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I don't get the whole "preamp pedal into the amp" thing.

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by james..., Jun 3, 2020.

  1. james...

    james... Supporting Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    North Georgia
    This has always just seemed like a recipe for disappointment IMO. Running say, a Dumble preamp pedal or Brown Eye pedal into a Vox or Marshall amp is just gonna sound like two amps fighting each other most of the time, right?

    I suppose if a pedal maker wanted to take a specific amp and voice a preamp pedal around it so that it specifically took that amp's tone stack into account and morphed it into the preamp's desired flavor? Seems like that would work.

    I remember taking a Brown Eye preamp pedal through a store of Amps and played it through 6-8 amps before we found one that it didn't sound "fake" on.

    Any thoughts about this? Is my reasoning flawed or do I raise some good points?
  2. PatrickE_FenderADV

    PatrickE_FenderADV Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Tampa Bay
  3. captaincoconut

    captaincoconut Member

    Dec 8, 2014
    You're wrong. Most pedal builders that I know of actually do think of a specific amp when designing their amp-in-a-box/preamp pedals. Usually it's the clean Fender type of amp as they're commonly used amps in backline situations: Fender Twin, Super Reverb, Deluxe Reverb and of course the newer Hotrod Deluxe style amps.
  4. TL;DR

    TL;DR Member

    May 17, 2020
    My ethos has a switch which supposedly allows it to play nicer with amps. I just use it as a recording preamp, so I’ve never tried. It sound great going into a Mesa 50/50 and out to cabs, but that extra 100 lbs defeated the whole purpose of the beastie
    Cgkindler and amstrtatnut like this.
  5. Tzirfigu

    Tzirfigu Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    I was on the same boat, but then I had the chance to get one of those kingsley jesters for a good price and have to say Im floored woth that pedal.

    I dont know how simon make them, all I know is the hype is real.
  6. d-rock

    d-rock Member

    Jun 3, 2009
    The preamp pedal thing can work to get people a baseline tone regardless of amps their using. Lots of pros will have an "always on" pedal because they need a solid foundation and familiarity of response/dirt for their other pedals to play nice with regardless of backline amp.
  7. sleewell

    sleewell Member

    Sep 10, 2012
    i dont have much experience with them but i think its kinda a good idea. say you don't have the 2k or more for a diezel you can spend a couple hundred and probably get close enough for govt work. if you arent needing or wanting the exact sound you could get a few different flavors of sounds for much cheaper than buying each amp.
  8. Edoardo_P

    Edoardo_P Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    Venice, Europe
    I cannot tell whether we don't get the same thing, (do we?)
    I don't get amp-in-a-box pedals that no one bothers to test as standalone preamps in 2020.

    If I got this correctly (don't trust me on this) AFAIR most pedal manufacturers adjust their "amp-in-a-box" pedal outputs to match the "tone" of the preamp section of another guitar amplifier.
    Thus they won't sound as good if used as a standalone preamp.

    I've seen a few amp-in-a-box pedals being sold as 'guitar preamps" for a while, and then being swapped to the "overdrives" section of the same e-commerce sites in a matter of months or weeks.
    Did they sound really bad, when used as standalone preamps?

    Is it because most people aren't aware IR loaders are a thing? (that's surely the case in my area)

    Is it because most people own a combo amp and thus they're the target audience no matter what the manufacturer intended the pedal to do?

    I've been looking into standalone preamp pedals for a while now.

    There are only a few, high-end companies that bother to manufacture an amp-in-a-box pedal and market it as a preamp pedal... Meaning, actually telling the users, hey, "this will sound great as a preamp!"

    This leaves me wondering what the missing link is, between:
    • an amp-in-a-box "overdrive"
    • a "preamp" pedal
    • an actual standalone "preamp" (pedal).

    Because I don't get the whole "turn your amp into another amp" thing either.
    I just want a great solid state preamp. Something I can, you know, bring to a gig, or drop from a desk without having to worry to much about it

    I don't get the whole "turn your amp into another amp buying our gimmick" either...
  9. darkwaters

    darkwaters Member

    May 12, 2013
    I have several, a Boss FDR-1 and a Joyo AS. I think they're great. They each have their own thing going, but they're definitely "always on" pedals.
    mleffler likes this.
  10. scotty31

    scotty31 Member

    Jul 26, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've put 3 different JTM45's up against a Kingsley Constable.
    The Constable wins each and every time. I like that i can run it FOA into my KT66 based amp that is just breaking up and it adds a creamy, punchy classic drive that gels perfectly with the amp.
    Samarasa, abyss, PRSAtomic and 4 others like this.
  11. Stratburst70

    Stratburst70 Member

    May 25, 2013
    Any overdrive pedal is basically a preamp, so it’s basically about finding a pedal that plays well with your amplifier.

    Nearly all pedals are designed to work well with most amps, especially the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe which is arguably the best selling tube amp. On the other hand, I find my Mesa Mark V:25 extremely finicky when it comes to pedals.
    Peppy, Bucksears, HeavyCream and 4 others like this.
  12. Jim Marciano

    Jim Marciano Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2018
    I don't think a vox or Marshall have ever been described as a good platform amp, so they usually would not be a good place to try an aiab, more than half the aiab pedals are Marshalls anyway

    But if you do have a vox or marshall and they have a loop you could try running a preamp there or even fancier are the synergy preamps
    RMosack and HeavyCream like this.
  13. MrTAteMyBalls

    MrTAteMyBalls Member

    Nov 21, 2010

    The two modern Marshalls I had were both terrible with pedals. The vintage plexi was amazing with pedals. It was just like they became part of the amp.

    It is STUPID loud to get that thing to break up so I think a MIAB pedal might work well just as an additional gain stage in a vintage amp. Never tried it but would be interested for sure.
  14. TheOtherEric

    TheOtherEric Member

    Dec 6, 2019
    I don’t really get it either; seems like the pedal maker should say exactly what amp it’s intended to be used in front of.

    Or is every one simply intended to be used in front of a fender?
  15. deegee

    deegee Member

    Jun 28, 2008
    Tulsa Ok
    Used a Boss FA-1 pre-amp into a 1975 Marshall JMP for over 20 years. No complaints here, great tone.
    Sparadrap likes this.
  16. George72

    George72 Member

    Jun 2, 2020
    I use a Subdecay Liquid Sunshine v2 as the last pedal in my chain. While not technically an AIAB pedal, it does have a tweedy thing going on. At home I use it to attenuate my whole signal so I can get a nice big breakup sound at low volume. In the last couple years when playing live I’ve used an Orange halfstack, Tweed Bassman, Roland solid state, and Tweed Deluxe clone and I’ve found that the Subdecay preamp gave me remarkable consistency with these disparate amps with minimal tweaking. With varying flavours, I always easily found ‘my tone’.
    flatdream and gaelicsolus like this.
  17. aaronjcurtis

    aaronjcurtis Member

    Jun 11, 2017
    Planet Earth
    This. Just look at the manual for the Benson Preamp. Settings based on a Telecaster into flat Twin (or Super can’t remember) Reverb.
  18. Atmospheric

    Atmospheric Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    Newberg, OR
    Amp in a box pedals have never worked for me either. But then my personal philosophy is that I need a handful of tones that function the way I need them to. Seriously, like 2-3 tops. Ideally, I'd also like them to inspire me. I don't ever need to cop some other tone exactly. Nor do I want to.
    Hank Habanero likes this.
  19. twoheadedboy

    twoheadedboy Member

    May 23, 2005
    What does two amps fighting each other sound like?
  20. Slicklickz

    Slicklickz Member

    Jan 30, 2013
    If you run into the loop return the pedal will be the preamp and the amp will just be the power section and speaker.So that basically takes the amps voicing and preamp out of the equation.
    Toffo, Datsyuk, Alchemist XP and 9 others like this.

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