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  #1  
Old 12-22-2012, 02:18 PM
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Roll call of tube overdrive pedals (with actual tubes)

Sorry guys, I did a search and only found a post here or there about this...

I've been curious about tube OD pedals for a long time and I'm at a point where I'd really like to explore full tube overdrive pedals. Unfortunately, I don't really know what's out there. I'm looking to do a roll call of everyone's favorite tube OD's and why it's your favorite. I'm not quite sure what I'm after but I know I love the overdrive from my Hughes and Kettner BATT, Marshalls, B-15s, SVTs, and 300 Pro/300T's. I usually let my speaker cabinets do most of the coloring. I avoid tweeters to let the sizzle roll off naturally and keep all of the grit. Not sure if that helps.

Just wondering if you guys would have any suggestions or want to take part in making a semi comprehensive list of bass tube OD or bass friendly tube OD pedals. (I'd prefer to avoid cold tube/starved plate pedals where there's just a 12AX7 in there for show.) Thanks!
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Last edited by christw : 12-22-2012 at 02:21 PM.
  #2  
Old 12-22-2012, 02:33 PM
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EBS Valve Drive is a good start to your list.
  #3  
Old 12-22-2012, 02:44 PM
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Verellen Meatsmoke Preamp
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  #4  
Old 12-22-2012, 02:44 PM
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the Seymour Duncan SFX-11 works well on bass too.
  #5  
Old 12-22-2012, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christw View Post
I'd prefer to avoid cold tube/starved plate pedals where there's just a 12AX7 in there for show.
A valid concern, but there's a distinction to make. In many (but not all) tube gain stages, the amount of voltage heating it can affect the headroom--so a low-voltage stage may have lower headroom--in turn meaning it may overdrive more easily. Conversely, a high-voltage tube may have high headroom, making it less prone to overdrive. So while it's true that a lot of tubes are just for show, and also true that many people prefer tube stages that happen to run on high voltage, it is not necessarily true that high voltage is needed for OD or distortion.

Where I personally seek out high voltage is for high-headroom "clean but warm" tube stages.

None of this should be taken as a generalization across "all" or even "most" tube devices though. In fact my point is to dissuade from generalizations.
  #6  
Old 12-22-2012, 03:25 PM
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2012, 04:08 PM
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+1 to Bongo's post, and I'll add, in some cases, you can get a great tube o/d without even using a real vacuum tube. Just saying, there are many great choices for a tube o/d sound, and how the circuit is designed should be of less concern than how the pedal actually sounds.That said, +1 again for EBS Valve Drive, but though I;ve owned one for many years, I use a TRex Bass Juice now, which has no tube in the circuit. Both are awesome.
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2012, 04:26 PM
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Thanks guys and thanks for the clarification bongo. I've got a starting point now at least. FWIW the Pickle Pie B is still on my short GAS list of pedals.
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2012, 05:01 PM
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EHX English Muff'n. I like it as a mostly clean preamp, especially when run after distortions. It really smooths out otherwise harsh dirts. If you hunt for deep deep lows word is it isn't so good, but I don't hunt for deep, deep, lows so I've never noticed a problem. I did a mod to mine to get deeper lows, but I didn't do a scientific enough pre/post test to verify the difference.

Either way I'm not interested in selling it, I like it a lot. I haven't messed with anything else listed in this thread.

Pros: I think it sounds really good, runs at 250-300 volts, nice passive EQ that always sounds natural, if not especially surgical.

Cons: Big, with a stupid power supply which makes it even bigger than it is by itself. Mods need to be done to power supply AND pedal to make it not stupid.
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Last edited by cheapbasslovin : 12-22-2012 at 05:06 PM.
  #10  
Old 12-22-2012, 07:41 PM
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Most anything made by Dave Hall Amps. DHA OD is my absolute favorite for just a bit of dirty fat. If you get a dual channel unit from his VT2 line, you can have that and also be just a stomp away from full on crunch. The Swell B-Peg is a way cool OD too.
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  #11  
Old 12-22-2012, 08:23 PM
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While it's low voltage my old Tube Works Blue Tube pedal works great with a 12AV7 swapped out for the original 12AX7.
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  #12  
Old 12-23-2012, 05:37 AM
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+ 1 on the dha vt2. it has pride of place on my board. haven't tried one but the bottle rocket seems to get a lotta love from those who have one.
  #13  
Old 12-23-2012, 09:11 AM
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Tube Works Tube Driver pedal. My go to for 20+ years. They make a rack mount version too. They are out of production though... Still easy to find.
  #14  
Old 12-23-2012, 09:24 AM
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I have various sound clips of real tube overdrive pedals on my page here: http://cgraham.com/chris/music/sound_clips.htm

EHX English Muff'n
MESA Bottle Rocket
Thermionic TE.01
ADA MB-1 (not a pedal, but can do some awesome tube overdrive via two tubes)
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  #15  
Old 12-24-2012, 05:21 PM
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Thanks for the further suggestions. I've still got a lot of reading and listening ahead. The VT2 looks like it would appeal to me but I'd probably look to buy used if anything.

Would anyone's suggestions change if I asked about about pedals that an push a driven Hiwatt tone? I'm not necessarily looking for anything Ampeg-like at the moment.
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  #16  
Old 12-24-2012, 08:23 PM
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  #17  
Old 12-30-2012, 05:03 PM
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I ended up with a deal on a Radial Tonebone classic that I'll give a shot. If it really is Fender-y I'll probably like it a lot.
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  #18  
Old 12-30-2012, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoxNoctus View Post
Verellen Meatsmoke Preamp
+1 Just got one but my favorite inexpensive tube pedal is the Tube Works Blue Tube Enhancer it reacts so well to different tubes. I also have an older version of the Recovery Effects "Lights On The Way Out" pedal it to is very responsive to different tubes.
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2013, 09:20 PM
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+1 for Recovery
  #20  
Old 01-30-2013, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnk_10 View Post
the Seymour Duncan SFX-11 works well on bass too.
I have an SFX-03 Classic Tube pedal I sometimes use and like on bass as well.
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