Z.Vex Mastotron

Effects PedalThe Mastotron is a sub-heavy silicon fuzz with some special features. For example, the input impedance can be steplessly adjusted to line level.This allows active or passive pickups to be easily adjusted to the pedal.

  • Volume, Tone, Fuzz
  • 3-Way bass cutoff
  • PW (pulse width)
  • Relax / Push (input sensitivity)
  • 9 Volt
  • Power consumption: approx. 1 mA

Note: Power supply is not included

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  • Blues
  • Indie
  • Rock

Further information

Overdrive No
Distortion No
Fuzz Yes
Metal No

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21 written ratings Read all reviews
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Small Enclosure, Big Sound

26.03.2017
First off, I use the Mastotron with an analogue synth so my experience might not be fully relevant for any guitarists reading this.

After settling on some essential time-based effects, I decided to invest in some dirt. I toyed around with a ProCo RAT for a while but it was too noisy and the controls weren't exactly to my liking. So I started shopping around again and eventually went with the Mastotron, the rationale being that it had an impedance control (manufacturers take note), was reasonably priced, and came from Z.Vex, who have a reputation for unique designs with a twist.

I'd seen the photos of course but was still surprised by how small the enclosure actually is; imagine Digitech's new line of pedals, only this one's laid out horizontally, is shorter, lighter, and takes batteries - the Mastotron even ships with one. It's probably going to last you a while too because the draw is a mere 1-ish mA. The knobs have a pleasant resistance to them, while on the bottom you'll find rubbery feet on each corner.

Not only does the pedal look sexy, it also delivers soundwise. This thing can make my synth sing or growl (or crackle if I dial in some white noise)! I almost can't get a bad sound of it. There are plenty of knobs to tweak, which some might find intimidating yet is second nature to me as a synth player. From left to right you've got Volume (output volume), Tone (treble), Pulse Width (hard to describe, you'll have to experiment), Fuzz (amount of dirt), Relax-Push (impedance control although it can do more). My current settings are 10, 3, 10, 4, 10 o'clock. Then there's the invaluable Subs toggle which lets you alternate between three different stages of low end presence. I tend to use 3 the most because it retains my dry tone better but in a band setting with a bassist I can see myself switching to 1 more often.

The Subs switch is a bit difficult to reach spontaneously, which is about the only complaint I have. That and maybe a dry-wet blend knob in the future but that's neither here nor there I guess.

In short, this thing works wonders on an analogue synth. It's accessible price-wise, has vast tone-shaping capabilities, and is small enough to fit wherever.
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Total
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super bassy

kirill95, 13.04.2017
Very versatile pedal, could get practically every fuzz sound i wanted.
The subs toggle switch helps a lot with amout of low end you want to get, the most bassy one is my favorite one and it makes your guitar sound huge. (the only problem is the placement of that switch, would be hard to switch it if have big fingers, but personally i switch it with a guitar pick so it's not a big deal)
Also enjoyed the pulse width knob, it completely changes the sound you can get standard fuzz sound and synthetic kind of stuttering sounds (maybe a bit like a synth) with it and everything in between. knobs are very sensitive so there's great amount of various sound you can get from it everytime you roll it.
One of the setting i found by rolling the knobs is when you play softly you can't really tell that there's fuzz on you just feel some color added to the sound and low end and when you start playing harder the fuzz sound is manifesting.
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