My tube amp is working. I built a very simple 6L6 push-pull amp head.
I've got a "cab" of sorts - but it's just a Kustom solid state amp with a 10" Celestion speaker. I disconnected the leads from that speaker and wired it up to my tube head instead.

The amp that I built is not based on any commercial designs and the circuit seems to have provided me with a cold-ish tone with just about zero break-up. I think it's my fault for only having a single triode input stage before the phase inverter. Other people have agreed with that assessment.

But I am not in a rush to add tubes to the head just yet. I've been thinking about doing a few solid-state projects from the Run-off-groove website. Specifically the Tonemender (first) and then maybe the Thor distortion pedal if Tonemender goes well.

The Tonemender uses 9 volt power and it can kinda act as a clean boost, so I was wondering: if I boost the signal through a solid state pedal like the tonemender, will a higher input signal eventually result in some tube overdrive? Can a clean boost kinda act as a substitute for the tube that I was thinking about adding to the circuit.

Cause I have enough room on this thing (and inside as well) that I could pretty easily wire up a 9 volt source inside of my head and then I could attach the tonemender parts to my amp rather than using a separate pedal.
I guess it would be a sort of hybrid. Like an amplified solid-state tone-stack stage leading into the 12ax7 gain stage.