EarthQuaker Devices Zoar Dynamic Audio Grinder
This meticulously crafted box has six knobs that allow you to truly customize your sound with the Level, Weight, Gain, Bass, Middle, and Treble controls. The red LED light indicates when the distortion is activated by the Flexi-Switch® enabled footswitch.
The Gain control on Zoar goes from the edge of break up all the way over the cliff into the crunchy, grinding abyss. The character of the distortion is heavily dependent on the setting of the Weight control as well as your guitar’s pickup type, and it is further fine-tuned by the EQ section.
While having its roots in a very familiar past, the passive 3-band EQ has been finely tuned for modern tones. While this style of tone shaping seems simple on the surface, it is deceptively complex and highly interactive.
The 3-band EQ and Gain controls give you nearly unlimited options with great focus and sensitive precision, but the real powerhouse of Zoar is the Weight control. This control dictates the amount of low end that is passed into the circuit, thus controlling the entire character of the pedal. From a mere clean boost to a high gain distortion to overdrive to the crispy Hi-Fi fuzz territory, this function gives you everything.
The Level control hits unity gain around noon, but this is dependent on where the other controls are set. In addition to controlling the output volume, it also plays a small part in the controlling the voice of Zoar. By adjusting the Level control with any combination of EQ (boosting the frequency bands and cutting the output volume), you can achieve drastically different curves that have the feel of the more traditional low pass filter type tone control.
Running Zoar at 18v
Want to elevate your sonic spirit to a higher level? Try running Zoar at higher voltage! Zoar can handle power up to 18v DC. Higher voltages will yield a different frequency response with more defined dynamics and a faster response. When powered at 18v, the range of clean tones are widened, dirty tones become punchier with better note articulation, low frequencies are tightened, the Treble control will cover a broader spectrum without becoming harsh and the output volume nearly doubles! The experience is not unlike plugging into a wall of high wattage tube amplifiers!
Level: Adjusts the output volume.
Weight: This is an input frequency control that changes the voice and saturation of the distortion. Turning Weight clockwise allows more low frequencies to pass through. This increases the gain, allows lower frequencies to clip faster and can shift the tone of the pedal from tight distortion to a loose fuzz.
Gain: Turn clockwise to increase distortion. This adjusts the transistor bias. A little static sound when turning is completely normal.
Bass: Passive bass control, adjusts the low frequency content between 0 and 800Hz +/- 15dB.
Middle: Passive middle control, adjusts the midrange frequency content between 500Hz and 3kHz +/- 10dB.
Treble: Passive treble control, adjusts the high frequency content between 1kHz and 10kHz +/-15dB.