ZW44 Zakk Wylde Overdrive review by MXR

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (14 votes)
MXR: ZW44 Zakk Wylde Overdrive

Sound — 9
This is my main Overdrive pedal; I own an Ibanez JEM 555, Schecter Hellraiser Solo-6, Ibanez 7620, and Ibanez 1570. I run them all through a Laney LH-50 head and an Ibanez 412 cab, and the sound is always fantastic. I use it mainly as a gain boost, so when it is engaged it can be very noisy when I'm not playing. I play a lot of hard rock/blues/shred music, and it never fails to deliver the extra push that I need. I have also used it on my amp's clean channel, and it gives great classic rock tones. Depending on how "clean" your clean channel is will depend on just how much Drive you can get out of the pedal, but its got one of the most amounts of gain I've seen come out of an Overdrive pedal.

Overall Impression — 10
As said earlier, I play a lot of hard rock/blues/shred. I use a LOT of gain in my playing, and it just never ever fails to deliver. It gives so much more gain and saturation than I need, but I know its always there if I do want it and it doesn't ever lose sound quality. If it were stolen, I'd run out and buy a new one immediately. There's nothing I hate about it. Short of spending double the money going boutique, its one of the Overdrive pedals to watch out for. I compared it to the Boss OD-3, the Boss BD-2, the Ibanez TS-9, Maxon OD-808 and I honestly thought that it stood on top for the needs I had. Fantastic pedal and I just can't praise it enough.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It's built like an absolute tank; made out of metal, screws to hold the backplate on, which keeps the battery safe. The batteries in it last an absolute age; they never seem to run out. I've gigged with it a number of times without even contemplating needing a back up pedal. I rarely check the battery because it's just so good.

Ease of Use — 10
It's a very easy pedal to get a good sound out of, and despite the name on the pedal, it's incredibly versatile. It's got 3 knobs; drive, tone and volume. It has a 9v adaptor capability and takes 9v batteries, which are kept safe behind the steel chassis. Very easy, very simple, a monkey could use it.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    First off I own this pedal and I love it! It's built like a tank so it doesn't fall apart easily and break on you. For an overdrive pedal this has a really amazing sound. Personally I like it better than the Boss overdrive pedals. Secondly, After reading the reviews on this pedal, I think most of you who reviewed this pedal must not know a damn thing about overdrive pedals. Overdrive pedals are specifically designed to boost your amps distortion or another pedals distortion to give you more crunch to the distortion sound. Overdrive pedals were not designed to be a stand alone distortion pedal but they can be a stand alone pedal very well if you like that sound and know how to use overdrive pedals correctly. I am sick of people saying this pedal will not make you sound like Zakk Wylde. YES IT WILL! just check this video out for proof
    Zakk himself demonstrates his gear setup. You can notice that he is using a clean amp. Maybe a slight distortion in his amp but for the most part it sound clean to me. He then demonstrates the Rotovibe, EVH Phase 90 and then puts on the Wylde overdrive over his clean amp sound and gets his signature sound. So I say again YES YOU CAN GET ZAKK's SOUND WITH THIS PEDAL!!! You just have to know how to play like Zakk or at least know how to use the pedal correctly of which I am guessing most of you don't! Zakk also uses a Boss chorus ensemble pedal and his own signature Dunlop Crybaby wah pedal. Currently, I believe he uses his own signature Wylde Phase (don't know if he still uses the EVH Phase 90 or not) and the Black Label Chorus. Altho I can't confirm this information but take a look at this video for another look and sound of his guitars and rig that he uses
    Before his signature pedals Zakk's pedal rig was this: Dunlop Jimmi Hendrix Wah pedal, Dunlop Rotovibe pedal, Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive pedal, Boss CH-1 Super Chorus (he has since changed to the Chorus Ensemble). see it here This is all the proof needed that the Wylde overdrive IS Zakk's signature sound. He DOES NOT use any other distortion pedal except maybe his marshall amp's distortion. Zakk DOES NOT use your typical distortion pedals, he uses only overdrive pedals! This site also explains his rig and confirms that he does in fact use the Wylde Phase instead of the EVH 90 Phase and now uses the Black Label Chorus instead of the Boss Chorus Ensemble. To finish, in order to get that true Zakk sound, you need to be running these pedals through Marshall amps. Typically half stacks. Thats it! Hope this sets you ****ers straight on getting Zakk Wylde's sound! Do some research you lazy bastards before you start spouting incorrect information! And get to shredding like Zakk! That's if you can!