WWWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW you see the sound of Jack White on "dead lives and the dirty ground" or during the concert "Blackpool Lights", well .... that's exactly what's to say it most of the pedal in true gros.une disto a lamp, hot, faithful to the nuances of play and terribly bad. we move from the OD of a classic big muff through a Turbo distortion from home boss. sound "general" is comparable to a big crunch to marshall but better qualité. get on board all those who want a versatile big bad (this pedal replaces all my other pedals for distortion (my big muff and my turbo d is a ridiculous side, it is to say!)
It has five controls: Master, Gain, Drive, Bass, and Treble. The tone controls are the peaking type, with a fairly sharp Q, and a sweepable band center point. As far as I could tell, the Bass control has a range of around 2-1/2 octaves, starting at around 60 Hz. I used a pink noise generator and my ears to eyeball this, so I don't know how accurate it is.
The Treble control (also sweepable) has a less pronounced effect than the Bass knob. Both of these controls were *extremely* interactive, and a tiny adjustment of either would often produce a huge difference in the tone. The instructions mention that for some settings of these controls, oscillation will occur. No shit. These filters are *hot*; whenever I encountered oscillation, a tiny tweak of either tone control was usually enough to get rid of it without radically altering the effect I was trying to achieve. Since there is a lot of boost occurring in this pedal, there is a noticeable amount of tube noise ("blow") present. It uses DC heaters (more on this below), so there isn't much 60 Hz hum happening in the pedal itself; of course, "guitar" is probably the Swahili word for "hum," so you'll get plenty of that when you plug yours in, especially if it has single-coil pickups. Guitar hum is inevitable when using the amounts of gain the Hot Tubes can provide, especially with the more extreme settings...and this thing is *extreme*, no doubt about it. 120Hz hum, however, is present in larger amounts than I would have thought. There's a workaround for that one, though...the "Gain" control appears to use a stage which is out of phase with respect to the "Master" control, so if you tune it right, you can null most of the 120Hz off the output. I may experiment with using some larger caps in the HV supply later on.
I found the "Drive" control to be much more useful than the "Gain" control; extreme settings of the "Gain" control just sounded buzzy to me. Of course, I'm a *terrible* guitar player (and I don't use distortion on my Hammond, since I'm a jazzer) so I'm going to have to wait until my fearless assistant Scooter Barnes is finished getting laid or high or bailed out or whatever it is he's been doing instead of showing up for work for the last three days to hear what this gizmo can really do.
One thing I can tell you, though, is that the Hot Tubes pedal has one serious *shitload* of sustain, more than damn near anything I've ever heard before. It's *smooth* sustain, too...not the kind that jumps from level to level as the string decays. Nice. Good crunch, too.