PRICE: $253 USD
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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)