Amp in a Box ShootoutApr 26 2021
Amp in a box pedals are great for when you want the sound of a pushed amp, but can't really push a real amp. They are also a very nice option for capturing a specific vibe that you associate with the amps they are trying to emulate.
I deliberately chose very different amp/preamp pedals. This shootout is not comparing which pedal will sound closest to the original or do make a verdict on which is best.
Rather, I'd like showcase a wide variety of sounds so that you can decide which kind of amp in a box will fit your personal setup the best.
A few personal notes:
All of these really do a great job at recreating the sounds that I associate with their respective real-life amp counterparts. They all "do the thing" well.
For higher gain sounds, the Jubilee and SFT are the heavy hitters. The Jubilee goes more into distortion, while I would categorize the SFT as a fuzz when it's most gainy.
The Twin Twelve has the least gain. Even on its highest gain setting, it's still more like a low to medium overdrive. But still with that Silvertone-like sound.
The SFT to me has the most usable tone stack. The bass and treble controls are well voiced to create a thick but still defined sound.
The Falcon has a very unique feel. Especially on the '55 setting, there is this sag and chewyness that the other preamps don't have. It just has a single tone control. To my ears, this is a treble cut. But I never had the feeling it needed more than that.
The Jubilee also has a very interesting tone stack. While the controls work passively, you do get that extra control of the mids. You could get a great pokey sound for leads and riffs or a scooped sound for rhythm guitar to leave some space for vocals or other lead guitars.
I had a lot of fun playing every one of these. The SFT just fits perfectly for my own style. I used it a lot with my band and it will go back on the board :)
If I get my hands on another pedal like this, I will add it here.