• TGP is giving away a Strat, Tele, and Jazzmaster. Click Here for full details.
    Click Here to upgrade your account and enter today!

Tubesteader Beekeeper. Any thoughts?

Doug59

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,423
Just found a great setting I thought I'd share here for the Beekeeper.

(numbers on the dials)
OD Vol: 1
OD: 6
Master: to taste
CLN Vol: 7.75

(based on a clock)
base: 12:15
mid: 1:00
treble: 10:00


With these settings the Beekeeper sounds incredible. Adding with these settings on the Beekeeper going into any low gain pedal sounds fantastic. Right now I have the Beekeeper going into either channel 1 or channel 2 of a Gladio with the gain set before noon on the Gladio.

Incredible "D" tones. Just heavenly !!!!
 
Last edited:

Valves-R-Us

Member
Messages
245
A single tube, Clean channel version of the Beekeeper featuring foot-switchable Boost and Mid is on the way. The PCB of the first prototype is going to the fabrication facility next week.
Excellent news. And I know a fine group of fans that would be delighted to be beta testers should a Group Buy be had? wink - wink, nudge - nudge.
 

Valves-R-Us

Member
Messages
245
The Beekeeper pretty much saved my amp. I ordered an Allen Amplification 10W, single 6L6 amp kit. A low watt, 'fantasy amp' Leo never made. Based loosely on a tweed Princeton, it appears a simple design with one tone and one volume control. Thinking it would be something like the all white Milkman amp JHS uses in pedal demos, this pup would make a great platform. I built the 'handwired', 'boutique' bugger only to be greeted with uber-clean, loud levels before breakup and a rather lifeless tone where my Laney 5W had more depth and chime. I was certain the simple tone stack would not be a 'tone sucker' as it's simple right?

I ordered a Beekeeper hoping the pre-amp may yield early breakup without the crazy level. Oh, it does that task dandy-fine but what it does with EQ is remarkable. Setting up the pedal, you start with clean, unity gain. Adjusting the three knobs dials a very apparent tone that I can't duplicate with the amp tone setting at all. Switching the Bee in and out confirmed this thing can never be shut off. Bass is rich where open strings bloom now, mids are sweet, and treble is now my friend. So what is the deal? I suspect the EQ is more like a conventional tone stack vs. the 'Baxandall' shifting? Saying the amp gained life from lifeless would be a fact. The amp tone is about 1:00. The Bee bass is 1:00, mid is 10:00 and treble is 1:00. Should 12:00 be near flat, this was a minor adjustment that makes major tone. I was avoiding a three knob EQ (claimed tone sucker) where it appears I needed a three knob tone enhancer. Go figure?

The bonus never expected was how the Bee can affect my amp's front end. I had rolled a few V1 tubes in the Allan looking for a tad more bass with no noticeable change. I'd left a long plate Sovtec LPS in that was not a bad tube but when hit with the Bee (CLN) it just gets louder. I swapped in an RCA 70's grey plate and found it a lower gain tube but she clips ever so nicely when hit with the Bee. It just keeps getting better.

With that, a tribute.

First Generation.. powder coated die-cast aluminum with laser etched lettering.

Captuffre.JPG

Or perhaps from the Days of Yore...

22.JPG
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,381
You read my mind! A single tube, Clean channel version of the Beekeeper featuring foot-switchable Boost and Mid is on the way. The PCB of the first prototype is going to the fabrication facility next week.
Olly, that is great news!
 

olly_blan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9
But I was wondering if there was any way to get more drive from the clean side without altering the overall volume too much and not completely saturating the red side.
I don't think it's possible to set it up as a dual overdrive pedal where you're getting some nice sounding grit out of both sides.
Hey guys, recently I tested the Beekeeper with 12AY7 EHX tube in the V2 position, by request from a customer who plays jazz.
12AY7 is giving the highest headroom and will just slightly break up at max gain.
Since the tone-shaping of the OD channel cuts the low end to prevent the muddiness, this exchange turns the channel selection of the preamp from Clean/OD to Mellow clean/Sharp clean.
I find it quite interesting and very different from the original sound of the Beekeeper. For a blues range, I would try a 12AT7 in V2. Could be a way to go for those of you who are seeking a dual-overdrive setup.
 

Puneet Wagh

Member
Messages
335
Hey guys, recently I tested the Beekeeper with 12AY7 EHX tube in the V2 position, by request from a customer who plays jazz.
12AY7 is giving the highest headroom and will just slightly break up at max gain.
Since the tone-shaping of the OD channel cuts the low end to prevent the muddiness, this exchange turns the channel selection of the preamp from Clean/OD to Mellow clean/Sharp clean.
I find it quite interesting and very different from the original sound of the Beekeeper. For a blues range, I would try a 12AT7 in V2. Could be a way to go for those of you who are seeking a dual-overdrive setup.
I've actually been able to get a ready great dual-overdrive set up with the stock 12AX7s. Just balanced out the master and the clean to where the clean side is just a boost and adding a light overdrive before that gives it edge of breakup. Then I just change the channel to get higher gain tones.
 

stulevine

Member
Messages
2
Just received my Beekeeper yesterday. Oh my, where has this preamp pedal been all my life! I had been using an Orange Terror Stamp as my pre-amp with my Two Notes C.A.B. M+ for some time now. I have the guitar run through my pedal board input chain into the input of the Terror Stamp and the effects chain connected to the Send port of the effects loop which then connects to the Two Notes input. It's all set up to split for the inputs and effects loops using 2-way switches to a Marshall DSL5c or the The Two notes – the output of which feeds into a MOTU M2 hooked up to an iMac. I generally use the latter with headphones most times for practicing and recording (so I don't disturb my wife or the neighbors - oh apartment living :( ).

Anyway, while the Terror Stamp was nice for a while, as it uses an 12AX7 tube for the pre-amp section, it provided a very limited sound signature and tone. And, while I do like the Two Notes build-in pre-amp emulation (M+), it's just not the same as having a real tube preamp. I get what I need for amp modeling from the highly configurable amp section of the Two Notes with a plethora of choices for Tube types, EQ, tone shaping, reverbs and IR cabinets and mikes. As an early birthday present this year, I decided I wanted to get a real tube pre-amp with at least two channels to replace the Terror Stamp in the chain. After many searches and youtube videos, I decided on the Beekeeper. And, wow, I was not disappointed. The sweet tones that come out of this setup are amazing and versatile. The first thing I noticed were the sweet harmonics. Once those tubes warm up, it's magic. Kudos to @olly_blan at Tubesteader for providing us with an affordable, dumblesk, quality preamp pedal.
 

Valves-R-Us

Member
Messages
245
...I’m looking forward to including the BK in the new iteration.
Excellent, make sure to report your results.

Since the tone-shaping of the OD channel cuts the low end to prevent the muddiness, this exchange turns the channel selection of the preamp from Clean/OD to Mellow clean/Sharp clean.
Tube rolling gain factor is interesting. The 12AT7 would be a good choice too for Jazz/Blues OD gain. Rolling tube gain levels downward will yield headroom before crunch and will change the knob 'home' positions. You'll see the 12AY7 is quite a jump, basically half the gain.

12AX7 - ECC83, Gain factor 100%

5751 - 70%

12AT7 - ECC81, - 60%

12AY7 – 45%

12AU7 - ECC82, - 20%

I was playing with the BK and thought it may be clipping a bit hard in OD when selecting my neck P90 pickup only. It cleans up with a slight guitar vol. roll-off. but still seemed a tad harsh. Thinking it may be the OD tube fritzing, I swapped the V1 (Right side JJ ECC83) for a known good JJ ECC803S in that position moving the stock V1 to V2 (OD) to hear the pickup gain with a good JJ83.

The surprise was how much a change the JJ 803S made in V1. It's a long plate 12AX7 version that has a spiral filament for low hum. This and the Sovtec 12AX7 LPS (another favorite) are both long plate designs that have great warmish tone. Firing up the BK the original sound and gain was there but seemed more lush. Clicking OD on still revealed harsh breakup with the neck but clears when selecting other PU combinations. The stock OD tube was fine, seems some settings don't like my neck pickup maxed as it's just too hot. That may be due to the higher bass levels it produces?

The interesting thing is how much the OD side changed from the V1 swap. My original OD level settings are now quite different with more gain and less OD vol. The clean channel is sweet and rich (as normal) where OD now adds a slight crunch best heard with the P90's rolled off a tad. Fantastic with the neck pickup only. I was so impressed, the V1 803S stays in. I'm not really a believer that pre-amp tube swaps are that noticeable in the same gain family. Out of curiosity I tested the BK with two Sovtec LPS tubes (V1 & V2) and it sounded very similar to the V1 803S with a JJ 83 in V2 combination. The long plate seems to make the most difference in V1. This unintended shootout left the JJ 803S in V1 which was an unintentional find. Glad I grabbed a long plate for the test.

Note: Long Plate tubes are often not recommended for combo amps as they are prone to generating microphonics. They are great for heads or stereo amps that don't have the back of a speaker blasting sound waves at them. However, a pre-amp sitting outside the amp (read Beekeeper) they will run quiet. I've used them in combos and are, in my opinion, the best new production pre-amp tubes to be had. Should probably mention the king of the long plate crop. Russian made reissue Genalex, Gold Lion B759. I found these are very nice in combo V1 positions and never found microphonic. Not for breakup, more for clean, wide headroom and lush harmonics. Fear not experimenting with fire-bottles! Forget the cork-sniffing NOS crowd, killer new gen tubes are to nabbed.
 
Last edited:

greendc30

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
150
Excellent, make sure to report your results.
Yes, I definitely will. I am very interested to see how this stacks up to my Kingsley Minstrel V2. I know they are not the same pedal by any stretch. But I'm simply curious which tickles my fancy more.

The interesting thing is how much the OD side changed from the V1 swap. My original OD level settings are now quite different with more gain and less OD vol. The clean channel is sweet and rich (as normal) where OD now adds a slight crunch best heard with the P90's rolled off a tad. Fantastic with the neck pickup only. I was so impressed, the V1 803S stays in. I'm not really a believer that pre-amp tube swaps are that noticeable in the same gain family. Out of curiosity I tested the BK with two Sovtec LPS tubes (V1 & V2) and it sounded very similar to the V1 803S with a JJ 83 in V2 combination. The long plate seems to make the most difference in V1. This unintended shootout left the JJ 803S in V1 which was an unintentional find. Glad I grabbed a long plate for the test.

Note: Long Plate tubes are often not recommended for combo amps as they are prone to generating microphonics. They are great for heads or stereo amps that don't have the back of a speaker blasting sound waves at them. However, a pre-amp sitting outside the amp (read Beekeeper) they will run quiet. I've used them in combos and are, in my opinion, the best new production pre-amp tubes to be had. Should probably mention the king of the long plate crop. Russian made reissue Genalex, Gold Lion B759. I found these are very nice in combo V1 positions and never found microphonic. Not for breakup, more for clean, wide headroom and lush harmonics. Fear not experimenting with fire-bottles! Forget the cork-sniffing NOS crowd, killer new gen tubes are to nabbed.
Wow. Thanks for this experimentation and sharing of your results. I also like the Long Plate tubes in amp heads as well. And I also have a guitar with P90s. So, this is right up my alley.

How did you find the tube swap results in the BK when using a guitar with low gain humbuckers, if you happen to have one laying around?
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,381
Excellent, make sure to report your results.



Tube rolling gain factor is interesting. The 12AT7 would be a good choice too for Jazz/Blues OD gain. Rolling tube gain levels downward will yield headroom before crunch and will change the knob 'home' positions. You'll see the 12AY7 is quite a jump, basically half the gain.

12AX7 - ECC83, Gain factor 100%

5751 - 70%

12AT7 - ECC81, - 60%

12AY7 – 45%

12AU7 - ECC82, - 20%

I was playing with the BK and thought it may be clipping a bit hard in OD when selecting my neck P90 pickup only. It cleans up with a slight guitar vol. roll-off. but still seemed a tad harsh. Thinking it may be the OD tube fritzing, I swapped the V1 (Right side JJ ECC83) for a known good JJ ECC803S in that position moving the stock V1 to V2 (OD) to hear the pickup gain with a good JJ83.

The surprise was how much a change the JJ 803S made in V1. It's a long plate 12AX7 version that has a spiral filament for low hum. This and the Sovtec 12AX7 LPS (another favorite) are both long plate designs that have great warmish tone. Firing up the BK the original sound and gain was there but seemed more lush. Clicking OD on still revealed harsh breakup with the neck but clears when selecting other PU combinations. The stock OD tube was fine, seems some settings don't like my neck pickup maxed as it's just too hot. That may be due to the higher bass levels it produces?

The interesting thing is how much the OD side changed from the V1 swap. My original OD level settings are now quite different with more gain and less OD vol. The clean channel is sweet and rich (as normal) where OD now adds a slight crunch best heard with the P90's rolled off a tad. Fantastic with the neck pickup only. I was so impressed, the V1 803S stays in. I'm not really a believer that pre-amp tube swaps are that noticeable in the same gain family. Out of curiosity I tested the BK with two Sovtec LPS tubes (V1 & V2) and it sounded very similar to the V1 803S with a JJ 83 in V2 combination. The long plate seems to make the most difference in V1. This unintended shootout left the JJ 803S in V1 which was an unintentional find. Glad I grabbed a long plate for the test.

Note: Long Plate tubes are often not recommended for combo amps as they are prone to generating microphonics. They are great for heads or stereo amps that don't have the back of a speaker blasting sound waves at them. However, a pre-amp sitting outside the amp (read Beekeeper) they will run quiet. I've used them in combos and are, in my opinion, the best new production pre-amp tubes to be had. Should probably mention the king of the long plate crop. Russian made reissue Genalex, Gold Lion B759. I found these are very nice in combo V1 positions and never found microphonic. Not for breakup, more for clean, wide headroom and lush harmonics. Fear not experimenting with fire-bottles! Forget the cork-sniffing NOS crowd, killer new gen tubes are to nabbed.
Dude! You know this is seriously messed up right? Now we are all about to break the internet finding tubes to try in this pedal. You Sir are evil and should be ashamed of yourself for any gear related shenanigans this causes.

Dang it! Now I’m on my way to my guitar room to see what tubes I have available to try...
 

Valves-R-Us

Member
Messages
245
How did you find the tube swap results in the BK when using a guitar with low gain humbuckers, if you happen to have one laying around?
Pretty sure any lower gain PU would be fine and to be clear, the hard clipping was only with the volume maxed with just the neck on which is a Lindy Fralin wind. It sends too strong of bass gain as just a minor volume roll off removes the BK's hard clipping. My other guitar is a single P90 Junior so no test to be had here.

I can't really get why the V1 change seems to affect the OD side? The properties are very close with the two JJ tubes and there is no gain change between them. The sound I run in OD is kind of the edge of breakup and certainly will break on hard attack. This 'preset' had the OD knobs a certain way to be switched on the fly and play nice with the clean channel. Thing is, I had to sweep the OD knobs quite a bit from the original 'preset' position to get the near break sound back. Somehow the change affected both sides from the cascading stages I imagine? But the result was an enhancement for my tubey tone path to be sure. Your efforts may prove differently.
 
Last edited:

olly_blan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9
Note: the above quote was a lame attempt to catch Olly with my cunning idea.

The thought was discovered from practical use. Using the Clean always-on is a nice setup even when switching OD in for a little more break-up. But a third favorite sound can be dialed turning down CLN and bumping up OD where it likes to sing. I use and like all three. Solution? Two pedals. One as currently setup and the second pre-dialed for OD+CLN. Cunning 'eh? Okay, no but here it is...

> There may BEE a market for a CLN only, single tube (with EQ) in a reasonable sized format? Like the Prince of Tone is half of the King. That baby would be a fine tool to build other setups not needing the OD feature. Perhaps 'Son of a Beekeeper' or SOB as it would appropriately be coined? The Paige is a big hit so could the little Bee, be a contender?
It's alive! Surprisingly, it sounds exactly as planned from a first try. Now, it's time for the housing... 20201121_165545.jpg
 




Trending Topics

Top