In "Tone Toys '95: Direct Recording Preamps & An Innovative Power Amp Simulator (Joe Gore, Guitar Player Jan 1995), the ADA Ampulator was reviewed along with the Marshall DRP-1, Tech 21 Tri-OD, and Hughes & Kettner Tubeman Plus. The Ampulator blew them away in the review; he strongly recommended that if you use these others, use them with the Ampulator, which provides power-tube squashy dynamics.
Review at intermusic.com
User comments about the Marshall DRP-1 at Harmony Central - excerpts:
Price Paid: US $129.00
The non-boost channel is reminiscent of the old "no master-volume" marshalls and sounds best with the master maxed-out. Crank the gain all the way up...and stick an overdrive in front, too. Boost channel is more like modern marshalls, and will roar with authority. Speaker emulation is pretty darn good, and if you get the bass tone knob up to about 3 oclock you actually get some of that good ol' marshall "thud." It's hard to get the thing to sound really good through headphones, as the line out(headphone out) volume has to be up a bit for the beast to develop full tonality...and then it can be a little too loud for comfort.
Very "tube-y" sounding for a solid state device. Direct to tape it sounds like a Marshall. Much more authentic "marshall" sound than sansamp, etc. It won't replace a JMP-1, but it costs less than 25% of the JMP-1's price. It does a good job of "marshallizing" the front end of an amp, as well. And awhile back I ran an fx send from the console to a 50DB pad and thence to a transformer and into the DRP-1. Cranked up all gains to max and used it as a snare drum effect...with the right balance it nicely livened and "trashed up" a pretty boring snare drum sound. No reason it has to just be a guitar preamp, eh?
There is a pamphlet with you that shows you how to set it up as just a preamp, or for direct recording. No indications of good settings for specific sounds, which is a shame, but it is fairly easy to use and experiment - just tweak the knobs. Have yet to work out if it can be used as just as speaker emulator (might be handy for gigs, putting guitar into the PA without troublesome mics - guitar amp DI->DRP1->PA?).
There is some hum if you crank things up to maximum, and there are sources of eletrical noise about, such as computer monitors.
The basic sound goes from clean to quite crunchy. You can get a great early Neil Young sound out of it.
Turn on the boost as it is more traditional sounding Marshall territory, up to really quite high gain with some additional sustain. Definitely has a tube sound to it (a friend commented on this), and goes right up to fuzzy sounds with a hint of speaker break up. You can get some good early Led Zep sounds.
The speaker emulation seems to work. Not as good as actually miking up a 4x12 (it claims to be a 4x12 emulation). Slightly fizzier, although Marshalls can sound a bit fizzy (I'm more of a Fender man really, but Fender don't make anything comparable, and it is nice to have a Marshall sound for when you need it).
My criticism is that it can sometimes sound a little thinner than I'd like when playing solo, but that having been said, it sits well in a mix. Great for early rock sounds like Young and Led Zep, both of whom used fairly thin guitar sounds at the time.
I have used it on its own, used it during recording a CD demo, but I mainly use it in the first effect loop of my Zoom 9150 to give better speaker emulation, and an expanded range of tones (and if needed completely over the top square wave distortion). It emulates speakers better than the Zoom does.
I have it for direct recording so I don't annoy the neighbours, so I wouldn't gig with it (I'm a bassist anyway), but a friend used it to warm up his amp live, and it worked. Used it for recording when two guitar amps blew up, and did basically all the electric guitar with it, and it sounded fine. Mine has worked perfectly.
Has gain to set the drive level, a boost channel selector micro-switch (not footswitchable), a master volume, bass middle and treble and a line out volume. The back panel consists of input, line out, pre-amp/FX out, stereo FX return and phones.
The unit works better with the line-level set low, and the master volume cranked to about 75%. The tone section then gets a much better signal to work with. These DO need to be set very carefuly to get the best out of it...don't walk in, set it all to 80% and expect it to sound good...it won't. On the clean side, things are very usable with some great sounds from country through to jazz/fusion. Switch the channel onto boost and things just get better! The gain covers everything from Fender twins to full-blown stacks! I found the gain on about 60-70% is about right...anything more and the Duncan's in my Eggle just overloaded the thing! Be careful when you try this in a shop...I used a Epiphone SG and was very near to not buying it. The assistant suggested I try an Explorer Custom Shop with DiMarzio's, and that sold me. As with most Marshall stuff, you DO need good pickups to get nice rich harmonics and a chunky distortion. The DRP1 is supposed to be used as a direct recording preamp...no waking up the street with your 4x12 when you put down a killer solo at 3:00am!!! All I can say is that it works! No fizz, and using the Line Out puts in the 4x12 emulator (not switchable) and there's very little hum and buzz except on monster gain settings, and then what do you expect!
I think I've got a steal. Brilliant for home recording, no cabs to set up and although the emulator is basic, it's about right. Plug your rack FX into it and use it as a practice amp, or on it's own anywhere (it's battery powered!) or even carry it as a spare pre-amp in case your rack goes down (it's 6" x 4" and weighs about 12 oz!) Every guitarist should try one. I'll certainly be taking it out as a back-up pre-amp in case my JMP-1 ever fails and would have no qualms about using it in a home/small studio environment where it's just impossible to use a miked cab.
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Date Scr Subject Newsgroup Author 1. 98/10/25 020 Re: Low-watt power-tube devi alt.music.4-track Michael 2. 98/10/11 020 Re: which guitar preamp for alt.guitar It Should Be Yo 3. 98/05/15 020 Re: I: Direct to the Board alt.guitar.effects GtarGeorge 4. 98/04/28 019 Re: Preamp/effects box recom alt.guitar GtarGeorge 5. 98/04/28 019 Re: Preamp/effects box recom alt.guitar Aaron Turner 6. 98/04/16 019 Re: Distortion question alt.guitar GtarGeorge 7. 97/10/09 019 Marshall DRP-1 rec.music.makers.guit Aaron Turner 8. 97/10/14 018 Re: Marshall DRP-1 rec.music.makers.guit Aaron Turner 9. 97/10/11 018 Re: Marshall DRP-1 rec.music.makers.guit gmane 10. 97/10/10 018 Re: Marshall DRP-1 rec.music.makers.guit Chromosome Terr 11. 97/04/02 018 Marshall DRP-1 Opinions? alt.guitar.amps F Yang 12. 97/04/02 018 Marshall DRP-1 Opinions? alt.guitar F Yang 13. 97/10/14 017 Re: Marshall DRP-1 rec.music.makers.guit Chromosome Terr 14. 97/10/14 017 Re: Marshall DRP-1 rec.music.makers.guit Aaron Turner 15. 97/10/13 017 Re: Marshall DRP-1 rec.music.makers.guit Aaron Turner 16. 97/02/25 017 Re: Amp-Simulator alt.guitar Jmyrygn 17. 98/07/25 016 Re: Question: Playing BASS t alt.guitar.amps Aaron Turner 18. 98/04/10 016 Re: bass effects? alt.guitar.effects Aaron Turner 19. 98/01/30 016 Re: THE SKY IS FALLING...or. alt.guitar.amps Aaron Turner 20. 97/02/25 016 Re: Amp-Simulator alt.guitar Matthew Ivaliot 21. 95/12/12 016 WTB: Speaker Emulator rec.music.makers.guit Steve Richter 22. 97/11/27 015 Re: MArshall distortion Peda alt.guitar Aaron Turner 23. 97/10/14 015 Re: Amp/Speaker simulators alt.guitar Aaron Turner 24. 97/09/03 015 Re: Bass Rockman rec.music.makers.mark Uncle Thackur 25. 97/11/21 014 Re: using tube amp head for alt.guitar Jeff Vineburg 26. 97/09/30 014 FS:Stomp Boxes! alt.guitar More Music 27. 97/09/30 014 FS:Stomp Boxes! alt.guitar.amps More Music 28. 97/09/22 014 FS:Stomp Boxes alt.guitar.amps More Music 29. 97/09/22 014 FS:Stoomp Boxes alt.guitar More Music 30. 97/09/11 014 FS:Stomp Boxes. alt.guitar.amps More Music 31. 97/09/11 014 FS:Stomp Boxes. alt.guitar More Music 32. 96/01/10 014 Mesa V-Twin Commentary Reque alt.guitar Churchill 33. 95/10/23 014 Recording Preamps rec.music.makers.guit Roland Klemke 34. 95/10/23 014 Re: Recording Preamps rec.music.makers.guit Erik 35. 96/09/14 013 Accoustic Pickups & controll alt.guitar John Lyon 36. 96/06/27 013 Re: Korg Practice Amp & #1/2 alt.guitar J.R. Elswick 37. 96/03/14 013 Re: Tube Amp Emulator DI Box rec.music.makers.guit pbradt 38. 96/03/01 013 Tube Amp Emulator DI Boxes-W rec.music.makers.guit Warren Neill 39. 95/10/26 013 Re: Recording Preamps rec.music.makers.guit Michael Melkoni 40. 95/10/25 013 Re: Recording Preamps rec.music.makers.guit kevin m.thome 41. 97/01/02 012 Re: Best way to record guita alt.guitar Mark Garvin 42. 96/06/23 012 Re: Korg Practice Amp & #1/2 alt.guitar Brad Hamilton 43. 96/03/12 012 Re: Tube Amp Emulator DI Box rec.music.makers.guit Joseph Borrow 44. 96/03/03 012 Re: Tube Amp Emulator DI Box rec.music.makers.guit Jeff Thomas 45. 96/02/15 012 Re: Headphone amps advice re alt.guitar Keyser Soze
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