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Talk me into or out of a Zendrive

thetangmang

Member
Messages
1,736
(I'm probably going to open a can of worms on a drive debate...or I'll get no responses since it's been beat to death)

I'm interested in getting a pedal to give me smooth, warm, responsive, and organic overdrive with a blooming attack. Something EJ-like or Santana like. I've been using a Keeley TS9 for something like this and I love the pedal itself, but I need something smoother and less compressed with more gain and sustain on tap. I've been looking a lot at a Zendrive for this since it looks like it can nail what I'm looking for. Plus it's versatile enough to get me to a lot of places in toneworld.

If it helps, I'm playing a strat --> Hot Rod Deluxe with Cannabis Rex Speaker and JJ tubes.

So talk me into or out of a Zendrive (i.e. I want to hear what you think about the Zen and other recommendations welcome).
 

MartinC

Member
Messages
3,061
Loving mine ... with single coils and HBs. I bought it to give myself more of a range of mild OD tones. I think most folks find that the best tones are to be had with the gain around the midpoint and volume turned up to suit, rather than lower volume with gain cranked. In that zone it does sing smoothly and behave responsively. Since you mention Santana, I'm not sure the Zendrive will give you enough gain while it's in its sweet spot.

Maybe a Mosferatu?
 

Dog Boy

Senior Member
Messages
3,779
From your description it sound like exactly what you want. That said I didn't like the pedal that much and sold mine within a week.
 

TJL

Member
Messages
80
Zendrives kill with humbuckers. But they sound amazing with singles aswell. Amazingly smooth and warm if dialed in properly.
 

thetangmang

Member
Messages
1,736
Zendrive will not give you EJ and Santana.
I'm not trying to sound like them, I just want an OD that is somewhat close to what they use to get their sound/color.

About the Mosferatu, is it just a ZD with more gain? I don't know that much about it. (Looking up vids now).

Thanks for the responses so far guys.
 

GeLoFi

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
928
I think the Zen is smoother than a TS9, but its not less compressed. Great pedal either way and I think it would suit you just fine.
 

mangoman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,251
There is a clip on YouTube that shows the differences between the Zen, Mos, and Dist.

Check that out, and then that should help you make up your mind. The Zen and Mosferatu are pretty much the same territory, but the Mos has more gain on tap. As I saw somewhere on this board, think of the Zen's gain as 1-10 and the Mosferatu as 6-16.

The Distortion I hear is a different animal all together. Check out Alf's website.

I am about 80% of the way to getting one!!
 

Andre357

Member
Messages
3,211
on it's own, it's not a real saturated pedal with single coils.... in fact it's relatively low gain unless your amp is really cooking or your hitting it with high output pickups or another pedal ( like a timmy or something )...

that being said it's a very cool sounding pedal...very thick and harmonically interesting.

I bet the ts9 into the zendrive or vice versa would be a cool combo....on it's own it will have less gain and sustain/saturation than the ts9, not really a tone i would associate with EJ or santana

have you looked into an eternity ( they are wonderful with single coils ) ??
 

thetangmang

Member
Messages
1,736
There is a clip on YouTube that shows the differences between the Zen, Mos, and Dist.

Check that out, and then that should help you make up your mind. The Zen and Mosferatu are pretty much the same territory, but the Mos has more gain on tap. As I saw somewhere on this board, think of the Zen's gain as 1-10 and the Mosferatu as 6-16.

The Distortion I hear is a different animal all together. Check out Alf's website.

I am about 80% of the way to getting one!!
I found the video and it's awesome! Here it is for anyone else who's in the same spot as me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZo41nB0E9g

I'm going to e-mail Alf about the Mosferatu. If it is indeed just a Zendrive with more gain, I might just go with that since that little extra gain would be nice with my strat.

I also found another shootout between the three. It's in Spanish but you can still hear how each sounds:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5Nus9IzMOw
 

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,456
I would just go for the Zendrive special edition it is supposed to have a touch more gain range than the regular Zendrive.

I think the Zendrive will do what you want. I have a Zendrive, 3 knob Mosferatu, 4 knob Mosferatu, and a Distortion on the way. Depending on your pickups and amp the Mosferatu may have a bit too much gain. Of the two I find the Zendrive more versatile in its gain range.
 

playthecray

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,125
I do not own a Zendrive, nor have I played through one with my rig. I can only offer you an opinion based on what I have heard and read. The Zendrive offers tremendous clarity. It is warm and transparent. It maintains or preserves the sound of your amp. It allows you to clearly hear all the strings, single notes, and chords even at the highest gain settings. It is one of the best low gain overdrive pedals. That said, I think it is a little bit of a one trick pony. It really doesn't offer anything more than the attributes I previously described. If you are looking for a pedal with higher gain and sustain, I think you need to look in another direction.
 
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A440

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,721
the ZD is a great pedal, but if you're targeting EJ or Santana tones, I think you might want something with a bit more distortion on tap.

maybe Alf can chime in with his recommendation.

ps...the ZD really shines in a band mix. for me, I didn't "get it" at lower bedroom volumes. to me, it's in the od camp rather than a distortion/fuzz.
 
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