The Zero treads on the dark side tone-wise, but it’s not all shadow. With the
Stratocaster I was able to easily dial up the
bright arpeggiated chime of Pink Floyd’s
“Brain Damage” with a little tweaking of
the Manual control on the Leslie setting.
Flipping over to the flanger and making a few
minor adjustments to Depth gave me a very
Hendrix-like Univibe sound à la “Machine
Gun.” Single-coils and humbuckers performed equally well, and the Mod Zero is
transparent enough to leave pickup selection
to personal preference rather than necessity.
Overall, I found the Regeneration control a
little extreme on higher settings, especially with
the Vox—it yielded a throaty and less-than-totally-musical bark at the peak of a wave, especially for the chorus effect. This was slightly less
of an issue on the Bassman and Twin Reverb,
which had more headroom to work with.
For adventurous minds and ears, it’s worth
experimenting with different sweet spots
between the Regeneration and Manual set-
tings. Certain combinations yield ghost-like
harmonics that sound wonderful when aug-
mented with a delay unit running after the
Zero. On that note, the Mod Zero was very
friendly with additional pedals, and it espe-
cially warmed to overdrive and distortions—
in my case, a Fulltone Fulldrive 2 and a modi-
fied Electro-Harmonix NYC Big Muff Pi.
At $250 each, the multifunction Mod Zero
isn’t exactly inexpensive. But in the boutique
pedal market, one could easily spend that
kind of money on a box that serves up a single effect. So on that count it represents a real
value for real craft. The unique circuit will
satisfy tone chasers and hardcore pedal geeks
seeking individual turf and more modern
voicings, although classicists who find solace
in vintage tones may miss some time-tested
textures. Using the pedal to the full extent of
it capabilities on the fly can be challenging,
too, given the capable, but sometimes limited, control set. On the whole, however, it’s
a great pedal for everyone from experimentalists to lead players looking to spice up stale
jams, and it will reward any guitarist who
takes the time to explore the myriad sonic
options it puts at their fingertips.
you love classic modulation effects
but want more modern and unique
only the most authentic vintage
modulation sounds tickle your fancy.
or use a mobile device to download
audio clips of the pedal at