Home Forums Show Off Your Build Zentaur – a mashup of MKC and Zenith mini

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Scott Preston 5 months, 1 week ago.

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    Scott Preston

    Hey gang, here’s one of my combo pedals that has been popular with guitarists.  It is a mashup of the MKC and Zenith Mini – it utilizes the Easy Order Switching board to offer even more options.  The name is a play on a “Zen drive” and a “Centaur”.

    I built the 1st of this combo probably about a year ago and it has been extremely popular with my guitarist friends.  This one is going to a guitarist who works at Reverb.com.

    I originally built the MKC with the dual gang pot for gain. It all worked fine until I boxed the unit, then suddenly it wasn’t working right.  I had to pull the circuit out of the box to learn that somehow the dual gang pot had “gone bad” after installation (I don’t really understand that, but I checked the circuit before boxing and everything worked as it should).  The A gang (going to Gain1) worked fine and had the proper resistance, but the B gang (going to Gain2) had maybe a tenth of the expected resistance.  I decided to go with one of Barry’s suggestions on the MKC build and instead of using another dual gang pot for gain, I used a 100k trimmer on gain2.  It does change how the circuit works, but as indicated in the build doc, the change is subtle and would require someone being really familiar with the “klon” sound to come close to hearing the difference.  Using the trimmer also offers some flexibility that the dual gang doesn’t.  After swapping out the Gain pot everything was back on track.  I’ve incorporated both of the mods that are in the build doc (bass boost and Ultra drive).  Those two mods make the MKC much more versatile.

    With respect to the Zenith, it is stock and I just love this circuit.  I’ve used it in more combos than any other circuit.  I wish someone would explain to me how the voice/tone combo really works.  I know how to turn the knobs to get the sounds I want, but I’d like to better understand what is going on with the circuit.

    Another change I’ve started doing on my pedals is to put the LED indicators underneath the waterslide decals (I also started filing the top of the LEDs down to flatten them (both in sheen and shape).  I like this cleaner look (thanks to Cybercow for this idea).  And speaking of LEDs, I’ve always used dual color LEDs so that they would indicate that a pedal has power and is bypassed (red light) or is on (some other color).  However, the guitarists that are wanting the combos are not comfortable with having the “power indicator” (a light to them means the circuit is on) so I’ve incorporated that change on some pedals.





    Another stellar build! Thanks for the shoutout. 🙂



    Really nicely done! I love the MKC circuit (I built mine with a stage 3 Boost) and use it all the time. I have yet to buy a Zenith board, but it’s been on my radar for a while. Thanks for sharing the pics and the info on the build as well.



    Barry W Davis

    Good looking build, I may have to try that LED trick


    For your two-color LEDs, have you found a CLR value that works best for you? All the times I’ve used them, one of the colors looks good, but the other color usually is much too dim. Maybe I got a bad batch or maybe they are sensitive to how they are oriented in the mounting holes? Either way, your combo looks great. I just did a similar combo with a sho’nuff and sabotage – much grittier than I expect yours sounds, but similar operation.


    Scott Preston

    I’ve been using something around 5k for CLR and I’ve started filing down the top of the LED to help diffuse the light.


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