Zendrive owners help!!!

59Vampire

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
4,557
after waitng forver i finally got mine. I dont see that much difference over other ods and i think my ocd might be more fun. Can you provide me with some settings? Am i doing something wrong? i dont get it
 

xroads

Member
Messages
2,464
Lucky you, you can sell your ZD at a profit then, and enjoy the OCD....hahaha

But seriously:
- have you investigated how the voice and tone controls work?
- do you work with your guitar vol. to set the gain level?
- have you tried it with a HB guitar (I believe with HBs, you get immediately what the ZD is about, with SCs, it takes a bit longer)?

Start with vol and gain at 10:00 o'clock, and tone and voice at noon.
 

Blues Wail

Member
Messages
2,929
after waitng forver i finally got mine. I dont see that much difference over other ods and i think my ocd might be more fun. Can you provide me with some settings? Am i doing something wrong? i dont get it
What sound are you going for, and what setup are you using? The key to unlocking the beauty of the ZD is in the voice control. For starter's try all knob's @ the noon position, also in live settings is where this pedal really shines. For me......It is a solo box, I don't use it for chords at all. Keep us posted!
 

grego7

has left the building
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,893
I'm kind of in the same boat. I bought a zendrive way back when they were still white with black lettering. After giving it a try for awhile, seemed happier with my Tim (playing mostly strats). Got the urge again last January (2006) to pick one up, so got on the list before the price increase. In the meantime, picked up an Alessandro Working Dog (20w boxer) that I was very curious to hear matched up with the ZD.

Got the zendrive this week, and to be honest, it doesn't sound bad at all, but given that I don't play at "gig levels", I'm thinking that I'm missing out on where this pedal is supposed to really shine. Kind of the same thing I went through with some of the lovepedals I've tried. Again, the zendrive sounds really good, but I kind of have overdrive sound covered with an SRB808+ and a Tim. And that's playing with HB equipped guitars as well as strats.

Don't want to let it go just yet, though. It took 15 months to get!

I do think though, that for garage players such as myself, I'd be better off with a blues driver and an OD-3...
 

Matt Gordon

Senior Member
Messages
947
My favorite setting was with the voicing set pretty high, and the tone almost all the way off @ max gain, volume just a little above unity. Think it would depend on your guitar and whatever pedal you're sticking in front and back of it.
 

Curt

Member
Messages
6,975
I've owned a Zen 1 and 2. The only way I could achieve the tones I wanted was using my Cowtipper.
A Zen really needs a BF voiced amp to sound like people are expecting it to sound.
When I used them with a Marshall or Vox voiced amp, they sounded no different to me than any other other OD's.
 

Blues Wail

Member
Messages
2,929
I've owned a Zen 1 and 2. The only way I could achieve the tones I wanted was using my Cowtipper.
A Zen really needs a BF voiced amp to sound like people are expecting it to sound.
True, also.....To me it sounds better with Hum's than S/coils. It's a pedal that I can use the bridge pos. and never sound too bright. The E is my all time fave cause of it's ability to sound awesome with chords as well as solo's.
 

hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,386
What I hear:

The voice control does three things:

Adds gain
Adds treble and midrange
Adds spread and hair

As such,it interacts directly with the Tone control and the Gain control. The Tone control also interacts with the gain control but to a lesser degree I've found.

So you set up the pedal with the Gain and Tone you like (more Tone =more treble) and keep the Voice about in the middle for starters. If you want more Treble you can get it by either more Tone or more Voice. More Voice will also give you more gain and a wider note with more hair. So dial the gain back where you want it. The width and hair will stay. Volume is the amount of level increase you get. Drop the Gain and/or the Voice and you'll need more volume to get the same level increase (not as interactive a ssome pedals but still there).

All other adjustments are kind of a version of that simple example. So Less voice = less treble and gain and more focus for a given setup. You can also set the gain and voice to get the content you like and dial the Tone up or down to suit. More extreme settings are OK to my ears. I run the Tone about 3/4 for example.

BTW I guess some would refer to "hair" as harmonic content or character, some would say fizz, some crunch. Your ears have to guide you. Also, somewhat obviously, how you set the gain and tone on your amp and the tone on your guitar matters too.

In spite of many opinions to the contrary, I use it the Zen almost exclusively with single coils and it seems OK to me. Also I pretty much stick with the bridge, or bridge middle combinations when I have the Zen in. It thickens up the note just fine without getting cloudy that way.

Something that I find very apparent that may not matter to others is the front end of the note. Many OD pedals are too soft on the attack with a lot of front end compression. The note just kind of loses the pick and attack nuance. I have found this behavior in many popular pedals. By comparison the Zen lets all of the front end of the note out. Pick hard and the note jumps out hard with that nice chirp. Then it adds compression to the note and allows the back end to bloom in a most interesting and satisfying way. Aside from all the other nice things about the Zen, the way it treats the front end of the note makes a big difference for me.

Some folks don't like to get or don't care about all that response on the front of the note and maybe prefer totally smooth. Some are looking for a pedal that kicks on the neck pup. I don't find the Zen to excel in either of these situations. But I am sure others hear different results.

hunter
 

Angle Loss

Member
Messages
1,513
For the clarification of all, the Voice control is only a treble control before the gain circuit. It will affect the feel and gain structure of the pedal whereas the tone control just controls treble roll off at the end of the circuit. I like the Voice control high, Tone to taste depending on amp, and gain from half to full for my favorite sounds. This pedal is almost completely opposite of the OCD in function on my board. They really do not compare at all (in similarities of tone not quality).

Curt, for those that have been waiting for the Zen2, how would you compare it to the Zen1?

ie.
-does one have more gain?
-do they feel different?
-sound differences?

Thanks!
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
20,460
Try it with a band, it'll make you smile.

Really, at home I can get mine to sound (what I think is...) great, and I use single coil. Just played it tonight, had the gain around 11:00 treble about 1:30, voice around 3 o'clock and volume set to slight above unity.

It sounds great, I still hear it being better than any of my other strict TS style pedals, BUT...the place it really shines is live, with a band. You cut through in a way I haven't found in any other pedals. Nicely.

You may have to play with your amp tone controls, I don't know. Guitar...cleans up nicely to with guitar vol, but I normally go between 10 and 8 on guitar vol.

If I were you, I'd try it with some other amps, guitars, settings, just play, and see if you don't fall into a great sound. Still don't like it...sell it!

You could check out the other Zendrive thread...many mention buying one, not being impressed, setting it aside, and taking it out again with a new amp purchase or guitar and being blown away. We really aren't making this up, though I'm sure this is not everones pedal. I play blues, it is the best blues pedal I know of.
 

rob13v

Member
Messages
1,506
I have mine set with vol & gain at about 10 - 11 o'clock, tone just under 12 & voice just over 12. Les Paul into a Concert II (2x10).
 

Stressfest

Member
Messages
3,912
Mine has vol at 1, gain at 2, tone at 1 and voice about 2.30 into a crunchin' Marshall for a thick boost.
 

Curt

Member
Messages
6,975
Curt, for those that have been waiting for the Zen2, how would you compare it to the Zen1?

Thanks!

I preferred the Zen 1 WAY over the Zen 2. The 2 was too dark regardless of the 12AX7 I tried.
The dynamics were similar on both models and the gain was too close to tell part.
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
20,460
My recoomendation was for the original Zendrive. I have no experience with the newer model. I wonder how many ZD discussions are about two different pedals unbeknownst to the participants?
 

rh

Robo Sapien Noisemaker
Double Platinum Member
Messages
7,189
I grabbed this from a similar TGP thread some while back, attributed as I recall by the poster to Alf.

It helped me with the ZD. Hope it helps you.

"The Zendrive has been described by some of the testers as a mild overdrive. The approach I took with the Zendrive was to select components that would make a nice clean and clean with a slight edge pedal naturally and then start increasing the gain without getting into Mosferatu territory. The latest revision of the pedal was tested by using a “Partscaster” with very weak pickups that came out of a Fender American Standard strat. They sound good but don’t have a lot of juice. I setup the gain to have enough to make it an overdrive with a slight crunch. Then I tested it with a Fender Nashville Deluxe tele which has stronger pickups. At max Gain it still sounded very good. Finally I used a Hamer Special FM with JB and 59’ pickups and in order to get the clean with edge tones I simply roll off the Gain knob. The result is a nice range of clean to crunch for a wide range of pickups.

The Voice knob has the following functionality: all the way to one side you get more treble and gain (good for setups that are too dark) and on the other end you get less gain but more fat. Once you adjust the Voice knob, you can then use the Tone knob to add or take away some of the treble, basically complementing and correcting in some cases what the Voice knob does. If you set up the Voice to give you some specific tone, you can also use the Gain knob to compensate and add or take away as needed. In reality Gain, Tone and Voice are related and may take a few minutes to get the hang of it."
 

JZG

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,692
I have a Zen 2 and couldn't be happier. The first thing I did when I got it though was put in a 12AU7-type tube. I currently have a GE 5814 in there. I've tried a bunch of different tubes, and that one's my favorite so far. I don't know how it compares to a regular Zen, but mine's very warm and dynamic. I can use just that pedal alone and get everything from my guitar's volume control. I set mine up like many of the others mentioned here - Volume and Gain somewhere between 10:00 and 12:00, Voice 2:00 or 3:00, and the Tone control depending on how I'm feeling that day, but typically pretty low. I usually use this pedal with my Deluxe Reverb, mostly with a Strat, but Gibsons and Teles sound good too.
 




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