- Sampler Function. Up to 6 seconds recording time.
- Robust Construction. Don't be fooled, this pedal is molded from industrial grade plastic. You might be able to scratch it up some, but you are unlikely to ever actually break it.
- Power Options: Plug-pack (9V) or Battery (6V - 4 x AA) Operation. Good for up to 14 hours with fresh Alkaline batteries.
- Tuner / Bypass / Mute functions. Note that the Bypass is internal to the electronics and is not a complete (physical) bypass.
- Built in Rhythm Machine with some useful beats for rehearsal & jamming.
- Patches can be edited/tweaked live (in 'real time'). However, to be useful, this assumes that the device is not sitting on the floor (not likely when playing live). Also these 'live' tweaks won't be saved/stored.
- The Chorus Effect on the old 707 is (in my opinion) superior to later implementations, including on the 707 II (and even G9.2tt devices). Why that is, I can't really say, it just appears to have more depth and richness to it.
CONS (Listed in order from Worst Feature down):
- Factory Preset patch levels are inconsistent (read as: 'all over the place'). This means that you will almost certainly need to program and save your own User Patches for any serious live playing and/or recording.
- Pedal movement range is too short (about half what it should be).
This is no doubt in part due to the fact that the pedal uses an optical system (LED transmitter/receiver). The result is that using the GFX-707 for a Volume or Wah pedal requires very delicate foot control.
- Poor Amp Sim (actually Cabinet simulation) with only 4 rather bland options is a waste of a knob.
- Switching between patches can be tedious unless you either;
(a) carefully organise your user patches (see below for suggestions) and/or
(b) do a mod to allow Bank Up/Down switching to also be footswitch controlled.
- Patch creation can be very time consuming and unlike the follow-up model (GFX-707 II), patches can't be saved to removable media (and then to PC). This means that you will need to write your patches down (very strongly recommended) or risk losing them should you accidentally store a new patch onto an existing one.
(See Zoom GFX-707 Blank User Patch Sheets)
- The GFX-707 has a substantial learning curve (particularly when it comes to patch editing). In reality, this is to be expected from any pro device with this many features. I mention it here purely to point out that this device won't magically read your mind and set itself up accordingly. It will take some user effort, but it is worth it.
- Most of the pre-programmed patches are really only good for demo purposes, or as a foundation to work from. While there are a number of useful 'ready to use' preset patches, you will almost certainly need to create, configure and store your own patches for playing and/or recording.
Using the Zoom GFX-707
You can edit any existing patch and save it as a new User Patch. The User Manual includes relatively easy to follow instructions for creating and saving patches. As with all things, it gets easier once you have done it a few times.
Once set up, the GFX-707 is relatively simple to use, if you have arranged your patches wisely. The difficulty with almost any multi-effects unit is that you can't apply/remove individual effects 'on the fly' as you can with a Pedal Board that contains discrete effects units. This means that you really need to organise your patches carefully for live performing.
Creating a Start-Up User Patch
When the Zoom GFX-707 first boots up it switches to patch A0 (the first User Patch). From experience, I would strongly recommend that you make this what I call a 'Clean' patch. This means turning off all compression, distortion and DSP effects for patch A0. Essentially this is like creating the GFX-707 equivalent of a 'bypass' (which in truth it doesn't have).
If you don't do this and the GFX-707 boots to a high gain patch, it may lead to an unpleasant reaction, particularly if your amp is also already cranked way up.
Organising Your Zoom GFX-707 User Patches
There are two recommended approaches to organising your User Patches for best results.
- By Type:
This involves arranging your patches by type or style. For example; In Bank A you might have just ambient sounds. This could include Chorus plus delay effects, where the effect depth increases or becomes more dramatic as you move from patch A0 to A5. In Bank B you might have Rock guitar sounds getting louder and/or more distorted as you progress from patch B0 to B5. In Bank C you might have the same (or similar) patches to Bank B but with various levels of added Delay/Echo/Reverb for a thicker sound. Again becoming more pronounced as you progress from Patch C0 to C5.
- By Song:
The main challenge with this approach is that the GFX-707 only has 30 user patches to work with. So unless you are playing a lot of songs that use the same effects settings and sequences, you may simply run out of user patches. For example: If each song required its own set of three patches, you could only set up for 10 songs. This might work in a studio, but probably not for live playing.
The most important aspect of setting up your User Patches is to come up with a system you can firstly work with, and secondly remember. Getting organised and documenting your patches will greatly improve your ability to get the most from the GFX-707.
Of course, if you really need to store more patches, you could just get a second GFX-707. Given the average price, this is a realistic option.
I have made a blank Zoom GFX-707 Blank User Patch Sheets (PDF format) that you can freely download/print and use to document your own GFX-707 User Patches.
Naming Your Zoom GFX-707 User Patches
It is strongly recommended that you take advantage of the extensive User Patch naming capability of the GFX-707. Creating 'User Friendly' patch names can make using the GFX-707 a whole lot easier.
Due to some very fundamental differences between the available analogue effects options on the GFX-707 and the GFX-707 II, it is (very unfortunately) not possible to simply copy settings from the 707 to the 707 II. The DSP sections of the two devices are however very similar, allowing digital effects settings to be more readily (manually) copied from the 707 to the 707 II.
The following assessment of the Zoom GFX-707 takes into account the age of this device and is not an attempt to compare it to Guitar Multi-Effects devices currently on the market.
- Features [9/10]:
For its age, I would rate the feature set of the Zoom GFX-707 as very good, bordering on excellent.
- Ease Of Use [8/10]:
Once your patches are programmed (the time consuming part), the GFX-707 is relatively straight forward to operate. You will however get a lot more value from this device if you take the time to read (and hopefully understand) the manual.
- Analogue Effects [8/10]:
This device can provide an outrageous amount of gain (if required) for Compression, Distortion, Sustain and Fuzz effects. When combined with some fairly simple but useful Equalization options, almost any guitar sound can be emulated. You can readily get a clean Jazz sound or range anywhere from Classic Blues through to Heavy Metal. Also, for what it's worth, the proprietary ZNR (Zoom Noise Reduction) actually works quite well for keeping noise levels down when using high gain settings.
- Amp (Cabinet) Simulation [6/10]:
For me this item is just a waste of time and a knob. With only four (rather unimpressive) options, this could have been left out and not been missed. It does what it claims to do, I have simply never found a use for it. The available options seem to just make the output sound dull.
- Digital Effects (DSP) [10/10]:
In fairness, Digital Signal Processing has improved significantly over the last decade. Keeping that in mind makes the GFX-707's capabilities all the more impressive. There is nothing cheap and nasty about the onboard DSP.
- Noise Levels [9/10]:
The GFX-707 is in itself an inherently quiet device. In fact, you can chain two of these units together and still get excellent noise performance.
The primary noise source will be your guitar and any mains related noise that the guitar picks up. If mains noise is an issue, try using the GFX-707 with batteries instead of a mains powered Plug-Pack. Using high gain settings for some of the Analogue effects or ramping up the Presence and Treble in the EQ department will of course make any input noise more noticeable.
- Construction [9/10]:
A very solidly made and robust device that (for the most part) has withstood the test of time. I would have scored the GFX-707 a 10 for construction except that the phone jacks (In and Out) are supported ONLY by the main circuit board. After a while the soldering to the board WILL fail causing the jacks to become noisy with possible signal breakup or even complete signal failure. This could have been easily avoided if the jacks were mounted or at least properly supported by the chassis. Fortunately the problem is very easy to fix ... under 2 minutes with a soldering iron.
- Value For Money [10/10]:
This unit has always been excellent value for money, even when it was new. However, with the ridiculous prices asked on eBay at present, I'd wait.
Overall Average Score 8.6 rounded up to 9/10.
Your comments and contributions are greatly appreciated!
160604 - (Excellent) - I've only just got my GFX 707, so, I'm still in the 'infant stages' of user-development, however, I'm a little frustrated at this point, not to be able to easily access the delay settings? I of course will re-read the manual, until it's 'finally' second nature ... but, I was rather hoping to enjoy 'playing' tonight! Unlike you, it seems I don't find the manual 'that easy to follow', though I'm not one to give up easily! Thanks for your review, I found it very well written!!
Editor's Note: Firstly, great to hear you are reading the manual and persisting! ;-) Sorry however to hear that you found the manual less than what you expected. In fairness though, I got this beastie back when they were still almost new, and for that time, the manual was excellent. Also, I have to accept an element of possible bias since I now have a collection of Zoom pedals (707, 707II, 708 and G9.2tt). Perhaps I have 'zoomified' my thinking and am now less than completely objective.
Delay Settings: I tend to use the REV (Reverb) Module to create the desired delay effects for a Patch, rather than use the ECHO and DELAY options in the MOD (Modulation) Module. Both can of course be combined, but it can sound somewhat messy.
160702 - (Excellent) - Tremendous amount of information for any user. My goal is to try it out on a host of Indian instruments with a preamp.
160622 - (Excellent) - Great! Thanks for Help me :)
160609 - (Excellent) - Thankyou, really appreciate all the effort and will be sharing any and all patches I create.
160604 - (Excellent) - Excellent review .. I dragged mine out again after about 7 years of non use and was pleasantly surprised with some of the edited patches I had saved. The only problem is the guitar input jack is on the way out and a pain in the butt to fix for a non tekhead. Oh well, I like it that much I think I will buy another.
Editor's Note: The jack probably isn't broken, just loose (it seems they all get that way). 2 minutes with a soldering iron will sort out both input and output jacks. If you can't do it yourself, you must have a friend (or know a roadie) who could resolder those connections. It really is pretty easy to do, and even if you pay a repair shop, surely cheaper than buying another unit. Plus you don't have to copy all your patches ;-))
160416 - (Excellent) - This is a great write up of the pedal I've had since it 1st came on the market and it's still a workhorse, and very grateful for the connectors heads-up, been all good so far. Thanks for the patches pdf. link.
160125 - (Excellent) - Great article! Have just dug my 707 out of a box after many years and it still works perfectly. If anyone has submitted interesting patches please post them up.
Editor's Note: Thanks ;-) I was hoping that readers might send in the occasional 'interesting patch', but so far there has been no response in that area.
151016 - (Excellent) - Straightforward. No nonsense review. Having used one of these for years totally agree with everything stated.
Editor's Note: Thanks ;-)
150930 - (Excellent) - Thanks!
140706 - (Excellent) - Excelente mesmo !!!!!!
140510 - (Excellent) - lo mejor! (the best! - Spanish)
140323 - (Excellent) - I got a deal on one of these and didn't know how to use it that well! THANX!.
Incept Date: Wizard - 131215
Last Update: Wizard - 170325