Tone is more than just guitars, amps and pedals; but the voice of the player. Once your core elements are brought together, you can refine your sound or even push it to a whole new level. This is Zenith: a powerful EQ, Boost, and Compressor delivered in one compact and incredibly flexible package from Hamstead.
From subtle tone shaping and compression that is felt and not heard, through to extreme sound sculpting and sustain beyond the natural realm, Zenith’s three circuits cover it all. Digitally controlled switching then allows the 100% analogue EQ and Compression circuits to be accessed independently, all via one OptoKick footswitch.
• +20dB of completely clean and transparent gain
• Active 3 band EQ voiced to have an amp like and natural feel
• Switchable mid frequency and Q for powerful tone shaping
• Incredibly transparent compression circuit with a low noise floor
• Blend control to dial in the feel of the compression
• Switchable order of the EQ and Comp circuits plus a Parallel mode
• Secret Switching to give full control over the EQ and Comp circuits independently
• Control input for switching via an external footswitch such as GigRig G2/3
• Silent optical switching and The GigRig’s OptoKick footswitch for excellent reliability.
EQ & Compression
The Treble, Middle and Bass controls have ±15dB of gain and are voiced to not only sound, but feel natural to use. Boosted high frequencies are present but not harsh; boosted lows remain tight while adding warmth, and the Middle control offers a huge amount of flexibility with its three position ‘Q’ and Frequency switches.
The compression circuit is simple to use, but at the same time incredibly high quality and versatile. It has a very fast attack and medium/long release, and is designed to work with any set up and remain very transparent. The feel of the compression can also be dialled in with the Blend control, allowing natural pick attack but also hugely increased sustain.
Zenith is our first pedal to feature ‘Secret Switching’ for independent control of the EQ and Compression circuits. For those using switching systems we wanted to bring back functionality to the OptoKick and adding two switches to a compact pedal makes both difficult to operate on a tightly packed pedalboard.
By holding down the OptoKick, the pedal enters the programming mode with 5 switching options; Standard (both on, both off), Flip/Flop, Comp always on, EQ always on, and Cycle. For example: Zenith can be used as an always on EQ with compression engaged via the switch, or used to Flip/Flop between the two effects.
Studio Style Control
The Circuit Order switch on the rear on the pedal allows you to place the EQ either before, after, or in parallel to the Compression circuit. While a common studio practice, this is the first time this feature has been included in a compact guitar pedal.
Turning an amp down to practise levels often results in tonal changes and loss of output tube sag and saturation, but with its features of EQ and Compression, Zenith can recreate the tone and feel of your amp at its best at all volume levels. The amp can be attenuated with the Level control without affecting pre amp gain in an FX loop, or by adding a drive pedal in the front end for your breakup style of choice. Adjusting the EQ then brings back your original tone, and by adding a touch of compression the feel of tube sag returns with musical bloom.
• All-analogue design with digital control
• Dimensions: 70w x 130d x 65h mm (inc. hardware)
• Weight: 575g / 1.27lbs
• Power Requirement: DC ONLY (centre negative)
9V: 280mA or 12V: 200mA or 18V: 160mA
• Input Impedance: 600K Ohms
• Output Impedance: < 300 Ohms
• Warranty: 5 Year Limited Warranty
Zenith has been extensively tested with a large range of familiar guitars and amplifiers to ensure that it will work superbly with any setup.
An all-analogue circuit with digital control designed by Peter Hamstead. Voiced by Tim Steer.
Hamstead Soundworks Zenith Amplitude Controller : RRP £279 // €319 // $349