help with tube pre-amp


New member
is getting the lub tube pedal from elctro-harmonix a cheaper way to boast a tube sound fr my solid state amp than buying a tube amp?
how ab the others like ibanez tube scremer?
Ya in a way it's cheaper lor.
But nothing like pure tubes.
Hybrid only comes only so close.
Most people probably can't tell in a live gig situation whether you're using tubes.
But although a single 12AX7 would be a little weak.Not shiok enough.

A tube screamer is just another solid state pedal that "emulates" the tube sound like Sans Amp does.
Doesn't have the real "warmth" or "compression" like the real tubes.
Each brand of tubes literally has its own kind of sound.

Many simple tube pre-amps(not rack-mounted) ranging from the cheapo $100(Behringer MIC200) to $200(Presonus). Depending on taste, I suggest you do some research.
Tube preamp no matter what, do not come close to a real cranked tube amp with power tube on the edge. In fact some solid state preamp/overdrive sounds better. Try to save your money instead.
Please note that ibanez tube screamer and countless other overdrive pedals DOES NOT emulate tube sound.

It's actual purpose is to work with the amp's preamp in question to give you that warm sound.

As the names implies, its to 'drive' your amp channel 'over' to clipping or distortion.

The result depends alot on the model of amp used. Some will sound warm like a tube amp, others just break up like crap.

Using it with full tube amps is similar, but normally the result is more desirable.

Remember, a lot of older tube amps or reissues are built to produce clean sound by itself only, thus the existence of 'tube screamer' is actually for this purpose.
Mikemann's right, tubescreamers and overdrive pedals modelled after the TS dont emulate tube tone, they're meant to drive tube amps harder and work the tubes harder so that they saturate and give you a sweet overdriven tone.

I'd be careful of the current marketing trend among big name pedal manufacturers that promise 'tube tone' in pedals by adding a 12AX7. Its commonly known that the 'tube tone' that is prized from tube amps is caused by tube saturation of power tubes (6L6s, EL34s) in the power section. What most tube pedals and hybrid amps (like the marshall AVT series) offer is basically a tube preamp section. That being said, i've personally made the switch from solid state to hybrid and then to tube. I have to say that the AVT series is as good as the reviews say it is. Generally hybrid circuits nowadays are getting closer to the real thing, although tube purists would disagree.

Pedal design incorporating 'tube' technology is also improving, i've used the Tonebone which also incorporate preamp tubes in its design. It also gets you close to a marshall in a box, but then again most people get best results when they use such a pedal through a clean tube amp. Although the pedal will probably make your solid state amp sound better, but it wont make it sound like a good tube amp. The same applied with the avt - hybrid amps will sound closer to a tube amp, but it wont sound as good as a tube amp. At low to moderate volumes it sounds very close to a tube marshall, but turn it up a little and it turns to mud, so you compromise the tone for playability at lower levels.

So id say the bottom line with 'tube pedals' is, probably will sound closer to a tube amp, but results will vary with what amp you use it with. If u're going to use it through a 15watt ss practice amp, save the money and upgrade your amp is what i'd do. Hope this helps.
is tube tone really better than transistor drive? i think this is the bottom line: it's your call. after trying many amps along the way, i'd say that good distortion remains just that- regardless how it's derived. tube reverence is just over-hyped IMO.

i've gone form tube to solid-state, it's not about giving up the former, but i embrace clarity these days, which trasistor circuitry does better. i'm not trying to sway peolpe's philosophy here, just a second opinion if you think you're about to embrace all things tube. keep your options open... 8)
subversion said:
is tube tone really better than transistor drive?

Neither is 'better' than the other - they are different and subject to taste. Personally, I like a bit of each even though I currently own a tube amp.

Having said that, to add some fuel to the fire, I have difficulty coming up in my head of 'great' or 'classic' solid-state tones that that have gone down in the annals of rock history (jazz is a different story where solid-state amps such as the Polytone really rule the roost).

I can name Diamond Darrell (Randall) who had killer SS tone.

But if you ask me to name great tube tones, I can name hundreds of examples.

Some help me fill up the great SS tones list please! :)
JMguitars said:
Wasn't Stairway To Heaven, a Telecaster thru a transistor Supro amp?

If you're right! That's 2! :)

Stairway to Heaven

100 Greatest Guitar Solos

Song first appeared on: Led Zeppelin's 1971 untitled fourth album, almost always referred to as Led Zeppelin IV

Jimmy Page's classic guitar solo on "Stairway to Heaven" was played on a 1958 Fender Telecaster plugged into a Supro amp.
The other guitar parts on "Stairway to Heaven" were played using a Fender Electric XII (12-string).

Page recorded three different solos for "Stairway to Heaven", and finally chose the version of the solo you hear on the current recording, as he felt it best fit the theme of the song.

--BUT-- according to Harmony Central, not all Supros were SS... so can anyone shed some light, cos that is one of my favorite lead tones ever.
those who embrace SS technology are likely the ones who paid more attention to their individual wants, veering away from the conventional 'tube is king' mentality. the tube tone gets many fans simply because it sounds very appealing to start with. however if you demand a little more definition & have enough conviction to look away, then the tube tone is just an option.

master Allan Holdsworth plays the Yamaha DG amp, absolutely tubeless...

the eccentric Greg Koch swears by his Fender Cyber Twin, so does Gary Hoey recently...

**Note: A subsequent edition of the Fender Cyber Twin (Cyber Twin SE) features a tube pre-amp section
so wad u guys think ab the elctro harmonix range? its strange y the tube lube is labeled as studio pedals in its website
I've ventured into tube distortion pedals quite a bit..just like to share my far I've tried the following H&K Tube Factor..Akai Shredomatic, Maxon Real Tube Distortion and the Rocktron Silver Dragon..So far, my fav is still the Silver Dragon for plain distortion tones..and the Tube Factor for its pure clean tube tone.

However, like most of us have said, don't expect a tube amp sound out of these pedals because a truly awesome tube driven sound comes from driving the power amp tubes and not the preamp tubes. These pedals usually come with just one or two preamp tubes 12AX7s. Indeed, they do warm up the tone quite a bit but even then, to really drive a tube, you need a higher those pedals that run on 9v to me are pretty much gimmicks..

But having said all this, to me, having these tube driven pedals are handy. Because you can't be assured of any decent amps when you go for gigs it doesnt hurt to have a nice tube driven pedal to warm up the tone of the amp wherever u go..thats why I still keep my tube gadgets with me..
subversion said:
those who embrace SS technology are likely the ones who paid more attention to their individual wants,

I'd make a distinction between modelling amps like the Yamaha DG series and the cybertwins and other solid state amps. Modelling amps including the Line 6 ones are all modelled after tube amps, and are mostly based on a digital design, which i feel puts them in a different class. Whether or not these are as good sounding as the amps they emulate, well that's another thread altogether.

Also, its easy to over generalise 'tube tone' because there are good tube amps, and.... not so good tube amps. In addition, i'd think you have to think about tube tone in the context of the style of music. Jazz players look for a nice clean sound, which SS amps can do well. What SS amps cant do well is give you the tube overdrive which responds to the playing. This is even more apparent at band volumes - tube amps come alive at loud volumes, but SS amps generally sound thin / muddy when you crank them. Blues and rock players will therefore find that tube amps do the job much better than SS amps. You'll also be hard pressed to find a SS amp that does the high gain sound well. Here's where tube amps have better clarity than SS amps, especially so at playing volumes.
well... tube amps Do sound better dirty. compared to pod etc etc... the sound you get is really in your face , no nonsense and mean.

id love a roland jazz chorus for clean ..reverbish strummy jingle jangle stuff... but its really too "sparkling clean" for me... a fender twin etc... would be wayy more beefy. best tone i EVER got was with my strat - visual sound h20 , Route 66 , ds-1 into a fender twin. miced up with a sm57 into chjmes P.A
if i could have i would have stayed overnight just to play guitar...

nevertheless solid states are less troublesome... no tube replacement.. wont heat up ...

one thing i dont like about modern solidstates is all the "cutting edge" technology they are kramming into the amps giving you tonnes of crap you actually dont need. And selling it so exx... and the worst part is that the selling point. is HOW much the tones you can get are so realistic... so tube like... so much like the real thing that you dont need the real thing. Its like ALL THE BEST TUBE AMPS in ONE amp!!! *bling*

it is a fun thing to have lying around to experiment and have a good palette of tones on the fly... without pedals etc... but the best tone is really guitar straight into a good tube amp - cranked up.

not being a tube snob or anything here... seriously im not one.