Clean, 'F'-ish Valve Preamp Pedals?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by gavquinn, May 23, 2019.

  1. gavquinn

    gavquinn TDPRI Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Hello Hello!

    Does anyone know of any good valve preamp pedals that give a nice, deep, fat, headroomy F type clean?

    I’m seeing lots of overdrives, but I’m sorted for overdrives, like these from Victory, they look great.

    I however don’t need ‘searing plexi roar’ as my amp is a Blackstar, it’s like a Marshall/Boogie Hybrid. I've more gain than I'd ever need with overdrive pedals.

    I want something to go the other way, to add a clean base, to give a deep bottom end and headroom. The clean on it is fine, but not beautiful..

    And recommendations based on experience would be great!
  2. beejay493

    beejay493 Tele-Meister

    Aug 28, 2009
    tyne and wear uk
    Tech 21 Blonde.......
  3. artdecade

    artdecade Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 6, 2010
    Boggo Road
    For the price of a Victory valve preamp pedal, you could buy an actual Fender amp.
  4. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2007
    Big D
    If the Tech 21 Blonde which has been mentioned already interest you, you might try its cheaper knock off Asian cousin.
    I actually saw one the other day on Reverb for $25.

    So I HAVE a 5E3 amp, and I HAVE a Line 6 XT Live. But a situation where I played would not allow the amp on stage and I just could not dial in the XT to get it to sound like my 5E3. Coupled with the fact that I wanted to use some delay and verb from my pedal board I decided to take a chance.

    So I went an bought the American Sound based on some youtube videos and some comments on this site. I figured for $30 shipped I could strip it for parts and use the housing for some monstrous custom pedal if it was bad.

    I was flatly blown away. The ability to get the sounds I get out of my 5E3 through a PA system with the twist of a few knobs for less than dinner at Applebee's for the wife and me, really?

    Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing like a 5E3 sitting right in front of you as you crank the volume to get the break up just right, but this little box gets really close. I actually played it through my bass rig (Big K Kustom Head and a 2x10 Cab) just to hear it through a clean amp and it sounds really good as well.
    richiek65 likes this.
  5. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 26, 2014
    South London UK
    The American Sound is great for this need at a very low cost. It has tons of range. Worth trying before anything else as you won't be out of pocket. My second guitarist uses this as his preamp pedal always on into his hot Rod deluxe. Quick twists of the knobs take you from clean scoopy blackface to filthy middy tweed. It's a cracker. it's not valve powered.
  6. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    +1 on that.

    IMO/IME, if the clean in the amp doesn't really do it for you, an emulation could constitute a bit of a gamble, whether it's tube/valve or not.

    And particularly WRT headroom, and I guess something like maybe expecting the low end response of something like a Twin Reverb, IMO the typical emulator running at 9VDC just isn't going to ape it, but that doesn't mean something with valves/tubes in the preamp is necessary the proper solution, either.

    For actual Fender BF/SF cleans, I'd start with the actual amp, or something that has the circuit modeled after that, to include a proper power amp section. IOW, if you want strong, clean lows, I wouldn't go with a Deluxe Reverb.
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  7. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    May 12, 2013
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Good ones are going to be on the steep side. Not sure if your intention is to run it into the return of your amp or not but by your description you may want to. Again as others have pointed out. A good BF sounding preamp is going to be a bit pricey. If you are dead set on a preamp check these out. At about the 1:00 minute mark he goes directly into interface w/a clean tone.
    There lots of other good sounds to be had as well. These are $279

    You can find them here.
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  8. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 25, 2011
    Turdcaster, WA
    An old JD10 Session Master...does the nice, deep, fat, headroomy F type clean in spades.
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