ZVEX '59 Sound (Vertical) - Jemsite
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 02-20-2018, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
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ZVEX '59 Sound (Vertical)


[FONT=Calibri]One of the most sought-after amps (combo in fact) is the1959 Fender Bassman. Originallydeveloped for the bass guitar, six-stringers began realizing how great it was forthem – characteristics like responsiveness and that fat tube driven sound whencranked up. It sounded good enough thatJim Marshall used the ’59 Bassman as a template to develop the first Marshallamps. Below is a video demo using a 1979American Strat and later a Strandberg Boden Prog 7 (to see how those FishmanModern Fluence pickups respond). [/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri]I’ll cover each aspect of the ’59 Sound. First, the TONE is a treble booster of sortsthat offers a very wide palette that is not overly dark when turned down. I find a lot of ‘tone’ knobs on pedals tendto be far too dark and muddy from the very start (too much low end), whereasthis is not the case with the ’59 Sound (likely because the Bassman wasdesigned for bass players and they don’t exactly need a lot of extra low end). As you turn up the Tone to full, it seemsoverly bright on the bridge pickup, but not brittle… yet it works quite nicelyon a neck pickup, making it sound very lively and rich in harmonics.[/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri]The DRIVE knob really brings to life that Bassmansound. Turned up only quarter way and aclean signal sounds very warm and thicker, but far from aggressive. Around the 11 o’clock position you get thattrue tube amp sound and a slight breakup. Around 1 o’clock it starts to get a bit mean-spirited and you can hearthat bubbly tube saturation kicking in nicely. Once you go full tilt and hit some bar chords you can’t help but smile –the sound is very reminiscent of Hendrix pushing his amp to the limits… a thickthree-dimensional, classic rock sound. Concurrently, leads sound smooth and edgy without any unwanted artifactsin the tone.[/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri]The BOOST in this pedal is the infamous ZVEX Super Hardoncircuit. It can take your volume fromparity to 50-times! I’m uncertain whatconditions would even have a person want to boost a signal with the knob evenhalf-way, but it’s certainly there if you need it. What I like about this Boost is that it makesyour tone sound just a bit more ‘mean’ or ‘angry’ without adding color – a verynice transparent kick in the pants. TheBoost can be used on its own or with the Drive (it follows the drive, and so ifyou want to push more distortion into your amp, then this will do it!).[/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri]Of course, there’s a volume knob, which needs only a touchof tweaking to accommodate how much Drive and Boost you plan on giving yoursignal.[/FONT]


[FONT=Calibri]Encased in steel, this version of the ’59 Sound is are-issue… in a vertical format with new graphics. The original ’59 Sound had different graphicsin a horizontal configuration. Mostpedalboard users prefer pedals that take up space vertically rather thanhorizontally, and so ZVEX listened. Thestomp switches have a nice solid click to them, and both are far removed fromthe plastic knobs. The standard 9v (3mA)power input is located at the back, and away from wandering feet (it also comesshipped with a carbon-zinc battery). [/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri]This pedal is not meant for high-gain playing, but ifyou are looking for a distortion that can work with anything from Blues, toCountry to Classic Rock (particularly from the 1960s and early 1970s), thiswould be a great addition to your pedalboard. Having said that, the ’59 Sound also works very well with otherdistortions and even fuzz – think of the ’59 Sound as an amp of sorts and thatyou are adding other pedals to your ‘amp’ and you get the picture.[/FONT]

[FONT=Calibri]What helps the ’59 Sound stand out is how responsiveit is… to palm muting, lighter picking, rolling back the volume, etc. ZVEX did an excellent job recreating thatcharacteristic so well-known in the Fender Bassman and now it’s accessible toeveryone. The other important feature isthe incredible headroom it has. Obviously the Boost makes this possible, but even on its own the Driveproduces significant volume changes when turning from low to higher levels. Just like a real amp![/FONT]
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