I'm wondering if I'm risking some kind of electrical damage while plugging a regular disto pedal (or other kinds of gain pedals) on the guitar input of a multi effect expecting a passive/active guitar.

Thanks in advance

  • 1
    What happened to the sense of adventure? I'm picturing Jimi Hendrix wondering whether putting a fuzz box in front of his Marshall might hurt it… deciding not to & depriving the world...
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 10, 2021 at 18:49
  • @tetsujin Any interesting anecdotes on that :P?
    – Tom
    Mar 10, 2021 at 18:58
  • 3
    And failing the sense of adventure, what happened to reading the manual: zoomcorp.com/media/documents/G5_operationManual_english.pdf? (P5 might give you a clue...)
    – DavidW
    Mar 10, 2021 at 18:59
  • 1
    @Tom - 'fraid not ;) Closest I ever got to a Hendrix story is I once drove past the pub in Clonakilty that Noel Redding was playing at… not really one to write home about, in the overall scheme of things ;) thejournal.ie/de-barras-clonakilty-3915699-Mar2018
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 10, 2021 at 19:07
  • 3
    I thought "this is the switch to use if you want to use a pedal on the input" was pretty clear
    – DavidW
    Mar 10, 2021 at 19:15

2 Answers 2


Page 5 of the manual says that about the "active/passive" switch:

set this to “ACTIVE” (pushed in) if you have an effect pedal connected between your instrument and the G5 or you are directly connecting a guitar with active pickups

Therefore I think it's fine to have an effects pedal in front of it.

In the troubleshooting section it mentions using this switch if "the sound distorts strangely" suggesting that the likely consequence for having it set wrong is a bit of unwanted distortion (i.e. it probably won't break the G5, but may sound a bit bad)


There is no issue with plugging in an effect pedal in front of such multi-effect pedal.

Note however that a digital effect might have a limited input range, so you may end up clipping the multi-effect input if you try to use overdrive pedal to boost the input signal, similarly to how people do in front of real amps. But again, it's unlikely to damage anything.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.