BJF Honey Bee vs. Durham Zia Drive

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by spiritofeden, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. spiritofeden

    spiritofeden Member

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    I have a Honey Bee and I'm thinking about the Zia Drive. Is there anyone who can compare the pedals? Is it worth having both?
     
  2. nibus

    nibus Supporting Member

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    I have played both, but not side by side.

    Of all the pedals i have played the Zia comes closest to the Bee IMO. Both pedals are pretty touch sensitive, and the clipping is fairly similar. They both have some fuzz-like characteristics in the clipping, at least to my ears - kind of a tube-like sag if you dig in. Both are very warm, but can have some "bite" if you play hard.

    The honey bee can be tweaked a bit more via the Nature knob, and has a little more bass capability than the Zia. But the Zia has a tad more gain, and is a lot brighter than the Bee.

    Both are great pedals! Get both and decide for yourself. If money is tight, go with the Zia. I don't know if I would get both though, they cover a lot of similar ground.
     
  3. spiritofeden

    spiritofeden Member

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    I had the impression that they coverd the same ground, I think I might stay with my HB, that I had for a reasonable price...More opinions?
     
  4. Ben C.

    Ben C. Member

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    The Honey Bee sounds a bit warmer, and more natural. The Zia sounded notably more artificially 'fizzy' compared to the Bee. On the other hand, the Bee is a bit more compressed and small sounding compared to the Zia, sounding it's best when boosted in the front with another drive or boost. The Bee also has a bit of high end roll-off, so it's not going to sound as bright or clear as the Zia can. I personally don't feel they cover the same ground as the Zia sounded like a TS variant, and the Bee sounded like a small, overdriven amp with fuzz-like (not fizz-like) characteristics.

    Very different IMO. One is a warm, dark, dynamic semi-fuzz that sounds good on its own or being boosted, the other is an EQ neutral TS type pedal that is clear with a fizzy sounding gain that is really well suited toward boosting other drives or a driven amp.

    -Ben
     
  5. nibus

    nibus Supporting Member

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    I agree that the Zia does sound a bit more artificial than the Bee, but I don't think it sounds anywhere near a TS variant. this is partly due to the way the clipping sounds - it has a fuzz-like, gritty breakup that I don't find as much in TS's. If the Zia's tone is too high it can sound fizzy as well.
     
  6. guitarcrazy2004

    guitarcrazy2004 Member

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    honeybee..........sound"s like sweet bee"s swarming....:D
     
  7. nibus

    nibus Supporting Member

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    killer rig you got there guitarcrazy!
     
  8. spiritofeden

    spiritofeden Member

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    So should I pull the trigger on a Zia???
     
  9. Ben C.

    Ben C. Member

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    I've had so many darn TS variants, and they do range all over the spectrum! I heard the Zia as having that same TS clipping... the soft, fizzy, riding over the note style sound. Like seltzer water. Which is excellent for clarity, and it does maintain all your low end which is nice for sure. And when using it to boost other pedals, it keeps 'em tight. Timmy and Cactus Crunch were gritty to me... this seemed a bit smoother. Then again, I played it through a 50w Peters head which is big, fat and clean with tons of headroom... not through an amp breaking up which is where I think the Zia would do really well!

    -Ben
     
  10. groovemeister

    groovemeister Member

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    don't mean to clash man but i have a zia and a tubescreamer and there is nothing similar in the way they sound or behave.
    i have a love hate relationship with the zia - i guess my main problem is that i can't get enough bass out of it - i find it to be natural sounding and great for some stuff but prefer the sft for stones and for general hair.....
     
  11. ES330

    ES330 Supporting Member

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  12. Ben C.

    Ben C. Member

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    Really? 4-year old thread resurrection?
     
  13. Hulakatt

    Hulakatt Supporting Member

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    Just because a 2 pedal share very similar circuits does not, in any way mean that they will sound anything alike. Changing out just a handful of values in a TS can lead to a pedal that sounds worlds apart.
     
  14. AndrewD

    AndrewD Member

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    Hey, spiritofeden,
    Totally ressurrecting an old thread here, but curious where you ended up. I have both pedals here now, and I've been favoring the Zia a bit. It doesn't behave much like a typical TS pedal to me, but I'll agree with others who have said it's bright (I can't run the tone above 10:30). I love the character of the gain on the Honey Bee, but I agree with others who said it has a bit of smallness to it - seemed to make my Princeton shrink down to the size of a Champ.
    The Zia seems to be filling a niche that I've had a tough time filling - it has a pretty flat response that helps it sound very amp like when dialed more or less like a crunch channel on a clean amp, but it doesn't disappear in a band situation. A couple other pedals I tried (Blackstone, Fairfield Barbershop) sounded even flatter when playing at home, but didn't work out so well live.
    Anyway, hope someone interested is still reading this!
     

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