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Z.Vex Channel 2 review

Simple overdrive gets a good reception

  • £79
  • €100
  • $99
The Channel 2 is a simple boost pedal with controls for master volume and gain - and not much else!

MusicRadar Verdict

It buffers, it boosts, it overdrives and it's tiny.

Pros

  • +

    Great placed first in the signal chain. Natural, valve-like overdrive. Compact.

Cons

  • -

    May be too tiny for some.

The Channel 2 is part of Z.Vex's California Mini series of compact pedalboard effects. This one takes its name and concept from the second channel of Z.Vex's Super Duper.

"Advancing the gain knob brings in a very natural overdrive like a driven valve amp"

It's a simple boost pedal with controls for master volume and gain. With volume up full and a small amount of gain, you'll get a useful clean boost similar to the Super Hard-On, but advancing the gain knob brings in a very natural overdrive like a driven valve amp.

Both knobs full on gives you a huge volume jump and great overdrive, but there are loads of variations available by juxtaposing the two knobs.

The pedal also has an input impedance of five million ohms, which means it won't load your pickups and is great as the first in a signal chain, with a sparkle and no loss of brightness when using a long cable.

A practical addition for any pedalboard. Stick one after your guitar to retain your tone and kick things up a notch whenever it's needed.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.