The Box of Rock is Z.Vex Effect's first "distortion" pedal, highly specialized to simulate the "everything on 10" sound of a classic Marshall JTM45 non-master-volume amplifier. You may use the Box of Rock effectively with many different amplifiers, but to get the sound heard when it was designed, try it through a Marshall at least once. You may use your guitar's volume control to adjust for the exact amount of distortion you need, all the way down to very clean and clear with most drive settings. You will notice the words "distortron engine" on the Vexter version of this pedal (no, that's not a misprint) on the pedal. On the hand-painted version, the stomp switch on the right is labeled "ROCK" instead, because the paint brushes are too wide for so many small letters.
The Box of Rock also contains an extremely high-headroom, unity-to-50X gain booster with nominal input impedance and low hiss. It is very similar to the SHO boost circuit, with refinements to make it sound more like a standard amp input and less glassy. The boost channel can be used alone or in conjunction with the "distortron engine" channel. The boost channel follows the distortion channel so that the distortion is able to hit your amp harder (at a higher volume) when both switches are engaged, for boosting solos and what-not. Look out when boosting what-not.
- Drive: Sets the amount of distortion. Start around 1:00 o'clock.
- Tone: Adjust for treble content. Start around 2:00 o'clock.
- Vol: Adjust for distortron engine volume level. Start around 9:00 o'clock.
- Boost: Sets the boost level, which is engaged with the left stomp switch. Start around 11:00 o'clock.
The Drive and Boost controls are based on the original Super Hard-On gain control, so they may crackle when turned. This is perfectly normal.
Plug your guitar (or any effect’s output) into the right hand input jack. Plug the output into an amp or other effect’s input. Rock out. Careful with the Boost setting when using a high-powered amp with lots of headroom... you may be shocked at how loud it can get!
The best way to complete this pedal is to run it through a Marshall amplifier on a warm clean setting (try strapping the channels, setting the volumes below 3, and setting all other controls to 6 as a start point), which has the proper voicing to reveal the "rock" in the Box of Rock.
If the performance of your pedal seems diminished or the LEDs become very dim, it's time to change your battery. Remove the four screws on the bottom of the pedal and carefully remove and replace the old battery, putting it back exactly in the center of the pedal on edge so that it is gripped tightly by the lid when it is screwed back in place.
Battery & Power Supply
Uses 1 9V battery (preferably alkaline, but the unit is shipped with a carbon-zinc battery.) The low current operation of this pedal's circuit will give you a long battery life. Current draw is approximately 3mA. A DC power jack (standard Boss configuration with center negative) is provided on the side of the pedal. Use a high- quality 9V adaptor for all high-gain effects!