Effectrode Thermionic

Here at Effectrode® we are fuelled by a sense of nostalgia and fascination with the clean lines and simplicity of vintage vacuum tube instrumentation built back in 1950s and 60s—the golden era of audio electronics. Instrumentation such as studio tube compressors, tube microphone preamps, tube tape delays and plate reverbs that have stood the test of time to become highly desirable and sought after by musicians and sound engineers today, not just because they’re beautifully engineered, but because of their unparalleled rich and full-bodied tone.

Solatron oscilloscope
It’s this old-school tube instrumentation that has inspired audio wizard, Phil Taylor to adopt an alternative approach to guitar effects and recreate the same wonderful warm tone and classic styling in a pedal—Effectrode pedals are what might have been if the transistor had never been invented and thermionic (tube) technology had continued being refined & developed towards perfection. Today, our little workshop is a living tube electronics museum, preserving skills and expertise from the halcyon days of vacuum tube audio.

All Effectrode® pedals are unique, original and meticulously designed from the ground up, taking many years to reach maturity. We often work with professional musicians to ‘tweak’ (engineering speak for ‘research & development’) each design to take it as close to perfect as possible. Clients include David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Gary Kemp (Nick Mason’s ‘Saucerful of Secrets’), Jon Carin (‘The Wall’ with Roger Waters), Robert McVey (Marianne Faithfull), Paul Stacey (Oasis) and the BBC.

vintage electronic components
Only the finest audiophile components are utilised in the construction of each pedal—polyester coupling capacitors, instrumentation grade resistors, N.O.S. and modern triode tubes operating at real amp plate voltages (300 Volts!). The signal path is all-tube, class-A circuitry—some designs are very linear and transparent whereas others are gorgeously non-linear and rich in harmonic overtones. These are effects pedals built from the “Right Stuff”!

The result of all this passionate attention to detail are beautiful pedals having more in common with high-end vintage studio equipment than the transistorised stompboxes normally found on guitarists pedalboards. For example, our ‘Tube-Vibe’ pedal is a rebuild of the classic ‘Uni-Vibe’ effect made famous by Jimi Hendrix, except it’s constructed with tubes instead of transistors. And the PC-2A compressor is built on an all-tube signal path and photo-optical gain attenuator, just like the legendary LA-2A studio compressor.

Phaseomatic pedal and Fender Tweed amp
Fire Bottle tube booster
The devil really is in the details when it comes to tone and the dynamic response or ‘feel’ of an effect pedal and you can be sure that not one single stone has been left unturned in the unrelenting pursuit to push the limits of design, construction and materials to take guitar tone to the farthest possible point—electric guitar really does sound better with tubes!

MusiPlanet proudly represent Effectrode Thermionic in Hong Kong!