The Hot Cake was my first boutique overdrive pedal purchase. And it was for use with my 6L6 amp. I think it sounds great with it as a clean boost or dialed in with a bit more grit. It can be a bit grainly or fizzy at higher gain levels. Because with the gain maxed it goes into fuzz territory.
If you want a great cleanish boost pedal for your 6V6 or 6L6 based amp, do not rule out the Hot Cake.
I used the Cake with the clean channel of my rivera KHR-55 which is el-34 powered. I bought it for my 67 BF bassman though.... which is 6l6 obviously. Its fallen out of favor at the moment and am looking to sell it to US customer. See sig
I'm gonna be looking to sell my Fulltone '70 as well...Great sound but the rest of the band does not like the fuzz tone...they like the high-gain metal tone more which honestly fits the band a bit better.
i use my hot cake with my divided by 13 9/15 head which has both an el84 power section & a 6v6 power section. i like the hot cake equally with either of the power sections. i also use it with my deluxe reverb & it sounds great with that amp also.
I'm testing the Hot Cake with Fender amps. Came with that conclusions:
With Twin - No, no. The HC don't like the twin preamp. The sound was fizzy and lack definition.
With Concert - Much better, the HC with low gain was a very good match. Nice crunch and deffinition, good with chords.
With Prosonic - The HC was very good at pushing the Prosonic to his limits. Works better on drive channel, not so good results on clean channel.
Changing amplifier brands and using Mesa Boogie DC 5 the pedal have a very different comportament. Using low gain it pushes the pre on the lead channel to a very good and fat drive. Very good to metal sounds. Not so good for blues. Using high gain settings the HC almost came to a fuzz sound.
On solid state amps the result was very bad. It produces a very confused overtones. The chords lack definition and solos sounds very strange.
I never tested Hot Cakes with EL 84 amps, but I like it on some 6L6 amps.
I've never cared for the Hotcake with blackface Fenders such as Twin or Deluxe... I often mate either a '63 brown Deluxe or a '63 reissue Vibroverb with either my VOX AC30 or AC15, and the Hotcake seems to love that combo.
Yeah I liked the CAKE with my 67 BF Bassman but I really am looking for somin different...I want more of a ....mmmm King of the Brits or tonebone...However its a cool little pedal and can really rawk the house. It has a tone of gain but I think it works better being more modest with the gain..never more than 3 oclock...if you did it was almost an old school big muff fuzztone.
As you were saying... I have heard ac-30 owners rave about the cake with their rig....
I've had a Hotcake since 2010 and I've recently been using it in a stereo setup. A fender blues deluxe paired with a laney lionheart 20. It sounds nice, but it's a dark overdrive. I'm about to replace it because it's just not clear and present enough for my rig anymore. It's still a great OD, but it's just a bit too bassy for my taste.