Chase Tone Secret Preamp!

Dazza

Member
Messages
64
So I've had this for a while but not really focused on it other than brief tests. Today I spent some time.
Marshall 1973X and Historic LP's.

What it does is covered repeatedly here - but I've not read what people hear sonically about placement in the signal chain. There's preferences mentioned yes - but not actual details of why. And that surprises me as I'm hearing a clearly different result having it last in the chain, as is suggested, or followed by a buffered pedal.

Today I stripped down to the Secret and MXR EP 103 with 2 15ft Fulltone cables for simplicity sake. On it's own or following the MXR it rolls away top end. Having the MXR follow it the highs are back. Same result paired my Korg tuner.

OK so this is an obvious example of impedance and buffer doing what it does. But then why is the suggested Secret position last - where it has the most 'negative' effect ? Am I missing something ?

Daz
 
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run23

Member
Messages
566
So I've had this for a while but not really focused on it other than brief tests. Today I spent some time.
Marshall 1973X and Historic LP's.

What it does is covered repeatedly here - but I've not read what people hear sonically about placement in the signal chain. There's preferences mentioned yes - but not actual details of why. And that surprises me as I'm hearing a clearly different result having it last in the chain, as is suggested, or followed by a buffered pedal.

Today I stripped down to the Secret and MXR EP 103 with 2 15ft Fulltone cables for simplicity sake. On it's own or following the MXR it rolls away top end. Having the MXR follow it the highs are back. Same result paired my Korg tuner.

OK so this is an obvious example of impedance and buffer doing what it does. But then why is the suggested Secret position last - where it has a negative effect ? Am I missing something ?

Daz
Interesting. I put it last (well, 2nd to last now before my delay) without much testing (I'm using the buffer on the El Cap delay, so there is a buffer after the SP on my board) - if I have time maybe I'll play around and see how it does interact with a buffer at the end. Curious to hear other's experiences.
 

rollyfoster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,440
So I've had this for a while but not really focused on it other than brief tests. Today I spent some time.
Marshall 1973X and Historic LP's.

What it does is covered repeatedly here - but I've not read what people hear sonically about placement in the signal chain. There's preferences mentioned yes - but not actual details of why. And that surprises me as I'm hearing a clearly different result having it last in the chain, as is suggested, or followed by a buffered pedal.

Today I stripped down to the Secret and MXR EP 103 with 2 15ft Fulltone cables for simplicity sake. On it's own or following the MXR it rolls away top end. Having the MXR follow it the highs are back. Same result paired my Korg tuner.

OK so this is an obvious example of impedance and buffer doing what it does. But then why is the suggested Secret position last - where it has a negative effect ? Am I missing something ?

Daz

Echoplexes have a high output impedance around 200k (really helpful with a cranked bright Marshall or bright rig in general) so it rolls off some high end and contributes to the warmth of the sound with longer cable lengths.

A buffer after it can restore some of that if you don’t like it.

Most people run it last because that’s how it was done in the day. Short cable to dirty amp. Now with all the other stuff and longer cables that happen in front of an amp it may be better suited somewhere else.


If you run a clean amp with overdrives you may benefit from running the preamp in front of them, too.
 
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Dazza

Member
Messages
64
Echoplexes have a high output impedance around 200k (really helpful with a cranked bright Marshall or bright rig in general) so it rolls off some high end and contributes to the warmth of the sound with longer cable lengths.

A buffer after it can restore some of that if you don’t like it.

Most people run it last because that’s how it was done in the day. Short cable to dirty amp. Now with all the other stuff and longer cables that happen in front of an amp it may be better suited somewhere else.


If you run a clean amp with overdrives you may benefit from running the preamp in front of them, too.
Thanks. I fully understand the impedance / buffer relationship. Combining the original Echoplex high impedance with the long cables ran back in the 70's must've rolled a heck of lot of top end off ! Those Plexis and moreso the JMP's do have a lot of treble on tap though.

I'm just surprised in 14 pages to not read a post regarding the SP's tonal influence and signal chain placement. Especially with it being so obvious. Maybe I hear it so clearly because I'm (50+) old school and use classic non master amps for drive. Whereas surely most younger players here utilize a variety boxes at their feet for their core tones. The simpler the chain is the greater each element exerts an influence.

Daz
 
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rollyfoster

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,440
Thanks. I fully understand the impedance / buffer relationship. Combining the original Echoplex high impedance with the long cables ran back in the 70's must've rolled a heck of lot of top end off ! Those Plexis and moreso the JMP's do have a lot of treble on tap though.

I'm just surprised in 14 pages to not read a post regarding the SP's tonal influence and signal chain placement. Especially with it being so obvious. Maybe I hear it so clearly because I'm (50+) old school and use classic non master amps for drive. Whereas surely most younger players here utilize a variety boxes at their feet for their core tones. The simpler the chain is the greater each element exerts an influence.

Daz
I guess it’s because there isn’t a right answer and certainly no obvious placement for it. Depends on the rest of the rig.
 

andrew_d_k

Member
Messages
39
So I've had this for a while but not really focused on it other than brief tests. Today I spent some time.
Marshall 1973X and Historic LP's.

What it does is covered repeatedly here - but I've not read what people hear sonically about placement in the signal chain. There's preferences mentioned yes - but not actual details of why. And that surprises me as I'm hearing a clearly different result having it last in the chain, as is suggested, or followed by a buffered pedal.

Today I stripped down to the Secret and MXR EP 103 with 2 15ft Fulltone cables for simplicity sake. On it's own or following the MXR it rolls away top end. Having the MXR follow it the highs are back. Same result paired my Korg tuner.

OK so this is an obvious example of impedance and buffer doing what it does. But then why is the suggested Secret position last - where it has the most 'negative' effect ? Am I missing something ?

Daz
I have a Secret Preamp and am a fan. However I also own a ClinchFX EP PRE which I actually prefer. One of the reasons for this is that @ClinchFX have added some sort of output stage which has no effect on the tone but does drop the impedance, circumventing the issues you noted. It could be worth taking a look.
 

Dazza

Member
Messages
64
I have a Secret Preamp and am a fan. However I also own a ClinchFX EP PRE which I actually prefer. One of the reasons for this is that @ClinchFX have added some sort of output stage which has no effect on the tone but does drop the impedance, circumventing the issues you noted. It could be worth taking a look.
I'm a fan too, no complaints. I really like the 3D aspect that's frequently quoted. The 3 position tonal option will be a great asset when using different amps. I'd read about the Clinch having a different output impedance and can now relate what that means in practice. However I've no issues with running the EP103 after the SP - as it would be in an actual Echoplex. Until now I'd never actually bothered with the EP103 buffer option. A Korg tuner has always gone last providing a buffer & kill switch to the pedal board.

Certainly I'm in the minority around here basing my tone around old school amps rather than pedals. I'd wager few players tried their Secret Pre independent of their pedalboards before integrating it. Quite a cool addition to any rig.

Daz
 

Shoegazer47

Member
Messages
66
I have a Secret Preamp and am a fan. However I also own a ClinchFX EP PRE which I actually prefer. One of the reasons for this is that @ClinchFX have added some sort of output stage which has no effect on the tone but does drop the impedance, circumventing the issues you noted. It could be worth taking a look.
Same thing with me, my ClinchFX EP PRE is never off, can't live without the damn thing!
where do you keep it in the chain by the way? mine is after all the dirt and just before the fx loop of my amp. I have the SP as well but i was a bit underwhelmed after comparing it to the EP PRE
 

kidmandude

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,843
I have been using one for 3 or 4 years now and i think its an awesome pedal and use it on my large board with a lot going on. I use it right after all my fuzz/dirt,octavia, etc. Right before my AD900 and other delays and trems and weird stuff.

I notice a big difference with it off, i use the mini switch in the down position.
 
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andrew_d_k

Member
Messages
39
Same thing with me, my ClinchFX EP PRE is never off, can't live without the damn thing!
where do you keep it in the chain by the way? mine is after all the dirt and just before the fx loop of my amp. I have the SP as well but i was a bit underwhelmed after comparing it to the EP PRE
The EP-PRE is after my gain pedals but before delay and reverb. It's always on: I have a strong suspicion there is no need to tell you why :p :)

Anyway, hope I haven't hijacked the thread, back to the SP (apologies OP).
 

trojanhov

Member
Messages
574
I have the chasetone secret preamp on almost always since I bought it. Just adds such a sweetness to my sound. I play a z-28 1x10 with a 1x12 ext can. The chasetone secret preamp is last in the chain and gives me an extra level of attenuation on top of my brakelite. When I use it like this I put it in the bright setting and everything just sounds great at low volumes. When playing live I have it set a tad over unity volume in the middle position. What an awesome pedal!
 

run23

Member
Messages
566
So I've had this for a while but not really focused on it other than brief tests. Today I spent some time.
Marshall 1973X and Historic LP's.

What it does is covered repeatedly here - but I've not read what people hear sonically about placement in the signal chain. There's preferences mentioned yes - but not actual details of why. And that surprises me as I'm hearing a clearly different result having it last in the chain, as is suggested, or followed by a buffered pedal.

Today I stripped down to the Secret and MXR EP 103 with 2 15ft Fulltone cables for simplicity sake. On it's own or following the MXR it rolls away top end. Having the MXR follow it the highs are back. Same result paired my Korg tuner.

OK so this is an obvious example of impedance and buffer doing what it does. But then why is the suggested Secret position last - where it has the most 'negative' effect ? Am I missing something ?

Daz
Yeah - I just tested with just the Wampler Tumnus Deluxe's buffer (clicking on and off) and did notice a slight bit of high end coming back when the buffer was on. It's late at night and I'm in my apartment so I couldn't really test it too much or very loud, but it seemed to be enough of an effect for me to hear. I didn't test with just the Tumnus buffer to see if that was doing anything on its own. But yeah, weird that this has never been mentioned before if what I'm hearing is correct.

In any event, I use the buffer/trails mode on the El Capistan last in the chain, so that should take care of any buffering issues. And, a touch of high-end roll-off or not when last in the chain, I would still take this as the sound improvement more than compensates for any rolloff.
 

jazztastic

Member
Messages
313
Anyone else using there Secret Pre in the loop of a programmable switcher? If so, have you noticed any eccentricities?
 

mlkIII

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
628
Just got hip to this pedal and reading through this makes me want to pull the trigger on one. Seems that they are fairly inexpensive new but resell is through the roof? Does anyone know how long wait time is on these? 100 dollars more on reverb which is insane to me.
 

EpicEsquire

Member
Messages
2,292
Just got hip to this pedal and reading through this makes me want to pull the trigger on one. Seems that they are fairly inexpensive new but resell is through the roof? Does anyone know how long wait time is on these? 100 dollars more on reverb which is insane to me.

Got mine in 2 weeks - then ordered another one so I could run in stereo with the Secret Preamp as my last pedal on the L/R chain
 

mlkIII

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
628
Got mine in 2 weeks - then ordered another one so I could run in stereo with the Secret Preamp as my last pedal on the L/R chain
Awesome, thanks for quick response. Placing order tomorrow, can’t wait! Off topic, but are there any different modes of the red velvet fuzz from chase tone? I have seen the prices vary significantly and also in the market for nice silicon fuzz face that can still do germanium clean up (leaning toward Kingtone Mini Fuzz or Vemuram Myriad but the later is a bit too much for me financially right now). Seen a lot of guys using the red velvet (maybe 68 red velvet).
 

ledvedder

Member
Messages
606
I've been wondering, is the effect from this pedal audible in live situations? I can understand using it in a recording scenario but I'm not sure if it would be worth it in a live gig scenario.
 

EpicEsquire

Member
Messages
2,292
Awesome, thanks for quick response. Placing order tomorrow, can’t wait! Off topic, but are there any different modes of the red velvet fuzz from chase tone? I have seen the prices vary significantly and also in the market for nice silicon fuzz face that can still do germanium clean up (leaning toward Kingtone Mini Fuzz or Vemuram Myriad but the later is a bit too much for me financially right now). Seen a lot of guys using the red velvet (maybe 68 red velvet).
I don't know about the Red Face - I use the Eliora Fuzz
 

Kriig

Member
Messages
399
I've been wondering, is the effect from this pedal audible in live situations? I can understand using it in a recording scenario but I'm not sure if it would be worth it in a live gig scenario.
If anthing, it cuts slightly better with a Marshall type of circuit imho..
 




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