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Thread: TC Electronic Tube Pilot... anyone tried one?

  1. #1
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
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    Default TC Electronic Tube Pilot... anyone tried one?

    Looking into one of these as an extra gain stage to kick in for leads in front of my amp. Anyone tried one? How is it?

    I've read mixed reviews. Some say it's great, warm, and tubey. Others say it's fuzzy and harsh.

    On the demos, it definitely seems like it's voiced bright, which I don't mind for some added sparkle for leads... but, if you've tried it, is it too bright IYO?

  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronic Tube Pilot... anyone tried one?

    So I got one, LOL.

    In case anyone's interested, it's a pretty cool pedal. It's not warm, but it is very tubey. It's bright and raspy, and it has tons of character. It's very clear and dynamic-sounding. It isn't all mids the way a Tube Screamer is, nor does it have the half-clean/half-overdriven kinda blend that the Tube Screamer has. It's more amp-like with a hint of rasp at lower settings. From around 8:30 to 1:00, it has a very useable gain range. With the gain past 1:00, it does get kinda fuzzy/farty. Kinda like a vintage amp pushed to its limits. Not an unusable tone, mind you, just not something I'd use the pedal for.

    I use it after my TC Mocambo (which is always on for a tight high-gain rhythm tone) as a boost for leads, and it definitely does what I wanted to do. It's sort of like I raised the gain a bit and the treble very slightly on the amp. It blends very well with my EVH's gain structure. I think that is its strongest point. It works in front of a clean channel, yes, if you don't mind bright and raspy. I feel it shines in front of an amp set to the edge of breakup all the way to full-blown high-gain, making it seem almost as if your amp got an extra grain stage.

    Right now, it comes with a Bugera-branded Chinese 12AX7. I really dig the Chinese 12AX7's, but I'm going to try swapping in a JJ ECC83S to see if I can shift that emphasis a bit more towards the mids and less towards the treble. I like it as it is, though, but I just want to fine-tune it.

    Recommended! I really dig this line of TC Electronic pedals. I have five, and they're all brilliant, especially for the money. Their 808-clone knocked my actual Ibanez TS808 off my board.

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    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 09-22-2019 at 02:14 AM.

  3. #3
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Dave Locher's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronic Tube Pilot... anyone tried one?

    That was quick! Glad you like it.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker skyydogg01's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronic Tube Pilot... anyone tried one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex_Rocker View Post
    Recommended! I really dig this line of TC Electronic pedals. I have five, and they're all brilliant, especially for the money. Their 808-clone knocked my actual Ibanez TS808 off my board.
    Is that the Cinders pedal?

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    -Greg

    Guitars:
    2016 Ibanez RG6003FM (JB/'59nJ)
    2018 G&L Tribute Legacy (Hot Rails/stock/stock)
    Applause/Ovation AE28 Acoustic/Electric

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Rex_Rocker's Avatar
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    Default Re: TC Electronic Tube Pilot... anyone tried one?

    OK, so I got to play with it a bit more. What's most important, I got to open it to see what the deal was inside. Many of the pedals in this line have internal trim pots. My 3rd Dimension did, and so does this. I'm pretty sure the internal trim pot in this pedal sets the tube's bias. It was set close to max from the factory. I noticed it was a bias because the more I turned it clockwise, the dimmer the tube glowed. So I cranked it all the way counter clockwise (because YOLO), and the tube lit up brighter, the pedal was slightly louder, and it sounded a tiny bit fuller. I left it like that. Hope that doesn't eat up tubes too quickly. I doubt this pedal has the juice to run a 12AX7 overly hot, but time will tell. Anyway, I also swapped a couple different tubes in it, and I settled for a Sovtek 12AX7LPS because it sounded the fullest. I dig!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Locher View Post
    That was quick! Glad you like it.
    Thanks, man! Yeah, these pedals are not expensive, so I figured I'd take a chance and give it a try. Glad I did. It does what I wanted it to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by skyydogg01 View Post
    Is that the Cinders pedal?

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    Nah. Don't know what the Cinders is based on. It's supposed to be a more full-range OD, so maybe Boss Blues Driver?

    The El Mocambo is their TS clone (I guess because of SRV's Live at El Mocambo). It's less mid-forward. Specifically, I feel it's got way less low mids. It's less warm and creamy, but I also feel it's much clearer and tighter, and it brings forward the pick attack a little bit more.
    Last edited by Rex_Rocker; 09-22-2019 at 02:33 AM.

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