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Fatdrive tube swap?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by J.Wolf, Sep 19, 2008.


  1. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I just picked up a fatdrive and its sweeeeeet! I really like how it warms up the signal and adds girth and drive without any fuzz or distortion.

    My question for fatdrive owners is this: Has anyone tried swapping out the stock 12ax7 for something else with good results? I have a handful of 12ax7's (tung sol, LPS, EH, JJ, etc) and was just curious if anyone has tried this and has reccomendations?

    Thanks
     
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I did, and it did seem like the Fatdrive responded differently with different tubes (which is not the case with all devices containing tubes). However my experience with tube-swapping in general is that it's a crapshoot which tubes will sound best- partly because of differences in the preamp circuit design, and partly because of the wide variance in performance of even the same make and model of tubes. This was especially the case IME with older tubes.

    IOW it is definitely worth experimenting with all of those tubes, but I wouldn't even try to guess which one will sound best.
     
  3. I settled on a groove tubes 5751 in my fatdrive. :cool:

    ~ Charlie
     
  4. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I agree, its hard to generalize about tubes because they are kind of individual in their performance. I'll do a comparison when I get a chance and see what floats to the top.

    nice i think i have a 5751 somewhere, i'll try that one too....
     
  5. mgmadian

    mgmadian

    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    A couple years I swapped out the JJ which is in mine for another 12AX7 (don't recall which one) and it sounded great, too. Went back to the JJ as the builder (whose name I also forget) rec'd JJ when I spoke with him briefly.

    The FatDrive is v cool... my fav boost pedal...
     
  6. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    V cool indeed.

    Hey by the way, is the bright switch extremely subtle on any of you guys' unit?

    I'm still tinkering with gain structuring (gain vs vol knob) but in general it seems to really like passive axes more than active ones, which makes sense. My F bass run passive into the fatdrive is glorious. Fat and delicious.
     
  7. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hey Charlie!

    I used to have the Fatdrive Jake...great device. I can't comment on different tubes, but I will say that I found it to be better with passive basses as well....so off it went to another home.
     

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