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tubeworks rt904 or rt913

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Phat Ham, Jul 16, 2003.


  1. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    DC
    I'm looking for a rackmount overdrive/distortion and have heard good things about the tubeworks rt-904. In my search for an rt904 I've come across a tubeworks rt-913, but can't find any info on the 913. Does anyone have any info on it? Is it pretty similar to the 904?
     
  2. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    No, I don't know about the 913. I've been running the 904 as my preamp for 4 years now and I love it. In my experience, any of the BK Butler tube designs, even the pedals, all sound phat!

    I have a bunch of preamp tubes I've been wanting to swap around in it, but it just sounds so good asis that I've never gotten around to messing with it.
     
  3. esa372

    esa372

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm bumping this 10-year-old thread to ask the same question:

    What is the difference between the Tube Works Tube Driver RT-913 and the Blue Tube RT-904?

    I'm looking for a good, rack-mount over-drive - from crunch to grind. I have the opportunity to buy one of these, but I can not try them out first, so I'm looking to TB for some guidance. :)

    Wot's... Uh, The Deal?

    Thanks!

    :edit:
    I see that the Blue Tube 904 has no front-panel input, whereas the Tube Driver 913 does.
    Also, the 904 has rear ins and outs for "line" and "instrument" levels; the 913 just a single in, and a single out.

    Are these the only differences?
     
  4. taurus1

    taurus1

    Sep 13, 2006
    Vancouver B.C.
    I've owned the rack version of both and currently own the pedal version of both.
    the Blue Tube is a VERY low gain pre amp made for bass, good for fattening up your signal and has lots of bottom end.
    it will overdrive a bit but it's overdriven tone isn't good imo.
    adds some warmth to your signal if thats what you want.

    the Tube Driver is a completely different beast, waaaay more overdive and will get really crunchy, mid to almost high gain with lots of harmonic overtones, amazing for guitar, not so much for bass because it's a litte lean in the bottom end.
    to be fair, I haven't plugged my bass into it in years and with an eq added, it might be really good.
    aalso, I like the pedal a lot more than I did the rack version.

    what kind of tone are you looking to get from either unit?
     
  5. esa372

    esa372

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for all the info, taurus1!

    I'm looking to get the fat, BITING, crunch that I can get with a Darkglass Microtubes B7K - but in a rack.

    I don't want something that's "always on"; I just need a unit that will give me the dirt for certain moments of emphasis. The B3K and B7K pedals do exactly what I'd like, but I need a rack unit.

    I was hoping that one of these (RT-904 or RT 913) might be able to fill the bill. By contrast, I have been using a SansAmp RPM for distortion, but it doesn't seem to get aggressive enough - not enough *angry bite*. I don't need fuzzy - I need it clear and aggressive.

    Maybe we can persuade the good people at Darkglass to make the B7K in a rack unit! :hyper:
     
  6. taurus1

    taurus1

    Sep 13, 2006
    Vancouver B.C.
    yeah I wouldn't call the Blue Tube aggressive at all, the Tube Driver would be closer to what you're describing but it may not be transparent enough and have enough bottom end.
    I use to use a Marshall 9001 (guitar) tube preamp for an aggressive bass tone and it worked quite well, had three footswitchable channels. it was really deep (physically in the rack) and weighed a ton, not bad though.
    honestly I don't think these Tube Driver units will meet your needs, just my opinion.
     
  7. taurus1

    taurus1

    Sep 13, 2006
    Vancouver B.C.
    yeah I wouldn't call the Blue Tube aggressive at all, the Tube Driver would be closer to what you're describing but it may not be transparent enough and have enough bottom end.
    I use to use a Marshall 9001 (guitar) tube preamp for an aggressive bass tone and it worked quite well, had three footswitchable channels. it was really deep (physically in the rack) and weighed a ton, not bad though.
    honestly I don't think these Tube Driver units will meet your needs, just my opinion.
    it doesn't cost a fortune to have a pedal rehoused in a rack, if you love the darkglass, that may be an option.
     
  8. esa372

    esa372

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    So, the search continues...

    Thanks for your help, taurus1!
     
  9. The Blue Tube is an outstanding overdrive for bass. I still miss mine, and there is a good chance I'll get another someday. At lower gain settings, it will warm up a solid state amp. At higher gain, you'll get some nice grit and breakup, but I can say with authority that it won't get "biting". Fat, sure. Crunchy...maybe, but that wouldn't be a word I'd use to describe it. But definitely not biting. Check johnk's thread for some clips of the Blue Tube at different gain settings.

    The Tube Driver is a different beast. It has significant low end rolloff, which is why I unloaded it in favour of a Blue Tube. Tonally its awesome, but I can't see it working without a blender pedal. If you can find one with the bias mod its particularly yummy. So while this pedal (or rack mount unit) might work for you, I think you'd end up needed to find some sort of additional solution to blend it in with.
     
  10. esa372

    esa372

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks for the input, blindrabbit!

    I did find johnk's thread - looks like I have some reading and listening to do...
     
  11. That's putting it mildly! IMO though, it will be well worth your while to read through all of both parts 1 and 2, and listening to all the clips, especially if you are on a bass dirt search.

    Good luck!
     
  12. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    How are you running the RPM? You should be able to get a pretty aggressive distortion tone.
     
  13. esa372

    esa372

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hi, tech21nyc. :)

    I would typically run the line-out of my pre-amp into the rear input of the RPM. The "sansamp out" would then go into channel 1 of the power amp (feeding the top cab), and the "uneffected out" into channel 2 (feeding the bottom cab). (I like to keep the bottom cab clean, and run any FX into the top cab only.)

    From there, I would simply use a foot-switch to engage the over-drive when I need it.

    The RPM sounds great, but I can't seem to dial in the right texture. It wants to stay a little smoother than "the sound in my head", which is more broken-up, more saw-tooth and jagged...

    I have been though all kinds of settings on the RPM, but I'm open to trying some more. (I feel it's always better to use what you have, if you can, rather than buying something new.)

    If you have any suggested settings, I'd love to try them out.

    Thanks!
     
  14. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    What preamp are you using with the RPM? In general if using the RPM with the SansAmp circuit engaged you should only be using a bass into the input not another preamp. Also if the input pad is engaged on the back input you will not get the same amount of distortion.

    It sounds like you want to use the RPM as a distortion unit. If that is the case you should run it "before" your preamp and use the footswitch to engage it.
     
  15. esa372

    esa372

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Exactly.

    That's why I went looking at the TubeWorks stuff... I am looking for a rack-mount distortion unit.

    I hadn't tried that before, but I will... thanks!
    It's not preferred, though, since (as I posted) I want to keep one cab clean and one cab effected.

    But, I'm certainly going to check it out. :)
     
  16. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    Let me know what your signal chain is and maybe I can help you configure it for what you are trying to do. Bass, preamp, RPM, power amp speakers?

    Are you trying to have a distorted tone and clean tone running simultaneously or do you want a clean tone with the ability to engage the distortion?
     
  17. esa372

    esa372

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Bass > pre-amp > compressor > filter (EQ) > RPM > power amp (first channel available for distortion; second channel always clean)
    Clean for the majority of playing; distortion on demand (top cab only).

    The chain is fine, and it all works well... I'm just trying to coax a different texture out of the overdrive.

    (I also tried the RPM before the pre-amp as you suggested - it sounded very thin and mosquito-y. No me gusta.)
     
  18. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    What preamp are you using and how is it set? I'm a little confused by your setup. You only have distortion going to one power amp and speaker cab?

    It sounds like you would be better served by either using an A/B box and using your preamp for clean and the RPM on it's own for distortion. Running two preamps together can be difficult because a preamp optimized for a "clean" tone is usually not the best sound for a distorted tone. This is why lead guitarists use channel switching amps or multi amp setups.

    You could also run your bass into the RPM first and use the RPM's parallel out into the input of your preamp and run that chain to one power amp and cab. Then take the SansAmp out of the RPM and send that to the other power amp and cab. Then you could just engage the RPM for distortion and in bypass it would just be a clean sound.
     
  19. esa372

    esa372

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I use different pres, bur right now, it's an Alembic F-1X. Highs and mids are set flat; lows boosted about 3-4dB.
    Correct.
    The bottom cab is always clean; any FX get sent to the top cab only.

    Thanks for the tips!

    ...but, it seems as though the solutions you have suggested here require running two different pres that don't interact. I'd either have two completely different tones coming out of the two cabs, or a radical tone shift for the whole rig when I need distortion.

    That's not really what I'm gong for, which is why I was looking for a dedicated overdrive unit in the first place. :)

    Actually, my current set-up works great, and I'll be using it for the time being. I was just looking for a different over-dirve texture - thus my inquiry regarding the RT-904 and 913.
     
  20. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    So the top cab is always active with the RPM bypassed and then you engage the RPM for distortion?

    Whatever works, but in general most distortion units won't work very well as an insert effect. The RPM is a bit different in that it is a full fledged preamp that can be used clean or you can use the SansAmp circuit blended with your clean tone. You can also set the unit for a clean or distorted "tube" tone as well.

    Are you running the Alembic "full range"?

    It seems odd that if you are running the Alembic pretty much flat that you couldn't make the RPM work well running into it. I would at least try try the RPM on it's own into the one amp and cab and see if you get a sound you like and address the routing later. It could be the distortion tone of the RPM isn't working for you.