The Armadillo Tone Tube Boost
Built By Hand in Austin, Texas
Armadillo Tone Tube Preamp/Boost
Rugged MIL-Spec NOS 6189/12AU7WA Tube
MIL-Spec 1% tolerance resistors
Filtered Power Supply Circuit
Input Jack On/Off switch
9-12V DC External or Internal Battery Power
Gain, Tone, and Volume controls
Foot-switchable Direct Bypass
The Armadillo Tone tube preamp/boost pedal is designed to give added flexibility to the live or recording guitarist. The tube preamp in this pedal will provide a controlled amount of boost to your guitars signal, providing either internal overdrive of the tube, by overdriving your amp's preamp stage, or both. Dial in the gain and tone, set the volume for output level, and you're ready for a sweet lead tone or a thick rhythm sound at the press of a footswitch. The power supply section of the Armadillo Tone is noise filtered, and runs on an external power supply of 12 volts DC. Knowing that foot pedals often see rough service, the Armadillo Tone is built using rugged components - Switchcraft jacks, a heavy duty Belton tube socket, and Military Specification resistors and tube. The rugged Military Green box reflects the heritage of the components.
Gain - Tone - Volume
The Gain knob controls the voltage gain of the input stage of the built-in preamp tube, rendering 10-24dB of gain using the included Mil-Spec 6189/12AU7 tube, or up to 34dB of gain using a 12AT7. More gain is not necessarily better. I gig with the 12AU7, and it rightly fattens the tone of my Telecaster. A 12AX7 is not recommended.
The wide range Tone control greatly enhances the Armadillo Tone preamp's flexibility. Roll it back to the 8 O’clock position for a rich "woman tone", or run it up to 4 O’clock for a searing treble boost.
The Volume knob controls the output signal level. In this way, you can use the Gain and Tone controls to dial in the gain, distortion, and frequency response of the Armadillo Tone preamp, and then use the Volume knob to control the output level of the preamp. This also allows you to overload your amp's input stage, generating even more preamp distortion if that's what you desire.
One of my favorite settings with a Fender guitar is to run the Tone control at around the 11 O’clock position, and the Gain and Volume at around 2 or 3 O’clock. This gives only a slight volume boost, but significantly thickens the tone. The settings you use depend on the capabilities and frequency response of your guitar and amp.
The Armadillo Tone includes a diode/capacitor filter circuit and is designed to run on external 12VDC negative tip power. The power supply (wall wart) is included. It can also run on 9VDC external power. The input jack serves as the on/off switch for the pedal so that whenever a guitar cord is plugged into the input jack, and the 12V DC power is applied, the tube's heating element is on. This ensures that the tube is warmed up whenever the foot pedal is switched out of "Bypass" mode and into the "On" mode. In the true bypass mode, the guitar signal completely bypasses the tube and power supply, and the tube circuit input is grounded. When the footswitch is "on", the yellow LED indicates that the tube circuitry is active, and the effect is on.
The Armadillo Tone tube preamp is just that, a highly flexible tube preamp that you can use to further enhance your tonal palette. Try it; you just might end up using it all the time.
Price: $145.00 Includes 12VDC/200mA power supply, a NOS Mil-Spec 6189/12AU7 tube, and $15 shipping cost. An NOS JAN 12AT7 tube is available upon request. Temporarliy out of stock. Inquire before purchasing.