Demo Video(flash)  Demo Video(quicktime)  Audio Demo (see Erik's notes at bottom)*


This pedal has two effects in one box, a clean boost and a distortion circuit.

For a .pdf version of the hand painted Box of Rock™ instruction sheet, click HERE.

Box of Rock™

Z.Vex Effects July 2006

The Box of Rock™ is Z.Vex Effect's first "distortion" pedal, highly specialized to simulate the "everything on 10" sound of a classic Marshall ® JTM45 non-master-volume amplifier. You may use the Box of Rock effectively with many different amplifiers, but to get the sound I heard when I designed it, try it through a Marshall at least once. You may use your guitar's volume control to adjust for the exact amount of distortion you need, all the way down to very clean and clear with most drive settings. You will notice the words "distortron engine" on the Vexter version of this pedal (no, that's not a misprint) on the pedal. This is what I named my distortion circuit... call me crazy. On the hand-painted version, the stomp switch on the right is labeled "ROCK" instead, because our paint brushes are too wide for so many small letters.

The Box of Rock also contains an extremely high-headroom, unity-to-50X gain booster with nominal input impedance and low hiss. It is very similar to the SHO boost circuit, with refinements to make it sound more like a standard amp input and less glassy. The boost channel can be used alone or in conjunction with the "distortron engine" channel. The boost channel follows the distortion channel so that the distortion is able to hit your amp harder (at a higher volume) when both switches are engaged, for boosting solos and what-not.
Look out when boosting what-not. 8^)

The Controls:
Drive: Sets the amount of distortion. Start around 1:00 o'clock.
Tone: Adjust for treble content. Start around 2:00 o'clock.
Vol: Adjust for distortron engine volume level. Start around 9:00 o'clock.
Boost: Sets the boost level, which is engaged with the left stomp switch. Start around 11:00 o'clock.

The Drive and Boost controls are based on my original Super Hard-On gain control, so they may crackle when turned. This is perfectly normal.

Plug your guitar (or any effect’s output) into the right hand input jack. Plug the output into an amp or other effect’s input. Rock out. Careful with the Boost setting when using a high-powered amp with lots of headroom... you may be shocked at how loud it can get!

The best way to complete this pedal is to run it through a Marshall amplifier on a warm clean setting (try strapping the channels, setting the volumes below 3, and setting all other controls to 6 as a start point), which has the proper voicing to reveal the "rock" in the Box of Rock.

Battery Change:
If the performance of your pedal seems diminished or the LEDs become very dim, it's time to change your battery. Remove the four screws on the bottom of the pedal and carefully remove and replace the old battery, putting it back exactly in the center of the pedal on edge so that it is gripped tightly by the lid when it is screwed back in place.

Uses 1 9V battery (preferably alkaline, but the unit is shipped with a carbon-zinc battery.) The low current operation of this pedal's circuit will give you a long battery life. Current draw is approximately 3mA. A DC power jack (standard Boss configuration with center negative) is provided on the side of the pedal. Use a high- quality 9V adaptor for all high-gain effects!

All hand painted Z.Vex pedals have a lifetime warranty.

Service: Should your Box of Rock ever need service, please contact Z.Vex Effects via the "contact" link on the website for the most current information. Here is our 2006 information:

P.O. Box 16078
Minneapolis, MN 55416

*Erik's notes on the audio demo:

Every guitar you hear went through the Box Of Rock. All the rhythm tracks are vintage 1971? Marshall Super Lead (modded by Andy Wolf) through an old greenback Marshall 4X12, the various amounts of gain, from light clipping to crunch are settings, came from the pedal.

The first solo was a Lectrolab R200B, it's a little class "A" Champ kind of thing, with a 6 inch Jensen. Volume and tone were cranked. The second solo was a "transitional" Silver Faced Fender Pro Reverb at about 3 1/2, bright switch on, treble? at 7, bass on 3. The last solo was a Brown Fender Princeton. The amp was set at about 4 1/2, with the tone on about 5 1/2.

Everything was a 57 up close. I used a multiband compressor to remove some "woof" from the 4X12 during mixdown, a touch of compression over the final mix, and that was it. The whole thing was a Don Grosh Strat with Lindy Fralin pickups, strung up with GHS 12's.