Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

I've just built my first ever pedal - Zendrive clone

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by tonfarbe, Jul 27, 2008.

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  1. Nub

    Nub Friend of Leo's

    May 7, 2003
    That's what's important, that YOU like how it sounds; but like I said, I think it sounds great! But I think you should rename it the "Tonfarbe-Drive" :D

    Btw, I think a lot of the guys designing "clones" end up guessing at some of the component values (since the original builders sometimes remove the identifying numbers), and the circuits end up with minor variations. For example, I've seen some of the clone sites stating that the Jetter GSR, after being de-gooped, is an exact clone of the Zendrive; yet when the pedals are A/B'd, there are some obvious tonal differences between them. As always, YMMV. :)

  2. Guitar_Ninja

    Guitar_Ninja Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    I guess maybe it's a dead topic at this point, but there's some interesting info on cloning and patents, etc. over on Jack Orman's site if anyone wants to take a look:

    There are a few legal points that I don't think he's quite correct on, but I'm not a lawyer either so I can't say for certain.

    As for the ethics of it: we all live by our own moral codes. Who's to say that yours is any better than mine?

  3. jmclaren

    jmclaren Tele-Holic

    Apr 21, 2004
    Southern California
    Hey Red Rock;
    You've been on this board for two months and have managed to piss off one of our most respected posters and cause him to leave this forum. I think you take yourself way too d**n seriously. I can't speak for the other long term members here, but your arrogant, argumentative attitude is not appreciated.

  4. Big Tony

    Big Tony Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Sweden, by golly!
    Very interesting. Thanks for the info!

    / Tony

  5. RedRock

    RedRock Tele-Holic

    Jun 1, 2008
    Hey jmclaren:

    If my standing up and speaking out against unethical practices
    pisses you and JohnnyCrash off, that's just too bad. And by the way,
    most people who dramatically announce that they are leaving a
    forum are fishing for requests from others that they stay. People
    who really leave simply disappear.
    Your post attacked me personally, but AVOIDED discussing the
    issue of ethics. Even if you stick your head in the sand, the issue
    will not go away. Most people who feel guilty get angry.
    If you want to screw over Alf Hermida, a pedal designer who
    has spent time, money and talent developing his widely-respected
    Zendrive for the enjoyment of everyone on this board, then your
    self-righteous, predatory attitude is not appreciated.

  6. Chito

    Chito Tele-Meister

    Jan 15, 2007
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Okay this is not to piss off anyone but wasn't the Zendrive designed to sound like a Dumble? Isn't it kinda ironic that there are pedals that are trying to copy the sound of a copy of a sound of an amp. :p :p

  7. RedRock

    RedRock Tele-Holic

    Jun 1, 2008
    Hermida's circuitry is his own creation. He did not copy
    Dumble's circuitry.

  8. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    Not entirely true.

    In the end, it no doubt sounds drastically different from a TS, but it shares the same skeleton:

    - He replaced the TS clipping diodes with a BAT41/mosfet asymmetrical arrangement (actually borrows from the Boss SD-1 more than a TS). Folks have been playing with alternate clippers for years, i.e. the Landgraff box, the Clay Jones deal, folks swap Ge 1N34A's for the stock silicons (Hermida's choice of BAT41's is most similar to those).

    - He added a "voice" control, which basically allows you to adjust the highpass filter aspect of a tube screamer (i.e. the "mid hump"). When the voice knob is set to minimum, you get the flavor of any TS clone with flatter mids.

    - He grafted a Rat "filter" control in place of the TS tone circuit (the two are more similar than different).

    - A more "hi fi" op amp chip was used in place of a traditional one. Not saying it doesn't take research, but chip swapping is all the rage these days. At 25 cents to 5 bucks a piece, chip swapping is cheap R&D.

    I'm sure it sounds great, but it rests on the shoulders of the TS platform.

  9. jmclaren

    jmclaren Tele-Holic

    Apr 21, 2004
    Southern California
    Hey Redrock;
    You are absolutely proving my point. Don't stop now!!!

  10. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    That really depends on the individual who's doing the replicating.

    Some folks don't even sneeze at circuit borrowing, or even using a majority percentage of an existing design, changing a handful of parts, and calling it their own.

    Others just can't sleep at night, so they'll tell you up front what their pedal is based on.

    I really like that companies that produce straight up clones simply have no agenda as far as disguising the foundation for their design. The copies may be inaccurate, but at least you aren't getting a diversion...

    Most stompers are like the wheel - you can't reinvent it, but you can make it roll better.

    I love guitar, amp, and stomp clones. They're just another option, as long as no one is attempting to sell them as the real deal.

  11. kevinbr

    kevinbr TDPRI Member

    Mar 31, 2008
    Nice France
    If he has no patent then I fail to see the ethics. Human knowledge has advanced by father copying son etc, somewhere sometimes someone is copying something. If Zen had something unique they would have applied for a patent. Failing a patent, it is only YOUR opinion that ethics are involved.

    This is a commercial world. Zen is free to compete.

    And they do. Knowledge and information need to be exchangeable. And they are. I myself would like a zen drive but they are only available on ebay for 270+ dollars - which I feel is overpriced.

  12. Guitar_Ninja

    Guitar_Ninja Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    There isn't a boost, distortion or overdrive pedal on the market today that isn't derived in some form from a mock up found in some technical manual that RCA or GE put out 40-60 years ago. There's only so many ways to boost or clip a circuit and they were all figured out a long time ago. You can certainly pour a lot of R&D into altering these circuits; swap components and component values out, but in the end they're all taken from the same basic blueprints.

    Do you know what the difference between a Tubescreamer and the original Fulldrive is? Two diodes and the values of two resistors. I'm sure it took Fuller a long time to figure that out, but in the end the basic circuit is exactly the same. Other modders out there have done similar things and posted the info for free. Keeley comes to mind with his DS-1 mods.

    All pedal creators are fully aware of this. They are fully aware of the fact that there are few legal protections granted to them and their circuit modifications/designs. And yet they have made the conscious choice to enter a market which warrants them no safeguards. The risk is on them.

    Musicians face this same problem today. Do you pour thousands of dollars into an album and attempt to sell it when millions of people can and do download it for free? In the end no one's forcing you to enter the market. If you choose to you assume the risk.

    And do bear in mind that the average musician buys all of his pedals at the local music shop or online and never mods a thing, let alone builds any clones. I seriously doubt it's seriously hurting anyone's bottom line. There's just not the numbers for that. Keeley's modding more DS-1's today than ever.

  13. Durtdog

    Durtdog Poster Extraordinaire

    May 19, 2004
    Again, the difference is the legal protection. Pedal makers can copy legally. It's illegal to steal/download music.

  14. Guitar_Ninja

    Guitar_Ninja Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Certainly. I was just pointing out that at the present time the risk one takes on is the same. Pedal makers have no legal protections on their works and while musicians do, enforcement of these copyrights is proving to be very difficult in the digital age. And legally speaking a copyright which is unenforceable is essentially the same as having no copyright at all.

  15. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 12, 2005
    Fullerton, CA

    A Marshall JTM45 is an exact copy of Fender's tweed Bassman with Brit available EL34 tubes.

    A great deal of the early amp circuits were directly lifted (stolen would be Red Rock's term) by Leo Fender and too many others from tube recieving manuals sent out by tube manufacturers themselves. Then comes transistors a few years later, and the companies who built them give you running specifications. To design a circuit based on the manufacturer's physical limitations and specifications is not hard, often "copied" (without any knowledge it had been done before), and part of the laws of science, nature, and electronics.

    This is basic electronics - to "steal" would be nearly impossible at this stage. Design a circuit Red, understand what you're talking about, then get back to us. Afterwards, do some basic reading on patents and trademarks. Then read up on some of the history of these circuits and who they've "stolen" from. You will soon see how similar many circuits are and even when not 100% similar they are based so closely on groundwork Western Electric, Edison, and RCA already laid in the '20s-'40s that is was obviously borrowed from them.

    To follow the laws of gravity is not unethical. To follow the transistor or tube manufacturers' specifications to make their transistor or tube work in a circuit is not unethical. There is little left in electronics that is theoretical or esoteric. How resistors and capacitors shape frequencies is easily understood to those with a basic knowledge of electronics. Obviously knowledge of which you do not possess.

    If you have an opamp, transitor, or tube all you need to do is follow the basic rules of the universe and manufacturer to get the thing to work.

    Next partscaster builds will be called unethical, classic old Blues licks will be unethical, and even chords and scales will be unethical. Seymour Duncan and others reverse engineered pickups to build PAF and Fender Broadcaster clones - is this unethical as well? The scales and chords we have today, were not invented by you, were they? Western music, music theory, and all we know was invented, refined, stolen, and improved upon by others.

    As 11 Gauge has shown, even the Zendrive has aspects that can already be construed as borrowed or stolen. His own creation? If there is a god, he is the only guy left who can actually create something new. Otherwise, audio electronics follows the rules of the universe.

    Can someone recommend me a clone to build? This guy is a jerk.

  16. Montana_Dawg

    Montana_Dawg Tele-Holic

    Oct 27, 2004

    You cannot patent something that is not innovative. Every guitar pedal made that is based on a design from 10 to 20 years ago is entirely legal because the circuitry is so basic that you can find it in an electronics cookbook.

    The only thing patentable today would be DSP designs. However, even that is limited because of the basic nature of guitar effects. It's not rocket science for distortion pedals.

    What CAN be done to protect a design is to trademark the name, and copyright the layout and schematic. Even if you redraw a schematic from an old Tubescreamer, you can still copyright it if you alter it enough to where it does not resemble the original in great detail.

    personally, I feel that anyone that designs a pedal based on another pedal doesn't deserve any protections. If you can make something along the lines of a TS-808 that a lot of people like, they will want to but it. But I don't thinkt hat you should have the right to prevent someone else from doing what you just did based on "your" design.

  17. RedRock

    RedRock Tele-Holic

    Jun 1, 2008

    Western Electric designed circuits WHICH WERE OFFERED for free public
    use so there would be a demand for the tubes they made.
    To say that that new electronic designs simply "follow the laws of the universe" just states that new designs must deal with the laws of physics.
    This is obvious to everyone. New designs in electronics actually spring from
    new scientific discoveries about the nature of reality, advances in
    technology as to assembly of chips, superconductors, ect., and the imagination of designers using empirical data they gain themselves.
    The rest of the long, rambling, Ashcaster post has enough holes
    in its logic to accommodate a fleet of Mack trucks.
    He asks, "Can someone recommend me a clone to build?"
    I say -build a clone of yourself, and submit it to Leno for
    an episode of "Jaywalking."

  18. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    Actually, the Fulldrive was inspired by the Boss SD-1, which was mainly a lift from the TS. Boss added asymmetrical clipping and a slightly hotter "recovery" gain stage (a TS runs the recovery at just above unity gain). There are actually a few other caps and resistors that Mike either straight up borrowed from the SD-1, or pushed more in the direction that he wanted.

    I think that the differences in the SD-1 (or maybe Fuller's preference towards it? - just a guess) helped the light bulb go off.

  19. Guitar_Ninja

    Guitar_Ninja Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.

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