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Post new topic Effectrode tube buffer
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Author Topic:  Effectrode tube buffer
Chris Tarrow

Maplewood, NJ
Post Posted 18 Dec 2017 12:38 pm     Reply with quote

Anybody tried this? I like my Black Box but I would love something that fits on a pedalboard. Curious if anyone knows about it? Thanks in advance!
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Jim Sliff

Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 18 Dec 2017 6:08 pm     Reply with quote

Never heard of it -

But (and I didn't pour through every tech detail )they mention running the 6111 at 300 volts, which is almost double the data sheet max (except for peak voltage). Seems a bit strange and it's not explained.

And the clearly show a picture of a 6112 tube. That makes no sense. If they are using 6111's why wasn't it pictured instead of a different tube (no matter how similar)?

Those are both technical changes. Having things like that be different from what they publish in the same document is unacceptable to me. If the product description is wrong about the tube and possibly voltage why would I trust performance claims?

As far as buffer go in general - I'd suggest buying one *only* if absolutely certain it's needed. Players went went without them for years (and still do) without any issues. If there's a problem with transient or frequency response I'd first have my amps and any other devices (volume pedals, tuners, effects) checked and the signal tested without all of them to see if there's an inherent defect or an item that simply needs service.

Sure, there may be a need. But often players buy a piece of outboard gear because only because other players use something similar or because they *think* they need it.

And if you use a Black Box and are happy with the sound I wouldn't consider a pedalboard unit unless you can try one first and make *sure* it does the job.

I just looked at their website because I was surprised to have never heard of Effectrode. They don't have much of a dealer network , at least out west (I can only find one dealer...a keyboard shop...within 1000 miles of me).

Maybe they have more support on the east coast of the US, but with a new, unique tube-based (and high-voltage) product from a company based in Europe I'd want to be sure of prompt warranty support if needed.
No chops, but great tone
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Dale Hampton

Missouri, USA
Post Posted 18 Dec 2017 7:05 pm     12V wall wart Reply with quote

I'm sure that I am showing my ignorance here.....but how are they getting enough plate voltage to operate the tube with a 12V wall wart. Go ahead....let me have it. Smile Dale
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Erv Niehaus

Litchfield, MN, USA
Post Posted 19 Dec 2017 8:14 am     Reply with quote

Also, a wee bit pricey. Whoa!
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Chris Tarrow

Maplewood, NJ
Post Posted 20 Dec 2017 10:15 am     Reply with quote

I don't know anything about electronics, but I am suspicious of any pedal with a tube in it, thanks for confirming something doesn't seem right.
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Dave Mudgett

Central Pennsylvania
Post Posted 20 Dec 2017 1:27 pm     Reply with quote

I've never heard of this one, but using subminiatures like this is not unheard of. For example, the Seymour Duncan Twin Tube Blue pedal uses 6111 subminiature tubes running about 280 VDC, the Twin Tube Classic uses a different subminiature. I have had two of the Blues, one Classic, for about 4-5 years now, no problems so far.

The Twin Tubes use a 120VAC => 16VAC wall wart. I opened one of the pedals up when I got them (they were blowing them out at a big box store) - there was a pretty big toroidal transformer in there, which I assume was used to get the supply voltage up there. Don't know how the Glass A is getting the supply voltage with a 12 VDC wall wart, but it's not hard to increase the voltage with active electronics. This is strictly a voltage preamp, shouldn't draw a ton of power.

I don't know that much about subminiature tubes. Looking at the GE data sheet -

I see the 200 Volt max plate voltage, but when I look at the plate-current vs. plate voltage curves, they go up to 280 VDC. When I think about a Deluxe Reverb pushing 430 VDC on 6V6 tubes, which had a design center in the 300-350 VDC range, this doesn't seem quite so outlandish.

I bought a lifetime supply of the subminiatures at a guitar show. They are a pain in the ass to replace, they need to be soldered in. But to be honest, those Twin Tubes are about the best overdrives I've ever used. I don't use them all the time because they are so large, but I think there as good as any of the much-vaunted boutique overdrives ever made, tonally. And I have a bunch of them.

I have both a Sarno Black Box and a Freeloader (well, and a Revelation preamp too, but since I got my '66 Twin Reverb this has been sitting too much). I love tubes, but to be honest, for a buffer, I use the Freeloader much more. Attaches to the leg, 1 foot cable to input from steel, light, good range of input impedances, battery powered so no power cable needed, battery lasts a very long time, and I find it very transparent except for its buffering action. It's great, I never leave home without it.
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Terry Lovett

Texas, USA
Post Posted 5 Jan 2018 12:02 pm     Reply with quote

Yeah, their ad has some questionable entries but, the design principle is probably ok but, I would question my need for the application. If I were having some impedance bridging issues to overcome and my discretionary money pile is disposable enough then, sure maybe. I would want to see it in action and know it will solve my issues. It could impart some tone shaping but, again.... It's using a switching power supply (extra design cost) and it will only need right at 300mA. They do emphasize a very large input impedance but, 1M is typically seen in most instrument amps. So, hearing it would make a believer out of me or not. Interesting product...I have not seen this used yet
"Things can work,but not as well as they might if your thinking had been better" - J. Williams, MIT
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