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Tube Works Blue Tube Pedal

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by watspan, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. watspan


    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    Anyone have comments on these? I'm looking to get more tube tone from my hartke 5000--already has a tube pre-amp, which i use full-blast--would there be problems driving a tube pedal into a tube pre-amp on the head? (tube squared!) It's also been suggested that i replace the stock hartke tube. thanks!
  2. jondog


    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I've got the RT-904 rack mount version and LOVE it. There is much more distortion gain in it than I can use -- my drive is always set around 3, master around 10. Warmwarmwarm :D EQ is very responsive, I leave it flat and make changes depending on the room.

    Swapping out your Hartke's tube would at least give you choices. It causes no trouble to run a tube pedal into a tube preamp.
    nonrappingJZ likes this.
  3. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    I have a 904 that I have used for many years. I recently decommissioned it because I went to midi control of all my effects and now use an ADA MP-1 for OD and dist. I really liked using the 904 and I recommend it for you. I'm keeping mine 'cause its and old one and you never know!
  4. bassackwards

    bassackwards Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    I've got an original RT904 rack mount version in really good condition that I'd be willing to part with. Anyone wanna trade something for it?
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I just got the 903 (Blue Tube) pedal yesterday to tryout. So far, so great. You get a real nice tubey overdrive from it, not surprising since there's a tube in it! Having the EQ on there let's me make the sound as clear or muddy as I want.

    I'm using it in front of a tube preamp (Kern), makes the sound even warmer. In fact, in my short time using it I've had it on constantly with a very mild drive - beefs up the sound nicely.

    I'll report back in a day or two, once the 'pedal honeymoon' period is over :)
  6. JimS

    JimS Supporting Member

    Hmm....I sent you a PM about this.
  7. camerondye


    Nov 7, 2000
    When the unit is off, is it Quiet?...are the tubes changing the tone even when its off? or does it only changes things when it is turned on?

    Basically my question is when it's off, is it really off?
    Also, how distorted can it get?

  8. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    When it's off, it's off. The unit is always powered, I don't know what type of bypass it is but it's pretty good.

    It can get very distorted with the drive turned up. It's not going to be a real screaming distortion, but a very heavy overdrive.

    In the end I returned this pedal, it was really good but I already have a Fulltone Bassdrive. The blue tube has a better o/d than the fulltone, but I use the Fulltone for o/d and distortion and it's two channel operation works well for me.
  9. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    It isn't hardwire bypass. It uses FET's to switch in and out. It works pretty good though. :cool:
  10. dogman


    Oct 21, 2001
    da Swamps
    I use an Ampeg SVT 3 pro with the rackmount RT-904 blue tube preamp pushing it, and have never had any problem with it.I do however use a FUlltone Bassdrive for my overdriven sound ,but the bluetube warms and fattens things up nicely, and should help take the chill outta the Hartke,good luck!;)
  11. ahpook


    Jul 13, 2001
    a got one of the older pedal versions a week or two back and it's lovely

    nice warm sound with a hint of drive :)
  12. I've heard tell that replacing the 12AX7 in the the blue tube with a 5157 is quite pleasant. :)
    ~ Charlie
  13. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Yea the 5751 sounds nice in them. I have tried every 12AX7 & 12AU7 you can imagine in mine, NOS and new production, and have found that the old RCA 12AU7A "clear top" sounds the best in it IMO. They break up very gracefully.

    The Blue Tube sounds better with a 12AU7 than a 12AX7 if you ask me. In fact, I talked to one of their techs after I bought mine and he confirmed this.
  14. ahpook


    Jul 13, 2001
    i was thinking of swapping out the tube in mine...many thanks for the advice - i'm a tubie newbie.

  15. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    Hey, again, Ineal! Sorry for bringing up this old topic, but I stumbled upon this pedal review and then found a thread here too. My question is, where would one get a tube like 12AU7? Do they sell them at GC or maybe somewhere online? Links would be appreciated. Thanks! I'm thinking of getting this pedal.
  16. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    There are many online sources for these. They were very common tubes in the day, which means plenty of the older ones are available. I suggest you look for an old RCA 12AU7A "clear top". They turn up regularly on ebay. Here is another thread on the 904 in which I posted a pic of a clear top.
  17. soularis


    Jul 3, 2003
    Illinois, USA
    Ok, cool, thanks!
  18. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    Knowing nothing about Bass guitar effects: What's the (new/used) price for one of these units?
  19. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Now that my Blue Tube just came in from MF, I'm trying different tubes. So far, I've tried a friend's used Mullerd 12ax7 and a new GT 12au7. I think I like the 12au7 better for warmth, fatness, and a little grit.

    Can anyone comment on the sonic differences between these two tubes and a 5751?

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