Find a Zoom G9.2tt on eBay
The Zoom G9.2tt is generally not that common on eBay. This was a high-end "flag-ship" product release by Zoom and as a result is probably less well known than many of their smaller and more commonly available multi-effects units.
Also worth mentioning ... If you can actually find a Zoom G9.2tt new (or in near new condition with box, manual and software), it may still be sold with a copy of the Cubase (Limited or Light Edition) LE 4 or LE 5 software and licence. One might think this is a cheap way to upgrade, but in fact (at time of writing) Steinberg was up to Cubase LE 8, and LE 4/5 may simply no longer qualify for upgrade offers. Please check the Steinberg web site first if this is important to you.
Buying a Used Zoom G9.2tt
Having only ever purchased one of these as 'used', I was surprised to see an original retail price sticker on the box for AUD $1,159 - ouch!
The last 'NEW' G9's that I saw on eBay still listed for around AUD $700, which (even at the time) I considered somewhat excessive.
However, on eBay you can expect a used Zoom G9.2tt to be in the AUD $200 to $350 range, depending on condition of course, whether there is a case and so on.
Unlike simpler devices, with the G9.2tt there are things other than cosmetic wear and tear that you should watch out for. Pay particular attention to the functionality of the many switches and of course the pedals themselves.
The pedals may have had a lot of use, and do need maintenance from time to time. If they don't get that maintenance and lubrication they may actually fail or even break.
Also, make sure the two 12AX7 tubes light up and are fully functional.
Early reviews for these monsters go back to March of 2007, with an estimated release date around 2005, these beasts are now around years old.
This suggests that most G9.2tt's you are likely to encounter will probably be due to have their 12AX7s replaced (if they haven't been already). Unless of course the G9.2tt in question has spent most of its life in a cardboard box ... which is ... unlikely.
Factor in approximately AUD $60 to $100 for a pair of 12AX7s, and another $50 to $100 if you get the G9.2tt professionally serviced/repaired.
In short a service + two new tubes could easily add AUD $200 to the cost of the G9.2tt.
See also: Tube / Valve Replacement for the ZOOM G9.2tt Guitar Effects Console.
Buying Used Gear Warning
Whilst the Zoom G9.2tt (like most Zoom gear) is solidly built and the G9 is even rather heavy, they can break and fail electronically. Being a sophisticated processor driven machine they can get squirrely on occasions, and behave a little unpredictably. Not a good look for supposedly pro level gear.
Zoom G9.2tt Specifications
|Patch memory||User: 5 patches x 20 banks = 100 (read / write)
Preset: 5 patches x 20 banks = 100 (read only) Total: 200 patches
|Sampling freq.||96 kHz|
|Freq. response||20Hz - 40kHz +1.0 dB, -3.0 dB (10K ohm load)|
|Display||2-digit 7-segment LED with 16-digit 2-line backlit LCD|
|Guitar input||Standard mono phone jack Rated input level: -10 dBm Input*
impedance: 1M ohm
|AUX input||Mini phone Jack (stereo) Rated input level: -10 dBm Input*
impedance: 10K ohm
|External Return||Standard mono phone jack Rated input level: -10 dBm or +4 dBm (switchable)*|
|Line output||2 x Standard mono phone jack. Rated output level: -10 dBm or +4 dBm (switchable)*
Maximum output level: +19 dBm* (into load impedance of 10K ohm or more) Output impedance: 1K ohm or less
|Headphone||Standard stereo phone jack Rated output: 60 mW (into 32 ohm load), 20 mW (into 300 ohm load) Output impedance: 47K ohm|
|External Send||Standard mono phone jack Rated output level: -10 dBm or +4 dBm (switchable)*|
|Tube circuitry||12AX7 x 2|
|Control connectors||MIDI OUT, MIDI IN
USB 2 interface
|PC interface||16-bit (record / play, stereo)|
|Sampling frequencies||32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz|
|Power requirements||15 V AC, 1.5 A
(from supplied AC adapter: AD-0012)
|Dimensions||85 x 235 x 595 mm|
|* 0 dBm = 0.775 Vrms
* Design and specifications subject to change without notice.
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About Review and Description articles, click to expand
The ZOOM G9.2tt (first released around 2005) is an extremely powerful and versatile guitar multi-effects console with many features that are absolutely awesome. Sadly these are combined with some design aspects that are, simply put, bordering on stupid.
Back in late 2014 ... I had been thinking about getting a ZOOM G9.2tt for some months. About 10 weeks after I had stopped smoking (a very good thing to do, just by the way), I treated / rewarded myself by getting a second hand ZOOM G9.2tt through ebay. At AUD $400, the cost was just a tad over half the price of a new one, being around AUD $700 at the time. From a 'Bang for Buck' perspective, it is awesome value.
Resources - User Manual & Patch Librarian Software
The ZOOM G9.2tt is sufficiently complicated that the User Manual will be required at some time - so if you don't have one lying around or in your iPad library, as I do, you can get it from the provided links . There may be times when I will mention things in the User Manuals, so you might want to have them on hand.
All G9.2tt Downloads Page If you need older XP, Win 7/8 ASIO drivers
Zoom G9.2tt User Manual PDF (Zoom Co. Japan)
Zoom G9.2tt Patch Librarian Software with Manual ZIP (Zoom Co. Japan)
See also: Tube / Valve Replacement for the ZOOM G9.2tt Guitar Effects Console.
About the ZOOM G9.2tt
The Model number of the G9.2tt can be decoded as Guitar - 9 switches - 2 pedals - twin tubes. And if nothing else, it really is an impressive looking beast. Even more so when it's powered up.
The Zoom G9.2tt can be used to create (or recreate) just about any guitar sound you can think of. From Ultra-clean through to Grunge Metal and everything in between. This magic box will handle it all ... and then some.
I have created some effects on this device that would have required a floor full of pedals (or collection of rack effects), that quite frankly, I've never heard before. For example: A flavour of Modulated Delay (vaguely similar to a Chorus) that has a faint Phaser effect at the front end, the Modulated Delay and then some Echo and Arena Reverb on the way out. That's four separate DSP Delay effects simultaneously!
There are many guitar effects units out there that require some, shall we say, technical thinking ability ... the Zoom G9.2tt is most definitely on that list. This device is not for luddites and/or technophobes (those who shun or are afraid of technology).
Typically, most of the standard factory preset patches are not really useful, except as examples of this device's possibilities ... which by the way, are nothing short of awesome.
You will therefore need to build / create / program your own patches. Thankfully, this process does get easier quite quickly with some practice, but probably won't be nearly as straight forward as you might like due to some simple processes being, well, less than intuitive. Fortunately, the Librarian software can make tweaking patches easier.
Zoom obviously believe their factory patches to be very cool because they have provided them ready to go as 'Live Playing (Ux)' and 'Studio (ux)' versions. If nothing else, it can be educational to look at the structural differences (which are mostly in the EQ).
The Factory Preset Patches are copied onto the User Patches area, so at least you can initially delete and/or modify patches in the User Patches area without having to worry about over-writing/losing a cool patch. Also patches can be saved/stored on a laptop/PC using the Librarian software.
While many of the available effects are new / exciting / cool (etc.) ... seriously ... there are some absolutely radical sounding effects in this unit ... some of the old standards like a simple Stereo Chorus are actually poorly implemented (in this case, the Chorus just lacks depth). I have tried every option for Chorus that I can find on this box and I'm barely satisfied with the result.
I can actually get much richer stereo chorusing from my old GFX-707 pedal. This was a real surprise. I'm now very glad that I didn't sell that old pedal to help fund the purchase of the G9.2tt. Had I done that, I'd still be kicking myself.
Unlike the earlier Zoom GFX and BFX series pedals (GFX-707 / GFX-707 II / BFX-708 / BFX-708 II) which feature minimal weight and a very compact footprint, the G9.2tt is a full-on 'One With The Lot' brute of a Guitar Effects Console. Along with the sturdy steel chassis comes an accompanying weight of around 5.5Kg (12lbs 2oz).
Some G9.2tt highlights include:
- Twin Pedals - Pedal 2 (at the right) has both Horizontal and Vertical motion. This essentially makes the G9.2tt a 3 pedal device, with each of the three pedals capable of being assigned up to 4 simultaneous functions. There is also a switch under each of the two primary pedals to turn any function controlled by that pedal on or off.
- 2 Function Switches - Which can be user-assigned to do just about anything within a patch ( read as: extremely useful! ).
It should be noted that there is also a switch under each Foot Pedal which can also be assigned to 'do something useful' even if the pedal is not in use.
- Channel A / B (usually assigned to Function Switch 1) - Essentially provides two independent Pre-Amp channels per patch, creating a simple method for Lead / Rhythm switching. Each Pre-Amp channel has optional Amp Modeling, Gain, Tone, EQ and Level settings (aside from the overall Patch Level).
- Manual Mode (what a gem!) - Turns the Patch 1 - 5 Select switches into discreet effects switches. This allows you to turn the individual effects modules within a patch On or Off. As if you had 5 individual stomp Boxes in front of you - very useful.
- USB Audio Out - Comes with a Low Latency ASIO Driver, so that the Zoom G9.2tt can be easily hooked up to your software DAW.
- 100 User Patches (5 x 20 Banks) - If that's not enough ... well, just go and buy a second unit.
- MIDI In/Out (5 pin DIN) - Comes with a rustic but functional Patch Librarian. This allows you to Edit and Store patches on your PC/Laptop.
MIDI can also be used to clone data directly from one G9.2tt to another.
Important: While the G9.2tt receives Program Change data, its ability to send Program Change data is limited, in that the Program Change data cannot be assigned. Each patch has a set Program Change number, which directly corresponds to the actual patch number. In short it is better at being controlled by MIDI than being used as a controller.
The Zoom G9.2tt hosts a pair of small preamp bottles (2 x 12AX7 vacuum tubes), sadly the implementation of these is less than impressive. One tube is situated at the input and the other at the output. Both effect the total device sound and cannot work as components within individual patches.
So the tube pre and post amps are really very much a 'set and forget' option, unless you are prepared to bend down a lot to tweak the controls while playing (not really practical or recommended).
The actual sound of the tubes is lovely. Exactly that warm and smooth vacuum tube distortion sound that you would expect. And you can dial in as much or little as you like. It's just that there is no way to 'switch' them In / Out.
Both tubes are dialed in or out as a part of the Mix of the overall sound. While I can understand the front-end tube to warm up the sound a little, the output tube does not make a lot of sense. If I really wanted everything to sound distorted, I could simply go back to recording onto tape. I can only say that there is some really strange developer thinking exhibited in this implementation.
Patch Librarian Software - Saving / Storing Patches
Zoom G9.2tt Patch Librarian Software with Manual ZIP (Zoom Co. Japan)
The Patch Librarian for the ZOOM G9.2tt is ... well, ... it's just not the best software. You get the impression that some poor programmer had to work over the weekend to have this ready for 1st thing Monday morning ... and to make it happen, they've cut every corner that they could ;-)
So let us start at the beginning: Firstly, to use the Patch Librarian you will need a USB to MIDI Adaptor Cable. Fortunately these are readily available and inexpensive. The USB connection on the Zoom G9.2tt is for Audio Recording Only (shakes head, yet again ;-) meaning that any Patch Librarian programming is done via MIDI.
The Patch Librarian was originally intended (written/coded) to run under Windows XP. To have it running under Windows 7 or higher make sure to set the program shortcut to Compatibility Mode for Win XP and also Run as Administrator (just to cover all the bases). I have it running under Windows 10 now and it seems to behave properly.
For those installing the Patch Librarian to a Laptop computer ... make sure you disallow USB Power Management when on Battery Power, (under Power Options) otherwise the USB Power Management may disable your USB to MIDI device(s) (that is, shut down USB Ports) during battery operation.Connecting your MIDI to USB Device, click to expand
(Input / Output) connections attached correctly - it is easy to get this wrong as the labels on the MIDI connector plugs are often difficult to read.
Just remember that in the MIDI world an Out always connects to an IN
and an IN always connects to an OUT.
Some Basic Hints for using the Patch Librarian
- To work with this silly little beast called the Patch Librarian, you will need to get your head around a few less than intuitive aspects of the program.
Firstly ... the Patch Librarian won't automatically recall your previous MIDI I/O settings, so select these (and the appropriate and/or last patch file) immediately each time you start the program - and when you have it working, make a note of your settings!
If you have multiple generic MIDI (MIDI to USB) devices connected to your PC, as I have, determining the correct MIDI Input and Output (I/O) Ports (connections) may come down to experimentation. Warning! - This can be frustrating.
- As mentioned, I tend to download and update the current patches from the G9.2tt first, in case I have made some manual changes since last using the librarian - so, I then select Online followed by Recv All.
You must set up a Transmit from the G9.2tt at the same time (see the manuals).
About G9.2tt MIDI Data Receive & Transmit, click to expand
Perform the following steps at the G9.2tt.
-  Set the G9.2tt to play mode.
-  Press the [AMP SELECT/SYSTEM] key.
-  Use the [TYPE] knob to bring the required parameter on the display:
"BulkDumpRx" (bulk dump Receive for sending data to the G9.2tt) or
"BulkDumpTx" (bulk dump Transmit for getting data from the G9.2tt)
-  Press the [PAGE] key.
This can download the entire current Patch Setup from the G9.2tt, The patch settings are saved in a file tagged with the current date/time so it won't overwrite previous files. The resulting files are easy to rename, save and/or delete later.
If the Recv All doesn't work, then you will know immediately that your MIDI I/O settings (or connections) are wrong.
While I'm happy to help where I can, your installation is unlikely to be anything like mine. Asking me to help you set up your MIDI I/O (and you would not be the first ;-) will probably be a waste of time. There is nothing I can tell you that is not in the manual or already on this page - did I mention this can get frustrating ;-)
-  Set the G9.2tt to play mode.
- To edit a patch using the Librarian, select the patch on the G9.2tt first, then select the same patch in the Patch Librarian.
Any changes you make to the patch in the Librarian will now become immediately (real-time) audible. So you can tweak until you have the sound exactly the way you want it.
Do Not Change To Another Patch (on G9.2tt or Librarian) Until You Have Saved Your Edits - see next ...
Save the patch in the Librarian (Ctrl+S), then also Save the patch on the G9.2tt by pressing the physical G9.2tt 'Save' button twice. Your patch is now stored in both the Librarian and the G9.2tt.
Failure to perform the hardware Save (on the G9.2tt) will see your changes lost as soon as you switch to another patch.
If you do a Save/Send All before you end your session this won't matter - if you forget however ... well, you will no doubt discover new and novel ways to punish yourself for all the time just wasted ;-)
I prefer the 'one patch at a time' approach, finding this to be the most effective and reliable. However you could also dump the entire library from the Patch Librarian to the G9.2tt if needed (see the user manual for details). Can be handy if you are not sure whether you saved all your edits to the G9.2tt from the Patch Librarian.
It is easy to get lost in the tweaking and miss simple steps like saving. Particularly when you have been at it for a few hours - like when you are doing a major system-wide level adjust.
Copying Patches and Banks
I find this is best done via hardware (as in it is simpler). Select the Patch or Bank you want to copy (or swap) and make the changes on the actual G9.2tt console. When you're done, reload the modified patch sets to the Patch Librarian (Recv All) and then tweak away ...
And Lastly ...
Aside from the annoying inadequacies of the Patch Librarian, I will end by saying that I'm glad there is one. It would be insanely tiresome to have to manually document the complexities of a possible 100 user patches.
When copying Patches from one G9.2tt to another G9.2tt
Make sure that the AMP Select on both machines is set to the same value, otherwise the sound from your two devices could vary radically.
This setting affects EVERYTHING else! It is intended to essentially match the unit's output to an amplifier input. The tonal variation is very noticeable. Please check out page 58 of the manual on Using The Amp Select Function, its not at all difficult and will save you pulling out your hair wondering why your two consoles don't sound the same (or your patches all sound like shit).
The AMP Select setting is independent of the patches themselves, so it will not alter your actual patches, just the G9.2tt's overall output sound.
An AMP Select Saga (EQ is Everything)
After emailing with a fellow G9 owner from the other side of the planet (the UK in fact), we decided to resolve the question of what the AMP Select actually did from an EQ perspective. Though our testing was a little crude, it was none the less revealing. The tonal curves clearly indicate that the least EQ'd (or flattest) option is the FRONT setting. So if, like us, you are pumping your G9.2tt signal into a PA, then the FRONT setting would be the best choice for creating your patches.
I can advise (from experience), that changing the AMP Select setting and then redoing all of the respective EQ settings on close to 100 patches, is a really tiresome task. So pick your AMP Select setting carefully, because it will effect the EQ of everything else.
Our testing resulted in the graph below, which whilst not scientifically accurate, will certainly provide a useful indication of the differences in frequency response available from the four AMP Select options [FRONT, COMBO 1, COMBO 2, STACK]. Click graph to see larger image.
Some Notes On Copying Patches Between G9s
Patches copied from one G9.2tt to another G9.2tt won't necessarily sound identical, but they are very close. I know this, because I've tried it with almost identical settings*. Originally a slight difference was noticed due to variability in the age/condition of the two 12AX7 vacuum tubes in each unit. Both consoles now sound better with a new pair of 12AX7's and any difference is hard to find (as it should be). For what it's worth, a new set of vacuum tubes (2 x 12AX7) can be had for around AUD $60 per device.
See the Tube / Valve Replacement for the ZOOM G9.2tt Guitar Effects Console page for details.
* Note: I used the phrase "with almost identical settings" deliberately, because it is virtually impossible to achieve truly identical settings using the available controls for the 2 analogue vacuum tube related sections (labeled as Accelerator and Energizer). There will always be some, even if only slight difference with the analogue settings.
Power User Patch Creation with the Zoom G9.2tt
If there was a 'Golden Rule' of patch creation, it might be 'Don't waste any options'.
In this case I'm referring to the switches under the pedals. Particularly the least used one under the first (left side) or Volume Pedal. To assign a Pedal Switch to do something, you first have to assign an effect to that pedal.
But what if you want to switch an effect without having a parameter of that effect controlled by the pedal?
In the Patch Librarian, select the pedal, select a parameter from an effect you wish to switch and set the 'Minimum' and 'Maximum' values of that parameter to the same value (e.g. 100%) and then tick the related 'Switch' box. So now the pedal movement does nothing to the effect, but the switch under the pedal can be used to switch/add/remove the desired effect. Kind-of like gaining an extra Function Switch.
So even if you are not controlling something with the pedals, you can still make use of their switches.
Remember also that up to 4 parameters/effects can be controlled by each pedal.
This allows you to switch in/out (toggle) more than one effect at a time ... very cool! I use this 'double switch' capability to recreate the honky midrange (fixed wah) plus harmony to get a sound like that used on the Boston tune 'More Than A Failing' ;-) ... So, one switch instantly sets up a lead break.
Also worth mentioning ... if you have switched several items within a patch, you can restore the original sound by tapping the respective patch button, rather than multi-stomping to undo everything.
A Quick Look at the Rear Panel
The rear panel of the ZOOM G9.2tt really is the business end of this beast (see diagram below) .
It will comfortably take any signal from low guitar level (single coil Strat), through to a keyboard. There is also an AUX In for MP3 Players or other gear that will handle up to Line Level signals.
Provided outputs include Mono (Left) or Stereo (Left & Right) 1/4" jacks (unbalanced), plus a separate 1/4" Stereo Headphone Out. There is an Output Level control as well as a switch for -10dBm/+4dBm to facilitate use in a recording studio.
- An interesting addition is the Effects Send and Return section (also with a switch for -10dBm/+4dBm). This allows for yet more external effects to be included as part of a User Patch (why they didn't do that with the tubes ... ?). This could be assigned to a function switch, making it a very powerful addition. Both Send and Return are Unbalanced Mono 1/4" jacks.
- A USB port allows for direct recording from the G9.2tt console via provided Low Latency ASIO driver, and of course firmware updates.
- The MIDI In/Out ports are really only useful in conjunction with the Patch Librarian. Unless MIDI commands are intercepted and relayed / reinterpreted by software like BOME into useful Patch Change (or other) commands for use with connected MIDI gear.
Ideally Zoom should have made the Patch Change command sent from each Patch assignable to a user selected Patch Number and MIDI Channel ... maybe next time ;-)
- The power switch is at the far left (seen from above). I don't use this, preferring to turn the power On/Off at the plug-pack end.
The power supply plug-pack provides 15V AC @ 1.5A (meaning the G9.2tt cannot be run from generally available Multi Pedal Power Supplies). Remember to power down the device when not in use to get maximum life from the tubes and remember to turn off the Plug-Pack as well as the switch. A cable tidy hook is provided to prevent the power lead being accidentally unplugged.
The Zoom G9.2tt is a well appointed piece of gear, with no shortage of user options to keep you tinkering (if that's what you like). While programming takes a while to get use to, it is ultimately not that difficult. There are a few unintuitive quirks to get your head around, but once programmed, accessing the many features is really quite straight forward.
Some feature highlights are:
- 100 User Patches - should be enough for most.
- Manual Mode, which is the ability to treat any patch as a bunch of discreet and individual effects pedals (awesome).
- The inclusion of optional Stereo Output and Master Output Volume.
- An Effects Loop (Send/Return) that can be included/assigned on a per patch basis.
- Both the Output and FX Send have send Gain Switches for -10db / +4db (Consumer/Pro Audio level matching).
- The MIDI In/Out implementation does have its uses (if only for the Patch Librarian). Combined with some third party software (like Bome MIDI Translator) it can actually be made quite powerful. This does however require additional expenditure and no small amount of time and frustration (getting it all to do something useful). I use another device as a MIDI controller for selecting patches on the fly. This allows you to bounce around between favourite patches without having to use the Bank Up/Down switches while controlling a couple of synth modules at the same time. Very handy.
- The USB connection and Low Latency ASIO driver for sending stereo audio is a must have:
PC interface 16-bit (record/play, stereo) - Sampling frequencies 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz. (24-bit would have been nice).
- The Dual Preamp settings per patch become hard to live without (after about the second time used). Each channel has its own Amp select, Gain, Tone, 6 band EQ and Level settings (awesome!).
- A very comprehensive EQ system (Bass, Low Mid, Mid, Treble, Presence and Harmonics).
- The available 'Tube Sound' is not just a gimmick. However, its implementation could have been much better.
- The multi-pedal setup, including the vertical axis pedal creates some really amazing sound possibilities, though it takes some getting used to from a control perspective.
- 106 Effect Types / 10 simultaneously usable Effect Modules.
- Sampling frequency 96 kHz / Signal processing 32-bit / Frequency Response 20Hz - 40kHz +1.0 dB, -3.0 dB (10K ohm load). Not at all shabby. The Zoom G9.2tt definitely rates as Pro Audio on any level.
Some feature lowlights are:
- The 16bit 48kHz stereo record / playback capability (via USB) is now pretty ordinary. If you wanted to record your guitar playing, almost any $200 USB audio Interface would give you better specs (e.g.: 48kHz to 192kHz @ 24bit). Not a device fault, just gear showing its age.
- The ZOOM G9.2tt may sometimes go into 'Ghost-Edit' mode, as if you had turned one of the knobs (parameter edit). This is rarely a significant change but it is more or less random and can therefore be annoying. I have had this happen on both my G9s. After a period of non-use (being powered off for a week or two) the problem seems to clear, so perhaps it is an internal memory issue. Of course, loose / drooping pedals may also cause a similar outcome.
- Lubricating the pedals and adjusting the pedal resistance is also not as easy as it should be.
- Several visitors have quite rightly mentioned the lack of a Looper. Given that Zoom's lesser (and newer) pedals all seem to have some Looping and Rhythm capability - one does wonder why this was left out of their flagship model.
Review Ratings: 180722 - (Excellent) - Thanks for all the info - I've just bought a G9 and was horrified by the factory pre-sets! Thought I'd bought a lemon of a product. After days and days toiling over the "interface" I managed to get a few acceptable bass and six string patches and started to feel there was, maybe, a decent effects unit in there somewhere. Now I have found this website I know I'm on the right track. I intend to replace the valves with cryo Harma str ECC83's shortly (such a shame you can't save valve settings in a patch - what bullet in the foot by Zoom - can anyone make a midi controllable pot?!). Thanks so much for all the info here. Cheers, Chaz.
Ease of Use (Programming Patches 7/10 - Playing 9/10)
Programming takes a while to get use to because there are a few unintuitive quirks, but ultimately it's not that difficult. Once programmed (best done with the librarian via MIDI), accessing the many features is generally easy and very satisfying.
As with other pedals, arranging your patches in a way that works best for you will be your main challenge. Fortunately, the G9.2tt makes it easy to save / copy / swap patches (or even entire Patch Banks). With 100 User Patches to work with, you won't run out any time soon ... but you will want to back them up.
You may need to (gasp of anticipation!), read sections of the manual from time to time. But with a device this complex, that should not come as a surprise.
Durability (Build Quality 8/10 - Durability & Reliability - 7/10)
The ZOOM G9.2tt is solidly built and at 5.5Kg is certainly no lightweight. But it's not as rugged as it looks. Having already re-adjusted the pedals, there are some weak points that could have been avoided. While the parts used generally seem to be appropriate for the task, some of the pedal components could have been stronger and/or better designed.
Having bought two of these as used equipment, both have shaped up well, and only one had some minor breakage issues.
A quick word on looking after vacuum tubes (valves) ...
One thing that I would very strongly recommend is that you turn the G9.2tt power off when not in use.
All vacuum tubes have a limited life expectancy, so there is no point to literally burning them out while the device is sitting there doing a whole lot of nothing, for hours at a time. Don't however turn the G9.2tt on and off every few minutes, as constant heating and cooling can be more harmful to the tubes than running the device unused for a few hours. Also, vacuum tubes don't like a lot of knocks and vibration, it shortens the life of the filaments. Be nice to your G9.2tt and it will quite likely serve you well, for longer.
In Summary ... (Overall 9/10)
The ZOOM G9.2tt is definitely not for every one. I can totally see that this piece of kit will be too complex for some players who prefer to line their effects up in a row and then just tap through their options.
The G9.2tt really needs to be programmed or adjusted to suit a player's needs. Of course, once that is done, it becomes a magic box which will make you glad you invested that time (and the money). After using a G9.2tt for around years I can say that it has become quite indispensable in my rig. Plus there are still settings that I haven't even properly explored yet. Apart from a few really dumb design aspects, this is an amazing audio tool for guitarists. Oh, I just realised that I haven't mentioned noise anywhere. There's a reason for that. The phrase 'Studio Quality' would probably be an adequate summary on that topic.
So, some better MIDI functionality (assignable / mapable outgoing patch changes) would be good. The tube implementation is silly and should be available on a per Patch basis. All the competition have at least some looping capability, the G9 has none. Aside from that the ZOOM G9.2tt is simply awesome!
Value for money is very high, even with the included cost of replacing the tubes in a used device.
See also: Tube / Valve Replacement for the ZOOM G9.2tt Guitar Effects Console.
Why Two G9.2tt's ... ?
It just happened that one eBay day, I saw a Zoom G9.2tt for a really good price (more than $100 less than my first one). Temptation got the better of me. At first I thought that I would just clean it up, keep the better of the two and resell the other. It didn't happen. Having two of these opens up so many amazing possibilities, particularly with my home-made A-B-C switch. Where A = Gfx 1, B = Gfx 2 and C = Synth (MIDI Guitar). You can switch between A & B while also using C, have one at a time, all three at once, or any combination. You might be surprised how quickly you get totally comfortable with having so many options.
The above setup has of course organically mutated into a fully MIDI controlled setup using a Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller. Multiple devices and software programs are now switched or modified at the same time. The BOME MIDI Translator software is central to this functionality.
Update - September 2020: I'm about to implement a couple of BOME boxes, hoping to make the MIDI connections between 'on the the floor' and 'in the rack' a wireless experience. Also - along the way I have acquired a Roland GR55 and Boss SY-1000 (reviews to come of course). One of these (quite likely the SY-1000) will be integrated into the system.
Ideas for Using the EFX Send / Return
Having been gifted a wonderful little boutique Ceriatone valve amp, I found a way around the stupid valve implementation on the G9.2tt. I use the Effects Send to provide a signal to the Ceriatone valve amp, then take the output of the Ceriatone amp via a dummy load and a DI Box back in through the Effects Return.
The result is an instant and complete valve amp sound, as warm as you want it, at the press of a button. The best part is that the valve amp sound is being derived from the speaker output (the entire amplifier), not just the line out from the preamp stage.
The same strategy could be applied to other devices as long as signal level matching can be adequately achieved.
Zooming Forward - Or Not
The ZOOM G9.2tt has been around for some time now, and I've been wondering (for absolutely ages) when the next 'Latest and Greatest' Zoom killer pedal would be released. Apparently it was, back in January of 2020, and seemingly with a whimper rather than a bang.The few YouTube videos about the new Zoom G11 Multi-Effects Processor are just as disappointingly short as the list of impressive new features. Apparently the LEDs for the rotary controls were considered 'highly impressive' ;-)
Zoom have addressed a few old grizzles though. The G11 does sport a looper (unimpressively short, but at least now it has one) and includes some basic Rhythms/Drums (missing from the G9.2tt). Also they have played catchup and now have IRs (Impulse Responses) a la Kemper amps and others, plus beefed up DSP capabilities and a colour LCD touch screen (with gestures - O-M-G exclamation mark).
Seems to me to be an exercise of three steps forward and two steps back. Not exactly a giant leap for mankind (or guitar effects) happening there. Still, I was tempted ... and may yet ... who knows ... a used one perhaps?
Your comments and contributions are greatly appreciated!
In the coming months I may be retiring my two Zoom G9.2tt's in favour of the rack mount AXE-FX III Mk II (newly arrived in early 2021). A fairly radical upgrade in every possible way. Once I have roughly emulated some of my current favourite patch sounds, the G9's will probably go (although, that's absolutely not a given ... ?). If / when that occurs, this comments thread may be closed.
210505 - (Excellent) - This unit is the only two-axis expression pedal that can be readily found used; and even it has been discontinued. Go figure.
Too right. Anyone who has ever tried / wanted to use two pedals at once, would find the G9 to be heaven on a stick. Having independent control of multiple effects in two dimensions at once was probably the most significant aspect of the G9.2tt's design. A total bastard from a construction and/or maintenance POV, but absolutely the feature I would miss the most.
It basically allows a musician to do things in real-time that would otherwise have to be done by a studio engineer / mixer operator, e.g. changing the delay length and reverb depth on the fly while using the same pedal for a volume pedal. This functionality is quite possibly the very reason I would keep these pedals ;-))
210430 - (Excellent) - I bought one used and got glorious tones live into the front of an amp. But then the switches started to not respond and one of the tubes went. It's a bear to open up and track which part goes where. Over engineered, very prone to single point of failure taking you completely out of commission, but some really good ideas.
Totally agree with the "Over engineered, very prone to single point of failure" comment and of course cracking one of these open is nothing short of legendary. The problem with gear like this is that some people take the phrase 'stomp box' quite literally and don't get that something like the G9 needs to be treated with a modicum of respect. It's not a stomp box, just because it sits on the floor. So I guess one has to expect that buying year-old and very well used gear from Neanderthals will always have its hazards ;-))
200126 - (Excellent) - This is a great review! I was all set to get the G5r unit until I saw the 9.2TT. I read reviews all the time; mostly in regards to items I'm about to purchase; generally, the article will help make or break my decision. Often at the expense of my ego and my spontaneous "I need this" genetic abnormality; In this case, the review triggered My Ego brake (as an honest well-written review should do). I thought I "HAD to have" this device, Thankfully I found this review while searching for the reason the device was discontinued and why... this review quelled those inquiries... Now educated on the subject, I will proceed to procure the G5r (a great console as well) and "IF" (Big emphasis on "IF"...) I come across a used 9.2 at a ridiculous price point I will get one just to have and experiment with... Once again Great review, it did EXACTLY what it was supposed to (educate and guide)... I appreciate the author's time and opinion on the subject. Sincerely, Jim C.
Thanks for writing, it's always nice to be appreciated and to achieve one's objectives. As of early 2020, the shiny new kid on the block is the Zoom G11 Multi-Effects Processor (the 'new' flagship model). Looks like two steps forward and three steps back to me. The lack of reviewers suggests they've had problems getting people onboard with this product. I hope I'm wrong ;-)
This comment is a true gem, perhaps a good one to end the decade on. I'm posting it to illustrate the kind of foolishness you have to put with when you open yourself up to comment and criticism. I guess it is symbol of our age, where people take out their frustrations in perhaps inappropriate ways. Not unlike the old 'shooting the messenger'. The given rating for this rant has been ignored - some punctuation has been added and inline editor's comments are in red. It is really more sad than bad, and I wish I could just wave a magic wand and fix everything - but seriously - it's just as well for everybody that I can't do that ;-)
191222 - (Not Useful) - Its excellent in describing a review, only if my g9.2tt would work properly. (I'm so very sorry I haven't fixed your G9)
Huge drawback is that g9.2tt has not everything passing trough USB Cable, instead uses USB (meant to say USB to DIN) Midi Cable for G9ED Librarian (poor GUI) and in my case does not operate at all ! (all of which is mentioned in the article above)
As i understand replacing Valves requires also new set-up trim and for non electronic geek this is impossible task ! (no it doesn't)
Better valves are 12AT7 as they appear more clear in sound as 12AX7 that have over distorted sound. (entirely a matter of opinion, and alternatives get a mention on the valve replacement page - and just by the way, the valves are there for their distortion, not to create a clean sound ;-)
G9.2tt its also outdated and no longer supported by its vendors. (as mentioned above, right column, the G9.2tt is roughly years old) Service/maintenance might be out-priced by its G9.2tt value, so one better look for more new cost effective multi effect that has full soft support for all windows and has very intuitive easy to operate GUI ! (something similar is mentioned above in the right hand column - buying used gear)
This piece i have buy from second hand and im disappointed as one touch key is broken and last two have pressure issues one goes hard to enter, and the other is completely stuck. So i thought i operate my setups trough USB Midi cable from PC. Wrong ! Software G9ED Librarian has huge issues to operate under Win7 and higher as requires (dot)NetFramework 1.1 that has issues for installing and not supported on the same win7 and above. And there is no update at all so it is useless at this point! (I have G9ED running on Win 7 and Win 10 - so this comes down to proper setup and/or 'user-error')
All the factory patches needs tweaking and this is tedious task (not able to use the PC and non functional buttons for effects). Getin the right sound out of it, as is distorted way too much,(some patches even sound awful and not organic despite having the 2 valves in it) is hard piece of testing and trying ! I have manage to get some decent sound out of it on PV Drive, Rect Vintage, and some Clear Amp's patch's, and some effects are also not usable at all, and all are way to digital u can hear it trough headphones. (The device is either broken or the user does not understand its operation - possibly both)
The only effects that comes out decent are delays and chorus ! I regret that i have buy this piece of gear, now i have to service it fully, if i want to sell it for the value that G9.2tt currently has.
I also found limitations in effect's use, config does not allow some combinations in compare to individual stomp boxes that can be combined in way's u newer can achieve on G9.2tt. (true, newer devices allow greater options for shuffling the order of effects - totally unrealistic expectations)
One better look for cost effective multi effect's that has way better intuitive/easy use of and support. In my case i probably go for best & new in class Line6 Helix or similar like Headrush multieffect, G9.2tt i will use as preamp on clean chanell for solid state Amp that i use. (there are simpler ways to get a clean preamp) Posibility's with two fuly operational G9.2tt i imagine within FX loops, a lot of "magic" can be done. I had "bad luck" with it.
Editor's Note part 2:
So the bottom line here is that someone purchased a used G9, they can't get it to work how they want and somehow it appears, that is my fault ;-)
There are several lessons to be learned here:
191208 - (Excellent) - Original French: Merci pour ton article trÃ¨s complet, je possÃ¨de trois Zoom G9 2tt le premier achetÃ© en 2005 (le magasin venais juste de le recevoir!). Je l'ai comparer avec le Vox tonelab SE mais les lampes du Zoom G9 ont fait pencher la balance! Ensuite pour les autres je les est trouver sur le net vendu pour piÃ¨ces Ã des prix trÃ¨s intÃ©ressant , un simple spray de nettoyant lubrifiant pour contact Ã©lectrique Ã suffit pour rÃ©parer l'un et quelque soudure sur une plaque de circuit imprimÃ© fissurer (certainement du Ã une mauvaise manipulation lors de changement des lampes...) m'a permis de rÃ©parer l'autre. Pour moi son gros dÃ©faut c'est que cette pÃ©dale n'inclut pas de looper. Musicalement.
Thank you for your very complete article, I have three Zoom G9 2tt the first bought in 2005 (the store had just received it!). I compare it with the Vox Tonelab SE but the Zoom G9 lamps (tubes -ed.) have tipped the scales! Then for others, I find them on the net sold for parts at very interesting prices, a simple spray cleaner lubricant for electrical contact is enough to repair one and some solder on a printed circuit board crack (certainly due to mishandling when changing lamps ...) allowed me to repair the other. For me his big mistake is that this pedal does not include looper. Musically.
Merci mon ami. Thanks for writing. Given that almost all other manufacturers now include some degree of looping capability with their top of the line pedals/consoles, I'm sure Zoom will add this capability to their next flagship model too. From a marketing perspective alone, looping is now a 'must have' feature. More recent Zoom multi-effects releases like the Zoom G5N and Zoom G3X each have a Mono/Stereo 80 second looper, The new Zoom A1X4 has a 30 second looper. While almost all multi-effects pedals now support USB, none of these new Zoom pedals however have 5pin DIN MIDI ports - a very serious omission. I wouldn't buy anything that can't be MIDI controlled.
What else is funny, is that I too have been tempted to purchase a third G9 - fortunately I got over it ;-)
190908 - (Comment Only) - Do u use looper ? G9.2tt doesn't have !
Short answer - No.
Technically however, I do have/own a simple looper, being the Zoom 707 II. With the 128MB Smart Media Card installed, it will loop for a healthy 8 minutes.
Though I have at times thought of getting a multi channel looper like the Ammoon POCK LOOP (11 channels, Max. 330mins and cheap as!), Nux Loop Core Deluxe, Boss RC-1 through RC-30 Loop Station or similar. In the end I always conclude that if I really wanted that level of control, I would simply go the max and bring my Tascam DP24 along with any required tracks pre-recorded.
The main killer for of loop pedals for me, is that I work with multiple stereo signals and the majority of available loopers are mono ;-)
Though I'm not fussed about the Zoom G9.2tt not having a built-in looper, it seems that most of the current high-end (particularly Boss) gear does 'come with' these days. It will be interesting to see whether Zoom go down that road with their next 'Super Pedal'.
190316 - (Excellent) - I had the G7.1 so almost this model. It was way overcomplicated for my needs and I never got to grips with it. And at the same time no drum machine or sampler... Sold it. Still have my trusty 707! (See also GFX-707)
Well that's the reality of tech like this. Not everyone needs or wants to invest the time to learn to drive these devices. For what it's worth, there are times when without documentation, I wouldn't be able to operate my own guitar rig. But the results keep a smile on my face - and ultimately that's what matters.
Yes indeed, the G9 may be a lot of things but intuitively designed is surely not one them ;-) ... and I'm glad the G9 page has been helpful for you. In fact you’ve inspired me to make some minor updates.
180528 - (Excellent) - I got one of these used and learned to dial up some very interesting patches. One thing live is that you need to decide to go direct to the sound board or to your amp and the sounds are completely different (you mentioned eq problems). Also, all mfx (Multi FX) have gain stacking challenges so make sure you have the right levels between each. Finally, all the newer zoom units have modeling software allows any order and this (G9.2tt) is locked into a set, best-case order. For most it's not a big deal, but some may see the lack of flexibility to be a deal breaker.
One other thing, build quality is a delusion - Zoom is known for buttons wearing out - all these tiny momentary switches on circuit boards, any one can go bad and make a specific functionality unobtainable. Also, the layers and layers of circuit boards make this a bear to take apart, keep everything straight and orderly to replace just one switch. And what about the next one, same thing all over.
You can do the 4 cable thing with your amp (dirt patches to amp preamp, modulation patches to effects loop), which is great. I'm surprised you hated the chorus, but I have heard that older modelers seem to have something that new ones lose. It's an odd phenomenon (value engineering in digital - seems like an oxymoron since it's all free, but they do worry about memory and cpu overhead for each individual patch).
Editor's Note: Greatly appreciate the extended response and additional experiences. (Listening to Tribal Tech 1991 self-titled, as I write this - sweet!)
Due to the general sound colouration from guitar amps, these days I feed straight from the G9.2tt (as well as Roland U-220s and any Keyboards in use) directly to an 8 channel stereo sub-mixer, that then outputs to a 15-Band Stereo Graphic EQ (with Sub Out). That goes to a pair of 100W powered speakers (or mix desk, or both). That way I have complete sound consistency. The Graphic EQ is generally switched out, but it's nice to have it there just in case.
Patch control is handled via BOME MIDI Manager software (laptop, Win 10, ick!) which is controlled (mainly) from a Behringer FCB1010 MIDI Foot Controller. This means that I can control 2 x G9.2tts, 2 x Roland U-220s (and anything else MIDI that I feel like including, Casio WK7500, Arturia MiniBrute, etc.) all with a single patch selection on the FCB1010.
All G9.2tt patches are managed / mastered / tweaked on the laptop via the (underdone) Librarian software. That's where I attempt to manage the various levels.
It may not look as cool as a Marshal Stack, but the sound is exactly whatever I want it to be, regardless of venue. In fact, there is very little modification when recording other than occasional EQ tweaks.
PS: The closest sounding effect to the 'old' Zoom 707 Chorus seems to be the Ensemble Chorus, perhaps because of the greater depth of the sound.
161206 - (Excellent) - Could you suggest some tube to go into the unit or which tubes have you put??
Editor's Note: The 12AX7 tubes I got on eBay from Boutique ToneLounge (a New Zealand supplier) were JJ / Tesla Vacuum Tube 12AX7 / ECC83.
Here is a general 12AX7 search
160904 - (Excellent) - Excellent review. I own a G9.2tt and I agree with the article. I had the same disappointment with the stereo image, though you should check the pre-amp section, as when chain is inverted the stereo image gets narrow. I've been searching Zoom's official page in order to find new models (as G9.2tt is discontinued) but they have not designed any replacement for the G9.2tt. It's a real pity. I hope they update and redesign it with a looper, a better stereo image and a USB interface.
I have replaced tubes too. I have installed two 12at7 instead of the original 12ax7, just to avoid tube crunch, though adding tube clarity and typical natural compression.
Editor's Note: Thanks for your response. I have been waiting for the next major effects console from Zoom too. At present they seem to be going the other way with new single switch 'Multi Stomp' pedals. Including a looper similar to the Roland unit would be nice, even just one or two channels.
Thanks for the note about the the 12AT7 as an option when replacing the 12AX7 tubes.
Incept Date: Wizard - 151016
Last Update: Wizard - 210505
180722 - (Excellent) - Thanks for all the info - I've just bought a G9 and was horrified by the factory pre-sets! Thought I'd bought a lemon of a product. After days and days toiling over the "interface" I managed to get a few acceptable bass and six string patches and started to feel there was, maybe, a decent effects unit in there somewhere. Now I have found this website I know I'm on the right track. I intend to replace the valves with cryo Harma str ECC83's shortly (such a shame you can't save valve settings in a patch - what bullet in the foot by Zoom - can anyone make a midi controllable pot?!). Thanks so much for all the info here. Cheers, Chaz.