Using the Pre-Amp
No matter how great your pickups and guitar are, the effects of electrical loading due to the guitar cable, stomp boxes and amplifiers can be devastating on tone, particularly loss of treble ‘brightness’ (see the ironstone guide to Impedance Matching ). The most effective way of minimising these losses is to use a buffer guitar pre-amp at the point the signal leaves your guitar. Using surface mount technology, that is exactly what the Clean Boost setting is designed for. The difference the Clean Boost setting will make in preserving your guitar’s tone is enough to justify the cost of this device on its own! But there’s more! On top of the bypass and sparkling Clean Boost tones, you also have access to 3 increasing levels of drive / distortion. These range from ‘just breaking up’ blues (i.e single notes are relatively clean, chords and double stops just break) to a full bore Heavy Metal distortion setting with masses of bottom end grunt as well, by way of a solid 70’s classic rock distortion effect. And just like in a good multi-stage amplifier, your guitars volume control effectively becomes the ‘gain’ knob, allowing you even more control of when and how strongly the drive / distortion effects kick in. it really is like having a set of stomp boxes in your guitar!The units built in rotary switch gives 5 modes;
True-bypass; can be used even without a battery connected (or in case of a flat battery) to revert to the normal guitar tone
Clean Boost; A slight gain increase (equivalent to approx 1.5 digits on a Strat volume knob) giving crystal clear tones
Vintage ‘Blues’ style overdrive (equivalent to approx 2 digits on a Strat volume knob)
Classic Rock distortion
Heavy Metal distortion
While the gain steps between each setting are fixed, a small user adjustable pot on the device allows tailoring of the gain of position 2 (relative to the true bypass setting). This is initially factory set, allowing the unit to be used ‘out of the box’, but users can alter the position 2 Clean Boost to be at the same level as the bypass, or with a level of initial boost.