The Emperor's New Clothes? Or at least Zen and Timmy's.

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by ogradyboy, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. ogradyboy

    ogradyboy Member

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    Having read LOTS of threads about LOTS of stuff for quite some time, I'm ready to ask what's likely to be a rather naiive question?

    Why can't I discern an appreciable tonal difference between my Timmy and Zendrive pedals? (And, no, I don't wan't to sell them.)

    Regardless of guitar (PRS, LP, Strat or Tele) and pup choices (SC or HB's), playing into a Mojave Coyote that's got decent tubes (Amperex, Telefunken) it's difficult for me to find a distinct difference in tonal character between the two. The amp is very JTM-45 or even Marshall 18W-like all on it's own. Is it that the tubes are already breaking up with higher output so the push from the pedals are not as noticeable? But even when backing off on the independently-voiced Bass and Treble knobs to clean the amp up, I still have trouble hearing any difference between the two. Sure, I can have the gain of one cranked and the other barely discernable but then reverse the two and not notice it.

    I read about all the ways we describe a sound (smooth, creamy, gritty, etc) from one pedal or another but in this case I think I could switch guts for Zendrive and Timmy and I wouldn't know any different.
     
  2. screamingduck

    screamingduck Member

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    I can't speak for playing through an amp breaking up because I always run my Super Reverb and Boogie as clean as possible but I can hear a big difference between these two pedals through my clean amps. The Timmy is very transparent,a bit gritty and kinda bright whereas the Zendrive has more of a midhump, smoother, and is alot darker to my ears.
    Of course my ears have been slammed with loud music for over forty years so maybe you should take that into account:)
     
  3. jpagey

    jpagey Supporting Member

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  4. GDking

    GDking Member

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    The zendrive was one of my least favorite pedals ever I actually bought two just because I thought the first one was counterfeit. After I verified that it was not, I sold both (and made six dollars profit for trying them)

    The timmy is one of my favorite pedals ever.

    Totally different pedals. If you cannot hear the difference you really need a new amp, or there is something really wrong somewhere.
     
  5. rewog

    rewog Member

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    I gotta agree with screamingduck....
    very different to my ears.
     
  6. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    that's not really the emperor's new clothes though now is it?

    It would be if you meant that they both sounded terrible. I never played a Tim or timmy, but I can get a decent range of sounds out of my ZD.
    Even bad sounds...if I want...but great sounds are a lot more fun, and I find it easy to dial in on the ZD.

    I'm not meaning you, because you aren't "debluffing" anything, but when I read your thread title, I assumed it would be telling how some pedal was just hype, and I flashed on the many Bad Monkey threads, and realized "everybody wants to be the little boy that pointed and laughed at the emperor standing naked".

    It's pure human nature :rotflmao which is kinda fun really.
     
  7. jb1911

    jb1911 Member

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    I find myself adjusting OD pedals to sound the way I like them to sound (makes sense), so they end up sounding the same in some cases. I can make a Timmy and a Red Snapper sound identical.
     
  8. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    Are you playing them into a clean amp or using them to goose an already distorting rig?
     
  9. Uma Floresta

    Uma Floresta Senior Member

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    Playing ODs into a distorted amp tends to mask whatever tonal characteristics are in the OD - mostly you just hear the amp. In fact, I think clean boost sounds best in that situation, and OD sounds best into either a clean amp or an amp that is only a little overdriven. Just my opinion.
     
  10. todaystomorrow

    todaystomorrow Member

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    I haven't played the Zendrive, but in every clip and playing through other similar D style overdrives.... I just can't see how there could be much similarity. I hear very little compression in my Tim and Timmy and am guessing there should be quite a bit in the Zen. I'm also guessing that the Zen won't do the same type of clean boost as the Timmy.

    another thing, have you adjusted the clipping switches inside the Timmy? that alone will make the Timmy sound dramatically different from your previous setting.... if it doesn't, turn the gain down on your amp.
     
  11. slopeshoulder

    slopeshoulder Senior Member

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    dumped timmy, married zen.
    apples and oranges.
     
  12. Craise

    Craise Member

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    Me three...they are very very different.
    Tim and/or Timmy are wayyy more transparent
     
  13. jayn

    jayn Member

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    I can definitely see how a Red Snapper and Timmy can sound similar. Not the Zen though...

    Check the trimmers inside. Try the different settings - 1 up, 1 down, both up or down. Sounds to me like yours is on the "compressed" setting.
     
  14. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    Huge diffrence to my ears. The tim is brighter and grittier with little to no compression or mid hump. The zen is fat, warm, round, thick and smoother thatn the Timmy. I love the zen. The timmy into a clean amp can sound amazing... problem is my amps are only sudo clean. I dont like the timmy as much into a tweed amp.

    Of course I never thought the mid hump of a TS-9 was a bad thing.

    I gotta try an OCD out for a while and see of the Timmy can go up for sale.
     
  15. 59Vampire

    59Vampire Member

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    mine too i like my zen in clean amp and use a monkey a warm boost for my 18 watt clone
     
  16. Frethog

    Frethog Member

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    Wow. Zen and Timmy are my only ODs simply because of their stark differences.
     
  17. Boogie92801

    Boogie92801 Member

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    Same here, I Love the Zen and the Timmy sounds great for some stuff.... I just need something open like the Timmy but fatter like my old TS-9 (I used a TS for so long that that compression and mid hump are imprinted on me). The Zen is creamy goodness but i need a crunchier but still low "gain" pedal....

    The search continues.
     
  18. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Supporting Member

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    I think the original poster may be having a little fun with this thread - stirring the pot as it were.

    These pedals OBVIOUSLY sound quite different through clean and dirty amps. I used both of them to boost the clean and OD channel on my Fuchs and the differences were quite noticeable.

    Now if he had said he didn't hear much difference between his Zen and a bad monkey I might have believed him, having done a shootout with a bunch of TS type pedals and the zen. The differences were much more subtle in that case.
     
  19. ogradyboy

    ogradyboy Member

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    Wow. Thanks for the many replies! I'm really NOT trying to "stir the pot" about this. Maybe "the Emperor's New Clothes" in the title was a bit smirky, but only because "I" couldn't hear an appreciable difference between Timmy and the Zendrive.

    I haven't tried playing with the trim pots in Timmy so that's a good idea. Last night I dialed the Coyote to as clean a tone as possible and tried A/Bing the two pedals again. Trying these through a stock, 2-knob (volume/tone) Fender Pro Blues Jr at low volumes (3) and modest tone (4) still doesn't give me that "Wow! What a difference in sounds" feeling.

    These are great pedals. I love them both and I agree with many of the seasoned GPer's about the individual versatility. But again, I'm not hearing the stark tonal differences. And in deference to better musicianship, my ears are my ears, so maybe it's time to get that long overdue hearing check.
     
  20. welcometoashley

    welcometoashley Member

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    +many. i have several diff't OD pedals including a timmy. i also have a cusack screamer fuzz, proanalog dual drive among others. in my head, i know the sound i like so i inadvertenly always set them to sound like that regardless of each pedals' individual gain range. in rehearsal the other day my bassist asked what the difference was between my OD pedals as they sounded the same to him. sure enough, when i kicked each one on individually, they sounded so similar the way i had them set that i questioned why i still buy & try OD pedals....
     

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