#1
As a generic statement, would tube overdrive and distortion pedals sound better or worse than normal pedals?
#2
Neither better nor worse, just different. Though 90% of the time they're just a gimmick.

By now, you should have learned that 'generic statements' just don't work with guitar gear.
#3
In my experience, they're pretty gimmicky.

There are some out there that sound good (Blackstar HT is nice), but I'd bet it would sound just as good without the tubes.

That is, a great sounding cicuit sounds great, wether or not it incorporates tubes.
#4
Quote by kyle62
Though 90% of the time they're just a gimmick.



This ^ The low power found in tube pedals can't properly run a vacuum tube. Save the extra money and buy you a nice pedal without a tube.
#5
there's not that big of a difference between a really good regular pedal and the ones with tubes in them, but the tubes definitely help..try the EHX English Muff'n for example
#6
Look, if you pay 100$ for a pedal that has a tube in it, and 400$ for a SS pedal, well the SS pedal is most likely to be better than the tube pedal.
And people, please get off the "tube pedals are gimmick because the tube is starving" bandwagon before even trying a tube pedal.
#7
Quote by nightraven
that's a prime example of a gimmick tube pedal

try comparing the hermida zendrive with the hermida zendrive 2


I like the Muff'n..nothing's wrong with it.
#8
I prefer not to use tube pedals because i can't hear the difference plus i SS Circuitry is much better in low power situations.
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#9
Quote by imaginary.frnd
I like the Muff'n..nothing's wrong with it.



I'll tell you whats wrong with the muffin. It only runs on 12V. Just like all other Electro's tube pedals. Which is why its a "gimmick" see - http://www.guitarcenter.com/item/expandedimage.aspx?t=4&img=ElectroHarmonix/222685jpg.jpg

Not saying it sounds bad. Just a gimmick
Last edited by Matt420740 at Oct 15, 2009,
#10
i use a tonebone hot british for some stuff , it sounds great, helps me get a more slash like tone out of my carvin mts wich is loaded with 6L6 tubes, good for when i wanna sound a bit more british. my regular dirty sound is my mts's dirty channel with a tubescreamer for a solo boost
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#11
Quick question: The overdrive that people like comes from the power tube being pushed so how could a pedal do the "tube warmth" thing with preamp tubes?
#12
Quote by nightraven
that's a prime example of a gimmick tube pedal

try comparing the hermida zendrive with the hermida zendrive 2

i prefer the sound of the regular zendrive.
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#13
There are some high voltage tube pedals out there but they are rather expensive.
#14
Quote by chea_man
i prefer the sound of the regular zendrive.


I like my 2 better than the regular one. IMO the regular one is better for the Dumble type tone while the 2 is a bit smoother with a tad more gain and less of that Robben Ford vibe.
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#15
Quote by antoine2055
Quick question: The overdrive that people like comes from the power tube being pushed so how could a pedal do the "tube warmth" thing with preamp tubes?
Most of the gain sound from an all tube amp comes from the preamp tubes. When you use the gain control it's creating distortion in the preamp. I have 2 tube pedals, an English Muff'n and a Nady TD-1. They both are good distortion pedals. I've never analyzed a schematic of them but I doubt that the tubes do nothing. The Blackstar HT-5 gets it's distortion from an op amp diodes clipping circuit. Not sure how the Blackstar pedals do it.
#16
My understanding is that one of the reasons tube amps sound better than SS amps is because the tubes actually introduce tiny imperfections into the signal, making it sound warmer. Maybe having a tube in the pedal does that to your signal before it even hits your amp? Or would the lack of power being supplied to it make it less likely to effect the signal at all?
#17
Quote by fly135
Most of the gain sound from an all tube amp comes from the preamp tubes. When you use the gain control it's creating distortion in the preamp.


Yes I know that but people who use OD want to sound like a cranked amp usually. A cranked amp is producing mostly power amp overdrive not pre amp.
#18
The Sansamp GT-2 has a tube.. i love it. favorite distortion i've played with. but i probably couldnt tell the difference without a tube tbh. kurtlives91 knows the differences and all, he usually prefer tubs. but he told me that they each have their own advantages and disadvantages for applications. which i believe would make it vary for even what type of pedal we're talking about.

edit: pedal ton is also subjective, my brother loves his boss MT-2, i'd burn the thing if it was mine.
Last edited by blandguitar at Oct 15, 2009,
#19
The GT2 doesn't have a tube. It uses tube emulation circuitry. Sansamps are pretty nice though. I use a VT Bass into the effects loop return of any amp I can find to get a tone that sounds damn close to an SVT.
#20
Quote by cutslikedrugsx
The GT2 doesn't have a tube. It uses tube emulation circuitry. Sansamps are pretty nice though. I use a VT Bass into the effects loop return of any amp I can find to get a tone that sounds damn close to an SVT.

it has a ax127 or whatever the **** its called. i reckon its a powering on, but idk about tubes in pedals

edit: it has a 12ax7 in the preamp or whatever, it emulates a tube amp. idk. i love the ****ing thing reference for info on tube in preamp http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-TEC-GT2-LIST
Last edited by blandguitar at Oct 15, 2009,
#22
Quote by cutslikedrugsx
http://www.tech21nyc.com/products/sansamp/gt2.html

No tube. That's what Sansamps are all about: tube amp emulation.

i think it's to make an SS more "tube like" i did look at that. worst comes to worst. i'll look for a scheme. back in 2 min with one

edit: looks like AMS is wrong. you were right. http://tonepad.com/getFile.asp?id=112

edit2: still a badass pedal either way.
Last edited by blandguitar at Oct 15, 2009,
#23
Quote by mmolteratx
I like my 2 better than the regular one. IMO the regular one is better for the Dumble type tone while the 2 is a bit smoother with a tad more gain and less of that Robben Ford vibe.

thats a fair description id say. (im one that goes for the robben ford sound, so thats why i prefer the non tube one.)
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#24
Quote by chea_man
thats a fair description id say. (im one that goes for the robben ford sound, so thats why i prefer the non tube one.)


I've owned both and originally I bought them for that RF tone. I much preferred the regular at first but the 2 grew on me after awhile one I started looking for something different so I sold the regular one. Both are fantastic pedals though, you really can't go wrong.
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#25
Quote by antoine2055
Yes I know that but people who use OD want to sound like a cranked amp usually. A cranked amp is producing mostly power amp overdrive not pre amp.
People want the sound of a cranked amp and use a OD to get more distortion from the preamp. They also use the OD for it's own flavor of distortion. ODs are not all about producing power tube distortion, because everyone using one to get that cranked amp sound isn't cranking his amp. But yes, anything boosting the signal level in a cranked amp will increase power tube distortion.
#26
Just so you guys know, cause a lot of you are wrong...

The 12V tube pedals (like the EHX you mentioned) use that 12V AC or DC and convert it up to 200V DC. They either do this using toroidal transformers inside or switch mode power supply circuits. There aren't many pedals on the market that run right off 12V DC.

Some low mu value tubes like the 12AU7 can sound great at low voltages though.

Tube's clip differently than transistors and op-amps that's why people like them. Their harmonic structure is also quite different.
#27
Quote by kurtlives91
Just so you guys know, cause a lot of you are wrong...

The 12V tube pedals (like the EHX you mentioned) use that 12V AC or DC and convert it up to 200V DC. They either do this using toroidal transformers inside or switch mode power supply circuits. There aren't many pedals on the market that run right off 12V DC.

Some low mu value tubes like the 12AU7 can sound great at low voltages though.

Tube's clip differently than transistors and op-amps that's why people like them. Their harmonic structure is also quite different.


They have a toroidal transformer inside that bumps the voltage up to approximately 240v DC. I owned an English Muff'n for a while.
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#28
One thing I've often been curious about is the way the circuits are designed in the one's I've looked at. Now as the previous poster says a lot of them boost the voltage but not all. If you are using a 12ax7 without a sufficiently high voltage it would strike me that it is indeed a bit of a gimick. I have often comtemplated building one myself using 12U7 valves because they were actually designed to run at low voltage for ye olde car radios. If I ever get around to it I'll post the results (and the circuit if it's any good)
However, that is not the factor that makes me curious and maybe somebody here can post their experiences. The factor is the waveform it actually creates:
These tube pedals don't have a phase splitter (or do some?) which means it is only generating the positive half of the signal. Now if one runs that into a valve amp it wouldn't make a jot of difference because the other half would be generated by the phase splitter at the end of the preamp but what about solid state amps? Wouldn't losing the negative half of the signal be rather detrimental in that case? It would strike me that a valve powered pedal would be terrible run into a SS amp.
Any experiences?

PS: I don't use SS amps, I'm just curious
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#29
I'm pretty sure when I tried the Blackstar HT Distx it was through a solid state and it sounded fine.
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#30
Quote by Cathbard
One thing I've often been curious about is the way the circuits are designed in the one's I've looked at. Now as the previous poster says a lot of them boost the voltage but not all. If you are using a 12ax7 without a sufficiently high voltage it would strike me that it is indeed a bit of a gimick. I have often comtemplated building one myself using 12U7 valves because they were actually designed to run at low voltage for ye olde car radios. If I ever get around to it I'll post the results (and the circuit if it's any good)
However, that is not the factor that makes me curious and maybe somebody here can post their experiences. The factor is the waveform it actually creates:
These tube pedals don't have a phase splitter (or do some?) which means it is only generating the positive half of the signal. Now if one runs that into a valve amp it wouldn't make a jot of difference because the other half would be generated by the phase splitter at the end of the preamp but what about solid state amps? Wouldn't losing the negative half of the signal be rather detrimental in that case? It would strike me that a valve powered pedal would be terrible run into a SS amp.
Any experiences?

PS: I don't use SS amps, I'm just curious


If the tubes are wired to operate in Class A, then the tube will amplify both the positive and negative signals.

You only need a phase inverter when the power amp is wired in Class AB.

Preamp tubes are always wired for Class A operation.
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#31
Quote by antoine2055
Yes I know that but people who use OD want to sound like a cranked amp usually. A cranked amp is producing mostly power amp overdrive not pre amp.


When you crank an amplifier to it's loudest state you're pushing EVERYTHING inside it, even the rectifier tube if not mistaken

Poweramp distortion = preamp drive + power tube overdrive. (Unless you have a preamp volume knob and lower that, and raise the master)
#32
Quote by ragingkitty
Preamp tubes are always wired for Class A operation.

Thanks - methinks I'd better pull out my circuit theory books and do some reading.
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