Legendary overdrive pedals 5 – ZVEX Box of Rock

Box of RockThe ZVEX Box of Rock is one of those pedals that every guitarist should have played at least once in his life.
To many this is the reference to all “Marshall in a Box”- pedals.


To musicians all over the world, ZVEX is no stranger.
He is one of the first boutique manufacturers and one of his first (and maybe also most famous) pedals is Fuzz Factory.
ZVEX is celebrated for his crazy creations which are sometimes depart from familiar paths and are able to produce unexpected and creative sounds as well as they offer a distinctive appearance.


Ever since, many overdrive pedals try to emulate the sound of an overdriving Marshall JTM45.
The ZVEX Box of Rock set new standards for this sector.
The discrete built pedal uses a transistor technique and dispenses with the OP amp of many other overdrive pedals.
This is one of the decisive aspects with regard to the amp-like behavior and sound experience.
Basically, the circuit of the Box of Rock recreates the circuit of a Marshall amplifier. The only difference is, that the tubes have been replaced by transistors.

Numerous “Marshall in a Box” pedals are oriented to this technique but none of them gets really close to the unique sound of the ZVEX Box of Rock.
I actually know guitarists who are creating their overdriven sound with a Box of Rock, although they own a real Marshall JTM45.

The pedal is built up in a quite compact style, provides true bypass and can you can run it on 9V battery or on a power supply.
The distortion can be controlled by the pots for volume, tone and gain.
The booster, which is based on the in-house produced Super Hard On is separately switchable.

The most famous users of the ZVEX Box of Rock are two of my favorite guitarists: Noel Gallagher and Stone Gossard.


The Box of Rock is available as hand painted -version as well as the so-called Vexter-version.
For the numerous guitarists who installed the Box of Rock vertically on their pedalboards, ZVEX recently designed the vertical version of this famous pedal.

And besides the unique sound of the Box of Rock the ZVEX 59 sound which emulates a Fender Tweed Bassman is also pretty fascinating to me.
In the end, the circuit of the Marshall JTM45 varies only a little from the circuit of the Fender Tweed Bassman.