ISP Decimator G string VS Fortin Zuul

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by BIGRIGG, Jan 17, 2018.

  1. BIGRIGG

    BIGRIGG SS.org Regular

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    Short story....Zuul wins over G string.
    Longer story.....
    The Zuul has a faster clamping action for chug, stacatto etc. And that's saying something because the Decimator G String was very good. The threshold knob can be set much lower on the Zuul for the gating effect. This leaves a better sustain as well. I've read a few statements that the Zuul is just for fast, choppy gating. Not true. It is very transparent, as good or better than ISP and it absolutely can be set to allow for long sustained notes. I find no artifacts, tone loss etc from the Zuul. It powers back on again when you remove the power supply, whereas the ISP did not and you had to press the pedal again. Small issue, but better for my rig as I want it to stay on when I power back up. Zuul seems more forgiving with the 3 cables vs 4 needed for the ISP regarding ground loop hum as well. Again, more so a specific rig set up issue. I have the knob set at about 9 to 10 o'clock for dead silence with very high gain amp and overdrive. The ISP needed about 1 PM to achieve similar. Sensitivity for the Zuul key in seems more smooth. The ISP could be on the edge, like it wasn't sure whether to gate or not and you could get an in between problematic area of the gate opening but with some artifacts. The Zuul is much smoother in this regard with either tight clamping or a smoother opening at lower settings. The Zuul was shipped with a new Duracel 9 volt battery inside. Comes with a few cool Fortin stickers and the little stick on foot pads for the bottom of the pedal. Zuul has the colored LED's for gate action which is another small bonus over ISP. For practical reasons vs cosmetic, the LED is slightly slower to respond than the actual gate action. (milliseconds, but noticeable if you are trying for a visual cue etc)
    Considering they are both about the exact same price (darn high) I would recommend the Zuul for new buyers and a slight improvement over the ISP for current G string owners.
    I am happy I've made the upgrade. I live approx 60 to 90 minutes away from Mike Fortin headquarters in Canada. However, the pedal shipped from Kentucky USA? It took about 5 business days to arrive, but was very inexpensive shipping cost and no duty issues right to my door.
    I hope this helps others with the decision and interest between these 2 great noise reduction options.
     
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  2. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

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    So how do you wire the Zuul up?

    Guitar --> Zuul --> amp? Or can you put the Zuul in the effects loop? Can't find a manual on their website.
     
  3. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    There is no manual but you can do it either way. I usually use mine in the loop with a splitter out front to feed the key input. I've actually considered rehousing mine and adding a through jack to get rid of the splitter.
     
  4. BIGRIGG

    BIGRIGG SS.org Regular

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    Zuul is in the FX loop before delay & reverb to allow tails. Key input is fed from a splitter that is buffered so no tone suck. Many ways to feed the key. Doing a mod of a thru output from the key would be cool if needed. That would make it's functionality the same as G string design in signal flow.
     
  5. iron blast

    iron blast Northern Winds

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    Does the zuul kill noise as well as a ns2? I had a decimator 2 and it was all but useless it couldnt stop any feedback or hiss issues I was having. I'm still running a ns2 in my pedal rig but I have been looking into a zuul pretty hard.
     
  6. TheRileyOBrien

    TheRileyOBrien SS.org Regular

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    Had to be a defective unit or user error if you prefer the ns2 over the decimator? For the most part the zuul is very similar to the decimator.
     
  7. Fsilva

    Fsilva SS.org Regular

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    I've bought a Zuul and have some doubts on how to connect it using the key input.
    The idea is to use the Zuul with the Boss pedalboard BC 60, a polytune 3 and the Afterneath V2 from Earthquaker Devices.
    Any recommendations?
     
  8. Fsilva

    Fsilva SS.org Regular

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    BTW the amp is the EVH 5150iii 50w version
     
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  9. Werecow

    Werecow SS.org Regular

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    If you want that method, it needs a duplicate signal to plug into the key input. I've seen this done with the extra output from a Boss tuner, and also with one of these https://www.jhspedals.com/products/guitar-pedals/buffered-splitter/

    Anything that has two outputs should suffice though.

    Then the standard input & output on the pedal is plugged into your amp's effects loop.

    Does the Polytune 3 have two outputs? My version 2 doesn't unfortunately :(
     
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  10. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    good in depth review, and annoying when Canadian stuff ends up not coming from Canada, I'm just down the road in kitchener, rock on!!
     
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  11. Fsilva

    Fsilva SS.org Regular

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    The polytune 3 does not have 2 outputs, but the Boss BCB-60 pedalboard has. Would it work if i use the 2 outputs from the pedalboard instead of getting a splitter?
     
  12. Werecow

    Werecow SS.org Regular

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    Yeh that should work. Just remember for it to work to its full potential it needs to be a clean signal from the guitar, as if you were plugging straight into the pedal. So the split signal needs to be before any effects.
     
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  13. Fsilva

    Fsilva SS.org Regular

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    So the Zuul must be the first pedal in the chain, correct?
     
  14. Werecow

    Werecow SS.org Regular

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    The key input yeh. It can be after a tuner or something, just it's supposed to be a completely clean signal going into the key input. Then the normal input on the pedal should be the LAST thing in your amp's effects loop.
     
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  15. Fsilva

    Fsilva SS.org Regular

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    Thanks @Werecow!
     
  16. Omega139

    Omega139 SS.org Regular

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    I'm actually at my parents house right now where I keep my 5150 iii 50w combo for the spring break, and brought my Fortin Zuul with me. It works excellent with the amp. I like my knob turned to 9 o'clock (left), which let's me keep some sustain. When I start moving towards 12 o'clock it seems to work great for choppy rhythms, but tends to sacrifice some sustain of my lead sounds.
     
  17. 4Eyes

    4Eyes SS.org Regular

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    haven't tried zuul personally, but I don't look to try it anyway because the biggest design flaw IMO is the key input - I just don't get why it doesn't pass signal through the pedal (like G-string does), and you need some kind of stereo pedal or dual output pedal or signal splitter in front of it so you can use the benefit of the key input.
     
  18. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    It doesn't have a pass through because basically 99% of guitar players are morons and hook it up wrong. I actually argued this with Fortin... then watched the Facebook group and realized that sadly he was right :lol:

    I will probably put together a clone eventually with a pass through jack for myself though :2c:
     
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  19. 4Eyes

    4Eyes SS.org Regular

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    sigh...sadly....I have to agree :lol:
     
  20. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    Yeah it was really sad the number of guys that struggled with the concept of a Y cable...
     

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