The B.K. Butler Tube Driver. Mods or Clones?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bassmusic17, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
    Anyone know of a bass friendly version of this? Or a comparable pedal? I know the dude from TLAT uses one on his bass rig and his tone is monstrous! but I've read there is some low end loss at higher gain settings. Anyone ever mod one to be more "bass friendly"?

    Attached Files:

  2. Floridabwoy

    Floridabwoy Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2008
    Jacksonville, Fl
    I have read that the Blue Tube is more bass friendly warm drive, and the the Tube Driver is more like a Tube Screamer heavy overdrive. I have never used one but have been looking at them for years.
  3. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
    It doesn't appear they make the Blue Tube anymore though. :(
  4. DirtyDuke

    DirtyDuke Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 13, 2012
    guelph ontario
    Partner Southampton Pedals, Partner CCP
    I have a blue tube. Super bass friendly. Swapping different tubes is fun too
  5. The Tube Driver is VERY bass friendly in my humble opinion.

    I have a friend that uses one and his tone is rad. Fat and growling.

    Also, there is a band called The Life and Times. Their bassist runs one at all times. He sounds great.
  6. DirtyDuke

    DirtyDuke Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 13, 2012
    guelph ontario
    Partner Southampton Pedals, Partner CCP
    TBer here JohnK makes a blue tube that runs on 9v.

    I have one (just haven't picked it up yet, its at a friends at Buffalo's)
  7. miiitch


    Nov 27, 2011
    the tube drive completely erases your low-end when the bass knob´s turned down. when turned up, it´s fine (probably not down to 20hz, but well enough low-end)

    got mine set to borderline-clean, so it doesn´t start crunching. awesome!
  8. gregmon79

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

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    I have a blue tube and I love the beefy, smooth and full tone it gives me. If anything it enhances my bottom end IMO. It gives it so much more body and is more warm and full. It doesnt work well with my main bands sound unfortunately but I use it all the time otherwise. So no, IMO, it doesnt mess with your low end. Unless of course you turn the bass knob down you know. Its a great tube drive and Im very happy I happened upon it, thanks Duke!! :) I dont use the blue tube much for drive but I do dial a little bit of dirt into the signal. I would also like to try the tube driver someday. But the blue tube will be part of my collection for years to come, its a great keeper the way it is stock IMO.
  9. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
    Good to hear! Yeah TLAT is a big influence right now. That's how I came across this thing. Then I was reading more into it and heard about low end loss. But this is definitely refreshing to hear. I'm gonna have to start saving up. Looks like they are only made to order right now. Hopefully they won't discontinue it like the Blue Tube.
  10. I have a '92 Blue Tube pedal. It is VERY bass friendly, an I use it for nearly every performance. It is my secret weapon. I'm asked about it lots. Still has the original tube, too. Killer pedal.
  11. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
    Anyone ever use a Blackstar HT dual drive or distx pedal? Any of those similar to the Butler tube driver?
  12. I've kinda been chasing the TLAT sound too lately. I use a Fuzzrocious Dark Driving and get in the ballpark.
  13. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
    Yeah I've been thinking about a Fuzzrocious OD myself. I can see how the Dark Driving would get you in the realm. I already have a rat king. But I kinda want that gnarly tube drive sound without having to buy a new amp and all the overdrive pedals that say tube on them dont really have that warmth I'm looking for unless there is an actual tube in them.

    That's why I came across this tube driver. If I can get the sound from the tube driver from one of those blackstar ht pedals, that would be ideal. Then if I dont like it, I'm not stuck with a $300 pedal, since I can just take it back to guitar center.
  14. tonym


    Apr 12, 2011
    I have a blue tube and love it. I'm in complete agreement with all the folks saying it doesn't lose any bottom end. If I remember correctly it was built to handle guitar, bass or keyboards so it doesn't lose any bottom end. Like Gregmon, I'm using it for some tubey warmth and a little dirt.
  15. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    So, let's be clear, you are talking about the "tube screamer" pedals, which do not sound like a tube amp--they were designed mainly to give guitarists a really driven sound for their tube amp.

    What may surprise you is that very few pedals that have an actual tube in them sound all that great either! It happens that the Blue Tube sounds really good, which is why there is legitimate praise for it in this thread. But please please do not fool yourself into thinking "a real tube" will generally get you the sound you want.
    Yes, that is a good plan. Buy whatever tube pedals from a store with a good return policy, so you can try them and dump them as needed.

    Keep your eyes on Ebay too though, because I've seen the Blue Tube go for surprisingly cheap on some occasions.
  16. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    Also I feel I should point out that the overdrive sound of the Blue Tube and other similar pedals comes mostly from opamp clipping.

    It still sounds good. Dean Markley even made a version (the Overlord) that removed the tube and they sound the same.

    I have a Blue Tube but it is too dark for me. I have been using a Mesa Bottle Rocket I got from a TBer. I prefer it not because it's all tube but because the high voltage power supply gives me plenty of headroom with my high output bass.

    In the band mix I couldn't tell the difference between my tube pedals and the Way Huge Green Rhino with the 100Hz knob boosted.

    The only difference was when playing solo my bass sounded harsher with he Rhino.

    Anyways...what I'm getting at is that the Blue Tube isn't magic because it's tube. It's magic because it was designed to sound good.
  17. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
    Sorry guys I didn't mean to imply that all overdrives with tubes sound killer. I just mean the ones I'm looking into i.e. the butler sound better than their non tube counterparts. That being said I dont want to drop 300 bones on the butler if its not what I had hoped. There's a used bottle rocket at guitar center. I might have to check that out. If I'm not happy I may just stick with my Green Rhino or persue other options. Thanks for all the insight.
  18. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    tubeworks actually did make a 'bass specific' Bluetube Bass Driver but i'm not sure what the difference between it and the standard tube driver is.

    Hallic likes this.
  19. bassmusic17


    Jan 15, 2011
    Rumor has it you make a clone of these? Whats the going rate?
  20. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    I have made a couple of them, but you can buy an original one for a lot less.