Has anyone compared the Helix Zendrive model to the real thing?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by runningman, Aug 12, 2019 at 9:00 AM.

  1. runningman

    runningman Member

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    It's been quite a long time since I owned a real Zendrive, so my memory might be failing me, but the new Zendrive model in the Helix doesn't seem to have that 'chirpy' mid thing happening that I remember from the Zen.

    Anyone compare the two?
     
  2. JoeB63

    JoeB63 Supporting Member

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    Funny, I was thinking of posting the exact same question. I also used a real ZD for a few years, but sold it about 4 or 5 years ago. I'm using the ZD on the Helix now for classic rock gigs -- it's usually my base OD (and I stack on top of that) with my Hot Rod Deluxe IV. I really like it with that amp, but, from my memories of the real ZD, I don't think it sounds the same. But it's been so long, so I can't be sure.
     
  3. GravityWell

    GravityWell Member

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    There are several variations of Zen Drive, though they are all somewhat similar. I think it would depend on the model that you owned vs. the specific one that Line 6 modeled.

    Which version do you prefer?
     
  4. MojoRisin

    MojoRisin Member

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    You could make pretty much the same observation about any digital device model. They get damn close, but to the discerning ear there are always slight differences if you compare them directly. It could be one or more of sooo many factors.
     
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  5. Robot B9

    Robot B9 Member

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    I don’t have a Zen Drive, but I prefer the Compulsive Drive over my real OCD.
     
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  6. mousepunk

    mousepunk Member

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    I bet your real one is not a V 1.3? Because it sounds much better than one from Helix.
     
  7. Foxmeister

    Foxmeister Supporting Member

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    If the pedal is analogue, I'd imagine that the same would be true of two different examples of the same pedal! :)
     
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  8. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    I owned the OG version built by Alf and sold it earlier this year. IMO, the Helix gets close on the sound but I don't think it has the nice squish that I recall the pedal having.
     
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  9. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Supporting Member

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    The compulsive drive is almost the greatest digital distortion I have ever heard.
    The way it responds to pick dynamics and the volume knob is as good as my Friedman Runt which is to say, damn good. It doesnt have the punch of a real amp but its still very interactive which I love.

    My biggest issue is dialing the treble response. In general the CD is WAAAAAAY WAAAAAY too bright. You can switch to LP and/or change to V4 but if its not too bright then its too dark. Very Frustrating.

    Also it has way too much gain that comes on too quickly. I usually run mine between 2-3 on the gain and its in modded marshall territory with low gain pickups.

    The Zendrive model sounds OK but I dont think it has the squishy feel of the real pedal. That said I'm going from memory. I havent owned a ZD in years.
     
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  10. dk_ace

    dk_ace Member

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    Everything you said you don’t like about the compulsive drive are the things I don’t like about the real ocd. I guess they got it right lol. I still had one on my board, but with some amps I had the same issue of it being too bright or too dark no matter how I set it up. I found the same thing in the helix and moved on. The Timmy and ZD do more of what I’m looking for without those eq issues.

    D
     
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  11. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Supporting Member

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    Yeah but the dynamic response is amazing and none of the other pedals touch it. Literally clean to scream with your volume knob and when you've got it rolled back to semi clean you can control how much dirt there is with your pick attack. What L6 needs to do is come out with a custom version of this pedal. It would be killer.
     
  12. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    Got a little more time with it and it squishes better than I thought.
     
  13. phil_m

    phil_m Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Dave Merrill

    Dave Merrill Supporting Member

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    This thing has very interesting tone controls. I've made some cool tones with it.

    No idea how similar to the original it is though.
     
  15. smj

    smj Member

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    Upping the sag on the amp when using a dirt pedal brings back some squish.

    Sean Meredith-Jones
    www.seanmeredithjones.com
     
  16. mousepunk

    mousepunk Member

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    I very much agree. That's why I chose the 3rd version of real OCD, which has much more flexible tone knob. I hope they add V1.3 option in later add-ons.
     
  17. scienceguy

    scienceguy Silver Supporting Member

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    Gigged with it last night as my main OD. Felt and sounded real good. I got rid of my Zendrive last year but the Stomp felt like it was real close to what I remember.
     
  18. Robot B9

    Robot B9 Member

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    I have OCD version 1.2 and the newer V2. The 1.2 is amazing and nothing has beat it. The V2 IMO is not very good. It’s way too dark. The Compulsive Drive on the Helix beats V2.
     
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