Zoom B2 as a rackmount...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Sundogue, Nov 9, 2012.


  1. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Location:
    Wausau, WI
    I absolutely love my Zoom B2 effects pedal. I use it more for amp/cab modeling than for effects (although there are a few I use). I use the Zoom like a preamp to my preamp because no matter what I plug into, my presets on the Zoom are my sound.

    However, because I don't use it like a pedal, I wish it were a rack mount unit instead of a pedal, so...

    I took my unit apart today and I'm pleased to say that I think it's possible to take this apart, refit it to at least a 2U high by half width rack effects unit. I may be able to work it into a 1U, but that might require more drastic measures. ;)

    Each component is layered on it's own circuit board and connected via ribbon cable which means I can...
    Separate the LED display from the main board.
    Separate the dials and buttons from the main board.
    Separate the heavy footswitches from the main board and replace them with soft buttons (which is all the footswitch buttons engage underneath anyway).

    All I have to do is figure out how best to orient everything to be the way I want it. Hopefully the ribbon cables are long enough to do what I want and it looks as though they are having taken the whole thing apart.

    I have a gig tomorrow night or I'd be starting on it tonight. I'll have to begin doing this next week.

    Any thoughts or suggestions? Anyone have to extend a ribbon cable if need be (don't think I'll have to, but we'll see).

    Pics to come...

    And yes, I know there is like the Line 6 or the Behringer rack units but I love the Zoom B2 and have been using it for years now and would just prefer it be a rack unit.
  2. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Location:
    Wausau, WI
    I finished rackmounting my Zoom B2. I also rackmounted my Samson wireless reciever into the same rack unit. I also had enough room to put in a small power strip so my wireless, Zoom B2 and my amphead can all remain plugged in and will now only have one power plug to plug in.

    With the Zoom B2 in a rack it will be easier for me to put it in standby and use the tuning function easier (because having to press the two footswitches simultaneously was difficult). Without the heavy spring loaded buttons, the two little buttons are now easily depressed to change to different presets or to go into standby or tuner.

    I had to create an angled mounting board for the mainboard of the Zoom B2 because one of the connections was a tad short and I didn't want to extend the cable in case I ever wanted to put it back in it's original pedal case. I also wired up a cable from the Zoom's output jack to a jack on the face plate of the rack unit, so I can use a short patch cable to connect the Zoom to the input of the amphead.

    Works perfect and looks nice too. Now I just have to build a new rack (to match my cabs as my previous amphead case did) to accommodate the ZoomB2/Wireless rack unit and my amphead in one single rack.

    Here's a pic of the front (before putting it all into one rack)...

    [​IMG]

    And here's a shot inside (showing how the separate boards are mounted to the faceplate, an the angled mainboard with the input/output/power connections)....

    [​IMG]
  3. Gadgetjunky

    Gadgetjunky

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
  4. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Location:
    Wausau, WI
    Thanks.

    What I'd really like is a Line 6 rackmount/pedal unit, but I love the modeling and some of the effects of the ZoomB2, but I just never really used it as a pedal and I was getting tired of having to plug my Zoom and my wireless reciever pedals in, and run the power and cords to them at setup or teardown.

    With the size of my new rack and the size of this rack unit, someday I could replace it with a Line 6 and it will fit. I can always put the Zoom pedal back together again if I want to sell it.

    Now it will all be in my rack. Just one single power cord to plug in for my amp, Zoom and wireless and I can even keep my speaker cables stored in the back of my rack now too, so I don't have to carry an extra case with my pedals and cords. Just my rack and cabs to carry now.

    Which is really important to me now because I play and rehearse with 5 different bands and carting this stuff around and setting up/tearing down was getting to be a pain.
  5. bassbrad

    bassbrad

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2000
    Location:
    Leander, TX (outside Austin)
    Interesting idea and good execution.
  6. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Location:
    Wausau, WI
    Thanks.

    I forgot to mention, for the faceplate settings labels, I copied it from the Zoom manual, and inverted the colors in Photoshop and sized it to fit over the controls. Then I taped it onto the faceplate using a framers double sided tape gun and affixed it over the control openings on the faceplate. Then I sprayed poly over the whole front. Voila! control setting labels just like on the pedal board.

    I would have used transfer decal paper but I ran out of the white decal paper (because the faceplate is black and needed white lettering) and had to print it out on plain white paper. Turned out pretty good and is legible.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    Newport News, VA via NYC
    Disclosures:
    Kohlman Bassworks
    Hmmm............interesting. Question, while you had the box opened, did you see anywhere in there a way to dial down the default volume on the drum machine section! That is a sore thumb for me. Ya gotta make sure your amp volume is turned down before you start it up. You can't turn down the volume until the drum machine is started. Default volume is maxed!

    Or even disable it altogether?
  8. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Location:
    Wausau, WI
    Hmmm...nope, there are no switches on any of the boards inside to change any part of the actual use of it.

    There are aspects of the Zoom that leave a lot to be desired. I never use the drum machine part of it. I never used any of the pre-programmed patches either as (IMO) they all suck. I've managed to program some great "tones" into it that I saved (given my bass and rig, that is) and have added a few effects to some of them.

    I do believe that you might be able to set up a patch for the drum machine part of it and once you have the volume adjusted, "store" it as another patch. All of my patches have the volume (along with the rest of the effect/tone) stored as a preset so I don't have to readjust the volume for any patch. Not sure about how it might work with the drum machine though.
  9. jabsys

    jabsys

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    Unfortunately not, the drum volume is independent of the patches & as far I can tell can't be saved, it's something that really bugs me on the B2.
  10. Gadgetjunky

    Gadgetjunky

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    It's been a while since I've had a B2, but what if you increased the volume in the patches?
  11. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2001
    Location:
    Wausau, WI
    Now it's all in one rack...

    [​IMG]

Share This Page