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I am looking at options for pedals to push a small tube amp.

I have an early 80's Boss Super Overdrive SD-1.

I have had a Boss Distorsion , Heavy Metal and Big Muff and an Ibanez Tube Screamer through a Peavey Bandit.

All this a long time ago and can't really remember?

Looking for a hundred to hundred and half tube driver, suggestions?
 

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I have an EHX English Muff'n that uses 2 preamp tubes. 12AX7 (or whatever combination of alternate 12--7 tubes). It sounds really thick and full, but can sound fizzy as well. It's a UK type sound. It's pretty cool really. I got mine off Kijiji for $145ish.

 

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Blues driver pushed with a clean boost....
 

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For a number of years, plenty of top-line players who use nothing BUT expensive tube amps, and whose tone we admired, relied on the Klon Centaur pedal to push their amps into sweet overdrive. The pedal has nary a tube in sight. So don't feel like you somehow need to use a tube-based drive to elicit desirable tone from your tube amp (though I take it from your post that this was not your initial motivation).

Since the Klon was introduced in the early '90's, many other pedals have successfully adopted its approach to tone-shaping a boosted signal in a manner that will produce a more desirable-sounding overdrive from the amp (as opposed to producing an overdriven tone from the pedal, as heard through a pristine clean amp). I find the secret is removing enough of the top end that mostly lower-order harmonics are added by the amp. Completely clean full-range boosters, like the EHX LPB-1 or MXR Micro-Amp (at least earlier issues) did not do that.

I've seen plenty of EHX Soul Food pedals going on Kijiji for well under $80. And that's just one of many.
 

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I am looking at options for pedals to push a small tube amp.

I have an early 80's Boss Super Overdrive SD-1.

I have had a Boss Distorsion , Heavy Metal and Big Muff and an Ibanez Tube Screamer through a Peavey Bandit.

All this a long time ago and can't really remember?

Looking for a hundred to hundred and half tube driver, suggestions?
All the things you mention are intended to produce an overdriven distorted tone ON THEIR OWN. That is, you could feed them to the highest headroom power amp imaginable, and it would still sound quite distorted.

If I've understood the intent of that first bold-faced sentence, though, the goal is to make the amp's overdrive sound pleasing to your ears, rather than achieve an overdrive sound that the amp simply makes louder. Certainly tube-based pedals could do that, but so could many other non-tube pedals.
 

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I've owned a few different tube overdrives, but I wouldn't say that their strong point is pushing a tube amp into overdrive. They can do that, but where they shine is in front of a clean amp where they create the overdrive on their own with some real amp-like feel, touch sensitivity, and compression.

That said, most of the tube pedals that do this well are more than your budget. Lots of cheap pedals have tubes, but the voltages are so low that the tube doesn't play a big part in sound and is more of a decoration and/or marketing gimmick. For that reason, I'd steer clear of cheap tube pedals and go with some of the other suggestions here.
 

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I'll add that it can depend on which guitar you are playing which pedal sounds best for the tone you're looking for. Some pedals sound better with a single coil pickup some are better with a humbucker. Try renting a few different pedals and experiment or buy used so you can get your money back once you've decided which pedal works best for you. I use a Boss BD2 Blues Driver and a Way Huge Green Rhino to get what I think may be the tone you are looking for. On both I have the gain set very low or off. Which one I use depends on which guitar I'm playing, how loud the amp is set and which one sounds best to me that day. If I can get away with being loud enough to get the amps natural overdrive I don't use any pedals.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks folks I will google box all those suggestions.

I am a real simple cheap bustard, gotta say I am leaning to a boss blues driver.

I have had some great tube amps in my time and love that drone of a driven tube amp, just want it at lower sound levels and weight to drag around.

My pedal board is old school from the 80's - 90's and I just bought a truetone power supply.

Strats with stack humbuckers in the bridge and other funky pickups up front, Seymour Duncan for the most part.

This site is a great source of experience!
 
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