Tube Sound in a Box

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by FatBottomThump, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. FatBottomThump


    Dec 14, 2012
    Looking for an affordable stompbox or preamp to take my solid state fender rumble into tube territory. I'm leaning towards the MXR M80 DI right now. Has to handle dirt well.
  2. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
  3. That MXR is an awesome piece, I've heard two of them live recently and it's the way I'd go if I had to choose.
    I am offically OVER the Sansamp click/clank/queef that anyone and everyone is using in lieu of other tone. I know I'm in the minority on that, and Geddy surely can't be wrong, but the Sansamp noise has become so artificially-sanitary to me that I just don't like it much anymore. My $200 would go elsewhere.
    For what it's worth, if you want true tube tone, I ran across a pedal a few months ago that used three 12AX7s that stood upright in the back of the pedal! I can't recall the name or brand, but a Google search or similar should get you there.
  4. MXR M80 isn't really a tube sound IMO. Pretty much any Sansamp could work for you. If you want real tubes I like my English Muff'n for a low gain preamp. Many really like the EBS Valve Drive.

    I could go on and on about tube sound. Too many options with many different tonal results.
  5. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    We were all told not to listen to you. lol
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    Get a Tube Works Blue Tube which has a areal tube in it they are cheap and can be found on eBay and they respond well to to different tubes can go from just warming up your signal to some nice grind.
  7. Seriously? C'mon, you're making me paranoid.
    I missed that thread.... IT'S A CONSPIRACY!!!

    I kinda knew I'd step on toes with my meh-comments on Sansamp, but seriously, I've heard sooooo many recently, and I can pick 'em out from the back of the venue, from the clickety-clickety clank....
    I'm quite sure there's other sounds they can make, but until locals start exploring those tones, I'm out....

    The EBS Valvedrive I just googled looks familiar, that might be the one I saw a few months ago, but I could have sworn there were more tubes. I wonder if that thing could make a QSC power amp with a fairly transparent BBE preamp sound like Lemmy's Murder One rig?....
  8. Agreed, and I've never particularly cared for the distortion sound on an M80. A little buzzy, in my opinion.

    I also don't know if a Sansamp is truly what you want either. I have a PBDDI and VT Bass and while I definitely dig their sound, that's what you get... the Sansamp sound. There's not really many other sounds on tap. Scoop the crap out of the mids, add some grind and speaker sim, there you go. I LOVED that sound when I first started with effects, but as I've explored further, it doesn't work for me so good any more.

    I'll add a couple to Cheap's suggestion:
    1) a Tubeworks Blue Tube. KILLER sound. They don't make them any more so you'll have to find one on the used market, but they show up fairly regularly on Ebay. I swapped the stock 12AX7 with a 12AU7, which was a popular mod for that pedal and there's a reason... still plenty of gain available, but it smoothed out the drive sound and made the whole range of the gain knob more usable.
    2) Darkglass B3K. They're all the rage right now on TB and there's a reason. It's a GREAT overdrive. I was remarkably surprised at how much my B3K sounds like overdriving the tubes on my 1974 Ampeg V4B.

  9. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Inactive

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis

    Mine is not clickety, clankety, but maybe I have mine set differently.
  10. Massimo636


    Aug 3, 2011
    Can't hate on a series of pedals because they offer a treble control that is able to be turned up! You can set any pedal with an EQ to sound how you want.
  11. But you can hate on a pedal with a gouge out of the spectrum at 800 hz and an eq control that lends itself to extreme settings. I don't especially like the BDDI for this reason, it is difficult to replace clack with anything but booming mud (or at least it was for me, and I held onto that thing for months after I decided I didn't like it to make sure).

    I gave all of the Sansamp line a lukewarm recommendation because some love them, because the Character Series are pretty good and AFAICT more balanced across the spectrum, and they can be had for a little less than the toooooob goodies I was recommending.

    Sansamp hate has its place, just so long as you can accept a lot of people like them also.
  12. FatBottomThump


    Dec 14, 2012
    Anything on the 3 channel Sansamp VT?
  13. frankegcbass

    frankegcbass Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2012
    Philadelphia PA
    Before I got the Verellen Tube Pre I swore by the VT bass (and the Rusty for solid state dirt). But the VT was awesome. You might wanna get the new one so you could disengage the speaker sim. I liked it. But I hear some say thats what causes that click. Anyhow, as far as the three channel, that'd be up to you. I was fine with the one. Do you need three dif amp settings? I've heard some great things about the pedal mjac28 mentioned, the blue tube. This band I really like from chicago uses one and gets a great tube tone outta a solid GK
  14. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    the Duncan SFX11 also has tubes in it, sounds really good, and can be found pretty cheap used.
  15. the low one

    the low one

    Feb 21, 2002
  16. Mattbass97


    Apr 9, 2011
    Go for the mxr di, I also have a fender rumble the 350 210 combo and the mxr kicks ass through it!
  17. BassManPatsFan

    BassManPatsFan Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    San Francisco
    I definitely wouldn't recommend the B3k for a tube sound. I had one and while it's a great pedal I'm sure, I found it be too bright sounding for me--none of the warmth that tubes would give you. I use a Swell B-pro for tube warmth/slight overdrivr as well as for a nastier overdrive, but those are pricey. I've heard good things about the VT bass for this kind of an application.
  18. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Washington, Utah
    John K Custom Basses
    the Wampler black '65 does the blackface Fender tone extremely well.
  19. tink9975


    Aug 10, 2006
    MoCo, MD
    I use a PC-2A compressor for a clean, warm tube tone, and a Swell B-Drive for a Tube OD tone. Both pedals are pretty pricey, but they sound great.

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