• Pros: A highly affordable and immensely powerful effects pedal that should impress more than just Zakk Wylde fans.
• Cons: It offers variety but all of a darker shade. If you require a lighter style of chorus, this pedal is not for you.
• Overall: In the right hands, this effects pedal will help you muster up the sonic intensity you need to blow people away.
If you are going to play guitar for the Prince of Darkness, you are going to need some help along the way. Zakk Wylde doesn’t use too many effects and accessories to create his sound, but the MXR ZW38 Zakk Wylde Black Label effects pedal is his key to creating thick walls of distortion and adding liquid dimension and texture to his clean passages. Unlike other pedals on your board, this one is meant to be left on the whole time to widen and fatten your tone.
Having five knobs on the pedal means that everything is a tight fit. In the dark, you may be fumbling around for a while until you get used to the layout. What you lose in sleekness though you gain in variety and the five controls all pack a punch bringing depth and width to the sound.
You don’t have to be a Zakk Wylde fan to benefit from using this pedal, but you do need to be on the look-out for a pedal that will add drive and power to your tone. There are many different types of chorus sound and this pedal tends to run over the lighter, more liquid styles of chorus you can get from other chorus pedals. This has to be remembered when you are choosing this pedal.
However, if you are looking for a dense chorus sound that can dip into the psychedelic quite easily, this pedal is definitely for you. Its robust sound is matched by its robust feel and personality, which means this is one pedal that will not be broken by vigorous playing. Whether it is studio use or touring that will see the pedal in use, it has the ability to withstand the abuse and pressure that can hit an effects pedal.
The ZW38’s stereo output allows you to hook up two amplifiers for the ultimate in spatial chorusing, allowing you to create a wide and sweeping stereo spread. Everything about this effects pedal screams intensity and power, making it the perfect addition to your range of pedals if you are looking to take people’s breath away. What won’t take your breath away though is the price making the MXR ZW38 Zakk Wylde Black Label effects pedal affordable for many guitarists. You may not have the skills or talent of Zakk Wylde but by using this effects pedal, you can recreate his sound on your own terms.