Zendrive - help me out

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by thebot, Jul 29, 2006.


  1. thebot

    thebot Member

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    OK, got my Zendrive recently and.....I'm underwhelmed. I've come to the conclusion that I just don't seem to get mild overdrives, I need something totally wild to be satisfied. I was looking to the Zen for a good lead sound, maybe Santana circa first album-ish sound. I love the Honey Bee and the Blackstone, mainly for nice crunchy rhythms. I love fuzz for screaming leads. I love things like the Balance and the Super Hard On. But I just don't seem to get the Zen (or the Sparkle Drive / Tube Screamer style things either).

    So what am I missing? What do you guys use it for? I have to admit I'm not a very bluesy player, and reading a lot of stuff here a lot of people are using it to get bluesy tones. But I thought I would still be able to get some sounds out of it that I like.

    By the way I'm not saying that the Zendrive is a bad pedal here, probably more that I'm a bad player LOL. What I'm saying is that I can't find a use to make me excited. And one other question - is the E much different? I know they're fundamentally different pedals but do they cover a similar gain range? I'm tempted to try the E but don't want to go there if it's too similar. I can find detailed comparisons on here, but I just want to know from people who've tried both if they're fundamentally different enough to give it a try.
     
  2. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    It sounds like you're more of a high-gain player, perhaps you're barking up the wrong tree with the TS-9 types. There are many good high-gain pedals talked about on this forum, sounds like you've played a few ... my favorite is the H&K Tubefactor. Apples and oranges, you need to check out some more oranges.

    Hint ... you can put the subtle boutique overdrives after the H&K and get the secret sauce for the best of both worlds.
     
  3. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    I'm in the same place.

    I seldom get to play in a band context and I have a feeling that most overdrives don't do much unless you're really cranking it. Another factor could be that a lot of players are stacking effects and that changes everything.

    What is interesting is that most of the pedal market insanity is centered around just this type of pedal. You can't even try a Zendrive, an Eternity or a Klon without getting a second mortgage.

    I'd like an overdrive that gives me some silky singing sustain at low volumes but I'm not even sure if that's the intent. They're all just Tube Screamers to me.
     
  4. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Yep - that was my reaction too.. didn't get the ZD at all :confused: and I really tried to work w/it. Stacking w/other pedals, different amps/guitars, etc.. Finally filed it away until just this morning when I tried it out w/a new humbucker loaded guitar. With my strats, teles & gretsch hollowbodies, I could not dial in an inspiring tone. Even w/this new guitar, I'm mainly getting a nice lead tone - I'm still not sold on the rhythm tones, and IIRC, even the otherwse glowing GuitarPlayer magazine review said something to that effect.

    But I don't think you've got a problem w/lo-gain ODs if you appreciate the ZVex SHO & the BJF HB. The HoneyBee's a subtle pedal compared to a TS based circuit.

    But if you want more gain, more sizzle on top, and a pedal that does clean up well, too - its hard to go wrong w/the Lovepedal Eternity. I did need some acclimatisation (and a few chip swaps) to really *get* the E, but it's a pedal that's become an indispensable part of my sound. Took a while to grow on me, unlike, say, the MI Audio CrunchBox, which I loved the first minute I plugged in, but have come to find it a bit *too much pedal* for most of my applications, and somewhat lacking in dynamic response compared to pedals like the Eternity & HoneyBee.

    In any case, if you can't make the ZD work for you (and I sure had given up on mine till this new guitar arrived) I'm sure you'll have a long que:drool :drool :drool of players dying to take it off your hands for more than you paid for it - and there's not many pieces of gear you can say that about!
     
  5. thebot

    thebot Member

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    This describes my situation exactly - like scarily exactly. I don't play out at all and I was wondering if that's where people are finding it brilliant. That's why I think I'm turning more and more to fuzz.

    Yeah, I think low OD I can handle, and I really like good cleans as well.
    It's just anything in the middle that I have issues with.

    True, true. Although I didn't quite realise that when I ordered it (way back in January - a lot of gear has come and gone since then!). And let's face it it's only going to fund more gear! But I just really thought from the descriptions I'd read that I'd like it more. But in a lot of ways it's been a useful little experiment because I'm at least discovering where my preferences lie, just not in the middle (I'm tone bi-polar!).
     
  6. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    I think a lot of that middle area comes down to playing style. I get a great OD tone out of a certain setup, using a strat bridge pickup, fairly high action, and I beat my guitars when I play. A friend was over and got nothing like my tone as he plays much softer and picks much closer to the bridge. He switched from strat to PRS and it sounded worse. I would like to try his setup someday, as he probably sounds great on it and I would probably sound terrible.
     
  7. thebot

    thebot Member

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    Been there, tried that (Skreddy Top Fuel). Thought that would be ideal as well but it just didn't suit my set up. I think I like my clean tone too much so I'm going from nought to sixty straight away, as stratovarious was saying if the amp isn't cranked to start off with sometimes that doesn't help pedals. Thanks for the suggestion though!
     
  8. fr8_trane

    fr8_trane Member

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    Try the Zen's gainier, sustainier big brother the mosferatu if you want the SANTANA THING. The zen is all about dynamics and tonal nuance. If you play ligh it cleans up, if you dig in it chirps and its got that Dumble-esque midrange that inspires as much love as hate. Personally I find it to be a one trick pony - Strictly for solos played on HB guitars. It sounds ok for rhythm and with strats but its MUCH better with HB's.
     
  9. maxVsf

    maxVsf Member

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    I don't know about yours, but my Zendrive is unbelievable with a Telecaster! Dirty rhythm and solos.
     
  10. thebot

    thebot Member

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    Screwdriver I do fancy, but I think I've got that ground covered with the Honey Bee and the Blackstone. I love the Honey Bee, and from what I read about the Screwdriver they're in a similar vein, so I'd rather try some different colours. I might actually need a good old simple Rat or something like that, bit nastier (maybe the Metalzone is a bit too much though lol). I know Jason Pierce from Spiritualized uses one and I'm a huge fan of his. I think fr8_trane hit the nail on the head with it all being about nuance, and I guess I'm just not a nuance type of player. I'm just not as bothered about perfect tone as some are, I'd rather have many flavours than one perfect flavour if that makes sense.

    Before anyone offers though I won't trade the Zen for a Rat!
     
  11. yZe

    yZe Senior Member

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    When I heard the clips, it seemed to be more of a "dumble-ish" tone

    Seems like the MI crunch box or the OCD would be it for over the top high gain leads

    Out of curiosity, for any Zen drivers out there:


    Is there really that big a difference between the tube and the SS Zen-Drive?

    If so, what are they?

    Is it a neglibible diff?

    Does it sound Dumble-ish to you?
     
  12. teestone

    teestone Mostly Regular Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Try stacking it with another pedal. :RoCkIn
     
  13. stratneck

    stratneck Supporting Member

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    Sounds to me the you need to give theTube Butler a try,
    Awesome tones, and versatility, change the tube, and the
    Character of the pedal is changed also.
    I would recomend the one with the bias knob. I just picked one up
    on atrade ,and kind of kick my other OD off the board, Think Gilmore,Satriani. EJ.
    and love it, ;)
     
  14. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    I've got both an Eternity and Zendrive. They're both smooth as silk, but I hear a difference between the two in their midrange resonance and treble bite. The Z is voiced more like a Dumble (high mids resonance), while to my ears the E is voiced more like an early Boogie (low mids resonance). I also hear slightly more gain from the E than I do the Z, but your mileage may vary. Either way, their among the best OD pedals I've ever played through.
     
  15. thebot

    thebot Member

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    Ahhhh, I was trying to ignore that one cause they're expensive. I take it we're talking about the BK Butler Tube Driver here by the way? Although Tube Butler is probably a more realistic name because of the cost, and I like the idea ('warm up my tubes, Jeeves, there's a good fellow...')!:D

    Seriously though that's a possibility, albeit an expensive one.
     
  16. Curt

    Curt Member

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    Todays Zendrive's and Eternity's are tomorrows OCD's.
    I sold my Zendrive. It was nice, but to me, certainly nothing out of the ordinary.
     
  17. v-verb

    v-verb Member

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    LOL!!

    That's the one you sold to me!! I really liked it though (but really I'm not a pedal guy) - a fellow gear pager got it from me thru Ebay and he loves it - so it's a happy ending!:AOK
     
  18. Curt

    Curt Member

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    Haha! LOL!
    If it had made me sound like Robben Ford, and nailed that pefect Dumble tone, and it was sweet and buttery and worth the wait.....do you think I would have sold it?
    Actually it's a nice sounding pedal. But it's just one of many nice sounding pedals out there.
     
  19. stratneck

    stratneck Supporting Member

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    Yes, the BK Butler tube Driver, incredible pedal!!!!
     
  20. thebot

    thebot Member

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    Thanks for all the inputs guys. I think I just needed reassuring that I wasn't missing something, that it maybe just wasn't for me. Thanks for your help!
     

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