Anybody Know Tube Driver Pedals?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Bloodspoint, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Bloodspoint

    Bloodspoint Member

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    Does anybody know the different models of Tube Driver? I'm interested primarily in the ones sold as Tube Works, not the more collectible Chandler ones. Those are going for way too much money for my budget. I'm just looking for another flavor of distortion pedal.

    I thought there were a few models: a Tube Driver, a Real Tube, and maybe even a Blue Tube; but I may have all that wrong.

    I have a chance to pick up what's being described as a Tube Works Real Tube pedal pretty cheap.

    I want to find out what level of drive it has. I'm looking for something that I can use for dirty sounds with a Twin, and by "dirty", I mean at least as much drive as, say, a Bad Monkey, preferably a little more.
    I want to be able to cop classic '70's type hard rock with it - Thin Lizzy and the like.
    I'm not looking for Soldano like tones; but a "mild overdrive" will not do it.

    If there are several models, can someone straighten me out on which is which?

    Thanks in advance,

    Sean
     
  2. drolling

    drolling Member

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    I read right here on the board that B.K. Butler, the original designer, is making them in small batches again. The new "Tube Drivers" have an optional bias pot for adjusting the power that goes to the pre-amp tube. You should be able to call up the thread w/the search function.
     
  3. Bloodspoint

    Bloodspoint Member

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    Thanks, guys. Those are $299 plus shipping, though. I regularly see the Tube Works ones going well under $100, which is more like I want to spend on this pedal.
    If money were no object...

    Thanks again,

    Sean
     
  4. Loop-Master

    Loop-Master Member

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    I have a Real Tube version of the Tube Driver as well as all of the others. I think that one would land itself very closely to the sounds you are wanting to get in my opinion.
     
  5. golgonooza

    golgonooza Member

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    I have 2 iterations of Tube Works pedals that may be closer your criterion: the 901 and the Blue Tube. Each is worth a look.
    The first has been annexed by my bass player and has a remarkable tonal and timbral range - the eq (hi-mid-low) controls provide a wider, more tweakable, range than the BK or Chandler originals (at least in my experience). Additionally, the 901 provides quite a bit more gain and volume, if more "modern" sounding, and a has a strong low end presence. As for the tube, it's a Sovtek 12AX7 which, after experimentation w/ a few other tubes, sounds excellent. And the 901 was inexpensive (<$100 if I remember), although I couldn't tell you if that is still the case on ebay.
    The Blue Tube, which I believe was made w/ keyboard in mind (I may be wrong here, but the by-pass switch seems designed for a finger...), has a warmer sound, not quite as "sharp" or high gain, but has the same very wide eq range. The tube is a 12AU7 (which I'm sure is not original) which I'm sure accounts for the darker, more "organic" sound, although this seems to be the case when I tried 12AX7s (hmmm...). And it was cheap too (<$50).
    Probably the best feature of these, IMHO, is the ability to swap out the tubes and experiement. On the downside: these are not exactly fire and forget pedals when it come to dialing in a good sound; you'll need power strips as these have hardwired plugs; and the transformers, expecially if you find an older one, can get noisy.
    Does they sound as good as the BK or the Chandler original (or re-issue)? My bass player swears they do; I say: almost, but...
    what do I know?
    cheers!
     
  6. Bloodspoint

    Bloodspoint Member

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    That's what I'm thinking, too, based on some other feddback I've gotten. Seems like the Tube Driver is more than I want, and the Blue Tube might not be enough.

    Thanks,

    Sean
     
  7. markom89

    markom89 Senior Member

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    hey, whats the difference between the old tube drivers fetching $600 on ebay and this new one that butlers producing that he claims is better because it has new parts and a 5th control bias option? You think soundwise theres any difference? If not, might pick one up. Doesnt take long to build either.
     
  8. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    I recently sold a Tube Driver rack, I really didn't care for it much. It was okay, but I felt the H&K Tube Factor was much better. The chandler did have more frequency control, but noisy and a bit boring. You can get the Tube Factor for about $140 used and you will also get a clipping diode high-gain channel with it that I think is better than the all tube channel.
     
  9. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Those Blue Tubes were first marketed as bass overdrives, w/less gain/distortion than the standard Real Tubes. On later versions, like the one I've got, the labeling was changed to read "Enhancer", to appeal to guitarists as well as bassists, tho' I don't think the circuit was modified.

    I've tried many types of pre-amp tubes in mine, but I think it came w/the type used for the reverb circuit in fender combos.
     
  10. mignano

    mignano Supporting Member

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    I used to have one of the old BK Butler ones with a Chinese 12AU7 tube in it that just sounded absolutely unreal. I (stupidly) sold it to get a Big Muff or something ridiculous like that. later on I got one of the Tubeworks ones, trying to replace the Butler one, but it sounded like total crap no matter what tube I put in it.

    thats all i know
     

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