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Zeibek Submarine alternative

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Nimu, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. Nimu


    Jul 20, 2011
    hi there,

    i recently stubled about the Zeibek Submarine Designer Pedal and i found out that the company is out of business. so i ask all of you nice people out there if someone knows an alternative to this pedal or maybe has one for sale.

    have a very nice day!
  2. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Always groove.... Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    sfx ultratone B^3 is in a similar vein as the Submarine. FEA Growler may do something similar but I haven't checked it out yet. Fulltone Fatboost gets you in the ballpark of the Submarine, but still not the same thing.

    Keep an eye on the classifieds, they show up from time to time but usually sell quickly.
  3. Vlad5

    Vlad5 Chronic Knob Twiddling Tone Chaser

    Feb 17, 2011
    New England
    I have or have had both the Growler and Submarine. Love them both, right now I only have the Submarine (Designer). The Growler is a totally different beast, but yeah, your could get close to what the Submarine sounds like.

    The Growler is a harmonic generator.
    The Submarine is a tone shaper, more like a simple eq with character.

    If your looking for growly, or very light overdrive, then the Growler is for you. (it does more than that, I've oversimplified here).
    If your looking for simple tone enhancement, then the Submarine is for you.

    This question has come up a bit lately. Do a search for the Submarine here on TB and you'll find a bunch of info.

  4. Nimu


    Jul 20, 2011
    thank you for your answers so far. the sfx ultratone B3 seems interesting as it is also based on albert kreuzers design.

    i found a layout of one of the erlier submarine pedals (without the ultra bass switch) and built it yesterday. i never had the chance to test a real one so i have no comparison. today i will add a true bypass and then test it.

    what i found out yesterday was, that if the tonepot is at the left it makes some.. nice bassy sound but not as impressive as i thought it would be. turning to the right i get quite a lot of high frequenzies - what i did not expect.

    the volume pot gives me loads of clean gain what is nice.

    if anybody stumbles on a schematic, pcb,... of the submarine pedal with ultra bass or even a submarine designer, i would be extremly glad if i could get it.
  5. Like the other fellas I have tried several things to get that sound but nothing has that special magic that the Submarine has especially for recording. My one issue with the Submarine is that is does not always play well with other effects so I am using mine just for recording.
    Boss Bassman pedal, it had the right warmth and presence but did not have the slight compression or simplicity of the Submarine.
    I have a patch on my zoom B2 that is close enough for live.

    Used submarines do turn up I just sold my spare Submarine in record time, had 3 buyers lined up.

    So sad that Os has (for whatever reason) closed shop again, I really wanted a Designer Submarine. His other pedals were also worth while love my Cross Drive and 2 gtr players I work with have Less Drives
  6. Vlad5

    Vlad5 Chronic Knob Twiddling Tone Chaser

    Feb 17, 2011
    New England
    I have a Sub Designer. I agree about it not playing nice sometimes with others, at least with regards to power. I had it daisy chained to all my other effects (Power All). It was a squelchy screamer. Bought a separate Dunlop 9v regulated adapter for it, no more squelchy screams.
  7. I've tried separate power supplies and running the Submarine on 9v all without success. It's mainly the Submarine and the Zooms not playing nice all my other pedals are okay, those 2 just don't get along at all.
  8. Nimu


    Jul 20, 2011
    today i added a true bypass to my diy-submarine. now i can hear better what i does in comparison to the dry signal. i must say that i really like it. at the moment i like it most with the tone turned to the left - very left. in my ears it does some subtile bass boost and cuts some of the high frequencies that i always have trouble with. i play through a ampeg micro vr and with the submarine the whole sound feels much more comfortable now. i was never able to achieve this sound just using the eq on the ampeg.

    at the moment i color my pedal and hope it dries quickly so that i can assemble it again and have a great time with it.

    if someone wants the electronic layout ( which is not from me - i found it out there in the www). let me know, because i think this has to be shared.
  9. Mr. Pickles

    Mr. Pickles Supporting Member

    Nov 11, 2006
    Dutchess County, NY
    The Submarine adds a subtle amount of second order harmonic distortion to the signal to a point that is barely audible. It adds a very pleasant sounding fullness and sparkle to your signal. I foolishly sold it and bought the FEA Growler, which is a completely different thing atogether (despite some similarities in added harmonics). I now have the Phat Phuk B, which, to my ear, adds something pleasant to my tone like the Submarine, but the clipping is more audible (which I don't like).

    FWIW, I owned the Sub MkII (the yellow one w/o the ultrabass toggle).

    If one comes up in the classifieds, you will have to battle me to the death to get it.
  10. Only way I'd get rid of my Mk II is to replace it with a Designer.
  11. Nimu


    Jul 20, 2011
    as i get a lot of pm´s regarding the layout

    here you are:


    i really really like it. if you also build one and modify something please let me know.
  12. It is a pity that they can not be ordered any more.

    What an elegant circuit, it is like a crossover circuit with a small amount of offset between the high and low pass, which is immediately mixed back together. Hats off to musicelectronix.
  13. Nimu


    Jul 20, 2011
    you are absolutly right! imagine what would happen if they would open a thread telling us "we have 10 submarines to sell" :D
  14. Silent Fly

    Silent Fly Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 8, 2006
    London - UK
    Owner/designer [sfx]
    Whithout taking anything away from the desing of the Submarine the tone control was actually patented (2,192,959) in 1937. The same tone control was then used by the Electro Harmonix in the Big Muff and by other companies in other pedals.
  15. Nimu


    Jul 20, 2011
    thats right. i also found out that the submarine is based on the design of albert kreuzers onboard preamp which is described as a preamp with a muff-style tone control.
  16. Well I have learnt something, thanks for the extra info.

    I will look into that patent because I am curious where the crossover is in different degisns and what the resistor values are.
  17. Different resistor values and tubes instead of JFET-s. Yep I see what you mean. But still the submarines resitors and caps are well tuned.

    Feels like I have spent the day studying this pedal. Nice to round it off with a bit of history.
  18. malpasso


    Apr 24, 2005
    I guess we have another example here of the Monroe/Dean/Cobain mistique...you gotta die to be adored: this seems to be going on with the Submarine. Though this does not mean They/it did not deserve to be given their value in life.

    I was "rrrrreaally imprressed" by the sound clips on the zeibek site. Was it a preamp? an amp emulator? a booster?...?

    But this thread was about Submarine alternative. For those interested in purchasing an already built "version" of this unit, I found something in Argentina: check this out:


    I'm having one built at the moment. Ezequiel -the guy at Cajita- is really comunicative. I've done some research and he is a long time working, reputed DIYer. His range includes "interpretations" some of the most popular pedals. (Flipster, Fat overdrive...)

    This is his blog:

  19. Keep us posted that looks like an alternative, kinda dig the different computer style box.
  20. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Always groove.... Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Very interesting. I want one.