Compact Pre-Amp Recommend?

Looking for a compact flexible pre-amp to pair with my Deluge.

Here’s my wishlist:

  • should be a pedal format or half-width 1U unit
  • ability to be battery powered
  • have a compressor
  • have EQ
  • be useful for mic input (with phantom power) or bass/guitar DI
  • make me look cool

Does anything exist that ticks all of those boxes? Or most of them?

Just beeing looking at the Gallien-Kruger Plex which would almost be the perfect thing if it wasn’t so bass-centric.

Eventide Mixing Link does all that, except EQ/Compressor. It does have a switchable, mix-able FX loop though. And it’ll make you look super cool.

Oh, that’s great, thank you! Shame it doesn’t have even basic EQ but everything else is bang on!

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Strymon Compadre does boost & comp with some basic EQ in one pedal but not battery powered unfortunately.

Great. It’s a really nice preamp too. One neat trick is that you can use its 3.5mm TRRS aux jack as a send/return to an iPhone FX app. It’s all analog, and subject to noise, but it’s kinda fun.

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Just reading about that in a review. What a great box! It’s 5-6 years old now, has nobody copied their idea?

The only ‘negative’ I can see is that in order to get phantom power you can’t run it off battery. Pretty obvious compromise I guess.

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Managed to bag on in decent condition from Ebay. Straight in with a low-ball offer, bit of to-ing and fro-ing and we hava a deal :smiley:

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JHS Colour Box V2

Preamp/EQ DI Box

  • For all instruments and microphones
  • Sound and character of a Vintage Neve Studio console
  • 2 Serial gain stages
  • Suitable for electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, keyboard, vocals, as well as other instruments
  • Advanced EQ section with +/- 17 dB cut/boost in each band
  • Can transfer 48 V phantom power to condenser microphones
  • True bypass
  • Controls for: Master, Pre-Vol, Step, Hi Pass, Treble, Middle, Bass, Treble Shift, Mid Shift, Bass Shift
  • Hi-pass toggle switch activates the high-pass section
  • Hi/Lo toggle switch selects between Clean Mode (lower gain) or Distorted Mode (higher gain)
  • INST/XLR switch selects the input source
  • Pad switch (-20 dB) for the XLR input
  • Bypass footswitch
  • Status LED
  • XLR/TRS (6.3 mm) Combo input
  • XLR Output
  • 6.3 mm Mono jack output
  • Operates via 9V DC power supply with 2.1 x 5.5 mm coaxial power connector, negative polarity (-) inside (not included, must be ordered separately)
  • Power consumption: 193 mA
  • Metal housing
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 120 x 110 x 60 mm
  • Weight: 480 g
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Can’t go wrong w/ a classic SansAmp
Its a pedal w/ everything you want, minus the compressor. They are awesome swiss-army devices and can be found cheap.
Personally, I would think including a compressor might be asking too much from a dedicated pre.

Oh man. Turned up today and am absolutely loving it - incredible little box and has so many little ‘hidden’ uses - the way you can use the FX input as a second input and swith between them with the footswitch. Totally superb and absoltuely never going to sell this box! Thank you for the recommendation!


I love mine. It currently has all my guitar pedals in its loop, and it sends the result to my mixer at line level.

It has also been a guitar headphone practice box (with amp sim pedal in the loop); a route to send soft synths through guitar pedals; a mic preamps (it’s really clean); and a DI box.

And that’s just the basic stuff. Glad you like it!


I love it! :smiley:

And I bought a cheap Behringer CS400 - loop out of the FX connection on the Eventide for compression and (crude) tone control. Perfect!