#171996  by hermybear2002
I am bumping this post... :rasta:

For all those who are TL;DR - just go to the pics and whats after. I am happily buzzed so I expect I will be long-winded. Makes for something to do while drinking morning coffee or __________.

It took a while to read through it but it was worth it. I actually finished reading a couple of days ago and it got my juices flowing. This is where I will beg your indulgence. I want to give a little background on myself so you have a reference point. This post is going to end differently that it begins and I think most of you, especially those who own a Sarno SMS Preamp, will want to read it.
That said...here goes!

I once owned a full Jerry rig, with the exception of a modded Dunlop Delay, I had everything else. The rack weight close to 300 lbs and you all know how much a JBL e120 weighs times 3... Well I sold it all back almost 30 years ago and have been chasing after it, figuratively speaking, ever since.

At the turn of the century (I've always wanted to say that :lol: ), I started down the path of home recording vs. gigging and tried/bought every 'decent' software platform for git out there (Ik Amplitube, Bias FX, Kuassa (best available Jerry wah ability but only via Windows...eck); After about 10 years I got bored and decided to come out of my cave to play music again. Trying to find a AB763 Twin without taking out a 2nd mortgage wasn't going to happen, nor did I have roadies around anymore to do the heavy lifting...

Enter modelers. I agonized over the Fractal vs. Kemper conondrum. But the Fractal won out due to it's onboard effects and deep diving ability (I just love rabbit holes :lol: ). My biggest problem was that I am not a programmer and had no idea what minute tweaks on the myriad of parameters were necessary to achieve Jerry's Preamp sound. The fractal forums were not much help as most FAS users are NOT deadheads lol, but I did get some excellent info from Vic/PlayingDead on how to set up the Mutron; best advice EVER! His reverb setting on the AX8 is phenomenal.

I just couldn't find a Jerry setting i really liked. The SF Twin gets as close as I could but has a slight lack of the tight lower end. But everything else sounded so excellent, I decided to do something most people will think is crazy.

I own a Sarno JG-1 SMS. Best investment I have ever made, musically. Just a freaken stellar built piece of gear. It IS Jerry. Period. I think you all see where this is going...Well if I can't make a copy of Jerry's preamp, I'll just have to USE the real one:


It actually weighs less than I thought it would. The Pedalboard is made by a guy on ETSY (Chumleys Pedalboards). It was the only one I could find that would house my SMS.

It sounds greats and gives me all the effects control I need. I run the front end effects through the OBEL (Hubbub) then take the return through the preamp and back to the AX8 so I can use the delay (i prefer it behind the preamp), modulations and reverb, then out to the FOH and powered speaker (Headrush for now) as monitor.

Now to the MEAT of this post. I figure this will work for rehearsals and some small gigs but I don't want to take my SMS out 'on the road' without it racked properly. So I started to look for an alternative and that's when I found this post.

It is almost impossible to get a Shift Line - there are 3 available as of this morning on Reverb. One is in Scotland; one in Sweden and one in Italy. They are going for over $600usd not including VAT/shipping.

There are 4 Blackbirds on Reverb (two at BigCityMusic in So Cal) and one on eBay this morning as well going for $469.

The Kingsley...forget about it. Lots of Minstrels and Jesters and w/e but no Maidens.

WARNING***WARNING***WARNING*** --- Here comes the good part.

I reached out to Brad Sarno. I must have been very eloquent because he responded the next day. I know how busy he is. Usual response time to emails is a few days to a week. I think he reads everything as soon as it comes in, but not everything is a priority.

In a nut shell I asked what it would take to stuff a JG SMS rackmount preamp into a pedalboard pedal (no reverb) and how many 'pre-orders' I would need to get to make this attractive to him. I think Brad is stellar but he needs to make a profit or it is not worth the time and believe me it will take 6 months just for the R&D.

I am going to paraphrase and abridge the response, but essentially he said HE IS ALREADY LOOKING INTO DOING THIS and that my email about it got his juices really flowing. Enough that he semi detailed out what could done to reduce the footprint (like remove the reverb, for one). Bear in mind that size wise we are probably looking at Strymon or the new IK X-Gear size vs. a Boss single pedal size, but I've seen some of your boards, so I know it will fit :rockon:

I know that several of you have SMS preamps. Others have FYD (also excellent). I also know that if either one came in a footpedal version, this thread wouldn't even be here.. Can you imagine having a SMS preamp FOOTPEDAL on your board???? I run my SMS thru a Carvin Mach 100 when I want to play at home via headphones or thru a 1x12 Gauss speaker I have laying around...thing weight a ton...

There are several real challenges to do this they way he wants so as not to compromise the actual sound, but he thinks it is doable and has put it as one of only a couple of new projects to be fleshed out. The preamp seemed to be in the lead.

He asked me to check back with him after the end of winter as his current production timeline extends to that time, but he expressed a real desire and enthusiasm towards this project. I know that for some this is a 'long time' but the other 3 candidates above, which, IMHO, are shadows of the SMS or FYD, are also not available in any real production sense and once they are, it's waiting list. Alghouth I think the Shift Line is the best of the 3, like Jon, I am not going to pay duites / VAT plus shipping on a waiting list. Not to mention that the relationship with Russia isn't exactly roses...

Bear in mind this is not a guarantee at this time, but I think it will come to fruition. If you think you would be interested in such a pedal and in all honestly I would have to think the price point to be around $600usd, please shoot me a PM - I don't want to inundate this post.

I can give no other details until Brad gives me authorization to do so, but I look forward to updated information next Spring.

"Once in a while you can get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if you look at it right"
 #171997  by strumminsix
Pretty cool that Brad's thinking about this and open to ideas.

But at the price point he'd need (500+) I'd want reverb + IR loader + XLR out onboard.
 #171998  by Jon S.
I'm not sure I'd need Brad's preamp in a pedal. The rack unit I have now with one plus a DCM200L in a 2U short case is itself a relatively small head weighing all of maybe 15 pounds. But I'd consider it!

 #173674  by cptl975
Hi all, first time poster, loooong time reader and tab/lyrics user.

First, I know this is kind of an old thread, but wanted to salute everyone on it. I read through it last year when I was looking into this subject, and have returned to it over and over. Thank you for sharing so much.

Back then, it came down between the Iridium, the Walrus ACS-1 and the DSM & Humboldt Simplifier – three similar units, with slight differences in features. I got the Simplifier, it's not bad, have received complements on the tone on recordings, but it's never wowed me. Also never played it with a power amp through a guitar speaker cab. I want to get the Carvin Mach 100 per this thread to start doing that.

And so the Shift Line Twin... it was on my radar before I came across this thread, but it was always unavailable retail or used, yet @wpmartin1979's validation of the tone and feel convinced me it was a great option on top of all the great features like balanced XLR out and built-in IR cab sim and loader. Which brings me to a couple weeks ago... while it is elusive, I just got a brand new MkiiiS from a US retailer https://coolguitarshop.us/ . Check them out! Their 'Notify when available' signup is legit, I got an email when they got a batch and jumped on it. Unfortunately it was sold out within a few days. In case anyone is interested in one, I recommend signing up and when you get the notice in the future, buy it asap.
I haven't had a chance to play it through a power amp and cab yet, but recording into computer, through good monitors and through headphones, it sounds great, very tuby, etc... I don't need to go on, @wpmartin1979 already gave the comprehensive report.

Now, some follow up questions for the forum and individuals based on what you've shared. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration, I appreciate it!

1. I love the pedal preamp + reverb pedal + Mach 100 + Nano pedalboard 'head', and for setup/breakdown convenience I'm curious of a power supply to power them all up and zip tie to board to only have one power cable to plug. Anyone aware of a pedalboard power supply that can power the 12v and ~575-650 mA for the Shift Line, and 24V and crap ton of mA for the Mach 100?

1. Have you played other preamps since last year when this thread ends that impressed you more than the Shift Line and Blackbird?
2. You mentioned how you keep the Mach 100 at 12 noon and adjust master/volume on preamp pedal. Is there a particular reason you use that method, as opposed to keeping preamp volume lowish and crank power amp more? I'd assume the latter keeps clean tone at higher volumes. I've never used separate preamp and power amps for guitar.
3. Would you advise against velcroing the Shift Line to a pedalboard because of potential high heat melting it, or it's never gotten that hot on you and you think ok to velcro?
4. I saw in this other thread you played around with the Quilter 101 Reverb. Did you ever try some of these nice tube preamp pedals you liked into the Return/power amp of the Quilter 101?

@Jon S.
1. I saw in this other thread last page you mentioned loving the Quilter SuperBlock US. Still liking it? I'm wondering if that may be a better route for a small, portable, lightweight Fender-based preamp+reverb+power amp setup instead of the Shift Line+reverb pedal + Mach 100 + Nano board + three power supply wall warts setup.
I'd also consider the Aviator Cub to have the 50W 12" speaker combo at such a light weight - just 22 lbs!

For reference, I mainly play through Princeton Reverbs with different speakers and a George Benson Hot Rod Deluxe with different speakers. I'd likely sell off the 40+ lb. HRD if I can land on this compact, lightweight and powerful pedal preamp + pedal power amp setup.

 #173679  by lbpesq
+1 on the Superblock. I’ve had mine for a few months now and have used it at several full band jams. I call BS on the 25 watts. I’d bet it would spec out quite a bit higher. And the Fender sound is alive and well in the little box.

As for a Quilter combo, I’d suggest the relatively new Aviator Mach 3 over the Cub. Two independent channels, 0-200 watts, six voices/channel, and only 21 lbs.!

Bill, tgo
cptl975 liked this
 #173680  by Jon S.
My Superblock US has become my #1 amp. Sounds great and no trouble hanging with a full band.
cptl975 liked this
 #173728  by Cumtax
wpmartin1979 wrote: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:29 am https://soundcloud.com/user-939773662/m ... Nk3zzHBUOj

Interesting to hear the difference. Sorry for the screw up at the end :o
Sorry for the necroposting but the topic interests me. So I have a TM BF Twin with Weber Californias (1 Alnico 1 Ceramic), a Strat and a blaster. All things that should let me achieve the clean-driven-grainy-grittiness-goodness that it's present in this SoundCloud clip too. However, that sound eludes me and it seems I can't get there. Will a twin preamp pedal help get there or would it be extremely redundant to play through a Twin?
 #173733  by Darkstar860
I used a Twin (actually two, one was a backup) heads for about 20 years. I have not found a pedal that can do what a Twin does. I still think the best bet to get the Jerry tone or Knopfler tone for that matter, is a SMS CTP into whatever power amp you want. Thats the lightest package imho. Im using an ART SAL-1 which is a 1U size power amp. I think my head cab with the SMS and the ART weighs 10-13lbs roughly? After trucking around Twin heads and 2x12 cabs with e120's. Its nice that my only heavy thing now is just the 2x12. But thats what casters are for right ? ;-)

My buddy sent me (it comes today) a cheap pedal he wanted me to try. Its a Joyo American. Its suppose to give you Tweed and BF tones. He seems to think i would like it thru the FX loop of a few of my amps that i dont seem to like the clean tone on.

I own a One Control BJF-66 amp. Its 100watt but the amp weighs about 3.5lbs. I just dont like the power amp part of this amp. I ran the preamp out on that amp into my Hot Rod deluxe power amp in and that was pretty interesting. Id never tried it. But it bypasses the tonestack of the Hotrod and the One Control has a killer preamp section imho. Ill have to post a video of the results. Pretty cool as i have had no use for the Hot Rod head I have for well over 25 years. It just sits there haha. But im gonna try the JOYO pedal thru the Hot Rod as well. But the One Control is a tiny amp and theres lots of options on it. Def worth checking out for a light weight package.

Just trying to find uses for some amps that just sit around and collect dust. But as i said i have yet to find a pedal that can really give me that snap like a Twin or an amp based around that circuit. Thats my 2 cents and what ive been up to haha ;-)
 #173759  by zozoe
Sorry to be late to party, but I see you're playing my song, & perhaps there's been some new light to shed on my search...

Having recently taken possession of a Mac MC30 tube amp, I'm looking for a preamp (FYD or Sarno type), but am wondering if some sophisticated stomp-boxes, like the ones tossed around, are able to fit the bill?  thnx, Kenny 🕉
 #173795  by zozoe
Greetings, I'm still researching a suitable, affordable, & worthy front end preamp for my Mac MC30... What suddenly dawned on me was the potential impedance mismatch coming out of let's say the Blackbird SR71 or the Frog Pedals preamp feeding my amp, who's vitals I've dttached... The most obvious path would be to simply go SMS or FYD, but again, price & real estate is precious,,
A million thanks for the million questions...
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