As the headline says I am curious to hear from people who currently uses or in the past have used a LPB 2ube (2 channel/stereo tube preamp, or tube overdrive if the 2 channels are bridged), EHX Black Finger (tube driven optical compressor), English Muff'n (Marshall-esque tube preamp/overdrive), Hot Tubes (tube overdrive/preamp, yes the actual real tube version of this pedal), or Tube EQ (tube equalizer) from EHX's, unfortunately now discontinued, series of big box tube pedals that run the 2 preamp tubes that they all feature at proper high 300V plate voltage, as their always on tube preamp stage? I personally use my EHX Black Finger this way, dialed in with a quite subtle compression and with the "Pre Gain" (input gain) up relatively high to just before the input tube starts to break up when I dig in the hardest, this way primarily using it as a tube preamp stage, rather than primarily for compression, the Black Finger basically being an optical compression circuit placed in between the input and output stage of a tube preamp. Using these settings specifically (all the controls being rather interactive), placed as the 2nd last pedal in my "ampless" setup, right before the preamp that I use going into a poweramp: Pre Gain(input gain, which indirectly affects compression threshold)= 12 o'clock ; SQSH/Norm (affects attack, release and compression rate)= Norm ; Lamp/LED(compression source, which affects compression rate, attack and release, as well as the EQ of the compression)= Lamp ; Compress(threshold, it might affect compression rate too not 100% sure)= 8 o'clock ; Post Gain(master/output/makeup gain)= 8 o'clock (unity gain) This adds a really nice warm tube coloration and depth to my signal with an ever so subtle touch of hairy grid, and just ever so slightly subtly and beautifully rounding off any harshness, but doing it in such a way that it doesn't in any possible way dulls my tone or whatsoever makes it any less punchy or snappy, which I assume is the result of the tubes slightly compressing my signal rather than the actual optical compression circuit kicking in, since the compression is set so low that it doesn't ever really reach threshold or effects my playing dynamics in any way. I tried changing the 2 preamp tubes in the pedal a couple of times for something else, but seems like the Electro Harmonix 12AX7EH tubes that it comes with from stock are the closest match to my personal preferences. I have also owned the LPB 2ube and very much regret that I was stupid enough to sell it at some point, but glad I at least had enough sense to keep the Black Finger, cause even if what it adds is relatively subtle I consider it quite essential for both my bass and guitar setup, just adding the last subtle touch of perfection to my tone.