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Hoo-ah for Tube Works Blue Tube

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Brendan, Sep 24, 2005.


  1. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Got this from Tombowlus (great guy, that Tom) day before yesterday, and have been mucking about with it for a bit, and I gotta say: this is what I've been looking for.

    I've been without two things for a bit: a bass preamp, and a tube preamp. I've had my Peavey Ultra 60, but that's the other half of the rig, the dirty side. For the clean side I was using an ART DST-4 into my poweramp. It's a guitar preamp/effects processor. The problem is, of course, it's bass shy unless you set into bypass mode (which was cold, and a little digital). Which meant jacking it up on the bass' preamp, which in turn would overdrive the preamp input, and things would go downhill from there.

    So, I was contemplating an EQ to run after the ART, to beef up the low end, but when Tom had this up for sale, it just screamed "buy me." I did.

    Now, the neat bit about this is that it can be bypassed or boosted from the front pannel, and since it's a bass unit, the low end response is nice and clean all the way down to my open B. It's also tube, and I didn't realize how much I missed having a tube preamp.

    So, I run my bass into the ART into the Blue Tube, and it indeed beefs up the sound, and increases the low end; upshot is, I can use the ART for a distortion unit now, and with the Blue Tube's tube, and low end, it screams.

    Awsome for that industrial wall of noise with the ART, or a fat clean sound by itself. And, since it's bypassable, I can take it (and the ART) out of the loop, and send my bass straight to the power amp for running my DOD 250 (a third option, h00p!), which sounds good on it's own, but doesn't seem to like playing with others.

    It (the Blue Tube) can add some grit, but when it overdrives...well, I'm not a fan, Just some tube snarl, or clean, it rocks my small, self-centered universe.

    The Blue Tube has all the connectivity I could ask for, and a sturdy chassis, so I'm happy with it. It's the sound I hear in my head, straight and true. I might have to get another one of these for backup.

    Highly advisable.

    Note- I had an Ampeg SVP-Pro before this. Why sell a perfectly good tube preamp, only to get another, later? The Ampeg, aside from being a glorified DI for my purposes, lacked a couple features, like the bypass option, and even with the gain set low, liked to make my B string overdrive far before my other strings, which made for an uneven tone. Also, the Blue Tube was cheaper; I got a guitar a while back, and the Blue tube, and I'm still ahead $50.

    -er, is this like basses, and it doesn't exist unless I have pictures?
     
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    [​IMG] yup!
     
  3. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    ...wow, you're still here after that beast of a post? Be honest, you skimmed, right?

    (pics forthcoming)
     
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    Dude, you gave it a Hoo-ah. I had no choice but to read it all. A picture would help solidify it for me though.


    [edit] plus I've been tempted before by both the rack and stomp verions of the blue tube... I've yet to hear one in person, but I want too [/edit]
     
  5. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    C'mon, Brendan, you know there's gotta be pictures! Plus, I just wanna see how you've got the rig set up this time. Last pic I saw of it, the Ampeg was still in there.
     
  6. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    [​IMG]

    The weird settings on the ART are two fold - Firstly, it's a guitar preamp, so it's a bit of a different EQ curve (and a pithy one at that. Maxing it out is about as close to flat as I can get on bass), and secondly, that is for a chorus setting. The Blue Tube's EQ is more or less true to form. The DOD250 is peeking over the top of the rack.

    Bass>DOD250 (only engaged when the BT and ART are bypassed)>ART>Blue Tube>Carvin

    SoCom- This is the rig as it stands today (plus the Blue Tube, of course)

    [​IMG]

    aaand, hell:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Damn, I don't think I've seen it since you added the ART, either. I did spend a little while away from TB and AIM, though. I like, and I approve.
    I passed up a rackmount Blue Tube once because I have the pedal version. I'm really starting to wish I hadn't done that, because I LOVE the pedal, but hate to carry and kick around that tube, and it's a bit large and clumsy compared to the pedals I use most often.
     
  8. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I ran them in parallel early today (like I will, live), and man, it's a sick, sick rig. I'd like to get a different 4x12, or at least better speakers, but I'm pretty happy now. The distortion coming out of the guitar stack is pretty aggressive, and it's a little tricky to balance the levels so that one doesn't overpower the other, but overall...woof.

    A bit of a pain to move since it's got four "parts," but it's worth it. I might up and spring for (or hell, make) some custom rack/case so I can combine the guitar head and bass rack into one cart/roadcase/box thingie.

    (Morely ABY splitting the signal between the bass and the DOD, by the way)
     
  9. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Pff. Building one. That requires effort. I got your custom "rack" right here:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    But I can't build cup-holders into that!

    ...plus, I can probably build a roadcase for either cheaper, or the same price, and then I get the satisfaction of answering "Where'd you get that?" with "Made it myself."


    And yes, I am seriously thinking about cup holders.
     
  11. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    Again, got you covered there:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Looks great! (now don't you feel better having shared ;) )
     
  13. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    As for actually building a rack, here's the best site I've found for parts. No cupholders, though. :scowl:
     
  14. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    [​IMG]

    Yes, I misspelled Peavey. Apathy, mostly.

    Something like that. Obviously a quick mock up (15 minutes in MS paint, most of which was spent getting the lines to match up). The entire front would have a single cover, and then the rack section and head section would have their own seperate backs.

    The cup holders would be cut out, and then I'd attack a solid bottom hanging a couple inches down, so that there'd be hard to knock the beverage out of the holder.

    I mean, this is a mock up, but the general idea is there. Practicalities and materials might dictate some changes, but that's largely what I'm talking about.

    And yes, I'm handy enough to make such a thing. Being handy is...well, handy when things like this get into my noggin.
     
  15. Rat

    Rat

    Mar 15, 2005
    Boston Sewers
    I have a Blue tube Pedal it's perfect when I want to warm my tone up of My GK :hyper:
     
  16. SoComSurfing

    SoComSurfing Mercedes Benz Superdome. S 127. R 22. S 12-13.

    Feb 15, 2002
    Mobile, Al
    That's a pretty neat idea, but IIRC, that Peavey head is about the "normal" size for a head, 25-26". Say you make the box 30", that only leaves 11" or so inches to fit two basses and two cup holders. With the current configuration, you might be pretty pressed for space. Might I suggest aligning the cupholder from front to back.

    BTW, nice job matching the colors/markings of the gear. :D
     
  17. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I did some measuring this morning, and the Peavey is 28", so I'd probably make it a 32" box. If I made the rack section (walls included, mind you) 21" wide, then I'd get 11" to play with. So, I probably would have to put them front to back.

    Also toying with centering the rack, and putting a bass on either side.
     
  18. And to think, I nearly bought that blue tube pre!! meh, glad it is going to see the light of day after all. Amps don't need photo's to be real like basses, we need sound clips :hyper:
     
  19. Brendan

    Brendan

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well, if you want to give me some time to get some home studio equipment, sure. I'll just have to get around to not sucking on bass. That's going to take some time, though.
     
  20. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I'm glad you like it, Brendan! I had a surprising amount of interest in it shortly after you had committed to buying it, so I did consider selling my other one. I had thought that it might be redundant to my Chandler Tube Driver, but after A/Bing them, I think that they do serve slightly different purposes. The Blue Tube is more "bass friendly" and is quite viable as standalone preamp, IMHO. It also has a wider range of useable mildly to moderately overdriven tones (as well as some pretty good over the top overdriven tones, too, IMHO). The Chandler, however, really does over a better "overdrive effect", though it is not as full through the lows and would make an okay preamp (but you can't really add any low end boost, as you can with the Blue Tube).

    Keep us informed! And I really would love to see that contraption in its full glory - including cup holders! :D

    Tom.