MXR ZW44 Zakk Wylde Overdrive Pedal review by Dunlop

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (48 votes)
Dunlop: MXR ZW44 Zakk Wylde Overdrive Pedal

Sound — 8
Basically, I am generally running a Fender Strat (with custom humbuckers), Zakk Wylde Overdrive, Fender Amp (very clean). The pedal will only sound good if it produces what you want, this pedal is not an oustanding Overdrive combined with an outstanding distortion. I would say it is a very mediocre pedal, but for me, it helps me develope my good signature tone. This will not make you sound like Zakk Wylde, instead it will give you some Overdrive with some distortion, allowing you to expand your horizons with your own tone, and that's what you want isn't it? I just wish I could achieve a more bluesy tone. The pedal isn't worth getting if you want to simulate other major artist's tones, if you want a sample of what this pedal sounds very much like with all the settings at about 1/2 maybe 3/5 you can sound like the intro to Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These) - Marilyn Manson. This pedal is becoming a stable/staple part of my sound because with the settings low, you eliminate the mud (which can be good or bad depending on your preferences) you give your pinch, natural, and artificial harmonics major power. Power chords sound menacing, and single notes draw attention. Again, achieving the tone you want exactly is difficult because the knobs are not fine-tuning, they are pretty much a lot or a little of something. Overall, the effects themself are mediocre, but if you want a diverse rock pedal, this is your choice. Here is basically what happens with the knobs turned up quite a bit. Sound, distortion/with slight Overdrive, menacing sounding, slight tremelo waving effect after a while of holding a chord approx. More than 3 notes. I love this, I believe it happens because of something poorly made within the pedal, but it does give a more signature sound.

Overall Impression — 8
This pedal is not for getting Zakk Wylde's tone. This is one of those pedals that you will love or hate. I play rock with blues edge, but I try to not let the standard blues shine through. I have been playing a couple of years and my gear is listed above, even though I do have more pedals and such. I personally like it a lot and I will rate it very highly because it is a tone I love and use all the time, but there are problems that develop that give you a signature tone. Chart at bottom again. I gave mostly 4's because I cannot give 4.5's. I like the pedal a lot and think anyone with an amp that just doesn't give you enough rock "guts" this may be your temporary fix. I will give a final 4 because the pedal is a good choice, but of course it is your decision that will make or break if it is a good pedal. I wish the effects would be individually more powerful, maybe modding would achieve this. I doubt I would buy this pedal again if it were stolen/lost/broken. While I love it and have it a staple part of my sound, I just can't justify another purchase of it.

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