#1
Hey there!
I've been using the Vox Big Ben Overdrive(Tube) for over a year now. All in all - it sounds great. Real warm, great tone. Problem is, it doesn't give me enough gain.
Now, I've heard that this overdrive doesn't affect the amp's tone. I'm using a Fender Frontman 25R, a fair beginner amp. Now since it is a transistor amp, and the overdrive is a tube, I'm not using it entirely? Meaning - if I use a tube amp, I will unleash the true capabilities of the Big Ben? Or maybe the Big Ben simply doesn't give that much of a gain?
What should I do? Get a tube amp? A different overdrive? Or maybe just a boost?
Thanks in advance!
#2
overdrives are low gain.

most people use them with an allready distorted valve amp, the level high and gain low to push the preamp valves in the amp harder to achieve more natural clipping and tighten it up a bit.

Buy a valve amp that has the gain you want. Then use the od over that.
#3
Well it is an overdrive pedal after all, your not going to get a shit ton of gain with it. A quick fix would be to get another distortion pedal that has enough gain. Or you could also try running a tubescreamer, or something similar as a boost. But over all the best thing would be to upgrade from the Frontman.
...
#4
So if I've got enough budget, I should get a tube amp with a nice, built-in distortion.
If not - get a distortion/boost?
#5
Whats your genre? I have a feeling that if you're overdriving the frontman and its still not enough that you may be trying to play metal on an amp that really wasn't made for that.
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Hey guys in the last 3 weeks I ****ed all the girls in this picture, what do you think?

#6
Mostly - hard rock. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Motorhead, Airbourne, etc... I do play some metal from time to time, but I'm using the digitech Metal Master(a piece of crap, I've got to say).
The frontman got a nicely sounded and well gained overdrive, but it sounds kinda... Lacking. I can't really explain. I lacks the warmness and sounds really cold and monotonic. And using the Big Ben at the same time with it makes the Big Ben impossible to hear, for some reason
(Not affecting the amp's tone, as stated above, maybe?)
#7
The correct answer (as always) is get a new amp.
However, you could try a JJ ECC83S. They have quite a lot of gain. I am assuming the pedal is running a 12AX7? What's in it atm?
Gilchrist custom
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#8
I have no idea what tube it's using, but I do know that it doesn't have too much of a gain in it. But won't it ruin the tone?
#9
Depends on what's in it. Have a look. I'd bet money that a JJ ECC83S will make it sound far better. It's probably got something dodgey like a Sovtek in it now.
But even if you do get a better sound out of the pedal the weak point in your system is that Frontman.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#10
Well, I'm going to a music shop next week anyway. So you're saying, a new amp, tube, with a decent built-in distortion, and if I have enough budget left, get myself a nice, new, fancy tube for the Overdrive?
#11
Yes. Amp is the most important but changing the tube in the pedal won't cost you a lot. A JJ ECC83S is only $10 from Eurotubes.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#12
And I've figured it out. It uses a 12AU7 preamp-type tube. It is a good choice, since it's a 9-watt pedal, and most tubes will require more power, and will "starve". Is it a good idea to replace the tube?
#13
Oh, ok then. 12AU7's run at lower plate voltages than 12AX7's. You are probably stuck with that. What brand is it?
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#15
Boost pedals only really work in front of tube amps. The idea is to push the preamp tubes into saturation. Pushing a SS amp like a Frontman's preamp into saturation just sounds nasty. You use distorton pedals with SS amps, not boosts.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#17
What you have will probably work fine as a boost in front of a tube amp. If you are after a new amp I suggest that you start a new thread answering the questions posed here:
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1387138
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#18
No need. The variety worldwide is just too great compared to what I can really choose from in my area. I'd just go to the nearby music shop and see what they've got.
#19
Quote by eyalcisv
Mostly - hard rock. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Motorhead, Airbourne, etc... I do play some metal from time to time, but I'm using the digitech Metal Master(a piece of crap, I've got to say).
The frontman got a nicely sounded and well gained overdrive, but it sounds kinda... Lacking. I can't really explain. It lacks the warmness and sounds really cold and monotonic. And using the Big Ben at the same time with it makes the Big Ben impossible to hear, for some reason
(Not affecting the amp's tone, as stated above, maybe?)

Yup. TS, this is very much true of most SS amps. And with the Frontman being particularly poor (I've owned one) this is doubly true. Get a nice budget tube combo and it will sound much better in the areas you mentioned. I'm not a tube snob, my first three amps were SS (I even quite liked 1) but when I got my AT 112, it's like playing a totally different instrument, a nice tube amp will allow your OD to come through and function as intended.
Better, Faster, Stronger

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas State Wildcats
Quote by airbrendie
Hey guys in the last 3 weeks I ****ed all the girls in this picture, what do you think?

#20
Quote by eyalcisv
Hey there!
I've been using the Vox Big Ben Overdrive(Tube) for over a year now. All in all - it sounds great. Real warm, great tone. Problem is, it doesn't give me enough gain.
Now, I've heard that this overdrive doesn't affect the amp's tone. I'm using a Fender Frontman 25R, a fair beginner amp. Now since it is a transistor amp, and the overdrive is a tube, I'm not using it entirely? Meaning - if I use a tube amp, I will unleash the true capabilities of the Big Ben? Or maybe the Big Ben simply doesn't give that much of a gain?
What should I do? Get a tube amp? A different overdrive? Or maybe just a boost?
Thanks in advance!

1. Get a tube and with a dirty channel.
2. Use the overdrive to boost that channel
3. ???
4. Profit!
I hate my sig