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Zvex Vextron Series Distortron - Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal Red

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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 Mars... Click To Read More About This Product

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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).

Don't leave your other distortion pedals in the closet-many distortion pedals sound amazing with the ZVex Vextron Series Distortron, so you may discover a whole new appreciation for your old distortion pedal collection.

  • Works well in combination with other distortion pedals
  • DC power jack on side of unit uses standard Boss configuration (with center negative)
  • LED light indicates when unit is operational and when battery is low
  • Uses 1 9V battery
    Battery draw: 2mA

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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
ZvexVextron Series Distortron - Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 9 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Incredibly amp like, wonderful Bassman/JTM tone

By Matt

from State College, PA

About Me Experienced


  • Excellent Sound Quality
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    Best Uses

      Comments about Zvex Vextron Series Distortron - Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      There are a number of "Marshall in a box" pedals out there, but you have to be careful of what kind of Marshall tone each is going for. Some companies throw around words like Plexi and Super Lead and then the pedal sounds like a JCM800, which can be frustrating and confusing. The description for this pedal is dead-on however - it sounds like a wonderful cranked JTM45 which was strongly based off of the tweed Fender Bassman. It has a more saggy response and a particular chime compared to later models like the Super Lead or JCM series. This pedal nails that tone into a clean amp and has become the core of my sound as of late. I use a GE7 to boost the mids for solos or rock n roll riffage. Play it with my bass rig and it cops a bit of Lemmy (RIP).

      Of the other MIAB pedals I've tried, I found the Xotic SL Drive lacking in low end, the Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret lacking in chime and treble detail, and the Tone City Golden Plexi a bit jagged in the mids and hard to dial in lower gain tones (pedal was a gain monster, unlike a true Plexi). The Distortron is my personal favorite thus far for my uses, and nails this specific era of Marshall tone. Highly recommended. Between this and the Fat Fuzz Factory, Zvex has really impressed me thus far.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)



      By Jason Siders

      from CA

      Comments about Zvex Vextron Series Distortron - Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      i feel compelled to write a review on this guy, something i never do. I've been chasing after something that can give my the sound of my Orange Rocker 30 for when i play out with my AC30. I've tried a lot of boxes: an Earthquaker Monarch, a Catalinbread SCOD, and Fulltone OCD. the OCD was closest, but it got really fizzy at higher gain levels and was lacking midrange. enter the Distortron. it has the perfect amount of midrange to cut through the mix without sounding 'honky', plenty of bass if needed, and just enough gain. the low gain setting maxed nails my old Orange, and the high gain setting backed off a little bit takes it even further. better yet, with the drive around noon, it nails some great early marshall tones, for Hendrix stuff and even some U2 type overdrive sounds (at least through my AC30). anyways, this is a crazy versatile pedal that sounds great just about every way you set it. my only regret is that i didn't get this sooner!

      (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


      I REALLY wanted to like this pedal....

      By Karl Swetland

      from Connelly Springs, NC

      Comments about Zvex Vextron Series Distortron - Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      I'm glad I tried mine, but I sent it back for being a less-versatile unit than the PlimSoul (my new favorite fuzz pedal).
      Features are great; small footprint, lo-boost is a 3-way switch, and a toggle between the two gain stages.
      It's built solidly enough, on the one hand, but it makes a lot of noise (I'm not talking about 'crackle OK' with the last knob, either)....Anywhere in the pedals, and it hummed loudly through a wall-wart as well as a VooDoo Lab power supply. Beyond that, it acually had only two great tones through the amps I use (a 16w tube tweed 1-channel boutique head on 5w, and a 3-channel hi-gain 50w tube head), and my Fulltone PlimSoul has those sounds---plus a lot more range as OD and/or distortion. I tried driving my 1980s RAT with it, but it was even more hellishly noisy.
      For my set-up, it was a lousy value; it could be just the thing for yours, though. I tried mine with the above amps (1x12 cabs) with HBs (Les Paul) and SCs (Carvin). If your rig's at all like mine, a better value would be to spend another $20 or so and get the amazing Fulltone PlimSoul for ALL your OD/distorto needs, instead of this Distortron for just 2 of them (which the PlimSoul covers...).

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


      Awesome pedal!

      By Robert Clagett

      from Virginia

      Comments about Zvex Vextron Series Distortron - Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      This is exactly what I was looking for. The toggle switches give you enough versatility to find or change up the type of tone you need. And unlike other pedals that I've used, be it overdrive or fuzz, the knobs are not overly sensitive with a lot of dead spots. Within 5 minutes of using the distortron, I knew I found what I wanted.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


      So. Much. Rock.

      By RECO Fan

      from Austin, Texas

      Comments about Zvex Vextron Series Distortron - Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      I've owned some great OD pedals over the last few years, and despite my love for Fulltone's FD2, I wanted something that wasn't voiced in the mid-boosty TS9 side of things. This pedal does EXACTLY what it is designed to do - it sounds like a the huge, dripping, crunchy wall of sound from a JTM45 stack. Sure, you can dial it down and get a tasteful blusey crunch going, but I can't help myself from cranking the thing and going to down. Marvelous.

      If you're looking for something a little different (and specifically voiced) with tons of tweakability, go for it. There's a lot of tone in this pedal, and with the sub and gain mini-toggles, plenty of flexibility as well.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


      The sound in my head

      By Anonymous

      from Undisclosed

      Comments about Zvex Vextron Series Distortron - Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      I own a vintage Fender that sounds awesome but has no drive channel. I wanted something to complement my Ibanez Turbo Tubescreamer that could give me heavier tones. I played a ton of different pedal until I found this one. It is awesome! Zvex has created an affordable pedal that sounds organic, natural and oh yeah, MASSIVE! This pedal absolutely sounds like all those vintage plexi tones of the 1970s recordings. The subs switch gives you a ton of control over the lower end of your sound. This allows you to dial in the right amount of low end which sacrifing the rest of the sound. I choose this pedal over the Box of Rock because it was cheaper and gave me even more drive. This drive is tapped into when you put the distortron in the high gain setting. When this pedal is cranked it is in a vintage sort of way, not a crappy solid state way like most distortion pedals. My only quip with this pedal is that the tone can be a little sharp at times and may require a little tweaking. Overal, this is a sick, vintage sounding pedal. If you want those huge vintage Marshall tones you need this.


      Fabulous pedal

      By mwseniff

      from Normal, IL

      Comments about Zvex Vextron Series Distortron - Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      I was a little leery of buying this pedal but I am glad I got it. It does sound like a Marshall JCM800 (and as a long time servicer I know what a properly working JCM800 sounds like on 10) but it is also so much more. Again Zvex has done a great job of maximizing the range and usefulness of all the controls. But more importantly if you put other pedals like distortion or wahs ahead of it they really come to life. In fact I have been using some old pedals that have been languishing unused on the shelf for a while and enjoying them in a way I never have before (my new Zvex Mastotron sounds killer in front of it). Even a stock Boss DS1 works better ahead of the Distotron. I have even recorded it direct with good results, even without an amp and speaker sim running it gives great useful tones into my DAW. The bass response switch is extremely useful at balancing the tone for different amps, I have used it with my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe, Vibro Champs, Pro Jr, Electar 10, Ampeg Gemini II and Ampeg VT-40 they all sound great once you set the bass response switch appropriately for the amp (it keeps some amps from "farting out" like they do with other pedals). I got great raves at band practice from my band mates who usually don't notice changes in my FX setup. This pedal is also built like a tank!!

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


      Great Pedal!

      By Chuck-PHLCn

      from Ft Myers, FL

      Comments about Zvex Vextron Series Distortron - Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      This is a sweet pedal. The sound of it is very suiting to a les paul or SG. It's very smooth and warm. The subs switch is great, you have alot of control over just how much low end is in there. The fact that its just a 3 way switch is great, you dont need a knob, and this stays in place better than a knob. You get alot of gain from this pedal, or very little. Its really quite versatile. It does replicate the plexi sound really well. It really just sounds huge. I play it through a 1x12 and it still sounds big, i can imagine how much body it would have through a 4x12. Subs on 1, Gain on Low, tone dimed, Drive in the mid area with my Les Paul Sounds like AC/DC, the subs on 3 with high gain tone dimed and drive medium is a great smooth distortion. Depending on how well you can scoop your amp, you could get a metal tone out of it, but this may be a little too smooth for that, its not super gritty. I Really Love the Tone of it, Though. It's a great buy. Z.Vex is a great company and a super creative guy. Check out their website and you'll be blown away by some of his stuff.

      (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


      Greatest Marhsall Style Distortion/Over Drive

      By Ronsol

      from Israel

      Comments about Zvex Vextron Series Distortron - Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal:

      One of the best overdrive/dist peadls ever. Starts from a Sightly Over drive in the lo gain postion, Doing all the way through Led Zeppelin, Eric clapton (60's era), GNR,Gary Moore and everything beetween those and a little bit beyond. The Subs control is very Usefull wwith both humbuckers and singles. And suprisely Sighlent with singles If they were'nt run out in Israel I would Buy one right when I'll have the money. P.s. Works better with humbuckes

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