In the music world, there aren’t too many people who are unfamiliar with the name Shure. Known most notably for some of the best microphones on the planet, they also manufacture other music-related items. The subject of this in-depth Shure GLXD16-Z2 Digital Guitar Pedal review is one of them.
It is typical of Shure that they are at the forefront of what might be called emerging technology. And this digital guitar pedal is an area where there are some serious technical advances.
But before we go too far, there may be some not too familiar with a digital guitar pedal. So what is it?
Wireless guitar systems
In the mid-1900 century, the first cables for carrying electrical current were used. These days cables are becoming obsolete. We live in a wireless age. Cables are fast becoming consigned to history for some electrical products.
Wireless guitar systems arrived in the last decade. Originally, they were not so good. Today there have been vast improvements. They have become very credible and, in some cases, a necessary piece of any guitar kit.
Why do we say necessary?
Playing on a stage using a guitar can be an awkward thing. And the larger the stage, the worse the problem will be. Anyone who has played on a big stage with cables from guitars to amps knows what we mean.
And the bigger the venue, the worse it becomes. You may be aware of the depreciation of the sound quality with long cables. If you go wireless, then some problems are solved. They will not only solve and remove any sound issues, but they also give you freedom of movement.
Wireless may be the way…
For a vocalist, that can be an even greater plus point. We can think of a few who might suffer at a festival if they were stuck close to their PA amp. Mind you, we can think of one or two who we’d prefer to be stuck close to their amp. That’s another discussion.
They were vulnerable at first and unreliable, but technology has moved on. So what lies in store for our review of the Shure GLXD16-Z2 Digital Guitar Pedal? You are about to find out…
Just like many Shure products, they used their technical expertise to position themselves at the front of technical developments. This is a system that will give you clarity, and it is easy to use.
At first sight, you might think it is expensive. But when you consider what it is capable of, the price comes into context. The reality is that its performance level makes the price point very good value.
It has a built-in system that lets the transmitter follow any frequency changes that may be required. This ensures a permanent good level of communication. The package includes the receivers and the transmitter, a special guitar cable, and a Lithium battery pack.
Shure has a reputation for building sturdy road-ready gear. This pedal is no different. You won’t find much in the way of plastic in this all-metal construction. It has been designed for one job. To be on a stage. And it is built to cope with anything that comes its way.
This is an option that allows guitarists and bass guitarists to free themselves up from cabling. But also, in doing so, has no connection or sound problems. This system from Shure will give you excellent clarity with a connection system that is intuitive.
The receiver and bodypack…
It sits comfortably in your existing pedalboard and is, in fact, powered by it. The same size is about the same as the average effects pedal, possibly a little wider.
The bodypack clips on to your belt. It has a metal clip, and so is going to stay where you want it to. It measures 3.56 by 2.54 by 0.9 inches.
There is a decent size LED display and a built-in chromatic tuner. This has the option of either a needle or strobe view for tuning. You can mute the system while tuning.
The GLX-D system is available to be used worldwide in the 2.4GHz frequency band. For those traveling musicians, it will operate exactly the same wherever you are.
We mentioned earlier about the system being intuitive so let’s return to that briefly. To start the system, it is just power on. The transmitter and the receiver will set themselves automatically to the best frequency that is available.
If you happen to get any interference, the transmitter and receiver will go to a different frequency that is clear. This is an intuitive operation that will not cause any audio signal interruption. It even allows you to make adjustments to the transmitter level from the receiver.
This is an important feature and, in the past, has been a major problem at times. Interference is the existence of any signal you don’t want that is being picked up by the receiver. There are a lot of devices using similar systems, so it can happen. The Shure will make any necessary frequency changes for you.
It is not only the intuitive frequency selection that is intelligent in this system; even the Lithium-ion battery wades in. It has a powerful life of about 16 hours on full-charge. But on the LED, it will display the remaining battery life left in hours and minutes.
There is a built-in charging port in the receiver. If you run low on battery life, you will get one and a half hours from a 15-minute charge. There is a USB cable included and a wall charger.
As with everything, there are some limitations, but most will see them as minor. One way some might see it as limiting is that you must stay within 100 feet of the receiver. That could extend to 200 feet if the conditions were perfect.
That is indoors. Outdoors that distance will drop to about 65 feet average distance. Possibly in good conditions up to 150 feet. Still, can you imagine having guitar cables that long?
It has a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz, and you can operate up to eight compatible systems on the 2.4GHz frequency band. You can join up a number of body packs, but you can only use one at a time.
We have already mentioned the intuitive frequency select functions. This is managed by the LINKFREQ system. It is that system that controls your frequencies along with its bidirectional communication features. This ensures the transmitter will follow your receiver with any changes in frequency.
This is why the performance of this system is more advanced than most of its contemporaries. Being able to recognize interference and continually monitoring the frequency status is important. Making any changes seamlessly as it does, is vital.
If there is a concern over its design and therefore performance, it might be this. The sockets are on the top of the unit. Standing behind it, as you do, will cause tension on the socket and the attaching cable.
In the Box
Let’s just clarify what is in the box. This is one of those products that when you open the box, it is packed with stuff. Inside are the bodypack transmitter, GLXD1, the receiver, the wireless pedal, and the GLXD6.
There is a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery and a power supply and instrument cable. And for charging a USB battery charger and USB cable.
Shure GLXD16-Z2 Digital Guitar Pedal Review Pros and Cons
In using these systems, some have previously had concerns. Frequency consistency has always been one, but some also mention the sound.
The Shure GLXD16-Z2 Digital Guitar Pedal does not affect tones and does not compress the signal. Like other systems, it doesn’t take the top end out of your sound. The sound might be a bit sharper and brighter than when using a cable. But then you are losing the cable’s capacitance.
Although, a plus is that you get hardly any treble loss when reducing volume.
- Intuitive frequency selection is a big plus point.
- Typically tough Shure build.
- There are no tonal changes while in use.
- Highly visible LED and great tuner options.
- Operates worldwide.
- There is a little too much tension on the cord when using it.
- Usable distances from the receiver sometimes have to be taken with a pinch of salt. Conditions will have an impact.
- Some may find it expensive.
Looking for Something Else?
With a wide selection of guitar accessories and amplifiers currently on the market. Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Electric Guitar Case, the Best Guitar Cables, the Best Electric Guitar Strings, the Best Guitar Stand, and the Best Portable Guitar Amplifiers currently available.
Shure GLXD16-Z2 Digital Guitar Pedal Review Final Thoughts
We are assuming that everything will work as it should do, and with Shure, that is usually the case. If so, this is a big step forward.
The basics are good. The build is metal and very strong and will take being trodden on. Its pedalboard mounting is a good idea. The LED screen is bright and very visible, and the onboard tuners are excellent.
But it is with frequency management that it really does score some points. Having a system that will maintain your communication and change it whenever necessary is a huge bonus. Being able to identify interference and change your frequency automatically, securely and seamlessly, is worth the price point alone.
Quality comes at a cost…
Yes, it is expensive. And some may balk at the price. But if you are playing large venues, then cables are really not a good option. You will know that. This is the answer.
If you are only playing those places that are a little smaller but are just fed up with cables, it is also a great choice. It is an excellent step forward in terms of wireless operations.
Are you considering going wireless?
Then the Shure GLXD16-Z2 Digital Guitar Pedal should be on your list; you will more than like love it, we do.
Until next time, may your music e cable free and always be merry.