MXR ZW44 Zakk Wylde Overdrive Pedal review by Dunlop

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 7.8 (48 votes)
Dunlop: MXR ZW44 Zakk Wylde Overdrive Pedal

Price paid: $ 130

Purchased from: local store

Sound — 6
The sound of the pedal is not very impressive. I use a Fender Strat with a Laney amp and as far as distortion goes my amp doesn't provide very hard crunch. That's why I wasn't impressed with the Zakk Wylde pedal at all. When you turn the gain knob up the distortion is still non existent. Don't get me wrong though this is an excellent pedal for getting a good clean unique sound that defines each string extremly well. If your looking for a distortion or if you want to sound like Zakk Wylde this is not the pedal for you. If you want a clean sound that is very unique go right ahead, but make sure the 130$ price tag is not too much of a chunk out of your wallet.

Overall Impression — 5
This 130$ pedal is not worth the money at all. Its just a Zakk Wylde trademark scam. Nevertheless it provides an excellent clean soft sound. The box states "This muscular stompbox will turn your clean amp into a heavy, chunky crunch Machine." This is a lie. All I'm trying to say is to test it out first before you buy it. I'm giving this product a low five because of the lies and use of the Zakk Wylde name to get you to buy a crappy pedal.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This is a tank. It must be bullet proof or something. The armored sides make it more durable than any other pedal I've ever seen (why they did this I do not know).

Ease of Use — 9
About as simple as it gets. With just three knobs it makes your day alot easier (they don't make too much of a differnce though). No matter which way you turn the knobs you get an excellent clean sound out of it although the gain knob for the distortion doesn't do anything (basically no distortion).

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    ok just for the record, unlike the wah, this is just more expensive because its got the Wylde name on it. all he uses it for is more gain into his amp, and it wont make you sound like Zakk unless youre playing a Paul with EMGs, 60 guage strings and a JCM 800 Zakk bassicly replaced the BOSS Overdrive pedal...(the yellow one)...uses it to put more gain into a cranked amp to get the Black Label if thats what youre going for, go with the boss, its half the price
    this pedal was really noisy. If it was on and i wasnt playing, it would either feedback or buzz a lot. i agree with powerage225, just buy the boss
    This pedal is amazing. I used a MXR DD-11 for my distortion and this pedal to crank some tone. My Devlin has Spitfire's (designed by EMG) and it sounds awesome through my mg412. Im glad i spent the $99 on Music123.
    I tried it out at guitar center, i was very displeased. but, i only screwed with it for like 10 mins. so idk, what i saw of it wasn't very nice sounding
    It's really supposed to be used as a boost pedal. Don't think it resembles Zakk's sound on any settings on any setup, as as far as I know, he uses (at east in the old days) a Boss Super Overdrive pedal himself.
    I have this pedal, and it's a fantastic way to boost your sound and noticeably tightens up. It sounds like ass if you're using it on its own, but if you use a Distortion Pedal or whack it into your effects loop while distortion's on, it sounds fantastic. Sustains for days.
    alright people if you want to get zakks sound or something simaler to it then you need to realize that this pedal is just a standard overdrive with more gain in it just becuz you have this pedal doesnt mean your gonna sound like zakk becuz one he uses many other pedals in his rig such as the mxr evh phase 90, the mxr stereo chorus, the dunlup rotovibe, and his signiture wah plus a ferw other pedals like the dunlup univibe, the mxr flanger and blue box and he tells his prefered settings for them all on the dunlop website if you really wanna get his sound that bad just go to the site and click backstage and he'll tell you plus a few more things about his gear and sound is that he runs his od threw a dirty tube amp which are his jcm 800 marshalls with different tubes so his shit is custum with grove 6505 tubes and black label speakers in his cabs to bust his sound plus the emgs in his bullseye are pretty much metal pickups the 81 is used best when overdriving your amp with a master volume for leads hence his od pedal and marshall jcms with master volume an the 85 is a good natural rythm pickup for heavy blues and the natural distortion out of your amp which he probly use whn running his amp dirty since he has custom tubes in it with the od for solo boost idk but sounds right to me for his specks so if your that obsesst with zakks sound then this is probly the best way to understand how he gets it consisdering zakk is one of my fav guitarest and a big influence on me
    to everyone saying just get the boss I will disagree. I have a 81' jcm 800 with kt88's and the boss leaves out some low end compared to the zw od. the boss also sounds less tight and more "grainy" (only word I could think of). overall its a quick fix but the gt od or zw od is a solid thing for a decent price
    is this worth it as a solo boost pedal? I'm looking to build up a monster of tonal posibilities, I wanna know if this is worth it to overdrive and define parts of my playing and go from a edgey aggressive punk rhythym tone to a screaming metal lead tone, Is it worth getting the mxr boost pedal and this seperately or get the mxr boost/overdrive? I wanna overdrive my distortion into a new level which is why I thought this would be cool, I thought I could put my boost after and the ZW infront of my Crybaby Wylde to give you that high gain boosted wah tone
    can this thing push my amps sound a stronger overdrive? I have a vox ac30cc2 and I think the overdrive isnt enough...
    fifer wrote: can this thing push my amps sound a stronger overdrive? I have a vox ac30cc2 and I think the overdrive isnt enough...
    if it is a tube amplifier then YES, that is what it is meant for!!!
    ^Aye, I'm so glad that GC stocks Crate V8's and Valve Juniors...there MIGHT just be hope for the budget amp buyer, if he/she can avoid being blinded by the shiney MG's and Spiders.
    garrettwichert wrote: YOU GUYS NEED TO PLAY THE ZW EMGS THROUGH IT!! 11/10.
    People freak out over EMGs, I find they aren't as true to your guitar's body, giving them less tone, they just sound like EMGs... I guess no one hears about the Ceramic Magnets nowadays. Just like finding an all tube practice amp is a little hard depending on your location.
    This Pedal only serves it's purpose on a all tube amp, don't bother buying it if you have a solid state amp you won't hear a difference for its tube driving properties, and the pedal is noisy as hell. Even a noise gate didn't tame it, if someone has some tips lemme know
    This pedal is designed to be kicked on while playing through a distorted amp. This pedal by itself sounds like shit, but when amplied correctly it turns your whimpy choo-choo train riffs into full fledged battles cries from armies of thousands of berserkers. OK. I may have gone too far but I use this thing as more of a boost pedal. 9/10
    Grunger Aj
    For those he can't get the crunch of zack wylde. Set your amp to your distortion channel then use the overdrive to boost it. THat is exactly what he does. Though if you don't have a marsharl or an amp with a distortion setting you will need to buy 2 pedals. Which isn't the best option.
    somehow i find it way less noisy if you put it after a noise gate in your rig. i like it, adds good tone, pinch harmonics and high end.
    you do realize if you want that zakk wylde tone you need to run the pedal through a high gain overdriven marshall amp. the pedal is to ajust the distortion you get out of the amp and maybe a bit of the tone. that's why zakk wylde uses it to ajust the distortion of the amp not so much the tone. that's why you probaly find it hard to ajust the tone
    Hey all need some advice here, Say I pair this with a Metal Muff, Is it gonna work as a good Solo Booster?