A couple days off for health reasons turned out to be a great thing for getting inspired. Limited in mobility, decided to experiment with guitar setups and sounds. Formed a horse-shoe fort with guitar amp, laptop on a diner tray, notebook and coffee on a 2nd diner tray blocking the world out.
Started with guitar > wah > amp at first. Around my 2nd or 10th trip to the kitchen to refill on coffee my old BlueTube preamp caught my eye and sparked a “signal strength” track of thought. An hour later after slowly moving things around to acquire said preamp I had it added into the signal chain as such, guitar > preamp ch1 > wah > amp.
The BlueTube I am using is the 2 channel or “Dual Path” model. I pulled the stock tube and replaced it with a Groove Tubes Gold Series 12AX7 tube. I don’t have any sound samples to do a before and after comparison but it made a big difference to the sound, at least it did to my ears.
NOTE: The tube drive level has a lot of affect on the tone so if you happen to try this setup I would suggest starting with the tube drive and gain levels at 0 and compare that sound to your guitar sound without the preamp. This will reveal to your ears if there is any coloring of your sound, with the BT levels at 0 it should sound like the tone you get without it in the signal chain. I’ve had 3 of these units in the past when my studio was still in full swing and did a comparison, 2 out of the 3 didn’t seem to color the sound at 0 but the 3rd did brighten the sound. Everything has its own characteristics especially if tubes are involved so don’t assume they are all identical. That goes for anything, pedals guitars amps, no 2 are identical.
Update Aug 17: After some tweaking the final setup for this gear and session will be guitar >> ch1 BT >> wah >> amp >> Direct Out to Pro24 ch1, Preamp Out to Pro24 ch3, SM57 Mic’d speaker cabinet to Pro24 ch2.