Price paid: $ 150
Purchased from: used
Sound — 10
I use it through the clean channel in my all tube combo only. I may slightly break up the clean channel by it's gain control first. Now about the sound. The Tube Factor is the most transpartent peldas I've ever heard among transistor and one-tube overdrivers and dists. If you'd like to imagine how the genuine overdrive pedal must sound, the Tube Factor is right what you need to listen to. At the same time, if people think it must have the same voice as a two-tube distortion in a tube head amp, they will be upset. Another thing that can upset people is that the Factor sounds very bad at low volume levels. The Factor-1 channel is very transparent, it is good for blues and clean playing. You can tweak it from the absolute clean to distorted crunch. I find it a wee bit stiff, though; especially when I'm playing with my stratocaster. The compressor Maxon solves the problem perfectly. The Factor-2 is a sort of hard rock and some heavy metal sound, though it hasn't got as much gain as many people expect. If you want some more gain, you can plug the Rat or MXR distortion plus into it. It will be fine because the pedal had enough reserve lows; besides, you it will still remain rather noiseless. So this overdrive is mild, a bit crispy, and with very thik lows which makes your sound very deliclous and also distinct in mix. It has no noise at all, absolutely no feedback, no redundant sounds.
Overall Impression — 10
I have a Pre-Rocktron Egnater IE4, Rocktron Piranha, ADA MP-1 Classic, a whole bunch of Maxon pedals including the ROD 880, and I have a TubeWorks Real Tube Overdrive. I have some gear to compare and I'm not going to sell the Tube Factor. This is not the Triaxis nor Marshall. It is just a brialliant Overdrive to adorn your tube amp with a mild and still thick sound. This pedal is defenitely worth it's price. You might want to have a mod done to obtain a bit more gain out of it; it's up to you. Despite it's written made in Germany on it's far side, I suspect the pieces and cips may be made in China (cheap and not manually selected). So in order to enjoy it: don't expect it is a 5-tube distortion channel; don't use it with SS amps and preamps; use it only with a full tube amp; playing with it, set the volume at least on 6.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The red LED often came off till I glued it. When opened it, I found the previous owner had tried to gule it too. Just in case I did the green LED too. I also saw the tube be protected very well; a small chance to damage it. As for the rest, the pedal is well-built.
Ease of Use — 10
It is fairly easy to tweak, just 3 knobs and two buttons to swicth channels. Nothing extra. At the same time, keep in mind, you can turn out all the knobs and still won't get a good sound, if you have't set a sufficient volume level in your tube amp. It is fairly easy to tweak, just 3 knobs and two buttons to swicth channels. Nothing extra. At the same time, keep in mind, you can turn out all the knobs and still won't get a good sound, if you have't set a sufficient volume level in your tube amp.