|Zoom Player 2100 - Review by Lee Fletcher (15/08/99)
This tasty box-of-tricks hides a multitude of extremely usable features under its plastic bonnet. Although essentially a Multi-FX unit, the 2100's features are clearly geared towards players of the Looping variety judging by the number of sample & delay options present.
Although not my default Looper, after four months of use the 2100 has become an integral part of the Fletchertronic sound!
[Note:- Although the various RTM (Real Time Modulation) parameters can be controlled via the onboard Function switch, I would recommend that users purchase the optional (FP01, or FP02) Foot Pedal for greater flexibility.]
Real-time Loop / Delay Features:-
1. Sound-On-Sound (max. 6 Seconds)
This feature allows the user to either overdub parts or simply play along with the main loop. Looping time must be set beforehand, and there is no way of undoing your overdubs without starting over.
On the other hand Loops are infinite, the (stereo) sound is extremely clean and does not drift, (I ran mine alongside a DR-660 Drum Machine for over 30 minutes in perfect sync.)
2. Ping-Pong Delay (max. 10 Seconds)
Up to 10 Seconds of Stereo Ping-Pong which can also incorporate other onboard effects / RTM features.
For a straight ahead 10 Sec. (mono) delay I simply mute the left or right signal from the 2100 on my desk. With Feedback set to max. repeat times are massive - certainly long enough to use this feature for building dense Loops.
3. Jam Play (max. 3 x 5 Seconds)
Up to three 5 Second Samples can be recorded on the fly, and re- triggered via the 2100's three main foot switches.
This can be rather tricky to incorporate into a performance as there is no Hold or Decay control, and therefore the phrases cut out rather abruptly when a foot trigger is released.
The internal Sampler can record a phrase of up to 32 Seconds, (although a maximum 16 seconds will give higher quality.) A basic Timestretch feature is also included for slowing down playback speed if the phrase was recorded via the Aux In. If you use the Guitar Input signal you will be unable to change the playback speed.
A useful LED grid helps you to keep track of elapsed record time, while the main footpedals double as Rewind, Play/Stop, and Record keys for easy control.
The quality is good, and despite it's limitations the Timestretch feature is welcome on a unit of this size.
[Note:- Sadly you cannot use the Sampler / Jam Play functions, and MOD / REV / DLY modules simultaneously.]
The 2100 goes far beyond the Loop & Sample features described above...
Up to 7 effect types can be combined and stored as one of 30 x User Patches. The available choices include Compressor, Wah, Tremolo, Distortion, Equalizer, Modulation (Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Pitch Shifter), Reverb, and Delay.
There are 13 Distortion modes which range from Warm Overdrive to 'Wallpaper Shredding' Metal (a la Fripp.)
Patches can be tweaked in real-time, although this isn't altogether practical as it usually involves kneeling on the floor to do so!
Other useful features include ZNR (Zoom Noise Reduction), Amp Simulator, and a nifty built-in Tuner.
Although not the most versatile Looper available, the wealth of 'usable' features on offer for the relatively low price (I purchased mine in the UK for £129 inc. Expression Pedal) make the 2100 a veritable bargain!
Despite its 'plastic' looks the Zoom 2100 is a professional sounding processor which would be a worthy addition to most Loop-based set-ups.
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Effect programs: 33 (31 Effect Types + Amp Sim' + ZNR)
Effect modules: 5 modules + Amp Simulator + ZNR
32 or 16 Sec. recording time selectable
Variable playback speed
Variable playback pitch
Sampler input source selectable
AUX IN: (1) Mixed / (2) L ch / (3) R ch
(Guitar In: (4) PLAY NOTE)
Patch memory capacity:
Sampling frequency: 31.25kHz
A/D converter: 20-bit, 64-times oversampling
D/A converter: 20-bit, 128-times oversampling
DSP: ZOOM original ZFx-2
Guitar input (standard monaural phone jack)
(Input level: -20dBm, Input impedance: 470kohm)
Combined line/headphone (stereo phone jack)
(Max. output level: +6dBm)
(Output load impedance: 10kohm or more)
Control connector: For optional FP01 or FP02
Display: 2-digit, 7-segment LED
Power requirements: 9VDC, center minus 300mA (from supplied AC adapter)
Dimensions: 276(W) x 145(D) x 40(H) mm