The Source Audio Zio Front End + Boost is built to, in the company’s own words, “make everything sound better." In other words, it's much more than just a simple boost pedal. Featuring an all-analog design, the Zio boasts four distinct preamp circuits to take your tones to another level, whether it’s boosting your combo into low breakup or trimming the fat off a thrashing high-gain head! Guitarists love how intuitive the all-powerful Zio's controls are; output, circuit, tone, and switch are the only functions you’ll have to worry about, making it easy to dial in your favorite “always-on” setting. The tone switch simulates how different lengths of cable impact capacitance with self-explanatory bright, medium, and dark settings. A bypass/mute switch controls the dual outputs for easy switching between instruments, plus the ability to add a tuner without introducing it to the full signal chain. Boost pedals can sometimes come across as one-dimensional, but the power and versatility of the Zio truly sets it apart from the rest of its 1-knob brethren.
The Zio delivers a quartet of unique preamp circuits to perfectly dial in your sound:
JFET: This circuit has a remarkably similar response to a low-distortion clean tube amp input. Designed to function transparently, the JFET boosts without adding in any unpleasant harsh qualities.
Low-cut: Engineered to temper the “low-lows” that threaten to cause a rumble in your mix, this mode strictly impacts the low end with no changes to the low midrange. The Low-cut works great on guitars, bass, and synths to improve headroom and clean up your mix.
Studio: This mode takes inspiration from the famous “pultec trick” of the '50s to provide greater clarity to your sound. Studio mode delivers a distinct low-mid cut, slight upper-midrange boost, and a subtle highpass filter that produces a clean and natural sound that allows your guitar or bass to shine in your mix.
E-plex: Modeled on the famous '70s tape echo, this setting has all the vintage vibe of the original unit’s preamp. As a classic FET buffer/boost tone, the E-plex provides a slightly dirty, midrange-focused boost that is dripping with analog character.
The tone switch on the Zio is designed to replicate how different lengths of cable impact the amount of capacitance in your signal. While that might sound complicated, fear not! It’s simply a way to shape up your sound with intuitive bright, med, and dark controls for when you run into dull tones and shrill highs. The tone control works in tandem with the output knob to provide natural, uncolored buffer performance.