BK Butler Tube Overdrive Pedal – Gilmour Tones at Volume or Else?

Hi all bedroom rockers, today I am doing a review on a pedal that is arguably one of the more well known overdrives, mainly because David Gilmour and Eric Johnson (and others use them), The BK Butler Tube Overdrive Pedal.

BK Butler Tube Overdrive Pedal

BK Butler Tube Overdrive Pedal – image courtesy of www.butleraudio.com

NEW! TUBE DRIVER w/BIAS! $299 Don't buy used! * $75 OFF * HANDMADE/BK BUTLER *

$299.00
End Date: Saturday Sep-23-2017 2:30:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $299.00
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This is probably why I bought it in the first place, because my hero David is often associated with his lead tones, but he’s got the sweetest overdrive tones too. Ever since 1994’s Division Bell he’s been using the Tube Driver as his main overdrive unit. So let’s suss it out.

Now to clear up confusion, there is a very similar looking unit called the ‘Chandler Tube Driver’ (David used this for quite a while too) and it has a slightly warmer tone than the new BK Butler model (in David’s rig from 2006).

The BK has a bit more presence and a generally more aggressive tone, although this can to some extent be “controlled” by replacing the stock tube. If you do decide to replace the 12AX7 tube you should give the pedal some time to break in. All tubes, whether it’s your amp or a pedal, need some time before they reach their potential so don’t worry if it doesn’t sound amazing the first time you try it.

Likewise, expect the 12AU7 to sound a bit dull at first before it breaks in and starts to mellow.

BK Butler Tube Overdrive Pedal

BK Butler Tube Overdrive Pedal – image courtesy of www.butleraudio.com

The 2006 BK model is delivered with a 12AX7 tube which is a bit too aggressive for my taste. It depends on what tone you’re looking for but it has a very narrow clean response and it can be a bit bassy and have that woofy boomy sound as well. I replaced the 12AX7 with a 12AU7 for what I thought was a warmer tone, a bit more compressed and a much wider range from powerful clean volume boost to singing beautiful overdrive.

Now back when I did the Lil Big Muff review, I mentioned that Big Muffs sound better on bigger amps (which in the Lil Big Muff sounded great on a small Vox AC4TV). But the Tube Driver is DEFINITELY designed for bigger tube amps and I was disappointed with the tones I got on a little 5 watt amp I was using at the time.

I then tried a 30 watt Peavey Classic 30 and it sounded much smoother. This pedal is not great for low volume small amp usage, so be  careful forking out big dollars, these generally sell for $280 and above, and I have seen them at nearly $400 due to the fame of the name.

The BK Tube Driver is an excellent overdrive, ideal for David’s 70’s and present tones, although I have no trouble getting great PULSE tones as well. It also works extremely well as a booster for the more demanding distortions like the Big Muff.

So okay I won’t go on too much in this review (bit sleepy today!) but really, it is used by famous guitarists, but beware of buying stuff because so and so uses it, as Gilmour and Johnson have the best setups and there are many factors in determining a guitar tone.

Vintage Ibanez 1981 TS808 TUBE SCREAMER Overdrive Pro - TI RC4558P Malaysia

$2,280.00
End Date: Thursday Sep-28-2017 14:15:21 PDT
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Buy something like a Boss Blues Driver, MI Audio Blues Pro, if you got more money you can get a really nice Wampler, Caitlinbread. One I would recommend and will review shortly is the CMATMODS Super Signa Overdrive… hand made in the USA, and such tone!

But ODs really are so subjective. Another great OD I loved was the Digitech Hardwire Tube OD…very very nice.

So please excuse the dodgy review today but that’s my 2 cents on the BK Butler Tube Overdrive. Make up your own mind, but I feel for just the bedroom, save yourself $150 (at least) and get something that will sound probably better for low volume applications.

And although this pedal was really cool in that it was used by my hero, I couldn’t make it sound good with a small amp…it is a very fussy pedal..

NEW! TUBE DRIVER w/BIAS! $299 Don't buy used! * $75 OFF * HANDMADE/BK BUTLER *

$299.00
End Date: Saturday Sep-23-2017 2:30:05 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $299.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

NEW! TUBE DRIVER $40 OFF -$259 Don't buy used! * HANDMADE/BK BUTLER *

$259.00
End Date: Saturday Sep-23-2017 2:28:50 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $259.00
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BK Butler Tube Driver 5 knob version w/ "Bias Mod"

$239.00
End Date: Sunday Sep-24-2017 20:28:37 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $239.00
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BK Butler Tube Driver Model 911 W/ BIAS Control Knob Mint L..I..K.E..N..E..W.!!

$225.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Sep-23-2017 3:11:48 PDT
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BK Butler Tube Driver w/Box, Manual

$217.00
End Date: Saturday Sep-23-2017 16:52:57 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $217.00
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About strataminor

Born in Brisbane I am a bedroom guitar player, although having played in front of churches (tough crowd!!) for quite a few years so some understanding of band dynamics, timing, gear (private use compared to public use) and melodic structure, instrumental breaks (okay leather pants solos....) and of course amps! Besides from my love of guitar and the G.A.S that goes with it (hey email me I am always offloading gear!! lol) I love languages, and can converse in basic Japanese, and study biblical Greek. I live in Logan with my young family (so not heaps of time at the moment) and will be contributing gear reviews based on a lot of gear I have or still currently have.

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