Zendrive vs. Zendrive 2

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by martyhk0, Jan 20, 2008.


  1. martyhk0

    martyhk0 Member

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Ok, here's a place to make your comparisons and post your conclusions on these 2 pedals.
    I just got my zd2 and am deciding now.:horse
     
  2. VTX-XTC

    VTX-XTC Member

    Messages:
    239
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    I played with two Zendrives on my board for about a year.....

    [​IMG]

    Then, I replaced one of the Zendrives with a Klon.....

    [​IMG]

    Then, I went to a Zendrive 2......

    [​IMG]

    This has been my setup lately. I'm not sure which Zen I like the best. I find it more difficult to dial in that "perfect" sound with the Zendrive 2 but that my be due to the fact that I played with the original Zendrive for over a year and am just more familiar with it's personality. If I had to describe the difference between the two, I would first have to say that they are very similar. However, where they differ, to my ears, is that the Zendrive 2 is a little more "brittle" sounding. I haven't started experimenting with different tubes (mine still has the stock tube in it), but I have read where others have gone this route and certain tubes seem to eliminate that "brittleness". Overall, I still like it a bunch, but I will probably switch back to the original Zendrive soon just to see how it compares. Ideally, I may be able to do an A-B comparison.

    The bottom line is that you just can't go wrong with either...they are killer OD's.
     
  3. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

    Messages:
    11,427
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    playing in traffic...
    Z2 is a touch more brittle to my ear for whatever reason.It is still worth it to have either pedal.Alf is a great pedal designer.
     
  4. Bo Faulkner

    Bo Faulkner Member

    Messages:
    3,824
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Red Oak NC
    I just got my ZD2 yesterday and cant compare to the 1.. but I can compare to the following:

    OCD1, OCD3, DDSS, DD, LTD, Tone Pump, Burn Unit, Green Rhino, Red Llama, Drivetrain, Rat, RC and AC booster, many fuzzes, Butler Tube Driver, Klon.. ect, ect.....

    My main drives over the last 4 years have been the DDSS, and the OCD pedals as well as the Burn Unit back in the day.. The Zendrive 2 is now my #1 pedal after putting it through the paces with all of my amps and having a chance play a set at Church this morning.. The clarity, string definition, and overall character is what I hear in my head when I think of a good drive pedal.. listening back to the soundboard recording from this morning even sounds great.. I played this morning with my 73 super reverb set cleanish around 4 or so with my Zion SSH (barden pups)

    I prefer the zen with voice set high and tone low and gain pretty much anywhere sounds great.. It works fantastic with all of my amps (Marshall 50 watter and germino club 40 as well as the super reverb).. it is like it takes what i like about my above mentioned "main drive pedals" and rolls them all into one and works great with everything.. The feel of the Burn Unit.. the edge of the DD.. the "realness" of the OCD.. I hate to say it this early on but I really feel like it is the perfect od pedal (for me and my style)

    It is so far the best "feeling" pedal I have encountered.. seems to be connected to my fingers.. It gives me back what I hope to hear with everything I have put in it.. been on the list since they were announced and it was well worth the wait.

    My highest recommendation!
     
  5. BillyK

    BillyK Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Location:
    MD
    Tone is subjective, for sure.
    I'd say the exact opposite from two of the posters above. I find my Z2 to be smoother/softer than the Z1. Neither is "brittle" IMO.

    I am using the two Zens for OD/distortion now and it's simply amazing. I use the Z2 for low gain and the Z1 for higher gain. The Z1 "bark" is beautiful on the higher gain settings.

    I used to own a Jetter GSR to satisfy my smooth gain needs. I think the GSR is "thicker" than a Zen, but the Zen is more flexible and not as congested sounding as the GSR.

    The two Zen combo is absolutely flipping my switch right now.
    Buy both!
     
  6. VTX-XTC

    VTX-XTC Member

    Messages:
    239
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    A "2-Zen combo" on my original pedalboard setup was really nice and served me well for a year. A friend of mine had a Klon and I really liked what he was able to get out of it so I decided to try a Klon. I got one and it replaced one of my Zendrives and I have really liked the change. Klon's are special boxes and I suspect I'll never get rid of mine. Interestingly, the friend with the Klon ended up buying the Zendrive that I removed from my board. Now, both of us have a Klon and a Zendrive on our boards.
     
  7. Alter

    Alter Member

    Messages:
    652
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    anyone has any idea on how long you have to wait to get a zendrive?
     
  8. Angle Loss

    Angle Loss Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,494
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I kept my original Zendrive after comparing them, though I did like the sound of the Z2. I agree that the original is a little smoother in clipping and high end. If you want to make your Z2 sound more like a Z1, take the tube out and run it. Not kidding here, it still works though the clipping changes a little.
     
  9. homerayvaughan

    homerayvaughan Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Location:
    Maine
    I changed the tube in my Zen2 to an older rca 12ay7 and it seemed to help out some of the brittle/fizziness I was getting. Overall, I have a much easier time dialing in the Zen than the Zen2 - even changing from a strat to a HB guitar I don't have to change the Zen much, whereas the Zen2 takes some tweaking. Still experimenting, so I am not sold on it yet - it wasn't the no brainer that the Zen was to me.
     
  10. martyhk0

    martyhk0 Member

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Hmmm, I am considering what you have said. I have been thinking of doing a swap on one of my zd pedals. My first choice is whether to keep the zd or zd2, both great. I am intrigued by your experience with the Klon, which honestly I have not tried. Can you tell me what you find distinctive about it and what made you choose it for you pedalboard?
     
  11. VTX-XTC

    VTX-XTC Member

    Messages:
    239
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    I'm not the best at articulating how something sounds, so I'm not sure I can convey to you what a Klon sounds like (or what it does to your sound). As the Scottish say...."it's better felt than telt". However, there have been numerous posts in this forum about the Klon where the "cork-sniffers" have gone to great lengths to describe the Klon and its effect. If you will do a search you'll find lots of reading material.

    My simple way of describing the Klon is that it boosts your signal and hits the front-end of your amp in a good way. To me, it doesn't color your sound a lot (although lots of folks talk about a mid-range hump). If this is the case, it's a good hump. :drool
     
  12. AllenL

    AllenL Member

    Messages:
    394
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA

    I had just the opposite reaction. I had purchased an original zen when the leadtime was only 8 weeks. I must have had a lemon. It sounded nothing like the soundfiles I heard. It was really buzzy and gritty with a flat flubby bottom. Alf offered to look at it. I ended up getting rid of it on EBAY. Just for the hell of it, I got on Alfs Zen2 wait list. It took more than a year and a half for my name to come up. I finally got it a couple of months ago. I find my Zen2 is very organic with a very nice squish in texture that's very sensative to pick dynamics. I can cop a Ford type grind very easily. The voice control really helps fine tune the amount of grind. I find the tone control needs to be backed off a bit when increasing the voice control. I'm sure turnng the tone control counterclockwise will help alleviate some of that brittleness. Also do not use the bright switch you if have one on your amp.

    I'm currently using a hand tuned Fuchs ODS 100. I can cop a tone virtually identical to by Fuchs OD with with my Zen2 in the clean channel. The preamp tube that came with my Zen 2 is a Groove tube reissue of he old Mullard 12AX7. I plan to experiment with a 12AT7 and 5751. I believe Alf favors the 12AT7.
     
  13. martyhk0

    martyhk0 Member

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    you must have gotten a bum ZD. I now have both a ZD and a ZD2 and they are both marvelous
     
  14. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

    Messages:
    25,449
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    So was mine .. must of also got a dud ...

    But the guy who bought the Zen from me simply luvs it... go figure ...!!
     
  15. RC2

    RC2 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,103
    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    I think the current wait is about 4 months.
     
  16. AllenL

    AllenL Member

    Messages:
    394
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    What's one mans' garbage is anothers' treasure....It all comes down to what each person is looking for. If the person was coming from a thrash metal background, that pedal would have probably sounded smooth and civilized. Coming from a high appreciation for Larry Carlton's vintage tone, that particular pedal sucked.

    I actually let a friend of mine try it out before I shipped it, as I had already sold it on EBAY. He thought I was nuts for selling it. Evidently it suited him.

    However, my Zen2 sounds great...mainly for a Ford type grind.
     
  17. JackButler

    JackButler Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,643
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Location:
    NW Ohio
    More please! I liked ansd miss my regualr ZD, now have a 2 coming. The brittleness scares me, but if it takes a tueb change that's easy enough. More on what tubes work? I have some old Mullards?
     
  18. jrigg

    jrigg Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,438
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    Augusta, GA
    I tried a ton of different tubes. Most of them didn't seem to make much difference but when I put in a ribbed plate Telefunken, it was all over. Something about it just sounded right. I may experiment more with some lower gain tubes too as I was diggin' what I was getting from RCA 5751s and Mullard 12AT7s.
     
  19. homerayvaughan

    homerayvaughan Member

    Messages:
    2,323
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Location:
    Maine
    Update: I have been tweaking it a little more - settings (using an older rca 12ay7) gain - between 8:00 and 9:00 - I find raising it higher gets it to be less dynamic and more wooly on the low end
    voice - between 3:00 and 4:00
    tone - 10:00
    volume - 10:00-11:00
    using a vintage strat with stock pickups and a super reverb around 3-4 it is great - I get nice and "clear" OD sounds, and without even touching the guitar's volume knob, by lightening my touch, I can go from clean - very clean - to a clear and smooth OD tone, with no signs of brittleness or harshness. I don't know if it's the "Dumble" tone, but a great tone none the less. Makes it feel like an extension of the amp more than just a pedal. At first, I wasn't too sure about it, but with some playing around with it and going away from higher gain sounds (I play mostly blues) I am able to make it sound the way I want a good OD to sound like.
     
  20. kenoflife

    kenoflife Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,398
    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Location:
    somewhere in Oregon
    so do you prefer the Zendrive 2 to the Zendrive now?
     

Share This Page