Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

  1. #1
    Member BaritoneVitoND's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    47

    Default Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    Has anyone tried a preamp pedal with a tube in it before? Is there a major difference in tone compared to just a regular distortion pedal? I'm mostly curious about heavier gain tones.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    454

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    I don’t think there’s a correlation between having a tube and sounding good. Great sounding pedals come with and without tubes. My favorite pedal happens to have a pair of 12AX7s, but it just as easily could have been solid-state.

  3. #3
    Mojo's Minions Edgecrusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    American lost in Italy
    Age
    43
    Posts
    7,666

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    Particularly for heavy tones pedals with tubes usually leave something to be desired. When you run tubes at low voltages they tend to be a bit fuzzy and compressed. If that's your jam then your gold but for tight precise heavy tones they can be lacking. I'm sure out there is tube pedal that blows my socks off but I haven't run into it yet. My favorite of those I tried was the Mesa Vtwin. It lived in my guitar case, it sounded good enough that if I had amp problems I could run it direct to the PA and be ok.
    "It keeps you fit - the alcohol, nasty women, sweat on stage, bad food - it's all very good for you." -Bon Scott

    "Let me put it this way: the 5150 will treat
    you better than any girlfriend, because it screams louder, it's easier to pick up, and it shuts up when you take your plug out." -Rip Glitter

  4. #4
    Ultimate Tone Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    454

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    I was also talking about the Mesa V-Twin.

  5. #5
    Mojo's Minions Gtrjunior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Wherever you go, there you are.
    Posts
    6,205

    Default Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    I have the. Blackstar HT-Dual which has a single ax7.
    Blackstar says it runs 300v through the tube.
    I think the pedal sounds killer.
    Last edited by Gtrjunior; 03-22-2020 at 05:28 PM.

  6. #6
    Chris JB_From_Hell's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Yellow Springs, Ohio
    Age
    40
    Posts
    19,376

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    A great many of them using tubes are there for show. If you want to be sure your tubes aren't just fancy glowing lights, get something rack mounted or a head.

  7. #7
    Tone Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Chicago
    Age
    45
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    I’ve had Twin Tube Classic, Tonebone Hot British and a Damage Control Demonizer. All sounded fantastic but don’t have any of them any longer. The 2 latter were great for heavy tones, however if you’re running into a good tube power amp, a great sounding transistor pedal sounds great too. Friedman BE-OD is arguably one of the best high gain pedals ever. No tubes

  8. #8
    Mojo's Minions devastone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Longmont, CO, USA
    Posts
    5,779

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    A lot of these guys are talking about distortion pedals with preamp tubes, not full blown preamps. Of course you are comparing them to distortion pedals too, again, not the same thing. You want to run a preamp pedal into the fx return of an amp or a power amp, not into the front end. They can work into the front end of a clean amp, but definitely not ideal.

    The ones from AMT are amazing as are the Victory ones, although the Victory ones might not have as much gain as you want. The Blackstar ones are very good too, I know there are more out there but don't have experience with them. There are some great sounding FET based preamp pedals too, the AMT SS-30 sounds as good as the tube ones, just a slightly different tone. Their Legend series are great too, just a little limited, especially on the clean channel.

  9. #9
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    Posts
    24,230

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    A well-designed pedal can use whatever technology it wants. I've used tube based pedals that are great and some that are terrible. Same for modeling. It just has to sound good.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

    My Guitar, Gear, and Music Webpage

    Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

  10. #10
    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    4,559

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    AMT has some great ones..
    "Less is less, more is more...how can less be more?" ~Yngwie J Malmsteen

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Gene View Post
    If you let your tone speak for itself you'll find alot less people join the conversation.


    Youtube

    Bandcamp

  11. #11
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    2,639

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    Basically you want pedal that plugs to wall. Many tube powered pedals these days run proper voltage, and by that are practically just extra tube preamp for amp.

    I understand there might be SS pedals that sound as good, but I haven't yet tried one. Tubes pushing other tubes is just surest and easiest way to get good grind.

    Funny thing is that best non-tube distortion tones I've found has been Mooer US Gold (cheap miniature Friedman modeler). It just sounds way better that any od or distortion pedal, or even full modeling amp, I've played.
    "So understand/Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years/Face up, make your stand/And realize you're living in the golden years"
    Iron Maiden - Wasted Years

  12. #12
    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    4,559

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    There's a couple of US Gold sim's in my GE300..they do sound awesome. Don't know if they're exactly like the pedal though (have'nt tried that).
    "Less is less, more is more...how can less be more?" ~Yngwie J Malmsteen

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Gene View Post
    If you let your tone speak for itself you'll find alot less people join the conversation.


    Youtube

    Bandcamp

  13. #13
    Cat In The Hatministrator stevie_bees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Gibraltar
    Age
    48
    Posts
    8,474

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    I've had the Twin Tube Classic, Twin Tube Blue and Blackstar HT-Dual. The Classic and Blue have both gone, victims of an ever evolving pedalboard! I got some really sweet tones out of them. The HT-Dual has just come off my board, but it's going to be utilised as a travel amp with a Power Stage 170. When I bought it, I compared it alongside several other drive pedals, and it was simply the best sounding pedal.


    Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it's a plan!

  14. #14
    Tone Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    I love both my Blackstar HT-Dual and HT-Dist. The only thing I’ve found that sounds better than one of those running into a clean channel is my all-tube Victory Kraken preamp running into the effects return. Though the Kraken usually lives with my recording stuff these days, so the Blackstar still gets the most use through my amp.

    The Diezel VH4 pedal makes for a great tubeless preamp too. It’s a little loose in the low end for my taste and the switching isn’t as convenient when used as a preamp as the Kraken, but it still sounds and feels really good into the effects return.

  15. #15
    Mojo's Minions
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    In a Studio with your Mom
    Posts
    5,156

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    I've got a Greer SOMA -which is a pretty exact 1963 Brownface Fender Princeton preamp pedal -transformer and all but minus the tubes -but with voicing of circuit and voicing of the original Utah 10" speaker.

    It works incredible upstream into a guitar preamp, or into the fx loop direct into the power section or DI into a DAW or PA. All 3 -which is rare.

    from website:
    This pedal simulates the entire preamp, phase inverter, power section, and even the feel of the vintage 10 inch Utah speakers that were in those famous brown amps. The tone stack is designed to provide a wide and dynamic range of tonal options to the user. The Presence control works with the tone stack, and is designed to be a wide range control, effecting the overall sound of the entire circuit. The SOMA ’63 features a steel core transformer in the audio signal path. The transformer lends to the overall tone shaping of the circuit, and when the gain is pushed hard, especially with higher output pickups, the small steel core transformer will saturate, just like a vintage amplifier. The SOMA ’63 can be used as a tone-shaping preamp, or as an overdrive pedal. There are a wide variety of tones available in the SOMA ’63, so spend some time with your new pedal, and find the tones that rock your world!

    Last edited by NegativeEase; 03-25-2020 at 08:55 PM.
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

  16. #16
    Member BaritoneVitoND's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    A great many of them using tubes are there for show. If you want to be sure your tubes aren't just fancy glowing lights, get something rack mounted or a head.
    I did run into a few comments online that said tubes in pedals are just gimmicks. That was one of my concerns.

  17. #17
    Member BaritoneVitoND's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetClyde99 View Post
    I love both my Blackstar HT-Dual and HT-Dist. The only thing I’ve found that sounds better than one of those running into a clean channel is my all-tube Victory Kraken preamp running into the effects return. Though the Kraken usually lives with my recording stuff these days, so the Blackstar still gets the most use through my amp.

    The Diezel VH4 pedal makes for a great tubeless preamp too. It’s a little loose in the low end for my taste and the switching isn’t as convenient when used as a preamp as the Kraken, but it still sounds and feels really good into the effects return.
    Yeah, I was looking into that Kraken. It sounded pretty damn good.

  18. #18
    Ultimate Tone Slacker
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Pennsyltucky
    Posts
    2,044

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    I loved my V-twin and the old Real Tube pedals weren't bad. In fact, I picked up one of the Real Tube amps for cheap and it's interesting.

  19. #19
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    2,639

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    Quote Originally Posted by BaritoneVitoND View Post
    I did run into a few comments online that said tubes in pedals are just gimmicks. That was one of my concerns.
    Usually you can find info whether pedals run tubes at high voltages. They often do these days, and by that are not just gimmicks.
    "So understand/Don't waste your time always searching for those wasted years/Face up, make your stand/And realize you're living in the golden years"
    Iron Maiden - Wasted Years

  20. #20
    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    Posts
    24,230

    Default Re: Preamp pedals with tubes in them

    I think as long as you don't fall into the 'it has tubes so it must sound better' hole. I've tried enough tube-based pedals to not see a pattern here- like any other dirt pedal, it is all in the design, and whether it gets the sound you like or not.
    Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

    My Guitar, Gear, and Music Webpage

    Gear pics and more on my Instagram.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •