New Zendrive "Red" from Lovepedals

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by MASONish, Feb 19, 2014.

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  1. MASONish

    MASONish Tele-Holic

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    Sean sent me a few new pedals to try out & one is the new Zendrive Red. I have the original Zen, Zen 2, & the Zen SE. This is a different beast!
    He told me that Alf had designed a Zen "Red Dot" circuit, back in the day, that had more gain with the great dynamics that the Zen is known for. He said this particular Zendrive will be an exclusive for Guitar Center.

    So, I've played around a while with my main Lester, Nocaster, & Strat. It plays well with singlecoils. Has more saturation on the highest gain setting than the original. Found I like it around 2:00 with the singles. With my R8 it just sings!!

    Just wanted to give you all a heads up to be watching out for this. It really is a nice pedal with the trademarks the Zendrive is known for.
     

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  2. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    Do you know what the street price will be?
     
  3. MASONish

    MASONish Tele-Holic

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    Didn't say. I'd say $199
     
  4. MASONish

    MASONish Tele-Holic

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    I also got the Dover Drive, which really has me tore up. Great, great pedal. It is certainly an original design. To say it's an EJ-in-a-box would be an accurate assessment. Now only if I had his hands! :bonk

    Sean sent a "Hi Volt" pedal to. Charge pump type pedal. Some will remember this type of circuitry. Definitely delivers the goods.

    I'll have to say that Sean is on a roll. Him & Alf make a deadly duo. Got some other pedals but hush-hush for now.
     
  5. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd like to try the Dover. I'm feeling a little impulsive...

    UPDATE: - ordered!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  6. MASONish

    MASONish Tele-Holic

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    It's really unique. Playing it in front of a clean Fender with a little verb & delay. Surprised at just how good the tone is. Definitely nails EJ's Dover tone.
     
  7. RubyRae

    RubyRae Friend of Leo's

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    I am glad Alf is still doing what he does best. He was always great when I dealt with him over the years, and just got a bad rap when things took a turn for his company.
    The zen drive is one of the best, and I'm sure red is no exception. I still kick myself for not holding onto my original hermidas...oh well.

    Thanks for sharing, and do tell when you are ready about all others...
     
  8. TheSmokingMan

    TheSmokingMan Banned

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    Congrats on a zen with a larger gain pot.
     
  9. thinkdifferent

    thinkdifferent Tele-Meister

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    Thanks MASONish, for sharing your impressions. Much appreciated!
     
  10. whiteop

    whiteop Tele-Afflicted

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    Any of the Lovepedals have always worked well for me onstage. Sean got a bad rap on the Timmy clone (Amp 11) for awhile which I didn't really understand because every single builder is building "clones" with minor modifications of older circuits. I can sort of understand because Paul builds such a great pedal for an affordable price and has great reputation of taking care of his customers.
     
  11. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Two reasons:

    1. The Amp 11 was revealed to be a copy of the Timmy when Paul C.'s mother was dying, IIRC. So Paul really didn't get an opportunity to hash things out with Sean like he wanted. It's left a foul taste in his mouth IIRC. I really don't want to speak on Paul C.'s behalf, but I do recall him being kind of "precise with his words" after some time had passed with losing his mother.

    2. Part of what makes the Timmy better from a design standpoint is that Paul adjusted the "mid-rail bias voltage." In most pedals, it's simply a 50/50 split. Paul bumped it up a bit by using a different pair of resistors - something like the TS uses two 10K's, the SD-1 uses two 33K's, and so on. Paul used a combo of 8.2K and 10K to offset things in favor of a little more headroom/performance.

    ...But Sean screwed this up, and reversed the order of the two resistors, which is critically important from an audio engineering standpoint. So he called attention to the reality that he was duping something w/o realizing that he messed up the bias supply in the process.

    And no - this isn't "Paul C. IP" or anything like that - you're absolutely right. Because another Paul C. used the same thing in the Crowther Hotcake back in '77! That one used 100K/120K, and the '03'ish one switched to 82K/100K. The more important point is to offset things in the right direction, which Sean didn't do.

    Also - this isn't limited to "the two Pauls." :lol: I recall an instance of 27K/33K, but don't remember the pedal. Since the SD-1 uses a pair of 33K's, it's a cool little tweak to offset things with a 27K. :cool:
     
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  12. Iago

    Iago Friend of Leo's

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    Still doesn't make it right, right?

    And the Timmy is being currently built and offered by its creator...it's not like it's a fuzz face or tonebender etc...
     
  13. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think he did it on purpose to get a reaction on forums like this. It's amazing to me that you insist he was trying to produce a clone and made an error. There are other circuit differences too.

    Is making a clone off limits? I wish I could think my job was guaranteed for life. I wouldn't worry about Paul.

    The Tube screamer is still being made too. With all the TS variants identified, sometimes with considerable exceptions, I'd certainly consider the 72 Degree OD a 'Son of Timmy' by the same respect. And also with respect, by the way.
     
  14. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm not insisting, but from an audio design standpoint, I can see it as nothing other than an error, and just hope that it's possible for others to understand how one might arrive at such a conclusion. An op amp was designed to have a voltage supply with -X/0/+X volts - a double rail. So with pedals, this is done with a single supply, or 0/4.5/9 volts. Paul C. offset the midrail bias upwards - it improves performance. It was very purposefully done.

    To say that Sean did it on purpose - shifted the midrail bias down to less than 4.5VDC - for anyone with audio design education and application - how is that expected to be perceived? I think saying Sean did it on purpose as a spoof is an overly easy explanation that can only be a huge presumption - there's no way to back it up.

    And again - it's not me saying Sean ripped off Paul C. - take Paul's word for it. I'm am just echoing it. He's got to be one of the nicest guys out there, but he hasn't held back from saying that Sean won't be receiving any Xmas cards from him (that's the friendly metaphor that I'm choosing to use).

    They are extremely minor. Someone went to the trouble to show where the knobs would have to be set on both to be equal. Paul concurred. When other pedals are compared to the Timmy but Paul sees differences, he does a good job of offering benefit of the doubt. He didn't do this with Sean.

    I don't worry about Paul, but that doesn't mean I won't stick up for him, or others whom I consider to be a class act like him. And it just makes it hard for me to want to stick up for someone like Sean. That's the long and the short of it from my POV. I don't expect others to see it the same way, but I think others have also said that Sean's cred took a hit from the whole Timmy/Amp 11 thing.

    I think this can somewhat be summarized with what whiteop said:

    "I can sort of understand because Paul builds such a great pedal for an affordable price and has great reputation of taking care of his customers."

    ...so we might all have differing POV all sorts of pedal principles/philosophies, but I think the above quoted statement is almost universal consensus. 'Nuff said. ;)
     
  15. Swampash&Tweed

    Swampash&Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    Guitar center huh? I will keep an eye out , thanks for sharing!
     
  16. JHVH!

    JHVH! Banned

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    So are you friends with Sean? He just sends you pedals out of the goodness of his heart? Wow. I wish you'd post some clips of you demoing these things he sent you.
     
  17. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    Op amps don't know what their references are. They can be operate from the (-) rail to ground if you want. Setting the artificial ground at 1/2 the supply voltage gives highest headroom on both phases of the signal. Commonly done. Moving the reference is a choice. Being a volt above or below an arbitrary reference is the same thing, just symmetrically upside-down. That is to say that you can hear that a signal is 180 degrees out of phase, which you can't. That's the spoof.

    'Improves performance' is a perception. One can purposefully improve performance if that is the perception.
     
  18. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    But you aren't including any particular op amp's phase margin in your explanation, just for starters. And generally speaking, the gain bandwidth product of op amps chosen (or preferred) for pedals is on the low side, with the phase margin typically being greater as the GBP drops.

    More importantly - the power supply and ground will have a non-zero impedance. Your explanation neglects to mention this.

    To appropriately focus on why this might be important, an ideal voltage source should be as close to zero ohms as possible. The non-zero impedance at ground is generally negligible in a decent design.

    So - taking into account phase margin along with a typically significant non-zero impedance at the source voltage, and remembering that this is a single-supply setup, is it truly accurate to say that it does not matter if the Vref bias is offset to either source voltage or ground?

    ...Maybe, but maybe not...

    But just by doing some cursory measurements, it becomes clear why it is advantageous to offset towards the source voltage versus ground. So this need not remain in the abstract realm.

    Bottom line is Paul C.'s offset actually puts Vref closer to .5 supply voltage than Sean's offset - in the much more common situation of non-zero impedance at source voltage.

    To see it as moving away from the midpoint is not accurate - it's shifting the resistance - deliberately - to attempt to get back to the midpoint - as close to .5 supply as is possible.

    So when you said:

    ..you basically explained why Paul C. offset specifically as he did - compensation to get as close to dead-nuts .5 supply voltage as possible - highest headroom. IC1B with the Timmy is a full-range 6dB boost, with the highest headroom on both phases of the signal. And when the gain is set to minimum, IC1A also gives 6dB boost with the highest headroom on both phases of the signal.

    So "Sean's spoof" would have worked - if he could have a more significant non-zero impedance at ground that was not part of the bias resistor pair.

    So being a volt above or below an arbitrary reference in itself would make sense, but it is incomplete if you exclude the non-zero impedance at source voltage (and at ground, if it were significant). I'd also argue that the phase margin of an op amp plays a role, sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  19. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

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    I'd love to try one of these. Thanks for posting on it. Any chance you could post sound clips or anything?
     
  20. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not.
    Thanks 11 - you made my point also. Realize the greatest signal amplitude in that stage is never more than two diode drops above or below the arbitrary reference. There is headroom to waste in either direction as long as it's below 9V and greater than zero.

    The capacitor at the 8.2K/10K reference puts the AC signal at virtual ground, so don't worry about the non-zero impedance, an explanation that didn't need to be made. The battery impedance is what is it is (low), we can't change it.

    Sorry Masonish. 11 often discusses circuits in the wrong forum, and I get sucked in. I'll grab my coat.
     
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