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The COOLTRON Over the Top Boost effect pedal uses a 12AU7 preamp-type tube at low voltage to deliver the kind of tone that, until now, would have been impossible to achieve in a battery-powered pedal.
Blast your tone over the edge and back. The OTTB puts the top boost channel of a VOX AC30 into an effect pedal. The Treble control can take your tone from cutting attack at one extreme to smooth and liquidy at the other, while the Bass control adds low-end girth at higher settings and a warm round smoothness at lower settings.
The OTTB even comes with a Cut control to add or remove higher frequencies at the turn of a knob. Vary the overall gain of the pedal from bluesy and mellow to fat and saturated. Or use the Standard/Custom switch to either make the EQ very interactive in Standard mode, or have it behave more like a traditional AC30 Hand Wired in Custom mode. You can use the Vox OTTB as a booster pedal to drive the input of your amp by setting the Gain low and the Volume high. Conversely, set the Gain high and the Volume low for an overdrive from the pedal itself.
Want to know how it all works?
Normally, tubes are used at high voltages and this restricts their use in battery-powered devices such as guitar effects pedals. Historically, attempts have been made to use tubes at low voltages in what has been dubbed "starvation" mode, but these circuits don't allow the tube to function in an acceptable manner. The tube simply cannot be biased to a satisfactory operating condition. Plus, the necessary heater (filament) current is too high to deliver acceptable battery life. Imagine how annoying it would be to have to change batteries every ten minutes during a gig!
Here's what makes the Vox COOLTRON system tick. The COOLTRON circuit basically operates by using two very special signal paths. The first is the servo circuit, which provides the right conditions between the plate of the tube and the grid. This achieves controllable, stable parameters for the tube and provides the correct operating conditions for the tube to function as it would if it ran at a higher voltage. The second circuit is a patented power supply that provides a low voltage, low current supply to the heater elements in the tube. Since the tube is now running at such a reduced supply level, the anode current is much smaller than normal. This means that the amount of heat required at the cathode to achieve sufficient cathode current emission is much smaller — hence the ability to run the heaters at a lower level and for COOLTRON guitar pedals to run for 16 hours on 4 x AA batteries!
The COOLTRON system provides true tube sonic performance at very low voltage and at reduced heater current — ideal for inclusion into the COOLTRON OTTB effects pedal.
Reviewed by 3 customers
Displaying reviews 1-3
I cant really add much to the other reviews, except to say that I use this pedal the same way, I have the level high and the overdrive low, and I plug it in and amp that already has distortion and gain, I just use this to warm up the sound and push the amp harder to get those great harmonics and sustain, this is a great pedal for that, very natural sounding, I have used the Bk butler tube drive, original 808, the mjm blue devil, the fulldrive, the black label super over drive, the hughes and kettner tube factor, etc. this is the one I chose to go with
Numerous good reviews on Harmony Central, plus the price convinced me to buy this pedal. It's not really "over the top" in the high gain sense, but it really fills out your notes, and the cut feature can really smooth your tone without dulling it. What I hadn't read which is worth mentioning, is that this is basically a fully functional preamp circuit: plug it into the power amp input of your effects loop, and listen to a really sweet classic tube preamp. I'm using it through my practice amp (Roland JC-50) as well as a heavily modified Blues Deville 410. This unit far exceeds the drive channel of a Fender amp for crunch and sustain. It really sounds like an old Vox amp!!
I own a Fender Pro Junior 15 watt amp, and a standard tele with noiseless pickups. I use a tube screamer, BBE sonic maximizer, BBE treble booster, and a marshall bluesbreaker. My tone has been incredibly muddy for my newly developed standards. I saw this pedal and knew I had to try it out. I bought it, and if you want to bring your tone to life, get this pedal. It truly is an AC30 in a stompbox. I thought my amp would forever sound muddy and always carry it, but this pedal has transformed my amp into something beautiful. I keep the volume high, and the gain low to give it a crisp clear sound with very little overdrive. The bass is well rounded with true AC30 setup, and the same with the treble. Neither one are overbearing. If you're looking for a major tone change in the cleaner british direction, BUY THIS PEDAL.