What Is A Guitar Preamp & Why Would You Have One?

Published 18 Sep 2020

There are overdrive pedals and there are guitar preamps… and maybe there are both. The next question is, ‘why?’

Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.

Welcome to the show. This week Daniel and I are discussing guitar preamps: the kind of thing you’d find as the first amplification stages in your guitar amp, or indeed as a separate box in pedal or rack format.
Mick here: I‘ve been a long-time fan of Kingsley Amplifiers’ excellent valve pedal preamps; in fact I used to use them as the basis for my personal rig. I’m returning to that world with a recent acquisition of a Mesa/Boogie 50:50 stereo power amp for a bit of fun… which prompted Dan and I to ask a few questions about the benefits of this kind of rig.
We discuss pedals that call themselves preamps before explaining why that matters and how you might approach using them. It might sound kinda' dull, but hey, we’re nerds and we love tooooaaaaaan, man. Ha!

Questions arising…
Q: Yeah, but if you just set the Gladio/Benson/Broadcast differently, they'd do the same job as the Kingley?
A: No they won't. They don't have the output, presence or EQ of the dedicated preamps in any settings

Q: It all got quieter when you stepped on the Dimension C – out of phase?
A: In phase we think… but maybe can't handle the level from the preamps.

Q: Why no rack preamps?
A: All in good time… we'll get there down the line

Q: Ohmergahhhd, why did you use silly guitar pedals when we could have heard that awesome Soldano preamp instead?
A: Because this video isn't about the Soldano.

Enjoy the episode!

Pedals & stuff in this episode…

• TheGigRig Three2One

• Keeley D&M Drive
UK & Europe: http://bit.ly/2oTblU1
USA: https://imp.i114863.net/YQMNP
Australia: http://bit.ly/2pUDUAE

• Cornerstone Gladio
UK & Europe: https://bit.ly/2E7QhFV

• Mythos Argo
UK & Europe: http://bit.ly/2UT0EVw

• Catalinbread Belle Epoch Deluxe
UK & Europe: http://bit.ly/2RVldeS
USA: https://imp.i114863.net/jo9mP
Australia: http://bit.ly/2Ovelqa

• Supro Tremolo
UK & Europe: http://bit.ly/2pZrAkZ
USA: https://imp.i114863.net/59vn2
Australia: https://bit.ly/2K36f3B

• Jam Pedals Ripply Fall
UK & Europe: http://bit.ly/2PoxKu0
Australia: https://bit.ly/38Nz0gk

• Boss DC-2W Waza Craft Dimension C
UK & Europe: http://bit.ly/2QITxIG
USA: https://imp.i114863.net/r6mDG
Australia: http://bit.ly/2CQ9IhY

• Source Audio Collider Delay & Reverb
UK & Europe: http://bit.ly/2HwaALt
USA: https://imp.i114863.net/kBrMM
Australia: http://bit.ly/323SzgS

• Kingsley Maiden

• Kingsley Constable

• Benson Preamp
UK & Europe: https://bit.ly/3mtz5Ml
Australia: http://bit.ly/2yF5FTy

• Hudson Broadcast
UK & Europe: http://bit.ly/2iF2DrE
Australia: http://bit.ly/2oUbqrw

• The GigRig QuarterMaster QMX-4
UK & Europe: https://bit.ly/339EG1C

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here: http://www.thatpedalshow.com/partners

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro playing: 00:00
- What are we doing today? 02:55
- What is a preamp? 03:45
- Line level? 04:35
- Soldano 30: main input vs FX loop return: 05:25
- Why an FX loop is useful: 06:50
- D&M Drive: front end vs loop return: 07:52
- Preamp or OD pedal? Gladio: 11:45
- Let’s add a Kingsley preamp: 14:55
- Preamp or OD pedal? Benson Pre: 18:56
- Preamp or OD pedal?Hudson Broadcast: 21:58
- Output impedance?: 25:35
- Line level & instrument level?:27:00
- Why have a preamp pedal at all?: 29:00
- Stereo power amp – Boogie: 32:00
- Why a power amp?: 33:28
- Clean tones?: 35:15
- And overdrive: 38:40
- Closing thoughts: 42:20

Guitars in this episode:
• Fender American Vintage ’62 Stratocaster – Mick’s video at http://bit.ly/2cQv3yT
• 1965 Fender Telecaster - no video yet
• Gibson Custom True Historic ’57 Les Paul Goldtop, Murphy Aged

Amps in this episode
• Soldano SLO-30 and Zilla 112 / Warehouse WGS12L
• Mesa Boogie Fifty/Fifty Stereo Power Amplifier with Zilla 112 / WGS12L and Two-Rock 112 / WGS12L

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