Overdrive pedals that incorporate tubes have been around for many years. As the designs themselves have progressed, the sound of these devices have also improved significantly. For example, initially tube overdrive pedals ran the preamp tube or tubes with very low voltages and this changed the sonic characteristics of the effect. Many of today’s units however now run the tubes at the high plate voltages (in the neighborhood of 300 volts!) that the tubes were intended to be operated at.
In the months ahead, we hope to bring you a roundup of many different models of tube overdrive pedals. For now, we’ve taken a look at an especially impressive model: Hughes and Kettner’s Tube Factor.