ZW44 Zakk Wylde Overdrive review by MXR

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (14 votes)
MXR: ZW44 Zakk Wylde Overdrive

Price paid: C$ 95

Purchased from: Long and McQuade

Sound — 8
I use this pedal mostly on the dirty channel of my amp for a bit more gain and added sustain, exactly the same way that Zakk uses the pedal himself. I have popped it open and the circuitry of the Wylde OD is the same as the GT-OD so if you start looking into what that pedal can do as well you can get an idea of how rounded this pedal is. I will say it's a mild OD it's certainly not like a tube screamer, and I would have to say this pedal probably works best in front of an already dirty amp. I have heard this pedal through the dreaded Line 6 Spider III amp and I must say it made it sound 20 times better! True bypass so it doesn't effect your tone when you don't have it on. 8/10 Not as powerful as many other OD pedals; however still has a wide variety of uses and still sounds great.

Overall Impression — 8
I play a little bit of everything and I would say that this pedal is a nice little OD pedal to get more sustain out of your notes over more gain, it will dirty up your signal a bit more but it certainly wont make it a super raunchy sound either. Overall its a decent pedal but I would skip over it if you are in need of more gain. 8/10 Good pedal, just a lacking a bit.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Solid like all MXR stomp boxes this thing is built like a freaking tank. I have dropped this a couple times, kicked it around and generally just abused the heck out of it and so far I have not had a single problem with it at all. You could easily use it without a backup at a gig, very reliable pedal.

Ease of Use — 9
The Wylde OD is a simple pedal to use it has a Output, Tone and Gain knob making it very simply to get a good sound out of the pedal with very little effort. The manual comes with some suggested settings including Zakk's setting, which is funny because in a video I watched Zakk stated he ran the pedal cranked which is different then the setting MXR supplies! 9/10 Three knobs means less fiddling and more playing, really simple OD.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    somebody has some issues... ot; I just got the pedal and I love it. By itself it gets a bit treblish quickly but that's what EQ's are for. I mostly use it as a boost and it works like a beast! And to all the people with issues; no this pedal will not make you sound like Zakk wylde, it will only get you a step closer to his sound.
    tyadams2006 wrote: 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!
    First you say that OD pedals aren't designed to be used through clean amp but then you say that Zakk is using a clean amp and no other OD/dist pedals. And really, OD pedals were originally designed to mimic the overdriven tube amp sound because back then there were no two channel amps so it was either distortion or clean sound. With OD pedal you could get both distorted (by turning it on) and clean (by turning it off) sound. So it kind of gave your amp an extra channel. But today people more often use them to boost their distortion channels. And BTW, who would like to copy Zakk's sound? What's the point in copying other artists' tones? Make your own sound, you'll never become famous if you only copy other guitarists' tone and style.