Some weeks ago I went to my favourite music store
and ordered a distortion pedal
for electric guitars
: The Ibanez Tube King. It is provided with a 12AX7 tube
. A pretty typical vacuum tube
you will find in a lot of gears.
Some days later I was in my band room getting the hell out of that distortion pedal. I was amazed about the wide range of sound you can get with it. The Tube King has a 3 band equalizer: bass, mid and treble. Different from other gears, the Tube King gives you the possibility to work with a mid controller. So if you want to get a screaming distortion you don't have to turn up the treble controller with the hope your drumhead won't blast. You can get an enjoyable distortion by accentuating the midtones and turning back the trebletones that hurt in our ear. If you are looking for a warm distortion sound, the Tube King might also be your gear. Turning up the gain controller at a quarter and stressing the basstones, you will get a warmer crunchy distortion.
I use the gear with a Mexican Fender Stratocaster and a AVT275 marshall combo amp. I figured out that sending the signal from my guitar through the Tube King through the amp's overdrive2-channel you can get weird feedbacks if you point your pick-ups/humbuckers to the amplifier.
Of course you should try every gear by yourself. You have to find out what kind of sound you're really looking for. Try different pedals and take your time listening carefully to the different sound ranges. First, you will train your ear. Second, you will find what you really want.
Some last important notes about the Ibanez Tube King: I paid 360 CHF, about 250$. Actually, a pretty expensive pleasure. I think you should try to get it for less. Within this price it should be included an AC109 Adapter by Ibanez. Be sure to get it, otherwise ask for it.
One last thing: music stores (at least in Switzerland) are not very enthusiastic about ordering this gear for testing it. Insist, it's worth it.