• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


ZVex Distortron - First Impressions?

Monster Plexi

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
87
So has anyone throw for one yet? I've seen the NAMM clips, but was wondering if there are any other sound clips out there yet? Supposedly there will be some on the ZVex site, but they are apparently not posted yet? If you have one in hand, what are your impressions? Does the higher gain mode act as the boost portion of the BoR or is it mo' gainier?
 

Chrome Dinette

Senior Member
Messages
14,372
Mine should arrive later today along with a Mastotron. If the description of the didtortron is accurate, I expect it will replace the BOR on my pedal board. It will be nice to be able to cut out a little low end.
 

Monster Plexi

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
87
Yeah, it would be nice to trim the lows if needed. I went ahead and threw for one and it should arrive by Thursday. I'm also curious about the gain switch.
 

Chrome Dinette

Senior Member
Messages
14,372
I forgot to even touch the gain switch, but setting the low switch on 2 works well for me. Getting carried away on the low strings on a guitar with a hot pickup can produce blocking distortion in one of my amps when using the BOR. The sub switch seems to fix this nicely.
 

zachary vex

Member
Messages
766
I forgot to even touch the gain switch, but setting the low switch on 2 works well for me. Getting carried away on the low strings on a guitar with a hot pickup can produce blocking distortion in one of my amps when using the BOR. The sub switch seems to fix this nicely.
Is the range from 3 to 2 to 1 natural? I tried to make it subtle but useful.
 

Chrome Dinette

Senior Member
Messages
14,372
I didn't notice that it was unnatural. The range seems to work very well.

The Mastotron is great, also. I may not have it on my live pedal board, but I can definitely think of some overdubs to use it on when my band records in the near future.

Also, my drummer does a lot of triggering of low-endy synth samples and I can see the Mastotron being useful for creating the next batch of those.
 

Panacea

Member
Messages
607
I didn't notice that it was unnatural. The range seems to work very well.

The Mastotron is great, also. I may not have it on my live pedal board, but I can definitely think of some overdubs to use it on when my band records in the near future.

Also, my drummer does a lot of triggering of low-endy synth samples and I can see the Mastotron being useful for creating the next batch of those.
Is the Mastatron crazy sounding like the Fuzz Factory?
 

zachary vex

Member
Messages
766
The Woolly and the Mastotron are both silicon 2-transistor fuzzes.

The Fuzz Factory is a 3-transistor silicon/germanium hybrid.

All three sound different from each other.

Both the Woolly Mammoth and the Mastotron can sound fantastic on bass, especially when the bass is nakedly playing a line and is allowed to replace the guitars for a moment in the mix. In fact, that's something you should be thinking about when arranging songs... dropping out the guitars and letting the bass substitute a whole different set of harmonics using a fuzz is very dramatic, especially when the guitars come back. Musicians forget about the bass player sometimes... Remember the naked bass line in Zep's good times, bad times? Or the beginning of dazed and confused?

The Mastotron introduces, for the first time, features that will likely become more popular on fuzzes in the future, namely source impedance control and sub control. Subs are fun... but they're often missing from fuzz pedals. It's nice to be able to control the amount.
 

Purple

Member
Messages
840
The Woolly and the Mastotron are both silicon 2-transistor fuzzes.

The Fuzz Factory is a 3-transistor silicon/germanium hybrid.

All three sound different from each other.

Both the Woolly Mammoth and the Mastotron can sound fantastic on bass, especially when the bass is nakedly playing a line and is allowed to replace the guitars for a moment in the mix. In fact, that's something you should be thinking about when arranging songs... dropping out the guitars and letting the bass substitute a whole different set of harmonics using a fuzz is very dramatic, especially when the guitars come back. Musicians forget about the bass player sometimes... Remember the naked bass line in Zep's good times, bad times? Or the beginning of dazed and confused?

The Mastotron introduces, for the first time, features that will likely become more popular on fuzzes in the future, namely source impedance control and sub control. Subs are fun... but they're often missing from fuzz pedals. It's nice to be able to control the amount.

Yes! Arranging!

I record bands occasionally and this band last weekend had two guitar players and an extended range bass player AND a keyboard player... in many songs they were more or less playing in the same register and always playing. As predicted, it was hard to mix without it sounding like a wall of mush; I ended up doing some fairly extreme EQ on their parts to give them a modicum of distinction in the mix.

I told them to work on their arranging for next time. I think taking a class in orchestra scoring or something would be beneficial for all musicians in bands. (Not that I've ever taken such a course.... found out the hard way by doing lots of recording.)

:AOK
 

zachary vex

Member
Messages
766
You can learn all about arranging by listening to your favorite rock tunes from the early years on. Great producers along the way have always been influenced by the best arrangements in all other genres. Zep is a great band to study. Beatles are excellent, but the orchestration is not useful for most modern bands. Next time you're writing a song, before you get too committed to any arrangement, listen to a random classic rock song and steal some element of the arrangement to park in your song... and do it again with another classic rock song, until you've got a bunch of interesting arrangement features. It will surprise the hell out of your band.

I get a lot of emails from people who complain that the Woolly disappears in the mix when the guitarists kick in their fuzzes. I hate to say "duh" but basically, nothing can be done about that except use a different pedal or switch to clean. The Woolly's texture is very pleasurable, to be sure, but it's not necessarily the most cutting tone in one's arsenal of pedals. When it appears alone, it's really striking and fun... plan on using it that way as often as you can, whether with guitar or bass.
 

Purple

Member
Messages
840
You can learn all about arranging by listening to your favorite rock tunes from the early years on. Great producers along the way have always been influenced by the best arrangements in all other genres. Zep is a great band to study. Beatles are excellent, but the orchestration is not useful for most modern bands. Next time you're writing a song, before you get too committed to any arrangement, listen to a random classic rock song and steal some element of the arrangement to park in your song... and do it again with another classic rock song, until you've got a bunch of interesting arrangement features. It will surprise the hell out of your band.

I get a lot of emails from people who complain that the Woolly disappears in the mix when the guitarists kick in their fuzzes. I hate to say "duh" but basically, nothing can be done about that except use a different pedal or switch to clean. The Woolly's texture is very pleasurable, to be sure, but it's not necessarily the most cutting tone in one's arsenal of pedals. When it appears alone, it's really striking and fun... plan on using it that way as often as you can, whether with guitar or bass.
Word :AOK


btw, yeah my WM is quite pleasurable!
 
M

Member 995

The Mastotron introduces, for the first time, features that will likely become more popular on fuzzes in the future, namely source impedance control and sub control. Subs are fun... but they're often missing from fuzz pedals. It's nice to be able to control the amount.
I can't wait to get mine!
 

Panacea

Member
Messages
607
I'm glad I just went ahead and ordered it instead of waiting. Zvex number six on it's way. :RoCkIn
 

moseskim

Member
Messages
58
I got the Distortron (SN#9) earlier this week from musictoyz. Had the regular BoR before; its the same flavor or distortion so if you didnt like it before there wont be much reason this time around either. The bass subs do work in. 3-2-1 fashion with least on the 1 so great for tailoring to different amps. The high gain mode increases the amount considerably but still retains the same character. If you like the BoR, I suggest getting one. Sounds great through my Princeton Reverb RI. Im also using it in front of a Pod X3L to add some dynamics back into the unit.
 

aaronblues

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,779
The high gain mode increases the amount considerably but still retains the same character. If you like the BoR, I suggest getting one. .
Crap.....

Was going to not buy one of these, but i've always wanted my BOR to have a bit more gain at low volumes....Thought i was almost done buying dirt pedals, but hey....

cheers, rock on Zach...
 

edoetsch

Member
Messages
20
Isn't the distortron the rock side of the Box of Rock? Is it the same circuit with more knobs for controlling the world?
 

moseskim

Member
Messages
58
Isn't the distortron the rock side of the Box of Rock? Is it the same circuit with more knobs for controlling the world?
there's a three position DIP for the bass cut, and a two position one for the gain mode. other than that its the same rock side as the original box of rock.
 

zachary vex

Member
Messages
766
Yep. Although it's my personal opinion that the gain switch is not terribly drastic. It's a noticeable increase in gain... but imho it's not dramatic.
 

moseskim

Member
Messages
58
Yep. Although it's my personal opinion that the gain switch is not terribly drastic. It's a noticeable increase in gain... but imho it's not dramatic.
Cant disagree with the man himself! Thanks for making a great pedal and keeping it affordable for all of us. They also look killer!
 

Monster Plexi

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
87
Well, mine arrived today. The bass cut switch is pretty useful and the amounts of bass reduction are good. I generally preferred it on the 2 (middle amount of bass) setting. The gain switch is also a good idea. But I noticed added sizzle in the top and a fair amount of extra hiss when engaged as compared to other high-ish gain pedals I have.... yeah, I know it's higher gain therefore more "noise", but I was expecting the noise floor to be a little lower. Behaved better with humbuckers than single coils. Cool features, but not sure it will be a keeper for me personally.
 




Trending Topics

Top