AXiom Power Amp Emulator PAE-1
Power Amp Emulator PAE-1
Power Amp Emulator PAE-1
AXiom Power Amp Emulator PAE-1 graphics
AXiom Power Amp Emulator PAE-1 sample settings

Power Amp Emulator PAE-1

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PRICE:  $253 USD

The PAE-1 is being replaced by the PAE-2:  All existing PAE-1 orders will be rolled over to PAE-2s.

If you're interested in a Power Amp Emulator or any other AXiom Effects product, please contact us and get yourself put on the notification list.  PAEs are made in small batches and sell out fast as they come available.  Get on the list or you may not get one.

Download User's Manual

Power Amp Emulator Calibration and Sample Settings

For the nerds and those who just like to read:  PAE-1 Technical Tips

It's common knowledge among practically all musicians that tube amps - particularly the power amp section - are more reactive and dynamic than solid-state amps.  They compress, crunch and produce harmonics in ways solid-state amps simply cannot.  In comparison, solid-state amps are often criticized as being "cold", "sterile" and "lifeless".  That's why guitarists and bassists will gladly shell out thousands of dollars for tube amps when they could get solid-state amps with more features for a few hundred bucks.  So is it even possible to capture the characteristics of a tube power amp without shelling out the big bucks and carrying around a 50-lb behemoth?  Well, you'll never capture the impact of big speakers moving big air with just a pedal and a 10-watt bedroom amp (sorry, but for that you simply need the power to vibrate the walls), but now you can have the dynamics, compression, crunch and rich harmonic content of a tube amp in a small package.

The only pedal of its kind, the AXiom Power Amp Emulator PAE-1 was created by intensively studying the electrical characteristics of power tubes, transformers and tube heads and reproducing their behaviors in a 100% analog stompbox.  To be clear, the PAE-1 is NOT an amplifier (it puts out about the same signal level as a loud overdrive or clean boost pedal).  It isn't an "overdrive" pedal (and it isn't voiced or meant to be used as one).  It isn't a digital modeler with cartoon-like exaggerations of what different tubes are "supposed" to sound like.  What it does is emulate the real characteristics of a tube head and make whatever you plug into it seem like it's plugged into a tube power amp.  Plug your overdrive pedals or preamp into the PAE-1 and plug the PAE-1 into your solid-state amp and voila:  your sterile, lifeless amp now has the compression headroom, touch-sensitivity, crunch and sag of a tube head.  Or, if you already have a tube amp, use the PAE-1 to give you that cranked tube feel at lower volumes or make your stiff, high-powered head more compressive and reactive.

  • 100% analog circuitry
  • Runs on standard 9 Vdc adaptor (2.1 mm, center negative)
  • Captures the dynamics, compression, crunch, distortion and rich harmonic content of a tube power amp
  • A MASTER control that adjusts the signal level into the internal phase-inverter emulator circuitry (just as a tube amp does)
  • A FEEDBACK control that adjusts the internal negative feedback level:  From no negative feedback at all (like a Vox AC-30) to high level (like a clean Fender).
  • A POWER control that adjusts the behavior from that of a low-headroom 5W amp to a higher headroom 100W amp.
  • A TUBE control that mimics the dynamic compression and headroom characteristics of different power tubes.  You can dial from the stiffness and immediacy of ultra-linear configuration to the compression and bloom of EL84s.
  • A PI GAIN control that adjusts phase inverter gain from 1 (like an under-powered single-ended amp) to 100 (a maxed out 12AX7/ECC83 long-tailed pair)
  • A RECTIFIER control that mimics the power supply sag from completely stiff, through solid-state diode rectifiers, to the full-on sag of a 5Y3 tube rectifier.
  • You can set the PAE for the tightness and bass response of fixed bias amps or the compressed, spongier dynamics of cathode biased amps.
  • Select single-ended or push-pull configuration.  Combined with the BIAS control this allows you to adjust the balance of odd and even harmonics.
  • A BIAS control that adjusts the bias smoothly from cold bias to hot (centrally biased).  You can go from famous Class A clarity to the bite of Class AB operation (even produce cross-over distortion).
  • Features an internal trim pot that adjusts flyback voltage spikes in the audio waveform as produced by a tube amp's output transformer and speaker voice coil (or dial flyback out to mimic a purely resistive dummy load, ala the Hot Plate or other resistive attenuators).
  • Internal dip switches to set how the PAE-1 responds to the speaker/cabinet/attenuator load.
  • Individually handmade
  • True bypass


The following demos were recorded direct with NO AMPLIFIER. The signal chain is:

Guitar -> AXiom DP-1 -> AXiom Power Amp Emulator (PAE-1) -> AXiom SCE-1 prototype (cab emulator) -> AXiom SCV-1 prototype (for stereo spread) -> interface -> DAW (reverb added, nothing else)

Demo #1: Fender Stratocaster with Dimarzio Virtual Solo bridge pickup and custom stacked neck pickup

Demo #2: Fender Stratocaster with Lindy Fralin Blues Special pickups

Signal chain for the following demo is:  Guitar -> AXiom CC-1 -> AXiom OP-1 (as a clean boost) -> AXiom Power Amp Emulator (PAE-1) -> AXiom SCE-1 prototype (cab emulator) -> AXiom SCV-1 prototype (for stereo spread) -> interface -> DAW (reverb added, nothing else)

Demo #3: Fender Stratocaster with Lindy Fralin Blues Special pickups

Signal chain for the following demo is:  Guitar -> AXiom Power Amp Emulator PAE-1 -> AXiom SCE-1 prototype (cab emulator) -> DAW (reverb added)

Signal chain for the following demo is:  Guitar -> AXiom Overdrive Preamp OP-1 (set for light/moderate gain) -> AXiom Power Amp Emulator PAE-1 -> AXiom SCE-1 prototype (cab emulator) -> DAW (reverb added)

Signal chain for the following demo is:  Guitar -> AXiom Overdrive Preamp OP-1 (set as a Tube Screamer) -> AXiom Power Amp Emulator PAE-1 -> AXiom SCE-1 prototype (cab emulator) -> AXiom SCV-1 prototype (for stereo spread) -> interface -> DAW (reverb added)

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews Write a review

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
Jeremy Ricker
I was intending to give a review, and wanted to wait for the honeymoon phase to end. It won't...

After almost 3 months of ownership, I think the PAE-1 is stellar. The sag, feel, harmonics, dynamics, and tone shaping possibilities are endless, exactly as I had hoped to find. I struggled a good bit to get a good push pull, fixed bias, 68 plexi tone along with my Rocktron Piranha and an IR loader. I fumbled onto the realization that some ugly frequencies in an IR loader preset were the problem - with a twist to a different IR preset, I had my Band of Gypsies tone.

The pedal lives up to my expectations in every way. It even allowed me to mostly retire my nasally Boss SD-1, and replace it with a TC Spark Boost pedal to drive my strat single coils. I play guitar for my church, and a fellow guitarist after hearing my rig include the PAE-1 for the first time, told me that it was the best I ever sounded, that it sounded like a Marshall. I had it set that time like a 6L6 JCM 800, and was told by the bass player my tone was much clearer. Thanks to your technical information of the PAE-1, and the pedal itself, I am now able to understand many power amp nuances such as the clarity of 6L6's, and the warmer grit of el 34's.

Thanks again for all you do, the pedal is amazing. Although perhaps one day I'll need one with resonance and presence...

Realistic Power Amp Goodness!

A marvelous pedal! If you are looking for a solution to tube power amp section, this is the one. To my knowledge there is nothing on the market that uses an analog circuit to accomplish this. Everything you can want to dial up is on tap, from subtle to fire breathing. Get one! Because when the word gets out then wait will get much longer!!!

Danny Lear
Adds that something extra

Recieved my PAE-1 last week, but since it was a long weekend coupled with a trip out of town with our family, I only got to start working with it yesterday.

There is definitely lots of options with the pedal to get your preamp (I have Synergy OS module in a SYN-1 docking station) working as a whole with a "poweramp" So far I still have tweaking to do but it certainly adds a dimension to the tone ie fuller and more body or weight to the tone. The unit adds more sustain and harmonics. The dynamics and feel are definitely improved. Once again all of this will depend on how you set it up. The internal switches have an impact as well.

I send the output of the PAE-1 to a Torpedo Cab M+ and choose whatever cabinet I want (I turn off the power amp sim of the Cab M+) for recording and practising but would have no issues using this setup for playing live and going direct to PA.
The effects can seem subtle but if you turn off the PAE-1 you'll definitely want to turn it back on.

Overall very happy with the PAE-1 and know once I get more used to it, there will be even more to like.

Big shout out to Casey for coming up with this.

Mark Boughter
This is a must for recording.

I'm reviewing a second time because I finally tried it with my ampless rig and I couldn't see an option to edit my other review.

My ampless rig is a preamp (JCM800 clone in my case but anything you like will work) into the Axiom PAE-1, into an IR loader, then into my computer's interface. I tried recording with the so-called power amp section in the IR loader but there's no real control and no real authenticity. Adding the PAE-1 and dumping the IR loader's power amp gives it that incredibly authentic sag and feel.

I haven't tried it in a live situation yet but recording with this setup is such a pleasurable process. I'm not ready to part with my tube amps yet but my mics are sitting in the miscellaneous box for the foreseeable future.

This pedal has been a revelation.

Eric Dorman
Treat it like a tube power amp - it really behaves like one

After some initial reading about the pedal, it fit the bill for exactly what I was looking for in a pedal but had never seen on the market yet with this degree of detail or accuracy.

How do you get that “volume cranked up to sweet spot sound” with a smaller rig using your favorite tube or solid state preamps into a solid state Class D pedal power amp or not having to resort plugging the preamps into a tube power amp, cranking up the volume, and having to use an attenuator to still have controllable volume?

The PAE-1 was the answer. This pedal has somewhat blown me away with how well it adds to response, sound, and behavior of my guitar signal to match what my preamps into cranked up tube power amps plus attenuators can do. Preamp + PAE-1 into solid state clean power amp or into cab sim, gets me that complete saturated tube amp sound. A secret ingredient pedal. It does what it claims. I’ve been wanting this pedal to be built for a few years.

Add that response, saturation, compression, power tube clipping back into your guitar signal without the cost, bulk, weight, extra attenuator cost, or wear on actual tubes. Not a digital pedal either. It’s analog and powers easy with 9V adapter.

Thanks to Axiom Effects for coming out with this pedal. It is now an essential part of my gear paired with my classic circuit preamps or Amp In A Box pedals, to get me the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s cranked up amp sounds I love. Highly recommended!