ZW-44 Overdrive Question

Discussion in 'Pedals' started by campbellj, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. campbellj

    campbellj Senior Member

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    I bought a Zakk Wylde overdrive pedal to add to the overdrive I already have in my Blackstar HT-60. The pedal gives me a horrible humming when I turn it on, I do not have either gain turned up over halfway, on the amp or the pedal. Without the pedal, if I give the amp full gain, there is a very very faint hum, it just get's pretty nasty when I turn the pedal on. Is that just the nature of adding more overdrive to the overdrive that is already there? I already took the back cover off my guitar, checked resistance and continuity of all the grounds and everything is .1 ohm, from any ground to another including the tail piece. It also does not go away when I touch the strings. If it is what it is, fine, I can get used to it and just control it with the volume knob on the guitar, but if something can be done about it, than I would like to fix it. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Leendrix

    Leendrix The Cheeky One V.I.P. Member

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    What pickups are you using? If your using a good humbucker, then the amp may just be sensitive to lots of gain.

    When I'm playing metal, I set my amp gain to about 1 or 2 o'clock, and add a light amount of OD for solos to give a good boost. If your not playing lead, just turn the pedal off. Nothing else you can really do.

    Welcome to the forum, and happy playing!
     
  3. campbellj

    campbellj Senior Member

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    I have got SD alnico II pros installed, the slash set. I have the gain on the amp set about 12 o clock, and about 10-11 o clock on the pedal, I think you are right though about the amp being sensitive to gain, I can control it somewhat with the volume knob, but was hoping I was overlooking something else.
     
  4. Syn

    Syn Senior Member

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    The ZW-44 is a particularly noisy pedal. I had to run mine behind a noise gate all the time unless I was using it as a light boost to the clean channel.
    Adding an extra gain stage (which is essentially what you're doing with the pedal) is different to just turning up the gain on your amp and will introduce more noise.
    Zakk doesn't use a noise gate and if you've ever seen him live you'll know he rides the hell out of his volume knobs.
    I just changed over to a modded SD-1 which in it's unmodded form was essentially the same pedal as the ZW-44. The mods in my pedal include higher quality components that are used to lower the noise created by the pedal. I still get feedback at low volumes without the noise gate on when I run it with OD on my amp.
    If you keep all the knobs on the pedal between 10:00 and 2:00, tweaking for taste you may find it easier to work with. Try rolling back the level as low as it will go before you hear a loss of gain or volume, should be around 9:00/10:00. As long as it doesn't make you quieter when you kick it on you may find that more "workable".
    Obviously your rig may act a lot different to mine, rendering my suggestions useless to you, but let us know how you go. :thumb:
     
  5. dcooper830

    dcooper830 Senior Member

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    I have a ZW-44 and I've never had any issues with noise or hum.

    I'm sure there's a problem with your pedal.
     
  6. campbellj

    campbellj Senior Member

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    Just to see, I stopped at the guitar store on the way home today and tried another pedal with the same amp I have and the same guitar, and it has a humming also. I think it's just the combination of the pedal and amp.

    One thing I did notice though with my guitar at home is if I move the selector switch to the middle position, the hum goes away about 80%, but on the neck or bridge position, it's still annoying, any more ideas? I can control it the best by backing down the volume and tone knobs for each pickup, but it's weird it goes away in the middle position.
     
  7. crankyrayhanky

    crankyrayhanky Member

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    set the gain super low- between zero and next to zero, tone at 11 oclock, volume between 1oclock and full

    see if that helps, that is the ZW settings
     

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