Zim Review

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by drbob1, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I've been working on the Vox AC30 pedalboard for church and came upon a Zim at a price I could afford. This is the original version with a pair of H9 cards (a slightly higher gain take on the TS9). I thought it might make an interesting alternative to the FDII that's been on my board for a few weeks. I've had a chance to test it into a BF Super, a blond Bandmaster with C12Ns and a 65 AC30 TB head and cab. First of all, it's a bit of a pain to open up, but it's critical to do so, because the EQ trimmers are inside. The pedal set up perfectly for the BF Super was a bit harsh for the other two, turning the trimmers just a 1/4 turn or so fixed it. I set the green side up for slight breakup and a slight volume boost (about 11 on the gain), the red side is set up heavier (about 2 or 3) and also slight boost. The detented volume knobs are a bit of a pain because I can't get unity gain-it's either slight loss or slight boost. The voicing knob is either on 7 with a cut to about 9 or on 2 with a boost to about 4 (both warm it up a bit more, but the boost way increases the bass a bit more to match the Fulldrive IIs bass boost).

    The basic character of the drive is slightly different from the FDII-more transparent, more highs coming thru, seemed a bit harsher till I got the voicing sorted out. The FDii seems smoother out of the box. It really starts to shine when you use it for a flexible gain. With the FDII you've got a basic gain and the sort of boost/slight increase of the second switch. With the Zim you've got low gain, medium gain and some really sustaining high gain with both sides on. With the bridge humbucker (a Seth Lover) and volume set just below where the pickup starts to squeal, I can hold an E, B or G at the 12th fret and it'll continue to sustain. The FDII can't get that degree of gain in this setup, at least not without the basic setting being too high gain for the mild crunch I want it for (I have the Burn Unit if I need really long sustain).

    One of the reasons I've been looking for a pedal that puts both drives in one box is the decreased noise that the shared shielding creates. The Zim is quieter than the FDII to start with, and the high gain mode is significantly quieter than the FDII with both channels on. I still have to try it live in church, but I think this one is going to be a keeper.
     
  2. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    I didnt find the 4 screws required to get in the pedal as difficult (although some kind of different mounting for the modules would be nice. Hmmmm... kinda like a nintendo? :) Detents are always annoying though (I mean what is the point??? EVER???). What amazes me and made me decide to keep this one for now is the voice knob. How amazing! All pedals should have this type setup. Voice/tone. WOW! Mid boost, mid cut, treble boost, bass boost. Simply amazing control over tone. I have 2 VT cards and am gonna be swapping for a B9, and probably get a CS, and H9 just to try em. He also has some fuzz cards coming out. This thing is truely underrated. I dont think the ZIM was meant to be a FD2 like pedal. Also you can change the voiced circuit to be 1st or 2nd in line depending on how you plug it in.
     
  3. Non-Digital Tom

    Non-Digital Tom Member

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    Nice review. I love the ZIM. I got two to A/B the different cards. Now I just have the one. With all the OD talk going on around here, I'm surprised the ZIM isn't mentioned more often. I've been on an OD kick lately and have managed to collect quite an arsenal. I have to say, there are a couple that everyone's falling all over themselves for, and they're okay but...

    I don't know, for a retail price that's less than some of the other flavors of the month, the ZIM has two separate ODs that can be used independently or together, and the voices on the A channel are outragous - that's one of the most brilliant effects design concepts I've seen in the past few years. And the swapable cards! Forget about switching chips and listening for minute differences, with the ZIM cards you can entirely change either channel of the pedal. You can make it a Rat, a TS, a clean boost, etc...

    Any other ZIM lovers?
     
  4. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    I always have wondered why there arent 2 voice controls on the zim??? whenever I get caught in a selling frenzy I have to tell myself!!! NOOOO, dont let this baby go!
     
  5. TeleTubby

    TeleTubby Supporting Member

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    Bob, sounds like it got there Ok and works even better? Yes, the sustain thing is one of the cooler tones this one captures- as you mentioned, most others have to be cranked so much the pedal tone is not usable for other things. Sometime for fun, try putting another OD after it- you can walk away, do some chores, come back a few minutes later and it's still singing. Or a fuzz works very well behind it, also. Thanks and enjoy good tone in good health!!!
     
  6. Dave Fox

    Dave Fox Senior Pedalmaker

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    Hi there,
    Nice ZIM review -thanks!
    Most people love the voicing, but some people don't get it. The key is to dial in mild settings, only use extreme settings when you're looking for strange, boxy-type sounds. I find that a great all-around setting is to select Voice #1 and use it as a bass/mid boost or cut. If you need more top, just dial in some cut and compensate with the volume knob.

    Just so you guys know - I stopped using the detented pots on for VOLUME on ZIM a while back. I had a couple of people asking for regular vol pots, and it was time to order, so I made the change. Turns out the detent works out better on the Drive than it does on the vol. When I chose the detent pots, the samples I approved had very mild detents. Then as time went on I started noticing that most of them had harder detents. It wasn't supposed to be like that.
     
  7. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Hey Dave, welcome to the forum! We always appreciate it when the manufacturers drop by to help us understand the thought processes! I've got your TZF (which has basically ended my search for a flanger) and the Zim now-great quality and attention to detail.

    Now for the questions :)
    1. How much trouble/cost to replace the detented volume pots with the non?
    2. When the Big Muff board comes out, are you going to be able to keep the noise floor down close to the current offerings?
    3. How about a modular effect where there're chorus and delay and phaser boards... (like the Korg PME40x but updated)?
     
  8. Dave Fox

    Dave Fox Senior Pedalmaker

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    Hi Bob,

    1. How much trouble/cost to replace the detented volume pots with the non?

    Trouble -It's a pain in the butt, especially the first time but if you're good with that stuff you can do it.
    Cost - If you want to do it I'll send you the pots no charge. If you want to send it to me, include $20.00 to mostly cover the parts and the return shipping.

    2. When the Big Muff board comes out, are you going to be able to keep the noise floor down close to the current offerings?
    I still plan to do the BM board, but I put it on the shelf for a while when I started desiging Octron and I still need to get back into it. The noise floor is directly related to the amount of gain, so I can't promise that will be much better.
    3. How about a modular effect where there're chorus and delay and phaser boards... (like the Korg PME40x but updated)?
    It sounds like fun but I don't think it would be worth the trouble. Too many compromises with analog circuitry. Line 6 has their zim thing going with the swappable modules.. it's so much cheaper and easier with digital stuff.
     
  9. blueprint

    blueprint Member

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    Tom, can we know more...:)
     
  10. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    sup, dave! lovin' my ZIM... and CC2, paradox, and octron for that matter! :dude

    but anyway of sending in my ZIM to have the new smooth taper pots put in? and cant wait for the fuzz cards!
     
  11. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    used the ZIM on my last two showcase/gigs, and loved the tones i was getting! here's a clip from last week:

    everything clip

    - alder/rose strat w/ lindy fralin VH's
    - Clark Lil Bit LTD
    - ZIM hooked up w/ B (H9) into A (buffer boost set to dark)
    - towards the end of the solo, i kick in my lovepedal vibe
     
  12. Dave Fox

    Dave Fox Senior Pedalmaker

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    That was cool! In all honesty, I wouldn't be able to tell what you were using but it sounded great and I love the playing. If you want to send in your ZIM, same deal - send it in with $20 and I'll turn it around in a couple of days.
    Here's my address -
    Foxrox Electronics
    14 Morgan Court
    Wayne NJ 07470

    I'm gonna add something on my website for anyone who wants to change the pots. I'd hate for someone not to like ZIM because of that. And i have to admit, I like it better with regular pots. But the detent pots are still good on the drive pot because the change from click to click isn't that noticable.
     
  13. derek_32999

    derek_32999 Member

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    Very true. Again, great pedal!
     
  14. Porkchop Xpress

    Porkchop Xpress Member

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    Foxrox is the best. Period.
     
  15. Wooley

    Wooley Member

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    I agree except for one thing, and Dave, if you're listening, this is said purely in the spirit of admiration. The Fuzzfoot and Provibe need to be available as individual pedals again. I have the CC2 and it is phenomenal. The best fuzz and best vibe I have ever heard, bar none. But sometimes I want to just take the fuzz along, and ALOT of times I want to just take the Provibe. But I end up with neither since I then have to use up that huge chunk of real estate for the CC2, and I have to be able to plug into the wall. I think a single pedal, 9v battery powered version of the Provibe would clean up the extremely hot vibe market right now. I mean, I think a lot of manufacturers would actually have to stop making their's due to lack of sales. And the fuzzfoot, I honestly believe would become the industry standard if more people had the opportunity to try it out. That's just my .02
     
  16. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, I had the chance to use the Zim in church today (contemporary worship with a PRS EG4 and a 65 AC30) and it sounded great. I was able to get the volume knob to park between the detents so the boost wasn't as radical and it blended way better with the undistorted sound than the FDII had. Seemed to sit nicely in the mix, actually didn't use any of the other drive pedals today. Very cool! Thanks Dave.
     
  17. agentcooper2001

    agentcooper2001 Member

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    i've been using the ZiM on my board since the week Dave started shipping them out. I've tried a ton of od's since and its still the best.
     
  18. jpagey

    jpagey Member

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    One of the coolest pedals out there and one of the few new ideas to come along in od land. This pedal does not get enough attention. The build quality is sick it is so good!

    Dave is a great guy to work with.
     
  19. Badger71

    Badger71 Member

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    A little thread resurrection!

    I just got a ZIM from the man himself. I gotta say: I have wanted to try out one of these myself for a long time and I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger on one. It came stock with the VT and H9 cards and I must say they give me some extra tonal options with my MKIV. I'm still experimenting with different voice/depth configs so I haven't quite tweaked the settings yet. It's coming along though. Excellent pedal. Sounds great and built to withstand a beating....or an overzealous singer that likes to jump up and down with Doc Martens on.
     

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