Hotcake vs. Zendrive

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by khudson, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. khudson

    khudson Member

    Messages:
    306
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Are these two pedals comparable OD's? What are the pros & cons of each? Any help is appreciated. Anyone have some good clips of either?

    Thanks....
     
  2. guitarman_1

    guitarman_1 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,626
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    Location:
    Central, Fl
    Hi I have both, and they are not comparable at all. The Zendrive is a lot clearer and not as gainy, and true bypass. I love the Hotcake, but I wouldnt consider it an OD pedal. Its more of a Distortion/Fuzz sounding, and its buffered not true bypass. It gets very muddy as you turn the gain up, and its not that variable tone wise, although voiced very well . On the other hand, the Zendrive is an OD pedal and just sounds great no matter were you set it, and is more amp friendly. I do push the Zendrive with the Hotcake for my heavier gain sounds, and it is a killer combo. I do think the Hotcake with El84 amps is a must have pedal. Im not sure about using it with other type amps though. I run a 69 marshall 20 watt halfstack.
    Hope this helps.
    O
     
  3. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,859
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Trenton, NJ
    +1. I also have them both, and this is a pretty accurate reading of them, IMO...
     
  4. Calloway

    Calloway Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,670
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Location:
    Austin,TX
    I own a Hotcake Bluesberry version and have played a Zendrive, at the time I was shopping for new dirt pedal, and ended up buying the Hotcake. The Zendrive was cool, I had heard tons of raves for it here on the forum, but something about it never really stood out to me, it seemed to maybe compress more to me. I don't know something just didn't jump out and grab me. The Hotcake however did, I will agree that if you turn the gain up on the pedal it certainly does get fuzzy, but that isn't how I run it. I generally push my amp first till it is clipping (it is a master volume) and then add the hotcake (drive at about 10 o clock or so) to just go over top for solo's or rhythm parts that need more drive. I find this pedal to be a great alternative to the everyday TS-9 vibe that doesn't work so much for me anymore with my Les Pauls.
     
  5. Cary Chilton

    Cary Chilton Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,475
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    I disagree with some of the comments. The hot cake as I understand drives an op amp ( like any TS variant) to the point of distortion if dialed all the way up. It is buffered, not TBS. Due the voicing of the pedal and it's great tone control, it has less mids than a typical TS circuit, and sounds great with single coils or humbuckers. Due to less mids it can sound much more open than the Zendrive and it cleans very well. The hot cake is a funny animal, I found that at various settings AS per my prior thread, the cake can sound very different through a a clean channel or the dirty channel ( EVEN running almost totally clean). CRANKING the drive through the clean channel, with a G&L strat almost sounded like I was playing bridge humbuckers with a great rock sound, same setting through the dirt channel (very low drive set) the drive only got mushy and muddy- no good. THe Zendrive has a pronounced (NOSE) mid-coloration, but it is smooth and thick.
     
  6. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Guys,

    I also disagree with Guitarman_1. I mainly used the Hotcake as an OD. I think it sounded absolutely fantastic in that mode with my el84 amp. I wouldn't use it with the gain past 1 o'clock. It does get fizzy. It clearly stood out as an OD for me. On the other hand, it is just about the best stacker I have ever heard. I had it before my Menatone TBIAC6. Great, clear distortion tones. My mate stacks a COT50 into the Hotcake with superb results. The woodiest distortion I've heard to date.

    Why not get a Zendrive and beef it up with a Hotcake on need? Or the otherway round...

    B.T.W. I've sort of lost interest in the True Bypass-business... If it sounds good it sounds good. The end!
     
  7. khudson

    khudson Member

    Messages:
    306
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Thanks for the inputs so far. I noticed that so far everyone mentioned the Hotcake with EL84 amps. I have a Carr Rambler (6l6) and Germino Masonette (6v6). Any experience with the Hotcake & Zendrive with these amps?

    I heard the clips on MusicToyz for the Hotcake - IMO absolutely terrible! Total mud. But I don't think it is a fair shake for the pedal. After all Mark Knopfler uses a Hotcake and his tone is sweet! I heard some clips on the Hermidia Zendrive site and it sounds pretty decent - a little trebely, but perhaps it can be adjusted more with the Treble knob. Overall, I am looking for lower gain settings to enhance tone, not distort it to oblivion!

    One more thing about the Hotcake - Original or Bluesberry? How different?

    Thanks again guys...
     
  8. dosmun

    dosmun Member

    Messages:
    1,765
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    Midland, MI
    I am a Hotcake devotee:D The Hotcakes strong suit IMO is as a Booster or for low gain tones. I use mine basically as a dirty boost to push my already driven amp to tighten up the sound a bit and add a little more balls to my sound. I don't use it at the higher gain settings. It is cool for some nasty slide sounds with the Gain higher though.
     
  9. erksin

    erksin Member

    Messages:
    21,527
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I've owned the Hot Cake and a 3-knob Mosferatu and I'd agree with Guitarman's read on the Hot Cake and Zen. The Mos was more amp-like and is more of an OD than a distortion box - the Zendrive even moreso by all reports. The Cake didn't sound that great to me thru my 6V6 amps - definitely liked the Mos better - too fizzy at higher gain settings, the chording definition was pretty weak, and too much low-end flab. Sounded very much like a pedal to me - almost like an MXR Distortion + with a greater frequency spread. I bought the Cake because I wanted a more Knopfler-y tone and for the life of me couldn't even get in the neighborhood.
     
  10. jayn

    jayn Member

    Messages:
    979
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    I like the Hotcake with EL84 and 6V6 amps...not so much with 6L6 amps (VR).

    It doesn't really sound like those clips when I use it. I don't think they are representative, IMO.

    The circuits aren't that different to my ears...barely distinguishable (but, what do I know, most tweaks seem to make small differences to me...tubes, pickups etc.). I'd take and Bluesberry with 6V6, original with EL84, and Zendrive with 6L6
     
  11. guitarman_1

    guitarman_1 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,626
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    Location:
    Central, Fl
    As stated above I own and love both pedals, but to say the Zendrive is compressed next to the Hotacake is not correct. The Zendrive is probably the least compressed OD made, and that is its strongest suite. It is also a lot more dynamic and open sounding than the Hotcake. That the Hotcake cleans up better from the volume knob, or that it sounds better with an el 84 amp.There I agree 100%. The Zendrive favors 6l6 and el34 amps. I run my Hotcake as a light gain with a marshall lead 20 thats wide open to take it over the top. In this form its a winner for sure, and a killer. But thats just my take on the pedals.
     

Share This Page