Tube/FET pedal reliability?

Messages
30
I'm seriously considering a Kingsley Jester and a Zendrive 2 Gold. I was wondering how durable these pedals are (suitable for gigging, or do I have to baby them?) and if the tubes or FETS in these pedals are reliable, as well as if need to replaced (like preamp tubes), and how often (around as often as amp tubes?)?
 

coltonius

Señor Member
Messages
13,266
The FETs you speak of are transistors. They should last years and years (and years and years and years...). They're not considered an expendable item like tubes or strings.
 

calfzilla

Cynical Hack
Messages
3,873
The FETs you speak of are transistors. They should last years and years (and years and years and years...). They're not considered an expendable item like tubes or strings.
They can be defective, but other than a massive power surge (like hooking it up to a 24V supply or something) it shouldn't ever need to be replaced like @coltonius said. JFETs are a lot like ICs. The durability of the ZDII should be right up there with any other non-tube, non-optical, non-photocell pedal. The tube in the Kingsley will need to be replaced at some point, and could go microphonic at any point and time for no reason, so if you get one, keep spares on hand and make sure you can get something close to that tone from another pedal on your board in case you have an issue in the middle of a gig.
 
Messages
30
They can be defective, but other than a massive power surge (like hooking it up to a 24V supply or something) it shouldn't ever need to be replaced like @coltonius said. JFETs are a lot like ICs. The durability of the ZDII should be right up there with any other non-tube, non-optical, non-photocell pedal. The tube in the Kingsley will need to be replaced at some point, and could go microphonic at any point and time for no reason, so if you get one, keep spares on hand and make sure you can get something close to that tone from another pedal on your board in case you have an issue in the middle of a gig.
This may be a silly question, but would I have to change the tubes in the Jester as often (or more, or less) than say DRRI tubes?
 

ChampReverb

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,649
I'm seriously considering a Kingsley Jester and a Zendrive 2 Gold. I was wondering how durable these pedals are (suitable for gigging, or do I have to baby them?) and if the tubes or FETS in these pedals are reliable, as well as if need to replaced (like preamp tubes), and how often (around as often as amp tubes?)?
Pedals have components.

Usually a pedal well-built with quality components should not have issues.

You speak as if your past experience is that your pedals have died or become flakey. Is that the case?

-bEn r.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,897
Many pedals run tubes at lower voltages than amps, so they last a REALLY long time. And most use simple 12AX7s, so they're pretty easy to replace, anyway.

It's the switches, jacks and pots-the mechanical parts, that break down.
 

ripgtr

Member
Messages
9,225
I'm seriously considering a Kingsley Jester and a Zendrive 2 Gold. I was wondering how durable these pedals are (suitable for gigging, or do I have to baby them?) and if the tubes or FETS in these pedals are reliable, as well as if need to replaced (like preamp tubes), and how often (around as often as amp tubes?)?
I have had a Jester for about 5 years now. I don't gig that much anymore but have quite a few gigs on it. I had it on in the office yesterday. I use it all the time, it is my main pedal. The only reason I have ever changed the tubes was to try different ones - RCA and GE. Ended up putting the TS RI back in, though can't say they were the same ones I pulled, I have a box of tubes. No issues. I imagine that yes, after a while they would need to be replaced. But it would be years. Just get a couple more TS RI ones in 5 years.

FETS, should last forever, or at least past the point where we will care. I have an Ibanez tube king from the 80s, I swapped the tube once. I know it is SS driven, into a tube, not a full tube OD like the Jester, but a great sounding pedal.

The Jester is THE best OD I have every tried. It doesn't get super distorted, more OD than distortion, but man, it sounds good.
 

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,308
I haven't worried about the tubes in my jester, but my jester has developed a flakey foot switch, which I need to replace.
 

DaveKS

Member
Messages
16,706
Do you not use tube amps because your afraid a tube might go out?

A tube in a combo amp are probably under great stress because of proximity to speaker (vibration) than a tube in a Kingsley would be. A tube is a tube, it can go at any time, 4 months after it's made or 20yrs after its made as in the case of many nos preamp tubes. A footswitch in a pedal can go janky at any time, it's a mechanical/electrical device.

If you've never seen a guys shot on a Kingsley pedal go look some up. There's nothing sub-par about components choices or on his building skills.
 
Messages
30
Do you not use tube amps because your afraid a tube might go out?

A tube in a combo amp are probably under great stress because of proximity to speaker (vibration) than a tube in a Kingsley would be. A tube is a tube, it can go at any time, 4 months after it's made or 20yrs after its made as in the case of many nos preamp tubes. A footswitch in a pedal can go janky at any time, it's a mechanical/electrical device.

If you've never seen a guys shot on a Kingsley pedal go look some up. There's nothing sub-par about components choices or on his building skills.
I have a padded case for transporting my tube amp and move it around far less than my pedalboard. Also, I'm not clicking switches on my amp, let alone with my foot, especially not mid song. With the Jester I may accidentally hit the switch too hard, or miss and hit the unit too hard. My pedal board case also ends up getting jostled around heavier pedals like my clyde deluxe wah sometimes detach from the velcro and clunk around a bit) And I've heard of people ordering Kingsley pedals and them not working, as they were jostled around during transport (the owner of one such pedal and I assumed as much, we're sure Simon and his team don't cut corners.) I ask about reliability, not because I don't trust build quality, but because tube devices are more finicky than solid-state/transistor devices, as you just said. I was trying to gauge "as finicky, or less finicky as a tube amp?", so thank you for helping clear that up!
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
27,897
200v on a 12AX7 is still not stressing it in any way. That's what I meant by low voltage. It's not a starved plate, but it's not a Kelley amp either! As to the mechanical wear and tear on a pedal vs a combo amp? Combo amp is way harder on tubes-the vibration from the speaker near the tubes is much harder on them than moving a pedalboard.
 
Messages
30
They can be defective...make sure you can get something close to that tone from another pedal on your board in case you have an issue in the middle of a gig.
The Jester is THE best OD I have every tried. It doesn't get super distorted, more OD than distortion, but man, it sounds good.
Would you guys happen to know of any solid state/transistor pedals that I could use as a spare?
 

calfzilla

Cynical Hack
Messages
3,873
I've never used a Kingsley, so I can't really comment. I would look at your normal solid dirt players though. Menatone and Lovepedal come to mind for their reputation. Maybe Greer as well, but I've never had any Greer pedals.
 

OverdriveLover

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,456
I have a Kingsley, though not for long, but I've thrown it around on my pedalboard, thrown the board itself in and out of the car, exposure to cold temps, and power on and off, more frequently than I would like for a tube and its been a champ.
 

ripgtr

Member
Messages
9,225
I have a Kingsley, though not for long, but I've thrown it around on my pedalboard, thrown the board itself in and out of the car, exposure to cold temps, and power on and off, more frequently than I would like for a tube and its been a champ.
Yea, I try to take care of my, but it is going to take some bumps doing gigs and such.
I have opened mine up, the thing is built like a tank. Well, like a really well built amp. Very solid piece of gear.
 




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