Here we go…..
As I gather up boutique pedals, I find that some fit me great and are definitely better that originals, and others just seem to do relatively the same thing as previous models. The purpose of this post is to compare the different dirts of Hermida Audio for those of you looking for a reference.
A note on all: Hermida Audio has built a great collection of pedals. You can find his products at hermidaaudio.com.
All 3 of these pedals have the same controls: Volume, Gain, Tone, and Voice. Volume increases Volume, Gain increases gain/distortion, Tone will change the tone from Bass to Trebly tones- but does so BEFORE going into the gain circuit (pre-distortion), while the voice knob affects the midrange AFTER the gain circuit (post distortion). At 12, the mids are (to my ears) perfect flat. More than 12 and you get a mid hump- in the upper ranges, below 12 you get a flat to slightly scooped EQ.
Hermida Zendrive (previous post: HERE): This a smooth ‘wannabe’ Dumble-ish overdrive. I have heard various comparisons from Tubescreamer-ish to blah blah blah— the thing is this overdrive is very pure sounding and very transparent. It lets your tone through and you can hear you guitar and amp’s flavors. It has a slight “snap crackle pop” in the background of the drive which is that ‘amp fuzz’ noise. This may sound crazy, but once you hear it, you know. Its very sweet sounding. I think this can reach some distorted sounds in its high gain. I keep it as a Bluesy/light drive with the gain at 10:30 which gives a nice power chord crunch and texture. However, when I roll down the volume knob it cleans up nicely to a very light dirty sparkle. I love this as my main Overdrive (until the Tim arrives– from what I hear 😉 )
Hermida Mosferatu: The High-gain version of the Zen. A touch darker (normal for higher gain) than the Zen, but same sound, just … more gain. It is not quite as transparent or dynamic, but again, that has to do to the high gain. It is a very open pedal considering the gain control. I would say if the Zendrive goes from 1-10 on the gain, the Mos goes from 6-16 on the same scale.
Hermida Distortion: BRAND NEW PEDAL!!! Only out for a few months and I have one! After playing this awhile, it has a slight remembrance of a modded DS1- mostly the Analogman vintage-type mod. BUT IT IS NOT A DS1! It has all the distortion, but WOW, it is the most transparent of the three pedals. I does not have that “Dumble” sound which makes it sound more smooth, fluid and clean/sterile. I cannot stress this enough– if I ever say (from now til eternity) that a pedal does NOT color my tone, it will be compared to this pedal. The Mos and the Zen both have a slight coloring, which I only noticed in a direct A-B comparison. Very good pedal.
Again, I needed a light OD that could be versatile enough to get some distortion. Thus the Zendrive was my choice. I wanted another pedal for Lead boosts, or for a stacked drive and I bought the Mosferatu for that purpose. It sounded too much like the Zen for me as I prefer a different tonal palate when I go to a solo as I do a lot to emphasize dynamics in my own playing. I used the Mosferatu several Sundays (3) and then went back to my Analogman DS1. Once I received the Distortion, I put the AM DS1 back into my gear shelf (on the “To Keep” side).
I generally had the settings- Volume: unity on all (all other notations in clock hours):
Zen: gain: 2 , tone: 1, voice: 2
Mos: gain: 2, tone: 11ish, voice: about 11- 11:30
Distortion: gain: 2:30, tone: 11ish, voice: flat at 12.
This isn’t me, but compares the 3 pedals. Sorry… its in Spanish, but you can clearly see what pedals he points to. If you really want to know what he said at a certain point, comment me and I’ll comment back with my gringo-spanish translation. (I do live in Puerto Rico and am semi (mas o menos) fluent)
New edit: this post linked by Hermida himself: http://hermidaaudio.com/wp/reviews