Friday, January 15, 2010

Top Finds of 2009 / The Tone God

The Tone God. What more could you ask for? A company with a name like that you just know is going to rock and produce some interesting pieces of gear. In these times of mass amounts of gear, clones, and gimmick driven products, it's nice to have someone like TTG bringing us something original and something we can actually use. When I first started Analog War Cry I thought I'd only be featuring stompboxes. Little did I know there was going to be so much interesting stuff out there. So what is it that makes The Tone God so special? It's called the Tubeulent, a mini amplifier preamp unit that works to provide you with some of the most heart pounding overdrive and distortion tones you will ever hear. When I first saw the TubeUlent I just knew I was in for something really cool, it has a design you just can't ignore. Everything about this product screams user friendliness and great tone. I promise you have never seen, played, or heard a piece of gear this cool. Check this out!!!


The Tone God
Ontario, Canada
Builder: Andrew "The Tone God"
Years in the Game: 15

Mini-Tube Amplifier Preamp

* Pure tube distortion tone
* No extra gain stages
* No artificial clipping techniques
* No starving voltages
* Smaller size/Light weight: Makes for easy gigging
* Rugged construction = Less maintenance/Higher reliability
* Tube amp response/sound with tube and solid state amps
* Other effects can be used with TubeUlent
* Can be used as headphone amp, practice amp, or gigging amp
* Change gain structure by using different tubes


This here my friends is one of the most useful tone tools we have ever come across. The TubeUlent's design, control layout, sound, and size all make it an outstanding product. In other words it's one hell of a product. Of all the years I have been playing music, and of all the gear I've seen in that time this is by far one of the most addicting products I have ever come across. The feel of the overdrive and distortion from this baby just pours with organic richness that keeps you coming back for more, and more, and more. The soul of this product's awesome tone lies in it's tubes. What better place to get a proper rock tone right? The TubeUlent ships with one EHX 6V6GT, and one EHX 12AX7. One of the really cool things about the TubeUent though is that it can also run off of a number of other tubes, such as the 5751, 12AT7, 12AY7, 12AV7, 12AU7, and many more. Depending on what tube you use will factor on what kind of sound and how much gain you get. This alone makes the TubeUlent a very versatile piece of gear. The control panel on this unit was designed very intelligently. The layout is Drive, EQ, Damp, Sag, and Level. There is an In jack on the front, Out jack on the back, On/Off toggle switch, and 15VDC 1A adapter input. Each one of the controls responds and works great with your playing, helping you dial in the exact sound you're looking for. There are so many ways to use this piece of gear that I don't even know where to start. Once I jumped in to this tone beast I was lost in a sea of overdrive and distortion, and not wanting to find my way back home.

I guess I will start with the TubeUlent's ability to work as a overdrive and distortion unit. You set this unit up just like you would any other overdriver or distortion box, with one cable going to your guitar and another to your amp. I was able to get really sweet tones through both clean and dirty tones, and every pickup I paired it up with fell in love with it's sound. I set up a Twin Reverb with a medium output, light reverb, and eq stack at 7. I started with the TubeUlent's Drive at about 5%, matched the EQ to the amp's, rolled the Damp and Sag to about 5%, and matched the Level to the amp's. Even at this low drive setting the TubeUlent added a hint of tube-grit richness to the clean sound. The Damp being down so low kept the sound a bit tighter and more focused. This was a great all-around sound that worked great with just about everything I played through it. The attack of the notes was very defined which made for big, full chords. Next I rolled up the Drive to about 15%, and added a bit more Damp and Sag. The dirt in the sound started getting really smooth'n'creamy at around this point, and with the Damp rolled up a bit more it also started opening up the tone. I noticed the best way to work the Sag control is by interacting it with the Damp. Rolling up the Sag gives the tones more girth and overall size. Next we switched guitars to a Studio Les Paul and plugged into a slightly overdriven Super Lead. Having an already tube saturated overdrive tone from the amp and adding the TubeUlent made things even nicer. It accented and brought out all of the dynamics in the overdrive signal. I was still able to feel the clean tone's character only it was layered by a frosting of sweet sounding drive. I now rolled up the TubeUlent's Drive knob to about 50%, Damp at 75%, and Sag at 50%. All of the other controls were set to match the Super Lead's root tone. Along with the Les Paul's beefy tone and Super Lead's huge sound, this was by far my favorite setting on the TubeUlent. The unit's tube saturated overdrive combined with the amp's natural grit turned into one of the most rockin' distortion tones I've ever heard. With the neck pickup we were able to get just about every rock rhythm tone we needed. The TubeUlent pumped out hard rock, classic rock, metal, and screaming blues tones. Rolling back the guitar's volume knob produced some subtle yet crunchy overdrive tones which I would imagine working out great for live situations. Once we worked out every possible overdrive and distortion tone with the TubeUlent alone we added in some pedals to the mix. First we worked in a simple booster before the TubeUlent, using it to push the tubes natural grit even further. I found that no matter where the pedals were placed the sound was equally as awesome. The madness really got going once we started adding in overdrive, distortion, and fuzz boxes. I honestly have never heard a product that works so well with my pedals. The tubes in this piece of gear really bring out and accent all the magic that my pedals had to offer. A sweet little extra about this baby is you can also run your headphones into it and use it a solo practice device. This is perfect for practicing riffs at high drive settings and not bothering anyone with the sound. It's also powerful enough to use as a practice amp, to plays shows with, and use it to give your solid state amps some soul and character. We plugged a solid state Fender into the TubeUlent and got some pretty decent tones from the amp. When it comes down to it it's all about the tubes, nothing beats a nice rich sounding driven tube. I have to give it up to the cats at The Tone God, they hot a homerun with this design. There isn't one application I can think of that this product wouldn't work with. The size makes it very easy to carry around from gig to gig, sessions, band practices, and home use. The option to swap in different tubes also gives a world of tones I imagine all sound fantastic. To make sure your TubeUlent doesn't burn out the On/Off toggle switch also works as a self-exiting standby mode. This means that when you flip the power on the TubeUlent automatically goes into a standby mode until it's ready to operate. This prevents any mishaps that can occur from misuse of standby switches. The Tone God really covered everything when they built this bad boy. Something I am super stoked about is The Tone God is coming out with his first effect pedal in the near future. I am sure it is going to absolutely rock! Until then we are more than satisfied with having the TubeUlent available to us. If you're still looking for that extra special present late present for yourself this is it. We will be running a video an audio podcast demo of the TubeUlent in the near future so make sure to keep your eyes peeled.



For more info on The Tone God go to There is a bunch more great info on the TubeUlent which I'm sure you'll dig. Remember to keep an eye out for our video and podcast demo of this product. We will also make sure to keep you up to date on The Tone God.

1 comment:

  1. It's definitely a sweet product TTG has some innovative ideas, and is a solid builder. I'd love to pick up a Tubulent one of these days :)