Zendrive/Howie/Ethos opinions

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by john b, Jan 16, 2008.


  1. john b

    john b Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,037
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    San Rafael, CA
    I've read pretty much everything I can find on TGP about these pedals and am feeling close to dropping some coin on one of these. I was wondering if some of you folks who may have had all three or any combination of them could put out a few thoughts comparing the similarities/differences? Thanks!
     
  2. bilbal

    bilbal Member

    Messages:
    8,492
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    I have an Ethos and a Zendrive and just sold my Howie this afternoon to a friend. All three are EXTRAORDINARY pedals and I'm confident that you wouldn't be disappointed in any or all of them. IMO, the Ethos is the most versatile one of the bunch but the Howie is pretty darn close. The Zendrive is as good as everyone claims it is. I personally love my Zen and Alf is about as cool as them come. However, Robbie (Ethos) is a pretty cool guy too. Last night I had a weird thing happen while I was zapping my Ethos' clean side with my Zen. Robbie responded to the thread in no time to offer his help. Turns out is was a bad cable and had nothing to do with either pedal. As far as the Howie goes, I brought it and my Ethos over to my buddy's house and he preferred the Howie but agreed that either one is as good as the other but that he preferred the voice of the Howie.

    I know that this response is rather vague but it's the best I could do. ALL THREE of the pedals are AWESOME. It's too bad you can't run them side by side by side unless you buy them all. My suggestion to you is get an Ethos and a Zen and run the Zen into the Ethos' clean side. It's absolutely spectacular and gives you more versatility than the Ethos' (alone) will. That is obvious but you really have to hear it to completely appreciate it.

    I want to make sure that you know: my selling the Howie to my buddy is not because I liked it less than the others. It was simply a case where I said "take your pick - I can get everything I want out of both of them (he has a Zen already). He chose the Howie.

    You will not be disappointed in whatever route you choose. They all rock!!!

    Good luck and enjoy. Sorry I couldn't offer a more definitive answer.

    bilbal
     
  3. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

    Messages:
    7,394
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Owasso, OK
    Had a Howie (new version). Worst sounding pedal I've ever owned. Sold it within 2 days of receiving it.
     
  4. dividedsky

    dividedsky Member

    Messages:
    4,138
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Acoustic Guitar Forum
    OH YEAH WELL IT'S THE BEST PEDAL I'VE EVER HEARD SO THERE.
     
  5. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

    Messages:
    7,394
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Owasso, OK
    Must be really rig dependent then. I'd never heard a OD that sputtered out on the decay like a dying fuzz before.
     
  6. john b

    john b Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,037
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    San Rafael, CA
    Bilbal - thanks for the info, much appreciated. Yeah, I'd like to have all three but wasn't planning on dropping that much $.

    Therhodeo and phishmarisol - thanks for the entertainment!

    To each his own on pedals, I guess:jo
     
  7. therhodeo

    therhodeo Member

    Messages:
    7,394
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Location:
    Owasso, OK
    I think phish is just jacking around with me. I'm 100% serious though. I've talked to other guys with the same problem too. I have a Menatone King of the Britains and love it but the Howie was just flat bad.
     
  8. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,595
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    btw don't forget about the Gaspedal Dumbell and Lovepedal 200lbs of Tone!
     
  9. john b

    john b Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,037
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2002
    Location:
    San Rafael, CA
    therhodeo - I'm totally with you on that. I've had pedals before that work for many folks and, for what ever reason, gear, me? who knows, didn't work out.
     
  10. dividedsky

    dividedsky Member

    Messages:
    4,138
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    The Acoustic Guitar Forum
    Yeah, just playing. Never had a Howie.
     
  11. Droptop

    Droptop Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,932
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    The Ethos TLE is simply amazing. I love the attack sensitivity. Also its very tweakable so you can adjust for different amps and guitars. I have a Zendrive 2 in the mail to test out.
     
  12. ruby7829

    ruby7829 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    305
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    Keep in mind all the Howie's sound kind of different. I A/B'd an older 5 knob ptp Howie and an older 6 knobber with the boost switch. Both sounded pretty different to my ears. I loved the old 5 knob one and bought it. It just sounded way more alive and responsive.

    I also had a Zen and I have to say, my Zen and my Howie sounded completely different. The Zen was mellow and soft sounding and the Howie seemed to have more of a crispness to the tone. Just felt way more lively.
     
  13. bluesrules

    bluesrules Member

    Messages:
    544
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Earth, 3rd house on the left
    I've had the newer Menatone Howie (7 knobs, 1 switch) for three weeks now and prior to buying it all I read in here is how bad it sounded. Well giving it a try anyway was the best thing I EVER DID! I love the sound it produces, sure it can easily get the farty low end that everybody was complaining about. But if you turn the bass down and adjust the other controls on the pedal, you will hear something VERY musical!!!

    The Howie sound is hard to describe but I think it adds a 3-D sound in the most important and somewhat demanding Mids somehow. It's like I heard more detailed Low-mids, High-mids and about 4 other freq. I never knew existed before. I hate mid hump and this does not have it, maybe you can dail it in, I don't. I'd rather just have great presence. Howie adds pure girth and some sizzle to the notes and keeps that clarity in chords. I often use Howie by itself and with other pedals, usually makes every other OD pedal sound better when run thru it (I've tried it with 7 pedals).

    Alot of players were saying that it doesn't do the Robben Ford tone. I can't verify that as I don't try to "get" his tone. I have the pedal setup for very convinceing SRV and ZZ Top tones right now. But it also does great low gain tones and has a seperate drive section for high gain territory when needed.

    IMO this is a must have for controlling a rigs "overall" sound. It's like tone shaping with a graphic equalizer made specificaly for a sweet overdriven guitar sound. Just takes some good ears and some smart tweaking.

    All my friends are Zen, Lovepedal and Rat devotee's. My next tone quest will defineitly be going thru Menatone, very nice pedals. I own two now and love them. Thanks Brian!

    BTW: I use with Strat, Tele and reissue Fender Tweed Amps. Very Happy!
     
  14. DAB

    DAB Member

    Messages:
    792
    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Location:
    JAX
    I have an Ethos TLE and a Zendrive. they are both great but I will likely keep the Ethos and sell the Zendrive only because I don't need both.

    The Ethos is basically a complete amplifier in a pedal box while the Zendrive is an OD Pedal.

    What I mean is that like a 2 channel amp, the Ethos has a clean channel and an OD channel, has a speaker sim out for direct recording which works great, has complete and separate EQ for both channels, has a boost switch, etc. VERY versatile as long as you dig the Dumble type sounds.

    My .02 :JAM
     

Share This Page