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Rack guys: recommend a preamp

Phydeaux

Member
Messages
613
I'm currently using an ADA MP-1 Classic, but the occasional glitch has caused me to question it's long term reliability, so I'm looking at other options. I'm sure this has been asked a thousand times, but what current preamp offers the ultimate in versatility ranging from Tweed and Blackface Fender all the way through modded Marshall Plexi tones? No Recto required, just the classics. Budget is around $1200.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,098
If you can push it up a little you could get an Axe-Fx ($1399 after discount, right?). You could also sell your multi-effects processor since you won't be needing it, and possibly your tube power amp and guitar cabs (to be replaced by a full range monitor speaker).

Other than that, I've never met a preamp that does everything well. If clean isn't critical, the JMP1 is cool; if you can live with a slight disconnected feeling the PSA1 works well. The Egnator/Randall stuff seems to work pretty well, although the "on the edge of breakup" stuff isn't 100% convincing (compared to a JTM45 for example). Those are the best 3 I can think of...
 
Messages
552
Hi
I owned most of the hiend preamps and have played many times through the ones I didn´t own myself.
Soldano X99 and X88, CAA 3+ SE, Mesa Triaxis, Mesa Studio, Grove Tubes Trio, Marshall JMP1, and many more.
And the only one I ever found to be as good as a good head/cab solution was the Soldano X99 - infact I still own it.
Also I find that it is insanely versatile both with regards to sounds (bf-tweed-dirty clean-crunch-od-higain) and features. It has 129 presets and midi controlled motors on the pots for the knobs = 100% analog signal path - you´ll know the difference in a heartbeat.
Good luck
RB
 

spazmonkey

Member
Messages
265
Try to find a used Rocktron era Egnater ie4. Great preamp. If you can swing some more $, dude the Egnater m4 is tha' titties!
 

mrt

Member
Messages
520
I would go with the JMP-1....

Great cleans, and AC/DC tones, I would also get a EQ with it to help shape the tone. Also GREAT for recording!
 

reo73

Member
Messages
1,247
I use a Studio Pre which has a great Fender claen and of course the Mesa Mark IIC+ lead tone. I use pedals (OCD and Modded Blues Driver) for all my medium gain tones. I feel this set-up is as versatile as anything with tones on more of the Fender/Mesa side of things than the Marshall side.
 

Stressfest

Member
Messages
3,819
Been through most of the ones mentioned here...started with the ADA-MP1 and went from the through the ranks to finally get to the CAE 3+SE. I eventually went back to the ADA ;)
 

photios

Member
Messages
552
Hi
I owned most of the hiend preamps and have played many times through the ones I didn´t own myself.
Soldano X99 and X88, CAA 3+ SE, Mesa Triaxis, Mesa Studio, Grove Tubes Trio, Marshall JMP1, and many more.
And the only one I ever found to be as good as a good head/cab solution was the Soldano X99 - infact I still own it.
Also I find that it is insanely versatile both with regards to sounds (bf-tweed-dirty clean-crunch-od-higain) and features. It has 129 presets and midi controlled motors on the pots for the knobs = 100% analog signal path - you´ll know the difference in a heartbeat.
Good luck
RB
I love my X99...its way versatile and has great tone. The only trouble is that I don't think it will fit your budget...lately they've been getting $3K IIRC.
 

Phydeaux

Member
Messages
613
Seems to be lots of Egnater fans out there. As this is a bit out of my price range, some have suggested the Randall RM4.
 

voodoosound

Funk & Grooven member
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,211
Hi
I owned most of the hiend preamps and have played many times through the ones I didn´t own myself.
Soldano X99 and X88, CAA 3+ SE, Mesa Triaxis, Mesa Studio, Grove Tubes Trio, Marshall JMP1, and many more.
And the only one I ever found to be as good as a good head/cab solution was the Soldano X99 - infact I still own it.
Also I find that it is insanely versatile both with regards to sounds (bf-tweed-dirty clean-crunch-od-higain) and features. It has 129 presets and midi controlled motors on the pots for the knobs = 100% analog signal path - you´ll know the difference in a heartbeat.
Good luck
RB
I have found both my Bogner Fish and my Matchless GRP to be just as toneful as my Bogner xtc and Macthless Superchief.

In fact, you would be better off to run a halfway decent preamp through a top notch pwer amp rather than the other way around. The preamp is only as good as its power amp. Which is the reason that many think a head sounds better than a pre/power amp setup.
 

MesieBooga

Member
Messages
666
I have found both my Bogner Fish and my Matchless GRP to be just as toneful as my Bogner xtc and Macthless Superchief.

In fact, you would be better off to run a halfway decent preamp through a top notch pwer amp rather than the other way around. The preamp is only as good as its power amp. Which is the reason htat many thing a head sounds better than a pre/power amp setup.

I had one of them Matchless GRP's. What power amp makes that sound like a head?
 

voodoosound

Funk & Grooven member
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,211
I couldn't get that pre to sound very good. Plugging directly into a DC30 was tonefull bliss immediately though!
It's a collectable pre amp though. And hey they look cool in racks. ;)
Did you sum both channels together? Thats where all the magic is. It was able to be as huge as my Superchief with just as much OD and Gain as my fish. I would not sell it for any dollar amount.
 

MesieBooga

Member
Messages
666
Did you sum both channels together? Thats where all the magic is. It was able to be as huge as my Superchief with just as much OD and Gain as my fish. I would not sell it for any dollar amount.
I don't think I tried that! Clips!!!!??

Been many years though and I remember no info anywhere about it.

Wish I had a FISH still though!
 

oxtone

Member
Messages
5,023
Look for a used Boogie Studio Preamp - good clean for a pedal board, like I do these days. The distortion is Boogie thick in the lead channel. I power it with a Boogie Simul 2:90, and it sounds HUGE.

I also have a Marshall JMP-1, and it's very good, too. Sounds like a Marshall, and is very tweak-able. But, the JMP-1 does not sound good with the Boogie Simul 2:90. The two are just not made for each other. I've used the JMP-1 direct for recording, and it sounds great with the Cabinet
Simulator outs - Marshall really dialed that in very well.
 

3 Mile Stone

Member
Messages
5,935
Try to find a used Rocktron era Egnater ie4. Great preamp. If you can swing some more $, dude the Egnater m4 is tha' titties!
+1. I saw one go for $500 on eBay, ridiculously good tone for the money, just silly cheap for how good those sound. But if you can't find a Rocktron Egnater iE4, then look at the Randall modular series, also designed by Eganter. Dozens of amp modules to choose from (design your own four channel pre-amp) and those go for less than $1200 I think new, much less used.
 

Hamer95USA

Member
Messages
2,872
Hey phydeaux,

If your ADA MP-1 Classic occasionally glitches, you may want to replace the lithium battery. I've been using an 2 ADA Depot 3TM "Ultra" modded MP-1 preamps modded by Hairston Bagg of ADA Depot for the past couple of years in my guitar rack rigs. I love the high gain tones that I can get in the distorted tube channel, the clean tube channel sounds quite brown, and the solid state channel still has that Roland JC-120 sound that I really like.

Guitar George
 




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