The Doc is most definitely in the house and prescribing some of the healthiest tone remedies to ever hit the music scene. FX Doctor is another one of these cool little outfits floating around out there that I was blessed to come across. It was a couple of the FX Doctor's (Joshua's) modified stompboxes that first caught my eye. Later I would discover this wasn't the only talent this company had. Along with an array of fantastic mods that can be done to your everyday pedals, the FX Doctor also builds and designs his own line of superb stompboxes. The FX Doctor pedal line is one that is cleverly designed, ear/eye catching, and perfect for the professional player, weekend gig monster, and bedroom rock and roller. It is pedal companies like FX Doctor that are keeping things moving forward, keeping things fresh, and keeping things on the up and up. Step into the doctors office and get your fix!!!
You cats must be looking at this little monkey and saying to yourselves "Preamp huh? Hmm, where's the switch?" Well, this is like no preamp you have ever plugged into. The FX Doctor Preamp is based around the 2-band active preamp's that can be found in the vintage Musicman Stingrays. I myself am familiar with vintage Stingray basses, and if you've ever had a chance to rumble one out you know how great they sound. This design gives players who use passive pickups and amp's without active tone controls a wider tonal spectrum, and many more tonal options when dialing in other effect pedals. When running long cables runs or a high number pedals, the FX Doctor Preamp also works beautifully to help bring your signal back to life. Besides this I found a number of other cool uses for this pedal (which I will share with ya'll later). The Preamp consists of Bass and Treble controls, no footswitch, a 9VDC input jack, and an LED indicator. Both the Bass and Treble on this unit give you lots of flavor and lots of control. This is a simple and quick way to fine tune your sound and really get inside of what tones your dreaming of.
I first grabbed my single P90 equipped Junior copy and modified Hot Rod Deville. I dialed in my amp to it's normal clean root tone, grabbed a couple high quality cables, and let things flow. First I slammed down on some chords without the Preamp engaged. To turn it on and off I put it on a effects loop switch. Without the pedal engaged I got everything I've always gotten. A nice and sweet, fat'n'sparkling, big open Fender clean tone. Next with the FX Doctor Preamp in the mix. I had both the bass and treble controls at twelve'o'clock. I lost none of the feel and bite of my tone, but somehow got more boom and spank. It gave my lows a rounder, wider feel, and gave the highs a chimey character that I've only otherwise been able to get with eq pedals. This meant many things. It meant I could roll down my tone knob and still have plenty of twang and bang, it meant I could roll down the volume and control how much mojo I wanted, and it meant I could now really dive into my amp's root tone to get the best possible sound. Next I threw some dirt pedals into mix. Again I tested the signal without the Preamp first, then with it. This was in fact really really fun and damn exciting! The FX Doctor Preamp was able to give my rhythm dirt pedal tone an entire new range of sounds, feels, and tones that before were not possible. If you rely on your pedals for your dirty sounds you know sometimes it can be a pain in the ass to match those pedals to your root tone. Sometimes dirt boxes eat away highs, or produce too much lows, or just plainly make things dull. You don't know how many dirt boxes I have played that sound great on their own. But when switched back and fourth from my amp's tone it's a different story. One thing I was able to do which really came in handy was throw the dirt box into the mix of the looper. This meant with one switch I could turn both pedals on and get exactly the sound I wanted. I could now match the pedal's tone to my amp's and keep things in line. With lead tones the Preamp worked great to spice up the tone and really make it bite and stand out. If you play with another guitar player (which I do and can be a pain sometimes) this is a perfect little tool for jumping out of the mix. Then I got to modulation pedals and delays, reverbs, and other fun stuff. With digital delays I could now pump in a bit of warmth, making them much more earthy and analog sounding. This was true for chorus pedals, vibe's, flangers, and phasers. For those modulation pedals that do the opposite and makes things too dull and warm, this pedal can brighten things up beautifully. After some rocking and rolling with the clean Fender tone it was time to play the Preamp through a big and mean tube driven gritty tone. Oh the sounds I was able to dial in!!! We all know how sweet and awesome a good sounding tube sounds when taken to the limit. Well with this badboy I was able to juice up and magnify everything that makes big tube amp tones so wonderful. It's as if the Preamp's sound sits beside your tone inside of above it or behind it. Then there was tossing the Preamp at the end of my pedal chain. Here is one of the spots this pedal works it's best. What rocks to hard about this is that you just dial in your amp tone, leave the Preamp on, and let the rest do it's thing. It tosses in any tone loss you may have lost from too many pedals or long cable runs, and it gives every pedal before it much more magic. But wait there's more! Something my partner suggested I tried was tossing the Preamp into my amp's effects loop. Oh yes was this sweet too. I have placed many pedals that have sounded good in my effects loop but this may be one of the if not the best little tricks I have ever learned. I'm telling you guys, for such a simple little box this pedal does a lot. It is never too overpowering (even when cranked to the max), never noisy, and it is always easy to get back to your root tone if need be. Whether tossing it in to your effects loop, stacking it up with dirt pedals or other effects, putting it on a switch, or using it to simply give your overall sound a bit more or less. This pedal is quick and precise. I am quite excited to continue trying more of Joshua's effects and really stoked to come back here and share it with you guys. If you have not yet heard of the mighty FX Doctor pedal line make an appointed and get yours. It'll do you some good.
For more info on FX Doctor go to www.fxdoctor.com or click the logo in our direct links. We will keep you guys up to date on any happenings with this killer little company and try to bring you more cool toys to check out. Stay tuned for more!!!