High gain metal preamp recommendations

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by Bentayuk, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. jaykay73

    jaykay73 Member

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    @cap217 I would say the Rivera KR7 is a magnificent amp, not just for metal, but I'm not arguing the tone is better, just different. Sensational amplifier all round with the usual Rivera build quality.

    JK
     
  2. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    I never found my GP3 a boat anchor at all BUT I didn't like the clean channel at all, the Channel3 was ok , and Channel 2 was great, but there was a switch that wasn't switchable via footswitch that was 100% necessary (For me) to be switchable and so I sold it. I was bummed it wasn't switchable and the Channel3 wasn't useable to me as I liked CHannel 2 more. . Oh well.. As for other preamps I've owned hmmmm

    Rocktron/Egnater IE4 -was pretty good .. liked the GP3 a bit more maybe
    ADA MP1 original - liked a lot for a few tones
    ADA Mp1- 3 tube modded- liked a lot for about 1 tone
    Hiwatt 2000 preamp- I like the cleans a lot, and the mild break up a lot.. Hi -gain wouldn't be my 1st choice of course
    ENGL 620 - oldie, still have and like the gain channel a good deal
    Marshall JMP1- love the idea ,etc but felt all my Marshall amps really sounded better so sold it
    PV Rockmaster- liked the hi-gain but not more than the Engl
    Kasha Rockmod- Burn channel was great hi-gain but didn't like the other 2 channels
    Morin - Still have this one and need to dig it out! It's a hi-gain 1 channel guy that sounds great

    I've probably had more but forget ... ha. Always wanted 1 of the modern Engls and to be honest always wanted to try a Triaxis but just don't need any other guitar gear at this point! Eric
     
  3. vick1000

    vick1000 Member

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  4. Bentayuk

    Bentayuk Supporting Member

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    Anyone used a Mesa Studio preamp?

    I know it’s based on a Mark II.
    I played the Mk IIC+ mode on my old Mark V:25, and it was great, but not exactly modern metal ready compared to the Mk IV setting.
     
  5. teofilrocks

    teofilrocks Supporting Member

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    I just gave Myasnikov the go ahead to build me a 3+SE and Mark IV preamp. :eek:
     
  6. onedge custom

    onedge custom Member

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    As posted, I own one and its great, however will need a boost pedal to get it to sound modern hi gain. That’s not a problem but it is a factor. It is also a2RU unit and quite heavy and lacks midi. The other down side like all of the earlier Mk Series is the shared EQ control. The result is nice crunch channel/compromises on lead or vice versa.

    Once more... find a Rocktron Piranha
     
  7. Bentayuk

    Bentayuk Supporting Member

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    Haven’t had any luck as yet.
     
  8. rstites

    rstites Member

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    I've never played any amp or preamp that didn't benefit from a boost out front. Even if the amp doesn't need it to get enough gain, it benefits from the tone sculpting out from in my experience. The MkIII Boogies get plenty of gain for modern metal, but I'd back that off and blast the front with an OD (or really quiet EQ) to get that sound.

    I've played a Rocktron Piranha years ago and recall them being nice preamps, so no argument about trying one out.
     
  9. Robotechnology

    Robotechnology Silver Supporting Member

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    I’d go TriAxis or JMP-1 before I go Piranha personally. That particular Rocktron model didn’t last more than a month with me where as the TriAxis is still here 10 years later. I could only dial in one good tone with the Piranha and I didn’t need a midi preamp for that.

    I’ve owned:

    VHT GP3
    Rocktron Pro GAP
    Rocktron Chameleon
    Rocktron Piranha
    Kitty Hawk Quattro
    Egnater IE4
    Mesa TriAxis
    Carvin Quad-X
    ADA MP-1
    Digitech GSP-21
    Digitech Twin Tube GFX-1

    TriAxis is hands down my favorite. Didn’t like Pro GAP and I couldn’t make more than 1 Preset with the Piranha. I actually liked the Chameleon. The Quattro has a nice hot rodded Marshall tone but was pretty noisy. I can hang with the IE4... not a bad unit. Quad X is GREAT for leads and cleans but can’t use it for rhythms without a boost pedal (but it does have individual channel loops that save status so you can do that without tap dancing). I had the MP-1 twice. The first time around I felt it was meh. The second time I was like what was wrong with me then!?! The GSP-21 was meh but had decent effects. The Twin Tube was better than the GSP (I know that’s not saying much). The GP3 was very cool... did not feel it lacked in gain... lots of cool tones in it.

    My top three are:

    TriAxis
    Quad-X
    GP3

    I’ve never owned the JMP-1 but, have played with other who have and like their tones (and I’ve spent a few minutes playing it too). I suspect it would bounce one of the above (not the Mesa) out and make it into the top 3.
     
  10. looper309

    looper309 Member

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    The mere fact that the Marshall JMP-1 is rare to find and still commands a high price should tell you something.
    Sold mine ten years ago, still kicking myself. Will acquire again.
     
  11. Bentayuk

    Bentayuk Supporting Member

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    I’ve never heard modern high gain tone from the JMP-1. So I’ll have to take another look.
     
  12. onedge custom

    onedge custom Member

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    The big problem with the Triaxis is the cost of repair. They are full of LDRs and the membrane pads are also a weak point. While the system of using electronics to mimic an analogue pot is quite ingenious, it is also very complex AND stuffed into a 1RU rack its a nightmare when they go down.

    The Triaxis is (in terms of sounds) a clear pack leader if you like he Mk sound but they are expensive to buy and almost prohibitively expensive to repair. I also found that sound wise, I prefer my Studio Pre with a boost out front (heaps cheaper and easy to repair - just sacrifices midi and is 2RU - with rack gear, IMHO, space and midi (or lack thereof) is a big pair of issues). Consider that actual EQ sliders as in the actual MK amps and the Studio Pre/Quad, will offer more to the ability to dial in than the dreaded dynamic voice preconfigured EQ changes on the Triaxis...

    I also struggle with the point you raised re the Piranha with making “1 preset” with with the Piranha. Mate, it has 128 preset storage “slots”, with 3 distinct voices (clean, crunch, lead) and a sweepable parametric Mid range EQ and also an input boost and an FX loop (also saveable) . At the least you have a workable clean, crunch and lead tone and then you can go nuts sweeping, boosting and cutting the mids to your hearts desire

    At any rate, the OP now has 4 pages of posts listing essentially any and every preamp there is. I am sure that they can use the sage advice to work out one for their taste!
     
  13. MkIII Renegade

    MkIII Renegade Member

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    To me, ultimate TONE is more important than millions of options. If if doesn't matter to you, why bother with tubes? Just go all digital modeler and call it a day.

    But if high quality tone matters:

    Mesa Boogie Quad (KING of tone for me, and somewhat affordable as a bonus)
    Mesa Boogie Triaxis (more programmable than Quad, but can't match toanz)
    Marshall JMP-1
    Soldano X99 (in theory....you'd have to find one first!)
     
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  14. MkIII Renegade

    MkIII Renegade Member

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    The Quad is head and shoulders above it in my book. It's effectively a IIC and III No Stripe grafted together. The III No Stripe has a lot of IIC+ character and is my personal favorite lead channel of all Boogies. You have R1 on the IIC section for crystal clean, L1 for anything from nasty AC/DC crunch to very hot leads. On the III section, you have R2 for metal crunch and L2 for searing MEGA lead. I pair mine with a Stereo Simul-Class 2:90 and it beats anything else for me. :bow

    No EQ is shared among the two sections, not even the graphic! :rockin And no BS either, just knobs and sliders.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Bentayuk

    Bentayuk Supporting Member

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    The Engl e530 is in the lead, mainly because it’s the only one I’ve found so far!
     
  16. Robotechnology

    Robotechnology Silver Supporting Member

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    OMG... I forgot about the ENGL E570! I had one of those too but sold it because I got the Special Edition Head that it was based on. If you want modern metal then, that is your preamp!

    Regarding my thoughts on the Piranha, I didn’t like the fundamental tones that unit put out. So I didn’t need to use the 127 other slots. I was only able to program 1 tone in it that I liked which is why I quickly decided to sell it. That preamp just wasn’t for me. Doesn’t mean it won’t work for anyone else, just not for me.
     
  17. Bentayuk

    Bentayuk Supporting Member

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    If I could find a 570 under 1K, I’d be interested. But not such luck.
    I think the 530 will do a fine job!
     
  18. Leon Todd

    Leon Todd Member

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    My GAS for a Quad just went sky high!
     
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  19. Christos rock

    Christos rock Member

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    I had both the studio and the quad preamps from mesa.
    Very nice preamps and very organic but not for modern metal. Unless you play them through a power amp like a recto 2:100 or something like that, to give them that modern twist, i don't think they qualify for modern metal.

    In comparison,
    The quad's first channel it's not exactly as fat and open as the studio pre and the problem with the second channel is that, it was very tight for rythm playing. Couldn't use it for anything else than old metallica. Very uninspiring, to me anyway.
    I also have the recto pre.

    I had the engl e530 and that has a modern touch by itself. So the e570 should be more to your liking ;)
     
  20. Bentayuk

    Bentayuk Supporting Member

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    Has anyone played a Kartakou Colosuss Preamp?
     

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