ZVex Nano Head Tube Amp
ZVex Nano Head Tube Amp

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ZVex Nano Head Tube Amp

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ZVex Nano Head ½ Watt Tube Amp

Bravo! You are the owner of the world's smallest production tube amp, the Nano Head by Z.Vex Amps. This little marvel is a one-half watt (distorted) powerhouse that will surprise you with its apparent volume. Plug it into a 4X12 (or any 8 to 16 ohm speaker) and listen to it roar! This amp is voiced to deliver classic rock tone, with a very high level of crunch available if it's wanted. Just crank the volume knob around to the level of distortion you desire, from a very quiet (one tenth watt) clean mode to a micro-Marshall (TM) blast when cranked up. I am making myself a little ill (gag!) trying to describe the tone of my Nano, using the same tired old phrases that all the amp and distortion box makers use, but I think it's true... it does a great job of emulating big amps at very reasonable volumes, which makes it exceptionally nice for recording.

In a recording situation, you stick microphones in front of guitar amps and hope for the best, but often the sheer sound pressure level necessary to get what sounds like a really cool tone is so ungodly high that it causes mic distortion that wrecks the sound. You might try putting a nice Coles ribbon or a Beyer M160 in front of the amp, but at 140 dB it could easily cause weird sounds as the ribbon rattles around in the magnetic field, stretching and possibly striking the magnet as it goes past the boundaries of its gap. A classic condenser microphone under that kind of crushing pressure can end up with a stretched diaphragm that can touch from front to back, suddenly shutting down, or overloaded preamp circuitry, adding unwanted harshness. Even a dynamic mic like a Shure 57 or 58 can have problems as the severe magnetic field developed by high-wattage amps couples through the air into the mic's own windings, causing a blistering crispiness that seems very unnatural when it shows up in your recording. You can spend hours trying to find a safe spot to put your mics when trying to accurately capture the sound of a roaring high-wattage amp, and in the end, find that the best sound is miced so far from the cab that you begin to hear the room and everything else that's bleeding in. By the time you've got a sound you like, someone has called the cops and you have to shut down for the night.

The Nano Head eliminates many of these microphone problems instantly because it is at least 20 dB quieter than a 50 watt head, so that the volume levels coming from your speaker cabinet are very close to the levels that a loud singer can produce. The amp is capable of going into total saturation, struggling like crazy and sweating up a storm at this moderate volume, so no matter where you put the microphone it's safe signal level that won't overload your preamps or strain the microphone's element. The result is a crystal-clear reproduction of the speaker's sound. The other high-volume factors that can mess up your ears (there's something called the Fletcher-Munson curves that change the way your ears hear things at high volumes) are much reduced, too, so the characteristic of the sound you hear in the room will be much closer to the recorded sound. The first time I put a mic in front of my Orange 4X12 with greenbacks while it was connected to a Nano Head, I was stunned at how accurately the recording matched the tone of the cabinet on playback, and was delighted that I could set the mic position while wearing headphones in the same room and find the exact spot I wanted to capture. After 10 years working full-time as a recording engineer (my former job), this is one of the first times I've been able to get a great guitar tone on the first try. I have such painful memories of trying to capture huge tones and just failing miserably… gahh!

Specifications: Power Supply: 12VDC 1.5 A wall wart, included. Output Power: .5 W dirty, .1 W clean.
Output Impedance: 8-16 ohms. Input Impedance: 1,000,000 ohms. Internal Speaker: .4 Watts.

 

ZVex Nano Head Controls (from right to left):

  • Bright switch: Brighter to the right. Has more effect at lower volumes, like a Fender bright switch.
  • Volume: Adjusts from quite clean to very crunchy/dirty.
  • Thickness: Positions are Normal, Thin, and Fat. As you use more gain, you may wish to thin out the signal. The fat setting is best for clean shivery tones and overblown bass fuzz.
  • Mellow control: Positions are Mellow 2/Normal/Mellow 1. Use it to roll off treble if needed after first
  • distortion stage. Mellow 2 is mellower, naturally, and Normal is brightest.

ZVex Nano Head Other features:

  • Cooling fan: Yes, as unbelievable as it may seem, there is a one-inch cooling fan in the Nano Head.
  • DO NOT BLOCK FAN. Also, if you sit too close, fan noise may bleed into pickups.
  • This appears as a whining tone. Move a few inches further away or twist slightly and it will disappear. The fan keeps the 230 volt power supply and the tubes and caps cool.
  • Internal speaker: This is a bit of a joke... it is only useful if you really, really have to listen to it without a
  • cabinet. Don't expect too much from it... it's made of plastic! You can tilt the amp or turn it over to hear the speaker better. What an annoying sound, huh? 8^)
  • "Hot" red LED: The Nano Head has a self-resetting fuse that blows if the power supply stalls. This can happen if the input power is interrupted and reconnected, or if the DC power sags too low, such as a battery dying. Disconnect the amp for a few minutes and try again if the "Hot" LED comes on. The self-resetting fuse has to have time to cool before it will work again.

For best results, use with a 16 ohm (or 8 ohm) cabinet. I prefer a Marshall/Orange 4X12 or a Vox extension cabinet, but try anything you like.

Your Nano perfers a startup temperature of 65 degrees F (18 degrees C) or more. If it is cold, the unit may have difficulty starting. Warm it up first! You may wish to store it somewhere warm, like near a radiator or by some gear that's always on.

Use only with 12 volt power supply included with unit, or a 12 volt lead-acid battery capable of supplying 1.5 amps for startup current. Unit draws .5 amps while operating but needs more current to start. If the "hot" light comes on, let the Nano cool for 5 minutes before reconnecting. You may have better luck by connecting the power supply to the wall first and then to the Nano Head if you have blown the internal fuse and are in a hurry to restart the unit. Also, if you are waiting for it to cool, turn it right-side-up to release heat from the inside of the unit. Feel free to hold it out the van window while driving fast.

Warning: UNIT CONTAINS DANGEROUS VOLTAGES (internal 230 volt supply). DO NOT OPEN. NO USER SERVICEABLE PARTS INSIDE. Contact Z.Vex Effects should service become necessary. DO NOT PUSH ON OR PULL ON TUBES. DO NOT PUT PRESSURE ON SILVER CAPACITORS INSIDE ROLL BARS. DO NOT ALLOW LIQUIDS TO ENTER UNIT! If this happens, REMOVE POWER SUPPLY FROM OUTLET IMMEDIATELY. Use only with supplied 1.5 Amp power supply, or "hot" light may turn on, disabling amplifier. Other power supplies may cause hum.

READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE OPERATING YOUR NANO HEAD.

WARNING: DO NOT CONNECT OUTPUT OF NANO TO ANOTHER AMP'S INPUT. THE NANO IS AN AMP, NOT AN EFFECT, AND MUST BE CONNECTED ONLY TO A SPEAKER CABINET UNLESS AN ATTENUATOR SUCH AS THE THD HOTPLATE IS USED TO PROCESS THE SIGNAL AND PROVIDE A LOAD. CAREFUL,YOU COULD DAMAGE OR DESTROY BOTH AMPLIFIERS!

warranty

  • Buy with confidence.
  • Hassle-free warranty replacement.
  • Fast turnaround.
  • We kick them, stomp on them, toss them and play them hard. They can take it. But on occassion a pedal may break down on us. PGS offers a One-Year Platinum Replacement Warranty that covers all new pedals purchased with us from manufacturer defects. Any manufacturer's defect in your pedal within one year of purchase will result in the replacement of that pedal free of charge. Units returned defective due to user error or incorrect powering resulting in a non-functioning pedal are not covered under our replacement policy.  In this case please contact the manufacturer for repair.

    Please contact us for more details on this policy or if you would like to use this policy on an item your purchase with us in the last year. (503) 670-4949.

    Shipping Policy

    ProGuitarShop.com will ship completed orders Monday-Friday. Orders placed and paid before 1:00 p.m. PST will ship that same day. All completed orders after the cutoff time will ship the following business day. ProGuitarShop.com does not ship on Saturday or Sunday.

    Every shipment is packed with care by our staff, as if it were our own. When you place an order with Pro Guitar Shop your shipment will be fully insured and secure so your items will arrive to you safely as well as quickly.  

    Backorders - Products that are not available to ship at the time of the order may be available for backorder.  You will be notified if an item is on backorder with the item is in your car. Once the item arrives it will ship. if your order contains both in stock and back ordered items, the entire shipment may be held. In some cases the available item will ship immediately depending on the estimated time of arrival for the backordered item. All international orders with backorders items with be held until all the items will be available for shipment. Please contact us by phone or email for your order's status. 

    Domestic Shipping

    All orders over $50 shipped within the United States will ship free via USPS or UPS, depending on the ordered items.

    Orders shipping within the United States with USPS Priority Mail will have delivery confirmation and in some cases a signature requirement. USPS Priority ships with an estimated delivery time, but this is not a guaranteed shipping time. USPS Priority Mail Express shipping is guaranteed within 48 hours of time of pickup. An automated email with tracking will be sent once the tracking number is assigned on the day of shipment. This number may be entered at USPS.com.  

    UPS Ground shipping time depends on location and is up to 5 business days. To get time estimates prior to making an order check UPS.com. All UPS shipments will have a signature requirement unless requested otherwise. An automated email with tracking will be sent once the tracking number is assigned on the day of shipment.

    All shipping estimates for USPS and UPS are from the time of pickup and do not take into account order processing time. To request a shipment without a signature requirement please email or call us at (503) 670-4949.

    International Shipping

    At Pro Guitar Shop our international customers are very important to us. Not only do we pack our shipments securely in a box to withstand the long journey around the world, we will work with you from start to finish to ensure your shipment arrives safely and to your satisfaction. All shipments are fully insured in case of loss or damage. 

    All International orders shipping with USPS Priority Mail International will ship in a box with Priority tracking, designated with a CJ number. Orders shipping internationally with USPS Priority Mail Express are shipped in a box with Express tracking, designated with an EC number. Customs processing time varies greatly depending on the country and are not included in USPS shipping time estimates. An automated email with tracking details will be sent once the order is processed on the day of shipment. 

    USPS First Class International - If you order is 4 lbs. or less and small enough in size, it may qualify for First Class International shipping. This is our most inexpensive option and can save money. However, it can take 21 days or longer to arrive and tracking is not as accurate or updated as often as USPS Priority or Express. There is no guaranteed delivery date. Please keep this in mind when ordering. Once it is shipped we cannot do anything for the shipment to find it's location or time of arrival. 

    UPS Worldwide shipments will show a expected arrival date at checkout. Canadian Customs please be aware there will be a brokerage fee when using UPS, as well as normal customs charges. The buyer is responsible for both customs charges and brokerage fees for all orders.

    International shipments are subject to import taxes by the destination country upon receipt. All payment for import taxes on international shipments are the sole responsibility of the buyer. Orders that come back to PGS as not claimed or refused by the customer will receive a refund for the product. Shipping will not be refunded. Please watch tracking on your shipments to be aware of customs processing and delivery. 

    Contact a PGS representative for specific shipping questions by phone or email.

    For more detailed shipping time estimates and information please refer to our carrier's websites.

    USPS.com

    UPS.com

     

    All equipment sold is United States power specifications and may need additional modifications or converters in countries other than the USA or Canada.  We are not responsible for providing additional power supplies for the customer's corresponding country.

    Worldwide shipping excludes the following brands: Vox, Marshall, Korg, Schecter, Orange, Tech 21, TC Electronic, BOSS/Roland, Pedaltrain, Voodoo Lab, MXR/Dunlop, Ibanez, ISP Technologies, EMG. Zvex products cannot ship to Israel.. 

    Pro Guitar Shop Returns

    Here at Pro Guitar Shop we understand that navigating the pedal world with all its vast choices can be difficult. So we do our best to help make that process easy and fulfilling. Part of that is offering a great return policy. We offer a 30-Day Money Back Return Policy for all new pedal purchases.

  • 30-Day return period from delivery of order.
  • Easy no hassle return procedure.
  • Refund processed back to payment method within days of PGS receiving the merchandise.
  • No contact or RA necessary. Just include the form and send back the pedal. 
  • Please include PGS Return Form with every return.

    Full Return Policy

    If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase you may return it for a full refund of the original purchase price. We offer a 30-day return policy on all new pedals. We ask that you please return the product in the original product packaging along with all included materials (manual, warranty card, all accessories) and in the original condition that it was received. We must receive the merchandise within 30 days of delivery to qualify for a refund or exchange. Return form must be completed and included. Buyer pays all shipping costs. Shipping is non-refundable. Accessories, used, B-Stock, open box, and discontinued items are non-refundable and cannot be returned.

    Items returned not in like-new condition (scratched, dented, with velcro or modified) may be subject to a restocking fee of up to 25% of the purchase price. Please pack carefully. Attach shipping label to the shipping package that contains the merchandise. Do not attach label on manufacturer's box, as that will automatically result in a 25% restocking fee. You may choose any shipping service you like to return the package. We strongly recommend tracking or delivery confirmation and insurance in order to protect the transaction.

    Exchanges - In order to process an exchange, a customer must have a proguitarshop.com account. If you do not have one please create one prior to sending back your exchange. Exchanges are fullfilled in the form of a Pro Guitar Shop account credit which can then be applied towards another purchase.

    Defective Merchandise - If you suspect the product is defective, please contact PGS first before sending back the merchandise. Return shipping is covered by Pro Guitar Shop for items with manufacturer defects within return policy timeframe.

    Returns are processed twice a week, usually within 72 hours of receiving them. Refunds will be issued to the payment method used at the time of the order. An automatic email will be sent once the return is processed to notify you. Please keep in mind that credit card refunds can take up to 10 business days to post to the account once the refund has been processed.

    Contacting PGS prior to shipping a return is not required and there is no RA necessary to return a product. Any questions can be directed to info@proguitarshop.com or by calling (503) 670-4949.

    PGS One-year Replacement Warranty on All Pedals

  • Buy with confidence.
  • Hassle-free warranty replacement.
  • Fast turnaround.
  • We kick them, stomp on them, toss them and play them hard. They can take it. But on occassion a pedal may break down on us. PGS offers a One-Year Platinum Replacement Warranty that covers all new pedals purchased with us from manufacturer defects. Any manufacturer's defect in your pedal within one year of purchase will result in the replacement of that pedal free of charge. Units returned defective due to user error or incorrect powering resulting in a non-functioning pedal are not covered under our replacement policy.  In this case please contact the manufacturer for repair.

    Please contact us for more details on this policy or if you would like to use this policy on an item your purchase with us in the last year. (503) 670-4949.

    Lifetime Product Support to Original Owner for the Life of the Product