Fender clean-sound compact preamp suggestions?

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by mrCharlie, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. mrCharlie

    mrCharlie Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Been searching for a "compact" preamp that can produce a Fender clean sound. Ideally, pedal sized. The preamp will plug DIRECTLY into a solid state power amp, so all tone would come from the preamp.
    Any suggestions? Many thanks!!
     
  2. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    22,137
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    The best and most flexible I know is the Sansamp. The original pedal not the GT3 or Triod. It's a little weird to get comfortable with the dip switches but it does a spot on Fender (tweed or BF) sound, it's not expensive, and when you're not using it for an amp sim it makes a great OD.
     
  3. jay42

    jay42 Member

    Messages:
    6,800
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location:
    Sandy Eggo
  4. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

    Messages:
    1,875
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
  5. donnyjaguar

    donnyjaguar Member

    Messages:
    4,243
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    If you want to cheap out I can recommend the Alesis DSP pedal. I've recorded directly into a computer soundcard and it sounds perfectly fine. There's 3 speaker settings and you can do a pretty good open-back emulation with reverb.
     
  6. jay42

    jay42 Member

    Messages:
    6,800
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location:
    Sandy Eggo
    hmm...just noticed this half of the equation. Power amp input requirements vary by the amount of power they offer. Put another way, they are usually fixed gain. A 9V powered stompbox may or may not have enough level to drive your PA. An 18V supplied box should be adequate.
     
  7. Paul Conway

    Paul Conway Member

    Messages:
    4,278
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    Devon, UK
    Tech 21 Blonde? Award-Session JD-10?
     
  8. erikm5150

    erikm5150 Member

    Messages:
    564
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    from my experience, i have used 3 things that can get the job done:

    a damage control womanizer tube preamp pedal
    a yamaha magicstomp
    a tech 21 sansamp

    i currently use the womanizer and the magicstomp live with a mosvalve poweramp.
     
  9. doc

    doc Member

    Messages:
    5,710
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    Haven't tried 'em, but I'd definitely check out the Boss Fender emulation pedals. Probably try the Bassman version first.
     
  10. mwc2112

    mwc2112 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,672
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Location:
    Wylie, Tx (DFW area)
    The new Tech 21 Blonde pedal wipes the floor with the Boss pedals.
     
  11. mrCharlie

    mrCharlie Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Thanks so much for many excellent suggestions.

    I owned some solid state or digital pedals (e.g., Sans Amp Classic, Award-Session JD-10, Zoom G-2), liked them, but found myself missing the "glassiness" of a fender tube circuit. I will gladly try the suggestions you offered.

    My guess is that I'll be happiest if I can find a clean-Fender sounding Showman/Blackface tube preamp that's built into a pedal or small box. Voodoo Lab has a wonderful 1-rack space pre-amp, which I own - my goal is to find something smaller so I can build it into a small case (for small gigs & as a back-up)

    Anyone have any suggestion for a compact tube preamp?
     
  12. jay42

    jay42 Member

    Messages:
    6,800
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location:
    Sandy Eggo
    That's an Alembic F2-B. 1U rack space. The power supply makes it a bit hard to cram into a half-width or smaller package.
     
  13. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,308
    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Tweaking it carefully, my V-Stack Tweedy does a pretty convincing job through my acoustic amp. Better through the amps tube pre than through the line in - more EQ and reverb available. What I think is a good test is hitting the V-Stack with another pedal. I can get distortion that has dynamics and complexity, hitting it with a two stage gain pedal. Same gain pedal directly into the front of the acoustic amp sounds pretty nasty (no surprise). I use it a couple of ways - I carry the pedal as a backup, use it to run the acoustic amp stereo with a tube amp and use it to give may National a different feel in acoustic settings.

    I listened to the DR and Bassman pedals when they first came out and directly to a board they sounded pretty awful. There are clips of the Ethos pedal clean into a solid state amp on the website and clips of this pedal recorded direct on this page. I've seen Micro Cubes used for this purpose too - gives you backup effects as well as a couple of useful amp tones.
     
  14. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,304
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Home of the ex-world champion Cavs
  15. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,304
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Home of the ex-world champion Cavs
    H&K tubeman is cool but doesn't have reverb. The Fuchs verbrator sounds great. Not exactly a fender tone but I use it with a SS bass amp to make the amp sound like a tube amp *AND* it has reverb.

    The boss pedals are awful by the way. Sansamp is ok but doesn't really sound like a clean tube amp. The Alembic *IS* a fender preamp but it's bigger than what you're looking for. The (discontinued) Allen Soul-mate is a fender preamp in a stomp box. Good luck finding one. He also made some "improvements" to the circuit which cause it to lose some of the fender vibe IMO.
     
  16. mrCharlie

    mrCharlie Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2008
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    JGM - like a lot of solid state/digital pedals, like you, I've found they sound best through tubes.

    Listening to everyone, there appears to be a number of ss pedals that get close to a glassy clean fender sound, and that's been my experience, also. Did I misunderstand anyone's suggestions here?

    So I guess I'm looking for a compact (smaller than one rack space) tube pre-amp.

    Jay42 - The Alembic is a great suggestion, where it not for the size. Anyone interested in the Alembic might check Voodoo Labs preamp (it's a Fender clean + 2 more channels).

    jzucker - I will be using a T-Rex Roomate reverb pedal, so a preamp without reverb is fine. I'm wondering if H&K's pedals have a clean fender design? I know you like it, but do you think it's the sound I'm looking for?

    Anyone own a Siegmund DoubleDrive? I once spoke with Chris (owner) who didn't seem to want to answer the question of it's EQ/sound. Sounds like it has the glassiness, but not sure about the appoximate EQ of a fender.

    There's a guy in Canada, Stephenson, would makes a tube pedal. Anyone familiar with it?

    Thanks again!!!! for all your terrific help. I really apprecate it.
     
  17. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,304
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Home of the ex-world champion Cavs
    the tube factor (the original model) sounded very fenderish but had reliability issues. Haven't tried their newer stuff.
     
  18. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,308
    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    You know, if the Voodoo unit gets what you want (and you already own it), there are a lot of pedal boards with rack spaces built in these days. Might be simpler.

    Jack - what's the story on the Fuchs unit? Tried running it direct?

    Sure hope the pedal maunfacturers are reading all this, there are a lot of folks who could make use of and amp in a can to put on our pedal boards.
     
  19. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

    Messages:
    20,304
    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    Location:
    Home of the ex-world champion Cavs
    The fuchs is a dumblator pedal with built-in digital reverb. It uses a standard 9v adapter but bumps that up to over 200V on the plates of the tube. It's got a great, tubey tone with a great digital reverb built in. It works great in front of an amp too. I plugged it into my markbass LMII and was very impressed how it turned that into a "tube" amp.
     
  20. 62Tele

    62Tele Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,308
    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Looked at the website, not listed yet. Are these in production now?

    BTW - how did the Allen units sound?
     

Share This Page