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Old 19th May 2007, 02:52 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Kansas
Default tube pedal plate voltages?

I am currently in the process of designing a few tube distortion devices, and am wondering what voltages to run the plates at. I know that most tube distortion pedal builders 'starve' the plates of the tubes, but what impact would this have on the sound?

Also, if full B+ is required for optimum tone, are there any plate voltage transformers out there that are small enough to fit in a pedal box, say, 7x5x2? If not, would it work if I were to run the secondary of a 25V transformer into the secondary of a 12V filiament transformer, or would the whole thing go up in smoke?
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Old 19th May 2007, 02:14 PM   #2
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Location: Sussex, UK
Default Re: tube pedal plate voltages?

I have a Dave Hall tube overdrive pedal that sounds wonderful but not exactly metal distortion. That is run from an external 12Volt supply that is internally doubled to 24V.

I'm about to build some low voltage valve pre amps and cathode followers/buffers for experimentation so I 'll let you know what happens. I will be using 6SN7 / 6SL7 instead of the usual guitar tubes (12ax7 etc)

Wouldn't full B+ be pointless? You want clipping after all. I don't know enough to know for sure I'm afraid but I'm very interested.
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Old 19th May 2007, 10:34 PM   #3
JandG is offline JandG  United States
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Washington State
I to am intrested in building tube pre, crunch to all out hard core push monster.. I have only 1 pedal, a Exotic BB, & I can't sleep knowing it has a op-amp..tell no one now that I can build tube gear somewhat..I can through the pedal way someday..Please let me know what you fellow's come up with.
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Old 20th May 2007, 01:57 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Kansas
Don't worry, your secret's safe with me. What guitarist hasn't used SS equipment at some point in time? I, for one, love SS devices such as the crybaby wah... but anyway, I was just suggesting full B+ because of some marketing stigma that tubes only sound their best at full B+. One of the designs that I'm working on now (Fred Nachbaur's Real Mctube 2 ) uses filiament transformers back to back to create around 140V DC on the plate of a 12A*7, and I was just trying to expand this concept.

However, one of my favorite tube pedals, the Metasonix Agonizer, runs the tubes inside of it somewhat starved, so I guess it's no big deal. If you believe otherwise, speak now, or forever hold your peace.
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