May 3, 2024

Z-Tone: IK’s secret weapon for your guitar tone

The Z-Tone technology can be found in the Axe I/O range of interfaces, including the original Axe I/O, the Axe I/O Solo and the Axe I/O One, plus the Z-Tone Buffer Boost Preamp/DI pedal, and the Z-Tone DI. Yes, a DI box that has tone shaping for your guitar.

The Z-TONE™ circuit lets you dial in impedance from 1 MOhm (“sharp”) down to 2.2 kOhms (“bold”) that interacts with your pick-ups.

At the maximum impedance, you’ll find your sound tighter, sharper and more precise. Increase the load and the sound becomes more thick and bold.

You’ll quickly find yourself using this to give your guitars even more sonic character – with just a few minutes’ experimentation you can dial in a sound that fits the mix beautifully, as if it’s been EQ’d.

Pick your pickup:

PASSIVE: designed to accommodate everything from low-output vintage pickups to hotter modern humbuckers with ultra-low noise and extended frequency response.

ACTIVE: bypasses unnecessary gain stages when using active pick-ups, to keep your signal path as direct, transparent and clean as possible.

Choose your channel:

PURE: a completely transparent and ultra-accurate preamp circuit that won’t colour your sound in any way.

JFET: a Class A JFET input buffer for subtle harmonic enhancement, midrange focus and warmth. A slight midrange focus adds warmth, giving you more tonal options from the same instrument.

  • PURE and JFET input stages go instantly from modern to vintage tones
  • ACTIVE/PASSIVE pickup selector optimises the signal flow from the start

The Z-TONE Buffer Boost is the ideal first pedal in your guitar pedalboard chain. It buffers your guitar signal to drive pedals and amps with the best integrity and purity of tone. Z-TONE control will open a new palette of tones from your guitar or bass and the boost switch will add that edge for solos–with maximum level and minimum possible noise.

AXE I/O ONE front panel controls, showing the Z-Tone functionality, meter and input selector.

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