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Zvex Vextron Mastrotron Mini Review

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by LuvMusic, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
    Well, over the weekend the postman dropped off a box....let's see what it is:

    A pretty plain looking box.


    What's inside you ask? A Zvex Vextron series Mastotron!



    Looks great....not as fancy as a Zvex line pedal but not ugly. Looks aside, I suspect some sounclips are in order.

    This is my first time at recording and posting soundclips, so, please be gentle on the quality of the playing and recording! ;) For recording I used a Line 6 Toneport GX and a B15 amp model. I used Audacity for my recording software. The bass is a MIM P bass with a Lindy Fralin nornal wound pup and DR flats.

    The first recording is flat...bass rolled off a little on the bass, volume wide open, straight into the Toneport.

    http://h1.ripway.com/LuvMusic/No Effects Groove.mp3

    The next sample uses the following settings on the Mastotron:

    Vol - 9:00
    Tone - 12:00
    PW: - 9:00
    Fuzz - 12:00
    Push - 3:00
    Sub Switch: #3 position

    http://h1.ripway.com/LuvMusic/Masto 1.mp3

    This sample uses the same settings used above but the sub switch is changed to setting #1.

    http://h1.ripway.com/LuvMusic/Masto 2.mp3

    Next sample. Uses same settings as above except PW is adjusted tp 3:00 (versus 9:00)

    http://h1.ripway.com/LuvMusic/Masto 3.mp3

    Last sample. Same settings as above except this the fuzz setting is set at 3:00 (versus 9:00)

    http://h1.ripway.com/LuvMusic/Masto 4.mp3

    My informal, not professional assessment
    of the pedal is.....I like it!! Seems to be flexible and bass friendly.

    PW is a pulse width control which allows you to narrow the pulses. Push/Pull allows you to adjust the source impedance which should help it be friendly with active basses (can't test, don't own an active). The subs switch allows you to control the sub content of the tone.

    I have not test this fuzz with my other pedals so I don't kow how well it "plays with others."

    Construction is no better or worse than most MXR and EHX pedals I've used. Seems rugged and I suspect it will holdup fine. Of course this pedal is much less than other Zvex pedals.....$149.00, no shipping, no tax from the "bay."

    I hope this helps. My responses may be a little slow over the week. I'm traveling for my day job for the next two weeks, so, I apologize in advance for being absent!
  2. Can it get into gated fuzz territory at all?
  3. Proton Lenny

    Proton Lenny Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Portland Oregon
    I have one of these on the way to my house right now. I'm quite excited to get it.
  4. what's the difference between this and the WM? Besides price...
  5. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
    It doesn't appear to be a gated fuzz however i noticed a slight gated effect when the PW was set to narrow (all the way to the right). If a gated fuzz is a requirement, this is probably not your pedal.
  6. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
    I have not tried or used a wooly. The clips and comments I've heard and read lead me to believe the wooly is a very wild pedal. IMHO the fuzz on this pedal is more tame.
  7. B.C.

    B.C. Supporting Member

    Jun 28, 2005
    According to Mr. Vex(our own TBer Vic talked to him for me at NAMM) the Woolly Mammoth is still the preferred bass fuzz and the Mastrotron won't do the gated Mammoth, but with the impedance push pull it will work will all active guitars and basses :)

    Seems pretty cool :)
  8. Proton Lenny

    Proton Lenny Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Portland Oregon
    Just got one of these little guys in the mail myself today, and I have to say, it is pretty damn cool. It can go from a relatively traditional fuzz to some pretty wacked out, distorted, dysfunctional (in a good way) tones. If you move the pulse width nob all the way clockwise it gets a somewhat gated sound. It is a very sharp attack and decay. The subs switches are great. On 3 there was more bottom end when the fuzz was on then when it was off. And the last knob (the knob for controlling impidence) is priceless for the active pickups in my Ritter. Plus it adds some control options for whatever you want to put before it. Anyway, I'm quite pleased.

    Proton ;)
  9. Nice mini review. $149 seems a pretty fair price.

    How was your time in the UK?
  10. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL

    London was great. Good for business and a beautful city. I would visit again.


    Thanks for the additional detail experience. My experience mirrors yours.


  11. perk45


    Feb 2, 2008
    austin, tx
    I just made a trade for one of these and I'm excited to try it out. I really liked the sound from your first clip with the Sub switch at 3. I can't wait to try it out with the subs at 3 and the fuzz maxed =)
  12. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    Mr. Zach himself says with the pulse width down you can basically get a gated sound.
  13. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Out of curiousity, how do this pedal, and the Wooly Mammoth compare to the Fuzz Factory. I use a FF, and it can be tricky to dial in sometimes. Just wondering.
  14. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I heard the FF is a lot more...unpredictable. I'm pretty sure this and the Mammoth are easier to dial in.

    But don't listen to me, I don't own any Zvex...yet.
  15. LuvMusic


    Aug 18, 2007
    Oak Park, IL
    +1 This is my experience, however, the Mastotron is NOT a gated fuzz.

    The FF is not designed with us bass players in mind. TB'ers who have used one report low end loss.

    I have not used a WM. Based on all the WM samples I have listened to and IME with the Mastotron, the WM goes from wild to crazy fuzz. The Mastotron goes from mild to wild fuzz. Or, the WM can be more extreme.

    Personally, I like the Mastotron.
  16. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    any other reviews on this pedal?

    ive been looking for a more traditional, hendrix-esque bass friendly fuzz, was going to get the electronix facedrive but cant manage to be able to place an order..
  17. Hmm, if you're looking for Hendrix-realms, you're probably looking for a Fuzz Face, and while the Mastotron/Mammoth are technically Fuzz Face variants, they won't really get you "that" sound.

    From listening to clips, give the MI Audio Neo Fuzz a shot.
  18. csala


    Aug 14, 2005
    Santa Monica, Ca
    Thanks for the review and clips.

    I was in a music store today and while I was there someone was playing a bass through a Mastrotron. Unbelievable fuzz! Really synthy to my ears. I asked the guy playing if it was gated and it wasn't. It sure sounded like it was.

    Very impressive, especially considering the price.
  19. Somebody saw the same black cat go by twice. :ninja:

    Anyway, how are the owners digging it these days? Zach? Valerus?
  20. Valerus


    Aug 4, 2005
    Austin, Texas
    I have a real name you know! ITS WILL!


    It's pretty sweet. It does the gated sound REALLY well.

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