Zvex Super Hard-On
Zvex Super Hard-On

Super Hard-On, Guitar/Bass booster from Zvex.

iamqman 04/12/2011

Zvex Super Hard-On : iamqman's user review


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Very simple ad easy to use unit. If you think you have a weak sounding guitar and or weak sounding pickups then this might be the pedal for you. With only one knob and two outputs for different amps or a tuner out there really isn't much to think about. Just plug it in and listen how it reacts to your guitars output and boost the natural frequencies of your guitar and pickups.

* Hand-painted artwork
* Ultratransparent boost
* High-impedance input refuses current from your pickup
* Ultrahigh output
* Goes from unity gain to in excess of 8V peak


This is the perfect preamp pedal. The "Crackle Okay" volume knob is a negative-feedback control styled after classic 60's recording console inputs. (They crackled when adjusted too.)
Most vintage guitars suffer from steadily deteriorating magnets in their pickups, since permanent magnets aren't really forever. The Super Hard-On's input impedance is so high (5 Meg) that it refuses any current flow from your pickup... maintaining the most magnetic field around each string, so you can hear exactly what your pickup sounded like the day it came off the winder.
The output level can exceed 8 volts peak, and when it finally distorts, the wave is shaped like triode overload, not fuzz.

Like all Z. Vex designs, current flow is low in this circuit (less than 2mA), enhancing battery life. The circuit board is hand-cut and soldered with the critical component, a BS-170 mosfet transistor, placed in a socket for easy user replacement should it be necessary. Your dealer can provide you with a free replacement transistor upon request.

The box is hand-drilled using no petro lubricants, and hand painted so that every box is unique. Knobs are Harry Davies, made with the same molds they've used since the fifties. Each effect is hand dated and signed by Zachary Vex.


I love the clarity it can give you when you run the control knob around 9:00. It really gives a nice sweet volume and transparency. Turn the knob up to 12:00 and you will get a nice mild overdrive signal that works very well in front of an already overdriven amp. It is subtle but sounds great in front of a Marshall JCM 800. If you turn the control knob all the way up it gets a nice tubescreamer type overdrive which is mild and classic sounding. When it is maxed out it does get a little fuzz tones in there which is very cool and unique.


Like all Zvex pedals this is built quite well and will sound excellent through just about any source.

At new these unit come in at around $240 a piece. Not a bad price for a solid built and sounding booster pedal. And for what it does it does quite well. Some people might think why would someone pay for a one control knob unit that just increases the volume, but if you got the chance to plug this thing in you would immediately hear the reason why this pedal is fantastic.

I would recommend this pedal to anyone who needs a bit of a boost to their signal or feel that the pickups or guitar sounds a little weak. This will give you the clarity and gleaming tone that you find on mixed and mastering recordings.