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Tube OD Pedal?

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

  1. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science! Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    I agree with the consensus here that there really isn't a pedal or tube pre that will exactly replicate what an all-tube rig does at high volume. The tube rig isn't just about tone, it involves feel issues, volume issues, compression issues, etc....

    It's also unfair to expect a pedal to replicate such a tone when your listening through your home practice amp or computer speakers! Or, I'd go so far, playing through a 350w ss amp and a 2x10 or 1x12.... It's just not the same (to me, YMMV).

    All of that said, however, I did buy an EBS Valve Drive for one major reason. Sometimes, when I fly to a gig, I don't get my requested backline rig. Often this means a super-clean ss amp that doesn't really sound how I want (not that I can't make any amp sound good - that's another discussion). In these instances, the Valve Drive makes a huge difference for me! While I'd never claim that my Valve Drive makes a GK head sound or feel like an SVT, it goes a long way towards accomplishing that goal. There are certainly other options as well - I have an old Mesa V-Twin that sounds incredible through ss gear as well!

    Another (non-pedal format) option I've always wanted to try is the SWR Interstellar Overdrive rack pre. It has an actual low-wattage tube power section connected to a dummy load that is intended to give you true poweramp-type distortion. Warwick also has a bass head that incorporates this concept (I'm sure there are others).
  2. warlord shank

    warlord shank

    Apr 30, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    So I just found my uncle's circa-60something Dynakit all-tube stereo power amp. Could I plug my bass into that and then plug that into my solid state amp to get a tube-y sound? Or would that just royally screw up everything?
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    It would be the other way 'round, you plug your bass amps preamp out into the power amp, but you'd have to know the correct load for the speakers first.
  4. warlord shank

    warlord shank

    Apr 30, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Huh. I get so lost in this preamp stuff. So could I basically just put it into my effects loop?
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  6. warlord shank

    warlord shank

    Apr 30, 2008
    Seattle, WA
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The honest truth is what you're describing will not work unless you know exactly what you're doing electronically, the different levels of signal out of each device, and the different levels needed (or too much, too little) by each input.

    If you "get so lost in this stuff", you'll probably damage something.
  8. 30hrz


    May 13, 2007
    Quick question. How about a decent tube overdrive sound at lower volumes? I ask cause I've been considering a Mesa Walkabout Scout or a LMII + 1x12 + tube pedal. I'm not at the stage performance level yet, just the home practice + rehearsal level. Turning a rig up to 11 isn't an option at this point, maybe someday, not now.

    Music style I play doesn't require a Black Sabbath hair drying tube driven sound all the time but every once in awhile I like to fool around and do something post punk.
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's the whole attraction of tube overdrive pedals...tube overdrive at low volumes. Sure, it's preamp overdrive, but it's better than nothing. Just turn the tweeter off first. Tweeters + OD = yecch.
  10. one


    Aug 21, 2006
    If you wanna push a tube amp to 'breakup' at low vulumes;-
    The THD Hotplate!
  11. Live I use an English Muff'n to approximate Tube OD, I find its a very modern sounding mid gain overdrive.

    However at home and in the studio I play through my Tiny Terror Orange guitar head. iIts an actual tube head and extremely easy to overdrive. The low end loss isnt too bad and since im recording i can just double some bassy clean through my GK underneath.

    But I should have a Blueberry soon, so I'm hoping to be amazed by that.

    The main difference to me is the response difference. Paying through an overdriven tube amp is far more responsive and tight with your playing. A tube OD pedal sounds like an added layer on the other hand.
  12. tomhanzo


    Apr 20, 2008
    West Virginia
    ok please no one burn me for this but this is my two cents.

    Bad Monkey, it has a cool sound that comes in range of the tube sound. I mean it isnt that sound, but for less money and less trouble it is close enough for me.

    I only play for fun with friends, so if you are pro or are pushing for it, just get an SVT.
  13. I'm a big fan of the EHX BlackFinger. It's a compression pedal with 2 tube gain stages which you can saturate to some nice fuzz. My guitarist even prefers it to the grit channel on his Fender DeVille.
  14. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    What about an EHX English Muff'n? Real tubes, real overdrive sound. Maybe it's not the balls to the wall Power tube overdrive you're looking for though
  15. If you just want to talk pedals then my votes for the EBS valvedrive. I recently bought one and am very pleased with it - thanks to the guys at basscentral. There is a review at the ebs site that is pretty spot on to what I have experienced too.
  16. I have a Dave Hall VT-1 and I am very happy with it :hyper:
    It gives a great fuzzy OD and you can choose what circuit you are using (Si or Se) :cool:
    They don't come very cheap, but for a hand made one, it is very good value for your money. I've found mine used, so maybe you are lucky too :D

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