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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(New tube pedal day) My friend Steve Daniels at Small Bear sent me an Eleca EVD-1 tube overdrive, that arrived in the mail today. Whether tube or SS, I need another overdrive like a hole in the head, but this one is kinda nice. It's the same as the one shown, but what he sent is a bare unlegended case. I haven't taken it apart, but the gutshot he sent shows a pair of 8-pin chips in addition to the 12AX7 tube. So, I'm assuming something in BK Butler/Chandler territory, if not a straight out clone.

The tone is okay. Nothing to write home about (they all begin to sound the same after a while). What sets it apart, for me at least, is that stompswitch on the right. It operates in two modes: clean and overdrive. So, a person can set it for a bit of volume boost (i.e., level higher than bypass) with EQ, and then hit the switch for added gain. In theory, one can set the amp for max clean drive with the pedal bypassed, engage the clean boost mode to push the amp harder, and then hit the right stompswitch to engage one or more additional gain stages for a dirtier boost. That three-step thing is what sends it around the bases. You don't even have to use it as an overdrive. You can just use it as a clean boost with treble/bass shelving. And who doesn't want a tube pre-amp?

The only thing I'm not so crazy about is the use of an AC power supply. DC switching supplies can be made compact and light, but a 1 amp AC adapter is going to be big and ugly, and this one is both. Pity.

This weekend, I'm going to pull it apart and see if I can fire it up with some other lower-gain tubes subbing for the 12AX7. But, the price was right. I have no idea what these retail for. It's nice to have friends that keep my ignorant of such things.

EDIT: Steve was able to send me the schematic and it appears to be a sort of Butler/Chandler Tube Driver clone as I suspected, taking aspects of different issues of that pedal Now that I've opened it up, what I find rather juvenile about the design is that it includes a couple of red LEDs situated under the the 12AX7, simply to make it glow brighter. (I'm reminded of that ad A/DA used to run in the 80's, stating that "real amps glow in the dark".). Silly, but I suppose you gotta do whatever sells.

Steve informed me that he made it from a kit, which is why it isn't legended. As kits go, very solid construction. Heavy-duty circuit board. Molex connectors for the pots and switches so you can populate the boards and then just plug in the connector cables. Steve would be able to sell it as a kit for much less than the $115USD I see it for on Amazon Intriguing. All kinds of DIY pedal kits out there, but I don't see anything with tubes.

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