AMT Electronics Fatal Tube Distortion

Price Paid: 
$109.00 U.S.

The Fatal Tube Distortion includes controls for Level, Low, High, Contour, Drive and Gain. It has one in and one output jack and runs on either a 9V battery or with a 9V power supply.

Ease of Use: 

The Fatal Tube is AMT's answer to players who need a pedal capable of full-blown metal distortion while offering extended tone shaping to expand it's usefulness on the pedalboard. Housed in a very small box is a hybrid circuit that does not include a tube despite it's moniker.

AMT specializes in metal voiced gain pedals that range from metal with a bit of west coast tone to molten metal a Viking would adore. The Fatal Tube is similar to AMT's Metalizer pedal which falls far from the California shores but isn't quite equal to the needs of wild red eyed conquerors intent on a blood bath. AMT offers other pedals to meet the goals of the extreme.

The Fatal Tube contains Level, Low and High controls while dividing and expanding the Distortion with knobs for Contour, Drive and Gain.  The contour lets you add additional mids. To my ears this control works much like moving the slider positions on a graphic equalizer from the deep V settings of modern metal to something akin to a W shape. It doesn't fill up the entire metal tone cut but rather bumps up the very middle of the shape to add a melodic vocal content. I guess you could say the contour control shapes the Fatal Tubes voicing to sound closer to the distortions of the 1980s.

The separate Drive and Gain controls, used together, change the amount or type of distortion. The amount of Drive has a lot to do with how much breakup or crunchiness will be part of the distorted voice. I don't like a lot of breakup so I keep my drive setting below 5. The Gain control sweeps from near clean on zero to huge sustain and harmonics on 10. I've also found I can get to higher Gain settings without loosing the smoothness if I start bringing the Drive down while increasing the Gain. For example. If I start with a voice I like with the settings on Drive 5 / Gain 5 I can then increase the amount of gain without altering it smooth / crunch ratio by lowering the drive. Drive 4.7 / Gain 6,   Drive 4.5 / Gain 7,   Drive 4.3 / Gain 8 and so on.

This higher level of distortion control is the big plus for me. Add to that it's small footprint and low price and it's a winner.


Two issues I've had to contend with both have to do with maintaining settings. First, the control knobs are too tall. If they were shortened I wouldn't have as much trouble avoiding them when I use the foot switch. Second, the pots allow the knobs to rotate too easily. Just slightly touching one with a shoe tip alters it's position. I like the pots to offer more resistance to the turn of their shaft.

Sound Quality: 
Customer Support: 

I've never needed it.


I owned this pedal for a number of years with no problems ever developing.

Overall Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)