What's the best drive to emulate a tube preamp.

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Bee Thomas, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. Bee Thomas

    Bee Thomas Member

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    Hi friends.

    I am getting a Quilter Tone Block next week with some tax money. These old bones are getting tired of moving heavy amps. I plan to use pedals for most of my sound, but I am concerned that the natural sound of the TB may not be tubelike enough or have enough eq.

    Because of that, I am exploring the idea of having an always on pedal after my dirt that will act like the preamp stage of my tube amps and add color, eq, and some drive. Then the quilter will act as the power amp stage.

    What pedal do you think would fit that bill? RC Booster? Timmy? Em drive?

    Thanks!
     
  2. mkr1

    mkr1 Supporting Member

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    More dough than the pedals you listed, but may want to check out Kingsley Page or Squire. They won't act like a tube preamp stage, they will be the tube preamp. You could also look at the Juggler or Minstrel for three-band eq.
     
  3. chromeskull

    chromeskull Member

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    I really like my Janray clone into a solid state amp, it does a great job giving me a more forgiving feel. without it the amp is to quick and unforgiving and that's through a kustom 150, 2x12 with older eminence speakers.I keep the gain pretty low and use it at unity with the amps volume and keep it always on.
     
  4. Bee Thomas

    Bee Thomas Member

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    Thanks for the info guys. I will check these suggestions out. Maybe I'll like the Tone Block enough clean that I won't need something. :phones
     
  5. Gary Brennan

    Gary Brennan Old cavorting member Gold Supporting Member

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    Ethos clean. Perfect choice for this application.

    Gb
     
  6. Ben Sp

    Ben Sp Member

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    Dr. Scientist The Elements works great for this
     
  7. charley

    charley Supporting Member

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    I just bought a Tone Block today as well. I plan on using mine much like you do. I already have 2 separate preamp pedals...a Tech 21 Blonde and an Ethos Clean. I will try them with my Tone Block and report back soon...

    If neither of those pedals does it for you, I also recommend looking at Kingsley pedals, or an Effectrode Blackbird.

    For myself, the reason I have tried bothe The Blonde and Ethos Clean has to do with the built in speaker sim, as sometimes I run my guitar direct. BUT, since the Tone Block has a direct out, if I like it, I may also look into the Kingsley and/or Effectrode stuff. Until I got the Tone Block, the speaker sim in the Blonde and Ethos Clean was what drew me to those pedals in the first place..
     
  8. RockDebris

    RockDebris Member

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    I'm new around these parts and I don't see AMT get much love. I'm using their JFET pedal preamps into a tube power section and loving it. I've also run them into solid state power at rehearsal and it was just fine.

    This is my live rig (sound sample start at 6:10 and run through to the end of video):

     
  9. JimGtr

    JimGtr Gold Supporting Member

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    That sounds great, RockDebris.
     
  10. DaveKS

    DaveKS Member

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    Exactly why I use these.

    Just put a pair of old RCA 12au7 cleartop in it, would be #1 choice for what you want. You can even set other pedals in between its 2 tube chan, that way your guitar is plugged right into 1st tube, acts and behaves just like you plugged into front of a tube amp, then use 2nd tube as a real tube output buffer. You have a drive/vol knob for each stage. Leave it always on, you won't miss your tube amps at all. Even mix up tubes, put a 5751 Sylvania in v1 (right), leave the RCA 12au7 in v2 as a driver. It's tube rollers heaven, do whatever you want. Just get rid of stock 12ax7WB, they literally suck in this pedal. Just pull that guard off and roll tubes around, I guarantee you'll find a combo that floats your boat.
    [​IMG]

    Put this last in your chain, 3way voicing switch plus tone knob to dial it in to your amp. I run a Amperex/holland 12ax7 in mine, perfect balance of tube compression and glassy definition.
    [​IMG]

    Not tube but you'd never know it listening to it. It is that "glue" to pull everything together.
    [​IMG]

    If you peruse eBay/reverb dot com/used you can get EHX 2ube/tubes and JD-10 for $250 used easy. They are a lethal combo for what your wanting. JD-10 is a smooth warm, kick ass Drive/Dist pedal in its own right.

    Another new one that has my interest but haven't tried yet. It even has a loop and cab sim built in.
    [​IMG]

    One new one I do have that would be very good as a end of chain tone/drive balancer is vfe triumvirate boost, boost model, not high gain one. Way you can balance tone and drive is without compare. Absolutely fantastic pedal.
    [​IMG]

    It's another of those " glue" pedals that seems to bring everything together.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  11. RockDebris

    RockDebris Member

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    Thanks! The feel of playing these is good too.
     
  12. OverdriveLover

    OverdriveLover Supporting Member

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    I have this I would sell if you were interested. Bought it directly from BK Butler a few months ago, but I don't really need it.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. winterblu

    winterblu Supporting Member

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    You might check out a Warmenfat, made by Rainbow Electronics. It works wonders as pre amp for solid state amps, it's also a Micro Amp you can actually drive a cab with, but at only 2 watts it doesn't produce a whole lot of volume on its own.
    My son is using mine to add warmth and grit to his Line 6 amp and it works really well.
     
  14. tretremulant

    tretremulant Member

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    anything by b.k butler. i use a real tube as a boost (volume all the way up gain almost all the way down) at the end of my chain and it's night and day compared to my board before - i was running an analogman bad bob before I had it.

    If you want a tube preamp sound, you should get something with a tube in it. Best yet, you can get a real tube or a blue tube for around 100 bucks, with the tube drivers like the one posted above for a bit more, but yeah.

    I normally use an ampeg vt-22 as my amp, but having the butler really helps with my amp at home too, which is a rickenbacker tr35b solid state bass combo that KILLS. that thing is unbelievable especially when stacked with the butler
     
  15. Multicellular

    Multicellular Supporting Member

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    I really thought a Subdecay Liquid Sunshine into a Quilter Avaiator sounded a lot like a tube amp.

    Despite what Subdecay's own site says (below), I really think it reminds me of the Tech 21 amp emulators.


    "Many users of the original Liquid Sunshine described it as “tweedy” or “voxy.” While the [Liquid Sunshine] sounds similar it is not meant to be an “amp in a can” device. It’s inspired by the idea that an overdrive should “play nice” with your tone. It works with the gear you already use. It won’t make your amplifier sound like something it’s not. It simply adds a little magic."
     
  16. charley

    charley Supporting Member

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    FWIW,

    I put my Tone Block through its paces today. I am very pleased so far. I like the sound of the Tone Block, but like it even better with the Ethos Clean in front. It sounds like a Twin Reverb to me;) With a Barefoot HBOD to push it, it really sings. I imagine with a Kingsley or Effectrode pre, it would sound amazing!

    For your viewing pleasure...

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Ben Furman

    Ben Furman Member

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    Let's change that. Tell us more! :D
     
  18. Teleman76

    Teleman76 Supporting Member

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    I have a good friend who is a tube-amp purist. He has had the Quilter Tone Block for a few months now and raves about how good it is. He just bought an Ethos clean after my recommendation so I'm curious to hear his thoughts on this pairing. May have to check out the Quilter. Congrats and enjoy! Looks like a good setup you have! ;-)
     
  19. RockDebris

    RockDebris Member

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    The vid is pretty detailed, so I'm guessing this is sarcasm? :bonk

    Apologies if it seems like I'm hardcharging about the AMT stuff, it just happens to be one of those things I'm interested in at the moment. I've been going through their stuff with a bit of gusto and so far the only thing I did not like and returned was the M1 (based on a marshall preamp).
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  20. Spec

    Spec Member

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    I've got an Aviator 2x10 and use a Xotic EP boost always on, first in chain. It really warms up the clean channel. I tried a Tech 21 Blonde and it sounded very nice also but I didn't want to re-arrange my board to accommodate it.
     

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