The ZVex Distortron guitar pedal is the gifted little sister of ZVex's 'Box of Rock' stompbox. ZVex designed the Distortron distortion effect to simulate the 'everything on 10' sound of a classic Marshall JTM45 non-master-volume amplifier. With th...
"I have a T.C. Electronic Hall of Fame reverb; a Destination Rotation by Option 5, which is a Leslie-style pedal; a CMAT Mods phaser; and a Zvex Distortron, which I use to just to boost the signal a bit. The ZVex is a great pedal because it doesn’t cut the low end. It works well for high or low gain."more
The ZVex Distortron guitar pedal is the gifted little sister of ZVex's 'Box of Rock' stompbox. ZVex designed the Distortron distortion effect to simulate the 'everything on 10' sound of a classic Marshall JTM45 non-master-volume amplifier. With the Distortron pedal your guitar's volume control adjusts for the exact amount of distortion needed-all the way down to the clean and clear sounds you can get with most drive settings when the gain switch is set to low.
I prefer my Fulltone GT500 but this is pretty fun, too. The bass boost buttons are kind of fiddly and I've not seen a lot of value from them.
I don't really like pedal overdrive so I will probably be ridiculously harsh with this one. When I tried the Distortron at a big box guitar store I was stoked about it and bought it immediately. I particularly liked its uncompressed character at pretty high (for me) gain settings. I also loved the 'subs' control. I can guarantee you they change the size of the cap that sets input impedence. The smaller the Capacitor, the less bass. Great call. This allows you to 'tune' the low end countour to suit your amp and still set the tone control where you like it. I need that control when I play through my HC30 clone. I like the EF86 channel and I find that while it loves pedals its also really revealing as to the way they skew your guitar's frequency response,
Now here's what I don't like about this pedal. When I have full subs to kick out the thump thru the aforementioned EF86 preamp I lose all treble cut unless I start goosing the tone control up. As I goose up that tone control the top end loses sparkle and takes on a hard, transistory crunch that doesn't live up to the promise of a neutral tone setting in lower 'subs' settings. Close, but no cigar. This is not a bad pedal and it sounds great through a marshall or even a top boost channel so I keep it, but it lets me down in the application I bought it for, to add some marshalliness to a matchless EF86 channel that's set up at the verge of distortion. The distortron has the frequency bandwidth to please me, but loses its best qualities when you dicker with the voicing that way. Alas.
I bought a second hand one for around 50$ (50€ more precisely) and never regreted it ! As i said, it's the largest overdrive i've ever heard : it can be used as a simple boost to a savage overdrive. Nevertheless, it's NOT a true distortion as its name may suggest. It's a powerful overdrive with a very useful bass selector depending of the kind of guitar you play, and two gain stages (hi and lo). A very very very versatile pedal working well through modulations like EHX Small Clone or a sweet AC's tremolo. The only reproach i could do is its too "transparent" character ... if you like your base sound, it will be perfect, but it won't really improve your sound. Actually it's more a question of personal choice than product's quality. To conclude i'd say you would always find something to do with it !