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Pedal-size Tube-DI? Does it exist?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Phyrexian, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. Hi people,

    I've got some questions about a product that I don't know if it even exists... :) :) :)

    I own a very nice Trace Elliot V8 amplifier; the sound rocks a lot and I like the nice and overdriven tones it produces. Now. As you know, tubes are vulnerable and I'd like to have a backup in case my amp breaks down at some stage...

    People always recommend preamp/DIs like the Sansamp BDDI/PDDI or the MXR M-80. EBS also has an equivalent and I guess there's plenty more. I know I'm spoiled with my V8 and its tone but these solid-state DI boxes are not able to really reproduce the exact sound of an overdriven tube-amp... You tube-amps users know what I mean.

    Now here's my question: is there any kind of preamp/DI box around with tubes in it? I mean preamp tubes. I know that such a pedal wouldn't reproduce the sound of overdriving power tubes but a least preamp-tubes should be an improvement... Who knows about a DI-box with tubes inside?

    There are tube-overdrive pedals on the market, like the EBS ValveDrive and also MesaBoogie makes some nice tube pedals BUT these are overdriver/distortion units, not DI's. And I need a DI... :)
  2. Mods. Please move this to effects if you like, my mistake!
  3. Mika

    Mika Guest

    Nov 29, 2002
    Some suggestions:
    - Ampeg SVTDI or SVTMP (a bit pricey)
    - Aguilar DB900 (pricey)
    - Groove Tubes Ditto or Brick (large)
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Groove Tubes, Ampeg, and Aguilar make them, and you can also find older ones from TubeWorks. They are all supposedly very fine, but I don't think any of them is known to reproduce anywhere NEAR the distortion of a full-sized tube amp. At most you'd get a slight fizz. You might prefer to add a solid-state distortion or tubescreamer-type OD in front of the DI.
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    on gig, i really doubt people would even notice the difference. with that said, the Sansamp is pretty good at a fake tubey glow.

    but to be honest, i doubt the club would even let you use anything else other than the countryman they shove in your face when you reach the stage.

    bottom line, you're looking for a "power tube section" like heft to your sound, and you're not gonna get that w/ a preamp tube. aint never ever gonna happen.
  6. Countrymans aren't available in Europe, you know! :)
    Anyway. I can use my own TE amp-DI at every gig though.

    I said in my fist post that I wasn't gonna find that power-tube heft in a preamp-tube-design pedal... I know that.

    Anyway. Thanks for those tips 'bout them tube DIs but I guess they excel in clean tones, not overdriven ones, isn't it?
  7. jock


    Jun 7, 2000
    Stockholm, Sweden
    A cheap solution is the Art Tube MP. Sounds quite good IMO. And in a live setting it will probably do just fine. In the studio it can hiss a little.
  8. BigMikeW

    BigMikeW Banned

    May 25, 2005
    Nashville, TN.
    Banned by TB Administration for refusal to account for funds

    Joker is 100% right. My suggestion is you get a SansAmp Bass Driver. Either the regular one or the Programmable one.

    My main "rig" is an Eden one. However, I have used said "rig" about half the time in the last 3 years. The other half of my gigs I run my small "direct" pedalboard and use either in-ears or just the monitors if they are good.

    My little board is very simple. Bass (Sadowsky) ----> Tuner ----> SansAmp Programmable Bass Driver ----> Demeter Compulator ----> Aphex Bass Exciter ----> Radial JDI DI Box ----> to FOH

    On the SansAmp I set it flat with the Presences at like 8 oclock (virtually off) and I never have have the blend set above 10 - 11 oclock. I want to just add a little "tubey" goodness to my sound and keep the Sadowsky's rich tone.

    I would suggest that. Has worked for me for about three years now. Board is very small and everyone loves the tone.

    In your case you can just put the SansAmp inyour gig bag and run it direct to the house. AND, you can get a very nice overdriven, punchy and full tone with it. I really like them. I have recorded with folks who wanted them and it sounded great.
  9. Hmmm. Maybe I just should try it out then...
  10. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    What about connecting the DI to the speaker outs of the amp (some DI's like the JDI can supposedly do this). It seems that this type of hookup would get the sound of the tube amp out to the board. Has anybody here ever used a DI in this way?
  11. I don't need a DI when my amp works just fine... it gets miced. I juts need a good DI when my amp would die...
  12. Fuzzhead


    Sep 26, 2005
    I've got a V6 which I love, and a Sansamp BDDI. I don't think the Sansamp cops the output tube sound at all, but is a decent DI. I remember Petebass thought the MXR pedal had a better dirty sound. Another alternative would be a tiny one tube power amp like a Zvex Nanohead into a DI, but that's more gear again. I guess that's why we still lug around tube amps, 'cause nothing else has that sound.

    Actually if you just want to add transparent grit to a DI'd sound the Keeley Fuzz Head does that great. But it doesn't have the output tube warmth and sensitivity sorry.