I admit that I do like the newer PS-02 for it's compact size, AAA batteries, bass and drum backing, and recording features.....it even has an emulated 9002 effect BUT... truth be told none of these sound like the 9002. I don't personally rate the 9002 as the very best all around sounding processor ever, but the sounds it has are good and very unique.
If you're wondering what the difference of the 9002 releases are, here it is:
All models use the same ZFX-1 16 bit processor.
There was an early release called the "Special Edition" with an Orange ring around the display. I believe this was a promotional model, maybe offered through GC or something. The key here is that it was and early release and really doesn't have any advantage over the other releases.
The 9002 in its standard form with the blue trim has some internal changes, mostly component enhancements and some minor circuitry changes. I don't know exactly when the changes took place but you can guess by your serial number....1000 and lower are pretty early 5000 and up have had some changes made to improve noise reduction and electronic efficiencies. You likely won't notice much difference between any of these assuming the ones you compare have fresh capacitors in them.
The 9002 PRO was the last release of the PRO with the latest circuitry improvements for sound quality, noise reduction and efficiency. The PRO also works with the FC02 foot controller which has bank switching capability and is increased to 40 user defined and 40 preset patches. In my opinion, the PRO has more presence that the standard 9002.
The PRO Artists Edition is the same as the PRO with pre programmed patches by famous artist.
Many 9002's are now suffering from the electrolytic capacitors drying out which also sometimes causes the charge pump circuit IC7660 DC to DC converter to fail as well. Before completely drying out, the unit will usually whine while "warming up", the distortion will get weak, the headphone outputs may give out as well. Finally when the capacitors dry out all the way, the unit will no longer pass the guitar signal but you will still hear the AUX input, metronome and tuner. This problem is primarily showing up in the standard units but this is most likely because they were release before the PRO, I have serviced a ton of dead standards and only 1 PRO as of winter 2006. My guess is the PRO's capacitors time is coming.
If your ZOOM 9002 looses it's sound output, don't throw it out, just replace the capacitors (or have them replaced for you if your not electronically inclined.)
These were released in the early 90's. All and all the 9002 was designed very well.
-Capacitors drying out causing loss of guitar signal (this can be repaired by replacing caps and sometimes also the IC7660)
-Power supply failing (these are great power supplies, it's usually just the tip that fails, a replacement tip can be bought at Radio Shack for about $2 and soldered on)
-Power failure...there is one section on the circuit board that not too often but does sometimes crack a solder joint causing a total power loss, this too can be fixed with a quick touch of the solder iron. Some times the DC input jack and headphone jacks will break a solder joint at the board as well, most are repairable with a touch of the iron, some are actually broken jacks and I have not found a replacement other that spare parts units.
-Battery covers break or get lost (www.e-lectronics.net has new compatible non-OEM replacements)
-Batteries were discontinued and have all died (www.e-lectronics.net has new compatible non-OEM replacements)
A very low cost yet versatile processor that I wouldn't want to go with out. Many people use these for guitar as well as bass or vocals. With the headphones and a new battery I can rock in privacy for about 4-5 hours.
I like the unique sound, simplicity, and size. I also like the fact that ZOOM blew the competition away with this unit, it was light years ahead of the others and it still rocks.
It's hard to compare to others because it's so unique. I haven't used the other small units like Korg Pandora. The sound of the 9002 is much different than what you will find in the newer line of ZOOM.
I like to keep the toolbox loaded and the 9002 is a keeper in my opinion.
I am doing my best to keep the 9002 alive; for more infomation feel free to email me and I'll do my best to help out. Hope you've enjoyed this bit of info! -Markcm