Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Why use a tube amp with a solid-state driver pedal?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by pughwilliam, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

    Jun 22, 2009
    Falls City
    William, you may be interested in this little trick. (Gotta have a tube amp and a high headroom clean boost)

  2. bernatdelpech

    bernatdelpech Tele-Meister

    Well I personally use tube drivers, to dirt up the great clean channel of my deville 410. 60 Watts means alot of headroom, and by no means could Jimi Hendrix pull off a decent Purple Haze without the use of some sort of pedal on it. Jimi will still sound like Jimi, and I will still sound like I, but while Im at it, I still want that to sound good. Its a matter of taste, some like the staight tube sound, Others prefer clean headroom, either way your sacrificing one for the other. As for the DRRI, I agree breakup occurs rather loudly around 5 in the bedroom, but when playing with a band it breaks up quietly around 5.

  3. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2013
    Yep had one in use since 90's. Morley JD-10 at 1st but my brother cabbaged on to that, would come "borrow it" when I wasn't at home no matter how many times I took it back. Finally said enough, I'll buy me a new one and pass this down as his bday present. Got one of last 3 ever made shipped from England. Newer model even sounds better than original version to boot. Never leaves my board, brother still uses the original morley to this day. If want some Fender edge of clean tone up to Santana soaring boogie tones it's the real deal.

    Pumping it into this is a absolute delight. Did someone say tube drivers???
    Couple of old RCA cleartop 12au7 in it, perfect.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014

  4. Justinvs

    Justinvs Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 31, 2008
    Wise River, Montana
    Versatility. Instead of having a single sound, withe kick of a switch you get several. I have a '67 Super Reverb that sounds amazing clean or over-driven, but no matter what volume I play it never distorts. Put a couple stomp boxes in the chain, though, and suddenly I can go from a nice Blues or Country tone straight to a Marshal roar. Without pedals, the amp is a one trick pony.

  5. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    The West
    Because the amp with the tubes is the 'end product' in the chain, and whatever you have before it will go through the tube circuit and have the 'warmth', overtones, harmonics, etc. that tubes add to your signal. Its the overall sound of the amp that's still being captured.

  6. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 10, 2009

    +1 - it's enhancing whatever I'm putting through it. My favorite tone is probably just straight guitar to good amp, but even onstage I don't push a DR loud enough to get more than a little break up. In a cover band, I need a lot of different tones and three different dirt pedals help me cover tweed to Vox to Marshall, and the tube amp makes it all sound better than just using a modeler.

  7. Virgman

    Virgman Tele-Meister

    Sep 30, 2007
    To get a tube amp into overdrive you usually have to crank it so your neighbors might not like it.

    Is this correct?

  8. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    The West
    Depends on how big your tube amp is and how close you live to your neighbors.

  9. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    The West
    I think you're part of the ay there, but the sole-purpose to use a tube amp isn't to just get dirt from it. Go play clean through a solid state amp and then play clean through a tube amp. I bet you'll be enlightened. I'd also bet you'd have a similar epiphany but conducting the same experiment while using a pedal for some light OD/distortion through the same two amps and you'll hear a big difference!

    The reason it may not sound right to your ears may be because you need to fiddle more with your settings! Also lends me to think you haven't had much experience playing through different amps, especially tube amps.

    My silverface Champ (5 watts, all tube) sounds great cranked, but it also sounds amazing at lower volumes with a nice OD pedal in front of it!

  10. rickvox

    rickvox Tele-Meister

    Jan 17, 2014
    West Allis WI
    It depends how many watts the amp is and how good the speakers are.The problem I have is with my 40 watt amp I can get it quiet enough for small venues by using the master volume channel but sounds a little muffeled and the clean channel needs pedals to get a little breakup but then at low volumes it starts to sound lifeless, now with the 12 watt Vaporizer the volume is just right for smaller rooms and still has the warm harmonic quality sound with out offending anybody. The days of Marchall stacks or Super Reverbs at a small club or bar are long gone. Owners and patrons won't stand for it and if you want to be rebooked you better find a way to make music and sound good quietly !

  11. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 28, 2013
    Rock Hill, SC
    A clean boost can send your tube amp's preamp into overdrive. So, setting the drive low on the pedal and the output volume high, you're driving your tubes harder into overdrive. :) It would be great if someone made an clean boost pedal with a 25v supply. Lots of signal, no transistor distortion, slamming the preamp tubes. :D

  12. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA

    9 volts - 19.1 dB gain
    18 volts - 25.1 dB gain
    25 volts - 28 dB gain

    is the third battery really worth the extra 3 dB? 25 dB is a lot! I never turn my BBE boosta grande to max.. it's 9v

  13. oldtelefart

    oldtelefart Tele-Meister

    I use a MXR SuperComp for a cleanish boost, a TS9 for some dirt, both for singing sustain.
    I can get these tones at any volume appropriate for the size of stage/venue using the clean input on my Boogie SOB. Pre-amp is on about 7-8, master is on whatever is needed.

    I've never found a channel-switching amp that gives both great cleans and great lead tones.

    Using a few good pedals in front of a good amp is far more flexible and satisfying.

  14. CoolBlueGlow

    CoolBlueGlow Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 20, 2011
    Hmmm... not disputing the crux of your point, but for my part I manage to simultaneously use a hot rodded Princeton at 22 watts, an early 60's Gretsch 6159 (27 watts through two JBL D123) and a 66 Pro Reverb (40 watts) through a pair of vintage Jensen twelves.

    That's four twelves and a ten and almost a hundred watts...and I do this IN CHURCH, in a highly reverberant space, and with a tight stage setup...and yes, all three amps have microphones on them to put me in the house. I've done this literally hundreds of times over the past two plus decades, (and these are not loud and rowdy Pentecostal churches, either!)

    This requires dynamic discipline and the margins are very narrow, but it can be done. when done correctly, it pays huge tonal and musical dividends. Every single player must maintain constant dynamic discipline, and not to give in to excess, but it can be done, and when it is done right, the results are amazing. Of course it helps that the drummer has forty years of jazz performance experience.

    For the above to work, absolute dynamic discipline and constant listening attention is required by each and every player. I wonder if that discipline has somewhat been lost in the modern club environment? Not picking on drummers here, but I do notice that many younger drummers I hear are really really non-dynamic. They have rock solid metronomic rhythm, but literally zero dynamic touch. Cymbals, snares, and toms are not treated as musical devices, but rather as switches to be flipped, <<<BASH BASH BASH>>>

    This behavior puts under-amped guitarists at a distinct disadvantage.

  15. rickvox

    rickvox Tele-Meister

    Jan 17, 2014
    West Allis WI
    You live in a different world then I then in Milwaukee WI. In Rock and roll clubs no less they want to be able to hold a conversation at the bar or there tables 6 feet from the bands and they complain or leave if they can't .Now I know this is lame but such is the world we live in now here in the Midwest. Heck even in a big venue like Potawatomi's Northern Lights theater where I did a show with Hillbilly Casino and Slim Jim Phantom and Tim Polecat the stage volume had to be down a bit from what I remember playing years ago!

  16. tresspassor

    tresspassor Tele-Meister

    Jun 17, 2010
    It's just another type of musical tool to either mimic or create a desired tone. In most cases, I prefer tube distortion. But that's not always an option. Especially when the sound I'm trying to achieve requires an amp being cranked up too loud for the venue. So, I might try to emulate that sound using a pedal. Of course, I can tell that it isn't exactly the same, but the rest of the band and the audience could care less.

  17. Lucky Day

    Lucky Day Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2014
    Vancouver, WA
    Many of the most popular "solid state drive" pedals actually drive the amp's tubes into overdrive. That's what a boost pedal is designed to do. They also have a character (distortion) of their own, with some being more pleasing than others depending on your taste. In the "old days" a Dallas Rangemaster (solid state) was used to overdrive the amp to make the signal distort through the tubes. Today's tubescreamers and such have a similar effect, but also have more of their own sound (distortion) that they impart to the signal.

    Very few of those solid state pedals sound good with the amp at very low volumes. As an earlier poster noted, it's what the pedal does to the tubes that really makes it sing.

  18. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    Slightly off topic but about 30 years ago I saw Ted Nugent on a late night show (Letterman, Carson - don't really remember). The question was asked - "what is the proudest moment of your life?"

    Ted went on to say (I am paraphrasing a little)
    One day I decided to play some guitar in my back yard. I took out all of my amps - and turned them up as loud as they could go. About an hour later, the county sheriff was driving down my lane. "Ted, you have to turn your music down, your neighbors are complaining". (Big smile came across Teds face when he said to the host) "My nearest neighbor lives 8 miles down the road"...

  19. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 28, 2013
    Rock Hill, SC
    I guess you're right. I don't use a clean boost. I play mainly at home through a channel switching amp or into either a 6G2 Princeton clean with tremolo or into my JCM800 clones master volume with a good bit of preamp gain.

  20. regionguy149

    regionguy149 TDPRI Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Why use a clean sounding tube amp with tons of headroom, and some quality pedals? Two words my friend. DAVID GILMOUR!

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