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In praise of the Zendrive

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by tonemandan, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. tonemandan

    tonemandan Member

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    Montgomery, AL
    Hi all. Well I haven't tried them all obviously but I've gone through a whole closet full of distortions, overdrives, and fuzzes. I usually gig with an original '65 Deluxe Reverb and a small pedalboard. I've been using a Timmy for light overdrive and a Fulltone 2 for liquidy leads. I bought a Zendrive a few weeks ago on the recommendation of Robert Orr in Auburn ( great guitarist btw ). Now that I've played a few gigs with it I can tell you that it is a keeper. It sounds more amplike than the FD2. It's more dynamic and you can roll down the volume a little and still have a useable grungy rhythm tone. I guess if you had to describe what it sounds like it comes closer to a D#mble tone than a Marshall or Vox etc. It's similar to the AC booster but better.

    I know this pedal has been talked about quite a bit lately but I wanted to add my endorsement.

    I love this thing!!

    Dan
     
  2. Jim

    Jim Member

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    Austin,Texas
    You said: "Its similar to the AC boster but better". I have an AC, so tell me how it is better? In other words, is it worth replacing my AC with the Zen?

    Jim
     
  3. FenderAmpGas

    FenderAmpGas Member

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    I've had mine for a while now and I'm still surprised by the range of sounds I can get from it just by tweaking a knob here and there. My favorite setting right now is to have the gain at about 10:00 to 12:00 and then crank the volume knob (varied depending on amp volume). It just sings!!
     
  4. nsriley

    nsriley Member

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    Herkimer, NY
    I can't wait to get mine! I put an order in through tonefrenzy about 4 weeks ago, last I heard I might be in the next shipment round when they get to him. I'll wait as long as I have to!

    -Peace
    -Nate
     
  5. drolling

    drolling Member

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    I really like the AC when it's paired up w/its little bro, the RC. By itself, it's a bit too bright and raspy for my taste.

    The ZD is a smoother, warmer sounding overdrive. It also works nicely w/the RC booster, which is still on my board.
     
  6. HarryJ

    HarryJ Member

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    suburban Philly
    I now have the Zen (thanks to Scott Lerner for his super sweet demo tone and recommendation), in addition to the Tim, AC Booster, Keeley BD-2 and TS-9 with both the Analogman mod and the SUPER cool Vaughn dual tri mode mod. (The latter gives you 2 low mid/bass boost options (plus original) to compensate for the loss and the best feature is the 3 different compression options. The original, plus a clean boost somewhat similar to the Klon, and a combination of the 2 that kills)
    After hearing these mods, I find the original (analogman modded) TS-9 sound to be unusable IMHO

    http://www.wpa.net/~vaughn/ts9/ts9.html


    In reference to the Zen vs AC, I find that when I go to the AC after the Zen, it sounds thin in the mids.
    The AC seems to be a tad more compressed. All in all the Zen sounds more amp like to my ears, and is a bit smoother, and sweeter as well.

    The Tim is far less compressed with a subtractive approach to the tone, and is absolutely great. I use it's effect loop to send to a Boss digital delay, so it's on only with the Tim and totally out of the circuit otherwise.

    The Keeley BD-2 has some similarities to the Tim, but the Tim wins in every respect. IMHO

    Each has their own voice, and works differently in various amps.

    The Zen is absolutely magnificent! If it came down to the AC vs the Zen, Zen no contest.

    Tim and Keeley BD-2, Tim no contest

    The Zen and Tim, apples and oranges.

    The modded TS-9, a grape

    Don't you jus' love fruit???

    Harry Jacobson
    www.harryj.net
     
  7. olectric

    olectric Supporting Member

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    +1, my favorite sound right now
     
  8. Dave LaP

    Dave LaP Member

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    I've got a 6 week wait for mine. Can anyone give me a link to Scott Lerner's Zendrive clip?
     
  9. tonemandan

    tonemandan Member

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    Yes it is definitely worth replacing the AC booster IMHO. Not exactly sure I can describe the difference though. Maybe ScottL can help here? A little less compressed and spongy feeling perhaps. Broader range of tones. The tone and "voice" controls are very sensitive. It just seems more amplike overall to me.

    Dan
     
  10. RGB

    RGB Supporting Member

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    I'd like to just add my plug for Vaughn C's TS9 mods...I have a reissue TS9 with his brown mod, the dual tri mode mod, and the dual channel mod. It is, by far, my most indispensable (and freaky looking) pedal. I also have a Zendrive and it's a very nice sounding od, but for my taste, that TS9 and my Andy or Tele is really all I need to achieve MY sound through almost any amp. I really have to get another as a backup....I don't know what I'd do without it!

    Rick
     
  11. Cary Chilton

    Cary Chilton Senior Member

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    I just ordered my Zen. Man am I glad I never got caught up in the current EBAY ZEN-craze: 345 usd!.... I have no problems waiting 1-2 months for 150... BTW just got my TIM and timmy today! I love them!
     
  12. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    Right now my board has a RC Booster, AC Booster, Zendrive and TIM. Each is unique and I haven't been able to convince myself to remove any of them. The RC Booster into any of the others adds a new level of fullness and complexity. The AC Booster and Zendrive are very different IMHO. The Zendrive is smooth and compressed and has been described by others with much more eloquent words than I can offer. The AC Booster is a bit grittier and a little more open, particuarly on the top end. Very different sounding to my ears.

    On a related note, I'm eager to do the 500k mod to my OCD to see what it can add to the mix.
     
  13. scottl

    scottl Member

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    Hey guys! Like Harry, I have a bunch o'pedals. I have an AC Boost, RC Boost, Analogman Silver TS9, and a few others.... I also have tried and recorded with teh Timmy, Rumble Mod, Howie, SS2, etc....

    Of the lot, my fave is the Zen. To my ears it captures the "Dumble Chirp" better than any other pedal. That complex bottom and dynamica chirp on the top. Sweet.

    Plus, it is very reasonably priced and Alf is super cool!

    Here are a couple of clips for those who asked. Just the pedal into the clean channel of my amp. Not recorded loud. EQ flat on the amp.

    http://www.scottlernermusic.com/zen/ZenDriveMilesGroove.MP3

    http://www.scottlernermusic.com/zen/ZenHelpPoor.MP3

    http://www.scottlernermusic.com/zen/SoWhatZendrive.MP3

    Scott
     
  14. Luke V

    Luke V Member

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    My Zendrive has been on order since 11/3. Still don't know when it will be here.
     
  15. KLB

    KLB Member

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    Dan,
    Please compare the Zendrive with your KOT.

    I'm been using a Zendrive into TIM for about half a year now. TIM for very light OD and boost, Zendrive for more gain, and both occasionally. Haven't used the G2 much lately.

    It's almost been a year since you made your annual Atlanta opto-pilgrimage...

    - Ken
     

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