« The road-tested, box of metal-Great platform for mods! »Published on 03/16/11 at 14:11
These controls include:
The pedal is powered by a standard 9 volt battery (which can easily be accessed by turning a simple thumb screw and opening the compartment under the "stomp" hatch) or a standard 9 volt adapter.
Dialing in a useable sound can be a bit tricky, due to the fact that the pedal always retains a sort of "cocked-wah" type of sound, but thankfully the eq controls cover a LOT of ground so a desirable sound can usually be coaxed out of this unit.
More pedals should have this type of eq section. Being able to choose what mid frequency you like and then adjusting the amount of it really adds a whole other dimension to the usual distortion box layout!
Here's where this unit falls a little short. Keep in mind I'm judging the sound quality of this pedal based on its performance against many other high end boutique units, as well as other cheaper production units such as Boss, MXR, etc.
As mentioned earlier, the eq section really lets you zone in on specific frequencies and dial in many different tones. The problem is that the basic distortion circuit and its overall tonal qualities are not the best compared to other units available. While there are tons of sounds available, I only found a couple settings really useable and convincing in a live environment.
That said, when dialed in properly for my rig, the Metal Zone produced a thick, sharp and tight Metal chug that was very present with a solid low end that never got messy, and nice mids. The only negative is that the high frequencies can sound little nasally. Everything from old-school thrash to Nu-Metal, and Modern "Djenty" tones can be achieved with this pedal. It just takes a little tweaking.
There are many modifications available for DIY'ers or from companies like Keeley, Analogman, Monte Allums, etc that clean up this pedal and open the sound up, making the distortion more natural and useable. It is a great modding platform!
As stated earlier, the only negative I can write about this unit is the average distortion tone and nasally character of the pedal. But the excellent eq controls and the fact that there are cheap modifications available make it a great pedal in my book.
It's been around for many years, and is the standard for heavy metal in a pedal. Buy one used for cheap and have fun!