Looking for a transparent tube booster

Discussion in 'Modeling Amps, Plugins and Apps' started by brodyrhamilton, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. brodyrhamilton

    brodyrhamilton NEW MEMBER!

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    hey y'all, this is my first post on this forum :)

    I'm looking for a tube pedal to put in my effects loop and plop on top of my amp and leave it on all the time, something that'll take my solid-state amp and give it a tube characteristic. I'm looking to make my solid-state fender amp sound a bit more like a twin reverb.

    my setup is (2012 fender mim tele) -> (pedalboard, listed below) -> (Fender FM212r)

    pedalboard (tuner->comp->boss sd-1->boss sd1 (yes, i use 2)->chorus->boss DD-6->holy grail reverb->clean boost)

    I leave the clean boost on all the time, but is there is something I could put in my effects loop that'd be even better to give a tonal character to my amp? the FM212 is a VERY clean amp but doesn't have a gain knob, so I use the boost just to hit the front end of the amp harder.

    I play in an indie/emo/screamo band, so most of the guitar tones are clean with a tiny bit of breakup, but the two SD-1's give me more breakup in nice, even steps. I'm looking for a good clean tone with a tube sound.

    I'm mostly looking for something that has a real tube in it (like the Surprise Sound Lab Rock Block) that'll sit nicely in my effects loop and just sit on top of my amp, always on. I've seen diy kits for this kind of pedal, are they any good? are there any more affordable incarnations of the same concept?

    thanks tele forum
     
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  2. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    I have seen people do it with the seymour duncan twin tube a few years back when that was newer.

    There are a lot of good pedals without tubes though that are more “amp in a box” Walrus audio 385 drive is really good and responds to dynamic really good for a pedal. Lots of good sounds and a powerful eq. I don’t know what kind of music you do but walrus audio has a few pedals that some of the 2000s indie-ish bands use now like As Cities Burn.

    I would look for something like that to hold me over and then save for a tube amp or maybe even. Tone Master if you are looking for the tube thing
     
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  3. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    Oh and welcome !
     
  4. DaphneBlue

    DaphneBlue Tele-Meister

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    I know there's no tube in this one but it did what I was looking for and it was similar to your quest:

    EHX hot tubes

    The best results I obtained for what you're describing is the use of an echoplex type preamp. I personally use the catalinbread belle epoch. It's always on and I never play without it.

    Setup: jazzmaster (AVRI, 2006) > catalinbread belle epoch > Roland BC Hot
     
  5. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    At the low end of the market comes the Behringer VT999 which uses a valve, and sounds rather good too. Well, it does after the shocker of a stock valve has been replaced with a Sovtek/EHX 12AU7. The 12AU7 gives less fizzy gain and is far more linear than a 12AX7 in that pedal and may be what you're looking for. It has a very useful tone stack, gain and volume controls and a noise gate. The noise gate is quite subtle. Don't confuse it with the VT911.

    Vox did a range of valve based pedals as their Tone Garage range. The 'Flat Four' boost may be your ticket there.

    Blackstar offer a few valve based pedals in their HT range. They are very good indeed!

    There are a few kits out there. I built the Valv-E-Tiser, and very good it is too.

    Regarding the Behringer. I've had mine for a few years and have used it as an overdrive, a boost, and in the FX loop of a large, and rather fine sounding solid state amp in order to give the sound a little extra flavour, as I think you want to too. It softens the clipping and adds some girth, for want of a better term. What it doesn't do is make your amp sound like a valve amp. It's nice in that role.

    Just to swerve it slightly, a compressor set just so can work wonders. Don't set it to squish or flatten dynamics and it can add sparkle and lift as well as give a boost.

    Character pedals along the lines of the Joyo AC Tone and American Sound, Tech 21 Blonde and Liverpool and the range from Mooer may give you what you're looking for.

    Good luck in your quest.
     
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  6. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Fwiw, if you want to use a tube preamp to get a tube sound...to some extent, imho it should be placed in between the guitar and the amp’s input so as to maximize the tube effect.
     
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  7. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I would look at the price real carefully since pedals with tubes in them are on the expensive side... just make sure you're not getting into the price range where you could just get a tube amp.
     
  8. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    This.

    We aren't talking about a huge selection of pedals that use tubes but are cheap. Behringer makes one, it's not transparent.
    Some great sounding pedals that run tubes are actually more than buying a second amp, configuring in that sound, and running an A/B box.

    SS painstakingly modified to sound tube is why the ToneMaster series can have the MSRP they do. And its still not the same.

    SS is what it is. I've owned one SS amp since buying my first tube amp, I've tried plenty, but theres no point in me dropping money there.
    Hybrid stuff will get closer, but not exact.

    Screamo? So, the thriving scene when I was in high school evolved I to that, all these post hardcore acts with PoisonTheWell and Thursday shirts on.
    When my friends and I tried our hands at it, my big 2×12 SS amp was too soulless.
    Tried again with the cleans on a SF champ, having someone else "chug" with a multi effect pedals distortion, it sounded less sterile.

    Tube cleans are probably what you want. Try peavey valveking 50, Marshall Origin 50, and possibly B52 heads and crate blue voodoo rigs. Why? They're normally not super pricey, and can work for what you're describing.

    Most pedals are gonna get you driven tube sounds, by design. The Behringer is the one to test, due to bang for $$

    Fender cleans are typically an amp with a pair of 6L6s in the power section. Try out whatever you can before dropping money on tube pedals. (The best sounding compressor I've used was an EHX white finger. It costs so much compared to other pedals that I just dont use compression. They aren't cheap. )
     
  9. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Alesis make/made a similar model to the Behringer. 12AY7 or 5751 tube will calm it down.

    As noted, it won't turn it into a tube amp but will give it some tube-iness
     
  10. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    most tube pedals, in my experience, have been hot garbage. tubes are great... when powered by hundreds of volts inside a tube amp. when tickled by a 9-12V power supply? yuck!

    the fm212 is a pretty great sounding amp. the clean channel is classic fender blackface tones... but just a touch too clean. a really light overdrive... or a fuzz with the volume rolled way back... is just the ticket to get those notes to bloom and sustain more like a tube amp. if you pick lightly and can still hear the overdrive... turn it down more!
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  11. Electric Warrior

    Electric Warrior Tele-Meister

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    There are so many good, cheap tube amp options out there that you might invest in the real thing and cut out the middle man. If financially possible and patient, you could score a Twin Reverb for relatively cheap these days (like $500/600). I say this as someone who is not patient at all and chased after substitutes for years. But totally understand that type of coin can be a big lift.
     
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  12. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    I've built a few, both the 12V "starved amplifier' low-voltage triode kind with a 12AU7 and a 12VAC/240VAC powered one.

    I can't vouch for any of the kits out there one way or another, but you can find plenty of info at the Valve Wizard and Amplified Parts.
     
  13. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Holic

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    Thing is, with tube-based pedals, is that they aren't transparent. They are supposed to color the sound (usually with some grit). If you want it completely transparent, I wouldn't use something with tubes.
     
  14. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    As @Wally suggests above, don't put it in the loop, put it between the guitar and amp input.

    I know a few people that use the sub $100 "ART Tube MP" to do exactly what you are looking for. It's primary market is an inexpensive Mic Pre for home recording, but guitar players have found that if you put it between your guitar and amp it can add some warmth and feel to an otherwise "cold" feeling set up. It's got both an input and output level so you can push the input control higher to drive the tube more... then compensate the output volume so it still hits the amp naturally.
     
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  15. gwjensen

    gwjensen Friend of Leo's

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    Welcome! Not sure a tube pedal will do what you're hoping for. Whatever pedal you put into the effects loop will go through the your amp's solid state circuitry where there aren't any tubes...
     
  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    As others note, the loop is the wrong place to accomplish you goal.

    But honestly if you don't like the amp then the goal is flawed anyway.

    You'll get farther dialing in the amp with an open mind (and your eyes closed).
     
  17. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    Maybe - MAYBE - a Fender MTG tube distortion pedal? It has a tube in it, and it can be used as a full time booster. Look it up on the web.

    I tried one recently; good sounds, but the one I tried was noisy. I am not sure if it was the unit itself, or if the external power source was adding the noise.

    I agree with others above about the amp, but I don't really know the ins and outs of what you are trying to do, so I'm not passing any judgement.
     
  18. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    You may be on the rong path to your goal. IMO a tube operating far below normal voltage won’t do anything that an SS boost or overdrive won’t do for a lot less money.

    Your FM212r should sound good with a boost pedal, Tech 21 Blonde, or Joyo American Sound between the guitar and amp. If that doesn’t do it, then you need a Twin Reverb.
     
  19. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    This "Tube Booster" looks pretty transparent ;)

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A well executed ‘starved Plate voltage’ design for a 12A-7 can be achieved. See the Valve Wizard for a technical explanation.

    the least expensive wall powered tube pedal that I have used is built by Butler. I like them. The Matchless and Bad Cat designs are more expensive, of course.

    of course, one could buy a good little small tube amp and build a line out to run to a larger SS amp. The small tube amp would make for a low volume usage amp. When more power is needed, amplify that tube amp Sonic with the SS amp.
     
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