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Darkglass Microtubes - tell me why I should upgrade

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by HelpImaRock, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. My favorite distortion is a GGG Red Llama clone. Been using it for years. Great on bass, great on guitar. Has a bit too much distortion with my Markbass LMII -> GK 115 rig. Always thought it could use a clean blend for that amp. the Darkglass pedals are intriguing because they're also CMOS based. But I'm not certain they're worth (to me) the significant cost of upgrade. I haven't been able to find a schematic of the Darkglass Microtubes, so I'm not sure how the circuits differ. So other than expanded controls, what will I really get out of them over the Llama?
  2. Darkglass

    Darkglass Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 10, 2008
    Helsinki, Finland
    Douglas Castro, Founder: darkglass.com
    Hey! The circuits are extremely different. the Red Llama uses several CMOS gates in cascade for distortion. I used a mix of FETs, OpAmps and CMOS. Plus a ton of filtering pre and post distortion... I can honestly say that the only thing both circuits have in common is that they use feature the same chip ;).
    HelpImaRock likes this.
  3. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    How the circuits differ on paper is not important ;-)
    How the tone sounds different to your ears is where it matters...
    Never heard a Llama AFAIK so I can't comment on that.
    But IMO/IME the Darkglass stuff has an amazing range of control that allows you to dial in a wide variety of sounds. And it's touch/attack sensitive so it't not merely a matter of looking at static frequency response - it's quite dynamic as well.

    As for which would work best for you - choosing between B3K/B7K or VMT/VMT-Deluxe - I donno.
    For my money (which as you have observed - is not inconsiderable) the EQ/DI flavors are worth the additional cost in versatility alone. But if you really have no need for EQ/DI/Preamp, the B3K and VMT pedals still get a lot of love here.

    Is it worth the money to upgrade for you? Only yor ears and budget can guide you on that.
    I can tell you that they are amazingly versatile pedals.
    I love the B7K even as I am coming to believe that the VMT-D is closer to my goals.
    I may add a VMT-D but I'm not giving up my B7K...
    SanDiegoHarry likes this.
  4. eloann


    May 14, 2012
    Working on helping folks out with that bit - gimme a few more days ;)

    Anyway, you can flip Darkglass pedals with a pretty small loss (or even return them to some dealers) so you could try one and see for yourself if it's worth keeping.
  5. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    IMO (yes Im a DG fanboy but beside that point/fact and I do not work for them unfortunately :( ), I would def spend the extra dough on a DG pedal. Each and every one is top quality and they are all just awesome pedals. This is my opinion but I have owned and used the VMT, the Duality and I still have and use the B7K all the time. Yeah, theyre a tad more expensive than your regular pedal but to me, DG isnt a regular pedal. They are just great pedals in function, construction, tone/sound and style. IMO theyre worth what you pay and so much more.
  6. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    The thing that is very attractive about the Darkglass pedal is the mix knob. I have an Agro, and while I really like the sound, I lose my bottom end pretty fast with it. The youtube demos of the darkglass sound MUCH better to me... so that's next on my list.
  7. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    A blend knob is a big plus when I shop for dirt pedals ... on the other hand some like the VMT best with the knob fully clockwise. Sometimes when blending dirt and dry it sounds like two channels playing in unison instead of one integrated sound. (Not that the VMT specifically does that).

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