DIY 3-channel guitar preamp, the end

Previously on "DIY 3-channel preamp" journey:

OK, I confess that I dropped this project for good. The main question is: why?

I recently discovered 2 products that completely changed my sound paradigm : The JHS Clover and the Flamma FS07 IR loader.

During a rehearsal, a friend of mine, Sacha, brought his JHS Clover, plugged his Strat in and he got the most beautiful bare clean sound I have ever heard.

Meanwhile, I also discovered a brand new area in the guitar world: the Impulse Response ! I decided to go for a budget solution with stereo capabilities, the Flamma FS07.

I chained both pedals with the goal to get the best chime-ish clean sound ever. And I was... disappointed. The sound was good, the settings of both pedals super efficient, but it was just OK. Not wow. Just for the try, I inserted my home-made (and modded) Jack Orman's Mini-booster before the FS07, and I placed my stereo RunOffGoove Crondor cab sim at the end of the chain.

There is also a Golden Plexi V2. Let's talk about it later

Yes, I know: a stereo cab sim after a stereo cab sim, isn't this too much? Well who cares? There's only one rule: try anything for the sake of sound. And it worked! The sound was vivid, full, chime-ish. But somehow, I knew that it could go a little further.

As I am a complete beginner in the IR world, I learned how to load IR files in my FS07. And it changed everything! Indeed, the basic IRs that come with the pedal are OK but rather flat and sometime dull. I took some time to browse sites such as Overdriven (excellent work!!). I tried many configurations, one IR one the left channel, another one on the right, a few ms of delay on the left channel to create a pseudo stereo image.

Then I got it! MY SOUND! The best clean sound I have ever heard! I tried with my 5 guitars and I discovered them again, one by one! I was amazed.

The lessons of all this? 

  1. Always look for the best clean sound (I suppose some metalheads will disagree on this point)
  2. DIY is great, but sometimes it has its limitations. I imagined my 3-channel preamp with an old and closed mindset. Discovering new solutions, new ways to get a sound changed my paradigm. Furthermore, I think that I got a little bit lost in the delusion of DIABY: Do It ALL by Yourself. I believe now that I fantasized to master my whole sound chain from A to Z. Nope, this is not a good idea. And I suppose I would have ended up with a 'just OK' sound after hours and hours of work.

I reached one goal: I have now an ANALOG, full and chime-ish clean sound that totally respects the personality of any guitar plugged in!