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Zuma

Zuma

My friends at Strymon sent me a note to let me know about a new pedal that they are bringing to market: Zuma.

Zuma is a bit of a departure for Strymon in that it is a pedal power supply.

For longer than I can remember, I have been using Voodoo Labs pedal power products. Most recently the Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 4×4. I have 5 of them. One to power the acoustic guitar pedalboard. One to power the small electric guitar pedalboard, one for the mid-sized board and two for the big board.

Zuma will provide nine high-current outputs, each output providing 500mA of current. Although I do not generally test power supplies for tone, I have certainly encountered noise issues with some power supplies and certain pedals. I have a very small pedalboard, a Pedaltrain Nano, and I use a 1 Spot to power that board. But not with my Strymon pedals. Lots of noise using Strymon pedals with a 1 Spot.

Isolated taps and a toroidal transformer help in reducing potential noise which is why the Voodoo Labs units have done so well. They make a quiet and reliable power supply.

Strymon claims that their ultra-low-noise design prevents power noise from bleeding into the audio signal, allowing pedals to deliver their highest possible dynamic range. They will also be selling rails for mounting on Pedaltrain pedalboards as an accessory item — sold separately I’m afraid.

The power supply is coming out in the summer of 2016. I hope to get my hands on one then and see how it compares to the Voodoo Labs products.

My Guitar Rig

I had a few emails asking about my rig and my settings. My basic guitar rig consists of a 1994 Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 electric guitar, a Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special 1×12 combo and a floorboard which is pictured below.

Pedalboard

The floorboard consists of a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power 2 Plus power supply, a Voodoo Labs Analog Chorus, a Line 6 DL 4 delay modeler, a custom Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer modified by Analog Man, a Boss Noise Suppressor and Chromatic Tuner, an Ernie Ball volume pedal and the Lonestar channel/solo switcher.

I will sometimes take along my 1999 Fender American Fat Strat as a second guitar but I usually play the Paul Reed Smith.

In terms of settings, I find that most of the tone is produced by how I play the instrument — it is in the hands. The amp does make a huge difference in how the sound gets presented. I just love the sound of a Class A tube amplifier and I love the sound of the Lonestar Special. It is an amazing tone machine. I generally make very little use of the pedals. I will usually add some delay to the effects loop of the amp. And, because the Lonestar is so responsive, I find little need for the Tube Screamer.

The Lonestar is the first amp I have owned where I can find and maintain the sweet spot of a great sounding guitar tone. A wonderful and expressive amplifier.