Singular Audio has announced the release of a new stereo tube saturator for the API 500 series, also known as the ‘lunchbox’ format.

The tubedrve utilizes 2 pentode tubes per channel, for a total of 4 tubes per module. The first one is an EF86 and the second one a 6AS6.

The 6AS6 can be switched from pentode to triode operation. Triode mode provides a smoother type of overdrive with more ‘even harmonics’. Pentode mode provides an aggressive distortion with more ‘odd harmonics’. Various controls allow the user to shape the sound. Switchable bypass and a mix knob for parallel processing provide pro audio requirements. The two channels are controlled independently from one another.

The module can be controlled with an input or ‘drive’ level, controlling the audio signal going to the tubes. A bias control sets the operating point for the distortion tube, allowing the user to control the bias current. With high and low settings this introduces asymmetrical waveform clipping, providing a more aggressive sound.

A boost switch provides 15dB of extra gain, for extra overdriven tones. An output level control controls the level coming from the tubes. The mix knob provides full dry and wet operation, allowing for parallel processing. This is a great feature to have in a saturator since they tend to compress audio. Parallel processing allows the user to dial in the exact amount of saturation they want and provides full control over dynamics.

A white led lights up when the distortion tube is being overdriven. Furthermore there is a bypass switch which switches the module out using relays for complete bypass. An anodised black aluminium frontpanel is used, providing a long and lasting finish.

Plate voltage for the tubes is 240VDC, due to a DC-DC converter which generates the high voltage from the +- 16V power supply of the API 500 format. This is needed for the best possible overdrive sound. NOS (‘New Old Stock’) tubes are used.

Introductory pricing for the tubedrve is 699 EUR excl. sales tax where applicable.

Modules can be purchased at the Singular Audio store, or through well known dealers such as Vintage King and Perfect Circuit.