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Thread: TubeWorks Blue Tube Pedal .... any experiences ? (also the Real Tube version)

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    Vintageologist crusty philtrum's Avatar
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    Default TubeWorks Blue Tube Pedal .... any experiences ? (also the Real Tube version)

    Yesterday I was given a Tube Works 'Blue Tube' pedal by a friend, which contains a 12AX7 valve (tube). I remember when he, and another friend, got these pedals. I wasn't impressed at all, they didn't sound any better than s/s overdrive pedals to my ears. Apparently my friend felt the same way, the pedal quickly fell into disuse and was almost forgotten for years until he gave it to me yesterday.








    Some quick research tells me that it's almost identical to another model called the Real Tube. I think later this design, from B K Butler, was manufactured by Chandler.

    I did a whole lot of reading online last night and it seems most people would swap out the 12AX7 and install a 12AU7 (lower gain). I found schematics for both the Blue Tube and the Real Tube, and there is only a couple of parts that are different.

    It has occured to me that with a tube swap to the 12AU7 and upgrading the capacitors in the signal path, I might be able to make this into a useful pedal (clean boost/ light overdrive/ eq)

    Has anyone had any experience with these pedals ? Any opinions to share, good, bad or indifferent ? Any thoughts, experiences and ideas are welcome .....
    Lumbering dinosaur (what's a master volume control?)

    STALKER, NO STALKING !!!

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    firstlessonologist guitfiddle's Avatar
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    Default Re: TubeWorks Blue Tube Pedal .... any experiences ? (also the Real Tube version)

    They're awesome. I used one on my board for al ong time before it was stolen. I put a nice tube in there, and it smoothed it out for me. Great pedals.
    - Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly
    Some people make the wine. Some people drink the wine. And some people sniff the cork and wonder what might have been.
    The Eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the Crow.

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    Vintageologist crusty philtrum's Avatar
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    Default Re: TubeWorks Blue Tube Pedal .... any experiences ? (also the Real Tube version)

    Quote Originally Posted by guitfiddle View Post
    They're awesome. I used one on my board for al ong time before it was stolen. I put a nice tube in there, and it smoothed it out for me. Great pedals.
    Cool. Did you change the tube type, or was it another 12AX7 ? What kind of amp were you running it into ? Were you running the drive up higher for some crunch or keeping it low for more of a cleaner boost ?
    Lumbering dinosaur (what's a master volume control?)

    STALKER, NO STALKING !!!

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    firstlessonologist guitfiddle's Avatar
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    Default Re: TubeWorks Blue Tube Pedal .... any experiences ? (also the Real Tube version)

    I went with a Telefunken 12AX7, but didn't have the pedal long enough to try different types. I ran mine into a '68 Bassman amp with a G12M-70 loaded 4x12. I kept the drive around 1 o'clock, and the level set to a bit of boost depending on how loud the amp was running (4 1/2 in the following clip...loud).

    I used it to give me the low fi tone that let me go back into the mix a bit, and my Rocktron Austin Gold to push the tone out front a bit more. I was using a '78 Les Paul Custom at the time, too. The Bluetube has a very soft OD character and was, to me, remenicent of Jimmy Page's earliest tones with Zeppelin when he was running a KT66 tubed Marshall.

    Here's a clip of a tune I recorded with that setup. http://soundclick.com/share?songid=6448685 You'll hear how it sounds kind of spongy on rhythms all over the tune, but on the solo you can really hear it. At the very beginning of the solo, I punched in with a different pedal, a cheap little Danelectro Fab OD. There is a pause, and then from the second phrase on, you hear the Blue Tube, and how spongy it is...in a good way. I love that loose low end tone for leads. The tune cuts out early cause I uploaded a wav file instead of MP3.

    I'd love to have another...if you decide you don't like it, you can always send it up my way...lol
    Last edited by guitfiddle; 02-27-2012 at 04:50 PM.
    - Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly
    Some people make the wine. Some people drink the wine. And some people sniff the cork and wonder what might have been.
    The Eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the Crow.

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    Sausage Gravy LReese's Avatar
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    Default Re: TubeWorks Blue Tube Pedal .... any experiences ? (also the Real Tube version)

    I've got a Real Tube, liked it a lot with a 12AV7 (yes a 12AV7) even over a Butler Tube Driver.. Still very noisy.

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    Human powerplant Vasshu the humanoid typhoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: TubeWorks Blue Tube Pedal .... any experiences ? (also the Real Tube version)

    Yeah play around with the tube....and I think there is a few good mods for it as well....
    Just forgot what those where...hehe
    Not gonna miss you know!
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    Toneologist o.p-i.v's Avatar
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    Default Re: TubeWorks Blue Tube Pedal .... any experiences ? (also the Real Tube version)

    i have the real tube version and dig it, its little grindy, garagey, not smooth and creamy if thats what you're looking for, i like it though
    i saw this band, and thought they were really great, until i saw what the guy was playing through........

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    firstlessonologist guitfiddle's Avatar
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    Default Re: TubeWorks Blue Tube Pedal .... any experiences ? (also the Real Tube version)

    Quote Originally Posted by o.p-i.v View Post
    i have the real tube version and dig it, its little grindy, garagey, not smooth and creamy if thats what you're looking for, i like it though
    That's what the 12AU7 is for...to make it creamy and smooth. A good AX7 will make it smoother than it is stock with the Ei 12AX7 tubes they used in them at the factory.
    - Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly
    Some people make the wine. Some people drink the wine. And some people sniff the cork and wonder what might have been.
    The Eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the Crow.

  9. #9
    Vintageologist crusty philtrum's Avatar
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    Default Re: TubeWorks Blue Tube Pedal .... any experiences ? (also the Real Tube version)

    Thanks so much for this comprehensive post. I listened to the track (good song, i enjoyed it, nice feel about it) and it is very much as you described. I'm kinda busy with other stuff at the moment, but i think i'll try it with a 12AU7 and maybe upgrade the signal path caps after hearing it in it's original configuration. Upgrading the op-amp chips would be easy enough too.

    I'm not sure this one would be a good one for you though, it's a 240 Volt model, hehe. If it's a 'starved plate voltage' circuit, it would be twice as starved running on 110 Volts.

    Quote Originally Posted by guitfiddle View Post
    I went with a Telefunken 12AX7, but didn't have the pedal long enough to try different types. I ran mine into a '68 Bassman amp with a G12M-70 loaded 4x12. I kept the drive around 1 o'clock, and the level set to a bit of boost depending on how loud the amp was running (4 1/2 in the following clip...loud).

    I used it to give me the low fi tone that let me go back into the mix a bit, and my Rocktron Austin Gold to push the tone out front a bit more. I was using a '78 Les Paul Custom at the time, too. The Bluetube has a very soft OD character and was, to me, remenicent of Jimmy Page's earliest tones with Zeppelin when he was running a KT66 tubed Marshall.

    Here's a clip of a tune I recorded with that setup. http://soundclick.com/share?songid=6448685 You'll hear how it sounds kind of spongy on rhythms all over the tune, but on the solo you can really hear it. At the very beginning of the solo, I punched in with a different pedal, a cheap little Danelectro Fab OD. There is a pause, and then from the second phrase on, you hear the Blue Tube, and how spongy it is...in a good way. I love that loose low end tone for leads. The tune cuts out early cause I uploaded a wav file instead of MP3.

    I'd love to have another...if you decide you don't like it, you can always send it up my way...lol
    Lumbering dinosaur (what's a master volume control?)

    STALKER, NO STALKING !!!

  10. #10
    firstlessonologist guitfiddle's Avatar
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    Default Re: TubeWorks Blue Tube Pedal .... any experiences ? (also the Real Tube version)

    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    Thanks so much for this comprehensive post. I listened to the track (good song, i enjoyed it, nice feel about it) and it is very much as you described. I'm kinda busy with other stuff at the moment, but i think i'll try it with a 12AU7 and maybe upgrade the signal path caps after hearing it in it's original configuration. Upgrading the op-amp chips would be easy enough too.

    I'm not sure this one would be a good one for you though, it's a 240 Volt model, hehe. If it's a 'starved plate voltage' circuit, it would be twice as starved running on 110 Volts.
    You're welcome, and thanks!! I was just kidding, but it never hurts to try. I can find them on Ebay three out of every four weeks, I just never have gear cash at the right time.
    Last edited by guitfiddle; 02-28-2012 at 08:45 AM.
    - Tom

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly
    Some people make the wine. Some people drink the wine. And some people sniff the cork and wonder what might have been.
    The Eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the Crow.

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