Zoom A3 Multieffects Review

A3

It's not a simulator

It isn't, in itself, a simulator, according to Zoom, but a device to remodel the sound of an acoustic guitar that an internal pickup cannot capture with all the nuances. Anyhow, it remodels the sound with two controls that work in conjunction: Body Types and Models. Another precise statement of Zoom is that the A3 must be used according to the real model of your acoustic guitar.

Body Types

Like the name suggests, this knob let's you choose between 16 possible bodies of the instrument.

Body Types Control

Models

28 among the most famous acoustic guitars in the world. Let's see the list.

  • Martin
  • D-28, D-18,D-45, 000-28, 000-18, OM-28, OM-18, OM-42, 00-21, 00-18.

  • Gibson
  • J-45, J-45 Advanced Jumbo, J-160E, Hummingbird, Dove, SJ-200, LG-2, LG-0.

  • Guild
  • F-55.

  • Taylor
  • 314ce.

  • Yamaha
  • LL36, LL66.

  • Ovation
  • Adamas, Legend.

  • Other
  • Nylon strings, 12-string guitar, Dobro resonator, UprightBass.

The preamp

An excellent characteristic is the preamp section. It features a 3-band EQ (bass, middle and treble), a knob, Balance, for the mix between the original and the processed sound, a master volume, and two controls for the input signal, Mic and Pickup.

Preamp section

Effects

40, that can be ordered as you want. Unfortunately, the A3 can handle only 2 simultaneous effects. This is a limit.

Two interesting features

Two interesting features are the anti-feedback footswitch, that can detect the frequency that is causing the problem, and the Boost switch, that can increase the signal power up to 12db.

Anti-feedback and boost signal

Patches

Up to 20 that can be programmed in any order (up to 10).

Patches order

Connections

Rear

The Mic In features the Phantom Power. The XLR output avoid the use of a DI box to connect the A3 to a mixer.

Connections - Rear

Dedicated pickup input

An interesting feature to optimize the signal according to the pickup type of your guitare. The switch provides three choices: Magnetic, Piezo and bypass.

Dedicated pickup input

Stereo outputs and phones

Stereo outputs and phones

Batteries, AC adaptor or USB

It can be powered with 4 AA alkaline batteries, up to 8 hours (5 when phantom power is on), with the AC adapter, not included in the box, or via the USB, which is used also to update the firmware.

How does it work?

Well, the A3 works very well. This Zoom product delivers an excellent sound and is very flexible. The problem is that it can use only two effects at a time. This is really a great limit.

Other reviews

Effects (Pedals and Floorboards)

    Multi Chorus
  • Chorus | Digitech
    Multi Chorus

    With the built-in speaker emulator the Multi Chorus can be connected directly to a mixer or a recorder. The AudioDNA processor produces up to 16 voices. The Voice knob is useful and efficient, and gives a good versatility.

  • DS-2
  • Distortion | Boss
    DS-2

    An excellent solution for Hard Rock leads, or also Blues, but, anyhow, it is rather flexible, thanks to 4 controls and 2 distortion types. Two modes: Turbo I and Turbo II. The DS-2 is slightly noisy, but it's not a great problem.

  • Turbo Flange
  • Flanger | Digitech
    Turbo Flange

    The mix between Regen and Type can generate an infinite number of combinations. 7 possible selections: Voice 1, Voice 2, Voice 3, Rise/Fall, Trig Up, Trig Down, Step. 2 Inputs and 2 Outputs, even with a speaker emulator.

Guitar Amps

Multitrack Digital Recorders

Handheld Recorders