Hermida Zendrives used to have the crown for ‘D’ style stompboxes, but then it seemed to pass to the Zenkudo, handmade by Toshihiko Tanabe in Kanagawa, Japan. The reviews these things get are fantastic, and the online video demos and the client list seriously impressive, so I ordered one.
Since I have some fairly heavy ordnance with both type of pickups, I went for the combination of the Zenkudo (for humbuckers) and the Dumkudo (single coils) in the same box. This means I can use it with any of my guitars, or I can set one side for cleaner boost and one for filth, or I can have two types of drive, or I can cascade one into the other. Choices.
Tanabe-san’s customer service is also fantastic. Ordering instructions are clear, and feedback throughout the process is exemplary. Then the pedal was ready and I got notification that it shipped from Japan on Monday morning. It was with me in London by Wednesday lunchtime. Unbelievable.
And the sounds? Yup, they’re fantastic too. This is a pedal that takes a lot of learning – it acts an extension of your playing, your guitar(s) and your amp(s). I’m only scratching the surface so far, but wow.
This is right up there with, if not above, the Zendrive, Klon Centaur, Ethos, Barber Burn Unit, Providence SOV-2 and Freekish Blues Alpha Drive. (And the best value pedal in the world, the £30 Joyo Ultimate Drive).
Domo arigato, Tanabe-san.