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Guitar Preamps

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Tash, Sep 12, 2005.


  1. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I'm looking for a new guitar preamp for direct recording. I'm very interested in the Marshall JMP-1 but its a very pricey unit. Anyone have suggestions for a guitar preamp that can give very smooth, articulate tones even when pushing high gain distortion?

    I already have a J Station, which is great but not quite getting me where I want to go. I don't want to invest hours in programming patches, so that rules out the POD, what else should I look at?
     
  2. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    The Marshall is pricey and doesn't sound that great.

    The thing is, except for the POD xt series, there isn't anything on the market that sounds good AND is inexpensive. Remember, you'll need a speaker emulation in addition to a preamp to get good direct guitar sounds.

    It doesn't take hours of programming to get great sounds out of the XTs, btw. But I'm not trying to talk you into something you're against.

    What's your budget?
     
  3. Tash

    Tash

    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Budget, not more than $1500 and I'd like to be below that.

    My personal expirience with the POD is that they sound awesome only after extensive tweaking. I am using an all digital system now and its just not quite what I want, however I prefer the J Station to the POD. If that's the only option I can find I'll stick with what I have.

    Maybe I should check out the programable Sansamp? Anyone know how they fare on guitars?
     
  4. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    I've owned the SansAmp PSA-1, the POD 2, the Vox Valvetronix, and the PODxt Pro. I've also used the J-Station.

    The J-Station and the first two generations of PODs can't hold a candle to the Vox and PODxt modelling. Of those two, the Vox has slightly better cleans and the PODxt has slightly better ODs.

    Both sound better than the PSA-1, though the PSA-1 sounds better than the Johnson and older POD series.

    For a $1500 budget you can be set.

    Get a PODxt Pro used ($400-500). Get a THD Univalve new or used ($500-800). For your main sounds, run the Univalve into the PODxt with the amp simulation off, just using the cabinet simulators and post pre effects (reverb, delay, mod). And if there are sounds you can't get with the Univalve or you want to work more quickly, bypass the Univalve and use the amp modelling in the PODxt.

    The Univalve has a really good load built into it, so you can get power tube distortion running direct. And it works really well with the cabinet modelling in the PODxt.