I think I like my amp better than my ZD or TS...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by GAD, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,326
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    I now have a TS808 reissue and a Zen Drive.


    Here's some eye candy just because. :)

    [​IMG]

    I spent about an hour playing with them both side by side today, and I think I like the amp crunch better than both of them..

    I do get a nice extra level between crunch and ultra-distortion using one of them, but since I retubed my JSX and put a lower-gain tube in V2, I'm really digging the amp straight.

    Are there any things I should try that I might have missed? Some key setting or combination I should try that will blow me away?

    I like them both, but I like the amp on crunch better. Honestly I like the amp on clean the best, and I can't seem to get that sound with crunch just the way I want. The crunch channel doesn't sound as good (though it's a lot better with the retube), and each pedal seems to color the sound a bit, even though I tried to flatten them both as much as possible.

    Any tips?

    GAD
     
  2. hurleysurf

    hurleysurf Member

    Messages:
    453
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Based on your gear, I'm not so surprised you don't like the Zen. Doesn't seem like a tone someone with that setup would really enjoy. I used to have the same TS reissue and I ALWAYS used it with the drive all the way down, volume all the way up, and the tone at around 11 o'clock. Try that. Maybe you'll like it pushing your amp as opposed to fighting with it.
     
  3. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,326
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    Can you elaborate a bit more? Why do you think my gear would preclude me from enjoying the Zen?

    GAD
     
  4. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,326
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    Just for the record, I'm not looking to sell the Zen. If and when I do, there will be a proper ad in the FS forum.

    Thanks,

    GAD
     
  5. wc8485

    wc8485 Member

    Messages:
    228
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Midwest
    Develop your core tone with your basics... Guitar to cable to amp. Spend some time with it, a few minutes is not enough. Get that setup dialed in to where you are happy, if that is possible... if not, you may need to look at those components before moving on to pedals. You've got a decent channel switcher amp, why the hell not use its drive...? Use an OD pedal or EQ to tighten it up and bingo. The gear you have should be the determining factor, not a bunch of what if questions.
     
  6. hurleysurf

    hurleysurf Member

    Messages:
    453
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    I hope that didn't come across condescending or something. I apologize if it did. The Zen is just voiced for that smooth Dumble style OD that I think someone who plays a Jackson through a JSX wouldn't enjoy. Its just not for the style of music that I associate that gear to be good for (but what do I know? I'm just some kid on an internet forum. You might play the blues better than Buddy Guy with that rig!). Did you give the TS a try with the setting I mentioned?
     
  7. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,326
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    I bought the jsx for its flexability, and I really like it. About the only thing I really want from it is good crunch with the beautiful tone I get from the clean channel. The crunch channel is good with the new tubes, but the clean is still better.

    I'm trying to get the bluesy crunch from the clean channel - hence the pedals. They both seem to kill the "sparkle" from the amp though.

    GAD
     
  8. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,326
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    BTW I play a strat, an es335 and an acoustic too.

    GAD
     
  9. hurleysurf

    hurleysurf Member

    Messages:
    453
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    Well... I don't think of either of those pedals as sparkle-y. The Zen is a little darker flavor and the TS can be described as a bit muddy. Maybe a clean boost is for you? Keeley Katana? RC Booster?

    EDIT: But really... try that strat with the TS on that setting. I know I'm beating a dead horse, but I feel like that's the setting those pedals were made for. Haha. I want the world to see the light.
     
  10. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,804
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Honestly, I never bought in to the hype of TS-type pedals until I moved to lower wattage, class A amps. Then, I really got it in a big way. I used to try them through high wattage class A/B amps and they just didn't do it for me. They either sounded to thin or too muddy. To me, the best way to use them is to blend the pedal sound with a pushed amps natural preamp and power tube breakup. That's when the magic happens. The JSX might just have too much headroom for that to happen in a major way.
     
  11. pbone

    pbone Member

    Messages:
    283
    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Maybe because amps are BETTER than pedals?
     
  12. Glass Onion

    Glass Onion Toneful truth seeker. Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,398
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Location:
    In the moment,.. hopefully.
    For that sparkly crunch tone I love my BBBo7. I too love the sond of going straight to amp. I have stopped using my RC booster and my Zendrive. I stopped using my TS808 RI a while back cause it is too muddy for my uses and I play a strat with Suhr V60-LP pickups. I have yet to find any external drive box that I love but the BBB07 is as close as I have gotten yet. Try a good treble booster.
     
  13. Passenger84

    Passenger84 Member

    Messages:
    1,689
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2005
    Location:
    Southern California
    I used to have a Peavey Classic 100, and I agree about the clean channel sounding better than the crunch channel. Almost always, your amp's natural overdrive will sound better than a pedal. But in the Peavey I had, ya, the Crunch channel was very, well, crunchy, and harsh sounding. Way too vintage for my ears.

    So I totally agree with what hurleysurf is saying.....stick that clean channel on the verge of breakup (if possible), and use the pedals to 'push' it into its natural overdrive. Lower gain, higher volume settings on the pedals.

    And as far as sparkle goes, that color knob on the Zendrive is heaven for me. I might have sold my Zen if not for that knob. I was able to use it to match the sparkle from my amp. :)
     
  14. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,326
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    My Zen Drive doesn't have a color knob. It has a "Voice" knob though - same deal?

    GAD
     
  15. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,326
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ

    What is a BBB07?

    GAD
     
  16. markom89

    markom89 Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,191
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    T-Dot.
    This is correct.
    :eek:
    :worried
    :)
     
  17. Glass Onion

    Glass Onion Toneful truth seeker. Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,398
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Location:
    In the moment,.. hopefully.
    The BBB07 is a Lovepedal that has the ability to sound SIMILAR to a Dallas rangemaster, MKII Dist, or a Fuzz Face. Very versitile and does not clutter up the real tone(does this better than most). It just kinda smacks the crap out of your preamp tubes but in a real good way. You can use just about any treble booster but I would suggest one that has a full range boost option. These sound very different from your typical overdrive or distortion in a very good way. They are also not a clean boost persay as they do add some distortion.
     
  18. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,326
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    Tried that today. I spent another hour or so comparing them. I'm lucky enough to have a g-system, so I can a-b them pretty easily by using the loops. I plugged the Zen into loop2 and the TS into loop3. Now I can choose one, or the other, or both (or none of course).

    With the settings as you described only tweaked a tiny bit to match volumes, I liked the sound, but it sounded pretty similar to my TS with similar settings. The TS does color the tone a bit more though, and I couldn't seem to dial that out. Any color that the Zen produced I was able to dial out using the Voice knob.

    Honestly though, today's experiment really made me think that the TS is "good enough" for me. That leads me to think about tomorow where I'll see how I can tweak the Zen to surpass the TS, or vise-versa.

    Both pedals seem more than capable of driving my Strat into the amp for some nice Texas bluesy tones, which is what I was originally looking for. The Zen seems to do it without losing the original tone which the TS seems incapable of doing. Still, the differences are small, and they both sound great so far.

    GAD
     
  19. GAD

    GAD Wubbalubbadubdub Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,326
    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    BTW as for clean boost, I have a variable (programmable) clean boost in the G-system which works very well. In fact when I play my ES335 copy with the high-output neck humbucker though the boost I get a wonderful barely over-driven bluesy sound from the clean channel on the amp.

    Hmm... Maybe I should go for some hotter pickups in the strat instead of playing with pedals...

    GAD
     
  20. ahab

    ahab Member

    Messages:
    1,531
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    I don't own any overdrive pedals...I just prefer the sound of my amp cranked.
     

Share This Page