The Tube Drive™ contains Threedual triode tubes operating at 300VDC and biased to produce extremely symmetrical signal clipping across 6 cascaded gain stages. In practice this means the pedal responds empathically to pick attack with a smooth and graceful breakup characteristic on low drive settings, producing an expressive warm blues tone.
Increasing the drive introduces rich and musical harmonic overtones that pack serious punch for a larger-than-life, “hot-rodded” amp tone. The tone quality of the Tube Drive exceptionally musical, organic and sounds distinctly different to pushing an amp with a solid-state diode clipping or even hybrid opamp/tube overdrive pedal and it won’t mask the natural sound of your guitar and amplifier.
- All Tube gain circuitry: The Tube Drive is the only pedal you can buy that has a complete tube guitar preamp inside – 100% analogue, class-A, all-tube means no silicon in the signal path and it operates at real amp plate voltages (300VDC!). This topology gives the Tube Drive fine control over a wide range of gain characteristics from mild breakup to creamy saturation.
- Tube swapping: The tone and gain characteristics of the Tube Drive can be drastically altered by interchanging tubes – in fact the pedal is designed for easy access to the tubes for this purpose. It can be quickly and easily transformed into a hi-gain distortion beast, mellow blues driver or boost pedal by simply removing a tube and replacing it with a different type. For example, swapping out the 12AX7 tube in the top right hand position for a lower Mμ 12AY7 or 12AV7 will alter the pedal’s gain and tonal characteristics so that is becomes more full-bodied and bluesy sounding.
- Bax-Stack “active” tube tone control: The Tube Drive is the only overdrive with an active tube tone control. The Bax-Stack is a real treble boost (and cut) circuit with zero insertion loss, unlike passive tone stacks which can only remove frequency content (“tone-sucking”). The tone range is optimised to work over important frequencies essential for mellow jazz tones to some serious crunch.
- Low-end contour switch: Active low boost for a warmer, richer sound. Especially useful with single coil pickups to thicken the sound or when playing at low volumes to compensate for loudness. The Tube Drive is also the perfect tonic in today’s digital world where guitar tones can sound flat and one-dimensional.
- Dakaware Knobs: Authentic phenolic Dakaware, Chicago knobs manufactured in the U.S.A using the original 1940s moulds!
- Daylight visible orange L.E.D.: Indicates when pedal is engaged.
- Includes 12V Wall-wart Power Supply: High quality low-noise switched mode 12VDC at 1.5A wall-wart compatible with all our pedals. Accepts 100V to 240VAC mains input and comes with different mains outlet adaptor plugs, so there is always a plug that fits the country that you are playing in.
- David Gilmour
- John Fairhurst
Special thanks to all these musicians, especially John Verity, Phil Taylor (of Gilmour music) and Paul Stacey, who have helped and advised over the Blackbird’s long two year development period.