Zendrive 2 Tubes/Valves

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Fender074, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Fender074

    Fender074 Member

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    Hey there guys, does the tube/valve you use in the Zendrive 2 make any difference to the tone? I've read on the Hermida audio website that the Zendrive 2 has more a little more gain, adds more of an edge to the tone and not as fat as the original Zendrive so would changing the tubes give that original tone back wile stil retaining the amp feel like characteristics the Zendrive 2 offers?

    Regards Tim:)
     
  2. terrapin

    terrapin Member

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    I was just told today that if you remove the tube from the Zen 2 it sounds just like a Zen 1. I have a NOS Telefunken 12AU7 in mine and love the increased headroom and smoother gain structure. The gain factor and quality of the tube do IMO make a huge difference in this pedal. I tried a NOS 12AX7 and thought the gain was too high andf a bit grainy.
     
  3. Fender074

    Fender074 Member

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    Oh really? I had no idea you could use the Zen 2 without the tube. Do get much of a mid range like you get in the Zen 1 with the tube? im looking to buy one probably tonight straight from Hermida audio as no one over here (England UK) has any for sale. Thanks for you help

    Tim :)
     
  4. terrapin

    terrapin Member

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    I have not tried the pedal without a tube, and don't plan on it. I like it with a lower gain factor tube.
     
  5. Dog Boy

    Dog Boy Member

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    I had a Zen2 and never really bonded with it. Changing the tubes does make a difference though.

    I have a regular Zen and love it...far more than the Zen2 and all the tube changes I went through. As usual YMMV.
     
  6. plan-x

    plan-x Supporting Member

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    I believe that Alf claims The Zen2 is warmer that the Zendrive. Look in the FAQ on his web site to see that on a comparison chart. I have a Zen 2, never had the original. Never took the tube out either. It sounds to freakin good to bother. It's the best pedal I've ever had. I swapped out the tube though for an 12au7. Didn't like the reduction of gain. So I went back to the original Tungsol 12ax7 Alf supplys stock. That's probably as good as any current production tube available. Here's a Q&A from the web site:

    Q: I want to experiment with other tubes in the Zendrive 2. What tubes work well?
    A: Any dual triode preamp such as the 7025, 12AX7, 12AT7, 5751, etc. will work well. New Old Stock (NOS) tubes also work but can result in an expensive experiment.
     
  7. Fender074

    Fender074 Member

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    i did do a search for some reason that thread didnt show but you've all been great help thankyou, ordered my Zen today :)

    Tim
     
  8. terrapin

    terrapin Member

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    I spent some time yesterday changing tubes in my Zen 2 and these are my impressions.

    I got my pedal here on the Emporium and it came with a NOS Telefunken 12 AU7 and sounded GREAT! I found that my old Tone/Voice preferences from my Zen 1 needed to be tweaked to get the sound I wanted. The gain seemed perhaps a tad greater than the Zen 1

    So, yesterday I tried these:

    1. NOS GE 12AX7 gave a significant increase in gain over the 12AU7 (too much for my use) and the gain sounded a bit raspier in a cool way.

    2. NOS Sylvania 7025 gave the same gain as the 12AX7 (not surprising with equal amplification factors). The low-noise 7025 thing bought me nothing.

    3. NOS Jan/Phillips 5751 gave slightly reduced gain from the 12AX7 with perhaps a bit more open, airy sound.

    4. ANOS Jan/Phillips 12AT7 gave about the same gain as the 12AU7, but the 12AU7 had more of the open, airy sound I prefer. I think most would say "more amp-like."

    So, for me the 12AU7 will stay in the pedal for now, but it is surely going to vary from user to user. It's way cool that this pedal can have all those possibilities. Can't say it is better than a Zen 1, but I sure like it.
     
  9. terrapin

    terrapin Member

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    Had a buddy come over yesterday and spend some time trying my new Zen 2 and doing some tube switching like I did. I told him NONE of my impressions or preferences and he ended up preferring the same NOS Telefunken 12AU7 that I prefer, and for the same reasons........a bit less gain, more amp-like, and a more overall pleasing tone-color.
     
  10. jw112

    jw112 Member

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    Thanks for update. I'll have to try one in mine
     

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