#1
I'm looking at buying a preamp for use with band and studio. I can't find all these buggers in one place so that I can A/B them. Heck, some I can't find at all, even in Austin, TX.

I'm currently using a Pearce G2r as a preamp. It works, and I love the tone, but cabinet emulation is coming from an old A/DA MicroCab, and all this stuff is getting old and creaky. I use a t.c. electronic G-Major for FX, and it switches amp channels for me, using a Rolls MidiBuddy.

So I'm looking at preamps. The Engle E530, Laney Ironheart Studio, and the Mesa Rectifier Recording Pre are the ones I've found. I *did* find a Roland GL-100 that I really liked the tone of, but the volume had to be down in the mud or it would crackle like crazy. I tried the Scholz Sustainor; not for me.

Everyone in the band runs direct. Not perfect, but the audience gets a really hi-fi sound that way. I've worked with programmable pres (really liked the tone of the Rocktron Piranha, and the A/DA MP1), but it drove me nuts when I switched guitars/venues and wanted to tweak the tone a bit.

So I'm looking for a two-channel pre that does cabinet emulation well. My tone is older-school rock, clean and crunch. I tend to play on the edge of distortion, where I can back down the guitar volume a bit and clean it up. I use an old DOD compressor to goose the front end a bit when I want a bit more sustain/distortion.

So, given these parameters, would any of these three work? Are there others you might recommend?
#2
free bump day

I'm not a preamp expert but from what I've learned the ENGL (no E on the end) would probably be a very good choice. Can't speak to the edge of breakup stuff though.

I'd be seriously interested in trying that Ironheart though. Do you lurk craigslist? Try the Look Up link in my sig.

Good luck mang
#3
Have you looked at the Sansamp PSA-1? It is analog/digital. You can tweak tones on the fly and you can access them via midi switch for easy implementation.
If not that maybe one of their floor units, like the TRI-AC? They all have built in speaker emulation as well.
#4
I have the Engl E530 and it does the cleanup thing you mentioned. Although it might be a bit too modern sounding for you.
The Marshall JMP-1 might be a bit closer to what you need?
EGC Baritone | ESP M-I | Gibson LP Jr
BC Rich USA ST3 | Fender Telecaster
VHT/Fryette GP3 | Verellen Meatsmoke pre | Mesa 2:90
Soldano HR50+ | Marshall 2203KK | Krank RevJr 50 | Holden 50
Orange PPC412 | Laney GS412 | Mesa Thiele 112 | Alron 115
#5
Quote by godgrinder
I have the Engl E530 and it does the cleanup thing you mentioned. Although it might be a bit too modern sounding for you.
The Marshall JMP-1 might be a bit closer to what you need?


Nah; were I to do that, I would be using the Rocktron Piranha. But I don't want programmable - just a two (three's okay, too) channel preamp. That's also why I've not looked at the Sansamp. How would it (E530) be a "bit too modern"? EQ? I don't care for the scooped mid metal sound, so if that's what it does best, then it's not for me. I like a decent chunky sound with abundant mids in it; kind of like AC/DC with a touch more distortion (on that channel, of course).

I have no idea where to hear the Ironheart, but reviews so far say it doesn't do the edge-of-distortion thing very well. But then they said that about the Pearce, and I found it to do that quite well.

Thanks for the discussion so far - I love finding people who have more of a clue than I do...
#6
Rocktron had also another pre called "The Gainiac", not sure if they still make it but that gets the AC/DC crunch.

The Marshall JMP and Sansamp suggestions are good - while they are midi switchable they are 100% analog path so huge difference between that and the Piranha.

Voodoolab has a rack pre that will do what you need:
http://www.voodoolab.com/preamp.htm

A few more suggestions (floor units):
H&K Tubeman:
http://www.houstonmusicreviews.com/GearReview/HKTubeman2/hughesandkettnertubeman2.htm

The Tubeman used to have a rack version as well in the early edition if you can find one.

Carl Martin Plexitone:
http://www.houstonmusicreviews.com/GearReview/DistShootout/carlmartinplexitone.htm

Carl Martin Quattro:
http://carlmartin.com/product_quattro.htm

Sansamp TRI-AC:
http://www.houstonmusicreviews.com/GearReview/DistShootout/sansamptriac.htm

Blackstar HT-Dual:
http://www.houstonmusicreviews.com/GearReview/Blackstar_HT-Dual/blackstar_ht_dual.htm

Mesa V-Twin:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/guitar_effects/mesa_boogie/v-twin/index.html
Last edited by diabolical at Jul 10, 2013,
#7
BTW - you said you like the Pearce G2r but problem is your speaker emu, so if all else is good why not just look into H&K Redbox Classic:
http://www.houstonmusicreviews.com/GearReview/redbox/hughesandkettnerredbox.htm?vm=r
#8
Quote by King of Zor
How would it (E530) be a "bit too modern"? EQ? I don't care for the scooped mid metal sound, so if that's what it does best, then it's not for me. I like a decent chunky sound with abundant mids in it; kind of like AC/DC with a touch more distortion (on that channel, of course).


It actually shines the most when you engage the mid-boost and crank the mids a little bit.

By "a bit too modern" I mean it might sounds a little too "tight" for classic rock. But by all means give it a try if you have a chance, you might like it.
EGC Baritone | ESP M-I | Gibson LP Jr
BC Rich USA ST3 | Fender Telecaster
VHT/Fryette GP3 | Verellen Meatsmoke pre | Mesa 2:90
Soldano HR50+ | Marshall 2203KK | Krank RevJr 50 | Holden 50
Orange PPC412 | Laney GS412 | Mesa Thiele 112 | Alron 115
#9
Quote by godgrinder
It actually shines the most when you engage the mid-boost and crank the mids a little bit.

By "a bit too modern" I mean it might sounds a little too "tight" for classic rock. But by all means give it a try if you have a chance, you might like it.


Hmm. That actually sounds pretty good to me. The problem I always had with Mesas was that I felt to low end was too flabby/mushy. I'm not really a classic rock play so much; I'm just not a nu-metal guy. My preferred style is prog/fusion.

The reason I'm considering ditching the Pearce is that I'm getting drops in volume in the first gain stage now. Wiggling the input jack or one of the gain switches will bring it back, but it's happening to me onstage more frequently. I've had it apart, looked for loose solder joints, touched up anything questionable, but I can't find the problem. It's become quite annoying. It's not like parts are easy to find for that bugger, either.
#11
Quote by diabolical
Would it be too much to get an amp tech to take a look at it? They usually can get the schematic from the manufacturer so it might be not that expensive to repair.


Pearce went out of business a couple of decades ago...