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‘In the know’ about tubes

Materials and Techniques for Electron Tubes

Being a total anorak I’m always curious as to what makes a good tube. By ‘good’ I mean low noise, low microphony and reliable. That seems pretty straight-forward, but I have to say that manufacturers and tube vendors these days aren’t exactly forthcoming with information about the construction and materials used in their tubes. This stuff is really, really important for good sound quality and guitar tone. The quality of … Read More →

Mad March Giveaway!

Giveaway 3 2016

Each weekend during March, we will be offering one lucky Facebook user the chance to win a bunch of Effectrode Goodies. Go to our Facebook page to enter. https://www.facebook.com/effectrode Rules  This competition is open to all Facebook users 18 years of age or older, excluding employees of Effectrode or anyone else connected with this promotion. The competition is run by Effectrode. Each Friday during March 2015 a Facebook Giveaway will … Read More →

Killer Tone!

Killer Tone

“Tubes: The Best Tone. Period.” Well I’m certainly not going to argue with that. I’m always a sucker for vintage tube advertising and was struck by this excellent piece of retro style artwork by Simon H., an artist based in Cleveland. His art really captures the vibe of that special golden era of tone. But just what is it about tubes that makes them sound so ‘killer’ for guitar? This … Read More →

$50,000 tube preamp in a pedal

Blackbird tube tone engine

I’ve used a little artistic license with the title of this blog post, however be assured it is technically accurate and true – the Blackbird preamp pedal really is based on exactly the same tube circuitry and design ethos found in vintage custom tube amps that have exchanged hands for up to $50,000. These amps command hefty price tags because they’re a rare commodity, being bespoke, one-off creations built for … Read More →

The silver bullet for guitar tone!

PC-2A Tube Compressor

The PC-2A tube compressor is back in stock. Now built with our custom silver-plated circuit board and fitted with a hand-selected vintage Philips 6111WA subminiature tube. This little compressor is a silver bullet for achieving those classy, smooth guitar tones whether recording direct or through an amp. For the latest independent review check out Best Guitar Effects website where the PC-2A ranked in their top 15 best guitar compressor pedals … Read More →

Atomic Explosion in Tube Manufacturing Laboratory… in 1956

Sylvania explosion news

Okay I admit it! I’m an anorak and this post is strictly for anoraks. I’m fascinated with the history of vacuum tube manufacture and whilst trawling for more in-depth information on American tube manufacturer Sylvania I discovered an old copy of the St. Petersburg Times dated July 3rd 1956, which contained a fascinating news snippet about an explosion that occured in the Sylvania laboratory in New York. The story describes … Read More →

H1 Tube Signal Generator


After searching for many years I finally got lucky and managed to bag an Advance H1 sine/square wave oscillator/signal generator at a good price. The H1 is the exact same oscillator that BBC Radiophonic Workshop composer Delia Derbshire utilised to ‘play’ the melody to the original Doctor Who theme, which she arranged in 1963 – so not only do tubes make superb guitar amps and studio gear, they’re also good … Read More →

Merry Christmas from the Effectrode Team

Timberline Lodge in the snow

The picture above shows Timberline Lodge, which is nestled in the Cascade mountain range, Oregon just below the peak of Mount Hood. On an historical note, Effectrode pedals were manufactured in Corvallis, Oregon between 2004 and 2009 and I had a superb, almost panaromaic view of The Cascades from my office window on the fifth floor of Weniger Building at Oregon State University (my day job) – it was a … Read More →

Tesla Heritage: Are JJ Tubes the best modern tube manufacturer?

Tesla and JJ ECC83 compared

I’m always curious about getting the real story on the quality of modern manufacture tubes. Since the western tube manufacturing giants, Philips, Mullard, Tung-Sol, RCA, Sylvania and others ceased their production decades ago, today we’re left with just a handful of manufacturers, based in Russia, China and JJ Tubes in the Slovak Republic – the tube industry ain’t what it used to be. There’s no longer that vast pool of … Read More →