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Tube OD Pedal?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by 1940andy, Sep 1, 2008.


  1. 1940andy

    1940andy

    Jun 24, 2008
    Hey, everyone. I know how a lot of people ask what pedal they can use to get *insert rock bassist here*'s growly, over-driven tube sound. A lot of people don't realize that unless you're really pushing a tube amp and causing it to distort, it's hard to get that sound.

    Is there a pedal you can buy that just has a tube in it, and when turned on, you kind of over-drive the tube so it does create a real, tube distortion? Does anyone know what i'm talking about or if such a thing even exists?
     
  2. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    There's a BJFE Blue Berry for sale in the classifieds right now. It doesn't need tubes to sound like power amp tube distortion. It is expensive, but if you want That Sound with much better volume control than a raging tube amp, it is worth the price.

    Unless you're talking about preamp tube distortion (which I personally think sounds awful), there are quite a few pedals with such tubes in them. Since I've never tried any (remember, I hate that effing sound), I can't comment further.
     
  3. drboyd

    drboyd

    Apr 20, 2008
    Sure they exist. I have one.

    It's a Biyang OTD-100; I got it off EvilBay; the seller's name is hazedconfused. (another seller "debstyme" has them, too) It's got a real 12AX7 tube and sounds just like a real tube setup. Look it up on Harmony Central and see the opinions.

    It was less than $90 as I recall, including shipping.

    5a73_1.
     
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    1940andy: You're joking, right? Please tell me you're joking. If you weren't, then please search here on "tube" or even Google "tube overdrive pedal".

    OK, I bet you get it, so we can cut to the chase. After you've read about the 397 tube overdrive pedals on the market, start reading here about the differences in tone between a device containing one or two preamp tubes, and an all-tube amp with both power tubes and an output transformer. Then note the frustration pretty much everyone feels trying to get the all-tube amp sound out of a pedal.
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'll tell you, though...it's gotten a lot better now than it ever has been. And since the Sansamp VT pedal came out, I'm even buying into this modeling business for the first time ever. Obviously there's no substitute for driving a tube amp's power section hard, but I don't think it's nearly as hard to find reasonable substitutes as it was even a year ago.
     
  6. phunku

    phunku

    Jan 9, 2008
    London, England
    ive heard the EBS Valve drive pedal is meant 2 be good
     
  7. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    It is good, dare I say great, but even it can't replicate hard driving power tubes. That's ok for me, I like the crunchy overdriven preamp sound, but it's a whole 'nother thing.
     
  8. okTem

    okTem

    Jul 15, 2008
    Istanbul, Turkey
    hmmm :eyebrow: i'm using it for a fuller and richer sound with a little cream on top to fill any empty spots in our band live sound... And the vintage switch to go vintage :D actually that suits the business when our guitar goes solo. (talking about a trio by the way).. Honestly never push the gain a little further than 1/4..

    well quite happy so far with my valvedrive but, can somone give me any clue on how the hard driven power tubes and the driven tube pre-amp sound differently?? I read one comment said "never push the power section, it sounds terrible" :confused:
     
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Honestly, then you read one comment from a very ignorant person, or you misunderstood them. The power section of a solid state amp usually sounds terrible when overdriven, but even then there are some people like Keeler from DFA who use that "terrible" sound to great effect. But a tube power section, along with the output transformer (which is a critical part of both the function and the tone of a tube power section) usually overdrives really nicely, and is in fact a massive part of the grunt and heft of the classic SVT sound. IOW when you have heard a massive rock'n'roll bass tone pretty much ever in the past 30 years, it was partly due to a tube amp's power section being driven hard.

    Your :eyebrow: makes it clear that you have no point of reference. Like RickenB said, the EBS (and other preamp-tube pedals) can sound great on their own merits as a preamp tube overdrive voicing. That has nothing to do, functionally or as a value judgment, with whether they sound like power amp tubes or the output xformer.

    Listen to any 12AX7 device being driven. Then listen to a full-sized SVT being driven. That's the difference.
     
  10. Guest043

    Guest043 Guest

    Apr 8, 2008
    you seem to be real hung up on "real driving SVT sound." what about that last "tube challenge" thread..70% of the votes thought the sansamp VT bass was the real SVT (and a large majority wasent sure, but just thought that pedal sounded better..)

    just because its "the real thing" doesent make it sound better..
     
  11. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Edited for less attitude ;) :

    I didn't say one word about modeling. As Jimmy noted above, and as his A/B test thread proved, modeling has made amazing leaps in quality over time. I was "hung up on" the difference between a pedal containing only one or two preamp tubes, versus a full all-tube amp. That difference is clear, and should not be mistaken by people who might think they would get better results from "a real tube" than they would from e.g. the VT Bass or any other good modeler.
     
  12. okTem

    okTem

    Jul 15, 2008
    Istanbul, Turkey
    I agree with everything you said. But my point was not the difference between a stomp box and a real tube amp. I might be getting the whole thing wrong but my question is would you drive the pre or power amp of a full tube amp?? Which option would sound like what :smug:
     
  13. Simulation and modelling of overdriven tubes still falls short. Overdrive pedals are cool but they're just an effect.

    Think of it this way: In the electric guitar world, where the overdriven tube sound is of vital importance, solid state amps never really went over big. Solid state works great for clean bass sound, and you can shape the heck out of it to get dang near any sound you want - except for the sound of pushed tubes. (SS can be great for guitar as well, if only there was a market, but that's another discussion entirely).

    All-tube amps aren't as scarce, pricey or heavy as they used to be, either. If it's worth owning two different basses, it's worth owning a tube amp and a solid state amp.
     
  14. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Either or both, depending on the tone you like, and how loud you play. Typically driving the power section involves turning the amp up very loud.
    You have an EBS Valvedrive. It's a tube preamp. So you know what that sounds like. You don't have an all-tube amp, and I don't know a good way to communicate that sound to you, if you've never been to a concert or never listened to a rock song.
     
  15. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    Here's a simple answer, if I have all this straight, what you asked for originally, was a pedal that will duplicate the sound of a driven hard tube amp. So far, the consensus is, sort of, ala, the Valve Drive. It'll do the tubey preamp higain thing, and very well, but short of an all tube amp, it's difficult to fully replicate it without one. Modeling, otoh, is another way to achieve that sound. Seems like it sounds plenty good for alot of folks, not me. I have several amps, one of them is an all tube amp. I don't like full on o/d with it, but rather the cleanest, warmest tone I can get from it. For dirt, I like a pedal. So,... many ways to skin a cat as it were, ie: you've got choices, only you can make. Sorry for being long winded, but I'm hoping it makes sense, so you can figure out what it is you want. Good luck.
     
  16. okTem

    okTem

    Jul 15, 2008
    Istanbul, Turkey
    hahaha ok now. Been to many rock concerts in my life and been playing rock tunes for 15 years. Your true point is no I don't have an all tube amp. So if we only put our arrogance aside, my intention was to ask for a quite easy musical definition from a person who has my respect for his past comments I've been reading on talkbass.

    I really do not think it is a matter of musical background or knowledge but it is only sonic differences to define.
     
  17. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I really don't mean to be arrogant. I come off that way sometimes, I know, so I apologize. What I'm trying to say is that the difference is apparent when you hear it, but hard to put into words. Practically every major rock show has used an SVT backline for many years- that's why I said what I did about 'never been to a concert'. I don't have an SVT or any other all-tube amp myself- but I have been to a lot of shows, and I know that sound.

    Any words I would try to use such as "grunt" or "heft" or "balls" would be so widely interpretable as to be almost meaningless- I would know what I meant, but then anyone could come along and argue that their tube preamp has balls, and then where are we? I haven't described the difference at all.
     
  18. Spencer!

    Spencer!

    Jun 25, 2006
    Seattle
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    No pedal will perfectly replicate an all-tube amp. It's more than just the sound - the notes feel different. That said, the EBS ValveDrive comes pretty darn close.
     
  19. okTem

    okTem

    Jul 15, 2008
    Istanbul, Turkey
    :D you're perfectly right pal. It is soo hard to describe this sonic tweeking business. Actually I re-read your first answer to my comment and now got your point. So thanks in all ways ;)

    It's been a pleasure to read your comments and still is.
     

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