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  1. #1

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    Hello, I recently started recording directly into my audio interface or playing through a PA. I realized that I need a good preamp pedal. I use a strat and an ES175. I mainly play just clean jazz and a bit of funk.

    Are there any good preamp pedals that offer good jazz tone and maybe a bit of drive? Price limit is 500$.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Hi Ryo,
    I'm sure you're going to get a lot of responses here and there have been a number of similar threads in the last year.

    You write "preamp" but I suspect what you're really looking for is an "amp in a box" with some form of speaker cabinet emulation. That power amp and speaker emulation is important if you want to avoid a very exposed direct sound and actually want it to sound like you are playing through an amp in a physical space.

    I'll offer two suggestions:

    The Strymon Iridium at $399.
    It features three flavours of amp (Fender, Vox, Marshall), three speaker choices for each (with the ability to swap in others), reverb/ambience. It can be run into your recording interface or a PA.



    The Quilter SuperBlock US at $249.
    This is an solid-state amp in a pedal format. It offers three flavours of Fender type amps, reverb, three types of speaker emulation. It can be run into an interface, PA or used to drive a speaker cabinet.


  4. #3
    Yes!! I am looking for a guitar pedal instead of an actual "preamp". After a few minutes of research, I came across the Tech 21 SansAmp GT2.

    Is this pedal good?

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryo17
    Yes!! I am looking for a guitar pedal instead of an actual "preamp". After a few minutes of research, I came across the Tech 21 SansAmp GT2.

    Is this pedal good?
    The Tech 21 is a good pedal, not expensive but AFAIK the technology inside is not as advanced as in the models by Strymon etc. You should also consider that the vast majority of users place more emphasis on the overdrive capabilities of these pedals so accordingly, the clean tones are somewhat under-exposed ...

  6. #5

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    Some are preamps, some have tubes.
    Some have many features, some have few.
    I use a couple that work fine for me, but there are tons of choices to get you there.
    Both are preamps - one is solid state, one has a tube in it.
    Both are fairly simple, and neither were designed to specifically reference or emulate amps by makers like Fender, Marshall, Dumble and so forth. I just plug them in and twiddle the knobs until they sound right.
    Attached Images Attached Images Best affordable Preamp PEDAL!!-koch-63-od-jpg Best affordable Preamp PEDAL!!-carl-martin-3-band-parametric-preamp-eq-main-jpg 
    Last edited by Hammertone; 05-13-2021 at 06:22 AM.

  7. #6

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    I recently went down a similar path. Here's my thread, give it a quick read. The situation may be a little different, but here's the link: Budget Traveling Rig?

    I got multiple recommendations for both the Joyo American Sound and the Ethos Clean II Preamp. The Joyo is $40 and the Ethos is $250 IIRC. I recall posting that I would go for the Joyo, but I actually ended up splurging for the Ethos preamp. I really like the Ethos. It sounds incredible, FEELS even better, but connectivity is somewhat limited because there is no XLR and there is no headphone output for practice. The Joyo doesn't have these features either, but I don't expect it to at $40.

    Honestly, I should have gone for the Joyo. Dont't get me wrong, the Ethos is of much higher quality, much more versatile (in terms of sounds), and I love the idea of supporting a small American business. For my situation, I needed a temporary fix and the Joyo would have been more economical.

    If all you need is a clean platform and/or a temporary solution, the Joyo and an active DI box will serve you just fine. If you can appreciate the features and quality of the Ethos pedal and are in a financial situation where it makes sense, there is no better analog preamp on the market IMO. I just wish it had an XLR out and headphones to make the purchase more justifiable.

  8. #7

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    I have been considering this one.

  9. #8

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    I have Thomann's rebranded Version of the Joyo, the Harley Benton American True Tone. 29,90 € shipped.
    I also have a tech 21 fly rig – roughly the same with the added effects – that I use to DI in our funk band as we have a strict in-ear regiment. The Harley Benton preamp is a bit more versatile as you can blend the voice from a 60s blackface to a 50s tweed amp – mostly adding mids and dirt.
    Both do a great job. None sounds exactly like a real amp – but I doubt that a Kemper does.
    They work good enough for me. Once I could choose between the fly rig > DI > Mixing Desk and my Vibrolux Reverb at a gig. A/B test in the sound check. I ended up with the fly rig and missed nothing.
    I also gigged with the Harley Benton and just asked for a little bit of reverb. That also worked.

  10. #9

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    You might want to check out the DSM/Humboldt Simplifier. An all-analog "zero watt amplifier" with gobs of features.

    Here's the builder's website...

    DSM & HUMBOLDT SIMPLIFIER, first zero watt stereo amplifier

    "...good jazz tone and maybe a bit of drive"? Here's a fairly brief, two thumbs up demonstration (and there are many more out there, several pretty long IMO). Brett here shows the clean tones as well as all the parameter adjustments, each one briefly cuz there are really so many on board that you can mess around with. There's nothing particularly 'jazzy' played here but you'll get the general idea...



    I've not tried the Simplifier yet myself, but there's been a ton of buzz in certain places. Here's a crazy long thread over at TGP, but I think that reading over the first few pages might fill you in...

    Dsm/humboldt Simplifier: A Review | The Gear Page

    The original model usually streets for $299 (with possibly some sites offering sales or coupons) so it's within your budget. There's also a new model just out that I know basically nothing about yet, but it maybe looks to be somewhat like a dual channel combo of the original. See their site for more info.

    Hope this helps!

  11. #10

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    If spending that kind of money you can look for a used line6 hx stomp (plenty around as the new hx stomp xl has been introduced). Portable, it can be a great preamp and can do everything else as well. It can also be a great preamp for acoustic and classical guitars.

    If into a straight ahead preamp pedal, the strymon and atomic amplifire ones are great.

  12. #11

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    Big thumbs up for the Helix Stomp - that is really an all-around solution when minimal gear is a prerequisite. It can plug into the FOH, a powered monitor, any amp that might already be at the venue and you have complete control over your tone, IF you spend some time and learn the architecture of the unit- it's a must (but no science degree needed) since there are so many parameters that can be/have to be adjusted, depending on the room etc. I can be ready for any gig with this, a miniature volume pedal, an extra bank up/down footswitch and a few cables and all this incl. powercables/converters fits into a normal messenger bag.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by IMadeYouReadThis
    If all you need is a clean platform and/or a temporary solution, the Joyo and an active DI box will serve you just fine.
    hi , a thought on that
    i’ve used the Harley Benton american sound (same as the Joyo) into the PA
    on a couple of gigs without a separate
    DI box and it works fine ....


    quoting from the Tech 21 blond manual

    “1/4” UNIVERSAL OUTPUT: Unbalanced 1kOhm Low Z output.This output can be con- nected to High Z guitar amplifiers (or effects) as well as Low Z mixer and computer inputs. Output level is unity gain when pedal is in bypass mode.When activated, the output level can range from instru- ment level to line level depending on your settings.Also drives long cables without loss of signal integrity, even in bypass.”

  14. #13

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    I perform these days (and record in the studio) with a BRUTE preamp pedal, made by forum member jazzmus.

    The pedal is designed to replicate the preamp circuit of the iconic, Polytone MiniBrute amplifier, which has been used by jazz guitarists for 50 years and is a favorite of forum members.

    The pedal accurately replicates the Baxandall tone circuitry of the Polytone amp--which, like Ampeg amps, provides true flat response when the bass, middle, and treble controls are set at 12 o'clock. Advance the knobs beyond this point and you are boosting response; move the knobs below 12 o'clock and you are reducing response below flat. The Baxandall tone stack is subjectively way better than the Fender/Marshall/Vox tone stack--which is notoriously difficult to find a "flat" response on.

    I have no problem getting a great jazz guitar sound--straight into the mixing board or straight into the PA--with jazzmus' BRUTE pedal. Jazzmus makes two versions--the simpler one is the one I use, on the left.
    Best affordable Preamp PEDAL!!-brute-eq-current-pedals-jpg

  15. #14

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    Plus one for the Joyo American Sound. With knobs for Low/Mid/High and Level /Voice/Drive you can craft any tone you want. For under $50, its a small risk for a potentially big reward. Will run on batteries,* or a 9v adapter.

    * In the first year that I had my first-run RockMan, I spent more on batteries than the unit itself. I very quickly ordered their proprietary adapter. Just sayin'.

  16. #15

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    I bought some rechargeable 9V lithium batteries, and that's a good investment. I use adapters at home most of the time, but sometimes batteries. The rechargeable batteries quickly pay for themselves.

  17. #16

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    For recording, can't you plug straight into your audio interface and then use an amp sim/speaker sim software?

    Me plugged direct into interface using amplitube, the free version which comes with lots of amps and cabinets and effects. Might as well try it, it's free.


  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    For recording, can't you plug straight into your audio interface and then use an amp sim/speaker sim software?

    Me plugged direct into interface using amplitube, the free version which comes with lots of amps and cabinets and effects. Might as well try it, it's free.

    This is my method. I use Amplitube as well. I did just get a Joyo American that I’m eager to test out, too.

  19. #18

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    I like that the Humboldt Simplifier has lots and lots of knobs and switches on it - makes it look kind of ... complicated

    but unironically I do like knobs. I think it’s good all these digital devices like the Iridium are going the way of knobs. Wee screens, not so into those.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryo17
    Yes!! I am looking for a guitar pedal instead of an actual "preamp". After a few minutes of research, I came across the Tech 21 SansAmp GT2.

    Is this pedal good?
    I use a Palmer Pocket Amp, which is a clone of the GT2 but with the inclusion of a DI XLR, an auxiliary input, and a headphone amp. It can also be battery powered. I've been using it for about 4 years now and I still really like it.

    For a clean jazz tone I use the "vintage" amp setting, which is supposed to be like a Fender. I have the gain on 10 and the Master to whatever is comfortable in the headphones. The vintage setting has a ton of headroom, and with the gain cranked it has a subtle compression. The bass & treble controls are quite effective. Mainly I back off the treble for my tele and add it back in for another guitar I have with humbuckers.

    The Tech21 Blonde and the Joyo American are both based on the same circuit as the Fender setting, but with added midrange and character knobs. There's also a Behringer clone of the GT2, which is (of course) really cheap.

  21. #20

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