TC Electronic releases a compact, affordable take on the Klon with the Zeus Drive

Complete with Germanium clipping diodes and a clean-blend dual-gang gain control.

TC Electronic has launched the Zeus Drive, its take on the famed Klon style of transparent overdrive pedals.

The stompbox takes the same compact form factor as the brand’s previously-launched Magus Pro and Skysurfer Mini pedals, with top-mounted jacks and the same triple-knob, single-toggle-switch control layout.

Knobs here are the staple Klon controls: Drive, Volume and Treble. True to the original, the Drive control is actually a dual-gang potentiometer that blends between a clipped signal and a clean signal. This blend is then boosted at the output stage.

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The Zeus does play with the formula a little, adding the ‘Fat’ toggle switch. When engaged, this adds extra bass and tightens the low-end response, a sound TC Electronic says is perfect for “gut-wrenching, chugging, riffery.”

The all-analogue circuit features a clipping stage that uses 1N34A Germanium diodes. A feature that will be handy for those who like to switch up their signal chain is the internal dipswitch, allowing for a choice of buffered bypass or true bypass. True-bypass means that pedals placed after the Zeus in the chain will not be affected by it at all, instead ‘seeing’ the impedance of your guitar’s pickups.

While this is good in some cases, too long a run of true-bypass pedals can result in high-end loss due to the extra capacitance introduced by the cabling. A high-quality buffer can compensate for this, however might make sensitive pedals placed after it behave strangely. Hence, a switchable bypass mode is great for versatility.

You can see TC Electronic’s introductory video below, and find out more at tcelectronic.com.

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