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EHX Hot Tubes or Hot Wax - is it redundant to DG VMT?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jacoby75, Mar 9, 2018.


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  1. jacoby75

    jacoby75

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    Hey guys and gals,

    I'm afraid I've got a touch of the GAS again. Which is always problematic, because I don't have the bank account to support my habit. That being said, I was reading the thread here about "What's your favorite always on pedal?" and came across some things I had never heard of. One of them being the Eden Glow Plug, which I'm seriously considering getting because I miss playing with my tube preamp now that I am on a pedal board-only church gig. But on the one hand, I don't know how I feel about dealing with a tube in a pedal, which can die at some point. I also saw the EHX Hot Tubes. So I've watched some demos online and I dig what it's doing. Tube sound without an actual tube. And then I saw the Hot Wax, which also has me gassing. Or it could be the Mexican food. But either way, do any of you have experience with one of those (EHX units) and the Darkglass VMT? It seems like they do similar things (with the exception of the Wax having two drives, which I would never use in conjunction, most likely). That being the emulation of tube amps. I am looking for some silkier, glassier tube emulation with juat a bit of hair, in pedal form, but on a budget. It's not that I don't like the VMT, but I'm always into trying new things. Would it be redundant to spend money on a Hot Wax when I already have a VMT, or are they different enough to justify it? (Understanding that I can justify buying just about ANYTHING. Because G.A.S.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  2. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    To me, the regular Hot Tubes was great. VERY tube sounding IMO. Just lost a little low end. Not much though. I would imagine the Hot Wax will be the same. The VMT is def a warmer more natural sounding drive too but it's got a voice all it's own. You may like that. You may not. To me though the Hot Wax/Tubes is going to be the most transparent and tubey sounding of the ones you named. Don't leave out the Pork Loin!! That pedal has a really nice warm, tube sound. Love that pedal! The PL and Hot Tubes are probably the 2 closest pedals I've come to tube sound without adding tubes. I hear the Fairfield Barbershop and Grizzly OD are really good for this too though. Just never tried those two.

    Also, what is it that you're worried about with the Glow Plug?? Just because it has a tube in doesn't mean you're going to have issues. Unless the power requirement is something that is messing with your setup? (I don't even know what the power requirements are on that pedal). I've owned some tube pedals in the past. They've all been great to me. The BK Butler Blue Tube was one of them. Really cool pedal. Very nice sounding too.

    It really sounds to me though that the Hot Wax is the way to go for someone on a budget.
     
  3. jacoby75

    jacoby75

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    Thank you for the feedback. I guess as far as tube pedals my concern is that eventually the tube will die, and it may happen at a most inopportune time. My usual amp setup is a Demeter tube pre, and one time at a gig the tube started going and it was awful. Of course, you can replace it, but I don't like things that can start giving out mid-gig. That's also in part why I prefer passive basses. You don't have to worry about the battery going out mid-song, mid-gig. And I also like the passive sound better in most situations, but I digress. I also don't know about having an actual tube on a pedalboard because it gets passed around and thrown in and out of the car, and I'd be worried about the fragility of a tube.

    Perhaps my concerns are entirely unfounded, but they are what they are. There is also the budget consideration, which is very real. And the Hot Tubes and Hot Wax are so stupid cheap, which is appealing. Provided they don't SOUND cheap. I will have to look into the Pork Loin as well. Thanks.
     
    zapped777 likes this.
  4. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I wouldn’t say they’re unfounded. But tubes in most tube pedals are pretty resilient IME. Plus they aren’t that expansive and are relatively easy to swap out when needed. I’d just buy a backup and keep it tucked away somewhere I’d you ever need it. Plus, tubes can last you a lifetime. They’re kinda unpredictable that way. So there is room for some concern. But for me, I wouldn’t let that stop me from getting a pedal with a tube in it if it was gonna give the sound I wanted. That’s just me though.
     
    jacoby75 likes this.
  5. jacoby75

    jacoby75

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    Which is also a concern of mine with pedals that are designed for guitar being used on bass. But the Hot Wax has a blend control, so in theory that should mitigate that. I did just listen to some demos of the Pork Loin, and it sounds great too. But a bit pricier. Tough call. If they're that similar, I'd probably stick with the Hot Wax and save the $50.
     
    gregmon79 likes this.
  6. PullThePlug

    PullThePlug

    Jan 8, 2014
    Sacramento
    That Eden Glow Plug looks LEGITTTT. But it also takes 15v power... which could be an issue for some.

    I loved the Bassic Gear Review of the EHX Hot Tubes, but never played one. It sounded GREAT though.

    Now I want to spend some cash too...
     
    zapped777 likes this.
  7. jacoby75

    jacoby75

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    That’s how it starts. Welcome to GAS. It’s incredibly contagious.
     
    zapped777 and gregmon79 like this.
  8. jacoby75

    jacoby75

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    It's unfortunate, but that's a pretty practical concern. I have an 18v opening on my power box, but not a 15. I could probably finagle some things around to make it work, but $200 is also a lot of coinage. I'm kind of agonizing over this because I feel like if you want a tube sound, you're going to be hard-pressed to find it without an actual tube somewhere in the mix. But the fake tubes of the "Hot Tubes" does sound pretty darn good and tubey for $66.
     
    PullThePlug likes this.
  9. zapped777

    zapped777

    Jul 6, 2011
    The pork loin really shines at 18v
     
    jacoby75 likes this.
  10. Hot Wax is a great pedal. No low end loss I can detect. Truthfully, I haven't really explored the Crayon side extensively.
     
  11. jacoby75

    jacoby75

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    I have read that, and am considering that as well. Thank you. But the whole reason I'm looking for stuff right now is because I have a Prymaxe coupon burning a hole in my pocket, and that one is out of stock right now. So that might take it out of the running. Unless I really wanted it and looked used.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
    zapped777 likes this.
  12. I use an EHX Bass Soul Food at the beginning of my chain to achieve a very, very mild tube overdrive. Make your decision even harder and add that to your list :)
     
  13. jacoby75

    jacoby75

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    Thanks for nothing, LOL.
     
    CNYlowEND likes this.
  14. jacoby75

    jacoby75

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    FWIW, I like a more vintage, warm tube tone, if that makes sense. I know those descriptors can be subjective.
     
  15. jacoby75

    jacoby75

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    That's one of my concerns about the Crayon or the Hot Tubes, even though I've read good things about them. Since I'm playing ampless with a pedalboard, I won't have the bass amp to make up for the tone of non-bass-specific pedals. The Hot Wax does have the EQ, but not being tailored for bass specifically, I'm guessing the center frequency of the EQ's might not be ideally voiced for bass. Sure, it has the blend, which could help with that. Whereas the Soul Food is bass-specific. But from what I've heard of that one so far, it sounds a bit more modern/hi-fi (again, subjective terms)
     
  16. jacoby75

    jacoby75

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    I do also have a TC Spark Boost in my guitar board that I might pull off to try with bass, because I've heard some pretty good stuff from that on Youtube. To make things a bit more complicated.
     
  17. Have you been watching the videos of all these pedals on YouTube? I believe Bassic Gear Review has done all of them, and that guy does a great job. That's how I landed on the Bass Soul Food.
     
  18. Nevermind, I see that it was mentioned above haha.
     
  19. CapnSev

    CapnSev

    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    You guys all suck. I want a Glow Plug in a bad way now.
     
    PullThePlug likes this.
  20. jacoby75

    jacoby75

    Mar 11, 2010
    Coldwater, MI
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Guitars, DR Strings
    His videos are usually one of the first places I go. He does a great job. Though with some of his stuff I haven't seen the setting I"m looking for, which is very low gain, barely there, just a bit of hair and tube color. I saw somewhere on the forums had mentioned the Hot Tubes as an "always on pedal" and his video made me want one. That was step one. Then I kept looking and saw his video of the Hot Wax, and now I want that, though I would never have a need to cascade the overdrives (that I can see for now). That's what started this whole process. But then I have seen a video or two of the Crayon on bass on Youtube that sound not so great, but a big part of that could be recording technique and playing technique as well. Plus, I'm playing ampless these days, so any video of a pedal being tested through an amp will only give me an approximation of what it might sound like through my setup. But after all of the research, I'm wondering if those things are too similar to the DG VMT to make it worth buying one of them (or the Soul Food . . . or the Pork Loin) or not. Hence the thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018

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