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TC Electronics Tube Pilot valve 12AX7 overdrive pedal

TC Electronics Tube Pilot valve 12AX7 overdrive pedal  ·  Source: TC Electronics

TC Electronic has recently introduced some new budget pedals. This is second round of ‘Behringer’ remakes with the TC Label, the first set being released last year, each set with updates both inside and out. Now follows a very similar pedal called Tube Pilot that comes with a real 12AX7 valve as part of the circuit.

Tube Pilot vs. Tube Driver

Tube Pilot is, according to TC Electronic, a “legendary tube overdrive” modelled, but then further developed by them. I suspect by the reference “legendary” that they are hinting at the Tube Driver by B.K. Butler (also known as built by Tube Works, Chandler). The pedal had already been used by Gilmour, Satriani, Bonamassa, J Mascis and many other great guitarists for their sound.

Behringer VT911?

So is this a Behringer VT911 overdrive re-jigged?

The difference is that the Tube Pilot does not have an EQ section, only the Gain and Volume controls, making this pedal slightly different, but exactly how much difference, we aren’t sure yet.

Could it still be a VT911 though just without an EQ section? Let’s hope not, as they were bloody awful. I bought a few of the VT11 pedals to mod (as they were being sold off for a tenner each new) and when left as stock, they sounded terrible.

Visually, the Tube Pilot definitely looks like the budget remake series and has huge hints to the Tube Driver by B.K. Butler visually. Yet at under €50 I suspect it will be compromised in its tone and build quality. But maybe I am wrong and it will be great, we shall see.

RRP – EUR 49

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by Jef

2 responses to “TC Electronics Tube Pilot – Budget valve overdrive pedal”

  1. Mac Leahy says:

    I just bought the TC Electronics Tube Driver earlier today, and I’m really happy with it. If I set it up just right (drive at 10:00 to 10:30, output at 1:00 to 1:30) into the clean channel on my tube amp, it gives me a mostly clean, ever-so-slightly edgy overdrive sound that suits my needs perfectly.

    I used to be a working musician, but these days I only get out to play at jam sessions hosted by my friend’s band every couple of weeks. I either end up playing through a super clean Fender Super Champ or kit clone DRRI; with the Champ, I use the owner’s TS 808, and with the clone I use the owner’s Boss OD-1, neither of which I’m what you’d call “madly in love with.” They both sound much too harsh and extremely artificial to me; what I’m getting from the Tube Pilot is a very sweet, slightly edgy sort of Eddie Isler “clean-crunch rhythm,” which is precisely what I was looking for.

    The Tube Pilot will be my “always-on” OD; if I need more “oomph” for a particular song, I can always kick in my EHX “Satisfaction” fuzz pedal, which was also a pretty sweet deal. (Good tone doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg if you know what you’re doing.)

    Is the Tube Pilot just “a re-issue of the Behringer VT911 without the EQ controls?” I can’t say for sure, never having encountered the VT911 in my travels, but I can tell you this; it sounds great to my ears, and after 40 years of playing guitar, 35 of that electric, I should know a thing or two about good tone by now.

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