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GUITAR TONE IS ROCKET SCIENCE!—Vintage, high voltage, vacuum tube technology harnessed to create radical effects pedals!

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Let’s talk about cryogenics and tubes

Let's talk about cryogenics

Awhile back I wrote and article titled “Cryogenics Treatment of Tubes: An Engineer’s Perspective“. Like politics and religion it’s, ironically, one of those topics that people can get pretty hot under the collar about and I have to admit to being skeptical, even cynical of the value of the process when applied to vacuum tubes to improve their audio performance. But I try to keep and open mind, hence this … Read More →

Stellar Sylvania Specifications!

Sylvania 12AX7 test

I’ve heard stories told about fantastic Sylvania tubes with exceptionally high gain factor (mu) ratings in the order of 10% to 20% higher than nominal. Now, the practical implications of this would be that a 12AX7 tube would have a mu of 110 to 120 meaning such a tube could be used to hot-rod a guitar amp, that is increase the gain in the preamp section—just the ticket if you’re … Read More →

Black dogs and black plates

Black and grey plate Sylvania Philips 6111 tubes

During a recent stock check of the Effectrode component stores (a.k.a. ‘Warehouse 13′) I came across the curious old artifact shown in the photo above. The picture shows two Philips 6111 subminiature tubes that were manufactured in Sylvania’s Emporium plant, Pennsylvania in the first quarter of 1987. Now, the odd thing is that both these tubes are from the same batch, but the plates appear to be fabricated from different … Read More →

Synchrony: Model PM-3A Phaseomatic Deluxe Update #4

Phaseomatic and Delta-Trem pedals in synchrony

Although it’s been a good few months since my last update on the Phaseomatic tube phaser I can assure you I’ve been steadily beavering away in the Effectrode laboratory and making headway on this pedal and the Delta-Trem tremolo. In fact both pedals are fully operational and communicating with an external tap tempo controller, which means they can be synced to the same BPM — a colossal triumph for Effectrode … Read More →

Displacement activities: Modding a Fender Champ 12 Amp

Fender Champ 12 combo front panel

Although the Delta-Trem and Phaseomatic designs are drawing to close, there’s still some head scratching needed to get the tap tempo calibrated on both these pedals. To relax I decided to tweak-up the tone of a Fender ‘Champ 12′ amp we recently purchased for use as a rig for audio testing the subminiature tubes that are fitted in our effects pedals. Read on to discover how a just a handful … Read More →

A window through time – Sylvania’s first radio tube factory

The first Sylvania radio tube factory in Emporium, Pennsylvania

From this small factory at Emporium, Pa. the first Sylvania radio tubes were shipped on Thanksgiving Eve, 1924. It was built in 1906, by Sylvania’s parent company, the Novelty Incandescent Lamp Co. If you own a PC-2A compressor or any of the other small Effectrode pedals fitted with subminiature tubes then you have a tiny piece of American (Sylvanian!) history beneath your feet. Although the subminiature tubes utilised in our … Read More →

But being as this is a 7550 dual triode, the most powerful subminiature tube in the world…

7550 and 6021 subminiature tubes

…and would blow your speaker cones clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk? Well, that’s exactly what I was asking myself when I purchased a small batch of these fantastic looking devices off Ebay. The seller had described them as a replacement for 6021 subminiature dual triode tubes. Interesting! Effectrode utilise subminiature tubes in our PC-2A compressor and other small … Read More →

Our Leveling Amplifier is one of “Best Guitar Effects” pedals of the Year!

The Ultimate Leveling Amplifier

Our new Leveling Amplifier has been selected by “Best Guitar Effects” as one of their pedals of the year. This is real honour as these guys really do know their stuff when it comes to guitar effects – their pedal reviews are arguably the most comprehensive and in-depth you can find leaving no stone unturned. We’re now working on building another batch of Leveling Amplifiers and anticipate Best Guitar Effects … Read More →

Merry Christmas!


We’d like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to all the guitarists, sound engineers and musicians that have supported us. Thank you for your trust and belief in us – without you Effectrode wouldn’t be Effectrode! Wishing everyone peace and prosperity in the New Year. Phil & Sam

Secrets of the Tube Alchemists


[The photograph above shows a jar of barium carbonate and pure nickel ingots—the essential ingredients required to make a tube] Well not so much alchemy as chemistry, and physics too, and, even worse, maths. It turns out all those mind numblingly boring subjects my teachers worked so hard to drum into me during my school days are of vital significance to guitar tone. But as an 11 year old boy, … Read More →