Tone Lube - Guitar Effects Pedal Preamp


What is it and what will it do for you?

 The Tone Lube is a transparent preamp/overdrive for players who want more gain without losing the natural voice of their guitar or their own personality as a player.

 The voicing  of the Tone Lube is Transparent and sounds just as good through a clean channel or hitting an already-overdriven amp. In Addition to giving you a medium amount of overdrive the Tone Lube can also be used as a Clean Boost greatly increasing the overall volume of your amp.

The Tone Lube is both a musical Preamp and a Volume Boost, all in one. It is NOT merely a distortion or overdrive pedal. The Tone Lube is an additional channel for your amp. Overdrive and Distortion units color your tone, some more than others. In contrast, the Tone Lube functions as a preamp, to drive your amplifier power section, not to simply add distortion and thus color to your tone. The result of most pedals is to make your guitar and YOU sound like the pedal and not your organic tone. The Tone Lube will not touch your tone.


The Tone Lube either works with your amp’s existing preamp section or uses your amp as a power amp only, amplifying the signal form the Tone Lube, as your effective preamp.

The Tone Lube gives you both a Volume Boost and a musical amp-like Overdrive (all In one), with an unmistakable and undeniable level of Transparency. In short, This is a circuit, which is Unlike any Distortion or Overdrive because it will Not Color Your Sound. You will sound like You and your guitar will sound exactly what it Is (like it or not). 

Use the Tone Lube to boost your overall output for solos, to push an amp further into overdrive, to considerably increase you amp’s overall volume or for a touch-sensitive, organic solo tone. The Tone Lube is to be used as an ‘always on’ pedal for integrating its potential as an adjunct to you already great or "not so great" amp tone; it’s like an overall enhancer for your entire sound.

The two control knobs are interconnected and interactive, giving you an incremental dB boost along with incremental “grit” to your tone; just as a tube amp would. As you turn up the knobs your volume and your gain increase simultaneously, just like any traditional tube/valve amp would behave.

If you want even more boost, engage the Boost circuit of the Tone Lube for an additional 10 dB boost. This is great for playing with a band and drummer using a low powered amp. The Tone Lube will turn your small amp into a raging monster and multiply its power output. 

 Another unique feature about the Tone Lube is when turning the Level down it does not go to silence but instead goes to Bypass, leaving you with the dry amp tone you are using in conjunction with the Tone Lube. The Level knob takes the Tone Lube out of your signal by going to Bypass. The Tone Lube can either be switched off with the foot switch or instead incrementally taken out of the circuit by turning down the Level control.

The Tone Lube is made in the USA and is True Bypass.



- Authentic tube-like overdrive sound.

- Very high output levels possible – great for practice with a band and the stage.

- Innovative BOOST feature considerably increases your final output signal by just stepping on a switch.

- Doubles as a dry Volume Boost pedal: turn LEVEL down to zero & hit BOOST.

- Highly interactive GAIN and LEVEL controls. These are NOT independent controls as found on all other pedals.

- TRUE BYPASS switching.

- 4-layer circuit board, which isolates components in the circuit and gives the tone, even more, clarity and definition. I have not heard of any other guitar pedal using a 4-layer circuit board.

- Level control turned down all the way doubles as a bypass. Level does not turn down to silence but to bypassed signal of your amp's volume and drive. - Level control only removes the Tone Lube from your signal chain, not your bypassed dry signal.

- LED indicators for BYPASS and BOOST switch.

- Input Power: 9V-DC (negative tip) through power supply only, no battery capability.

- Made in the USA - including the circuit board and completely hand assembled entirely. 

Price - $350 USD              $10 shipping USA and Canada           $25 shipping internationally, worldwide



What Zachary Tone Lube Customers have to Say

Customer Review #1 August 31, 2012, Tony is essentially the first Tone Lube Owner. Here is what he has to say.

Ok, the pedal came Monday, and I have had a few decent sessions with it. I plugged my Zachary Z2 (P90's) straight into the Skank amp with a GL cable and dialed up my favorite clean tone (Gain 12:00 - Tone 3:00 and Master 2:00 - Mood switch on Soft). This is a very warm tone and comfortable volume for practicing, on the verge of breaking up. I then played a few open chords, got the sound in my head and quickly unplugged. Plugged in the Tone Lube (disengaged) and played the same open chords. No changes in tone or volume, first test passed. I have a couple of "true bypass" pedals that suck a little tone and/ or volume in bypass. Not so with the Tone Lube. Good! Let's keep going.

Next, I engaged the Tone Lube with the Level and Gain knobs at zero. No changes in tone or volume. So far so good, I already know I bought a great and unique pedal. Second test passed. Next, I hit the 10db Boost switch, knobs are still @ zero, and right now this pedal just paid for itself! A most luxurious clean boost slamming the front end of my amp and adding some clipping and crunch. Chords just sing out, It's not just louder, but richer and way more dynamic. Single notes bite and twang, the single coil tone is ramped up and thrown in your face. Amazing tone! Back off the guitar volume a little and the crunchiness smooths out but the overall volume stays the same.

Now I disengage the 10db Boost switch, and I turn the Level knob 1/2 way. Still beautifully clean but noticeably louder. I turn it up all the way, and the little Skank amp is significantly louder again. Things are breaking up now but cleans up with softer pick attack. I turn the amp right up and I now have a clean signal tone that will be able to do small room gigs. I've used this Skank amp lots for gigs but always in High Gain mode to get the volume needed. Not so anymore, as this pedal does actually act like a boutique Pre-Amp and I haven't even started to turn the pedal Gain up! One thing about the Tone Lube is that there is no setting that diminishes your signal, no setting that sucks your tone. The pedal knobs at Zero is Unity and the only place to go is up!

I turn the amp down again and I turn the pedal Level back to 12:00 and start to bring up the Gain. I instantly get some thick crunch and much more sustain. Of course, tone has not degraded at all, only enhanced. Now as I keep cranking the Gain I get more and more saturation and more and more volume. This thing has gobs of Volume. as I make my way to the top of the Gain sweep, I have to turn my amp down so as not to go deaf. The Tone Lube full on is a raging tube overdrive with serious bottom thonk and Marshall type midrange. Angus Young through a JCM 800. Just incredible! I do another little test. I unplug the Tone Lube and turn the Skank on to High Gain at about 75% Gain. It is quieter but the tone sounds the same! I play through these old AlNico celestions and the Skank has always had a Marshall-esque tone. Now with the Tone Lube I've got the volume!

Now I just start messing with the knobs. It will take a while to get all the tones figured out on this pedal, the knobs are definitely interactive. There are lots of sweet spots between sparkling clean to in your face crunch to saturated overdrive. One of the most interesting and fun settings is to have the Gain all the way up and the level at about a quarter way up. I get this clean signal on top with a fuzzy OD tone underneath. Playing softly and single note melody lead you don't really notice but strum a bit harder and dig into lead playing and this fuzz underneath shows up. So good! And as I bring the Level up the OD becomes more noticeable, although the clean signal is still present (until about half way). Way to Go!

All in all this is the best and most amazing "overdrive" pedal I have ever had. As soon as you get the original (SuperNatural Human Touch Tone Optinizer) Z pedal up and running, sign me up for one and I'll throw all my other OD pedals out!


I have a Mesa Boogie Mark V. You were right, I am not even using my amps distortion. This preamp does it all. It also takes the place of my stomp boxes. Bruce

Got it yesterday Alex, thanks for the speedy shipment.

Wow, it certainly does and sound exactly like you described - really gooses my amps (for the record- a'65 non-reverb Deluxe and a'79 50w Marshall JMP). The Tone Lube is more of a preamp pedal and does not behave at all like my other Overdrives. Really makes them howl when fully engaged even at lower volume settings. And muy transparent. . Keeps your guitar and amp tone INTACT. Probably the truest sounding, very progressive volume/gain solid state overdrive, I've ever encountered, no mean feat. For live gigs it should be killer! Adding MXR rubber knob covers, great tip - thanks! Yes the Tone Lube will be on a lot, for sure! And hopefully in the future I will order more gear as soon as feasible for me. Really nice stuff you make. Keep fighting the good fight.

Thanks very much for all your attention, nice doing business and I'll keep an eye on your site. Very cool and thanks again, I'm still discovering...and keep on with your bad self. Best Regards,  Mike

It really is an "amp killer' that it can stand on it's own with just a power amp for sure. But it sure can make my old fender bark pretty damn loud and get mucho grind going. A really useful gigging tool. Kicks you right over the top! Thanks very much again,  Dave

I have an amp which has a very raspy overdrive tone. I hate it frankly. Now I set it to clean and the Tonelube allows me to use this amp perfectly and not have to sell it.  Oscar

The Tone Lube is not a distortion pedal but then again, why would you even want a distortion pedal with a good tube amp? It makes my map so much better, like I have unleashed its capabilities. I feel like I added a second channel to a one channel amp.  Rob