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The ZVex Distortron guitar pedal is the gifted little sister of ZVex's "Box of Rock" stompbox. ZVex designed the Distortron distortion effect to simulate the "everything on 10" sound of a classic Marshall JTM45 non-master-volume amplifier. With the Distortron pedal your guitar's volume control adjusts for the exact amount of distortion needed—all the way down to the clean and clear sounds you can get with most drive settings when the gain switch is set to low.
The Distortron effect pedal's controls function as follows:
•Drive: sets distortion amount—begin at around the 1 o'clock position. Based on the original "Super Hard-On" gain control, it may crackle when turned, which is normal.
•Tone: Adjusts for treble content—begin at around the 2 o'clock position
•Volume: Adjusts output volume level—begin at around the 9 o'clock position
•Gain switch: "Lo/Hi" switch lets you choose the standard "Box of Rock" gain level or a slightly boosted level
•Subs switch: "2-1-3" switch lets you choose the standard "Box of Rock" sub amount (on option 3) or two different lower levels of subs, depending on your amp's needs
Recommendations for operation:
Plug your guitar (or any effect's output) into the Distortron's right-hand input jack. Plug the output into an amp or other effect's input. Rock out. Set the sub's switch so there's just enough low-end for your amp. Try turning up the gain all the way but leave the gain switch on Lo. This is the maximum gain where you can still turn down your guitar and get a completely clean tone if you need it. With the gain switch on Hi, you can get more sustain with feedback at a moderate amp volume. Try using your rhythm pickup with the tone control turned all the way down for a vintage, bluesy lead sound.
Recommendations for pedal placement:
Try the ZVex Distortron last in your pedal chain, just before the amp. Set the amp for your favorite clean tone, set the Distortron pedal for your favorite distortion tone, and if you're using a booster pedal as well, try it both before and after the Distortron to experience different results: before the Distortron will give you more sustain, while after it will give you more amp volume (or drive, if you use a distorted amp sound).