Tube Overdrive/Distortion Pedals: What tubes do you like in them?

dorfmeister

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3,714
I've got a Coopersonic Tube Overdrive and I am now starting to experiment with putting some NOS tubes in it.

I have heard that people with Varidrives will often put 12au7's in to reduce gain and increase smoothness.

Just bought a Mullard 12AT7 down at the local guitar store and replaced one of the Russian 12AX7's in the first gain stage of my Coopersonic. Reduced the gain a bit, added a bit of treble and made it somewhat smoother over all.

I am thinking about getting some 12au7's and 12ay7's to experiment with.

What tube pedal(s) do you have and what tubes have you tried in them?
 

Droptop

Silver Supporting Member
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If you can get your hand on a Telefunken 12ax7, even a slightly used one, that will smooth out your gain.
 

lcjc800

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9,601
first question is what is the purpose/use of the tube in a pedal?
Is it actually in the circuit doing the originally intended job of a tube or is it an expensive light bulb.
 

onetubetone

Member
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177
Yeah, NOS 12AT7s are the way to go. I like GE's, for example. They can be had pretty cheap, and they sound great in pedals.

I also think a really sought after 12AX7 would be wasted in this application. Plus, I don't even think a telefunken would sound that good in a pedal. The ones I've tried have been very pristine and jazzy sounding. Nice if u want that kind of clean tone... but not my favorite otherwise.
 

dorfmeister

Member
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3,714
first question is what is the purpose/use of the tube in a pedal?
Is it actually in the circuit doing the originally intended job of a tube or is it an expensive light bulb.

This is a pedal that runs on ac power with high voltages. In this case it is not just an expensive light bulb.

coopersonic_tubeoverdrive_001.jpg
 

dorfmeister

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3,714
I'm going to try next a NOS 12AU7 in the first gain stage with the other tube being the Mullard 12AT7.
 
C

clamdip7714

I have a GE 5751 in my BK Butler Real Tube (82 vintage) and it sounds phat and has a nice grind. The 12AX7s seem too edgy in that application.
 

dorfmeister

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3,714
I'm really liking the Coopersonic with a Mullard 12AT7WA in the first gain. stage paired with a Groove Tubes 12AX7.
 

Greggy

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13,419
Waste of time & money, IMO.

The change is so insignificant that you could instead make a slight adjustment to your amps gain stages that would achieve the same thing, for free.

Just my 000,0002 cents worth.

My experience is similar. Also, I have yet to be satisfied replacing a 12ax7 with a lower gain tube in any circuit (amp or pedal) that I have encountered. YMMV, of course.
 

Lolaviola

Silver Supporting Member
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8,867
I really liked the 12-AU7 and the 12-AY7 in my Real Tube. I thought anything higer-rated (12-AX, 12-AT, 5751) was too gainy and metalish.

My pedal only had the one tube, you say yours has 2? Those tubes are easy to find used. Look in junk shops for old TV's and radios.
 

mwc2112

Gold Supporting Member
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2,719
Waste of time & money, IMO.

The change is so insignificant that you could instead make a slight adjustment to your amps gain stages that would achieve the same thing, for free.

Just my 000,0002 cents worth.

I agree if it's a plate-starved design, but if it runs at full plate voltage then it can be very, very sweet.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
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40,807
was it the pre-bk butler version (with the noise gate knob on the back)?
 

GrecoVee

Member
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880
I had an Ibanez Tube King that would change dramatically upon trying different tubes. I tried Amperex Globe 7025, 1954 RCA Blackplate 12ax7, Telefunken ecc83 and several other NOS and new production tubes. The best sound to be had was with a Chinese 12ax7 that I had pulled from a cheap mic preamp.
I own several older Ibanez Tube Kings and have found the best tubes have been some used Mesa Boogie and Sovtek LPS 12AX7's I had around and some NOS GE 5751's
 

rewog

Member
Messages
1,740
first question is what is the purpose/use of the tube in a pedal?
Is it actually in the circuit doing the originally intended job of a tube or is it an expensive light bulb.

Yes... if the tube is used just for clipping, or voltage starved, a change is unlikely to make much difference.
If it's a real high voltage tube pre-amp or amp, the tubes can make a huge difference. Often more than in an amp.
 

dorfmeister

Member
Messages
3,714
Right now I have the Coopersonic running with two Mullard 4024 12AT7's. Sounding really good so far. Cuts the gain somewhat but this pedal had huge amounts of gain to start with so there is still a great deal of gain.
 




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