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

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by dorfmeister, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    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?
     
  2. Droptop

    Droptop 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.
     
  3. lcjc800

    lcjc800 Member

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    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.
     
  4. onetubetone

    onetubetone Member

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    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.
     
  5. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

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  6. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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

    [​IMG]
     
  7. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    I'm going to try next a NOS 12AU7 in the first gain stage with the other tube being the Mullard 12AT7.
     
  8. clamdip7714

    clamdip7714 Guest

    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.
     
  9. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    Anyone tried 12ay7's?
     
  10. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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

    Greggy Member

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    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.
     
  12. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  13. mwc2112

    mwc2112 Supporting Member

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

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    was it the pre-bk butler version (with the noise gate knob on the back)?
     
  15. GrecoVee

    GrecoVee Member

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    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
     
  16. rewog

    rewog Member

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    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.
     
  17. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    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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