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EBS ValveDrive, TC Spark, or Eden Glowplug

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jdh3000, Feb 13, 2020 at 3:12 PM.

  1. EBS ValveDrive

    7 vote(s)
  2. TC Spark Booster

    13 vote(s)
  3. Eden Glowplug

    1 vote(s)
  1. jdh3000


    May 16, 2016
    I really appreciate ALL of the great responses and recommendations to my questIon about a clean, warm tube(like) pre-amp.

    These are the 3 I've narrowed it down to.

    So many demos focus on a dirty sound. I know that's what a tube sound means to many, but there is also that warm fat, round tubey clean sound.

    First, the EBS ValveDrive, a bit above my budget new, but I will find a way if it is what I have found in demos. I did manage to find a few demos showing the smooth sound of this pedal; showing the difference between a dry to active sound.

    Very nice sounding. I looked at this one on the recommendation of some of you. I was wanting to see if anyone else is using it clean and anything more anyone can tell me about it.

    From what I've read the TC Spark Booster sounds like it could work, definitely in my price range.
    I couldn't really find any demos showing it clean on bass.
    I'm not looking for a boost per se, but a clean fattening always on.
    Many recommended this one. Does anyone else use it this way? Anything more I should know about this?

    Third was the Eden Glowplug.
    Again, hard to find demos on clean sound. I did find one, but not real sure about the settings. I know it has a blend knob, so I don't really know how much I was hearing was from a dry signal... There were no comparison sounds.
    I asked some of you about this and one said it was difficult to get a clean sound. Has anyone else found this to be the case?
    Someone else said not to believe all the distorted sounding videos on YouTube, but that it could get a clean sound. I'm thinking if it takes mixing half or more of the dry signal to achieve this, it might not be as usable for a clean sound.
    Any other thoughts? Any issues with any of these?

    Thanks again and this will be the last time I'll ask about this I am about to make a decision.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020 at 4:00 PM
    Zbysek likes this.
  2. Allegrus


    Mar 13, 2019
    Ottawa, ON
    TC Spark is too cheap to not just buy it and figure out if you like it yourself. I'm biased ... I haven't tried the other two but I own the TC Spark and it's always on. It's so simple to configure and get a good tone from.
  3. Indiedog


    Aug 23, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    I cannot speak of anything other than the EBS ValveDrive. I love it. It is pretty much always on because it adds such a lovely element to a standard bass tone.

    If I need a substantial amount of dirt I go elsewhere but for 90% of the time the ValveDrive is my secret weapon.
    ObsessiveArcher, Zbysek and jdh3000 like this.
  4. cm3ohana

    cm3ohana Supporting Member

    Aug 1, 2005
    I’ve never tried the Eden but have owned both the EBS Valve Drive and TC Spark. I never really bonded with the EBS because it always added some noise. Could’ve been the tube or could’ve been a grounding issue but tried different tubes and different outlets and couldn’t get it to work as I had hoped. The TC Spark was great. I didn’t use it for the tube sound but as a clean boost and loved it. I can’t attest to using it for tube tone but can say it was great as a clean boost.
    ObsessiveArcher and jdh3000 like this.
  5. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    I am using Eden Glowplug and while I like it quite a lot, I agree that it wouldn't be my first choice for clean tube sound. I use it either to give my sound a little vintage hair/warmth...or for mild ovrdrive...

    I have just acquired Spark. I will report later when I have an experience with it.
  6. I used a ehx blackfinger for this before I switched over to a tube preamp and it was excellent
    jdh3000 likes this.
  7. The Thinker

    The Thinker

    Sep 17, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    I really like the spark and generally recommend it. But if you play a high-output bass it may not be the best option for a clean sound. Even with the drive all the way down, my spark is dirty when pushed by my BB425. YMMV.
    Zbysek likes this.
  8. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    I am using Ampeg PF-20T for CLEAN tube sound...
    jdh3000 likes this.
  9. jdh3000


    May 16, 2016
    Yes, ideally an all tube would be the ticket, but for a few reasons I cannot do that, one being money.

    I had already made a post asking about recommendations of a tube or tube like preamp that would give a solid state a little warmer, fatter sound. I got several responses and of them all I've boiled it down to these three.

    I know it wouldn't give me a full blown tube sound, but that's not really what I'm after.

    Thank you anyway, I known that amp is very nice.
    Zbysek likes this.
  10. Zbysek


    Mar 23, 2017
    Czech Republic
    Actually, I think it was your thread which made me ordering TC Spark…:)
    jdh3000 likes this.
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah I hate to hit you with something off of your list, but the Blackfinger is just perfect. Yes, it's a compressor. But you can turn the compression so low that it doesn't engage. No, it's not a dirt pedal. But you can goose the gain and get a glorious mild overdrive. But even with no compression or dirt it just warms things up beautifully.
    40Hz and jdh3000 like this.
  12. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    The EBS is a powerfull Pre amp,it has its own sound that takes over no matter how you use it,it can do modern and vintage tube,both dark sounding.
    I got it because for me its the closest thing to having a tube amp,I dont gig my own amp and I wont invest in one so the pedal replaces it going direct or in to an amp.Its strong side is dirt.
    If you dont need a DI,dont need dirt and on a budget I dont think the EBS is the best candidate.

    The TC does add this roundness and sparkle that make you think of a tube amp but also brings the TC toyish prestine flavor that I hate.But Its cheap so give it shot.
    jdh3000, moon-bass and Indiedog like this.
  13. jdh3000


    May 16, 2016
    I'll give it a look/listen... thanks!
  14. crabbybassman


    May 5, 2011
    For a real tube pre-amp with alot extras.....I'd recommend trying out a Two Notes LeBass Tube pre-amp....it's amazing, and is a real tube pre-amp.
    jdh3000 and Aqualung60 like this.
  15. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    having had all 3 of those ... plus many more over the decades ... they're gone ..

    the current one might stay a while ...

    ashdown - OriginAl pre/di .. ! find a used one ...

    OriginAL Valve Pre-DI Pedal
    jdh3000 and Leonid Nidis like this.
  16. moon-bass

    moon-bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2004
    USA, New Orleans
    EBS Valvedrive - and it isn't even close. I was in the same boat as you - looking for a tube (or tube-like) preamp - warm, round, tubey, with the possibility of adding dirt. I had been thru dozens of preamp pedals and settled on the EBS (and a Darkglass, but for another pedal board for a different reason). I use the EBS for a preamp/tube DI in conjuncture with a Line 6 HX Effects. It's awesome. The EBS is exactly what I was looking for - love the tone stack and fwiw it uses and actual tube in a starved plate design. Plus, great DI, which met all my needs.

    The TC spark was okay, but sounded ... I dunno - artificial or something. The Eden was nice, but just didn't do enough. It certainly added warmth, but the EBS did it more and better and is more flexible.
    Leonid Nidis, Indiedog and jdh3000 like this.
  17. Indiedog


    Aug 23, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    I don't know about you, JDH, but I sure like hearing other players reinforce what I think about the EBS.
    jdh3000, moon-bass and Teryup like this.
  18. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Good recommendation. One of the underutilized capabilities of a good compressor is its ability to act as a clean or thickening boost without doing compression. The Mad Professor Forest Green and Doc Lloyd Photon Death Ray compressors work really well in that capacity.

    That said, the Spark Boost is a great utility pedal that finds many uses and is well worth owning either way. I keep one handy in my gig bag as a “just in case.”
    jdh3000 likes this.
  19. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    Its a bit off topic but let me ask you EBS valve drive users for advice.
    I use the Valve drive almost clean,if I want extra gain without adjusting what pedal should I add?
    I would like to keep the same sound,just push the ebs.
  20. jdh3000


    May 16, 2016
    Yes, I am leaning that direction. I may have to put off getting a bit but I think it'll be worth it.

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